Monday, June 27, 2016

A Masterpiece + #MyPostMonday Link-up

Our untold potential lays dormant, waiting for us to make of ourselves what we have the potential to do. We have the power within to mold something spectacular. No excuses. It doesn't happen overnight. But we are eternal beings of intelligence and light. We have the ages on our sides. Each stage of life holds an opportunity if we but take hold of it. Just as beauty is created from opposing forces of nature, so is the soul. Take the things that happen which are painful, cataclysmic, and searing to render a masterpiece!

Image by Kris Moffitt
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for original, non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos! Sponsored posts are great and I appreciate the information from well-written and authentic sponsored posts, I write them myself! But this linky is for non-sponsored posts because they are all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows. It's not about a specific brand and what it compensates the blogger to promote! If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase! (Affiliate links welcome!)

Time To Focus On You! #Lifereimagined

Do you feel like you haven't accomplished the goals you had when you were younger because you were the one that took care of everyone else? Did life happen and, darn it, there just wasn't time or energy to accomplish those dreams right then? Don't beat yourself up, you did the right thing. But now, it's time for you!!! You have the chance right now to achieve every dream you ever wanted to. But it does take a little planning, a little guidance, and a little self-analyzing.

Don't throw your mid-life years away because they can be the most fulfilling years yet!
Affiliate links may be used to support this site! Thanks for your support!
 Here are some things you can do to get yourself on the fast track to health, happiness, and success!

1) Take an inventory of your assets: What do you have that you can use to further your goals? Do you have a car, house, property, an insurance plan, retirement benefits? Take stock of everything, no matter how small.

2) Take an inventory of your wisdom: What have you learned that you didn't know 20 years ago? You realize, of course, that time has given you some amazing knowledge that younger people can't take advantage of? Usually what younger people know in theory, they still have to learn in the school of hard knocks. You've been there!

3) What are some things you'd like to learn? Take a class, do some research, take some time to find out that you can build on what you already know and become an expert in the fields you're already interested in.

4) Separate myth from truth. There are a lot of fact vs. fiction bytes of information going around. Figure out which ones are true and which aren't. If you have a dream about traveling somewhere, don't just assume you can't do it! If you want to achieve the best relationship you've ever had, do it!

 
A great place to do all of this is through a website called 'Life Reimagined' It is literally a blueprint to help people figure out what it is they want to do and give them the tools to show them how to do it.  I love how you can go into the website and click Explore.  Read articles about work, relationships, and well-being. Find out about events near you. Find out how the program works. You can also choose to try the whole program out for a week for free and talk to a professional life coach just to get you started, sifting through what may be unnecessary baggage you're holding on to! I love this idea and think anyone can benefit from these tools. But not everyone has the wisdom to take advantage of what this program offers. Check it out and let me know what you discover!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

5 Empowering Ideas To Uplift Your Family #UpliftFamilies

Every family is different with a lot of different personalities, ages, likes and dislikes. But they're still ours and it's the greatest when we can come together and support each other, no matter how crazy we are!
Affiliate links may be used to help support this site! Thanks for your support!
 One of the best resources I've seen for parenting in one spot is Uplift Families, a special initiative and non-profit organization developed by Utah First Lady, Jeanette Herbert. Over her lifetime, Jeanette has always been interested in children, whether it was her own children or grandchildren or those of others whom she took a special interest in throughout her life. So it comes as no surprise that through her influence as wife to Governor Gary Herbert, her dream of helping, inspiring and lifting families has come to fruition! Every year, during late summer there is the Uplift Families Conference, a full-scale, entertaining, educational event, complete with food! It is held at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT and is such a gala affair! I was privileged to attend Uplift Families in 2015 and am now looking forward to attending again in August 2016!


Experts of all kinds have weighed in on this site. There are full-length talks from experts in every field called TIPS Talks (Teaching Important Parenting Skills), articles from experts and other experienced parents, and a calendar of events to support and uplift families. So many ideas and available avenues to help and inspire! Just click the age of your child, the category, and the resource for individualized guidance on your own child! (Note: Although the information on this site is pertinent to all families everywhere, certain resources on the site may be Utah specific)


5 Empowering Ideas 
In perusing the Uplift Families Site, I picked up these 5 tips that I thought were interesting and helpful in raising children. And believe me, there are 100's more!

