Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Holidays! - A Giveaway for Artists!



CONGRATULATIONS to Miriam Hughes!  You are the winner of The Painter's Key's Book!

It is that time of year ... time to give to others and enjoy the spirit of the season.  I am having a giveaway just for you!



The Painter's Keys - by Robert Genn.  Love this man and artist.  I subscribe to his twice weekly newsletter and enjoy it very much.  He has a sense of humor and wit that adds a smile to every one I read.



In this book, Robert Genn, one of Canada's most collected and popular artists,  has an art workshop and he takes us on this very entertaining journey, while all the time keeping the repartee moving forward with hundreds of ideas for his fellow artists, many are as original as the man himself -- ideas that inspire and propel every artist who reads this book to be a better artist!



Just like his newsletters, he shares a repoertoire rich in quotations, methods for paintings and preparing one's mind for painting, techniques to make your life easier and your paintings more interesting, insider information, and all the while he sets your creative juices flowing so that all you want to do is get back in the saddle ... oh, I mean "back to the easel."  



One thing that sets Robert Genn apart from other artists and writers, is his love for the artist community.  Love for art.  Love for the written word.  He shares them all.  

Everything he shares is a gift to the artist community, and only serves to add value to your principles as an artist, so that you become more creatively effective in your quest to be the best artist you can be.



Every artist should have a copy of this book in their library - and read it with enthusiasm.  You will walk away a better artist.  It is a brilliant book from a brilliant man and fellow artist - Robert Genn.

For this contest, just share in the comments your answer to this question:

What do you love most about being an artist?

That's it!  One winner will be chosen on Wednesday, December 4th!  



Monday, June 07, 2010

The $100 Question - What One Life Choice You'd Change

100Question  If you could change one thing about the choices you have made in your life, what would that choice be?

How to play: Tell Me your answer in the comments on Blogher by 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 9 to be eligible to win! We'll enter all the comments into a randomizer and choose one lucky commenter to win. Comment as many times as you want. Click here to read the official rules. Good luck!

Want more chances to win?

Please join us tomorrow for Tuesday's question, asked by Dawn from This Woman's Work for another chance to win!  

Thank you Blogher for giving my readers and your readers an opportunity to win $100!

Now scoot on over to Blogher and comment for a chance to win!!!

Note: You can comment here, but the comments that count towards the contest are on Blogher!!


Friday, April 09, 2010

Mothering, Fathering, and Wishing You Had All the Answers


Recently, I was asked to review 2 books - "Pregnant, a Field Guide to Fathering" by Gary Kleiman, and "The Mommy Files - Secrets Every New Mom Should Know" by Jen Klein.  Both books leave you laughing out loud for the honesty and humor that each of these authors have been able to give us through their prose.

I am not a new Mommy, and I am definitely not a new Daddy, however, I've been a new Mommy 5 times in my life, and the last time was kinda flung on me out of nowhere.  But, by the time Glen arrived 10 years ago, I was more than aptly ready for this new adventure, or so I thought.

TheMommyFiles  If you are a new Mommy, I promise you this, "The Mommy Files" will help you find the humor in the sleep deprivation, the double-doody diapers leaking from every leg hole and waistband, and how to change a diaper while holding your baby in mid-air in a truck-stop bathroom. Yep, I've done that too.  It is not fun, but it is possible.

There is some comfort in knowing that "your mother didn't know what she was doing either" and in my case, I was not only way too young to be a new mother when I entered this club, I was way too immature and totally not funny.  Live and learn.  Why can't hindsight be foresight?  

One thing I did not do as a young mother and I wish I had was ask for help.  Jen Klein teaches you with friendly experience how being a Supermom really is about asking for help and not being afraid to admit that you are in over your head.

Personally, when I was a new mother in my late teens and again at 21, I was clueless - totally.  I didn't know who I was but now I was someone's mother.  However, after royally screwing up the parenting experience in my early 20s, I did learn how to be a good Mom. No, scratch that, I learned how to be a great Mom.  When I had Sarah and Matthew at age 34 and 37, I was ready.  I was grounded.  I was more able to read the clues my baby gave me and loved them and cared for them with everything that was in me.  It was a completely different experience being a new Mom the second-time around.  I could probably write a book about that subject myself and maybe I will someday.

