Random is Order

"Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature." ~ Eric Hoffer

Giveaway!

I just posted a poll regarding my first giveaway over at my new blog, A Little Cup of Random. Please hop on over there and take the poll so I can start planning my first blog giveaway.

Also, if you haven’t deleted this site from your account and readers yet, please do so, and follow me over at my new home, www.littlecupofrandom.com.

See you there!

Cheers, Shauna

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Feel-Good Friday 7/12/13

Hi all!

There’s a new Feel-Good Friday post up on my new blog, A Little Cup of Random located at www.littlecupofrandom.com.

I hope you’ll come visit me over at my new home. I’m starting to get lonely!

Cheers, Shauna

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Announcing . . .

My new blog,

A Little Cup of Random!

You can check it out at www.littlecupofrandom.com.

You’ll notice that a lot of the content looks the same, but there’s no looming threat of deactivation. Plus, I’ve spruced things up a bit, and changed more than just the domain.

I’d really love it if you would all come visit me over there. I won’t be posting here much anymore, but am planning to keep this site live for a while so everyone can find me over at my new place.

So, please come visit soon. I have three sub box reviews coming up this week plus a giveaway that you won’t want to miss. Hope to see you there!

Cheers, Shauna

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Random Adoration

I’ve been wanting to do a post with links to various other blogs that I’ve been reading and loving recently. I feel like I learn so much, and get so much entertainment from other members of the blogging community that I think it’s only fair to share the sources. Plus, I would love to drive some more traffic in the direction of some of these really awesome bloggers as a thanks for the many hours of distraction they have provided me in the form of post-perusing.

I hope you will find a link amongst this bunch that will bring you new knowledge or a laugh. Before I send you on your way, I must give credit where it is due, and thank Lyn over at Pretty Frugal for the idea for this post. Now, click to it!

Did you say Subscription Box?

I mentioned on my Subscription Box page that my sub box hero is Jennifer over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom. She has the most amazingly up-to-date list of subscription boxes that I’ve ever found, plus pics and reviews of the many, many boxes that she has either received in the past or currently subscribes to at the moment. The bonus of being a regular reader is seeing pics and hearing about the escapades of her precious boys – human and fur alike. Definitely check out her blog, but beware of sub box envy!

Another source of sub box fabulousness is Erica from Reviews, Reviews, Reviews. She posts tons of box reviews as well as reviews of other products, and of her favorite Etsy stores. Plus, her two dogs are super precious, and make regular appearances in photos as well as the unboxing videos she posts on her Youtube channel. And believe it or not, Erica actually gets a few boxes that Jennifer doesn’t so you’ll have a chance to check out even more sub box goodies.

All Things Nail-Related

I have soft, weak, bendy nails that sometimes peel, and very often tear. In my quest to find a product that would help me with this issue, I happened upon the blog, loodie, loodie, loodie, written by a woman who describes herself as having a “nail care obsession.” Her series of blog posts on the various types of nail hardeners/strengtheners and how they work is fascinating and well-written. The best part is that she’s a scientist (yes, really; she has her PhD) who also explains WHY the products work the way they do. If you don’t need nail treatments, then check out her blog for the fun writing, pics of gorgeous nail colors on her amazing natural nails or her DIY Recipe for a Zoya Remove+ polish remover clone.

If you just want to look at pictures of pretty nails and/or nail art, The Daily Varnish is the place to go. The tag-team bloggers who post on this site share daily pics of gorgeous manis with a variety of polish brands. There are also tutorials for various DIY nail-art techniques as well as reviews on top coats and other nail polish necessities. I visit for the pretty, pretty pictures, but also learn a few things while I’m there.

Money Savers & Personal Finance

If you like free samples (although face it; who doesn’t,) check out the blog, Beauty and Lifestyle of a Broke College Girl. Jocelyn’s weekly Sample Saturday posts list the latest free sample giveaways or super cheap sample programs. I’ve already received a couple of samples from her referrals, and she somehow finds more each week. Plus, she posts reviews of beauty products, subscription boxes and even throws out occasional ideas for ways to make extra cash (like tips for selling your old, unwanted clothes on eBay.)

Joanna and Johnny at Our Freaking Budget post about every financial topic under the sun such as tips on investing in a 401k as well as fun topics like their He Says/She Says debates that never fail to bring a chuckle. Their tag-team writing is witty, amusing and extremely helpful when it comes to basic financial management issues. Their 50 States Series covering pros, cons and info about each U.S. state makes for some pretty interesting reading. I’ve already learned a lot from them, and I’m pretty sure you can, too.

