Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D


Sunday, January 24

Q & A

Sarah @ Barefaced Approach asked “What is your favorite thing to do when you get me time??”
It kind of depends. I often go through periods of interest in one hobby, then put it on the shelf for a while and fall back to an old hobby or pick up a new one {yay ADD}. Lately I’ve been reading, writing, and {no lie} cleaning. I don’t know what’s come over me with the whole wanting to clean thing, belated nesting maybe? Not that I’m complaining. Anyway, when Lucy gives me enough time for the set up and clean up I’m looking forward to painting again.
One Cluttered Brain asked:
“Have you ever considered vlogging?”
Ummm…I dunno. I’m not familiar with it. I don’t really know what it would entail. But now I’m intrigued. So yes, I have considered vlogging, just now at least. I guess I never really considered it before because I can’t imagine anyone wanting to watch me.
“How long have you been blogging?”
A really long time…at least, it feels like a really long time. I think I started my first personal blog in 2004. This blog began as a family blog back in April of 2008. I’d say I really started making the transition from family blog to a “blog blog” {whatever that means} last year.
“Why Domestic Dork? And WHO designed your blog header and gal at the top? It is fabulous! Did you pay them to design your blog or do you just know people?”
“Domestic Dork” because I’m a SAHM, but I’m not particularly good at keeping house. I’m very ADD which is just not conducive to order and cleanliness {just ask my mom what my room looked like when I was a kid}. I am a lot better than I used to be. But “dork” also applies to the fact that I’m just a big geeky, dweeb overall. I always have been. I never fit in growing up. But it’s gratifying these days to see that people like me for who I am, weird, geeky quirks included.
As for the design, I did it all. I try to be modest about it, but the truth is I’m really freakin’ proud of myself. I drew the cartoon of me and Lucy on paper first, then turned it into a digital illustration. I used to have a different design, also by me, but I like this one much better.
“I must know. Twitter or Facebook? Which is better?”
Ooooh, that’s a tough one. I think I enjoy Twitter better.  I do like uploading photos to Facebook. But overall, I think I’d have to pick Twitter. People seem more engaged on Twitter. And there are no annoying Farmville or Mafia invites, so that’s a plus.
“And it's random I know, but who WAS your fave Sesame Street character and WHY?”
Wow, it’s been so long since I watched Sesame Street. When I was a kid I think I remember liking Oscar, Big Bird, and Snuffleupagus best {no idea why}. I was more of a fan of the Muppets I suppose. But anything Jim Henson is great. Random fact: I actually used to do puppetry when I was a teen. It was a blast and something I miss doing.
Jessie Kaitlin asked “This is sort of a question about you and Mini-Dork. What sort of activities do you do through the day?”
Really? Not much. I probably spend too much time on the computer {something I’ve been working on changing}. I also like to read. Lucy’s going through a pretty needy stage right now so she doesn’t let me get a lot done. She likes to dance, and explore and whine {lots of that lately}. I do try to read to her daily, but she’s not quite got the attention span needed to listen to a book most days. Adam takes the car for school and work so we spend a lot of time at home, just enjoying each other’s company. But since moving there’s a lot more to do within walking distance {such as the library}. I’m looking forward to warmer weather so we can go more places, like the park.
Casey asked “Why do you consider yourself a ‘dork?’”
Well, I partially addressed this above. But let me put it this way:
Hermione Granger’s nerdiness + Ron Weasley’s laziness & scaredy-cat nature + Hagrid’s housekeeping skills + Neville Longbottom’s social ineptitude + Luna Lovegood’s quirks = ME.
“What has been your best parenting decision?”
Breastfeeding. Aside from the financial factor {we’re students, so money is tight}, and the fact that I don’t have to wash bottles, it’s been a very special experience. It kind of sucked at first {no pun intended}. But with time and support we got through the rough spots. The health benefits of breast milk vs. formula are awesome, of course. But there’s more to it than that. It’s an almost spiritual experience. Maybe it’s just the hormones that make me love it so much. But it’s been wonderful for Lucy and for me.
“What vacation destination do you recommend to people when they talk about going on vacation?”
If you can afford it, Paris. I was lucky enough to get to go with a relative my senior year of high school and I’ve been dying to go back ever since. The French are charming {the only rude people I met were Americans, be polite and you’ll be treated politely in return}. The city is beautiful. The food is amazing. And the art! Oh, the art! I could spend weeks and weeks just visiting museums.
Vyckie said “I'm curious to know who did the design too ~ did you do all this yourself?”
I did. :)  It took a lot of banging my head against a wall to figure out the coding bits. But there are lots of great websites out there with tutorials. I prefer the drawing part of the process.
Brittany asked “as an American who has had a desire to move to Canada since about middle school, I'd love to know: 1) What is your favorite thing about life in the Great White North? and 2) What do you miss most about life in the US of A?”
Honestly? The health care is why we originally moved here. Knowing my family will be taken care of medically no matter what financial position we find ourselves in is very comforting. But I’ve also found that Canadians, in general, are great people. They seem more laid back than a lot of Americans. Also, having a Tim Horton’s on practically ever corner is awesome {though perhaps bad for my waistline}. I also feel like Canada has taken some steps in the right direction that people are still fighting about in the US {like marriage equality}. 
What I miss most is my family, of course. But I also really, really miss Target. I also miss the USPS {I am not a fan of Canada Post}, and the price of cereal in the US {it’s really pricey up here,and the selection isn’t as good}. I also miss feeling like I know what’s going on. I mostly follow US news because I still don’t have a good grasp of how the Canadian government works.
Jenn asked “How do you decide what to write about/How do you narrow down your ideas?”
You know, I just kind of go with the flow. I just write about what interests me at the time. I narrow things down based on what I lose interest in. I sometimes come up with a bunch of ideas at a time, but by the time I get around to finishing the list I don’t necessarily feel excited by all my ideas anymore and they just fizzle out.
Insanitykim asked “When can I join your club and have a hat like that? And, can the hat ties be made of licorice?”
If you’re a follower, consider yourself in the club. And I don’t know about the licorice part but you can get a hat here or you can get one of many different similar hats and matching gloves {moose, owls, lobster, orca and more!} in adult or child sizes here.