1) Children are atmospheric travelers. Just like an airplane that is dependent upon the atmosphere around it to fly in safety (or not), so is a child's development dependent on what surrounds them. If they are surrounded by parents who talk to them early and often, they are talkers. If they are surrounded by other children that hit and bite, they learn to hit and bite. If they are left in front of a screen, they are content to be disconnected to people and connected to screens instead. Good atmospheres and bad atmospheres are equally as powerful!! --Nicholeen Peck

2) A surefire way to mess your kid up emotionally is to put down your child's other parent. If married, never show any kind of affection and/or scream and yell at each other. If divorced, remain cold, distant, bitter, angry, and while you're at it send overt and subtle messages to your child that he/she is to blame for the divorce. So, whether or not you agree with the other parent, you should try and give them the benefit of the doubt especially in front of your children. It will help them more than you will ever know!  --Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW

3) Reward For A Job Well Done - Children thrive on positive praise and one-on-one attention. They love these as rewards possibly even more than material gifts. When you want to achieve positive and lasting results, honest praise and one-on-one attention are great incentives!!! --Adhis Boucha

4) Real Super Heroes Are The Best Super Heroes! Examples of great role models who overcame much and succeeded can truly play authentic roles in our children's lives. They give concrete examples of what they did, how they did it and who helped them accomplish whatever their goal was. Children need real-life examples to help them succeed! Thank goodness we have plenty to draw from!  --Merrilee Boyack

5) Knowing your child's Love Language can help empower them and make you more successful as a parent. Gary Chapman has written several best-selling books on just that--knowing your loved one's love language.  It starts early, in childhood, and is innate to that individual throughout their life! One child may want concrete evidence of your love, even if it just means bringing him home a rock. Anther child could need praise and positive reinforcement from you and another needs hugs and kisses! When your kids feel happy and content because they're feeling appreciated, then your day is also less stressful and you feel more rewarded as a parent! --Nicole Carpenter



 
The Uplift Families Conference will be held on August 27, 2016. Please stay tuned for discount codes to the event and more details! Keynote Speakers will be Richard and Linda Eyre, National best-selling authors, speakers, and Founders of  'Joy School'!

Follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram to keep up on all the news!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Love The Journey + #MyPostMonday Link-Up

Today is the first day of summer, or summer solstice, and it came at the right time I'd say, reaching almost 100 degrees today. June is also Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness month and so I'm thinking about my mom, who I lost way too early, 7 1/2 years ago, to Alzheimer's Disease. Luckily, she didn't have to endure the disease in its entirety because she also had a weakened heart from rheumatic fever she had as a child. Instead of doing major heart surgery, the family opted to let her heart run its course naturally because her Alzheimer's was starting to ravage her mind. It was such a hard thing to do. She suffered a bit at the end because she refused to take her medications because she thought they were bad for her.  It was hard to see her forget some of the names of her children or leave the house on a walk and get hopelessly lost. I remember she still tried to make meals, but eventually my dad took over because it was hard for her to blend the correct ingredients.

I believe she had early-onset Alzheimers because even in her fifties she was a little slow about making decisions, getting things done, or recounting experiences. But she was so wise! I relied on her advice so much. 

Sometimes I wonder if I will come down with the disease, since I am her daughter and it is hereditary. However, I learned that less than 10% of Alzheimer's cases are from heredity.  

That's so life!---We can be fighting battles to succeed, have goals and dreams of what life will be like. But there is never a guarantee that it will be the dreamed-about ending. I'm going out on a limb and saying that it almost never is.

That is why the journey is so important, and learning and enjoying it while you go! If you forget to enjoy the things that you experience while you are on the journey, it may be that when you reach the end, you'll have lived a lesser life. I think that is why my philosophy is to learn and grow, with as many resources as possible. But growing to the point that you are not instilling self-imposed suffering. I say, be kind to yourself, as well as to others. Life is too short for bad vibes!!

Yes, my mom was so dear to me and I learned so much through her example. We lost her too soon, however. I know she made my journey brighter. May we live each day to appreciate our journey! Who do you know and appreciate who enjoys the journey and makes your life better through knowing them?
Image - Gavin Schofield
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for original, non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos! Sponsored posts are great and I appreciate the information from well-written and authentic sponsored posts, I write them myself! But this linky is for non-sponsored posts because they are all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows. It's not about a specific brand and what it compensates the blogger to promote! If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase! (Affiliate links welcome!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Now Is The Time!! #LifeReImagined

Many people think that mid-life is when their relevance is no longer impactful and that they need to start thinking about putting themselves out to pasture. This is the biggest fallacy out there and once you realize that, you can change your life for the better and make your middle years the best ever! I've become happier with each year over 45 that I achieve. I don't know what it is, maybe a slowing down of those ever-present, ever-lurking hormones? I am, however, thankful that I do have my health. Health, at any age, is such a gift!
 Affiliate links may be used to help support this site, at no cost to you.

