Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hold the phone! What's a homophone?

So, it occurred to me today while responding to a friend's comment on one of my facebook posts that something we are often taught in grade school is not expounded upon correctly - not entirely anyway. 

You all know by now, I am sure, that I am quite the grammar/spelling nerd. I am sure you all will also remember that grammar lesson (maybe in second grade or so?) where you were taught all about homonyms. You know - words like to, two, and too, right? This is not entirely correct. Let me just clear something up really quickly. Homonyms are actually words that are spelled the same and are pronounced the same, but have different meanings. Ex: "May" (as in the month of May), and "may" (as in, "May I please have another cookie?"). The former example that I gave (to, two, and too) is actually an example of a group of words called homophones. They are words that sound the same, thus they have the same pronunciation (like homonyms, which also have the same pronunciation), but are spelled differently. 

I know it's a little confusing (and oh-so-irrelevant. haha), but for those of you who are visual learners and like to see things drawn out in pictures, I found this graph on

So technically, all homonyms are homophones because they all sound the same, but not all homophones are homonyms, because they are spelled differently.  It's like the square. All squares are rectangles because they have four sides; however, not all rectangles are squares because not all rectangles have four equal sides. Make sense? 

Aren't you glad I cleared that up? I am sure your lives have all been improved upon considerably now that I've shared this profound knowledge with you. I know, I know. You can all sleep soundly tonight. You're welcome. Haha. ;) 

Now - in other, more significant news: The Purple Lady's half-birthday bash is winding down this weekend, so I thought I would give you all one last reminder of the awesome giveaways she has been hosting over at All Things Purple

Day 7: One box set of the Janitors series, by Tyler Whitesides

Day 6: One copy of Drawing out the Dragons, by James A. Owen

Day 5: Two dozen of the best pumpkin cookies ever from The Luckiest - This giveaway is open to residents of the Las Vegas metropolitan area only. 

Day 4: Custom order of one dozen gourmet cupcakes from Silver Spoon Catering - This giveaway is only open to residents of the Northern Utah area.

Day 3: Amethyst Healing Crystal

Day 2: Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret, by Chad Morris

Day 1: Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson

If I calculated correctly, all of these giveaways end tomorrow night at midnight, so hurry on over to All Things Purple and get those last entries in. :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Candy Crush, The Movie

So, I know it has been forever since I've done a Frivolous Friday post, but my husband showed this video to me the other day, and I couldn't help but laugh my tail off. As a fairly recent member to the community of candy crush addiction, I found this video absolutely hilarious. You have to watch it to the very end too. That is probably the funniest part of the whole video. Now, click the video below and go get your laugh on. You're welcome. ;)

Happy Friday, my friends. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend - but don't forget to be frivolous. ;)

Oh, and don't forget to hop on over to All Things Purple to check out The Purple Lady's half-birthday bash. There are still a few days to get in on all of the shenanigans - and trust me, she is hosting some pretty dandy giveaways. Follow the links below for your chance to win:

Day 7: One box set of the Janitors series, by Tyler Whitesides

Day 6: One copy of Drawing out the Dragons, by James A. Owen

Day 5: Two dozen of the best pumpkin cookies ever from The Luckiest - This giveaway is only open to residents of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. 

Day 4: Custom order of one dozen gourmet cupcakes from Silver Spoon Catering - This giveaway is only open to residents of the Northern Utah area.

Day 3: Amethyst Healing Crystal

Day 2: Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret, by Chad Morris

Day 1: Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Surprise, SURPRISE - An exciting announcement, plus giveaways galore!

So, a few posts back, I mentioned that there have been some exciting, yet unexpected things happening in our home life recently that have kept me pretty preoccupied (mentally, emotionally, and physically). I didn't want to share too much of the details on the blog at the time, because things were still pretty new and uncertain. I think at this point, though, it's safe to give you all a clue - and you know what they say: A picture is worth a thousand words. ;)

Well, I am sure you have guessed by now what our exciting news is - and if the ultrasound was not a dead giveaway, then let me just tell you all that yes - baby #4 is officially on his/her way, and is expected to arrive April 23, 2014. It is still a little crazy for me to try and wrap my mind around the reality of the situation - my husband and I will be the parents of FOUR children. Yowza! Hehe. We are all very excited about this unexpected new adventure in our lives, and we look forward to sharing the experience (and all the LOVELY details. hehe) with you in the months to come. 

Now, onto the giveaways: The Purple Lady's half birthday bash is still going on strong (she really knows how to party) and there is still plenty of time to get in on all of the fun stuff that she is giving away this week. The giveaways are as follows:

Day 5: Two dozen of the best pumpkin cookies ever from The Luckiest - This giveaway is only open to residents of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. 

