Tag Archives: friends

27 Dresses…Maybe just 4 and some curtains

“The best part about it is that you can shorten it, and wear it again.”

“Definitely, so true!”

I loved the movie 27 Dresses. It’s fun and silly, and I can watch it over and over again.

It reminds me of some of the bridesmaids dresses I’ve worn, but none were as bad as the ones I made my wedding party wear. ūüôā

27 Dresses…Maybe just 4 and some curtains

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Something Light and Fluffy

After the super, heavy seriousness of my recent deathmatch with my dishwasher, I think we all need something light and fluffy.

So…

Pillows!

The newest generation of My LIttle Pony characters

The shirt from kindergarten outgrown too soon… It’s hard to see in this picture, but she put pretty multi-colored cording around the entire seam. It matches perfectly!

If you’ve got kiddos, there is a really good chance that he or she has a favorite shirt. One that they want to wear and wear and wear, even when it’s two sizes too small. The Armadillo loved these two My Little Pony shirts. She cried both times when they didn’t fit anymore. So I saved them.

Rainbow Dash from the last generation of ponies.

The shirt from preschool…bought too large on purpose; it wasn’t big enough to last forever.

The daughter of one of my friends loves to sew and design, so I asked if she would convert the shirts into pillows. She did a fabulous job, don’t you think? And Armadillo loves them and keeps them on her bed.

Some people collect their cherished baby and toddler clothes and make them into quilts. My friend told me that she saw one that was a pieced quilt. All the onesies and shirts were cut up into pieces, some of them even had tiny babyfood stains. Cute, right?

What about you? Do you have a favorite thing from your childhood or your children’s childhood that you’ve saved or converted into something else?

Why Take a Sip When You Can Drink from the Hose

Last weekend, I attended one of the most informative writers’ conferences ever. I’ve attended several writing conferences (including technical writing conferences, which have a ton of craft and business training sessions, too).

This conference was affordable, informative, and fun for traditional, independent, and unpublished authors alike. And I got to attend from the comfort of my own pajamas home.

It was the first-ever WANACon!

Wana-Conference-new2

This was the first-ever virtual and global¬†conference with live, informative sessions in a virtual classroom.¬†The instructors used their web cameras so we could see them, and the attendees could ask questions audibly or in a chat box. There were several literary agents (non-fiction and fiction) who took pitches–some requests were made, too (congratulations to those who got requests!).

I’m still reeling a bit from all the information. Otherwise, I might be able to write coherently about¬†it. You’ll just have to trust me on this. ūüôā

Between sessions, we congregated in the WANACon lobby and chatted about the previous session’s awesomeness and passed around virtual victuals. Check out Kristen Lamb’s post about the technology used for the conference.¬†Her blog has posts about and by the instructors.¬†I could never do justice to them all–go check them out for yourself.

The amount of quality information fed to us was a bit like drinking from a firehose, but it was helpful, informative, and inspiring.  Also, most of the sessions were recorded and will be provided to the attendees, so I can repeat the dousing until I understand it all.

WANA Con was so worth the price for TWO solid days (plus some extras before and after). There were no travel costs either.¬† ūüôā¬† I’m still giddy from the quality of the classes and the fantabulous people and the cool virtual classroom. Did I mention the fantabulous people? Well, it’s all worth repeating.

If you don’t know anything about WANA International and you are a writer or illustrator, you should check it out for informative and helpful courses on social media and publishing and craft. I highly recommend checking out the support that WANA Tribe offers, too. The WANA Way is “We Are Not Alone” and Kristen Lamb is the Social Media Jedi who started all this. No one can be successful in a vaccuum. The WANA Way is supportive, not competitive (and non-spamming). It’s about developing relationships and helping each other succeed. I took Kristen’s Blogging for Brand course (which I totally recommend if you need help getting started like I did or if you want to revamp yourself), and I’ve seen the WANA Way in action.

So get ready for the next WANA Con.¬† We won’t have to wait a year for it either!

Do you go to conferences for work or for fun or for both? If so, share your favorite conferences and locations.

Penning to Pals and Sticking Stamps

Since the announcement that the USPS is dropping Saturday delivery, I thought about the last time I mailed a letter or paid a bill.

**Edit: I meant to include the link to the announcement. Click here to read the new schedule that starts in August.**

Photo by Lynn Kelley via WANA Commons

Photo by Lynn Kelley via WANA Commons

Believe it or not, there are one or two bills that I don’t pay online. *shocked face*

I mail birthday cards to nieces and nephews that I don’t see often. I mailed Christmas cards.¬† That’s it. I know my correspondence behaviors haven’t helped our postal service.