DIY-Tastic!

I’m a sucker for a good DIY project, and the DIY Spa Recipes and other projects at Sparkle & Mine are some of the best I’ve come across. Sarah also posts reviews of beauty products, her fave places to score great deals on fabu fashion and info on fabulously inexpensive makeup dupes for much pricier products. Plus, her effervescent writing style always puts a smile on my face so I just love visiting.

Deb over at Not Inadequate literally makes me laugh out loud when reading her posts. She’s pretty much a wise-cracking, freezer-cooking, DIY-loving, home-schooling mom who is re-furnishing her house after a months-long journey across the United States with her family. Her series of posts that she has dubbed “Other People’s Crap in Mah House” chronicles her pretty fantastic DIY transformations of garage sale and thrift store finds. Plus, her frank posts about the terrors wonders of home-schooling her kids have changed my perception of the home-schooling process in a wonderful way.

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So there you have it! A short, little excerpt from my blog roll. All of these sites are ones that I read because I enjoy the content and the writing. I’m considering making this kind of post a regular monthly feature on my blog, so please let me know if you visit any of these sites, and if so, whether you liked them or learned anything. Also, if you do happen to visit and decide to comment, please let them know that I referred you.

If you are potentially interested in seeing another post like this one, drop me a comment in the box below. Thanks for reading. Blog at you later!

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Thursday Thoughts – 7/4/13

Ramblings of a Suburban Mom

Today, I’m linking up again with my bloggy friend, Jen, over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.

~ Today is the 4th of July, and we had totally planned to check out the fireworks at Epcot tonight.  Unfortunately,we’ve had thunderstorms most of the day and it’s 90+ degrees with almost 100% humidity outside, so we decided we’d rather stay in than brave the elements.  I asked Roger if he was sad to miss the fireworks, but he pointed out that living here and me working at Walt Disney World means we can see fireworks at 2 different parks 365 days of the year, so we can always see them another day.  Basically, we just decided we’d go some other time when it’s not so crowded.  Yes, we realize we’re spoiled. 😉

~ I would have so loved to go out of town this weekend, but Roger has to work tomorrow, and I have a ton of school work due Sunday.  I think everyone should get to have the day after the 4th of July off, especially if that day is a Friday.  I’m trying to not be jealous of all my friends who are off visiting some place fun for the holiday.  Maybe I can convince Roger to head to the beach for the afternoon on Saturday.

~ After my dental torture on Monday, my endodontist told me to only eat soup and ice cream until I get my post and crown put in next week.  While my jaw, tooth and gums are definitely still sore on the right side of my mouth, I’ve had to break down and start eating other food with texture and flavor.  I’m SO. DONE. with soup.  Maybe if I had the Soup Nazi cooking me exciting variations every day, I would be able to choke it down more, but I seriously only have like 4 soups and 2 stews in my repertoire.  I totally need to develop more recipes for my next brush with the torturer dentist.

~ I’m going to work hard to get all of my homework done early this week so I can maybe spend some time doing something crafty.  I’m feeling a distinct need for a creative outlet so now I just have to etch out the time to do something.  I’m thinking stamping some cards, maybe making a scrapbook page or two, or trying out one of those Pinterest crafts I keep pinning obsessively.

~ After my jarring experience with WordPress shutting down my blog yesterday, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching options for self-hosting, site design and purchasing domains.  I honestly had no idea how involved the whole process really is so I can guarantee it’s going to be a while before anything changes.  When I do make the hop, I’m seriously considering changing the name of my blog as well to better fit the theme of what I actually talk about on here.  I’m just trying to decide if it’s a bad move to make a change like that after people have already become familiar with the old name.  I’d love to hear thoughts on this subject if anyone has any to share.

That’s pretty much it for my thoughts today.  Thanks for dropping by.  Blog at you later!

Cheers, Shauna

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Happy 4th of July!!

Even though our Fourth of July celebration ended up more than a little soggy, my manicure held all the sparkles I needed.

I had intended to post pics of fabulous fireworks here in honor of the day, but will have to settle for a more grown-up version of my Julep Fireworks manicure.

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My Salute to America

The Stars:
Base Coat: Nailtiques Formula 2
Main Color: OPI “A Oui Bit of Red”
Accent Nails: 2 coats of OPI “Kyoto Pearl” with 1 coat of Julep “Fireworks” Glitter Top Coat
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat

Hope your Fourth of July celebration was everything you were hoping it would be. Blog at you later!