Day 4: Custom order of one dozen gourmet cupcakes from Silver Spoon Catering - This giveaway is only open to residents of the Northern Utah area.

Day 3: Amethyst Healing Crystal

Day 2: Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret, by Chad Morris

Day 1: Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson

P.S. Yes, you read that correctly. The Luckiest (yours truly) is proudly sponsoring today's (Day 5) giveaway on All Things Purple, and the cookies I am offering are an absolute treat. They come from my mother-in-law's famous, sought-after recipe, and are a definite fall favorite of the whole family's.

Anyway, I hope that you all are taking advantage of the giveaways on The Purple Lady's blog this week. I know I have been having a blast and look forward to seeing the results in a few days. Don't miss out on the fun. :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Board Games and Giveaways

Gems of Reflection: #35
When I was a kid, I LOVED board games. Some of my favorites when I was really small were Hi Ho Cherry Oh, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Chutes and Ladders, and Candy Land. When I started getting a little older, I remember playing some other board games with my family like Zobmondo and Tabu. I think my all-time favorite board game, would have to be Sorry, though.

As an adult, there were a few games that I discovered that I totally fell in love with. Scene It, for example. That game is SO much fun. We have a few different versions of the game now, Scene-it Disney, Scene-It Twilight, and my personal favorite, Scene-It Harry Potter, The Complete Journey (which includes clips and trivia from all 8 movies). If you ever want to see a serious battle going down in our house, suggest that we play that game, and you will even see the crazy (and I mean, CRAZY) competitor come out in my husband. Haha. It is seriously so much fun though. I would definitely recommend that game for a family game night, or family home evening. It makes for some seriously hilarious entertainment.

Another fun game that I discovered as an adult is Apples to Apples. I play this game with M every once in a while (the babies still aren't old enough), and it is also loads of fun. It's a fun game of comparisons that really keeps you on your toes and keeps things light and fun.

Aside from the typical board games, one of my favorite games to play with family is Charades. We still play this game at family get-togethers with our kids, and they have a blast - especially when it is their turn to act out the clues, trying to get the rest of us to guess the answer. Some of the things they come up with (especially my five-year-old niece, who insists she is big enough to have a turn) are absolutely hilarious. It does leave you wondering though, "How on earth were we ever suppose to guess THAT?" Haha. It is fun to see their minds at work, though, and the kids all have a blast. To me, that is what is important.

Anyway, speaking of fun and games, I just wanted to give you guys a quick reminder about The Purple Lady's half-birthday bash that is taking place over at All Things Purple this week. Below is a list of all the current giveaways. There are still a few days left to enter each giveaway, but don't hesitate. Each giveaway has its own deadline, and they will be ending soon. Hop on over there and get in on the shenanigans. You can thank me later. ;)

Custom order of one dozen gourmet cupcakes from Silver Spoon Catering: This giveaway is only open to residents of the Northern Utah area.

Amethyst Healing Crystal

Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret, by Chad Morris

Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Memories of Christmas

Gems of Reflection: #34
So, it seems like Christmas has been a major theme here on the blog lately, thanks to our random, little Gems posts. And I know it's only September, but I don't mind. Christmas was always one of my favorite holidays as a child, and it continues to be a truly magical time of year for me. Growing up, there was always so much excitement to look forward to, and I welcomed the season with open arms.  

For starters, we would go shopping every year (usually a few weeks before Christmas) for a beautiful, deliciously fragrant, REAL Christmas tree from one of the nearby lots. We'd bring it home and decorate it with lights, garland, and an array of ornaments and homemade decorations. We'd blast Christmas music and sing along as our family bonded over hot chocolate or egg nog, and memories of Christmases past.

Also, my great aunt, Helen, has thrown her annual Christmas party (since before I can remember) on the Saturday before Christmas at her house, where everyone comes together for a potluck and enjoys good company and great food. Some things we always anticipated with pleasure were her chicken soup and homemade biscuits. They were a staple at these parties, and we looked forward to indulging in these yummy, little delights from the turn of every season until the day the party arrived. We would always fill our bowls with her delicious mashed potatoes, and then would cover them with chicken soup. Oh man, it is making my mouth water just thinking about it. Her chicken soup is the best, and it's something I look forward to still.

As a tradition, she has also made dozens of shepherds cakes every year, which she wraps individually and gives to each family as a special gift from her. The kitchen counters were always covered in mountains of decadent desserts too: succulent pies, cakes, fudge, divinity, my mom's pumpkin rolls (another Christmas staple of my childhood), you name it. It was one of those events where one liked to pretend that calories didn't count for the day, for sure. Haha. But yes, some of my favorite Christmas memories are of Christmas parties at Aunt Helen's house. Good times.