Before email was common, I was a pen pal. I wrote letters, addressed them, licked stamps (before they became stickerlike), and sent them off. Then I checked the mailbox daily for replies. No hitting refresh.

My longest-running letter-writing streak was with my oldest friend from first grade. She moved to another state when we were in third grade. We kept in touch with each other with letters. Lots and lots of them. She taught me what “wicked” meant to kids in Massachussetts in the 1980s. We replied to each other usually within a day or two of receiving a letter all the way through college. I kept all her letters, too, until a demon cat sprayed my entire closet, and I had to throw out a ton of things. (She was an evil cat. I do believe she was possessed.) Now, we’re connected on Facebook and don’t correspond very often.

DC Super Hero stamps left over after a postage increase...

DC Super Hero stamps left over after a postage increase…

In high school, I had pen pals who lived in France as part of my French class. Those were short-lived, since the French students on the receiving end rarely wrote back more than once. In college, I wrote my high school boyfriend just about everyday (ahhh, dumb young love) until we broke up. I also wrote a high school friend of mine who was in the Army. The letters I looked forward to the most were from my high school besties. I recognized their handwriting and would open their letters before leaving the university mail room.

Now, a trip to the mailbox results in a few bills that aren’t e-bills, fliers for local businesses, catalogs, and other junk. The holiday season is the most exciting time of year because of the holiday cards.

While many people are sad to see the USPS closed on Saturday, the mail demand is not as great as it used to be.¬† Even though I miss the anticipation of opening my mailbox and finding a letter from a friend, I don’t write any myself. Email and text messaging technology have replaced letter writing.

Do you remember the eager excitement of opening your mailbox to see if you had letters to read? Who were your pen pals and how often did you write to each other? How do you feel about the USPS not delivering on Saturdays?

Fit to be Twisted

I’ve been accused of being twisted sometimes. It’s true. My twistedness reveals itself at surprising times. But I’m not writing to share about my twisted sense of humor. I’m writing about a towel.

A couple of Christmases ago, my mom gave me something that made me wonder. I remember thinking, “Huh. What are these strange little towels that Mom gave me?” Turbie Twist towels?¬† I was skeptical and maybe a little put out that I got towels for Christmas.¬† ¬†(Sorry, Mom!)turbietwist

Some smart woman got tired of twisting her just-washed hair into a bath towel that may or may not stay piled and balanced on top of her head. Forget picking up after a toddler or leaning over to pick up anything without the bath towel flopping off her head.

After one use, I was in love. My older daughter was, too. Two or three years later, the little elastic loop on my original Turbie Twist is stretched and elastic-less. Don’t care. One of these days, I’ll fix that, but it still works.

My younger daughter has been asking for her own “hair towel” for months. The requests escalated after she used mine. My towel disappeared one day. I found it in the girls’ bathroom. Coincidence? I think not.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, my mom-in-law asked me about little gifts she could get for the girls’ stockings, I told her about the Turbie Twist towels. I think she may have looked at me sideways, a little, like I was crazy, but she picked up enough for all four of her granddaughters.

When my younger daughter found that pink “head towel” in her gifts from her grandparents, she was thrilled. (Yes, my child was happy to get a towel for Christmas!)

The BFF laughed at my story. But as Fate would have it, she found herself in a store one day staring at a huge wall display of Turbie Twist towels. She bought a set. Then I got this note from her yesterday (personal details edited out and quoted with permission):

I have a new obsession! Yesterday after talking with you on the phone …¬† There was a huge wall display of Turbie towels. I stared at them for a long while wondering what was the fascination with these little towels? I was looking for some new pillow cases, but walked out with a Turbie towel 2 pack :). I couldn’t resist after our conversation …. I used it this morning for the first time and I loved it! I have been using 2 towels forever. One for my hair and one for my body. I would twist the towel up on my head and walk around like that for awhile. This Turbie towel was so much lighter on my head. I fell in love with it! I can’t believe I had never heard of this wonderful invention. My head was so light and free this morning! I even looked at towels while I was there. That is one (of many) things I want for my new home. This time I will only have to buy 2 towels instead of 4 – what a savings of money and laundry time! Thank you so much for telling me about this wonderful product!

Seriously, the BFF would make a great commercial. She ended by asking if there was a blog post in there somewhere. D’oh!

Then this morning, she told me she didn’t have to take the towel off to put her turtleneck on. Try that with a bath towel piled on your head!

While I ponder why I wasn’t smart enough to cut and sew towel fabric in such a way that I could comfortably wear my wet hair in the lightly twisted knot, the sisters who did are thinking, “Yeah, we were smart enough.”

