Wednesday, November 30, 2011

last chance!

Today is your last chance to enter the responsible consumerism giveaway!

How do you enter, you ask? Simply copy and paste this link: onto your Facebook, Twitter, blog, or even email it to a friend.

Then CLICK that link, scroll down to the bottom and add a comment telling me WHERE you shared it. You will be entered to win a $20 gift card if you do so. Entry closes at midnight tonight (EST) and I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2011

christmas card pictures

A few weeks ago, Nikki and her husband, Jim, graciously offered to take some formal pictures of Jon and me for our first-ever Christmas card. Today she gave me the edits. I'm still trying to pick my favorite, but here are some of them:

Have you entered the Responsible Consumerism Giveaway yet? You have less than 2 days to do so!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

the thankful list

Typically, I'm not just on time for things. I'm early. Like, 45 minutes early. I kind of dropped the ball on my blessings list. Also, there are only 3 days left to enter the Responsible Consumerism Giveaway!

I have so many things to be thankful for this year. Here are just a few, in no particular order:

Only one full semester of grad school left (!!!)

The best family / in-laws on the face of this earth

All of my basic (and then some) needs being met - roof, clothes, food, etc.

A job that gives me relative free reign to try to develop new medical devices

The numerous friends that share both our best and worst times with us

One rambunctious babe that loves to cuddle at night and wake me with her whiskers


The ability to freely share my thoughts, including ones about religion and politics, in this little space without being persecuted

Humidifiers, cough drops, and slippers

Access to amazing healthcare that can take care of my asthma, infections, and general health


I never cease to be amazed by the blessings God pours into this lowly, sinful life of mine. To me, it is the ultimate picture of grace.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Sorry for neglecting you for a few days.

Before jumping into anything at length in this post, have you entered the Responsible Consumerism Giveaway yet? If not, click here to do so!

Our Thanksgiving and Black Friday were great. Thanksgiving was spent in Youngstown with Jon's Mom's side of the family. The food was great and the company was a blast. We had a 45-minute conversation about farting. You know that's true family.

After leaving Youngstown we headed home briefly then met up with my sister at the Aurora Farms Outlets for our big Black Friday tradition. Jon and I walked away with 2 shirts from the Banana Republic store for a total of $11. We're such spenders! Sadly, our tradition was a bit a lot shorter this year due to the fact that I'm still not operating at 100%.

Friday morning Jon had to work and I headed to the local Urgent Care to make sure this whatever-I-have isn't bacterial. It's not. I walked out with a prescription for some steroids for my asthma... that I still need to get filled. After laying around all day Jon got off work around 3 and we headed to my parent's to celebrate Thanksgiving. Again, the food and company were amazing. We had to get family pictures taken. Jon discovered that I get my trouble making from my mom and sister. But then in the car he decided they get their trouble making from me.

I'm not going to lie--despite being sick, this Thanksgiving has been one for the record books. Especially because Jon made stuffed pancakes for breakfast in our new Ebelskiver pan this morning.

Now I need to clean our apartment, do laundry, and finish up this biomaterials paper draft. Expect a post about what I'm thankful for in the coming days (or weeks or months... whenever I get around to it).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

responsible consumerism - GIVEAWAY

Happy Thanksgiving! Today I'm particularly thankful for a full day with my husband. My official Thanksgiving post will come later because today I really wanted to focus on responsible consumerism and throw out some ideas for presents you might want to consider this holiday season.

Lately I've been really into the idea of 'ethical consumerism' which is the principle that you only purchase items that were made ethically (read: not made by children in sweat shops or forced laborers who are unfairly--if at all--compensated). Don't get me wrong here - I am in no way an overall ethical consumer. I am a work in progress. But in terms of gifts, there are some really great options out there that are beautifully made and for a great cause. I have items from two of the following suppliers, and I added items from the remaining suppliers to my mental list of future purchases:

1. Haitian Creations Purses and Jewelry
-These products are made by Haitian women who are part of the Heartline Ministries program that works to empower Haitian moms and provide them with the tools they need to provide for their family. Your purchase will directly benefit its creator, which includes a label in the bag with the artist's name. I have a large purple bag from HC and I love it.

