Candid Karina

Quite long overdue, I realize it, but here it is, the story of the bacon lollipop that was.

Once upon a time, back in the days before a new job took away her daytime internet use, yours truly was doing a bit of blog-hopping, and she came across this post. In that post, The Ex shared he misfortune at winning a contest, and receiving a couple of Bacon Lollipops for her efforts. After hating said lollipop as much as her benefactor, she decided she would continue the trend, and give away the second, unopened lollipop to one of her readers to try.

Well, I’ve never been one to shy away from trying strange foods, so I, of course, entered the contest. Now, as fate would have it, I, who NEVER win a damn thing…won the damn contest.

So then, a bit of time went by, and I sort of forgot about my fantastic prize. Until the day it arrived in the mail.
Here it was…my long awaited bacon lollipop.
But, as much as I wanted to try this thing, and share my thoughts about it with you…I couldn’t very well be selfish and keep it all to myself, could I? Of course not. Misery loves company, after all. UH, I mean…candy is meant to be shared, right?
So, I held off on digging in, and took the lollipop with me when our small group gathered together for our monthly “Community Kitchen” volunteering. Gather a group of over eager teenage boys and girls (and some not so “teenage” brave souls), break a lollipop into a million little pieces, and distribute.
So, the reactions? (The teenage girls were smart enough to hide from the camera with their reactions, but all of them agreed the lollipop was disgusting). The boys?

“Okay, let’s try this…not bad” My brother (on the left) thought it was “pretty good” at first. The brave soul on the right said “yeah, not bad”.

This kid was thinking about it:

Brainiac didn’t love it:

The consensus seemed to be that at first, it didn’t taste so bad, but it had a killer after taste. But the problem came later, when you realized that whatever it was that the lollipop was made of, completely stuck to your teeth in the most obnoxious of ways. My brother would kill me for this photo, but he doesn’t read my blog:

Yeah, they’ll be picking that out of their teeth for hours. Did we mention the aftertaste?

And yours trully? I did try it as well, but I was holding the camera (I’m a smart cookie that way), so there is no photographic evidence of my reaction. Let’s just say that next time I win a blog prize, I don’t want it to have anything to do with bacon OR lollipops. Two words that should never again be used in the same sentence together. Really, who thinks of these things?

In closing, I’d like to thank my fellow taste testers, for being brave enough (or is that foolish enough) to try this delicassy out with me. I’d also like to thank the postmaster for not losing this prize somewhere between the Ex’s house and mine. No, really, I thank you for that! And finally, I’d like to thank the Ex for hosting the giveaway of giveaways, because really, if you’re going to win a blog prize, it should be something worth blogging about, right?

{May 28, 2008}   It’s Party Time!

Hello, hello, welcome. Come on in, grab a drink, have a bite to eat. Today we are celebrating the official “launch” of my new blog design.

Take a look around, what do you think? Personally, I think this new blog design screams “Candid Karina” and I couldn’t be happier. I owe it all to my blog buddy “lissa“, who has just launched “Just Design Blogs”. She offered the redesign as a means for her to practice launching her design blog, how could I refuse? I sent her a few ideas, some color choices, and some photos, and she created what you see here today. How fabulous is she?
And all this she did with no request for payment, except that we promise to pay it forward.
So, I decided that a Launch Party was in order. Before we go any further, won’t you have some ice cream cake? What’s that? Oh right, the recipe. Certainly.
Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream “Cake”

1/2 cup fudge ice cream topping, warmed (as you can see above, I use Hershey’s syrup instead and it works just fine)

1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip whipped topping, thawed, divided (I used chocolate flavored cool whip this time)
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
8 Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes – Total time: 4 hours 10 Mins. (including freezing).
Pour the fudge topping into a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping with a wire whisk until it’s well blended. Add in the dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. or until well blended. The consistency of fudge topping ca vary depending on what brand you purchase. If your fudge topping mixture is too thick to spread easily, stir in 1/2 cup milk.
Chop the Oreo cookies roughly into chunks. (I just break them with my hands over the bowl into random sized bits). Stir them into the pudding mixture.
Arrange 4 of the ice cream sandwiches, side by side, on a 24×12-inch piece of foil; top with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat the layers.
Top the pudding mixture with the remaining 4 ice cream sandwiches. The layers create a neat striped effect when sliced.
Frost the top and sides with the remaining whipped topping, it doesn’t have to look perfect.
Bring up the foil sides. Double fold top and ends to loosely seal the packet. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly before serving.
Makes 12 servings. Enjoy!

