Monday, May 31, 2010

Blog Journal: Day 18

Question: What do you collect?

Answer: Well, besides dust bunnies, there aren't a ton of things I collect. I guess you could say that I collect books. I love, love, LOVE reading, and OFTEN buy new books. I have TONS that I have NO IDEA when I'll actually get to read. And that's in addition to the ones I've agreed to review for my book blog, Proud Book Nerd! I also collect unicorn figurines. Not childish ones, but ones that are elegant, beautiful, breathtaking. If they have wings, even BETTER!

Up Next: A list of 20 things you love (or 20 of your favorite things).


Product Review: Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid Daily Sunblock

I was accepted to review Neutrogena UltraSheer® Liquid Daily Sunblock, and I'm glad I was. As promised, it is light and weightless. Once my skin soaked it in, I couldn't tell I had anything on. My face didn't feel sticky or like there was anything on it. In fact, I often forgot that I had anything on in the first place! Another thing I really like is that it didn't leave me smelling like I was wearing sunscreen. I couldn't smell it once it was absorbed into my skin. I liked that – it didn't affect my ability to smell the roses that just bloomed in our garden, or anything else I wanted to smell. All of this and it's SPF 70 with UVA/UVB protection! I love it.

I will say that I'm not much of a makeup wearer, and haven't tried it under makeup yet. But, with how light it was and the fact that my face didn't look/feel like it had anything , I believe the claim that it "layers invisibly under makeup."

Do you want to try UltraSheer®, too? Go to to apply to be a reviewer (you don't have to have a blog). Or, you can get $2 off your UltraSheer® purchase at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for free for review purposes from Tidal Labs. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Getting To Know You 5/30

To play, copy the questions, answer them, post them, go back to Mann Land 5 and link up. That's it!

1. Have you ever snooped around someone else's house?

2. Can guys and girls be friends?
Eh. Depends on the guys and the girls – and the situation.

3. Can you curl your tongue?

4. Have you ever stolen anything?

5. Would you rather talk on the phone or text?

6. Memorial Day plans?
Just hanging out. My mom's visiting, so we'll visit with her, too.

7. What do you do to relax?
Read, listen to music, get a massage, read ...

8. Do you do anything to honor those that have died fighting for our freedom?
Not really. 


Worship and Praise Sunday: Trading My Sorrows

I have missed this meme – a LOT. I'm glad to be able to participate this week! :-)

This is Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans. This was one of the first songs I got to sing as part of the choir at our church. LOVE this song. LOVE it!

If you wanna play, there's a Linky HERE.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sunday Stealing: The Just Because Meme

Taken from the Sunday Stealing blog! :-)

1. Make a list of 5 things you can see without getting up.
Dr Pepper, a pen, day calendar, Boogie Wipes, several books

2. How do you style your hair? How often do you cut it?
Style: It usually ends up in a ponytail or loose bun. Cut: Not very often at all.

3. What are you wearing now?
Brown shorts and a T-shirt

4. What's your occupation? Do you like it?
Stay-at-home mom, and yes, I do like it.

5. When was the last time that you took a nap? Was there a special reason?
Sometime during the past few weeks. No special reason.

6. Who was the last person you hugged romantically?
My husband.

8. What was the last full meal that you ate?

9. What was the last email that you received?
Um ... not sure. I haven't checked e-mail in several hours. The last one I read was an alert from The Chicago Tribune saying Dennis Hopper died.

10. What one website do you always visit when you go online?

11. What was the last significant thing you bought?
Define significant. Do you mean expensive or important?

12. What musical artist did you not get at first, but then became a fan?

13. What did you think about before you go to bed last night?
I don't remember.

14. What was the last CD you bought?
I just ordered three from, one of which is the soon-to-be-released Born Again by the Newsboys.

15. What is your favorite weather, and why? What's the weather like today?
I LOVE spring/summer rain. LOVE it. Even better if it's a thunderstorm. Today was GORGEOUS, but hot.

16. If you could have a special artistic talent, what would it be?
I could sing perfect pitch with a STRONG voice.

17. Did you watch the Idol 9 finale? If yes, what are your thoughts?

18. What's something you'd like to say to someone right now?
There's nothing I can think of.

19. Any special plans for this (holiday in the States) weekend?
Not really. My mom's coming out, but we don't have concrete plans.

20. Besides your current S/O, who was the last person that you loved romantically?
Gosh, that was a LONG time ago. I loved a boy in high school. Loved him for years. But he's gone.


Blog Journal: Day 17

I think that after this I'm all caught up ... for now.