2. Sseko Designs Sandals with Exchangeable Straps

-These products are made by young women in Uganda to fund their education. Sseko (pronounced say-ko) hires young secondary school graduates for nine months to earn money that goes directly towards their university education--they will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change to a country divided and ravished by a long war. I was given my first pair of Ssekos with three different straps for my birthday and I ADORE them. There are all kinds of ridiculously cute combinations you can make with them.

-These products are made by women in India who are rescued from forced prostitution seeking to rebuild their lives. The proceeds from your pajama purchase will provide fair-trade wages, savings accounts, and holistic recovery care. Plus they are adorable and super comfy.

-These products are purchased from a group of Ugandan women to empower them to rise above poverty. The women who craft for 31Bits are given English, finance, and vocational training, as well as AIDS and health education and provided with community groups. Their jewelry is gorgeous and definitely on my 'to purchase' list.

Now onto the giveaway:
In the spirit of responsible consumerism, I will be giving away a  31bits $20 gift card on December 1. How can you enter this giveaway? Simply share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, your own blog, or via email and post a comment here telling me where you shared it. You can earn one entry for each of the 4 aforementioned 'share' methods. Entry will close at 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, November 30. I will select the winner using a numbered Google doc spreadsheet with your name corresponding to a number and the website Check back on my blog on December 1 to see who the winner is. Good luck and happy ethical consumerism!
--Update: The winner has been selected. Find out if you won here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

nerd alert

Since I'm swamped with both work and homework today, I just thought I'd share with you a fun little diddy. A science diddy.

See this guy?:
{Image Source}

Does he look smart to you? He is. Well, he also isn't. His name is Alessandro Volta and he invented the battery. Pretty smart, right? WRONG.

Count Volta was the first guy to document auditory perception as a result of electrical stimulation (think cochlear implants). How did he discover this phenomenon? He took a 50V battery stack, connected some wires to it, connected conductive metal rods to the other ends of the wires, and stuck one rod in each ear at the same time. He reported experiencing a "boom within the head" followed by the sensation of a sound similar to that of "boiling, thick soup." According to the literature I read this in, "he immediately terminated the experiment and did not repeat it." I can't say I blame him.

Special Edit: Make sure to check back tomorrow for a chance to win a $20 gift card to!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This post will likely be scattered true to my end-of-semester brain.

I keep having camp dreams. Some are good, some are bad. Some bring back the good old days but most just remind me of the fact that I am too old to ever be a camper again. Anyone who was an avid camper growing up can probably relate to what an awful realization that is.

In theory, I get to see this girl on Friday, rendering my heart excited:

Jon's still sick/miserable. I feel awful/helpless. Is this how it feels when your child is sick?

Did any of you see that episode of How I Met Your Mother last night? I literally yelled, "AHHHH!!!" for 60 seconds without pausing at Robin's revelation.

Adoption has been weighing very heavily on my heart lately. Jon's not quite at the same place so I'm viewing that as God telling me to throw on the brakes. That doesn't stop me from staring longingly at the Summit County Family and Children Services webpage at least three times per week though.

Our friends, Nikki and Jim, took some photos of us to use for our first-ever Christmas card. I harassed her last night for a preview. Not gonna lie, I am SO STOKED for the rest of the pictures. In the incredibly unlikely event none of them are Christmas card worthy, I might resort to this:
"Wishing you Jon's joy this holiday season"

Monday, November 21, 2011


I'm probably only operating at around 80% today, so bear with me.

I feel horrible as I've infected Jon with the whatever-this-is bug. He's miserable. Please pray that he feels better by Thanksgiving!

In unrelated news, the near-disaster laptop episode is not looking so good. I can use my laptop still, thankfully, but only when it's plugged in. The second I unplug the power supply it makes this dreadful nieeerrrddoo sound then fades to black. So tragic. I've since contacted Squaretrade to see if it's covered under my 3-year warranty, but I think it should be.

This week I am particularly missing this girl:
I nearly died from laughing when I looked at our 'friendship' page on Facebook.

We were supposed to have a Skype date this weekend but illness and long walks ruined that. Wanna know my favourite Phaedra story?

She, Faye and I were taking a summer class (Philosophy) and found ourselves on the steps of Wishnick Hall during break. I noticed a caterpillar hanging from its silk on a tree, and being the inherent biologist I am, I grabbed a tall stick to try to get it down so I could examine it more closely. Alas, I was too short, so Phaedra said, "give me that stick, I'll get it down."