And there you have it. Easy and tasty ice cream cake.

But, what’s a party without party gifts? I’m paying it forward by giving a few little things away.

Here are the prizes: A cute little stuffed teddy (about 6 inches high):

DVD of the movie “Labyrinth” (still in plastic wrap):

Special Collector’s Edition DVD of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Still in plastic wrap):And few consolation prizes:

Three different winners will win a set of “ear buds”:And one more will win this fun little Colby “earpiece” to use with your cell phone.

Yes, I know, it’s a random mix of things, but I wanted to give away more than one prize, so I dug around and found all these fun little bits and pieces.

So, how do you win? That’s easy, just leave me a comment telling me what you think of the new design. You can also tell me which prize you’d rather win…I will see what I can do about you getting your choice.

Okay, that’s it, I’ll let you mingle and converse amongst yourselves…I have to get to my second day at my new job anyway. Come on back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about how my first two days have been.

Well, here it is ladies and gents…my new blog design! All thanks to the fabulous lissa of Just Design Blogs.

I couldn’t let another day go by without acknowledging all her hard work and just plain fabulousness. lissa, I LOVE the new design, you took my “ideas” and translated them beautifully. It feels very “me”.

I think a fabulous new design such as this one deserves a “launch party” don’t you all? Plus, lissa’s only request for payment was that I “pay it forward” in some way.

Therefore, I’m having a party here, on Wednesday, to officially launch the new design, and tell you all how I plan on paying it forward. And guess what? That means prizes folks. Yes, PRIZES as in plural, more than one.

And maybe, just maybe, that also means Ice Cream Cake and the recipe I’ve been promissing for weeks…with photos. Make sure you come back on Wednesday!

As most of you know, I spent this past weekend in New York. My good friend Mrs. B, who I met via the internet about 7 years ago, lives in Queens, and we try to visit each other a few times a year. This trip spawned out of an idea of Mrs. B, that we should camp out and wait for the New Kids On The Block to perform on the Today Show this past Friday. However, as time drew nearer, Mrs. B realized she wouldn’t be able take the day off work, and realized that by myself, it would be no fun to camp out. Still, the idea for the trip was in motion, and I’m not currentl working, so I decided what the heck, a trip to New York would do me good.

In the meantime, one of my favorite bloggers ever happen to live right in NYC, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to meet up with her for lunch. So, the trip was on.

I arrived in New York on Thursday evening via GreyHound bus, and Mrs. B met me in Manhattan, where we had a fantastic dinner at an Ethiopian diner. I’d never had Ethiopian food, so I was excited to experiment. I’m happy to tell you that the food was fabulous, but even more fabulous was the Ethiopian Honey Wine we ordered. Mrs. B and I polished off an entire bottle during dinner. YUM.

Friday Morning I decided to head back into Manhattan, but decided against going in super early for the NKOTB concert. The evening before I’d learned that people were already camping out (in the rain no less), and I just knew I wouldn’t get anywhere near the concert, so I decided against it. By the time I made it into the city, the show was over, and there were still hundreds of crazy New Kids fans fleeting around. Just walking around a bit and seeing the barricades, the cops, the blocked off doors, etc., I knew I’d made the right call not going in early, I wouldn’t have made it anywhere near the show.

Still, I hung out with the crazy fans for a bit, reminiscing about the old days, and in the process, got to see American Idol winner Taylor Hicks as he walked past us and into the Today Show building. Hmm…Taylor Hicks v. Donnie Wahlberg? Okay, not much of consolation prize there. Anyway, I will say this, the camera really does add 10 pounds, at least. Because Taylor Hicks looked much better in person than on the show, bits of which I caught on my Tivo.

As for the New Kids? This is about as close as I got to them:

Ah well, there’s always the concert in September.

