Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Fragments: Episode #328

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I hate to be so black-or-white in my thinking, but this week's bits and pieces of random so naturally fell into "Bad News" and "Good News" categories that I'm rolling them out that way.
Thanks for stopping by.
[To learn more about Friday Fragments, click on the FF tab above.]

Bad News/Good News:  I slipped on a puddle of water in the hallway at work on Tuesday and landed on my left hand and my knees, sending the laptop and iPad I'd been carrying to the floor. I am still sore in the front area of my [bad] shoulder (where I had no pain before), but I think it's from the impact, not because I've done damage to my shoulder. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

Good News/Bad News:  Tonight, my shoulder felt so great that I was able to try push-ups for the first time four months. I did TEN girl push-ups!!  I was thrilled!  Now I'm hitting the ice packs kind of hard, because I'm a bit sore, but as Mom would say, I'll probably live.

Bad News/Good News: My 2-year-old Fitbit died this week, and I bought another one because my employer rewards us for having them. [My Fitbit Flex counts my steps and tells me how rest my sleep is/isn't at night.] Like most people who have Fitbits, I find that it motivates me to exercise.

Bad News/Good News: It's been super cold here lately! A full-length, down winter coat is on my Christmas wish list for that reason. However, "spectacular," "magnificent," and "gorgeous" are words Grandma 4444 used on the phone to describe a Christmas gift that I ordered (but she bought) for Mr.4444 from Shepard's Flock. He will be cozy-warm when blowing snow this winter!

Good News/Bad News:  I am the proud new owner of an iPhone 6 Plus. I've only had it for a day, but so for I like it a lot though I find find it quite heavy, compared to my Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (which died in less than 18 months). Of course, a new phone means a learning curve and time-consuming set-ups. It also means I have no excuse not to take some cool photos for an updated header for Half-Past Kissin' Time.

Good News/Good News: I'm very excited about the unique and fun tea collection and soup-and-sandwich platter I reviewed this week for Uncommongoods. I'm giving away a $40 gift certificate that would be great for boosting your Christmas shopping or even to buy yourself a little something. You may enter at either post before December 1st. Good luck!

How about you? Good, bad, or neutral news can easily be thrown into a Friday Fragments post! Why not link up below?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More Uncommon Goods (with four more ways to win!)

I recently shared a unique tea collection that I've been having fun with as well as enjoying the tastes. It's one of two products I was allowed to choose, courtesy of Uncommongoods, for review on Half-Past Kissin Time. I had a great time perusing the personalized gifts, stocking stuffers, and Christmas gifts in general. Check out this beautiful treasure, for example:

Birdie Yarn Bowl would make a wonderful Christmas gift for a favorite knitter or crocheter, right?!

While out of my budget, the Lake Topography Art is definitely on my wishlist for a very special gift. I would love to have this in my home:

I think I would also love the bubble calendar, which allows you to enjoy a satisfying "Pop!" every day.

What I ended up choosing, though, was the uniquely awesome Soup and Sandwich Ceramic Duo, which I absolutely love. It comes in a set of two, beautifully packaged, dishwasher and microwave oven-safe platters that are very pretty, as well as functional!

That's a delicious turkey chili that I made this week, along side an equally delectable grilled cheese sandwich. I love that the bowl is loose but rests neatly in a recessed part of the platter. The only awkward thing about this set is finding a place to fit them in the cupboard, but I'm willing to give them a special spot, because they're just beautiful. 

If you've already entered this giveaway, you're in luck; here are four more ways to earn entries:

1) Visit the Uncommongoods page and share one gift that you'd love to buy and for whom in a comment below!

2) Share this post on Facebook 

3) Tweet about this giveaway

4) Share a link to this post on your own blog

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

This giveaway ends Monday, December 1st at 12:00am

Note: My opinion on this product is just that; mine! I loved both products I received and would not be writing the review if I could not honestly recommend them. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 17, 2014

An Uncommon Good Review and Giveaway!

You may know that I've recently become a tea drinker. Consequently, I'm interested in trying different flavors of tea. I'm aware that drinking green tea is good for you, so that's mostly what I drink, but until this week, I hadn't realized there were so many ways to enjoy green tea. I had no idea that flowers could be dried and added to tea, either. 

I found a Green Herbal Tea Kit at Uncommongoods and excitedly waited for it to arrive. It was definitely worth the wait; check out how pretty this tin arrangement is.

Each tea and flower bulb/herb comes in a cute little tin that is labeled 
(Can't wait to find a use for them when the tea and flowers are gone.),
but the larger tin box, too, is conveniently labeled.

I'm not comfortable experimenting in the kitchen, generally,
so I love that Uncommon Goods included some helpful instructions.

There are also 10 reusable tea bags that are biodegradable. 
(The kit actually comes with enough tea to make ten pots, 
but I make it by the cup, so I'll get to enjoy it for weeks.)