The Question: What are your pet peeves?

My Answer: I hate this question. Because it makes me feel like a mean bitch. You see, I'm not the most tolerant of people. So, I'll make a short list – listing them all would take too long ...
  • Whiny kids – yes, even my own.
  • People driving BELOW the speed limit.
  • People not using their turn signals when driving.
  • Fake people.
  • Complete disregard for proper English (in writing – I can ignore it during verbal communication). If you can't spell (your ≠ you're!!!!!) or use proper capitalization/punctuation, perhaps writing isn't for you. Also, unless you're TEXTING via cell phone, DO NOT use TEXTING abbreviations when writing to me. Ever!
And I'm gonna stop now! LOL

Up Next: Collections. Share stories and/or photos of things you collect. (Can I take pics of the dust bunnies under my bed?)


Blog Journal: Day 16

The question: What is my worst habit?

My answer: Honestly, I'd like to plead the Fifth on this one. I really would. Bad habits are embarrassing to admit to, and I hate sharing stuff like that. But, I suppose that would be a cop out. It wouldn't be in the spirit of doing this Blog Journal thingy!

If I had to pick, it's hard. I procrastinate – HORRIBLY. If I don't have an ACTUAL deadline for something, chances are HIGH that it won't get done. And, I hate to admit it, but that's likely tied to laziness. If I HAVE to do something, HAVE to, I do. But, I value my time to myself, pursuing my own interests, enjoying myself. I don't wanna give that up if I don't have to ...

I also swear. I'm MUCH better about it than I used to be, but it's still too much. Especially when I get overly emotional and the filter gets compromised ...

Coming soon: What are your pet peeves?


Five Question Friday ~ On Saturday

Another one I'm late on ...

1. Is there something you've always wanted to try but just can't muster up the courage to actually do yet?
Sure. A lot of things, actually. I'm not kidding when I say I'm shy to a fault!

2. If you had $100 handed to you in cash without your significant other knowing about it, what would you spend it on?
A massage and pedicure. Either that or getting my hair done – cut, styled, AND colored.

3. What was your favorite piece of playground equipment as a child?
The tire swing.

4. Do you prefer a sweet or hearty breakfast?
If we're talking AT breakfast, then sweet. If we're saying breakfast for lunch/dinner, then a mix of both.

5. Are you a Neat Freak or a Messy Bessy?
A neat-freak at heart, but a messy Bessy in practice. I USED to be a big-time stickler about keeping things clean. Then I had babies ...


Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up in the Linky provided by Mama M.

No blog? That's alright!! Just answer the questions in the comments of anyone's blog along the way...this is a fun, easy way to get to know your fellow bloggers!

Questions for Friday, May 28 (repeated for easier copying):1. Is there something you've always wanted to try but just can't muster up the courage to actually do yet?
2. If you had $100 handed to you in cash without your significant other knowing about it, what would you spend it on?
3. What was your favorite piece of playground equipment as a child?
4. Do you prefer a sweet or hearty breakfast?
5. Are you a Neat Freak or a Messy Bessy?


Small Talk Six: Flower Power

This week's topic is flowers. Share your top 6 favorite flowers. Per the rules, you can do a list of 6, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 sentences, etc. This week, 6 photos (all from

1. Lilacs ~ For one, they're PURPLE. But, more importantly, they smell AWESOME!
2. Lily ~ Not just any lily. This is the closest pic I could find to what my favorite lily is. I only know it as naked-lady lily. (I'm afraid to Google that ...) They're pink. The leaves grow early in the summer, then several weeks later the flowers (TALL stalks) appear and bloom. Naked – no leaves.

3. Columbine ~ I LOVE how different they are from the "typical" flower.

4. Gerbera Daisies ~ I hadn't even heard of these before I worked in a flower shop for a few months during college. I think they're beautiful!

5. Bird of Paradise ~ In case you can't tell, I love flowers that are somewhat exotic and/or unusual. While I can appreciate roses, tulips, daffodils, irises, etc., I am drawn to flowers that are unique and different from what is often typically seen. I LOVE these, and they're even better in person than via photo!

6. Bleeding Heart ~ I love hearts, and these flowers just amaze me!

Wanna play? Check out the post HERE for this week's links and more detailed information on how Small Talk Six works.


Friday Fill-Ins ~ On Saturday, of course


1. Turkey and cheese sandwich and potato chips -- the best food to take on a picnic.
2. Summer is AWESOME.
3. I LOVE flip flops.
4. To love someone is to care more about them than about yourself.
5. I do not fancy taking a long hike.
6. When I crave food, it's usually chocolate – or salty.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching a movie with Mr. Ham, tomorrow my plans include visiting with my mom and Monday (Memorial Day), I want to sleep in a little then enjoy more time with my mom before she goes home!