This video shows how simple it is. The kiddo in the video is adorable, too.

BTW–I have no connection to the company. I just love the product. I don’t know why I didn’t think to share this with everyone sooner!

While I think about those really cute animal print ones that I saw at the store, I’d love to hear what’s going on in your head. Is there a product that you wish you’d invented or sold?¬† Have you tried a Turbie Twist towel?

2012 in Review and Looking Forward to 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.

In the almost¬†six months that I’ve been blogging, here are my top 5 posts and my theories for why they made the list:

  1. Mermaids Aren’t Real?¬†—¬†This War of the Worlds moment (remember the radio program that had people panicking?) had to be shared.¬† If they are real, they are smart enough to elude Animal Planet film crews.
  2. My Very Own My Little Pony¬†— Ponyfest12 was a success!¬† I couldn’t believe that my pony won, but then again, I have awesome friends.¬† Look for a pony reveal¬†soon.¬† In the meantime, you should check out Rebecca Enzor’s blog, because Ponyfest is hers and she’s great.
  3. Totes, Selfies, and Sharpies¬†— Why did this one make the top 5?¬† Because there are people searching on teen selfies.¬† Not kidding! Exactly 25% of the known Google searches that linked to my blog were about selfies, and most of those were looking for teens! Ick. Parents of teens, monitor your kids’ phones and uploads.¬† Just sayin’.
  4. Welcome to Gattaca¬†— Who doesn’t love that movie?
  5. We figured that one out a long time ago¬†— I just can’t help myself when I hear of discoveries that shock scientists about the intelligence of women.

These fabulous people were my top 5 commenters. I love their blogs.  I hope you check them out:

  1. Pauline B Jones
  2. Julie Glover
  3. Ryan King
  4. Debra Kristi
  5. Jordan L. Hawk

I launched this blog at the end of June last year with a ton of support and encouragement from my WANATribe Blogging for Brand classmates and WANA founder, Kristen Lamb.

So what’s in store for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows in 2013?

  • Three¬†posts a week.
  • Pony reveal!
  • A visit from a Norse god. Yes, Thor is coming to visit me soon!¬† He will get to see what Texas is all about.
  • A blog upgrade and some tweaks.
  • A posting¬†schedule.¬† What?!¬†
  • More housework avoidance (and maybe some decluttering projects).

Happy New Year to you all!

Thanks for stopping by.¬† I’d love to hear what you have going on for the new year.

New Phone, Apps Recovered!

A few days ago, I posted about losing most of my apps when I upgraded my phone.¬† The Sprint store didn’t move them over, nor did they tell us (my in-laws and me) the trick for getting them back.

My paid apps were easy, because I found them on Google Play and reinstalled them.

Then my friend, Rachel, who knows all things Android, commented on that post.  I should have asked her about it in the first place! *face palm*

I’m going to go all technical writer on you now (although I’d never use purple callouts in my day job)¬†to show you what I did to recover my free apps.

1. From the browser on your phone or on your computer, go to https://play.google.com/apps.

2. Log into your gmail account.

3. The Google play page displays your application libraries. Every app you ever installed on a phone is listed on the page.

newphoneapps01

4. Click a phone icon to view the apps installed on that device, or view your library to locate the apps you want to install on your new phone.

5. When you find an app you want, click Install.

newphoneapps03

6. The Send to Another Device list should should your new device by default. If it does not, click the down arrow to select the correct device.

newphoneapps04

7. Click Install. The application will be pushed to your phone or device.

8. Click OK to close the window.

There is one caveat.¬† If the application or game had data from your old phone, you will not have that data after the fresh installation.¬† However, if you have to log into the app develper’s server, then you should be able to recover your game progress or saved data from them.

I guess that means I have to start Angry Birds Star Wars over from the beginning!¬† ūüėÄ

I hope you find these instructions helpful!

#ROW80 Goals:

  • Declare war on the caterpillars eating my broccoli plants.
  • I finished editing my middle grade WIP vomit draft. (Yay!)¬† Now, I have to make the changes and fill in plot holes before my 14-year-old’s birthday.¬† That gives me less than 2 weeks to surprise her with a rough draft of the story she helped inspire.
  • Getting closer to fitting into those smaller jeans.
  • School PTA minutes need approval.

Dawn Just After Midnight

I’m not sure how it happened.¬† I might be a little crazy for agreeing to the outing.¬† Working on three hours of sleep here, sooo….

Movie poster from Wikipedia

My neighbors are great. I don’t know many people around here who can say they know and regularly talk to many of the people who share the same street name in their snail mail address.

So when Breaking Dawn Part 2 tickets went on sale, the instigator (we’ll call her L) said, “Let’s go!”

