Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free AWESOME Calendar Downloads

Hey!!  Looking for an awesome calendar download?  If you are like me, and most of you aren't, you still LOVE a paper calendar.  This is my favorite:

Owl Lover 2013 Calendar
but you can find a nice list of options here (the owl is included here too). Thanks Allison!!This is a really cool blog!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Did That Really Just Happen?

So today at 4:45 I got off of a call and thought to myself, "self, run to the post office quickly and mail your Christmas cards."  Yep, I said Christmas, not holiday.  So, I head down to the post office.  The line is pretty intense, but I wait it out.  I ask how much it costs to mail a square card.  Twenty cents extra.  Not to self, never order square cards again.  Ok.  Note taken.

Billy D. Williams' twin (really, the dude looked just like Lando Calrissian) was checking me out.

Courtesy of my awesome friend, David Hill!!

He seemed nice enough, but not quite thrilled to be there.  I told him I needed 26, 20 cent stamps and  51, 45 cent stamps.  My total was $68.41.  That seemed excessive, but I didn't want to hold up the line and I already felt plenty unwelcome there.  Plus my math skills were all off with this 20 cent per card variance.  Square cards are clearly of the devil.

So, I pay with my debit card, rush out to apply all of those stamps, miss the darn mail pickup, but I keep placing stamps.  I saw the lady driving the truck go back to get the mail.  She had knocked on the door as I was hastily sticking stamps.  My thought was that I would grab the lady on her way to the mail truck and ask her very, very nicely if she would put my cards on the truck.  As I was standing there I glanced at my receipt.  I had been charged for 226, 20 cent stamps instead of 26.  Really?  Well, at this point, the gate is down and I can hear the now very chipper staff cracking up and bantering behind the curtain.  So I knocked on the door where I had just seen the lady picking up the mail knock.  Then I hear the staff laughing about somebody knocking on the door and how they just need to come back tomorrow.  Hahaha, hehehehe, cackle, cackle, cackle.  So I knock again.  More laughter, more smart remarks.  Now I knock on the glass and say, "yes, I just checked out and I was GROSSLY overcharged".  Bear in mind, I am having to YELL since they are on the other side of glass and a metal roll down door.  The man who checked me out, you remember, Billy D. Williams (even though he is a sexy beast I am not impressed at this point), yells, just calm down.  To which I reply, "I am calm, but I am having to yell through this window because you won't open the door!".  He opens the door.

Our conversation follows:
BDW: ok, how were you "grossly" overcharged?
ME:  well, I bought 26, 20 cent stamps but you charged me for 226.
BDW:  let me see your receipt.
ME:  sure
BDW: hmmm, i sure did.
ME: yep, and I didn't want to wait until tomorrow and have to prove my case.  i figured it best if we fix this tonight.
BDW:  give me your debit card
ME:  sure

About 2 minutes later BDW comes out.
BDW:  ummm, since you had paid with your debit card I am gonna have to give you a money order.
me:  say what now?  what do i do with a money order.  I am sorry, I am not super familiar with money orders.
BDW: (in his most sarcastic voice) I will cash it for you.
me:  well why didn't you say so?
BDW: come back here and have a seat, this is gonna take a while.
me: ok
BDW:  i need you to complete this paper work
me: (only in my head) are you effing kidding me?
BDW: use that pen over there.
me:  (i have no more words at this point)
BDW: I'll be right back
me:  (still speechless)

I start the paperwork.  He told me to put my name and address.  I go ahead and sign too.  Seems important right?  I did not date it.  This did not please BDW.  He scolds me but writes the date himself with a proper amount of indignant disgust.

About 5 minutes later BDW brings out a money order for me to sign.  I sign it.  The mail lady has been pacing around so I recommend she makes herself useful and gets my 51 cards out of the bin and puts them on the truck.  I really doubt any of you will actually get Christmas cards this year.  I was pretty frustrated at this point.  That is really no excuse for my grumpiness.  This poor woman had wronged me in no way.

BDW now comes out with the $45 and decides to make fun of me for "yelling that I had been grossly overcharged".  Really BDW?  Really?? You who rings up stamps all darn day long thinks giving me crap is funny.  Why didn't you think it was too much?  I explain again, that I had no interest in coming back, standing in that line, and making my case, which I am pretty sure no one would believe. He pretty much ignores me.