This week's post is HERE.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Sign up to review sunblock

I was recently accepted to be a reviewer of Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid Daily Sunblock. The product information (as provided by Neutrogena):
Neutrogena UltraSheer® Liquid Daily Sunblock, available in SPF 70 and 55. It's a breakthrough liquid sunblock so lightweight you won't believe it delivers superior sun protection. It's waterproof, sweatproof and won't clog your pores.

UltraSheer Liquid daily sunblock has a water-light texture that spreads easily over skin, absorbing instantly for a weightless feel and look. It provides an even, non-shiny finish that works beautiful alone or under makeup. This product also contains Helioplex® technology for superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
I can't share my review yet, but I have used it a couple of times now and I do like it. I'll tell you all about it when I can! Anyway, for more info on signing up, click on the graphic:


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blog Journal: Day 15

The subject for this entry is the Bucket List. Emma wants to know your top 5 bucket-list items. I recently posted a short list of my top two BL items. I'll start with those, and go from there.

My list, in no particular order:
  1. Help my children find Christ and become saved. If I accomplish nothing else, I will be happy with just this. I want to spend eternity with them in Heaven!
  2. Vacation in Hawaii. For as long as I want. Relaxing on the beach. Reading lots of good books. Not doing anything or going anywhere I don't want to do or see.
  3. Get 100% out of debt, and stay that way!
  4. Go to Italy. I wanna see Rome, Venice, etc. 
  5. See Ireland, England, etc.
Next up: What is your worst habit?


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blog Journal: Day 14

(If you can't read it very well, click on it to see it at its full size!)

See more of today's entries HERE.

Tomorrow's topic: Top 5 on the Bucket List ...


Tune-In Tuesday #10 ~ Or Not

You thought I was gonna forget again, didn't you? I fooled you! ;-)

But, of course, technical difficulties are making it near impossible for me to post something. Grooveshark doesn't want to load, and YouTube doesn't either! :-\ If I think of it, I'll try to post again either tonight or later this week. If not, it'll be next week. Sorry! It's been a couple of hours with no luck for me! :-\


Blog Journal: Day 13

The current question is: What is my ideal age?

This is something I honestly never thought about. And my first thought is, I don't know! When I thought about it, 25 seemed like it. I have no idea why. Maybe that's because that's when I last was thin, and so I equate it with better things. I dunno.

Next entry: A photo of you in the area in which you blog. Yikes. LOL

To see other entries on the idea age, check out the Linky HERE.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Blog Tour & Book Review: More than Conquerors

I had agreed to review this book prior to starting Proud Book Nerd. As such, the expectation is that it'll be posted here at Ramblings & More. I believe that this is the last book review I'll do here on Ramblings, but I am not 100% certain.

Title: More than Conquerors

Author: Kathi Macias

Author Bio: Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer and radio show host who has authored 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

You can find Kathi online at and at her blog

Book Summary: With violent crime on the rise and the political climate changing throughout Mexico, the opportunity for open Christian witness is rapidly decreasing in many areas. Hector Rodriguez pastors a church on the outskirts of the once-peaceful and tourist-popular border town of Tijuana. He has also visited other small churches in the remote and not-so-Christian-friendly towns of Chiapas state, delivering Bibles and ministering to those in the most persecuted areas.

Hector’s mother accompanied him on one of those trips and stayed behind to teach reading—using the Bible as her primer—to a handful of Christian converts living among the Mayan population in San Juan Chamula, where superstition and paganism run rampant, and resentment of outsiders runs deep. In a reaction to that superstition and resentment, Hector’s mother pays a serious price for her unwanted presence—and Hector must then choose whether or not to continue his work in some of the most dangerous areas of Mexico.

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Extreme Devotion Series, and I like it better than the first. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I do. Perhaps because, while there still was violence, it wasn't nearly as violent as the first one, No Greater Love. This story highlighted the hope we have in Christ, and how God can reach anyone – even those people might consider the most unlikely candidates for conversion. While the family featured in this goes through much pain and loss, there also are great reasons for celebration. We also see that God truly does work everything out according to His plan. My favorite thing was seeing how God protected His people later in the story. The characters were likable and their devotion to God was inspiring. I found myself wanting to hear from God as clearly as these people do. I do feel I must say that the editing was sub-par. There are a couple of instances when the pronoun used didn't make sense, and I had to guess that it should be "she" instead of "he" – or vice versa. There also were some missing quotation marks and missing paragraph breaks. I read this book for enjoyment, but found these errors distracting. That said, overall this was an enjoyable story filled with hope and inspiration.