So, I did a bit of sightseeing, and then it was time to meet up with my blog buddy Frances. Frances, she of a thousand blogs. Okay, not exactly a thousand, but even she doesn’t know how many she has, so don’t ask me! 😉 Frances, the fearless leader of SheWhoBlogs. Frances has been on of my favorite bloggers since the first time I stumbled upon one of her blogs, so I was certainly excited to finally meet her in person.

Because I was drifting around Times Square, and it was pouring rain out, we met at Applebee’s for lunch. Not one of Frances’ usual “off the beaten path” haunts, but we’ve already agreed that in my next trip out, we’ll hit that path instead.

I arrived at the restaurant, and we immediately knew each other. From the moment I sat down, it was nonstop conversation, laughter and fun. We got along as fabulouslyas I knew we would have. Two mochatinis and about 3 1/2 hours later we had gone from being blog buddies, to being friends.

I could tell you all the silly things we chatted about, but really, it was 3 1/2 hours of non-stop chatter, and I have to run out in a few minutes. I can, however, tell you we had an absolute blast.

I could show you photos of our meeting, but if you visit any of Frances’ blogs you will see that she does not post photos of herself, so I respect that privacy, so there will be no photos of us. However, I do have a photo for you.

See, we had the FUNNEST waiter. His name was Ike, but his coworkers call him “Ikeypoo”. And he wears that name proudly on his nametag. You’ve got to love it, right? Ikeypoo was a fantastic waiter, lots of fun, and we just loved him. And he was kind enough to pose for a photo:

Frances got a close-up of the nametag, so I’m sure she’ll share that one with you on one of her blogs. I’m sure there is more I could tell you about my meeting with Frances, but it all escapes me now. I can’t wait until the next time I’m in NY and we get to hang out again.

Frances, I had a blast, you are absolutely fantastic!

Isn’t the blogosphere wonderful?

{May 9, 2008}   It’s a Boy!!
Swampy is hosting a Virtual Baby Shower for Karmyn over at Dreaming What Ifs, who is due to have her baby boy on May 23rd. I’m mostly a lurker over at Karmyn’s blog, but I love reading her posts, and thought, what better time to “out” myself then at her baby shower?

The thing is, I don’t have any kids. Therefore, I’m the “cool auntie” sort. You know, the one who shows up to the birthday parties and give the kid the drumset, or the super duper talking robot, or any other noise making or completely inappropriate toy. Because I can. Because I figure whenever it comes time for me to have my baby, they’ll all have forgotten the torture I inflicted upon them. (Yeah, I know, probably not, but hey, it’s fun now).

So, I figured, why not keep my streak going with this shower?

First of all, every baby should have a VIP shirt, don’t you think? (Click on the photos for additional information on any of these gifts)
Then, what’s a VIP baby without a nice pair of shoes?And of course, every baby needs a ride:
And for those moments when baby isn’t all smiles:

YOU REALLY must click on that photo…just as incentive, this is the “Baby Shiloh 3 Carat White Diamond Pacifier” – Price tag: $17,000. Thank goodness this is just a virtual shower.
Karmyn, I hope you and the baby enjoy all the blingy gifts. But more importantly I just want to wish you and your family all the best with this new baby boy. Congratulations!!!

{March 12, 2008}   A hug in a box.

My Ultimate Blog Party Post is here.

We live in a messed up world, full of crime, and hatred, negativity and misery, and it is sometimes easy to overlook the good, and focus solely on the bad. But every once in a while a fellow human being does something that re-affirms your faith in the beauty of humanity. With a simple gesture or two, some people can help restore the balance in the world, simply by thinking of others.

You’re getting all this rhetoric, simply because on Saturday night I received a hug in a box. Something that brought tears to my eyes for the the pure thoughtfulness of the gesture.

I arrived home from my day at the casino right around midnight, and was thrilled to find a box near my mailbox. When all you ever receive in the mail are bills and junk mail, getting anything that doesn’t fit into those two categories immediately brings a smile to your face. Because it was my birthday, I’d been getting birthday cards in the mail all week, but this was the first (and only) package. I read the return address, and was confused, and excited. Bella Bags. I had an idea what this was, but from whom, I couldn’t begin to guess.