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Something’s Not Right Here

I had intended to post my June Birchbox review today. That is, until I tried to log in to my blog, and found that it had been suspended by WordPress for a violation of their advertising policy and terms of service.  Upon making this discovery, I immediately emailed WordPress to find out why my blog had been suspended because I know that I haven’t done anything that violates any of the policies.

Before I chose to set up my blog on WordPress.com, I thoroughly read their Terms of Service and Advertising Policy to see what I can and can’t do on one of their sites. Basically, I had intended to post reviews of my subscription boxes on my blog, and wanted to be sure I was allowed to do that. According to the WordPress Terms of Service, I am fine to post my own, personal, authentic reviews, and include links back to the sites where I purchased the items. The only requirement is that I not be attempting to post information about pyramid schemes or get rich quick without ever getting out of bed scams, and since that was never my intention, I figured I was safe.

Not so, said WordPress.com staff today. Apparently, it’s unacceptable for me to post my own personal review of an item I paid for myself, and link to the site where I bought it. Yet, as I pointed out to the nice person who responded to my very upset email, 100s of other WordPress.com sites do the exact same thing, and they never get called on it. When I brought that to the staffer’s attention, my blog magically got turned back on again.

Of course, this little experience has made me realize I am going to need to look into self-hosting sooner than later which has led to me doing some research on self-host sites tonight. I’m also going to collect some recommendations from friends who self-host as well to see what they think. If you self-host, which site do you use, and why? Did you design your own site, use a pre-made template, or have someone design it for you? If the last option, please share info on who designed your site as I’m looking for a different theme if I move to self-hosting.

Basically, I’m now looking for a way out as it was a horrible feeling to discover that my still-new blog had been deemed a rule-breaker, and had been shut down. Even though it is up now, I’ve now started wondering just how long it’s going to be before it disappears again for some other minor infraction that is only enforced on my site, and no one else’s.

Please share your info/stories/recommendations for self-hosting below in the comments section while you can. Blog at you later!

Cheers, Shauna

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Meet the Furbabies!

It’s time to meet the cutest members of the family – our Furbabies! We have three – two kitties and one pup – and they are all immensely spoiled rotten well-loved. I’m doing this post today in honor of the 5 year anniversary of our pup’s Gotcha Day (the day we brought her home.) So, without further ado, here come the fuzzies!

Our first baby was Arkhe (pronounced R-K). We brought him home on September 27, 1999. We are pretty sure he was almost exactly 6 weeks old, as his mom was a stray that adopted a friend of ours. We picked him out of his litter because he was super adventurous and really playful. Sadly, all of Arkhe’s baby pictures are pre-digital so I can’t show you how completely precious he was as a baby, but here are grown-up pics.

Arkhe

Yes, this is my mouse. Why do you ask?

If you are thinking he looks like a big kitty, you are absolutely right. His head is the size of small navel orange, and his paws are an inch wide. He’s also a gorgeous tiger kitty who has been sleeping between our pillows since he was a baby. It was much cuter and more convenient when he was a baby, but not quite as adorable now that he weighs 18 pounds. One of his favorite things to do is dig under covers and sleep. He’s never happy when I wake him up taking pictures.

Sleepy Arkhe

Mommy, is this really necessary?

While Arkhe loves Mommy, he’s a Daddy’s kitty. He loves to lounge on Daddy for scritchies. Again, it was super-cute when he was little, but now it’s 18 pounds of kitty. Still, Roger doesn’t mind, and honestly enjoys it if the truth be known.

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Pet me Daddy! I’m adorable!

Phelia (pronounced Fee-lee-a) was the second addition to our family. He was actually a teeny-tiny stray the first time I saw him sitting on a curb in the parking lot of my office building. Roger was driving me to work, and the kitty meowed at me as we drove past. At the time, Roger worked across the freeway, and I gave him just enough time to get to work before I called him and told him to get the kitty. Even though he only weighed 1.6 pounds, he left a massive scar on Roger’s hand from where he bit him as he was trying to catch him. That was in June 2000, and he’s been with us ever since.

Like Arkhe, all of Phelia’s baby pics are in hard copy so here’s an adult pic. We don’t really know exactly how old he is, but the vet said he was between 6 and 9 weeks when we got him which means he’s about 9 months younger than Arkhe.

Phelia

I find these photos distasteful.