I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book series.  I did.  My BFF and I watch the ones that are out on DVD so we can revel in the story and make fun of the special effects.  (Seriously, the animated talking werewolves in Breaking Dawn Part 1 killed us.)

I’m working on three¬†hours of sleep here.¬† Forgive my ramblings.¬† Back to the story.

L, P, C, and I went to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn Part 1 last year.¬† Of course, we’d go to the last installment November 15-16.¬† L bought our tickets online for the 12:01 showing.

Last night at 10 pm, I left my warm, cozy house and walked down the street to meet up with my coven¬†pack uh, neighbors.¬† I swear it was like a synchronized arrival like you see in movies…

A character walks down the street and meets up with her peeps as she goes.  They join her just as she arrives at their locations.

It happened just like that.¬† I walked down a few houses and met up with P and C.¬† Then M (one of the several¬†teens who joined us)¬†walked out and met up with me.¬† Then L and her daughter S with one of her friends in tow.¬† Seven crazy females piled into L’s SUV (yep, she¬†bought the tickets and drove–instigator and enabler), and her teenage son and his friend followed in his car.

Yes, I did indeed just say “teenage son and his friend.”¬† They joined us at the movie theater.¬†¬†Their sole purpose for tagging along was to talk to girls at the theater.¬† They didn’t even sit with us when we got there.¬† The nerve.¬† They went into the theater that was full of girls rather than sit with us in the half-full theater.

Then we sat and talked and looked at Facebook in the dark for an hour and a half. At midnight, we were ready for the movie to start.  Some of us (not me) did the potty dance and excused themselves with 20 minutes of movie trailers to avoid.

My coven pack neighbors, photo courtesy of the one in pink. ūüėČ

A couple walked in and sat down in front of us.¬† C and I looked at each other.¬† She said, “Seriously, they just walk in at midnight and find a seat?”¬† Who knew that we didn’t have to get there with enough time to check into security be able to find a decent seat this year?¬† Last year, we were way early and had to sit in the fourth row.¬† Waaaay too close.

No spoilers from me today, I promise, because I get to go see it again with my BFF.¬† I will say that it was the best of the five movies!¬† Something happens at the end and had the entire theater screaming and cheering and freaking out–a twist none of us saw coming.¬† There were grown men, who most likely didn’t read the book,¬†who cheered and gasped and freaked out¬†with the rest of us.

It was a scene that might not have read well in the book had it been written but was perfect for the movie.  Wow!

When I got home, I pulled the book out and read through the last chapter to see just how different the twist was from the book.¬†¬†Oh, it’s different.¬† It is probably the only time I’ve ever said that a movie outdid its book, especially for a series that underdid its books in the first couple of installments. (Is “underdid” even a¬†word? Three hours of sleep here, people. Move along.)

That’s all I say about that for fear of letting something slip.¬† I don’t need the Spoiler Volturi tracking me down for breaking that rule.

If you want to read in-depth descriptions of all the characters, you must read Debra Kristi’s blog: Twilight Saga‚Äôs Breaking Dawn Breakdown: Immortal Monday.

Are you going to see it?¬† Have you already seen it?¬† I’d love to hear what you think, but no spoilers just yet.¬† ūüėČ

It’s a Brave New World

There is no such thing as a free lunch on the internet, especially where social media is a huge part of our everyday lives.

I’m a newbie to social media of all kinds having decided to jump into cyberspace only a few¬†months ago.¬† Family and friends told me to join Facebook for years before I did. ¬†They tried to cajole (“It’s fun!”), urge (“You’ll love it!”), and shame (“If you were on Facebook, you could see the pictures of ….”) me into getting online.

I don’t know why I resisted. ¬†I loved the idea of catching up with my family, high school and college friends.¬† Admittedly, it creeped me out when my brother told me that one of my ex-boyfriends found him on Facebook while looking for me.¬† I had no interest in reconnecting with that guy–ever.¬† It was too stalker-ish for my liking.

A couple of years later, I finally decided that I was missing out on everything else out there because one ex from eons ago creeped me out.¬†¬†So I dove in.¬† Well, no, it wasn’t a dive at all.

It¬†was a tiny toe¬†in first to get a feel for it. ¬†I have a few rules.¬† I don’t use my kids’ names, and pictures are few and far between of them.¬† I do the same here at Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.¬† I know I’m not the only person who does this, so I don’t worry about it. ¬†Nor do I apologize for it.¬† Is that too protective?¬†¬†¬†I don’t think so.

At any rate, I have enjoyed catching up with family I don’t see often enough and friends all over the¬†place and new friends closer to home.