Have I mentioned that BDW, while a sexy beast, moved like a snail.  This guy made Greg Linkous look like flash.

I have shortened this story and left out a ton of cuss words.  I don't think I actually said any out loud, but I thought a ton of them.  Was I a grump?  Probably.  Was I within my rights?  Darn right!  Am I sorry for standing up for myself?  NO!  Will I go back to that post office anytime soon?  No!  Am I surprised that the post office is in so much trouble?  NO!!!

In case you ever wondered what it looks like back there, it was pretty interesting and incredibly retro.  There was a big wooden box with drawers for boxes that were closed.  Everything was hand written.  It was like walking back in time.

Why does this crap only happen to me?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Personalized Greeting Card from Treat for FREE

Hey!  Have you heard to Treat??  Treat is Shutterfly's greeting card brand.  You can make totally personalized cards quickly, easily, and uniquely and you don't have to stand in a line or even put on pants if you don't want to.  Sounds lovely right?

Last year I sent out Thanksgiving cards and it was so much fun!  My friend Jen said that no one sends out Thanksgiving cards.  Wrong-o Jen!  Everyone should send out a Thanksgiving card.

Treat is giving away cards for two days.  Giving them away!  Free!  No cost to you.  Go make a card, make it your own, and give it away, for free.  Make someone's day.  Prove Jen wrong.  She's right so much, she won't mind a bit.

So, it couldn't be easier, on Monday the 19th or Tuesday the 20th, go to the TREAT website and make a card.  Use the code:  TREATBLOGR and make someone's day.

This one makes me think of my friend Jaclyn.  She loves this old pyrex.  She would love this card.

My friend Sarah is stuck in the bed after knee surgery!  I bet she makes one!!  Let me know if you make one, and remember to spread the word.  What a great price:  FREE

New York, New York

So, as most of you know, I went to NY!  I went to NY to learn Google Analytics, which for the record, was HARD.  If those people over at Google ever team up with that dude over at Facebook, that creepy movie with Bruce Willis just might become our reality.  I am just sayin' they are stinkin' smart.  They are measuring stuff that never even occurred to me.  Amazing!

In typical Ouida fashion, a weather event delayed my trip by a day, but not in the neat tidy, your flight has been cancelled hang out in the city another day and watch the beautiful snow kind of way.  Nope, more like race to the airport in a cab with a grumpy cabbie who wants you to kneel down and thank him driving you to the airport, which be definition, is exactly what you are paying him to do (for realz?) only to get your hopes up, move your gate, then your terminal, only to tell you that your flight has been cancelled, but you are rebooked for the first flight out, just kidding we cancelled that one too, and all of the hotel rooms have now been booked kind of way. You  know that way right???

Other than the whole airport fiasco, the trip was great.  The class was great, the city was great, the food was great, the company was great, the sites were GREAT!

I got to see my cousin Ryan who I have not seen in years.  Probably 10 to be exact.  He's a male model.   Really.  How many people get to say that?  I am super proud of him.  He really is living the dream.  He lives in a tiny little apartment in Astoria, just a really quick cab ride from LaGuardia and he makes a living smiling, pouting, looking pensive, playful, whatever the shoot calls for.  He hangs out with celebrities and skateboards through NYC.  Quite the gig if you can get it.  He went with me to check in to the hotel and I am pretty sure the lady checking me in thought I was living a reverse Pretty Woman scenario.  I mentioned this to Ryan and he didn't get it.  Twenty two year old men aren't familiar with Pretty Woman.  Who knew?  Anyhow, we hung out in the city for a while, then he ditched me to go smile for the camera.  It was fun while it lasted.  Then I was lost.  Hopelessly, but I stumbled upon the Apple store, and from my research realized that I had also found FAO Schwarz.  All was right with the world.  Well, mostly.  I was still lost, but I found a really cool toy store, so it didn't seem as hopeless.

  The city is like an assault on your senses, especially if everything you see is a postcard in your head.  I left my nice camera behind.  I had to have my laptop count as my other carry on, and there is no way I would check it, so I had to count of my phone and my little Canon point and shoot.  Less that ideal, but what I had.  There were a million scenes I wanted to snap, but I also forgot my battery charger, so I was always afraid I would miss the next best thing.  I especially loved this bike.  Pretty right??