Still, Jen Klein has put into words what every new Mom should read - when you can find a few minutes to yourself in the bath (while Daddy watches the baby) or stealing a few moments after the baby has gone to sleep, or while your toddler plays with their friends at the local park.  It is a great book to carry with you and enjoy.

Gary Kleiman sees things from a different perspective.  He has worn many hats in his life - traveler, dancer, cowboy, fine woodworker, and more, but the one that changed him entirely into the man and father he is today as a single-father are his 8 year old son and 12 year old daughter.  They live in Northern California, and together explore this life with enthusiasm and a strong bond - something that every father should share with their child.

Fatheringbook  He writes: "Hearing the words, 'Honey, I'm pregnant,' will change your life more than almost anything you can imagine.  It is the first step of a lifelong journey.  So unfasten your seat belt.  You're going to need some breathing room.  Consider yourself about to experience the equivlent of being ejected out of a very high-flying, supersonically speeding rocket.  Your life, as you in all the comfort you have known, is about to become undone."  Yep - I'd have to say so.

Are you a new Mommy or Daddy?  Do you know someone who is?  

Well, I have a nice surprise for two of my readers - One of you will win the book "The Mommy Files" and the other will win the book "Pregnant: a Field Guide to Fathering."  I just want to spread the love.

Here is what I ask: Please tell your mothering or fathering story in the comments below, and, please tell me which book you prefer: the Mommy Files or the Fathering book.  Then, on Wednesday of next week around noon, I will choose the winners via  

I would like to thank Gary Kleiman for not only providing me with his great book to add to my library, but also for providing me with 2 additional copies, both signed, for my new Mommy daughter and her new Daddy hubby, and for one of my readers - thank you Gary!  

And thank you to FSB Associates for continually sending me great books to share with my readers and giveaway.  I also received a copy for my daughter, Kimberly, and for a reader.  So, Kim - it will be in tomorrow's mail.  

So, tell me your parenting story in the comments below and share with me which book you would prefer.  Then, stop back Wednesday afternoon for the winners!

No more comments after Wednesday, April 14th at 12 noon EST.


CONGRATULATIONS TO Melissa for winning "The Mommy Files" and Kathleen Stephenson for winning the book "Pregnant: a Field Guide to Fathering."


Friday, December 04, 2009

My Heart Just Melts


Hannah has that effect on me.  Every time I look at her I just want to eat her up and hug her and squeeze her and kiss her.  She is by far the cutest most adorable, cuddly little puppy I've ever seen.  Even with a bad haircut.  Yes, Hannah had a bit of a disaster this past weekend.  



You see, this time last week, Hannah looked like this.  We told Sarah to groom Hannah.  Her hair was getting long and she needed to get the knots out of her fur.



I mean really now - her hair had gotten so long the poor thing couldn't see unless we tied some hair up in a bow like a punk rocker.  



She was not happy, but she put up with Sarah's bows just the same.



Hannah's fur is so soft that it gets knots very easily.  So last weekend, Sarah gave Hannah a bath and while we weren't looking ...



Sarah did this.  I wanted to cry.  But not before I gave Hannah a big cuddle hug and a knoogy rub on the top of her head - and chewed Sarah out for making Hannah look like she was some homeless dog.



I'm not so sure that Hannah quite understands exactly what happened to her.  But I do know that her potty visits outside are a lot shorter - because she is freezin' her fanny off!



There have been days this week that I have missed this face.



But, no matter how bad the haircut ...



I still think Hannah is the most adorable, cuddly, lickity split I've ever seen.  And in honor of her cuteness, and because today is day 4 of our Christmas season ...



I thought you might like to curl up in your favorite chair with your own little puppy dog, and read - with the World's Most Advanced eBook Reader - the Nook.  It's a really great little device, especially if your eyes aren't as good as they used to be - like mine.