Thanks for your questions! If you missed the last post and have a question just leave it in the comments and I’ll answer it there.
Wednesday, January 20

Welcome, New Followers!

Wow, you guys, after my SITS day I think I almost doubled my readers. You do realize what that does to my ego right? It feeds it. And my ego, much like The Blob, gets bigger every time it’s fed. You guys keep treating me so well and next thing you know I’m going to be hosting my own political pundit show {because, you know, it seems to require more ego than brains}! Anyhow, I just want to say “welcome” and give you a chance to get to know me. How? Feel free to ask any questions in you want in the comments {long time followers, you’re more than welcome to participate of course}! I’ll answer the questions in a post {unless they’re like super, super embarrassing – but I’ll try to answer anything}. :)
Wednesday, January 13


Today I was going to post about something entirely unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But I think everyone will understand why I’ve postponed that post.
CNN has reported that hundreds of thousands of people have died in Haiti. Hundreds of thousands.
I don’t even have one thousand real life friends and family members. I cannot fathom that number and the suffering and grief it represents.
A hospital collapsed. A hospital.
Homes, gone.
Today I sit in my nice apartment. I have power. I have clean, running water. I am enjoying the company of my child who is safe, and healthy. And later, we will have lunch and I will have my choice of a wide variety of food.
I am rich.
I live a life of peace and luxury.
We donated last night to the Red Cross. There are many organizations pleading for help. Please, don’t pray, pay.
Even if all you can give is a dollar, that dollar matters. It matters a lot. A dollar might not buy a cup of coffee where you live, but in this situation a dollar is powerful.
Do what you can.
And tonight, hug your family. Enjoy them.
We are all rich.
Sunday, January 10

