Mom to 2, pottery artist, world traveler, sweepstakes afficionado, blogger, jewelry artist, card maker, chief cook and bottle washer

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Originally submitted at Johnston & Murphy

Tumbled full-grain calfskin with an intricately woven vachetta leather strap inspired by a vintage belt. Fabric lining with two zip pockets, cell phone pocket, card pockets and key fob. Magnetic snap closure. Antiqued-brass hardware and protective bottom feet. 14"L x 10 1/2"H x 6 1/4"D.

Well Constructed

By orchidlady01 from Pembroke Pines, FL on 12/16/2012


4out of 5

Pros: High Quality, Easy Access, Good Organization, Attractive, Great Color

Cons: Not Enough Compartments, Straps Too Short

Best Uses: Traveling, Office, Commuting

Describe Yourself: Practical, Comfort-Oriented

Was this a gift?: Yes

I would have liked a little longer strap and less bulk to the strap. The bag is very well constructed and has a large compartment inside. If the inside were divided into multiple compartments, it would be even better.

The bag will last a lifetime!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

I won more shoes!

I won a pair of Kalso Earth Shoes from blog back in July. The shoes I got are like hiking shoes which I am thrilled about. I wore Earth shoes back in the 70s in college and these are just as comfortable now as they were then. They even came in a cool box which I am reusing to store pottery supplies in.

This shoe is called The Pace. They reminded me of the Vasque Rifts I won from Outside Magazine except lighter in weight and with a negative heel.

Thanks Connie at MiscFinds4U!

Also, I won sandals from Acorn called Acorn Hadly Slides in Indigo/Luggage. They had a Facebook giveaway. These are also very comfy - once you get used to the burlap feel under your feet.

I'm on a shoe win roll!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I won another trip!

I won a trip for 2 to NY (Jones Beach, Long Island) from a text sweepstakes. It's to see The Fray and Kelly Clarkson in concert at the Nikon Theater on Jones Beach. Thank you Diet Coke and 7-Eleven and eprize! The same woman who arranged the travel when Lisa and I went to Italy in 2009 (from the trip we won from adidas), is taking care of the travel arrangements for this trip. Jean from handles travel arrangements for prize winners for companies like eprize. How cool is that? She remembers me from the Italy trip.

I'm taking my sister, Mary, for 3 days in late August. Travel day - see the concert - travel day, so there won't be much time to do a whole lot in NY. We could go into NYC but it would mean bus, the Long Island Railway and then subway. Hmmm... ok, maybe not. We'll have fun regardless, even if Mary has to pretend to like Kelly Clarkson for a day!

See Two Sisters Dream Vacation for photo of the venue.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More new posts

Go to to see pictures and new posts.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Pictures

Go to to see pictures for the new posts.This is more difficult on the iPad and we posted pictures on our vacation blog so if you could go to that blog and view them, I don't have to recreate the post here!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 3: 6/15 Trip to WA, BC, OR

Mary and I are in Seattle on Day 3. Day 1 was our travel day and it turned out to be a very long day due to airplane mechanical problems and a huge thunder storm in Atlanta. We were supposed to arrive in Seattle at 7:38 pm PST and got here at 3:40 am PST! At least we got here. Long story but because of two nice women, Danielle and Leslie, at the Delta counter in Atlanta, we were able to get 2 seats on the next plane out. It was supposed to leave at 9:47 pm and finally got off the ground at 1:30 am EST. We met a really interesting man while we were waiting for the second plane to leave. Dave is an oceanographer who will be in Brunei, Borneo in a week and specializes in robotic submarines and the Titanic. Weather delay for all the Atlanta flights due to a huge thunder storm. By the time we got to our hotel in Bellevue, it was 4:30 am and got to sleep for 2 hours.

We rented our car at the hotel (easy) through Avis and got an upgrade to a Ford Fusion for a discounted price of an extra $5 per day. Turns out it is a nice car and so worth the extra $. Mary got us breakfast coupons for free for 2 mornings from the night clerk when we checked in so we had breakfast in the hotel. Nice buffet and nice people that work for our hotel, Hilton Bellevue.

Headed out to Seattle to go on our Pike Place Market food tour scheduled for 10:00 am. I had printed Google maps and used my map app on my iPhone so found the way easily to the parking garage and the start of the tour. I booked it with Savor Seattle and the 2 hr. tour turned out to be fun and very interesting. Our tour guide, Brett, was really funny! We would never have been able to find out all the information he gave our small group of 8 and we got to sample some good food. Fresh doughnuts, salmon, peach salsa and cherry products, Piroshky,clam chowder and seafood bisque, cheese, and crab cake bites.