You'll be able to read over a million books, newspapers, and magazines, and download everything wirelessly in a snap.  Better yet, you can take it with you anywhere.  So while you are waiting for your hubby to finish his Christmas shopping while you unwind in Starbucks with your favorite cup of coffee, you can read on your Nook.  Of course, you won't want it to get all scratched up, so ...



I thought you might also like this handy Nook cover by Kate Spade.



And I really like the front cover too.  But, be sure to keep it up off the floor or little paws and jaws from little lickity splits like Hannah might chew on it.

To have an opportunity to put this wonderful gift under your Christmas tree, all you have to do is answer the question below in the comments. The winner for today's prize will be chosen Tomorrow.  One winner per contest will be chosen.

Here are the rules:

One comment per person please.

Comments will be closed Tonight at 10pm EST.

The "1" winner for today's prize will be chosen Tomorrow - Saturday.  Actually, the winner for each giveaway will be chosen the first Saturday following each giveaway.  

There is only one prize per day and one winner per contest.

Answer the following 2 questions in the comments below:

What book have your read that is your favorite of all time?

(Sorry for the late post today, but we were out buying a Christmas tree - a LIVE one!)

Note:  I do not know anyone at Barnes & Noble or Kate Spade.  I just love their Nook and Nook cover and I purchased them thru B&N for you.  They make a great holiday gift and I enjoy passing these great things on to my readers.  So - I sponsored this giveaway (and Santa of course).

That's it! 



Congratulations to Sandra Marley!


There were 22 comments.  Winner is #10: Sandra Marley



Thursday, December 03, 2009

Cold Days - Hot Cocoa - What Could Be Better?


Hot Cocoa is the best, and here in the Vaughn home, it is nearly a daily staple.  Sometimes we have it for breakfast.  Sometimes we have it in the afternoon while we are working.  Sometimes we make a huge batch after dinner and we watch a movie together as a family with a fire in the fireplace and everyone in their jammies with a big mug of hot cocoa.  What could be better?

Well, I'll tell ya - on the 3rd day of Christmas (In our 21 days of Christmas giving here on Raisin Toast), my true love gave to you ...

Bialetti Hot Chocolate Maker just for you?  But wait ... WSGingerbreadMugs
How about 4 Gingerbread mugs to go with that cocoa maker?

I mean, you have to have cocoa mugs for the delicious hot cocoa you're going to be making.

What?  Did you say something was missing?  Huh?  

Well - ex - cuuuusssse Me!  I forgot the cocoa!!!!



Isn't life grand?  I think so too.  Especially since I suffer from a serious addiction problem - Chocolate - in any shape or form.  From donuts to Hershey bars to delicious Hot Cocoa (with whole milk for the real stuff) - it is the little things in life (and chocolate) that make it so grand.

It is all about family traditions too.  Big Bear and I didn't really start to build family traditions together until after we had Sarah.  I think she was about 2 years old when we realized that there were some things that we enjoyed doing together, like fires in the fireplace on cold winter nights, curling up together with hot cocoa and a good movie, family game night so I can lose at Monopoly for the hundredth time.  Whatever it is that you do together, cherish the moments.  They come and go in a flash.  By building family traditions, we give something special to our children - memories - what could be warmer?  

Well, maybe a cup of hot cocoa to go with your next family memory.

All you have to do is answer the question below in the comments.  That's it!  The winner for today's prize will be chosen on Saturday.  One winner per contest will be chosen.

Here are the rules:

One comment per person please.

Comments will be closed Friday 10pm EST.

The "1" winner for today's prize will be chosen on Saturday.  Actually, the winner for each giveaway will be chosen the first Saturday following each contest.  

There is only one prize per day and one winner per contest.

Answer the following 2 questions in the comments below:

What family traditions do you remember from your childhood?

What traditions are you building with your own family?

Note:  I do not know anyone at Bialetti.  I just love their hot chocolate maker and I purchased it at Williams & Sonoma together with the hot cocoa mix and mugs.  They make a great holiday gift and I enjoy passing these great things on to my readers.  So - I sponsored this giveaway (and Santa of course).  

That's it! 



Congratulations to Maureen!


There were 25 comments. Winner is #18: Maureen K.