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Yep, it’s been three whole years since I started this blog. So much has happened in those three years, and I’ve managed to record and share a (very) small percentage of it here. I seriously doubt that anyone still reads this thing (and with my most recent extended absence I can hardly blame anyone but myself). The statistics on the year-end statement that WordPress so kindly sent me were abysmal. However, since I am really trying to have a more positive attitude and outlook this year, I will say that I managed to do an excellent job of not posting.

So, as I enter into a new calendar year and with it a new year of blogging, I hereby promise to do my best to post more than I did last year (an easy record to defeat), and to give anyone who happens by a more personal glimpse into my life, something I’ve managed to avoid up to this point. And since this is apparently my year for goal-setting and list-making, here are the four goals I’ve set for Monkey See, Monkey Do in 2011 (which just so happen to be alliterative):

2011 Goals


*paper image courtesy of Pugly Pixel

This pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling lately. I need more hours in my day. School is keeping me much busier than I had anticipated (thank god I only took three of the four classes I had planned to take). Our weekends have been booked pretty solid too. Take into account the number of trips I’ve made to our vet in the last month (Star refuses to get over her infection and Abi somehow managed a puncture wound requiring stitches) and I’m lucky to find time to eat or sleep (thank jebus for coffee). So what I’m trying to say here is that despite the many ideas I’ve had and wanted to share with all of you, time has not allowed me to do so. I’m hoping this changes soon ’cause I miss this place. Maybe I jump on board the 28 hour day bandwagon?

Last year we had a family of foxes that liked to hang out in our yard. This year we haven’t seen a one. Apparently we need a trampoline.

Have a great weekend!

Somehow, I managed to hurt my foot. I don’t even know what I did, but I’ve had to spend all week laying around trying to let it heal. And as appealing as that may sound, it’s about to drive me crazy.  So, here’s what I’ve been doing in order to keep my sanity (or what’s left of it).

  1. Playing with my new phone! I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally order new phones. I’d been using one of those cheap pay-as-you-go phones since my last phone broke during a trip home to Nebraska…over a year ago. Ridiculous. But J and I couldn’t decide what phones we wanted to get. Well, we finally settled on the HTC Aria, and so far I couldn’t be happier.
  2. Exploring Pinterest. Have you checked it out yet? (I have invites for anyone who’s interested.)
  3. Re-reading Fahrenheit 451.
  4. Speaking of books, I’ve been coveting several of the tees from Out of Print. Like these…
  5. Working on some new items for the ol’ handmade shop. I hope to have them posted soon.
  6. Blogging! This makes three in one week…Woohoo! I’m on a roll!

Have any of you heard of It’s a site where you can sign up to host parties featuring certain products or brands and in return you get that product for free. I signed up several months ago and have since hosted three parties. I posted about the first one here. The second featured Alexia products (which we happen to love). And the third, which I hosted on Saturday, was a Hasbro sponsored game night. The party pack they sent us included three games: Taboo, Catchphrase, and a new Trivial Pursuit game coming out in August called Bet You Know It, as well as some snacks. I was pretty impressed with the new TP game. The questions weren’t as difficult as those of other versions I’ve played (which is nice when there are margaritas involved), and they added the option of betting on your opponents ability to answer the question. If you bet correctly, you get points with which you can buy pie pieces. The set up is also a little different and makes the game go much faster. I would totally recommend it.

I don’t usually like to promote these kinds of things here, but I have to say that having these parties has been so much fun! It does take a bit of a time commitment for each party, and you won’t necessarily be chosen as a host for every party you apply for, but for me, it’s been worth it. Check it out if you get the chance!

It’s rainy and icky here, so my plans for the day involve one of these…

image source

a couple of these…

image source

and a lot of this…

guilty pleasures + laziness = making the best out of a crappy day

**I actually wrote this last week, but just realized today that it never published. I’m not sure what the deal was, but I’m sharing it with you now!**

Spring is here! And not a moment too soon. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here lately, and I am loving every minute of it. I’ve been spending as much time as possible outdoors. We’ve started some of our yard work, preparing the beds, clearing leftover leaves and twigs from the lawn, trimming some trees and bushes. Our yard can be a little overwhelming at times, and the growing things, both wanted and unwanted, can very quickly get out of hand. So we’re starting earlier this year and hoping that we’ll do a better job of managing everything than we did last year.

April is also the month when I usually assess our “green” status. I think about areas where we may have slipped over the year and new things we could be doing to live more earth-friendly. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, and it’s something I’m hoping to share with you over the next few weeks. Maybe together we can learn and grow, becoming more conscious of how our actions affect the earth. Would you like that?