Gifts For Coffee Lovers

I know Valentine’s Day is still more than a month away. But in the age of online shopping it’s good to start early to account for shipping time. So I am pleased to present to you my second list of gift ideas. This time it’s gifts for the coffee fanatic in your life! {You can read my previous list for Geeks here.}
{click pictures to be taken to the product pages}
How about a new mug?
I love the carved tree look of this handmade mug from Twisted River Clayworks {$22}.
But I also love the sweet surprise in this mug from Uncommon Goods {$16}.
But what about the coffee drinker who’s always on the go? Why, a cup cozy would be perfect!
This $4 cozy from Ever Sew Clever is fun and funky.
While this knit heart cozy from Knits By Jo has a classy, sweater-like appeal {$6}.
But this little guy is just too cute for words! He’s $10. And there are plenty of other styles {including several Valentine’s Day themed bats} in the Bat Girl’s Designs shop.
How about something for the coffee lover who also loves art?
This print of an original ink drawing just feels so relaxing. It’s $20 and made by Robert Comire.
This lovely little print has a vintage vibe. It’s from Val Cox and costs $15.
I would love to have this photographic print in my kitchen {$12}. It matches my red and aqua theme perfectly. It’s from Weber Photography.
But this, this is definitely my favorite! As a blogger, and coffee lover myself my eyes opened wide and my jaw dropped when I saw this fun print. I just LOVE it! It’s $20 {frame not included} from Jennifer Ramos of Made By Girl.
And the ideas just keep coming…
I think one of these little scoops would be just lovely for Valentine’s day {$24}. They’re pewter, dishwasher safe, handmade in the USA and sold by Uncommon Goods.
I’m a sucker for anything coffee-scented. Which is why this scrub from Yum In The Tub caught my eye {$12}.
Wanna break the bank?
How about a coffee subscription? You can purchase a year of different coffees from an eco-friendly/people-friendly company like Alterra or Higher Ground {$175-$263}.
Eeeek! Is that way over-budget? Well, how about a DIY gift?
Do you love coffee? Which of these gifts would you most want to get or give, and to whom? My top choice would be the “I Love You, Blogs, and Coffee” print!
I was not paid in any way, shape, or form to post these products. But I wish I had been…in the form of free samples! :)

Geek Romance: 5 Valentine’s Ideas For Your Geek

I know Valentine’s Day is still more than a month away. But in the age of online shopping it’s good to start early to account for shipping time. So I am pleased to present to you my list of gift ideas {all under $20!} for the geek in your life!
{Click on the pictures to be taken to the product pages.}
This heart would be perfect for your zombie boyfriend. Though he'd probably prefer braaaaiiiiins...It’s $8 from Rusted Designs.
  geek_love_poem  love-my-geek-black
Both of these shirts are available in unisex or women’s styles. They’re from Think Geek. Prices range from $15.99-$18.99.
This card is pretty applicable to my relationship with Adam. I liked the old school Star Trek well enough, but he’s responsible for introducing me to the newer stuff {which I love}. This card is $4 from Able & Game. You could stick it in a frame after presenting it for a fun little desk decoration.
And finally, my personal favorite is this cute little print. I gave one of these to Adam for our wedding anniversary. It’s sitting on a shelf in his computer armoir. I’m pretty sure he likes it. Because, you know, he said he likes it. It makes me smile every time I see it. It’s $10 from Geek Details. The frame is not included.

Don't miss my list of gift ideas for coffee lovers!

Do you have a geek in your life? What are you getting him/her for Valentine’s day?


I was not paid in any way, shape, or form to post these products. But I wish I had been…in the form of free samples! :)
Saturday, January 9