So how does a video about  a psychic go with activity on social media?

How is it possible that this man knew where one woman went to school or the color of one young man’s motorcycle? ¬†What powers did he have that allowed him to know that girl’s bank account number or another’s best friend?

This was a public service announcement from Belgium that called people out for putting personal information on social media sites.

It is a Brave New World, isn’t it? ¬† Our lives are being monitored all over the internet (not just on Facebook) for the world to see. ¬†In Huxley’s novel, people were monitored for how they did their jobs and lived their lives. ¬† Today, in the real world, companies monitor employees’ computer use and job productivity. ¬†Companies review perspective employees’ web activity before deciding to hire them. ¬†Unscrupulous people find ways to take advantage of others, which is what the video warned about.

Should we be more careful about what we post in social media places?  Probably.

Should we use common sense about what we write on our walls and what pictures we post?  Absolutely.

It’s hard to avoid moving through life without some kind of technology tracking what we buy (store reward cards) or where we drive (traffic light cameras) or what we do on our phones (it’s all stored somewhere).¬† Some might argue that Big Brother is indeed watching. (No, I don’t mean the TV show.)

Speaking of TV shows…Last night, we watched How I Met Your Mother¬†(click to watch the episode).¬† Robin’s not-very-smart boyfriend told her how a fortune teller he’d visited knew so much about him–just from seeing his social security number, driver’s license, and credit cards (about 6:25 into the episode).¬† It’s¬†hilarious, because we all know better.

Don’t we?

A Witch, a Vampire, and a Skullhead

That’s what to you get when you combine good friends, a photo, and PicMonkey. ¬†I was going to save this for Halloween, but I have to share the creepy now!

Deadly Sisters

Halfway through a scrapbooking* weekend with two of my close girlfriends, we took this picture. ¬†I’d been dying to try out the Halloween effects on PicMonkey, which is an online picture editing tool. ¬†(It’s free, but they have special royal effects that are free for a limited period of time.)

The site is super easy to use.  (Thanks to Kristen Lamb for telling me about it!)  Just upload your pictures and start playing.

Deadly Witch: Werewolf Fighter

The witch (Rachel) needed a gray complexion, pock marks, and witchy eyes.  (I love the eye effects!)  Black hair and a gray streak finished the look. Uh, no.  Something was missing.  In the standard editing area, we found the perfect lip color (make the color as subtle, or not as you want).  Something was still missing.  I tried a Frankenstein-type scar across her forehead, but then she suggested that this witch had a fight with a werewolf (and won, by the way).  The clawed scar over her eye was the perfect touch.

Deadly Vampire: Neck Biter

With a smile like that, Shannon had to be a vampire. ¬†Have some fangs, sister, to go with that well-fed complexion and the brilliant eyes. ¬†The fangs were the hardest to get right. ¬†Nothing cutesy here. Don’t you think the veins add just the right touch?

Deadly Skullhead: Death Bringer

The Day of the Dead settings looked too fun not to use them on my own face. ¬†I tried to make myself purple (seriously, you can pick any color!), but I didn’t look deadly at all. ¬†Shannon nixed the purple right away because I looked cute–if a purple skullhead person can look not scary. ¬†A pale gray complexion replaced the red one that replaced the original purple one. ¬†I learned about layers and how the undo option works. You can’t undo an area after you move on to another area without undo-ing each step in between. ¬†I promise that my hair isn’t really that gray. ¬†A few pale veins on the bone complexion made the effect deeper. ¬†Don’t you just want to smile back at me?

Happy Halloween

That’s my Halloween costume this year–right there in that picture. ¬†It was a fun weekend with two of my close friends (I have more traveling stories about these two) and our friend Deb, who joined us briefly but left before I thought about this picture.

As I saved the photo, Rachel asked, “Is this going on your blog?”

Mwhahahahahaha!  Of course it is.  No way was I going to spend that much time on a photo and then not share it.  It was my evil plan the second we took the picture.  <evil grin>

*Scrapbooking at a fabulous crafters bed and breakfast doesn’t mean I have to scrapbook. ¬†ūüôā It’s just easier to tell people that’s where I’m going.

And now for my #ROW80 Update:

  • Need¬†to work on the back garden beds to get ready for more planting. ¬†It was too cold this weekend.
  • Work out and eat better.¬† Food does not define me, especially after two weekends away.
  • After a glorious weekend of research, I have rearranged my middle grade WIP outline and written 5k words. ¬†Now, time to finish the draft (perhaps a mini NaNoWriMo?).
  • Blogging class and logline class are in full swing (WANA International).¬† Homework is progressing. ūüôā