Even though he’s 13 years old and has lived with us almost his entire life, he’s still a bit skittish. He also has the ability to find every comfy spot in the house to nap, including stealing the blanket off the couch every day to mush into a nest for his naptime.

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Did you want this blanket? Too bad!

Phelia is the only pet in our house that considers Mommy his, but he doesn’t cuddle with me the way Arkhe does with Roger. Still, he curls up on the arm of the couch next to me, or next to my pillows to be near me, and will sometimes even nap on me. He’s my super-purry kitty, and you can seriously hear him purring from across the room. I just love it when he comes over and purrs near me as I find it totally relaxing.

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Yes, I am this cute in real life.

Arkhe has never really forgiven us for bringing Phelia home, and still gets irritated with him on a regular basis. And if you say Phelia’s name in Arkhe’s presence, Arkhe will actually get up and leave from sheer irritation. Despite the occasional annoyance, they are still best buddies, and completely love each other.

Kitty Tower

Kitty Tower

Kitty Cuddles

What? We were cold.

You can totally tell the size difference between the two of them in these pics. Phelia is a petite 9.5 to 10 pounds, and Arkhe is twice that size!

And now for our latest addition, Gracie. Five years ago, our lives changed completely when we brought this little cutie pie home.

Baby Gracie!

4 months old and adorable!

Hall’s Her Grace, Duchess Ophelia Ann (pronounced O-fee-lee-A) is a Tri-color Black & Tan Toy Fox Terrier. Amertoys look a little like a cross between Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers, but are not obnoxious like Chihuahuas and aren’t as high energy as Jacks. My co-workers thought she looked like a cow because of her white coat with big black spots so they called her a cowhuahua. Regardless of what we call her, she’s adorable and knows it because Roger tells her that she is all the time. I wanted to call her Duchess, but Roger hated the name so we went with the uber-original tried and true Gracie.

I had to work really hard to convince Roger to get a dog in the first place, but it didn’t take him long to fall in love with her. In fact, this pic was taken about 20 minutes after we brought her home the first day, and was just the beginning of the end of a serious case of puppy love.

Daddy and Gracie - Day 1

I’m cute and I know it.

Terriers are super-loyal, and while Gracie loves us both, her sun rises and sets around her Daddy.

Gracie and Daddy

You’re my favorite Daddy.

However, she will still cuddle with me if Daddy is not around, or if she doesn’t feel well because Daddies are for playing, but Mommies are for comfort.

Mommy Cuddles

I like Mommy, too.

The average size for Toy Fox Terriers is 5 to 8 pounds, but Gracie stands a full head above all of her siblings and mom, and weighs a whopping 11 pounds. We can’t quite figure out why that is because she’s pure-bred, and gets plenty of exercise. In fact, she pretty much gets daily sessions of playing fetch as it is her most favorite thing in the world to do other than cuddling. This is the look we get when she’s waiting for us to throw something.

Throw the Ball!

Throw the Ball!

Gracie loves playing with Roger, and she is always the fastest pup her size at the Dog Park. But when it comes to cuddling, her favorite spot is between us in her bed on the couch or under the covers in our bed. She’s a total cuddle-bug, and I LOVE that about her.

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So what if my tongue is sticking out? I’m comfy!

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I love my blanket.

The boys don’t really love Gracie as much as we do. In fact, Arkhe mostly ignores her, and Phelia kinda smacks at her when she annoys him which is pretty much all the time. Phelia and Gracie sometimes play together, but it’s a tentative relationship at best, and open hostility at worst.

We kind of mock the uneasy relationship between the cats and dog by referring to Gracie from the cat’s perspective as the stupid, ugly, smelly cat because she is a really stupid cat who doesn’t look right and stinks. Of course, when we talk about the cats from the dog’s perspective, we call Arkhe the big, scary one and Phelia the mean one.

Even though everyone mostly gets along, our house is never dull. There is always someone wanting to be fed, wanting attention, wanting to play, etc. It can be a bit crazy around here, but I love all of these cute, cuddly faces to bits, and can’t imagine life without them.

Thanks for reading! Blog at you later!

Cheers, Shauna

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It appears I am missing something.

And that something would be the root of my tooth.

Yes, you read that correctly. I’m now missing the root of my tooth because I had the great misfortune of having my first root canal today. And yes, it was just as much a surprise for me as everyone else.