So, imagine my surprise when I open up the box to find this:

Pretty ain’t it? I absolutely love it, and the colors and style couldn’t be more fitting for me (they even match my living room). But the best part? The little tag hanging there (which I tried to photograph, but after about 15 attempts and no luck, gave up) said “Happy Birthday Candid Karina, with much blog love from Sognatrice“. My blog buddy from Italy completely surprised me, and absolutely made my night (weekend).

Thank you again Sognatrice, I really was touched and am extremely grateful. I have no doubt that if we didn’t live on separate sides of the ocean, we’d be hanging out regularly. As it is, I’m so glad we get to be blog-buddies, you are one of a kind.

Just another wonderful way the blogosphere has blessed me.

Do yourselves a favor, and head on over to check out Sognatrice’s blog, it’ll become one of your favorite places to visit, I promise. Also, (edited to add) do check out Bella Bags by Marcia, where Sognatrice got that lovely bag from, they have some fantastic stuff!

And don’t forget to stop by Cafe Karina for this week’s recap of American Idol.

A while back I hosted an impromtu contest, and some of my unsuspecting readers and commenters were entered without even knowing it. Because the results were pretty much inconclusive, I decided to award all six entrants with a prize. I was going to merely do a post about why I love visiting each of the blogs belonging to the nominees, but after much thought, I realized that all six have one main thing in common, and that is that all of their blogs are honest, open, frank, sincere, outspoken…in a word “Candid” representations of who they are and what they think. So, I’ve decided to create my own Blog Award, the Candid Blogger Award, given to those bloggers I believe represent themselves in a refreshing and honest way.

And the Candid Goes to:

Frigga – Because she’s not afraid to state her opinions on everything from what music is crap to what she thought of a particular movie, to her political beliefs. I may not always agree with her, but I fully respect that she is a woman unafraid to speak (or blog) her mind, and has passion for everything she says. Besides, she loves Christian Slater, so how could I not love her?

Lil’Mouse – For posts like this one, where she managed to keep her civility (and that inherent niceness I like so much about her) even though the situation called for much stronger and angrier language (well, for me it would have that’s for sure). And really, simply because the last line in the post made me laugh out loud.

Ana – Because in posts such as this one, she lays it all out there for us to see, and yet, does it in such a poetic way that you read every word with anticipation of the next. And then there are the times she makes me laugh out loud with how easily she can turn the most mundane of situations into an art form, like here.

Lisa – Just her photography alone gives you a glimpse into what a beautiful person she must be to capture such beauty with her eye. And then you learn more about her and her amazing family, and you can’t help but be impressed. She is the true definition of candid and honest on her blog, and I am constantly amazed by her strength.

Joy T – I’m not going to lie to you, Joy’s is one of my favorite blogs to visit on my grumpy mornings, because as much as she tries to deny it, she is one of the funniest women I’ve “met”, even when she’s just telling you about her day. And she’ll try to tell you otherwise, she’ll also try to tell you she’s grumpy and mean, but that’s all a facade! Just ask Mushu. But I do love how she’s going to tell it like it is, and if you don’t like it, TOUGH, it’s her blog!

Pamela – who leaves me the greatest comments, and has the BEST blog header and name out there. With posts such as this one about her childhood, you get to learn about the Pamela of her youth, and with posts like this, about her grandkids, you get to laugh right along with the Rockin’ Grandma Pamela.

Enjoy it ladies, it’s well deserved. And don’t pass this one on, this one is just for you to hold onto and display proudly on your mantles…uh…sidebars. I wish I could do something fancy like give you html code so you could post the photo to your sidebar with a link back to my blog, but I have no idea how to post that information within a post without making it actual html code, so uh…yeah, whatever, just display it as a picture if you want to. 😉

For the rest of you, don’t be jealous, I just might bestow a Candid upon you when you least expect it.

Boy, what a few week’s it’s been in these here parts, with about 20 inches of snow delivered in the last week and half. We will certainly be having a White Christmas like we haven’t had in years.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, snow may make for beautiful postcard like scenery (and truly, my drive to and from work has never been more beautiful than it was this morning), but man is it ever a pain in the ass.

