Fire82 T-Shirt Winner!!

Drumroll please. It’s time to announce the winner of the Fire82 T-shirt giveaway! And the winner is

Fire82 T-shirt Giveaway!

Congrats Marilyn N.! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly, so if you’re Marilyn, watch your inbox! :) Everyone else, if you are still interested in a Fire82 T-shirt, you can read details here in my post about Fire82 and find out how you can get your very own!

Short Story: This Is My Mountain

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Here’s another short story – I hope you enjoyed! It’s rough and could use some tweaking, but I hope you get the idea that I’m going for.

This Is My Mountain

Occasionally, I’d call my mother. We’d exchange the usual pleasantries and she’d catch me up on the small hometown I cared nothing about. I’d pretend to listen and keep the details about myself short.

But at the end of every call, she’d always ask the same question. “Aren’t you lonely up there, Suzy?”

I’d laugh and say, “I’m not lonely, besides here I’m safe.”

“I wish you’d come home,” she’d say. “You could be safe here, too.”

I’d pause, “You know I can’t do that, mom.”

“I know,” she’d say. “I love you, Suzy, I always will, and there will always be a place for you here.”

“I love you too, mom.” And then just a click and a dial tone.

Aren’t you lonely up there, Suzy? The question would linger with me as I hiked the three days back to the home I had built, stocked up with supplies from town on my monthly trips during the warmer months.

But how could I be lonely? I had everything here that I needed. I could live off the land, make what I needed, and best of all, I would be safe. An EMP couldn’t destroy me nor could robots take over and run my life, for there was no electricity to speak of. In all the years I’d lived here, only a handful of people had ever stumbled across my cabin because I wasn’t listed on any map or accessible by any roads. I wasn’t reliant on any fossil fuels and I wouldn’t get cancer because of the GMOs in the food. If there was some disease outbreak somewhere, how would I ever get it without human contact? And terrorists aren’t going to bomb or release anthrax into some place they don’t know exists. Who would even know if I died? If a bomb falls in an empty forest, does it make a noise? Not very effective for terrorists. After all, many Americans don’t even know about the Fu-Go balloons launched by the Japanese during WWII. But I do because you have to be prepared for everything.

Yes, I am prepared, here on my mountain. My big, safe mountain.

Who would even know if I died?

A beautiful mountain in Corsica. Not the mountain she lives on, but it could be like thisP.S. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Ends on Friday! You could win an awesome custom t-shirt!

Witchcraft Couture Book Review

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Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in order to provide an honest review. So that’s what you’re getting – my honest review! 

Name of book: Witchcraft Couture

Author: Katarina West (I must admit, I was only half sold on the premise when I first heard of this book, but I decided to give it a shot based on Katarina’s background. She has a PhD in Political Science and as you may or may not know, my Bachelors is in Political Science and Writing. I don’t always run across other people who have both an interest in political science and an interest in creative writing, so I felt as if I had to take the shot.)

Summary:  “Oscar Pellegrini is a talented fashion designer with a deadly enemy: his own critical mind. He destroys much of what he designs and has been drifting for years, gradually retreating from the fashion business he loves but holding on to his dreams of success.

A chance meeting with a former girlfriend triggers a creative crisis so deep that Oscar escapes to Russia, where he drinks and despairs like never before. Just when he thinks he has lost everything he discovers a magical machine that turns ordinary outfits into irresistible sartorial triumphs. Oscar takes the machine back to Italy – and before he knows it, he has become famous for his designs, and celebrities and socialites are fighting to be first to wear his gorgeous garments.

But the happily-ever-after ending for the fashion messiah turns into a nightmare when his dresses acquire a life of their own, gaining energy and evil as time goes on. Haunted by his creations, a dark secret he is no longer able to hide, Oscar finds himself fighting for his life and sanity, and searching for the answer to a question he never knew existed.

Is there such a thing as stolen genius, and if there is, can it turn against the very person who stole it?”

Rating: 4 stars

Reason for rating: In this book, you get to watch Oscar’s incredible journey from the lowest point in his life, about to be fired again from another job, to becoming a world-wide sensation and what that does to his mind and the sacrifices he makes to get there. Let’s start with what I loved – the prose, the prose was beautiful. The images painted, the references to historical and cultural happenings, Oscar’s way of referring to people in colors rather than with names, it was just such exquisite writing. It was rambling, but it didn’t feel rambling. Much like no one can explain why the clothes make them feel the way, I can not quite explain why I love this style of writing.  I could have done without the sex scene and at times the book felt strange to me because unlike the fiction books I have recently read, it wasn’t action packed. But that’s all right, because it was equally interesting to see to see the way the mind works inside. It definitely made me think about what we are willing to sacrifice and for what we get it return and whether or not it is worth it. Despite being so so in the beginning (me? read a book about fashion) I really did enjoy it. I’d recommend the book to anyone interested in fashion (but even if you aren’t, it’s still a good read) as well as anyone interested in psychological thrillers. It would also be good for people interested in Italy – as it includes stunning descriptions of the Italian countryside.

