Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review: unPlanned

Usually, I do not read an entire book from cover to cover in 24 hours unless it is part of the Twilight Saga or Harry Potter Series.  I typically read about 10 books at a time, rotating my interest between how I am feeling each day.  This weekend, however, I read an entire book in 24 hours.  It was unPlanned by Abby Johnson.

I love biographies.  I think it has to do that I'm fascinated with hearing a person's story.  My former business colleague and professor, Tom Conran, ignited a fire in me to listen to each person's story and to strive to be a great storyteller.

Tom Conran

So, on with the book review!  UnPlanned was a little different than I anticipated.  I knew it was a book with a pro-life and christian message, but I didn't expect to get so drawn into a story line with a main character who was through most of the book very pro-choice and pro-planned parenthood.  Yet, I was engaged from the very beginning.  While reading, I felt like I was experiencing the transformation and change of heart with Abby, and it was a bit emotional.

Overall a great read, no matter your stance on Planned Parenthood or abortion.  In fact, if you are pro-choice, I challenge you to read this book.  You might be surprised.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Rarely do I have a bad experience at a craft store.  Unless, of course, you consider how much money I spend!  That is, until today.  Up until this evening, I was super crazy excited about the ideas I have to upcycle a bunch of clothes I have into blankets, quilts, scarves, hats, etc., and to start sewing some clothes like skirts for work that will save me some money.  I was excited until I ventured to the St. Peter's JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts.

It has been years since I have seriously shopped for sewing supplies.  In late elementary school and into Jr. High school, I took sewing lessons from a local seamstress.  And, in 7th grade, I took home economics which included a sewing section.  In sewing lessons, I even made my Easter dress one year and a jacket and pants that I wore for 7th grade school pictures.  So, I'm not a complete stranger to the sewing section.  However, it's been about *gasp* 20 years!  GEEZ.

So, I was excited when I walked into JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts for the first time.  Then I was overwhelmed.  Then, I needed help and couldn't find a sales associate to assist me to save my life.  THEN, I waited in line for 20 minutes to check out so I could buy my half price pin cushion (among other things).  When I was overwhelmed and needed some help, I had a "Saved by the Bell" moment from the past...

I'm so...SEW....SCARED!  Well, maybe not scared, but overwhelmed. :)

I did buy a pattern for a cross body laptop bag, which I'm excited about, and I bought some things I don't have at the house like a seam ripper, pins, and a pin cushion.  I know I have these things somewhere...probably in my parent's basement...that has been packed in a random box for 20 years.  UGH.

I bought a new sewing machine that should arrive just in time to start my summer break.  I have a sewing machine that was my Gramma's...or my Great Aunt Irma's?  I don't remember which one.  BUT, it's, again, in my parent's basement and it's one of those machines that i part of a table, which I absolutely do NOT have room for at my house.  So, the new singer went on a good sale, and I broke down and bought it.

Do you have any great upcycle patterns or ideas that I could use?  Great patterns I should check out?  I'm really looking for a pattern for an all soft body doll (head, too)...I have a great idea to expand my small crafting business if I can pull it off! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To TV or Not to TV...

That is the question.

Like most people, I use television to get a lot of my news information and to de-stress after a long day of work, grad school, and other stressful things.  But, more and more I find myself mindlessly flipping through 200 channels with nothing to watch.  Sex, violence, and morally questionable shows seem to be everywhere, and I just don't find it entertaining anymore.  Even dramatic television series' like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" just seem to annoy me more than anything, especially "Private Practice."  Every episode just seems to be so morally controversial, and I am just frustrated.

I spoke with one of my friends over the weekend about how I was going to change my U-Verse service.  Before I could answer, she asked if I was adding premium channels or moving up to the U300 package.  When I told her I was decreasing my service from the U200 package to the U-Family package, she seemed a little dumbfounded.  I explained to her that I don't really watch many of the channels and I could save about $15 per month by downsizing my package.  Then she said something kinda hurtful:  Can you do that?  You're not a family.  You're just one person!  And she laughed.

I just brushed off her comment at the time, but it seemed like a dig.  Just because I'm single doesn't mean I'm not part of a family.  I explained to her it meant "family friendly" channels, but she just said "sure."  Sigh.

Well, I'm happy that I changed my package today.  I'm keeping my subscription to streaming Netflix so I can watch some of my favorite shows (ehem, Little House on the Prairie). :)

What do you think about downsizing your television package?  Do you watch all the channels?  Should you be?  Do you have better things to do with your time than managing your DVR?