We were getting tired so after the tour headed back to our hotel. It's about a 20 min. ride back to Bellevue which is east of Seattle across Lake Washington. We drove around the residential area near our hotel and the gardens of the houses are gorgeous - maples, dogwoods, willows, rhododendrons, peonies, roses, etc. Mary and I got some coffee at the hotel coffee place and checked our email and chilled for a while. Ended up using our Subway gift cards for a free quick dinner and crashed early.

Today, we have gorgeous weather. Clear blue skies and 45 in early am. Supposed to get up to 73 by 4 pm. We are at a Starbucks in downtown Bellevue to use our Starbucks gift cards for free coffee and breakfast and to use the free Wi-Fi. We have a 1:00 pm appt. to go on a helicopter ride today. So exciting! Gorgeous flying weather, too.

More later.

Friday, May 11, 2012

So excited...

So excited to join you on our DreaM Vacation!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gift Cards

My sister and I are saving our gift cards to use on our Pacific Northwest trip in June. I got a $50 Amex card today from a sweep and last Friday got a $100 Target gift card.  I redeemed some of my Disney Reward points for 2 x $10 Starbucks cards but I don't think they will be here in time. The $10, $25, $50 and $100 gift cards really add up (if you get enough of them). The pro to Amex gift cards = they don't expire but the con = some places don't take them. :(

A month and a half away! I can't wait. First though, I have to get through the trip to NYC with the high school Drama club in 2 weeks! Lots planned in NYC with 5 Broadway shows, backstage tours, workshops and seminars for the students but should be fun. This is a good group of kids and most are juniors or seniors.

Almost everything is reserved or getting planned out for Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. Other than having some must see places and must do things, we may not plan every minute and "wing it". Luckily, it's only a couple hours drive between each city. One thing I do have to reserve is the helicopter ride I found on Groupon! Flying over Seattle in a helicopter - how cool will that be!

Helicopters Northwest - Seattle Helicopter Tours, Flight School, Leasing and Maintenance

Friday, April 6, 2012

My new shoes for the trip

In Slate Black/Scuba Blue

Very, very comfortable! I don't know where the color name comes from since they are brown. These are the ones I won from Outside Magazine. They are called Vasque Rift and came via

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Flanagan Chorus/Drama update

I'm at Flanagan waiting for Chorus practice to start. Tonight the Chorus is performing a song they sang at districts that received a Superior. Drama is performing 2 songs from the musical Godspell in costume.

Sunday the Godspell cast performed the entire show at Century Village for the "old folks" to a packed house. They were well received and had fun doing it. Plus, they got $3,000 for performing.

More later!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

First iPad blog

This is actually her daughter (secretary/home apple genius) typing here setting up her blogger app. This is strange and foreign... I'm going back to my tumblr. Have fun mom!

My new jacket from

Here's what's shipping soon.

And now for a completely different experience...

I got my jacket from the sweeps win from Outside Magazine that they ordered from It is a beautiful jacket but was a little tight so I went on their website to see about exchanging it for a larger size and a chat window popped up, "Can we help you?" I also saw their website had 100% guarantee. After a very pleasant online chat, I printed out a return UPS label, got an RMA # and have the larger jacket ordered waiting to ship. They will ship as soon as the return package is in UPS system. I don't have to wait for the returned jacket to get to them!

What a difference good customer service makes! I would order from in a heartbeat. Wow!

June Trip Two Sisters Dream Vacation Update

The trip in June is progressing nicely. We have airline tickets booked, hotel stay booked, rental car booked and are finding out about fun things to do like zip lines and places to hike. Parks, mountains, gardens, farmer's markets and maybe a short cruise are on the list.

The plan is to arrive in Seattle and stay for 4 days. We'll drive to Vancouver and stay 4 days. We'll go back to Seattle for one night (to use the hotel stay at the Seattle Grand Hyatt I won) and then drive to Portland to stay for 4 days. Drive back to Seattle and stay one night before flying back home. I rented from Avis at a great price and they have pick up and return at our hotel in Seattle. We're staying at a Hilton in Seattle because I won 100,000 Hilton points and I can stretch it by using the 15,000 points +$50 per night offer they have. Mary and I have won money as well as airline tickets and hotel stays so we'll use that for the rental car and 2 nights in Portland. I won $250 from Marriott Residence Inn and we'll use that for the other 2 nights in Portland. Vancouver hotel is at a Best Western which we'll pay for with the money we've won.