Find Witchcraft Couture on Amazon

Find Witchcraft Couture on Goodreads

Interview with Founder of Fire82 Plus Custom T-Shirt Giveaway!

Disclosure: I was not paid or compensated for this post in any way. I am doing this for my sister, because I love her and want to support her and because I think she is awesome! I don’t get any financial kick back for it. 

So, my little sister has been making t-shirts for a while! Awesome ones, I own some of them. Anyways, she has officially opened for business and is selling them so I interviewed her to learn a little more about that! Stay tuned because at the bottom there will be a giveaway!

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Elizabeth Zellmer. I am 18 and left for basic training a month after I graduated high school. I like creating things whether that be making t-shirts or writing or whatever else I happen to come up with that day.

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A shirt my sister made for me two-ish years ago. Sorry it’s a little blurry

Tell me about Fire82

Fire82 is a custom bleach t-shirt business that is just getting its start. I create unique t-shirts that even if you get one of my pre-designed shirts will never be the same as any of the other shirts because of the bleaching patterns.

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Where did the name Fire82 come from?

The name Fire82 is in honor of my first paying customer and who really encouraged me to finally launch the business. Fire was a nickname he gave me and 82 is the number of his old jersey as well as the one on the jersey for Buffalo Wild Wings which I used to work at.

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What got you started making t-shirts?

I wanted a unique way to show my pride for the midnight premier of The Hunger Games so I made a bleach t-shirt that said “Tuck your tail in little duck” A lot of my friends really liked it so for the next Christmas I made t-shirts for a bunch of them with their favorite quotes and they absolutely loved it.  So I got the idea to start selling them.

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What are some of the t-shirts you’ve made?

I have made a lot of quote t-shirts. I made a superman logo and a matching Kryptonite shirt (which I plan on selling as a package and can customize with names) as well as the fire82 logo shirt. I have mostly done words but am definitely willing to do simple designs if that is what a customer wants.

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What kinds of clothes can you make for people?

I am starting out with just t-shirts but I would definitely love to expand to long sleeves, onesies and others items of clothing if this kicks off.

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Why should someone buy from you?

It is a completely unique product that I can customize with names for my pre-designed t-shirts as well as having the freedom to have me create a t-shirt that says almost anything you want it to.

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Anything else you want to add about Fire82?

That it is just starting out so to be patient but you definitely will not regret a purchase from Fire82. My current price for a t-shirt is $16 which includes customization with a name if you want it as well as free shipping within the United States. I will ship international, price can be discussed depending on location.

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How can people get in touch with you?

The best way would be to email me at lz.fire82@gmail.com so I can find out what you want me to put on your t-shirt and I am using PayPal right now for payment. But I am working on setting up an eBay account that will work with me selling customizable products. You can also check out my Facebook page here

Now to the giveaway! My sister is generously giving away one of her custom t-shirts of your choosing!! This has a retail value of $16 dollars. This giveaway is open to the United States only, 18 and older! (Sorry Canadian peeps). It will run until Friday April 24th when we will pick a winner! Enter in the form below! And make sure to check your e-mail. You will have 72 hours from the time I e-mail you the winning e-mail or I’ll pick a new winner!

Fire82 T-shirt Giveaway!

Counting to 1000 Gifts: 131-140

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131. That I have a Savior who loves me enough to die for me on this Good Friday

132. That that same Savior also rose again, conquering death

133. Electricity

134. Rice play

riceplay

135. A little helper

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136. Getting a decent amount of sleep

137. That yesterday was a gorgeous sunshine-y afternoon

138. Neighbors

139. This is kind of the same as neighbors, but I am grateful for community

140.  Tasty food

What are you thankful for on this Good Friday? List some gifts of your own! 

10 Things for Tuesday April 1st, 2015

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Ten Things

Here you go, ten things to check out on this April Fools’ Day! As always, citation does not mean endorsement, and I’ve broken them down into categories. I’d love for you to comment your thoughts on anything or leave a link of your own to something that you think is worth reading today.

Free

116 Free Kindle Ebook Downloads

Food

How Your Groceries Get to the Store: The Logistics of Supermarkets

Zucchini and Asparagus Strata

Pasta with Spring Greens

How to Hard Cook Lots of Eggs at Once

News

Searching the Internet Creates an Illusion of Personal Knowledge

The problem of “pointing” in modern journalism

April Fools’ 

ThinkGeek Continues Notoriously Awesome April Fools’ Day Products With Groot Beer, Thrones Clue, & More

Amazon’s Gone Retro – Circa 1999

Birth

I took back control of my Cesarean

Door to Door Organics #joydelivered

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I was recently provided with an opportunity through Moms Meet to introduce my friends to Door to Door Organics. We had a sampling party and had a lot of fun, but I just thought I’d blog about it as well, so you all could experience it too. I received a credit to Door to Door Organics in order to sample it, but that credit did not come with conditions that I must enjoy it or think positively of it. 

