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

Hooray!

Monday, February 22

5 Things You Might Not Know About the Kindle

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  1. It uses e-ink technology. That means NO backlit screen. It reads like paper and doesn’t cause the same eye strain as reading on a computer or iPhone. It also means a very long battery life {a month at a time} if you turn the wireless connection off.
  2. You can get a lot of free and really cheap books, especially the classics.
  3. You can read it in the bathtub! Just buy a water-proof or splash-proof case and you’re good to go. Or you can do the poor-woman’s version and stick it in a gallon-size Zip-loc bag or double-bag it if you’re paranoid}.
  4. You can put your own documents on it. Amazon will even convert them to the right format for you. All you have to do is e-mail the file.
  5. I am the proud owner of one!
That’s right. I saved up all my birthday money, and all my Christmas money {thanks again, Mom!} and all my other spending money and ordered a second generation Kindle in January. Verdict? I’m in love. I used to think e-readers were silly. But then I learned about the e-ink technology and decided to give them another look. I’m very glad I did. Faramir {that’s my Kindle’s name, Faramir Took} is easy to read with one hand. That makes reading while breastfeeding much, much easier. Every time we’ve moved I’ve left behind a lot of books {they’re heavy and they take up a lot of space}. Now I don’t have to do that; considering we’ll be moving again relatively soon that’s a comfort. Plus I can take notes and “clip” sections. I can also scroll to a word I’m unfamiliar with and the definition pop-ups. Neat, huh?
An e-reader isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. And don’t think I don’t still love the dead-tree version of books, I do. But I’m thrilled with my Kindle. That’s why I wrote this post. What, did you think I was getting paid to write this? Ha! I wish! Nope, I just really love the Kindle and wanted you to know.
Do you have an e-reader? Do you think you’d like one? What’s your favorite gadget? Tell me in the comments!
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Sunday, February 14

Valentine’s Day

What a day! Probably the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had. Let me show you everything! First, here’s the package I received earlier this week from my partner in the Valentine’s Day exchange. She sent me a handmade card, a yeti hat key chain, two fancy European chocolates {the Queen’s favorite}, a postcard from the Netherlands {where my partner currently lives}, and a cell phone charm. The cell phone charm unfortunately seems to have fallen out of a small hole in the envelope. But since I don’t have a cell phone {unbelievable, I know} I suppose it’s better than the chocolate falling out! Lost chocolate would be a travesty, no? Thanks, Libby! I hope you enjoyed your package from me!
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And here’s what I sent:
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There was a mini-frame in pink. I have a few similar frames {in different colors} myself. I think they’re fantastic. So when I saw that they were still selling them at the craft store I grabbed one up in a Valentine-y color. Then I slapped a little cut out from some Valentines scrapbook paper in as a placeholder until Libby has a photo she wants to put in it.
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I made this little keepsake envelope from a Martha tutorial. I spiced it up a bit with some more Valentine’s scrapbook paper. There are different “compartments” to organize cards, photos, or other flat keepsakes.
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I painted these little peg dolls. The tall one is Libby. And the little one is the adorable little girl for whom Libby is an au pair. When I saw all the pictures of her on Libby’s blog I knew I had to include at least a little something for her. I hope she likes it!
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I saw these foam conversation hearts at the craft store and fell in love with them. So I bought enough to make a set of magnets for Libby AND for me. :)