Basically, I bit into something on the right side of my mouth last night that resulted in a severe shooting pain through a lower molar. The shooting pain rapidly progressed into a constant, throbbing ache that prevented me from getting any sleep because it hurt so bad that I couldn’t put my head down even on the opposite side without pain. So this morning after Roger got up and we started our DMV drama (see my Random Monday post for more details if you are interested,) I started calling around to find a dentist I could see today. After one x-ray and a quick physical exam, the dentist bundled me off to an endodontist for an emergency root canal.

Now, I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am terrified of needles. As in, I have a panic attack when I need to have blood drawn or need a shot, so you can imagine how very not well I respond to needles in my mouth. Fortunately, my PCP understands my phobia and has given me a prescription for anti-anxiety medication when I need blood work or other needle-y types of medical procedures.

Anticipating that I might need to have a filling replaced, I had planned ahead and brought my meds with me. Unfortunately, even a double dose of my anti-anxiety meds AND my first foray into the use of Nitrous Oxide did not prepare me for the six – yes, you read that right – SIX shots that I needed to numb my lower jaw, after which a woman I wish to never see again proceeded to drill out all four nerves in my tooth, and replace them with a temporary filling.

I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t really know what a root canal was before today, and I’m kind of completely mortified that I now have what amounts to a dead tooth in my mouth. Roger keeps assuring me that it is a very common thing, and that it’s better to have a dead tooth than one that will cause continued pain and other issues. Apparently, the root canal was the only option because I had a very large filling in that tooth that had cracked in several places, and subsequently allowed a significant infection to develop. The endodontist was actually quite surprised that I hadn’t had pain prior to Sunday night given all the fractures.

Unfortunately, since this is a holiday week, I won’t be able to go back to my regular dentist until next week for a “build-up” where they reconstruct the tooth followed by the placement of a crown for permanent wear. In the meantime, I have a rough little stub of a tooth hanging out in my mouth. I also look like a chipmunk who was only able to find enough nuts to stuff in one cheek, and my whole jaw is throbbing. I get to take antibiotics for the next 10 days, and Tylenol for pain.

Since I can barely open my mouth and only have a temporary filling in that one tooth, I am restricted to soup and ice cream (seriously, that’s what the endodontist said) until I can have the buildup done and the crown placed on my tooth. While I have a few recipes for soup, I don’t know that I have enough to last me for the next week without getting bored so I’m off to see if I can find a couple of decent ones for chicken and rice soup and loaded baked potato soup to tide me over.

So there you have it. The second reason why today totally sucked. I guess it could have been worse (in theory,) and I might have needed more involved surgery. Still, $700 for a root canal, tooth reconstruction and a crown is not my idea of a fun way to spend money. I’d MUCH rather buy subscription boxes, or spend that on a vacation. Unfortunately, I had no choice in the matter.

My jaw is starting to hurt again so I’m off to take some more Tylenol, and try to get some more sleep. Between no sleep last night, and all the stress from today, I’m pooped, and can really use some solid rest so I can do well on my test tomorrow. I’d end this post with a PSA on taking care of your teeth to prevent stuff like this from happening, but it’s not really appropriate. You see, I DO take good care of my teeth, and crap like this still happens to me. It’s called genetics, baby, and it’s a real PITA.

So, thanks for stopping by, and reading my tale of woe. I hope your Monday was significantly better than mine. Blog at you later!

Cheers, Shauna

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This doesn’t work so well.

If you’ve made it through my crazy long detailed About Me page, you’ll have read that two of the things I consider to be my worst traits are that I’m a perfectionist and a procrastinator. I can’t even quite figure out how these two things could have developed in the same person because it’s impossible to make things perfect when you are doing them at the last minute.

Honestly, I don’t do things at the complete last minute. Rather, I just wait until I absolutely HAVE to finish something before I break down and actually do it. Because of my perfectionist tendencies, stuff still manages to turn out well since I just flat out won’t complete something that isn’t up to my standards.

Of course, turning out high quality work at the last minute causes major stress so I’m trying to be better about starting things earlier. Although to be fair, starting things is not my problem; my issue is with finishing them. So far, I’m still searching for the motivation to do this because my current method of motivation is reaching the point that I have to just finish something because it must be done.

I’ve been trying to research how people motivate themselves to get things done, but I haven’t found much that I think would work for me. I’m hoping some of you that follow my blog might give me some feedback on how you motivate yourself to finish your projects. Please take a moment to comment below as I really could use the help!

Thanks for reading. Blog at you later!

Cheers, Shauna

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