Source: Sent for review.

Book Trailer: I've seen these on other blogs, and thought I'd see if there's one for this book. There is.

Own It: Get your copy of More than Conquerors HERE.

If you enjoyed this and would like to read more of my reviews, please join me at Proud Book Nerd.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blog Journal: Day 12

If I could go back and change one thing in my life, what would it be?

So, how about you? What would you change?

To see other entries from today, check it out HERE.

Come back tomorrow to see my answer to the next question: What do you think is the ideal age to be?


Sunday Stealing: The Voice Post Meme

This one is too fun not to do every week! Taken from the Sunday Stealing blog! :-)

1) What's your middle name?

2) How old are you?

3) Where are you from? Are you living there right now?
I am from the Chicago suburbs. I do not live there right now.

4) Is it cold where you are?
Not in the least bit. At 7:36 p.m., it's 87ยบ! 

5) What's the time?
See above: 7:36 p.m.

6) What are you wearing?
Shorts and a tank top.

7) What was the last thing you listened to?
Cyberchase as Abby watched it.

8) What was the last thing you ate?
A Club Lulu from Jimmy John's

9) What was the last thing you watched on TV?
Last night we got caught up on Lost. We'll be watching the end of it all once the kids are in bed.

10) What's your favorite tv show? Why?
Lost ~ It's so interesting, suspenseful, thought-provoking, fun ...
24 ~ The suspense
Private Practice ~ Who doesn't need a little drama? ;-)

11) Quick! Find a book, or something with text on it! Flip to a random page and post the second paragraph's first sentence.
He pushed a basket of bread and an olive oil dip across to her. ~ Page 176 in The Last Christian by David Gregory
12) What was the last movie you saw? How was it?
13 Going on 30. It was cute. 

13) Do YOU think you have an accent? Where do people in your country do people speak with strong accents?
I don't think I have an accent, but I'm sure elsewhere in the country I would be perceived as having one. I don't get that second question, so I'm gonna ignore it ...


Blog Journal: Day 11

Another late one.

This one is about where I live. Pictures have been requested, but I'm not sure I have any of my home – or home area – on my computer. So, I'll also look online, see if I can come up with any.

I live in an area of the U.S. called the Quad-Cities. It's an area that encompasses cities/towns in both Illinois and Iowa. It's actually a gorgeous area – lots of hills, the river and bluffs, trees, etc. Unfortunately, I can't find any pics of our actual house, but here are some pics/images of/about our area.

This first image is a map of where exactly our community is located. I'm not sure why so many counties are red, as only the two touch on either side of the Mississippi River are part of the "official" Quad-Cities.

This one is an aerial shot of the area. The river toward the top is the Mississippi River. The other river is called the Rock River. We are looking north. Yes, that is accurate. North. In this particular area, the Mississippi River bends in such a way that it runs east-west, and Iowa is north of Illinois. The island in the Mississippi River is called Arsenal Island. There's an Army base there, and it's where Mr. Ham works (for the Army Corps of Engineers).

This is Lock and Dam 15. On the right is the Rock Island Arsenal (island), and the bridge is crossing the Mississippi into Iowa.

Centennial Bridge, looking toward Davenport, Iowa.

This is the area in which I live. My husband and I both actually are from the Chicago suburbs, but his job brought us here. It's good – cheaper to live here. Plus, it's beautiful here and MUCH less congested, population wise.


Head on over to Toddler Awesome if you wanna play along and/or read others' blog journals. The next question is: If you could change something about how you have lived your life so far, what would it be?


Friday, May 21, 2010

Blog Journal: Day 10

Today's question: What are you afraid of?

My answer: More things than I should be. As a born-again Christian, I should have no fear. I should be able to fully 100% trust in God for EVERYTHING. And, believe me, I'm trying! But, there are still things that get to me. I actually recently posted about my fears. So, rather than rewriting it, here's a link:
Top Five Fears

I would add a few things to the list: rejection, abandonment, failure. To name a few.

Fear is something I've always really, really struggled with. In fact, I used to love scary (and not just horror flicks, but supernatural thrillers, too) movies, but decided a few years ago that it was not something I should do. I struggle enough with fear, why invite it in like that? Since then, I've been a LOT better. It's still a struggle, though.


Head on over to Toddler Awesome if you wanna play along and/or read others' blog journals. Tomorrow will be all about where we live.

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