And this gate.  This was at the Met.  I didn't get to go in, but I could have stared for days.  There was so much detail, and it was just amazing.  I could have stayed for weeks.  As cheesy as it sounds the city really does make you feel alive.  It is so darn exciting!

The whole story of the trip, the airport, the snow, the is a doozie.  For now, I will leave you with this teaser!  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Shutterfly Wants You to Thank the Troops

Today is Veteran's Day.  My grandfather is a veteran.  He very proudly fought for our country many, many moons ago. Greg's grandfather was a real American hero.  There is a story of him saving his entire flight crew.  Today we have lots of men and women doing the same things, and it is much easier to tell them THANKS!  I can't imagine what it would have mean to our grandfather's to have been thanked on a day like today.

Shutterfly has made it really easy this year.  Just go Thank the Troops and create your own card.  Shutterly will print and ship the cards.  Their goal?  No biggie.  They just want to send a card to every American hero.  The cost to you?  A couple of minutes of your time.

My friend Summer has a husband in the Army.  He is gone for up to a year at a time.  My friend Jennifer photographs soldiers returning home, or more sadly, leaving their family for a deployment with a program called Op Love.

This is a very small, very easy, very awesome thing you can do with just a few clicks.  Come on, you can do it.  Send me your card so I can see what it looks like!!  Here is the inside of mine!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I Love Halloween

So, we went for it today.  We kept Avery inside, warm, and rested, and at 1 o'clock we headed down to The Children's Museum for Truck-or-Treat.  Avery had a hoot.  Glad we went.  I loved the Ghost Busters car complete with the whole set of Ghost Busters (2 of them were on a break).  How cool is this car?  Superb!!

From there it was over to Mellow Mushroom for a late lunch.  Mmm, Mellow delivers.  Y-U-M-M-Y

Next we headed to Old Salem for a little old school trick-or-treating.  Good gracious, Old Salem, you brought it.  We will have to do this every year.  I think the pumpkin party a week earlier will be a recurring event.  We really enjoyed this day.  My favorite pumpkins were:

I loved this guy's stem!!  

Way to think outside the box.  Love the stem nose!

Someone is super talented.  This one was a fan favorite.  I had to wait my turn to take this pic!

Upside down.  Clever!!

When we got in the car Avery said, shew, I had a long day, then he promptly passed out.  Yep, well done.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


We had the best plans for this weekend.  Today it was going to be Carowinds for the kid friendly Halloween party.  Tomorrow was Truck-or-Treat at the Children's Museum, followed by pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating at Old Salem.  I mean, honestly, short of winning the lottery, this is a pretty banner weekend for me.  Really!  Until........Avery got a cough, and a wheeze, and freakin' strep throat.  Blerg!!

I had a hunch his congestion was not run of the mill, so I scheduled an appointment as late as possible, Friday at 5.  We were home by 8 with 2 kinds of medicine, not counting the nebulizer, and a diagnosis of strep throat.  UGH!

Well, we carved a pumpkin anyway.  On our very own front porch, in the oddly warm weather.  So there!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

This is Halloween

We had the BEST weekend.  It was the Annual Linkous Family Pumpkin Party.  I probably shouldn't put words in Greg's mouth, but it is such a fun day for the whole family.  These are some of my favorite shots of the day, but not the complete list by FAR!

Team Newsom Fagan or Fagan Newsom

2 Captain Americas - Holding Hands

Newly Engaged - Michelle and Jerry

Team Wood - so Happy Together


Team Nixon - and almost Eleanor

Ginger's big smile

Hulk Spider Girl

New Boos

Besties from Charlotte

And baby 3 makes us complete

Just one America

And a princess vampire?

Daddy's Girl

Girl Crush

Miss Personality

My birthday buddy - Sweet Logan

Happiest Baby Ever!

He melts my heart, she makes me smile!

Sweet Couple

with Logan

Families that smile together, stay together!

Where's my big sister?

New York In November

So, I am going to New York.  In less than two weeks.  I am freaking out.  I hate traveling without Greg and Avery.  My stomach hurts the whole time and I feel like I might die.  I am not kidding.  It is like torture.  Judge me if you need to.  I really don't care.  I really dig my spouse and I love my child.  I work full time, and I resent having to spend even more time away from them than I already do.  Can't relate?  I am not asking you to.

