Monthly Archives: May 2009


This is officially the 2nd giveaway on my blog, and I couldn’t be more excited! Last time, I got a little overzealous and only ran my giveaway for one day…this time it is running for a little over 2 weeks! That gives you plenty of time to enter and spread the word. Okay…enough rambling…on to the giveaway!

Doré from Doré’s Diaries and Designs by Doré has generously decided to bless one of my readers with one of her custom journals! (You can either choose one currently listed in her shop or collaborate w/ Doré if you have something specific you’d like.) If you read my review on these from Thursday, then you already know how adorable they are. If not…read on. =)
Here are pictures of my fantastic journal…the entire cover (front and back, plus the insides) has been completely customized.
It is nicely made, and fully customizable. The embellishments on the front cover are actually raised…too cute. You can really tell that time and thought went into the design. She also has great picture frames that are just as customizable as the journals. And I have heard through the grapevine that she plans on adding a variety of other items as well! Be sure to visit often and check out her expanding inventory!

How to enter:

Required Entry: You MUST visit Designs by Doré then come back and leave a comment saying which item listed is your favorite.

Extra entries (available after completing the required entry) by doing the following:
+ Blog about this giveaway and link to Life @ 30 AND Designs by Doré. You must leave the link to your post in the comment. ~ (3 entries)
+ Subscribe to this blog via email ~ (1 entry)
+ Follow this blog ~ (1 entry)
+ Follow me on Twitter ~ (1 entry)
+ Tweet about this giveaway (just cut & paste) ~ (1 entry/day): Enter to win a custom journal by at Life @ 30! Ends June 15th! @jessalexander
+ Favorite this blog on Technorati ~ (1 entry)
+ Stumble this post ~ (1 entry)
+ Buy an item from her Etsy shop, Designs by Doré (5 extra entries)

Be sure to leave either a link or username for each entry…if this is not done, it will not count! To be totally fair, I will be verifying these. Please leave a seperate comment for each entry!

*Example: it’s 3 entries for blogging, so leave 3 seperate comments saying ‘blogged #1, blogged #2, blogged #3′*

Also, please leave your e-mail in the comments if it is not easily found on your blog/profile.

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. It will end on Monday June 15, 2009 at 11:59pm CST and the winner will be chosen using and announced on June 16th. I will contact the winner by email and they will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Funny Story Friday

Okay, this week is a quickie…

Last night, we ate some yummy, delicious Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. I had also prepared some Fried Bananas (in honey) for dessert…which were ridiculously heavenly. I could have eaten an entire banana tree worth, but limited myself to a few slices. Kara totally narfs her dinner and just as quickly inhaled the dessert. Trinity takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R and in her typical picky attitude opts out of even tasting the banana. Grayson “drops” his fork about 50 times…laughing hysterically each time, and didn’t even realize I ate didn’t give him his dessert. Kylie finishes up and I tell her to bring me her napkin for me to put the banana on. She says she needs a new one. I said the one she had was fine, then notice it looks…gooey. I ask if there’s something in it. She says yes and begins to open it…and in an Oscar winning performance with a look of shock says ‘*GASP* IT’S CHICKEN!’ I send her to wash up…with NO dessert, and the dramatics continue with tears and sobs from the bathroom.
Greg takes over at this point, since I’m pretty inclined to let loose about the fact that I’m sick of this sneaky crap (like the cookie incident Wednesday). Daddy explains stuff in a nice but firm way, tears end, the evening continues as normal.
Cookie incident = at .COMM, all the kids eat great, I say they can have cookies…which they know means 2 cookies each…Kylie tries to quickly get past me with 5 cookies. Has she lost her stinking mind?! If it had been at the beginning of our week, she would have been grounded from snacks for the rest of the week, but one day of grounding is worthless, so I let it slide with a warning.

Personalized Journal ~ REVIEW

I’ve been totally stalking my mailman for the past few weeks since I had such a good run of winning giveaways. (I’ve been so busy lately, that I haven’t even entered any in the last couple weeks.) On Tuesday, I was totally engrossed in my ‘Tackle It’ mission that I didn’t notice when the mailman came. Hubby emerges through the doorway, package in hand. I attack.