Naturally, when one enters one stage of life from another, for instance, from childhood to the teenage years, there is an awkward period until one can learn to adjust. The same goes with adults. When we evolve from young adulthood to parenthood, we need to adapt to our new circumstances. Finally from adulthood to mid-life, another readjustment is required. Many people don't know how to make the transition into mid-life and they settle for inactivity or under-achievement, prematurely starting down the road to old age.

"You call it mid-life crisis, I call it meaning crisis" says motivational speaker and co-author of the book, Life Reimagined: Discovering Your New Life Possibilities.  Based on the concepts of this book, AARP has designed their program called....wait for it...'Life Reimagined' around people who feel they may not have accomplished what they meant to accomplish in their earlier lives and even those who are happy with what they have accomplished but don't know which direction they'd like to take next. They show people that mid-life is a time to do the things they never thought they could in any other stage of their lives.

 
The program addresses the 3 threads that emerge from the research done from writing the book.
1) People wishing they were more reflective about their lives
2) Wishing they had taken more risks, not necessarily financial.
3) Wishing they had embraced careers, activities and goals that reflected their sense of purpose. 

Right now, AARP is offering a free 7-day enrollment into 'Life Reimagined', where you can have a free 30-minute session with a life coach, access to their website with quizzes workshops and events designed to enhance and change your life. It will help show you that your dreams can become achievable goals! And that now is the best time to make that happen!


Buy the Book!

5 Surprising Benefits of Rosemary + Healthy Rosemary Salad Recipe

When you've got a benefits list as impressive as this herb, you probably want to have more of it in your life! Rosemary is one of the most beneficial herbs for prevention of diseases such as diabetes, and cancer.  It is also great for memory enhancement! Back before big pharma, there were herbs. Now science is picking up the slack in terms of research in the herb realm and finding astonishing benefits.  From these scientific testing results, here is a quick list of the benefits of rosemary:


1. Heightened memory and concentration - Scientists have found that rosemary fragrance seems to have a positive effect on future memory, as opposed to present and past memory. The part of the brain that makes and remembers to-do lists for future reference is an important cognitive skill. For instance, "when you come to a yellow sign that says 'Breaking Point', you should stop at the first gas station and pick up 3 cans of diet coke and a hogie." Those landmarks are meant to signal other actions in a healthy cognitive system. The best way to pick up the pungent aroma of the herb is with rosemary essential oil. You can use it in combination with other oils to create a scent that is both advantageous and pleasant. Combine them in a diffuser and use it to increase your cognitive abilities.

2.  Diabetes Protection - Among several other herbs, rosemary is found to be a natural way to keep glucose levels at a normal level. You can use the needles to brew into a tea. Take 1 1/2 tsp. of the needles, bring water to boil, steep in one cup of hot water for 5 minutes, and drain.

3. Prevents Brain Aging - In a Japanese study, rosemary was found to prevent aging of the brain. It may protect neurons from free-radical damage because it contains a substance called carnosic acid. Benefits can occur in food form, tea, and fragrance.

4. Cancer Protection - Studies show that rosemary can prevent tumor growths in leukemia and breast cancer. It is also beneficial against inflamation and tumor protective. Use in food, tea, and fragrance form.

5. Protects Eye Degeneration - Macular degeneration is the most common age-related, eye-related problem in the U.S. and rosemary's carnosic acid prevents this. Best results when used in food form or tea form.

Because of all this goodness, I put a bit of rosemary in my salads (usually 1/2 tsp. of chopped leaf is sufficient), use it in a garnish or bouquet to flavor my food, and use rosemary essential oil in a diffuser! Here's a tasty and simple example of how you can use rosemary in your food!


Rosemary Chicken & Bacon Salad:


Ingredients:
4 slices of bacon, diced
2 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. chopped rosemary
3 cups spinach
1 cup other greens of your choice (I used arugula)
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp. chopped green onions
2 tbsp. white onion
1 small avocado, sliced

Rosemary Vinaigrette:
1 tsp. dijon mustard
4 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. fresh minced rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:
1. Cook bacon then drain fat, leaving enough to coat the pan. Set aside.