Valentine’s Day Exchange Partners

Please be sure to carefully read this ENTIRE post if you signed up for the Valentine’s Day exchange.
Wow. WOW. I never imagined this many people would sign up for the exchange. This is FANTASTIC! You guys rock my socks. So, here’s the deal. I’ve paired you up. As much as possible I’ve tried to pair people up who are in the same state/province. In Canada shipping can be more expensive to send to someone in a province across the country. I can’t remember if it’s the same in the States. So I decided to play it safe. Also, I thought it might be neat to pair up people who actually might have the possibility to someday meet. Meeting bloggy friends is the best. :)
Here’s what to do: find your name below {click the name and see if it’s your profile – for example, we have multiple participants named Heather}. Your partner will be listed next to you. Get in touch with her. Find out her address. Maybe find out a bit about her to help you get an idea what to send. Remember, handmade {whether by you or purchased from someone else} is encouraged {though not required}. And again, there is no minimum amount of money you need to spend. But please, try to send something nice. Send something you would like to receive, and not just a card. Remember the golden rule. :)  And if you’re going to send edibles ask your partner about possible food allergies or dietary restrictions first!!!
Then comes the really fun part, choosing what to send! Whether you make something or purchase something please, please, PLEASE make sure it arrives in time for Valentine’s day. In a little while I’ll set up a linky list on the original exchange post. There you can link up your own posts about what you sent your partner and/or what you received!
If you are not on the list below e-mail me {hollynoelle at domesticdork dot com}! I don’t think I missed anybody but if I did I’ll fix it right away! If you signed up, but now think you won’t be able to participate let me know ASAP!!! If you have any other concerns, you know what to do: e-mail me!
Jessica {in Orange County}, Julieann & “Birthday cards”: You signed up, but left no way to contact you. If you still want to participate e-mail me ASAP.

Phew! That’s quite the list! I think I got everyone! Have fun!
Thursday, January 7
Hello! You’re probably reading this for one of two reasons.
  1. You’re a regular reader and are quite used to my quirks or…
  2. You’ve been sent here via The Secret’s In The Sauce {if you’re a blogger and you don’t know about SITS click that link, right now}!
Let’s get right down to business shall we? Below are three posts of which I am particularly proud. 
And just in case three isn’t enough to satisfy you, you can click the “Best Of” button to the left for more. If you want to know more about me click “About.” And that’s all! I’m keepin’ this intro short and sweet. You’re welcome.
Saturday, January 2

The Valentine’s Day Blog Exchange

ETA: The MckLinky widget is now up! Link up your posts about what you sent and/or received for the exchange. Make sure to link to the post and not to your blog homepage {such links will be deleted}.


ETA: Sign-ups are now CLOSED. I will endeavor to post swap partners tomorrow!

I had so much fun with the Holly Jolly Ornament Exchange hosted by MomaLovebug that I’ve been anxious to do another exchange of some sort. And, since I haven’t come across any I’ve decided to host my own. I know it’s only January, but I’ve already got Valentine’s Day on my mind. And I want everybody to have plenty of time to find something for their partner and get it shipped before Valentine’s Day. So, here are the details:
  • Grab the button below and put it on your blog if you have one.
  • Sign up by commenting below {please include your state or province}. Sign ups will be closed on January 8th.
  • Your partners will be assigned to you by January 9th, so be sure to check this post!
  • You may send your partner anything related to Valentine’s day {I’ve listed some ideas below in case you’re not feeling inspired}.
  • There is no spending minimum but please remember the golden rule.
  • Hand-made items are encouraged, whether hand made by you or by someone else.
  • If you choose to send food {such as Valentine’s candy} please ask your partner about food allergies and other diet restrictions first.
  • Items should be sent in time to arrive on Valentine’s Day.
  • Blog about the exchange once you’ve sent/received your items and add your link to the link list {link list will be added to this post at a later date}.



I don’t know what I want in 2010. I really, honestly, have no clue for which goals I want to reach. I’m thinking about it, thinking hard. But I still don’t know. I failed to meet a lot of goals I set for myself last year. But I also did a lot of things I never expected to do. Last year I picked 1 word to describe my hopes for the year. That word was “stretch.” I stretched in a lot of ways I didn’t think I would, though I could have stretched farther. I like the idea of choosing a single word as my theme for a year. But I can’t settle on what word I should embrace for 2010: Productivity? Simplify? Service? I just. don’t. know.
Maybe you can help me. Tell me in the comments what your goals/resolutions/etc. are for 2010. If you could pick one word to represent your hopes for the new year what would it be? Maybe I’ll get some ideas…
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