Anyway, onto the follow up. Fun Monday this week was all about the history of our homes. I read some fascinating stories traipsing through other’s posts, but didn’t really have much history to speak of about my little condo. So I just gave you the history of my life in the condo instead. Thank you all for your lovely compliments on the work I’ve done to the place, I really am proud of how it all came out. I got quite a few comments on how lovely the view is from my balcony, and it truly is a great view. I’m lucky with the location of my particular unit, some of the others in the building have a nice view of a wall or the parking lot. I took even more pictures of the snowy “hill” yesterday, I’ll post those maybe this weekend. By the way, Willowtree commented on my use of the word “Unit” to describe my apartment being unusual in the states. To be honest, it’s not widely used around here, but that is how it is listed on my deed, and I much prefer it to “apartment” because that makes it sound like I rent, and I prefer it to “condo” because that just sounds snotty ;-).

On Tuesday I reflected a bit about the spirit of Christmas. I’m still feeling it, even more so today, because as soon as I leave work I’ll be on vacation until Wednesday. A nice long Christmas break makes for even more of the “Holiday” spirit.

Now, Wordless Wednesday is the post I’m sure most of you were waiting for my follow-up on (okay, maybe two of you), so here it is…the story behind the house featured in those pictures. Normally, I would agree with those who commented that the “light display” was overkill, because truly, well…it is. But this house does it on purpose. It’s one of those houses that people come from far and wide to see. And the owners stand out there and take collections for various charities from the folks who drive by to check it out. It’s a local Christmas “phenomenon” and the owner is a well known guy in the town where I work. The pictures don’t even capture the magnitued of the light display, because the day I chose to go take the pictures was after our ice storm, and the road this house is on was beyond treacherous, so I took a few shots, but wanted to get the heck out of there before someone crashed into something (namely me). The next door neighbor has actually gotten in on the act, and so the display extends a bit into his property as well. It would appear “garish”, but it’s actually just really kind of cool and festive. And I’m lucky enough to drive by that road every night, and see the house as I go by.

All that said, I still wouldn’t want to live next door to them! 😉 Oh, and I definitely wouldn’t want to pay the light bill, which he also gets donations from local businesses, etc. for.

And finally yesterday I opted out of Thursday Thirteen and instead did a mini-tribute to my brother in honor of his birthday. I actually took yesterday off work so I could run some last minute “Christmas” errands, and we got a walloping 10 inches of snow, so that made for an interesting time trying to get around to run those errands. I’m happy to report I managed to get at least 80% of what I needed to do done, and with no major incidents to speak of. It did, however, take me twice as long to get just about everywhere, and we won’t even speak of the nightmare getting around parking lots was. Still, all my Christmas Shopping is done, and I’m presently wearing my new eyeglasses.

What eyeglasses you ask? OH, see, it’s become a personal Christmas tradition (or end of year tradition) that I go shopping for new eyeglasses around this time. This is because I participate in the pre-tax dollar program that’s offered as a benefit through my job. But through this program, if you don’t use the money by the end of the year, you lose it. And I always end up with extra money left over, and the money needs to be used on “medical” type things (or daycare, or other things that don’t apply to me). So, I go buy eyeglasses. Several years ago I developed some major issues with my eyes, and had to stop wearing contacts full time. I can still wear them from time to time, but my eyes are extra sensitive and after a few hours of wearing contacts, they get very red and irritated. So, I now wear glasses full time. Therefore, I figure that if I have to wear them full time, I might as well make them a stylish part of my outfit. After my visit yesterday I now own 6 pairs of eye glasses and two pairs of prescription sunglasses. And two of the pairs I bought yesterday? Channel and Burberry. Yep, I’m cool like that.

I’ll share pictures of my eyeglasses in a future post, cuz I’m silly that way and I want you to see them.

Also, dinner with the family last night for “Shortstuff’s” birthday was a nice time. We ate, we chatted, we laughed and we all acted like complete fools playing with Diamond, the puppy. Funny how a puppy can turn five grown humans into babbling idiots! She’s the cutest thing and we are all in love with her.