Christmas around our house was always exciting too. During the holiday season, we'd often visit opportunity village. It was always so much fun walking through the magical forest, looking at all of the Christmas lights, while sipping on some yummy hot chocolate. Then, on Christmas Eve, we would make sugar cookies with frosting to leave for Santa. Afterward, we would drive around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, and would often return home to watch Christmas movies and drink egg nog. 

When Christmas morning arrived, we'd wake in anticipation at like 2:00 a.m. to see what Santa had brought us. My parents finally set a rule that we were not allowed to wake them up on Christmas morning until 6:00 a.m., so that they wouldn't be too drained throughout the day. It didn't hinder us from continuing to wake up so early every year though. We just started utilizing that time to sort gifts and start shaking presents from our pile, trying with wide eyes and energetic smiles to guess what was inside.

To this day, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and I hope to pass that magic on to my children as they grow and experience the wonderment of the holiday season.

Anyway, In the spirit of our "Christmas in September" theme, I just wanted to remind you all about the awesome giveaways happening over at All Things Purple this week in celebration of her third annual half-birthday. Today, she has a giveaway for an amethyst healing crystal. There is also still plenty of time to get in on the Blackmoore giveaway, and the giveaway for Cragbridge Hall, The Inventor's Secret. Good luck to all, but do not delay. You won't want to miss out on these awesome giveaways. :) 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reflections on Retirement, plus Book Giveaways

Gems of Reflection: #33
As of right now, I am a stay-at-home mom and a writer. I can't imagine that I will ever retire from either of those "jobs", but I do have dreams of grandeur that one day, I will be an accomplished writer of children's books and young adult fiction.

Let's say (for the sake of clinging onto the hope that my dreams will be accomplished in due course), that one day I become an established, successful writer. I can't imagine that I will ever stop writing - even when I am older and have grandchildren. But after a long and fruitful career as a writer (hey, I've got to dream big, right? hehe), I can imagine that I would reach a point where I'll be ready to slow down and simply enjoy the many pleasures of life: traveling the world, spending time with family, etc.

I am sure that my husband will be ready to retire too someday (maybe not from his music though. That is as ingrained in his blood as much as writing is ingrained in mine), and when he is, one thing I definitely want to do with him is serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Serving a mission with my husband in retirement has been a deep-seeded desire of mine since before I even met him. Now that I know him, and our relationship has grown in depth and commitment, I feel this desire even more so. We have accomplished a lot of things together, and serving the Lord as a couple would only be the icing on the cake.

I expect too, that my husband and I (and our family) will have done some significant traveling before we reach the age of retirement, but I hope to continue to travel in that stage of our lives as long as our health permits.

Anyway, speaking of being a fabulously talented writer, The Purple Lady is continuing with her Third Annual Half-Birthday Bash today, and has another book review and giveaway for Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris. She describes this book as being highly innovative and entertaining for readers of all ages (10 and up), so head on over to All Things Purple and check it out.

Also, don't forget about the book giveaway for Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, which started yesterday. There is still plenty of time to get in on that giveaway as well, and I can not even begin to express my excitement for this book sufficiently. You will not want to miss out on this one. ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Christmas in September!

Gems of Reflection
So, I know that I got behind on my Gems posts (again) by a several weeks, so I apologize for my silence here on the blog. Things have been crazy around here getting kids ready to go back to school, and there have been some other exciting/crazy/unexpected things happening that I am not quite ready to disclose on the blog just yet. No worries though, I am going to try to get caught up on the posts this week - and hopefully, there will be some good news to share in the near future.

Anyway, onto the Gems post: I don't really remember visiting the downtown area of Las Vegas much as a kid during the holiday season, but I know that if there's one thing that Vegas does big, it's the holidays. The shopping malls were always decked with the most extravagant of Christmas decorations; garland and ornaments on every rail and every banister, a large Christmas tree at the center of it all for everyone to enjoy, not to mention the beautiful display of Santa's workshop, where children would line up with anticipation to get their picture taken with him.

The Las Vegas Strip was always decorated as a wonderland of Christmas beauty as well. The trees, which line the streets of Las Vegas Boulevard, were lit up with lights and garland, and every hotel/casino showered the air with the magical sounds of Christmas music.

Now, I know that it is only September, and that Christmas is still a few months away, but it is like Christmas this week, for The Purple Lady is celebrating her third annual half-birthday over at All Things Purple, and she is hosting some awesome giveaways all week long. Today, she has a book review and giveaway for Blackmoore, the new regency romance novel by Julianne Donaldson. I am so excited about this book, and I know you will be too, so head on over and check it out.

Happy Friday. :)