The first cup I made was Happiness Tea. It looked so pretty. 

I also followed the directions to make a delicious cup of Relaxing Tea
It's made with chamomile, blue lavender, and jasmine, mixed with rose green tea.

I am really having fun with this tea kit! 
I even learned how to use my honey dipper thingy.

Since the honey comes from my next door neighbors' bees,
and the teas in the kit are organic, I couldn't be happier.

You can find the Green Herbal Tea Kit at Uncommongoods.
I received mine in exchange for my honest feedback, and I was/am happy to give it!
For more unique, quality products perfect for holiday gift-giving, check out Uncommon Goods.
They have personalized gifts sure to please everyone.

Would you like to win a $40 gift card to Uncommongoods, 
just in time to buy stocking stuffers or other great Christmas gifts?
Today, there are three ways to enter (and four more on Wednesday's post): 

1) Liking the Uncommon Goods Facebook page

2) Signing up for the Uncommon Goods email list

3) Pinning this post (by clicking on any of the photos).

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries, 
and come back Wednesday for more ways to win:

This giveaway ends Monday, December 1st at 12am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Angry Young "Man"

One day, in the first week of school, I asked "Ben" to do something. He replied, "My names not Ben."

Puzzled and annoyed (his name placard read Ben), I replied, "Then why does the sign that you made say Ben?"

He replied, "Well that's what the [regular ed] teacher's going to call me anyway, so I just put both names on it." He turned the sign over to reveal David.

Kind of a cocky thing for sixth grader to do; it puzzled me. Later, the teacher told me that she'd had David's dad [Ben] as a student, years ago, so maybe he was assuming that she'd call him by his dad's name. Odd.

For a sixth grade student, David is kind of surly. When a teacher gives a directive, he is often doing something else, or he takes an extra couple of minutes and another request to comply. He's obviously being passive-aggressive, for some reason. Why would such a young boy be so angry, I wondered.

I no longer have to wonder...

We are writing "Scarology" narratives. Students have been working for many days on their stories, in which they feature either a physical or emotional scar they bear.  David's story is about his dad being a soldier in Afghanistan.

With David's permission, I share the [draft] conclusion from his "Scar story."

In conclusion, it is challenging to be the man of the house when you don't expect to be man of the house and you are only 12 years old.  It is hard to try to do the jobs my dad is so good at when I wasn’t done learning from him yet.  Knowing where certain tools are or how to work the lawnmower makes me feel like a fish out of water. Comforting my mom when she looks upset because I know I have to be the strong one is harder than anything I have ever done before.No mater how hard it is for me to have my dad gone there is no comparison to the struggle my dad is going through.     

Of course, we always appreciate the sacrifices of our veterans, but (clearly) the sacrifices of their family members are just as great.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Friday Fragments: Episode #327

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It should come as no surprise that, as a kindergartner, I once had to sit in the corner for talking too much. In fact, my dad affectionately nicknamed me Barbara Jean, the Talking Machine. Tonight, I feel like a chatterbox; so many random thoughts to unload here! Thanks for not making me sit in a corner. Here we go!

***The Difference Makers made cake bites for school staff tonight. I just love being around those kids; their energy and positive attitudes are infectious.

***If you have a moment, would you be so kind as to help a rural high school win a $30,000 grant to help update it's Internet service?  Pulaski High School is in second place! The contest ends November 20th. You may vote only once, and it takes less than 30 seconds. Click here if you'd like to help.

***A classmate of Kendall was killed this week when he broke into a man's home and the terrified homeowner shot him. No matter how you feel about guns or criminals, it's sad when a young person gambles his life away.

***Do you own a gun for personal protection? If so, in what state do you live? I'm curious.

***I am very annoyed with Google for messing with Drive; I use the commenting feature often, and the new version is obnoxious. I wish I had some influence with them, because everyone I know hates it.

***My shoulder feels great tonight! I've gotten rid of all of my prescription meds and am doing great in therapy.

***I got an iPad for work last week and have been taking photos like crazy; I get so much satisfaction from taking pictures. I don't know what it is, but I am very happy. I can't wait to receive my iPhone!!

***Mr.4444 left this for me today, before leaving for deer camp:

In case you can't see it, it's our fireplace, fully loaded and ready to be lit. The Post-it reads I love you!

***In case you're wondering, no; I don't mind at all when Mr.4444 goes to the hunting camp. In fact, I love being alone all weekend. How about you? How do you feel about being alone?

***If you missed it and would like to see some awesome photos of our Ragdoll cat, Ted, click here.

***I'm excited about a giveaway I have coming up for a $25 giftcard to Uncommongoods! Stay tuned!

Link up your own Friday Fragments below. The more the merrier!