The point is, it makes my darn heart hurt.  I am scared to death something horrible will happen while I am gone.  Please don't tell me to have faith or not to worry, it only pisses me off.  The reality is really bad stuff happens every day.  I cherish our time together.  I don't consider Greg or Avery a nuisance.  I don't "need" time away.  Again, I make NO apologies.

So, this trip is for work.  I do appreciate the opportunity to learn new stuff so that makes this trip more bearable.  I also will not be subjected to mandatory "work" dinners. I won't be surrounded by tons of people drinking, smoking, acting a fool.  It will just be me, and one other co-worker who will have his wife along.

I am very much looking forward to seeing my cousin Ryan (if it works out).  He's kind of a big deal, so I am not counting on it, but most of all, I am looking forward to seeing a couple of my pals complete the NYC Marathon.  I will be keeping one of their wives company and cheering them both on as loudly as this little southern voice of mine can!

I am also kind of hoping I see this guy:

And the Winner IS........

Ok, so Martha guilted me in to picking the winner and the winner is.......... entry 16

Congratulations!  Email me so I can get you the details you lucky dog!  I better get a Christmas card!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Awesome Idea for Photo Cards

Just found the best idea for making the photo card even more awesome:
Take a picture of the card and use it as your contact's photo on your phone! Awesome!!

Shutterfly Holiday Cards are HERE!

*This is a sponsored post  by my friends at Shutterfly!

Be honest, you love this time of year right?  If you don't my friend Ginger can talk you in to it.  Well, I do, but you probably already knew that.  Halloween is my most favorite holiday, but Christmas is a very close second, and do you know why?  Because I love the cards.  That's right, I said it.  I love Christmas Cards (see the whole Shutterfly collection here).  I do.  

I spend hours pouring over the options late at night, pouring over my pictures, plugging them in to the templates, debating, studying, deciding, and I normally end up with about 3 different designs, and I order the same amount of all 3.  No, I do not send everyone the same card.  I am a rebel like that.  I like to keep people on their toes.  

This year, I am in love with 8 designs.  Eight happens to be my lucky number, so I am sticking with it.  Let me tell you why I love all eight of them.  

I am going to start with a New Year's Card for you procrastinators out there.  Sometimes you get busy and think there is no point in sending cards, Christmas is over anyway.  Wrong!  Cut that out right now, and send a Happy New Year card.  Your friends will still have heard from you, and you will be that friend who shook it up a bit.  Do it!!

I really dig the pretty colors on this one.  No offense red and green.  You are awesome, but sometimes I want to be different ok??

I think this one is so pretty and simple and I love the embellishments that are actually on the picture.  It makes it look less like a template.

I love the simplicity of this one.  2013.  How the heck???

This one really speaks to my heart . I think fun it just so important.  Everyone doesn't have to look perfect, or posed, or matched, or be airbrushed.  I love ones that look fun!!!!

My problem with picking one, is that I love them all.  I can never decide if I want just one picture or a ton.  All black and white or throw in some color?  Ahh, the choices!

And no, not only people with cute kids can send photo cards.  Yes, I do care about your dog and I would love to see a picture of it.  Don't be silly, you don't have to have perfectly dressed children to send a Christmas card.  I can't wait to see Woxy Dog, Fido, or even your guinea pig.  I am serious!!

And last but not least, I give you JOY!  Enough said.

Now to the really good stuff.  My pals over at Shutterfly want you to fall as in love with the photo card as I have, so they are allowing me the opportunity to give away a prize.  Yep, $50 off your total order (not to include shipping, don't get greedy!)  Also, be sure to check out their Special Offers page for some goodness!

All you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW ALONG WITH A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS, telling me which card you love the best and why.  Good luck choosing less than 8!!  

GIVEAWAY - Enter to win a Gift Code for $50 off your order from Shutterfly. (does not include shipping)

Open to US Residents 18 yrs of age or older.  The giveaway will end on 10/21/12 at 12:01 AM EST.  The winner will be chosen by the randomly.  The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to contact me back to claim their prize.  The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.  OUIDA not responsible for lost or unreceived prizes.