Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Night On the Town (And Helping Kids Too)

Last saturday was pretty much a fabulous night. Emily, Jenni and I met up at Olive Garden for a delicious dinner (oh I hadn't had that salad and bread sticks in a long time!) Of course I stuck with my old favorite (Chicken Alfredo). Are there certain places you go to eat and you order the same thing every time? This is always that place for me.

Then we headed over to the big event for the evening, "A Book For Every Child". We were helping with the silent auction along with Tess Hilmo (whose book A Name Like Love comes out in Fall 2011). There were so many great things on the auction tables. A few things I wished I would have won like an ARC of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain, or an ARC of Matched by Ally Condie, plus there were things like Shannon Hale bragging about you on her blog or going to dinner with Brandon Mull or James Dashner. Oh, there was just a little coveting going on. :)

(Photo courtesy of FireandIce)

While we waited for the bids to come rolling in, we got to sit in on the entertainment. Shannon Hale and James Dashner MC'ed (is that a word) the evening and I'm pretty sure I'd pay good money to see those two do a stand up routine together. Well, I basically got that anyway. Hilarious!

As they were reading off a list of some bigger ticket items up for auction James suggested that Shannon see how much she could get for her two placenta's (she's having twins later this year). She also bet him $5 that Brandon Mull could pull in more money for his item 'dinner out with him' than Dashner could for his 'dinner out with him'. I happen to know who's item finished higher. :) No but really, talk about something sweet to bid on right?

Divine Comedy came out and had some funny skits, some of which I found out later that evening when talking to him, Brandon Mull auctually wrote up. He joined the group on stage for a few scenes, my favorite being the retelling of 'Jack and Jill go up the hill' from different people/authors.

My favorite part of the evening was the author panel.

A few of my favorite things they said were:

Sarah Zarr said writing is a craft not an art. I can't remember exactly how she said this next part but something about how we need to continually practice it, it's not just a gift.

Shannon Hale quoted Sherman Alexie that the rain dancers always work because they never stop dancing, so it should be with our writing.
Considering the talent they had on stage I could have listened to them for a few more hours, but they were good to stay on schedule. Afterwards we went to finish up the auction and help the winners gather their prizes.

My friend Emily got a few books to get signed so when the crowds died down we got in line to get her books signed. Jessica Day George was sweet and told us how she collects stamps and brings them to her signings as thing to add to her signature in the books. I liked that.

We also chatted with Brandon Mull and since we were at the end of the line got to talk with him for several minutes about his earlier skits, panel discussion and the new addition to his home recently (his wife had a baby a few weeks ago).

Most of the authors had been there all day, with the writing classes earlier, and after we had helped clean up they were up for a treat so the gals that came with me to help: Jenni, Shauna, and Emily, met up with the authors Valynne, Bree and Tess (taking the picture).

(Photo courtesy of Jenni_Elyse)

Oh! Did I mention we went to Spoon Me? We had a good time with all of their sayings they had posted on the cups, outside signs, and even the napkins.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All Finished

(Photo taken by me on August 24, 2010. Review and info coming. Matched by Ally Condie)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a book for every child

This is going to be a smash hit! National selling children authors in Utah are putting this fabulous event together to help low income children get books of their own! Read more about it on their website Writing For Charity where you can also register and/or donate (show your support on the facebook page).

There will be a day event featuring authors teaching classes and an author panel and an evening event with comedians, bands, and an auction. I'll be there helping out at the auction so if you plan on going stop by to say hi.

Workshop Authors: Anne Bowen, Laura Card, Kristen Chandler, Kristyn Crow, James Dashner, Bree Despain, Sharlee Glenn, Christine Graham, Mette Ivie Harrison, Sydney Salter, Matthew J Kirby, Mike Knudson, Kristen Landon, Sheila A. Nielson, J Scott Savage, Emily Wing Smith, Wendy Toliver, Rick Walton, Dan Wells, Jessica Day George, Ann Dee Ellis

Author Panel: Ally Condie, James Dashner, Bree Despain, Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, Brandon Sanderson, Sara Zarr
Date/Place: Saturday August 21, 2010 at Waterford School

[Fill In YOUR Title Here]

(Photo taken by me in Spring of 2010)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Crime Scene Investigation: LRE

The victims & crime scene:

The culprit:
(Not the Bounce, that icky little blue crayon on top of the box.)

Welcome to CSI: Laundry Room Edition

I actually thought it was a blue pen at first and couldn't figure out how that made it into the kids batch but when I got to the empty dryer this crayon wraper was left over. How does that even happen. The crayon completely disintegrates but the paper made it all the way through the wash???

The sentence:
I started checking online, I just couldn't bear to throw away all those clothes. I found a solution that looked pretty powerful, plus I had all the ingredients on hand.

2 scoops/or cups Tide
1 Cup Borax
1 C Shout stain remover
2 scoops OxyClean
1 C Vinegar
Mix in hot water and let water agitate for 1 minute and then add clothes. Let clothes soak for two hours and then wash. (I did an additional wash afterwards since the first formula was so concentrated.)

The verdict:
As you can clearly see it didn't take it all out but I'd say it's at least 80% better. Some clothes, oddly enough, that white shirt on the right came completely out, while others still have medium to faint blue smudges.

All in all, I'm not throwing any of the clothes away (the worst was a pair of pj shorts and since they're not worn in public I dont care much).

(*This is actually a recycled post from my family blog about a year ago, but I thought it was an oldie but goodie so I wanted to share.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Favorites: #5 Plethora of Brain Fry

There are so many things I love about Xbox 360 and Netflix, I really should buy stock in the darn things, I toot their horns so much.

One of the many things includes the instant access to Netflix streamed to our television (which if you know my husband you know it's no little 27 inch old school thing, it's big).

Of course we get our two dvd's in the mail, but with our instant access my kids get to pick their favorite shows to watch (which comes in handy since we don't have television). There are so many fabulous benefits to this for my kids: no dvd's in and out of our player, no commercials (hallelujah!), access to entire seasons at a time, fun movies we would have never found otherwise, they get to scroll through a great list of dvd covers to pick their shows, and they dont have to scrunch around the little computer monitor. Good stuff.

This summer my favorites have been Pushing Dasies and Veronica Mars. My kids like Wizards of Waverly Place, Drake and Josh, Thomas the Train, Dora the Explorer. My husband likes horror movies so he watches those alone. Haha.