An Open Letter to Disney: Your Magic Convinced This Skeptic

Dear Disneyland, Your bathroom custodian won my heart. As I crammed in the stall waiting for a wee mermaid to finish her business, I overheard the following: “Ladies, come right along. Stalls are open on this end. Oh, and Happy Birthday to you!” All so cheerfully and helpfully crowed by a woman clad in a white uniform pushing a plastic cart piled high with toilet paper rolls. A birthday wish? So heartfelt? In a women’s bathroom? That, Disneyland, is when I fell for you -- head over heels....more
My kids squeal with delight at the prospect of a Disneyland trip.  And they are 16 and 15 and ... more

Why I Hate The Elf On The Shelf

I'm not happy about this post. I love mocking ridiculous things, but I feel most comfortable poking fun at stuff I like. Things like my college football team, my kids' quirks, my brother's ability to get free stuff from anyone he meets, and how my mom identifies herself by name when she leaves me a message. "Oh, hi Amy. This is your mom. Susan." My favorite target is myself. But today I turn my disdain outward, to a society that complains about consumerism and too many commitments, but spends $30 dollars for the privilege of managing the "magic" of a cheaply made stuffed elf during the busiest month of the year....more
@svtwinmom  I did this before the "Elf on a Shelf" phenomenon.  I got my elf from "Elf Magic."  ... more

Readers Versus E-book Spammers

Recently announced that it was taking steps to remove the more dodgy spam e-book content that can be found in the Kindle electronic bookstore.  I have my doubts so I performed a test. ...more
I hope sites like Amazon can get this under control. I do put some value on ratings put in by ... more

You Are Not the Center of the Universe. You're Welcome.

On Friday night, Sean and I took Rebecca to see the new Disney documentary African Cats. It was filmed on the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, one of the stops on our Kenyan adventure last summer. We thought it would be neat to be able to say, “We’ve been there!” Of course, we didn’t plan to say it during the movie -- that would be rude. Unfortunately, the mother and five-year-old boy behind us had no such misgivings about talking during the movie. And they talked and talked and talked through the entire thing....more

Personally, I would have confronted the mother in no uncertain terms. People treat theaters ... more

Ready For My Tutu

The first thing I decided to try on my list was Ballet. I’ve always wanted to try it. I did not have the opportunity to do it as a little girl. I knew there were adult classes available but until now I’d not had the courage to try it. As you see from my list of potential Joy invoking activities one of my desires is to fit into a single digit dress size (size 9 would do). So obviously I do not resemble your typical ballerina. I’d imagined myself walking into an adult class and having the instructor take one look at me, refund my registration fee and confiscating my ballet slippers. Since the definition of Joy does not include word Fear I decided afraid or not, I’d try it....more

Good for you! I've taken a few adult ballet classes and loved them. It's really a great ... more

2011 Reading Challenges and Goals: Are You Ready?

As 2010 winds down and I start looking towards 2011, I am thinking about reading goals for the coming year. For me, reading goals are about more than just what books I want to read. No, what I'm really thinking about is how I want to spend my time. When I look back at 2010 I can see that I read less than I did the year before, and that I blogged about books even less. I sent a lot of books back to the library unread. I didn't lose my reading spark but it got dimmed. I need something that will help me find that spark again. Looking at the reading challenges out there and setting some goals can help me with that. ...more

Thanks for this list! I'm going to look into these. I've signed up for "A Year of Feminist ... more

What Was I Thinking?

 Growing up, I was super skinny.  I was made fun of and called things like "bird legs." I never had to worry about what I ate.  I didn't really exercise. I always assumed exercise was only for those that wanted to lose weight! ...more

Do you have a wii? I've always hated exercise for the reasons you mentioned and more, but I ... more

The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

I wanted to find out what all these top bloggers had in common. Their mindset, their mental habits. I spent a lot of time observing, which led to this list of the eight success traits shared by all top bloggers I’ve found. I’m happy to share it with you. ...more

I think effective bloggers build community. They reciprocate comments and answer reader ... more

Showering After a Stroke: Naked Hopping, Not As Exciting As It Sounds

I haven’t been inside my shower since November 2009. Today I sat outside the door and looked in. ...more

I know exactly what you mean, although I was only unable to shower for a few weeks after ... more

Don't Ever Take Your Kids to a Movie When They've Read the Book

 Well, by now you all know that the whole "snowstorm" thing here in the deep south was a big fat fluffy bust for some of us. I would just like personally thank The Weather Channel for completely destroying my children's faith in "experts" of the meteorological kind. They now think that all of you are freaking out of your minds!...more

Unfortunately, there's no getting out of this one for me.  my 13 year old daughter has ... more