What follows next is tragically hilarious. Phaedra succeeded at getting it down alright--she took a running head start and whacked that little guy like he was a baseball. I've never heard a small, living creature make such a dreadful noise. We were all cracking up / I was sad and she said, "I don't even know why I just did that!" I wish I could tell you that was the most outlandish Phaedra story I have. It's so not. But that's why I love her.

The moral of the story is: if anyone can make the distance between Seattle and Cleveland much shorter I would be ridiculously appreciative.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

every which way

I swear I haven't given up on this little space of mine. Truth is, I've been very sick and therefore have been incapacitated and now I'm playing a lot of catch-up in other areas of my life.

Plus, Titi Candi stole our camera at Jon's birthday dinner on Sunday and without pictures to accompany my thoughts my motivation to write drops substantially.

I jest about her stealing it. Kind of. :)

In the meantime I've had a near-disaster with an almost-destroyed laptop that contained the only copy of the huge biomaterials paper I've been working on. I've gone through three boxes of tissues in five days. Jon bought me flowers. I've made eggnog fudge. It feels good to be finally getting out of my sickly haze and as soon as I finish up my biomaterials paper you will hear more from me about the going ons lately.

Flowers from the husband
Eggnog fudge from Pinterest
Jon really likes the fudge. It's a bit sweet for my liking, but if you have a big sweet tooth I'd recommend the recipe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

on political correctness

Last night we filled out our course evaluation for my biomaterials class. Several students quickly realized the level of PC Cleveland State is on:

Hint: look where the pencil is pointing
Things are getting ridiculous. Freshperson? Really? I'd like to consider myself a relatively independent & strong woman, but this is just ridiculous. And for the record, I'll be telling people "Merry Christmas" this holiday season instead of "Happy Holidays."

Monday, November 14, 2011

family celebration

Yesterday was the family celebration of Jon's 24th birthday. My parents and sister came to represent our family and Jon's aunt, both grandmas, brother, sister-in-law, and parents represented his family. We had dinner, cake, and a really great time with everyone. Even though we live within 45 minutes of most of our family, we hardly get to see them due to our work and school schedules. We really do cherish the time we do get to see them and days like this mean a lot to us.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

to my love

Friday was Jon's 24th birthday. 11-11-11... what a lucky guy!

I blog-missed-it because we spent the entire day together. It was parent's weekend at his university so I took the day off work and tagged along to spend it with him (I do his laundry, it counts). As soon as we got home we cleaned up a bit and Heather, Paul, and Lillian came over to celebrate with us. The night was filled with steak, hobo burritos (an assortment of veggies slathered in butter and wrapped in aluminum foil on the grill), Menchies (fro-yo), and fellowship. It was great for the soul and I could see the happiness in Jon's eyes which made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Now, without further adieu, to my love:

I am so blessed that you are my husband. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder what the heck I could have possibly done to deserve you. I love getting to laugh with you, discover new things with you, and grow with you both individually and within our marriage. You really do bring so much light to my life and there really isn't a dull moment when you're around. I know I can be impatient and stubborn, but you always find a way to love me and shrug off the things I do wrong. I am so glad that your parents had you and raised you to be the man you are today, and I hope this next year of life is your most blessed yet. I can't wait to grow old with you. I love you big--always and forever.

clothing swap

Yesterday my friend, Nikki, and I hosted a clothing swap at my parent's house. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, you get a bunch of girlfriends together. Everyone brings gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses, etc. that they never use anymore. You make a big pile of the goods and all the ladies get to dig through and get pick out "new to them" items. It's really a great system--I got a bunch of tops, 2 skirts, 2 dresses, a pair of heels, and a scarf. All of the leftover items then get donated to Good Will or some other charitable venue that collects clothes. It's a great way to see your friends, meet new friends, get new clothes, and get rid of the stuff you never wear that takes up space. I highly recommend you organize one sometime-- you won't regret all of the cute (and free!) stuff you'll come home with.

Here are some pictures of the day:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

action shot

This is my favourite time of day. The sunlight enters through one of our windows at the perfect angle to diffract through our curio cabinet and hit some of our crystal.

Pardon the blurriness - the only way to capture these bad boys is to nix the flash.

Today is apparently also perfect for cat naps.. on Jon's dress jacket.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: the best action shot I've ever taken (I know... my skills aren't so great):

Followed closely by the 2nd best:

Happy Saturday!