Door to Door Organics provides fresh, organic produce and local, natural groceries delivered to your house weekly or bi-weekly. They’re committed to providing Good Food straight to your door, and they have a whole list of ingredients that you will never find in the foods they sell.

First off, let’s start with their site. I find their site extremely easy to use. I mean, part of that is the fact that I am internet savvy, but I feel even if I wasn’t it would be easy to use. I love how customizable everything is. They have several different box sizes, so you can pick the box size that’s right for you and it’s easy to change the size at any time. You can also sub up to 5 things in your box with things you’d rather have, which I find extremely helpful! You may or may not know this, but I am somewhat of a picky eater. I have gotten a lot better as an adult, but I can only handle trying so many new things at a time, so it’s nice to have that flexibility to swap things out. You can also add produce you love or produce you want to never see to your preferences, in case you have allergies or things you just absolutely hate.

For my get together, I picked the medium box. You have until 12 pm the day before it arrives to change your box and you better believe that I changed it a million and one times – ha! I just couldn’t decide – there are so many options. On the day when your box arrives, it comes in a bright yellow van and the delivery person was very nice. It was so exciting! Even though I knew everything that was in it, I still felt like a kid at Christmas.

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Contents of my box. Everything pictured is from the medium box, except the raspberries and the bread I added on extra.

Contents of my box. Everything pictured is from the medium box, except the raspberries and the bread I added on extra.

Then came the day of my party! I turned the zucchini into zucchini bread, the avocado into guacamole, the lettuce into a salad, and the rainbow chard I sautéed with some garlic and parmesan on the advice of the internet.

Our Spread

Our Spread

I have to say, I was extremely impressed by the quality, as I think was everyone. I tried new things – which is a big step for me – and liked it all (except maybe the grapefruit, but I don’t know if there was anything you could do to grapefruit to make me like it – haha – but other people liked it). But the pear and the kiwi were perfectly ripe and the rainbow chard was amazing. I could definitely see adding that to pasta. The lettuce had great flavor too and that bread was awesome. You could really tell in just everything you ate that it was quality. As I said to Nick, these are the most beautiful zucchini and they baked into bread excellently as well.

Overall, I was definitely very pleased with it. The quality was great and the service was great as well. I could order from them again with confidence knowing that the produce will be high quality and carefully packed and delivered with care. And it got this picky eater to try new fruits and vegetables.

I can offer you a code for $15 dollars off your first box! If you’d like this, leave your e-mail address in the comments and I’ll send you an e-mail so it generates a code unique to you. If you do this, I’ll also get a $15 dollar credit, but don’t do it just because of me. Only do it if you’re really interested in it! Also if you check out their Facebook page, now (through the end of today) they have a code for 51% off your first box. Also, if you have any questions about my experience or how it works that I didn’t answer, feel free to leave those in the comments as well!

You can find Door to Door Organics at their website, twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

This Is Love

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“A brother is a friend given by nature.” – Legouve

Yesterday had some rough moments. There was lots of not listening and bad decision-making and tears and I don’t mean just with my kids either. It was rough all around.

But when things are feeling rough, I just have to look and remember how blessed I am. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.*

And one of the ways I feel so blessed is that I have these two little boys who not only love me so very much, but they also love each other abundantly.

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I have a million examples I could give you, from the way Dominic always wants to know where Allen is and what he is doing and how he cares about what he needs when he’s crying. How he wants to hug him and say good morning and good night to him and how he asks to hold him almost every day. The way he wants Allen to come over to his toys so Allen can watch and play with him. The way Allen smiles at him when he sees him. The way Allen loves to watch whatever Dominic is doing.

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I think the best example I have of this happened last week. I buckled Allen in his car seat first and Dominic had gotten distracted by something in the garage and so while I was trying to convince Dominic to get in the car, Allen started crying. As soon as I got Dominic in his car seat, Allen looked over at Dominic and stopped crying.

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I just think when I look at them, this is love. I can see it in their interactions. Dominic is always so gentle with Allen and even when Allen may whack him in the face excitedly, he doesn’t get upset or anything. I am truly blessed for having Allen in my life also, but I just can’t believe how much having Allen around has blessed Dominic in his life. I always hoped they would be close when they were older, but I never imagined that such closeness could start when Allen was still so little. After all, it is hard sometimes for adults to connect with babies who can’t talk yet and who don’t do a lot. And in the beginning, Dominic just ignored him, wanted nothing to do with him. But now? There is just so much love and it fills my heart to bursting.