I received the most adorable personalized journal from
Here are pictures of my fantastic journal…the entire cover (front and back, plus the insides) has been completely customized.
It is nicely made, and fully customizable. The embellishments on the front cover are actually raised…too cute. You can really tell that time and thought went into the design. I am the proud owner of this journal because I entered a contest on her blog site, Dore’s Diaries and this was the prize. She asked what kinds of stuff I liked, and I said ‘Surprise me, I’m not picky.’ This is what she created…and I LOVE it! I am hoping to be consistent with this journal. I have started journaling several times in the past, and don’t make it more than a week. Since this one is personalized and adorable, I have faith I will fill it with summer memories. =)

FYI, also has great picture frames that are just as customizable as the journals. And I have heard through the grapevine that she plans on adding a variety of other items as well! Be sure to visit often and check out her expanding inventory!

Tackle It/To Do Tuesday

My ‘Tackle It’ is a wee bit lame, but necessary. Because of Memorial Weekend, I let my laundry get out of control. Therefore, totally catching up on laundry is my ‘Tackle It’ this week. I may throw in cleaning off the top of the washer/dryer since I’ve been avoiding that like the plague, and it is screaming to be cleared.

On to my ‘To Do’ for the week…some has been carried over from last week since I didn’t quite get it done.
1. Stick to my workout 5 days this week. T- W- T- F- S-
2. Blog. M- T- W- T- F- S-
3. Find Chili’s gift card…that I lost almost a month ago.
4. Clean out truck & take through car wash.
5. Make T a dentist appointment.
6. Call lawyer to figure out what the crap is going on.
7. Make invitations for T’s birthday party.
8. Solicit funds from family to cover the balance of T’s summer camp.
9. Purge outgrown clothes.
10. Store winter clothes.
11. Fix T’s bike.
12. Get some sun!
Link up with your own ‘Tackle It Tuesday’ or ‘To Do List Tuesday’ by posting your link in the comments. (I’m having problems w/ Mr. Linky…he’s being very uncooperative! I’ll try to get him working again later.)

Memory Lane Monday

My brother came from Texas this weekend to play at a friend’s anniversary party, and I got to spend a couple hours with him and his girlfriend, Shay.  The kids absolutely love them…Grayson takes a bit to warm up to Dylan, but he always comes around.  I really wish they lived closer.  While they were here, the kids literally attacked them.  They had a ponytail holder war, a tickle battle, and once Shay finally passed out from sheer exhaustion, they covered her head with Webkinz.

A stray shot from a ponytail holder into the ceiling fan brought up memories of throwing socks into the fan as kids and watching them fly.  These memories brought up flashbacks of several creative ways we used to entertain ourselves as kids.  We lived on a dirt road, with no friends close by, so all we had was each other.  My being almost 6 years older than Dylan, and 9 1/2 years older than Nicki was a little rough, but we had fun.  I remember searching through pea gravel for shells, smashing ‘sand rocks’ into piles of assorted colors, feeding ants to ant lions, and many other forms of self sustaining entertainment.  
I also came to the realization that my kids can be quite annoying.  K1 becomes unsociable and disappears for like half an hour…playing Lego’s by herself which she has never done before today.  K2 acts like she’s never seen another human being outside of our family and tends to attach herself to guests like a leech – hanging on them, talking two inches from their face, ignoring their pleas of ‘Okay, that’s enough‘ and thrusting herself into their personal space just-one-more-time.  
T, trying to be grown up, includes herself in every conversation asking nonsense questions and trying to show people things they already know. (She might get the whole jabber box thing from me…just sayin‘.)
G throws things at people rather than handing them the object, in an unsuccessful attempt to stay far enough away from our guests to not be captured and smothered in hugs and kisses.  
I, for one, cherish the time I get to spend with my family since they all live so far away.  
I would never do things like:
1. Gripe about him arriving too late to attend church with me.
2. Discuss impersonal subjects like iPhone apps, car stereo systems, social networking sites, among other techish topics.
3. Attempt to solicit a sale of a super cool duct tape wallet I recently created.
In all seriousness, we get along quite well.  We aren’t super close, but we are closer than many other brothers and sisters I know.  We harass each other…he makes comments about my haircut being a ‘fat person’ haircut, and I tease him about looking like a scary girl, but it’s all in fun.  Isn’t that what brothers/sisters are for? 
Can’t you feel the love?!