Today I am at work, but I can’t honestly say I’m “working”…I’m just going through the motions, waiting for clock-out time, so I can begin my Christmas weekend. I am off to help “Shopaholic” finish her Christmas shopping tonight, then my friend “Traveler” is flying in from Florida today, and we are going to a Boston Bruins game tomorrow afternoon. Sunday I will probably help mom with baking and preparations for Christmas, and Monday is our family’s big day, as we celebrate on Christmas Eve.

I will definitely post again before Christmas, but in case I miss you, have a WONDERFUL Christmas Everyone!!!

Last week I was too busy braving the crowds and getting some killer bargains to do my “Friday Follow-Up”. I apologize for this, but as we’ve discussed here, it was the shopping Olympics people! I train all year for this event, I’m not going to just sit at home and let it pass me by.

But, not to worry, we’ll just go back in time and review all the stuff I missed.

We’ll start with Saturday, November 17th. If you missed it, this is where I shared the story of my first kiss. Remember all the romance, the love, the perfectness of it all? You do? Well, then obviously you didn’t read my post…there was none of that involved folks. Kissing didn’t get any of those things for me until much later in my dating career. Qualcosa di Bello commented: “i wonder, as a mom to an 18 yr old & 19 yr. old ~ both beautiful girls…should i really be reading your stuff??” Worry not QDB, my stuff really is mild at best, at least until we get to the post college relationships. And the guys, for the most part? Harmless. Besides, if they’re your daughter, from what I know of you so far, then they’ve been raised right and have a good head on their shoulders, so they’ll be just fine!

Sunday, November 18th, I stuck with some silly blogthings quizzes and we found out I am 44% cynical, I am “Big Black Boots”, “Wedge Sandals”, and “Very Happy Being Single”. I could have told you the last one without a quiz! The cynical thing? I guess that’s accurate. But the big black boots and wedge sandals? Both a little too “bulky” for me, I like my shoes more slim and sexy…but, then, the quizzes weren’t really about shoes, were they. haha. Oh, and Frigga, no wonder we get along so well, we’re practically twins! Or not. haha

Fun Monday on November 19th was a fun one. Okay, they all are, that’s why we call them Fun Mondays after all, right? Still, it was fun taking a trip down memory lane and sharing some of the family stories that are repeated time after time within our families. I had so much fun reading everyone else’s tales. Tiggerlane said: “Too cute! And your mom – she is beautiful in those photos.Now I want to know the word for “ashtray!” – First off, mom thanks you. She really was a beautiful woman (still is), and I love old pictures of her. I’ll share more in the future. And as Willowtree said in his comment (smart guy he is looking it up on the web) the Portuguese word for ashtray is “cinzeiro“, I, in my four year old voice, used to call it “cinzello“. Oh and WT…stubbing cigarettes out in mashed potatoes? GROSS.

Tuesday, the 20th, I answered some of the questions posed to me by you, my lovely readers. I picked the silly ones for this particular post and had so much fun answering them. I’m glad everyone agreed with my coffee, chocolate and Johnny Depp choices. I mean, really, how could you go wrong?

Wednesday, the 21st, I posted pony pictures for Wordless Wednesday. Frigga, no, I do not have a pony of my own, but boy, it would be fun, wouldn’t it? The title was indeed a reference to the toys of our youth. I had “Megan and Sundance“, and I still sing that song from the commercial every time I hear the words “My Little Pony”….if only our memories held IMPORTANT stuff this long. Julia said “I’m so glad you seem to have your camera at the ready, Karina. I miss a lot of shots that way”. I never leave my house without my camera for that reason exactly Julia, because you never know what you’re going to drive past, you know?

Thursday Thirteen on Thanksgiving Day was, not surprisingly, all about giving thanks. I want to thank everyone who commented on that particular post, because you all had such nice things to say, so a little moment of “link-love” here: Adelle, Mom on the Go, jayedee, damozel, Linda R. Moore, Nicholas, and Qualcosa di Bello who said “you are blessed for sure & you are a blessing as well…especially to all your readers :D” How sweet is she? I truly am blessed though, in so many ways.

As we all know, I crapped out on Follow-Up Friday last week, because I was shopping. In keeping with NaBloPoMo, I posted, but it was just a short “here’s what I’m doing today” post, besides, I think everyone was in turkey comas that day, there wasn’t much blog traffic on Friday in these parts.