2. Season uncooked chicken with salt and rosemary, cook over medium high heat until golden brown and cooked through.


3. Make a bed of the greens. Scatter tomatoes, onion, and bacon on top. 

4. Slice the avocado, season with a pinch of salt and add the avocado and chicken to the salad.

5. Add together the ingredients to the vinaigrette, whisk, and pour over salad. Serve immediately.

Note: Along with the rosemary vinaigrette, I also used a healthy commercial raspberry vinaigrette to give it more body. Totally optional of course! 

 Yield: 2 servings. Serving size: 1/2 salad. Calories: 350.
Sources: Medical News Today, Feb 28, 2012; ACS July 23,2014;
 Cell J 2011, Spring; Medical News Today; Oncol Rep, Jan 2007; Biosci Biotechnol Biochem

Medical News Today, Sept 2015;

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Prescription For Health + #MyPostMonday Link-Up

As the warmth of spring turns into the heat of summer and we all want to be outside, don't fight it! If you are blessed right now to have a semblance of good health, appreciate it, nurture it. Don't take it for granted! I think about myself never having been satisfied with pictures of myself. The photo was never good enough. The look was never good enough, that is, until I looked at it again 10 years later. Then I realized that I was amazing. I was enough! I was the only one standing in the way! We don't notice what we have until we lose it. So go outside and be happy with you, because you are awesome!!!

Image - Dustin Erksine
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for original, non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos! Sponsored posts are great and I appreciate the information from well-written and authentic sponsored posts, I write them myself! But this linky is for non-sponsored posts because they are all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows. It's not about a specific brand and what it compensates the blogger to promote! If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase! (Affiliate links welcome!)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

'Dessert For A Year' Multi-Winner #Utah #Giveaway!

Welcome to the 'Dessert For A Year' Giveaway! If you live in Utah, know someone in Utah, or plan on coming to Utah in the future, you need to know about CrEATe. Located in Sandy, UT  at 9305 South Village Shop Drive, across from WalMart and Hobby Lobby and neighbors with Cafe Rio.  Open for less than 6 months, they already have an average 5-star rating on Yelp! And starting in June, they are introducing their Organic Shaved Ice, different from ordinary shaved ice because all the syrups are organic with no chemical additives! They are simply better than what you're used to in shaved ice. You can taste the difference!




CrEATe is a Design It Yourself donut and dessert shop. After all, who knows your tastes more than you? They carry donuts, croissant donuts, crepes, brownies, cookies, cheesecake, gourmet drinking chocolate, pie, gelato and Sorbet. You pick out your fresh base dessert, and they will fill it, frost it, glaze it, mix it, or top it just the way you want it. If you can dream it, crEATe can build it.
Gelato and sorbet are made fresh in-house with organic sugar and imported Italian ingredients. We use real cream and fresh milk in our cream fillings, real organic maple in our maple glaze, and real raspberry in our raspberry glaze, and our drinking chocolate is made with real Belgium chocolate!
CrEATe: Dessert has evolved! Read the reviews here and here


Special Discount Code: Mention A GAL NEEDS... at check-out and receive a complimentary drink with your dessert purchase! (Soda, coffee, tea, milk, chocolate milk, or bottled water!)

Giveaway: This is a multi-winner giveaway. Prizes will be awarded in the form of vouchers, to be picked up by selected winners at CrEATe Donuts in Sandy, UT. They are transferable, thereafter. Must be 18+ to participate. One entrant per household. US Only, and Utah specific.
Hosted by: A GAL NEEDS...
Co-Hosted by: My So-Called Chaos

1st Prize - Monthly Dessert for a family of 4 - ARV $240! Choice of Menu Items include: Design-it-yourself donut, donut sundae, croissant donut, Design-it-yourself cookie or cookie sundae, Design-it-yourself brownie or brownie sundae, topped cheesecake, Design-it-yourself cupcake or cupcake sundae, Design-it-yourself crepe, Organic Shaved Ice, & Hot Drinking Chocolate Float. Must present voucher at time of service.

2nd Prize -  Summer Organic Shaved Ice for a family of 4 - ARV $90! During the months of June, July, and August, a family of 4 will receive Organic Shaved Ice twice each month! Must present voucher at time of service!

3rd Prize - Date Night Vouchers (Dessert For 2) For 3 lucky winners - ARV $10 each! Choice of Menu Items include: Design-it-yourself donut, donut sundae, croissant donut, Design-it-yourself cookie or cookie sundae, Design-it-yourself brownie or brownie sundae, topped cheesecake, Design-it-yourself cupcake or cupcake sundae, Design-it-yourself crepe, Organic Shaved Ice, & Hot Drinking Chocolate Float. Must present voucher at time of service.

