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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Miss R's Amazing Adventures

I know I have not written much lately.  That is because things will be changing very soon.  This blogger is moving from one coast to the other.

I am currently working on a blog for my students called Miss R's Amazing Adventures.  It will chronicle everything that a move of that magnitude entails.  There are even fish at the top of the page that kids can feed by clicking in the pond.

I will post here more of an adult version of what it great in the states that I visit.  Stay tuned for more posts.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Team Sparkle Pony

This is the second time that Team Sparkle Pony will be walking in the San Francisco AIDS walk.  Since our fundraising has begun we have been in the top 25 and were asked to write a biography of the team.  Below is what we submitted.  If the story touches you, please donate at the link here.

Team Sparkle Pony is small but powerful.  It is compromised of three friends: Jordan, Megan and Mike.  The team formed the same week that we all became mutual friends.

Last April, on my annual spring break trip to San Francisco from New Jersey the idea to participate in the San Francisco AIDS walk came to fruition.  Jordan and I were meeting for coffee when we commented on the AIDS walk banners flying overhead. 
One of us said, “We should do that this year.” The other responded, “Yeah, we should.”  Of course over coffee we started thinking of names and fundraising ideas.  With us, when the ball gets rolling there is no stopping it!

We mentioned the idea to our new friend Mike and he jumped right in.  We set the lofty goal of raising $1,000 a piece and came within $25 of our team goal.  The money was raised in many different ways.

Each of us e-mailed every one we knew and sent reminders when ever we could.  We also used facebook to bombard the internet with our support requests.  Personal thanks were e-mailed and hand written for every donation made.  Our perseverance paid off, we started to see the temperature go up on all of our thermometers.  Friends, friends of friends, students and their families, and people we did not even know began to donate.  Every day this team of three got stronger and sparklier.

For our final push to reach our goal we hosted a fundraising event with a raffle of locally donated gift certificates.  We had the support of the event’s location, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and a radio station.  Other walkers came out to help us at our fundraiser even though they were fundraising on their own.  We even sold our team t-shirts off our backs. 

This year we are going to reach that goal of $3,000 or more.  Even though our team is located on two coasts, we won’t give up.  We don’t raise money for anyone in particular, but for all of mankind.  We each know someone who has been battling this disease and want them to have all the support that we can give. 

Team Sparkle Pony is stronger and sparklier than ever.  A great team name and t-shirt can get you far but amazing teammates get you ever further.

Team Captain of Sparkle Pony

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Born Wicked

Someone I went to college with published a book!  I know I couldn't believe it either, so of course I needed to read it and review it.

Born Wicked: The Cahill Witch Chronicles (Book 1), by Jessica Spotswood, follows the lives of three sisters in a small town at the turn of the century.  These are not ordinary sisters, they are witches who were taught little of the craft before their mother passed away.  They need to hide their gifts from the world for fear of persecution.  With only six months before a major life decision must be made the eldest sister finds out information that will change their lives forever.

The book takes a while to get moving. Until about 2/3 in I was not sure if I was going to enjoy it.  After that point I wanted to know what happens next.  Unfortunately, the book is one of three and it ends abruptly.  If you hold on until the end I am sure you will be looking for the next one just like me.

The thing that drove me crazy was the world the story is set in.  Some of the events chronologically do not make sense.  It resembles our turn of the century New England so closely that I did not realize it an alternate world until I checked the library of congresses description on the front cover.

If you like witches and romance give this book a try.  Check out Jessica's website here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blend Creations

I am giggling like a little kid because I just received my custom necklace from Blend Creations.
It is awesome and easy.  You print out the custom worksheet from the website and draw within the lines.  Then scan it and send it to the company.  In three days I had my brother's childhood drawing on a necklace.

So of course being a teacher I think, "Great Mother's Day gift!"  It is too expensive for me to order for each of the children in my class.  We are on the tissue paper flower budget in most schools, but Dads could totally get their tot to draw within the lines.  You also sign the back.  What a perfect momento. 

They also have great and unusual items like bottle opener necklaces.  Which is more ingenious then flip-flop bottle openers, since, well you walk on them.  Gross! Blend Creations also offers flowers suspended in resin and many other items.  There are more traditional items as well, but those are less my style.

There is a custom portion to almost any piece of artwork on this site.  You can really make your mark on any piece.  

Please give Blend Creations a try and you will not be disappointed.  

Monday, March 26, 2012


Neil Gaiman is my go-to traveling companion.  I love the fantasy and the unusual twists and turns, he gives you.  Stardust is no exception.  It is a relatively modern fairytale.

It follows both a father and son's journey out of their sheltered lives.  These stories take place consecutively.  The father's story give us the interesting story of his son's origin.

The bigger story is that of the son.  He is madly in love with a girl and promises her the star that fell from the sky.  The rest of the story is his journey to find and return the star to his love.  Along the way he meets many fanciful and fantastic creatures.  Some will help and some will hinder him along the way.  The story is woven like a typical Gaiman spider web, you are never sure which way it will go and where it will end up.

I would love to write more, but the beauty of this book is discovering the fairy tale one strand at a time.

There is also a movie based on the book, but of course it is different and not as exciting.  Gaiman has said that when your story becomes a film you have to let go of your piece of art and let someone else take it and make it their own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Diary of a Married Call Girl

To feed my constant addiction for small and/or used book stores I wander into them as much as I can.  My way of keeping them around so I can continue to enjoy them.  On one of my journeys I wanted a little bit of fluff to read and Tracy Quan's Diary of a Married Call Girl fit the bill.
It is an unusual story.  It follows a woman who hides being a call girl from her new husband.  The new husband wants to start a family and she wants to keep her business.  I enjoyed the parts about her family history, rather than the main story line about hiding ones life from another.  It is an easy quick read and does not require too much brain power.  It would be great for the beach.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bossy Pants

I love my Nook but I hate that I can't read it during take off.  So when I forgot to bring a book along I wandered into the many Hudson News shops in the airport and picked up Tina Fey's Bossy Pants.  I will admit I love everything Fey.  This book did not disappoint.

Fey's book has her humor throughout, so there are giggles every couple of pages.  It follows her from the beginning of her life up until now.  I find it funny that you can see 30 Rock episodes in your head that were taken from her life.  The truth is always funnier than fiction.  Tina has used all she has been through to make an outrageous book and tv show.  

It is a very quick read, it took me only 2 days to finish it.  You can read it in any order since each chapter is its own story.  Although I would read it from start to finish.  That could be the OCD in me, but chronologically is always better.  

So enjoy the giggles.