Saturday I spent with my friend “The Traveler” who was visiting from Florida, so not much blogging was done that day either. I posted, it’s NaBloPoMo, so I had to post, but…really, nothing to see here folks.

And Sunday wasn’t any less busy this past weekend, so you all got a fun little youtube video to entertain you. Haven’t seen it yet? Check it out.

And we’re back to Fun Monday again. This week it was all about our unfinished projects. Of course, after posting mine, I remembered a MAJOR unfinished project in my house that I didn’t share, but by then I was at work and couldn’t take photos, and well…you don’t really need to know about the wall in my living room that still needs some kind of crown molding or something to hide the quite obvious unfinished paint line against the ceiling, do you? Nope, didn’t think so. Now, I know Susan was trying to make me feel better by telling me that my kitchen wallpaper was “vintagey” and all, but uh….didn’t work. I still hate it. 😉

Tuesday I answered some more of your questions to me. This time I went with some of the more introspective ones. Turns out Frances shares my “head under water” phobia, and although I shouldn’t be happy about this, I kind of was giddy at the thought that someone else understood how I feel. I know it’s irrational, but phobias are irrational fears after all, aren’t they? It was also interesting to see how others could relate to the whole phobia thing in general. Unless you have a “TRUE” phobia, there is no way you can understand it though. That “panic” feeling is unlike anything else…so strange.

In my Wordless Wednesday this week I shared with you some drinks. These were drinks from dinner with “The Traveller” Saturday night. I had the Espresso Martini (oh yum) and she had some fruity concoction. The picture was taken with my new cell phone camera, and I’m impressed it turned out as decent as it did. Not bad. Lissa said: “I’m wondering is this what you’re going to do when you finish NaNo and NaBlo.”…Yeah, I didn’t wait, I did that on Saturday. I’ll celebrate again this weekend. 😉 Jannis recognized the place immediately by the glassware, saying: “before I saw the beverage napkin. I am a part time server at Applebees. ps I hope you had good service….” I actually had exceptional service Jannis. Our waitress was a real sweetie. In fact, in all my years of eating at Applebees, I’ve never had bad service at one.

On Wednesday I also shared my rejection story. Okay, technically I wasn’t rejected, as I didn’t really “put myself out there” to be rejected. Again, you were all so sweet with your comments…y’all make me feel so loved! Lissa said “Sounds to me like you’re better off – I mean an ex-girlfriend stalking him?” This could in fact be true…but then again, not entirely his fault that he has a psycho ex, right? Frigga said “Oh, and as for being a *new* girlfriend, it could be that he’s the one for you and you’ll just have to wait until the timing is better.” and Lisa said: “Damn – you waited this long and . . . well, maybe she’ll be a temp, you should check back with him next year. :)” — Good point ladies. After all, we’ve played the “once a year” game for 4 years now, what’s another year? hahaha

By the way, I’ve decided that just in case this “new girlfriend” is really new, and in the option of it not working out (not that I’m wishing that on anyone, but hey, these things don’t always work out, right?)…next time I have to send a complaint to the condo association (and it will happen as soon as we have a snowstorm, I’m sure), I’m going to send him a cc and include my phone number, you know, in case he needs to follow up with me or something…because he might have questions or something…WHAT? I’m just sayin‘… 😉

Yesterday, my Thursday Thirteen was a reflection back on the month of November. And what a month it has been.

So, this is it…NaBloPoMo – COMPLETED, and successfully accomplished. NaNoWriMo…not so much.

See you all in December!

I’ve been a bad bad blogger! Over the last few weeks (perhaps even months) a few of my fellow bluddies (blog+buddies=bluddies) have presented me with various awards and tokens of their appreciation for me as a fellow blogger. And I may have appeared ungrateful to them all, because I have not acknowledge these awards. Let it be known that I am absolutely grateful to each and every one of them for each and every one of these. I’ve had a draft “thank you” post going for a while, and yet kept getting sidetracked. But without furhter ado, I give you my awards, and the wonderful people who’ve nominated me. As well as some nominees of my own:

My girl JennieBoo (who has been away from her blog for a while due to an injury…I miss you Jennie and hope you are well and back soon!) awared me with this one. It is the You Make Me Smile Award. The creator of this award said: “the thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading their blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell, and I am grateful every day for each person that I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the top ten people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives that they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement. Please grab your badge and wear it(with a smile) proudly, and pass it on because you inspire and encourage me, thank you. So, now it is my turn to pass it on.” And Jennie said: “Thanks ladies, for your sweet, honest, wonderful “blogginess”! I am honored to be in the company of such great ladies….” Thank YOU Jennie, you have a heart as big as they come!