Enter to win one of these awesome prizes in the Rafflecopter below. Although all entries are optional, your chances of winning are increased by completing as many as you feel comfortable with!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per IP address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add info@agalneeds.com to your whitelist. Winners are responsible for pick-up of their prizes at CrEATe Donuts in Sandy, UT.  This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.

 

Monday, May 30, 2016

CrEATe Introduces Organic Shaved Ice For Summer 2016 #BeUtahful

Are you from Utah, know someone in Utah, or plan on visiting Utah in the near future? Then listen up, there's this great little dessert place in Sandy, UT, below Alta Ski Resort, called CrEATe (get it, you Create your own dessert and then you EAT it!). It is based on a simple concept--choose your basic dessert and then design it with toppings, glazes and fillings of your choice. Only your imagination can limit you! The even greater part about this one-of-a-kind establishment is that owner, Ladonnia Jones has made sure that the ingredients are gluten free, additive-free, freshly made, and as wholesome as a sweet treat can be! It takes out some of the guilt one might typically feel when indulging a very unruly and hard to manage sugar addiction. I know I felt totally OK about eating these desserts!!!! When I eat the wonderful gelato, I know it is made with organic sugar, whole food ingredients and is gluten-free! But enough about me--
Disclosure: This review was not compensated. I did, however, receive samples of some products to facilitate the review!

Dessert Connoisseurs everywhere are raving about CrEATe because of the sheer variety and quality of their desserts and ingredients! Open less than 6 months, they already have an average 5-Star Rating on Yelp with 46 reviews! One great description I read is that it is a "Disneyland of Sweetness", which it truly is! As I toured the facility, I came upon this quote in the prep area, "Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it." You can definitely see that pure energy devoted to everything that is done at CrEATe! From the thoughtfully designed decor and cozy corners to the deliciousness that comes on a plate, bowl, or in a cup.
Cozy Corner at CrEATe
Another Cozy Corner
This month they are rolling out another great dessert option, just in time for summer---organic shaved ice! It is different than ordinary shaved ice because it is organic, gluten-free and vegan. There are no artificial flavors or colors in it and you can definitely taste the difference! A suggestion to try is a strawberry peppermint shaved ice. It is so refreshing and delicious! Or how about the root beer shaved ice with a dollop of vanilla gelato! It tastes exactly like a root beer float! Again, more chances to be creative and experiment until you CrEATe your own taste masterpiece! Hope to see you there! Come with a sweet tooth!
Owner, LaDonnia Jones
 Address: 9305 S. Village Shop Dr., Sandy, UT 84094, 801-790-2738

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Doubting Doubt!

Why hello there! It HAS been awhile, hasn't it? I took a much-needed break from social media this past few weeks and let me tell you it was refreshing and it served to put my priorities in order! It was so nice to not have to answer to social media deadlines and to realize if I drop out of circulation for awhile, the world will definitely continue to revolve. It made me realize that nothing is more important than my own little world, family, circle of friends, and loved ones. I mean, the world is going to do what it's going to do, and what I might have to say in this space won't really do much to change it. What I CAN do is make sure my own garden is well tended and those around me know that I am there for them. And how better can I do that than to take care of myself? Oddly enough, there are a few other people out there who feel somewhat the same, although they are much more vocal and definitely have a way of expressing it! For instance this little lady, apparently is walking away! After being a part of the cookie cutter, in it to win it, daily sponsored post club, saying exactly what the companies want her to say, she is now supposedly done with it all! (We'll see...) She is revolting and revealing what she feels are the dirty little secrets of the mom blogger! Then there is the more positive sister who talks about how the mom bloggers have saved her and also how her own blogging is more of a therapeutic exercise for her and if she helps someone else along the way, wonderful!!! One thing is for sure, social media is here to stay until such time that it all blows up in our faces, which I think it eventually will, but that's another discussion entirely! Until then, I don't feel bad for hopping off the train once in awhile! You should too, it's like a breath of fresh air!! In the meantime,

 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for original, non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos! Sponsored posts are great and I appreciate the information from well-written and authentic sponsored posts, I write them myself! But this linky is for non-sponsored posts because they are all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows. It's not about a specific brand and what it compensates the blogger to promote! If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase! (Affiliate links welcome!)
 I'm also linked up to Monthly Coffee!