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People always wonder how you can love your second kid as much as your first. That love just grows I tell you, that love just grows.

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*Yes, I watched God’s Not Dead earlier today. That line stuck with me.

Pray for Tunisia

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Pray-for-Tunisia

I don’t know if you heard what happened last week in Tunisia. There was a horrible terrorist attack, where gunmen kill 23 people (at the time of writing – when I originally started this post, the death toll was smaller) and injured almost 50 people at the National Bardo Museum when two gunmen opened fire. The people were from all over the world – many of the victims were tourists, who didn’t call Tunisia their home.

The attack was meant to spark fear in the heart of people and to keep people away from Tunisia. I will say I didn’t know much about Tunisia before this attack, other than that it is a country in northern Africa, but I’ve since learned that tourism is a big part of their economy (15% of their GDP)*. And in a way, the terrorists are winning, as several cruise lines have taken Tunisia off their stops.

But social media is fighting back, with the hashtag #IWillCometoTunisia. People from all over the world are pledging to visit and saying that they are not afraid. And while I don’t know that I will visit Tunisia – limited funds and limited time here – I wouldn’t hesitate to go if someone offered me a completely paid for trip. Because I am not afraid to visit Tunisia.

What I can do though, is pray for Tunisia.

I can pray for the families who have lost a member of their family, that they would know God’s comfort and love during this horrible time.

I can pray for the injured people, that they would heal, both physically and emotionally.

I can pray a prayer of thankfulness for those who were not injured, like the Spanish couple and their unborn child, found hiding in a closet.

I can pray for the country, that they would be able to come together and find healing after an attack on their shore and that this attack would not harm their economy.

I can pray for the police, that God would help them do their jobs to the best of their ability and to catch anyone else who was involved in this attack, that future attacks might be prevented.

I can pray for the terrorists. Not the two who are already dead, but the ones who are at large and the ones who helped in the planning. The ones who are watching. I can pray that they might reconsider the lives they are leading and reconsider the way they are hurting people.

I can pray for the world, that we would learn to stand strong and united, and learn to live in peace.

Like I said, I can’t promise I will visit. But I can pray to my almighty heavenly Father.

And I can tell you this. I am not afraid. The terrorists do not get to win over me.

*Source

P. S. You should also read this article, Tunisia is Still a Success

101 in 1001: Organize my homeschool/art/etc supplies

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I am SO excited to have this project done from my 101 in 1001 list. I have had it mostly done for a few weeks, but it wasn’t all the way done yet. Well, last night I finished it up. I can’t tell you how nice it is to know where everything is and be able to find it quickly when we need it or for a spur of the moment project. Before it was all in bags and boxes and I had to dig through stuff and couldn’t find it. But now, everything has a home and I can find it all so easily. Special shout out to Annalies who helped me with the majority of this project, partially because she loves me and partially because it was all over the bed she needed to sleep on when she visited. Ha!

So now, without further ado – pictures!

I swear I took a before picture but I can’t find it now. If I find it later, I’ll come back and add it to this post so you can see how bad it was.

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This hutch is upstairs. It mainly holds paper and containers. Not pictured, the bottom because it’s empty, though Dominic likes to hide in the bottom or put toys in there or hide toys in there. (Like his fire truck that I was looking for FOREVER and then one day he’s just like here’s the fire truck. It was in the hutch. Apparently I don’t think like a 2-year-old because I never looked there lol.

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This dresser is packed full! I put the butterfly runner up there to give it a bit of extra color (I got that at a friend’s baby shower and it doesn’t get used nearly often enough – it’s beautiful and now this way it gets way more use). And of course, up there is our Tardis poster. Over on the side too you can see our pom-pom bucket and our crayon bucket.IMG_1692

The top drawer is mostly my stuff more than the kids’, it includes my craft projects as well as envelopes. Not pictured over on the side is our box of 1000 craft sticks haha. It’s a lot.

IMG_1693The second drawer from the top mainly has our Play-Doh, stickers, stamps, and tubes. And yes, if you were wondering, I save anything that could be used in an art project later, which is why I have so many tubes (believe it or not there was more at one point) and so many egg cartons. Not pictured, our pipe cleaners.

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Mainly paints of various kinds, paper plates, and various kinds of tape.

IMG_1695This bottom drawer is the activity drawer. Activity books, ideas I’ve cut out of magazines, things we’ve made that can be used in activities (like the rainbow box), etc. A catch-all for a lot of things. I have a few of these upstairs in Dominic’s desk (where I also keep the coloring books and magazines that we can cut out of) and periodically change them out, giving him access to new activities, but not giving him access to all the things as once.

 

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