I’m going to hand this one off to the following bloggers:

Susan at A Slice of Life – Because her posts always make me smile. Read this for example…see what I mean?

Wicked H at Avert your Eyes – Because not only does she make me smile…she makes me outright laugh most days. Check out this post and you’ll see what I mean.

Beckie at Give it a Try – One Day at a Time – because I love her blog and posts like this one, and also because whenever she comments on any of my posts, she makes me smile.

I also was once again awarded with the “Nice Matters” award by the fabulous Frigga! (Jennieboo had previously presented me with this one as well).

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.”

Frigga went on to say about me that “This woman has a heart bigger than her shoe collection – and that’s pretty darn big!” Besides making me laugh out loud, it mad me all verklempt…Aww Shucks!
I’m passing this one on to:

Qualcosa Di Bello at Piacere, It is a Pleasure – because I just think she’s a nice person who totally deserves a “Nice Matters” award. If you read any of her posts, you’ll see exactly what I mean. Try this one for starters: Pretty in Pink
Also a while back I was also awarded this one:

by my buddie Literary Feline. At the time I promised to pass this one on in the future, but have yet to do so…today is that day, and it goes to:

Sognatrice at Bleeding Espresso – because of posts like this, and this and then ones like this…because not only does she think of others and what is going on in society around us, but then she gets us all involved in thinking about it (and discussing it) as well.
Also a while back, the lovely and wonderful Julia awarded me with a “Blogging Star” award.
“This award is for bloggers who shine their light throughout the Blogoshere. Some do it with humor, others with creativity, and others with their kind and thoughtful natures. We all know more than a few of them so why not give them some recognition?”

About me Julia said: “Karina is a two-blogger gal who posts her thoughts, photos and commentary on Candid Karina, and fiction on Creative Karina. Her poetry is fresh and unexpected, and her delight with shoes is quite contagious. Her Wordless Wednesdays got me started with a weekly feature I truly love. Shine on, Karina!”
About Julia I say: YOU JUST MUST visit her. Start with this post where she accepted her own awards, and handed them off to others, for just a peek at her creativity, and then stay and browse around. You’ll love her.
So, I’m handing off the Blogging Star award to:
Frances – because nobody deserves it more. Talk about a blogging star…not only does this lady have…umm…wait let me count them…SIX blogs of her own (I may be missing some here), but she also is our fearless leader in the She Who Blogs yahoo group, and heads up our She Who Blogs BLOG. And she does it all with such grace and finesse. She’s a SuperStar in my eyes.
Mushu at A Spot of T – Hey, this is the first time I’m giving an award to a blogging pet…but Mushu is such a superstar he deserves it…and he totally should have his own blog. Hopefully mom won’t be too jealous of his award, I wanted to give her the “Fabulous Award” but she just gave that one to me…so…

Last, but definitely not least, Joy T just awarded myself (and all my fellow SheWhoBloggers) with this one:

As I said above, I’m totally handing this one back to her, so Joy, consider yourself re-awarded.

I’m also going to give one to:

Julia at A Piece of My Mind – Because she is totally fabulous.
I could give many many more of these away, but I should totally get some work done now and stop playing around in the blogosphere.
This is not about quantity folks, it’s about quality, and all of the above are some QUALITY bloggers. Be sure to visit them, and tell them I sent ya!

Thank you EVERYONE for the lovely awards. I really love them and feel special for getting them!

Also, if you have also presented me with an award and I missed you, I SUCK I’m sorry, and please let me know so that I can properly thank you. (This goes for any memes you may have tagged me for that I have yet to respond to…please give me a gentle (GENTLE I SAID) reminder and I promise to respond.

et cetera