Fun with Duct Tape

As you may or may not have read last week, my sister gave me a super cool Elliott Lucca purse for my birthday.  I’d been carrying around a ‘thrift store $2.00 special’ that I had grown tired of, and I was ecstatic to get this designer purse.  I didn’t have a wallet, and had been just keeping all my stuff in the zipper part, so I decided I needed a cool wallet to go along with my awesome purse.  I, being the cheapskate thrifty shopper I am, did not want to spend very much at all on a wallet.  

I began scouring the Internet.  eBay, of course, had some nice ones, but considering my beefs with eBay, I decided to look elsewhere.  Etsy had some great ones, but nothing that really called to me specifically for the price I was looking for.  I did notice a cute duct tape wallet that wasn’t my style, but was something I thought ‘I can do that’ and customize it to my liking.  So, I ‘Googled‘ Duct Tape Wallet, and came across a site I had forgotten about called Instructables.  I LOVE this site!  
In the spirit of being ME, I started with a harder design instead of a basic one.  I picked a weave style that I ended up not really liking as much as I thought.  
I also have discovered that I am unable to stick to the instructions.  I modify EVERYTHING.  I then moved on to a different style that was easily customized and turned out pretty cool.  I decided to keep that wallet.  (Can’t remember/locate which instructable I used to make this one, but it’s pretty close to the last one…just modified.)

My craft frenzy continued, and I tried a pattern similar to the 2nd wallet, but with a few extra features.  When I had originally asked Greg if he would like one, he politely declined saying that he liked them…they were cool…but he wouldn’t want to carry one.  Now that I’ve completed the third one, which turned out totally awesome, he attempted to claim it as his own. 

I am actually considering making these to sell for a few extra bucks this summer.  They take me quite awhile to make, but that will speed up significantly once I get the hang of it.
(I tried to link the photos to the actual instructables, but it didn’t work…here they are:

Wouldn’t you know it…

Earlier this week we went to court for what we’ll call ‘financial issues’ (because I think the alternative word sounds ugly).   I, of course, was totally nervous.  I had never been to court before, and didn’t really know what to expect, aside from what I’d seen on TV.  (I had visions of being a badgered witness, having books thrown at me, being thrown into a holding cell for contempt.)  Our lawyer was a little late, so another case went before us, and we got to see exactly what was going to happen.  Other than that, everything went smoothly…or so we thought.

Our financial issues stemmed from A) us both going through divorces, B) a few ‘not-so-good’ decisions, and C) bad luck/bad economy…whichever you feel like blaming in on (personally we feel it is bad luck…which we don’t really believe in either, but hey…there’s no other way I can think to put it). We fought this decision for over a year. It was our last resort. So, after feeling like financial failures for at least the past two years, many arguments with various people, losing our home, and lots of tears we thought it was finally over…we were wrong.

We received a letter in the mail yesterday saying our petition had been denied. Why? We have no clue because we don’t understand lawyer gobbledygook. So, we phoned our lawyer…he’s on it. Hopefully this will all get straightened out SOON…before my bleached blond streaks turn gray.

Tackle It/To Do Tuesday

This is the first time I have participated in either Tackle It Tuesday or To Do Tuesday, so I figured I’d just combine them since my Tackle It is on my To Do List.  I actually began tackling this mess yesterday, but didn’t have any zip ties, so I will finish it up today.  It doesn’t look like much, but it drives me nuts when I have to plug my camera or camcorder into Greg’s computer and I have to deal with this:

Okay, on with my to-do list for this week…
1. Stick to my work-out 6 days this week.  M-  T-  W-  T-  F-  S-  
2. Plan menu for 2 weeks.
3. Make shopping list w/ coupons.
4. Grocery shopping.
5. Blog. T-  W-  T-  F-  S-  
6. Find Chili’s gift card.
7. Purge pantry.
8. Clean refrigerator.
9. Clean up/label wires behind entertainment center/computers.
10. Court…so dreading this. 
11. Clean out truck/run through car wash.
12. Make T a dentist appointment.
13. Begin planning T’s birthday party.
Wow…once I put it down, it doesn’t really seem like that much, but there are so many little things that I already have a routine of doing that I don’t feel the need to put them down…like the never ending flow of laundry, sweeping, etc.
Join in on Tackle It Tuesday, or To Do Tuesday using Mr. Linky below!