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Then I packed it up together with some stickers in a little foam heart box. Happy Valentine’s Day Libby!
Don’t forget, if you have a post about what you sent for the exchange and/or a post about what you received you can link it up! I’m making a point to visit everyone’s posts and I encourage you to check ‘em out too! So far it’s been really fun to see what everyone sent.
And how did we celebrate today? Let me show you!
We gave Lucy her Valentine’s gift first {balloons}. She loved ‘em! She had never seen helium balloons before. She had a blast carrying them with her all over the family room and shaking them so hard they bopped her again and again. We took lots of pictures and video. But one picture is enough for this post, I think. IMG_2679
Then Adam and I exchanged gifts. I got him a set of beer soap. He got me Can’t Buy Me Love and Raising Freethinkers for my Kindle. I’ve had both on my wish list for quite some time so I’m excited to read them.
We didn’t get our decorations up until Saturday. Oh well, next year I’ll get them up sooner {I hope} so I can enjoy them for longer. I used fish wire and foam hearts to make a garland for the window and to make it “rain” love over our dining table.
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I had planned our meal quite some time ago. We had traditional Swiss fondue and a dark chocolate fondue for dessert. It was honestly one of the IMG_2703BEST meals I have ever, ever had.  We don’t have fondue pots so we used crock pots instead. We had mini potatoes, pretzels, apples, French bread, broccoli, and cauliflower for the main course and we had strawberries, sponge cake, Clementine segments, pineapple, marshmallows, and cheesecake for dessert. SOOOOOOO good. We also had a cheap {but yummy} bottle of German wine Love Potion Number Nine and some sparkling white grape juice. We both loved it and have decided fondue is going to be a Valentine’s tradition from now on.IMG_2706
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Happy Valentine’s Day! What did you do to celebrate? Tell me in the comments!
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Monday, February 8

Important Bloggy Business

First things first, I’ve added the MckLinky widget to the Valentine’s Exchange Post! So don’t forget to link up!
Secondly I have some questions for you all {you can answer them in the poll on the left of the page, the one underneath the menu}.
I’ve been experimenting with posting once a week lately. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Is it often enough? I thought I’d give it a try because if you’re anything like me, you’re following a lot of blogs. It’s hard to keep up with all of them, especially the ones that post a lot. But maybe two times a week would be better, and on occasion three {not including Good News/Bad News – see below}. So should I continue posting once a week or should I post more often?
I have a few reviews/giveaways lined up {from a while ago}. But I’ve been turning down recent pitches. I’m not sure how I feel about doing them. Is it too commercial? I worry that it cheapens my content. Would you rather I not accept pitches for reviews/giveaways or would you rather have the opportunity to occasionally win stuff?
I used to host a meme on Sundays called Good News/Bad News {see an example here}. There didn’t seem to be a ton of interest in it at the time and so it fell by the wayside. That was a while ago and there’s a lot more people following this blog now. So should I bring it back or let it stay dead?
Also, what sorts of posts do you best like seeing on this blog? What made you decide to follow?
Let me know what you think by taking the poll and/or leaving comments below. I’ll leave the poll up until the end of the month and use the information to help me decide what to do. Thanks!
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Monday, February 1

Open Letter To UHEAA

{Note: UHEAA is the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority aka The Masters of My Student Loan Debt}.
Dear UHEAA,
Thank you for you recent letter informing me that my first student loan payment is due. I’m glad to see that your employees are in fact capable of using the US Postal Service. After they never sent the forbearance application as promised {you know, the form that would have kept this payment from being due in the first place?} I was worried they didn’t know how to send mail.
I must say, I’m a bit baffled. You see, the bill you sent says very clearly that you only except checks from US Banks. In case you didn’t notice my address when you sent me the bill, I’m in Canada {that’s the country above the United States}. I have a Canadian bank account {because it would be highly inconvenient to drive 4-plus hours and cross the border every time I need to do my banking}. So you surely understand why I called you today to ask what I should do.
And just FYI, “figure it out” is a really crappy answer to provide to someone who is trying to give you money. After all, why do you think I called in the first place? Could it be because I’m trying to “figure it out?” If you won’t take a credit card, and you won’t take a Canadian check maybe YOU ought to figure out what payment you will accept. Because I’m not about to pay for a money order if you’re not able to guarantee you will accept it.
In closing, thanks for nothing.
Sincerely,
Holly The-Woman-Who-Is-Trying-To-Give-You-Money-That-You-Won’t-Take-From-Her Shumate

{Dear Readers: I’m a bit frustrated today. Can you tell?}
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