I won a sweeps from Outside Magazine and included in it was a pair of Vasque Rift shoes which I ordered by sending Ali from Outside Magazine the size and choice of color, using info from and also included in the prize is a Stoic Monolith Softshell jacket which I ordered from her using info from I got the shoes and they are great! Fit well and very comfortable - good hiking shoes. The jacket should be here soon. The shoes came a week after I got the email that I won the sweeps which is really fast for sweeps prizes.

My Tretorn prize nightmare was disappointing but we'll see how everything else goes. So far, we're on a roll and everything should come together for this trip.

Don't ever order from Tretorn!

I won a sweeps that IFC Portlandia was having. Included in the package was a $100 gift certificate to I thought "great" and looked on line to see what they had. I also found an email from Tretorn saying the next day there was a sale. When I looked online, they had a Metro Raincoat on sale for $50 and I need a raincoat for our trip to Seattle this June.

This was the start of terrible customer service at Tretorn. I called to see if the coat would still be on sale the next day so I could place one order and get some shoes as well. "We don't know what goes on sale or for how long the sale items will be on sale." I figured I would order the coat now (in case it was not on sale tomorrow) and included in the gift certificate was free shipping so I didn't have to worry about extra shipping charges. The coat was on sale for $50 which meant I had $50 remaining on the gift certificate.

The website is not set up to be easy to use or find items and there are no sizing charts anywhere for the coats. While I was on the phone to find out about the coat on sale, I asked the person if they could take the order on the phone since I was ready to order. After much hemming and hawing on her part, I finally said "you'd rather I order online, wouldn't you?" I've never had a company not take an order over the phone! This was after she said since the coat ships out of the CA warehouse and she was at the OH warehouse, she couldn't check to see if the coat was in stock. What????

The next day I found 2 pairs of shoes on the sale section for my daughter. The selection of what was on sale wasn't the greatest but found some that came to $60 ($30 ea.). I thought for $10 shouldn't be too bad since I had $50 to use up. The ordering system wouldn't take the certificate number now and I had to make another phone call to the company. The person I talked to said she would be able to issue the credit for the gift certificate and would call me back. Lo and behold, no phone call and no credit. Two days late, I called them again. The person I spoke to said she would do me a "favor as a courtesy" and issue the $50 credit to my credit card. A favor? A courtesy? For a gift certificate that is the equivalent to money? What is wrong with these people?

So today, I get the coat. Women's XL... and it doesn't fit. I'm a size 16-18 which is normally Women's XL. This is in actuality a Large. Do they have sizing charts online? NOOOOO! Does the company do exchanges? NOOOOO! Will they send the coat in the next size up for the same price? NOOOOO! (They don't have the next size up in stock and probably won't be getting anymore.) Will they send a Men's coat that would be the equivalent to the next size up? NOOOOO! I can return this one and use the $50 credit towards the full price of another coat ($225). In other words, I'm s--t out-of-luck.

I hope the shoes fit because I DO NOT want to deal with this company's customer service again. They are very sorry - yeah, right.

My advice - never order/buy from Tretorn! What a nightmare.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Deal Every Blog Giveaway

Use the Rafflecopter to enter to win an iPad2. Daily entry, ends12/19/11.

In order to enter you must subscribe to dealEvery.Com. If you are already a subscriber, you can earn entries by sharing everyday about the giveaway on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Win an iPhone 5

Gear Live is giving away an iPhone 5 to one lucky Gear Live reader as soon as the device launches, and here are all the details on how to enter below. Now, of course, Apple has yet to even formally announce the iPhone 5, but we all know it's coming, and that it should be announced before the end of the month. That said, we do have a few strong rumors about the device:
This giveaway is made possible by, which has just launched its new mobile phone section, which helps you track the latest news around smartphones and provides advice on when you should buy or wait on a purchase. Use the widget below to enter--we've got a bunch of options available to allow you to rack up a bunch of bonus entries, and the widget will allow you to track them all. You can enter once per day until 11:59 PM PST on September 19th, and if the iPhone 5 isn't released and available by September 30 and you don't wanna wait, you can opt to select another gadget up to $500 in price.

iPhone 5: We're giving one away! | Gear Live

"iPhone 4 & iPhone 5 News, Rumors and Price Predictions by Decide"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coldplay - Fix You

Love this song. It's an oldie but goodie.