In the mean time I wanted to share a site and store I recently stumbled upon. It’s called The Victory Garden of Tomorrow, and it’s an art project created by Joe Wirtheim. Here’s what it says on his website:

“VGoT is an art project posing as a propaganda campaign for new, American homefront values. The message style draws from American mid-century homefront propaganda, and the messages essentially draws from 21st century needs as found in the current environmental sustainability movement. The campaign is designed to access America’s history of ingenuity to overcome adversity, and apply those values to fighting modern problems.”

Very cool idea, and amazing results! I’m thinking a set of four would look great in my kitchen. See more of the available prints in Joe’s shop.

Hello there folks. I’m doing a little housekeeping around the ol’ blog. You know, tidying up the sidebars, adding a few links, maybe changing the banner. So if you stop by sometime in the next few days and things look a little funny, know that they will soon be back in order, and then once again all will be right with the world.

Today I added a link to my tumblr. It’s something I’ve been meaning to share with you for quite some time. Essentially it’s just a storehouse for things I find on blogs, websites, etc. that I find interesting or inspiring. I rarely add any words. Sometimes things from tumblr find their way over here and become full-fledged blog posts. But most often they’re just there to remind me of something I saw and wanted to remember. Feel free to browse around. 🙂

Holy be-jebus! I can’t believe another week has gone by. I seriously have the best of intentions when it comes to this blog, but for one reason or another, I can’t seem to find the time and/or resources to do the things I plan. I am incredibly frustrated with myself. And as much as I hate to give you another “quick update” post, it seems to be all I’m capable of at the moment. So here’s a lovely bulleted list of the goings on as of late. (Yay for bulleted lists!…right?)

  • One of the many things I lost when my hard drive crashed was software. I had iLife and Photoshop before (graciously installed by the person who gifted J the laptop) but now am forced to find other (cheaper) alternatives to photo editing, storage, and organization. Any suggestions?
  • The good news is that a guy J works with is a certified data retrieval specialist (or something like that), and he has offered to take a look at the dead drive for free! Yay! So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will be able to retrieve some of what was lost.
  • To prevent this situation from ever happening again, J and I made a trip to our local Fry’s last weekend and purchased an HP MediaSmart server and an additional 1 terabyte drive. Both of our computers are now doubly backed-up automatically every hour. Another bonus to having a server is that our printer is now networked, so I can print wirelessly from anywhere in the house (something I’ve been asking for since I bought the printer…two years ago). The server also automatically finds pictures, movies, and music on our computers and saves them to separate folders which are accessible from anywhere…including our PS3. Pretty cool stuff. And a wise investment, indeed. (Oh, and to those of you who actually know what any of this stuff is, I apologize for my layman’s description…and to the rest of you, sorry to bore you with geek talk 🙂 )
  • Finally, I have kind of a big announcement…well, big for me anyway, not so much for you…drum roll, please….I’ve decided to go back to school. Well, actually I’ve already started classes. Last week was my first week in the Library Science Master’s program at the local university. I’m super excited to finally get my master’s degree and to know what I want to be when I grow up. I honestly can’t believe it took me so long to figure this out. I think I was born to be a librarian. So, that’s part of the reason I’ve been busier than usual lately. I’m taking a full load, 12 credit hours, all evening classes so that the pups won’t have to be here alone for long (at least until we get a fence installed) and so that I can still look for daytime work. Everything’s going great so far, and I should be able to finish by May of 2011! I already can’t wait to graduate and get working!
  • Okay, I lied, there’s one more thing I wanted to share with you, just because I can’t bring myself to leave another post without a picture, despite my lack of editing software. Here’s what I did with my birthday money last month:

An espresso machine! I’ve been wanting one for, well, years, and I’d had my eye on this particular one for months. So when it went on sale at Amazon, I snatched it up. And let me tell you, it works like a dream. I was having a little trouble with exploding coffee grounds at first, but I think I’ve remedied the problem (user error, go figure). Now I can enjoy pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas any time of the year! Woohoo! A big thank you to all of you who made this dream possible. I couldn’t have done it without you! Mwah! (that’s supposed to be me blowing all of you a kiss 🙂 )

Just wanted to pop in to say that my laptop situation has been remedied, and regular posts should resume very soon. We purchased a new hard drive, but so far have been unable to retrieve anything from the old one. There’s one more thing we can try, but it’s sort of a last resort, so we’re thinking it over before making a decision. So I’m literally starting the new year with a blank slate. I have to admit that it’s kind of refreshing…if I don’t think too hard about all the work lost. Oh well, lesson learned.