Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Monday

      I am so very sleepy today.  I had big plans over the weekend where I was going to make vast achievements in housekeeping, baking and catching up on Mad Men.  That didn't go so well.  I did the dishes, turned the oven on just long enough to toast some garlic bread and watched exactly two minutes of Mad Men before Andy decided that we wouldn't remember what the heck was going on in the world of True Blood unless we rewatched the final episode of last season.  I was then horribly distracted by Neil Patrick Harris and the opening of the Tony Awards before TB began.  By the time it was over I needed to head to bed because I had to be at work at three a.m. to do one of my least favorite projects - the water wall.  Blech.

      This weekend did hold some nice moments.  We saw Snow White and the Huntsman at the Leitersberg Cinema.  I love that theatre.  It has all been remodeled and we always go to movies in the V.I.P. theatres that have huge leather recliners.  The only complaint I have about them is that it always feels refrigerated in there to me.  When you go to their "dinner and a movie" nights they pass out blankets and they give you coffee too.  I think that should come with every feature.  Next time I might have to take my Snuggie and put up with the strange looks people give me.  The lights are pretty low in there and you do get swallowed up by the recliners so I might only get those looks from a few folks.  It will be worth it to feel my toes when we leave.  I also got to spend a nice afternoon with my friend Grahm and his son Ezra.  Toddlers are awesome because they always are in the moment and you always know how they feel.  They don't have to edit their emotions and we don't expect it of them.  I wish that freedom was a little more acceptable in grown ups.

      I decided that I was going to go and get the mail today and then come right back and let you know what awesome things I got.  It is almost 4:30 so it ought to be here by now...  (and because I'm so excited it will probably be bills)       Stay tuned....  There will now be a brief intermission....


      And I got NOTHING!!  Ugh!  I wish our mailman had a reliable schedule.  He gets here between noon and 5:30 which is not cool.  Oh well.  Andy is outside mowing the lawn, perhaps the mailman is afraid he will be run over.  He doubles back to our house a lot because he never brings packages with him the first time.  That is the best - when the mail comes and there are fun things like magazines and makeup samples and I go out later to water the plants and find a box he forgot to bring.  Maybe he is saving the whole shebang for the double back?  It could happen!

      I did get some cool stuff this weekend.  My Grill Mates package arrived and

    HOLD THE PRESSES!  -  Andy just scared the crap out of me by knocking on the window to the office to tell me the mailman came and wait until you see this!  I am taking a picture right now!

      Holy cow!  That is over a foot of packages!  Andy said the mailman laughed and said we hit the jackpot and that I must be scouring the internet to make him work harder.  Ha ha!

     Okay, so what is it all?  Here's a rundown from top to bottom:

#1 Manilla envelope on top - my free necklace (just paid shipping) from the Autism Site.  I am going to do a whole post on this site which is a part of the Greater Good Network and how I click there every day

#2 Flexitol heel balm sample attached to a post card

#3 3 pieces of junk mail

#4 3 bills (which I could've totally done without, Mr. Postman)

#5 Coupon for a free 20oz. Coca Cola from the Subway Battleship Instant win game

#6 Booklet of coupons for Sears including 25% off any Kenmore Appliance

#7 3 pieces of mail addressed to Andy.  (The nerve of some husbands!  Geesh!)

#8 Larger brown box - Smirnoff Highball Glass (1000 won each week - week 2)

#9 Smaller brown box - Smirnoff Whipped Cream/ Fluffed Marshmallow shot glasses (week 3)

#10 White box - Julep June Mystery Box - This is something I purchased, they have 500 up for grabs, you are guaranteed a special limited edition mystery color of nail polish and you have a chance at a golden box - 50 of the boxes had the full summer color line worth $200.  Mine is not heavy enough to be a special box but it is still going to be sweet.

#11 Hot pink box -  My Birchbox!  Love!  Also a purchase but always filled with awesomeness

#12 Manilla envelope on bottom - my Doggyloot mystery pack.  I was hoping for something else, but I still am hoping this is neat.  They send toys that are guaranteed to be Cinna proof and super tough.  I am taking a chance on this company because they always have some good deals and Andy and I are at our wits' end with the rate my puppy can chew things up.   It was sort of pricey ($24) but guaranteed to be toys she couldn't kill.  A random selection of 4.  If she tears these up I'm afraid there's no hope in Mudville, but at least they are guaranteed.

      I am now off to open all this crazy stuff.  Tomorrow I will post some more pics and we'll see what happens in the dreaded jaws of Cinnabar....

      Until next time, lots of love and good sparkly things to you.

P.S. Yay!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Here, try this!

      I really love product test sites.  One of the reasons is that I love to talk.  Anybody who knows me knows that.  I like to talk about everything.  One of the nicest things is that when you join online sites that value your opinions on the products that they give you to test, they like hearing what you have to say about it, good or bad.  One of the other things most of my friends know about me is that they shouldn't ask for my honest opinion unless that is what they want to hear.  I don't tend to sugar coat things and if I am really unhappy about something you would hear a lot of things you might not be ready for.  These companies dig that,  and they dig me too.  I am active in three different groups that reward your opinions and insight into new products with free items you test and keep in return for a review.

      The first is called Crowdtap.  They offer hosted parties and sampling opportunities to members of their community.  There are lots of fun activities and really quick surveys that you complete to find campaigns that you are interested in and that you would enjoy.  I was invited to host two parties with them which I will be planning and sending out invites to soon.  The first is called "America's next Wooliteer" and in it they give you samples of the new Woolite Extra Care Dark to hand out to your guests, along with trivia games and party suggestions of activities.  They also have different challenges where you can earn points that go toward your account's bank that you can redeem for prizes like t-shirts and gift cards.  This is an example of a photo challenge I completed for Woolite to earn points.

      You don't have to put so much effort into it, but I had an idea for a beaded logo and I ran with it!  You had to take a photo of a tortured item of clothing that could've benefited from special care.

      I also have been tapped to host a McCormick Grillmates party where they send you an assortment of dry rubs, marinades, spice mixes and sauces to inspire a backyard BBQ this July!  I can't wait for that one, and Andy is excited about it too.  I was also invited to a pre-release party of Madagascar 3, but I had a scheduling conflict.  Hopefully I will get to see other screenings in the future because I love movies!  If you'd like to find out more about Crowdtap, here is a link for you.


      I am also a member of Smiley360.  Smiley360 is a nice little site where they ask you an initial bunch of survey questions and try to match you to campaigns that you would like to try.  They email you when they have an opportunity and you can join things that you think are right for you.  I am currently testing L'Oreal Youth Code Day/Night cream for Smiley360.  I received my mission and got a really nice sized jar of the cream to keep and try.  From what I understand sometimes they do blind tests where they send you unmarked products that only list the ingredients so you can try them and give the manufacturers your honest evaluation.  Before I joined they did a campaign like this with Vaseline Intensive Care Moisturizing lotion, and the testers who took part received the initial sample and after the "reveal" an additional branded product to keep.  They do more than beauty products - they sample everything from Knorr soups to Breathe Right nasal strips.  Hopefully I will get another Smiley360 campaign soon!  Here is a referral link.—Be Heard. Be Happy.

      Last but not least is my favorite so far BzzAgent.  BzzAgent is exciting.  I have loved participating in the Bzz campaigns and they have a really well tailored survey that lets you get started right away.  You can Bzz your opinions on Facebook, Twitter and many other social media sites.  You also have direct links with the manufacturers and along with the test products they send you guides on sharing your experiences and give you coupons to let your friends try out whatever product you are testing.  My first experience was a high value coupon for Lindt truffles I could send to friends I thought would enjoy them.  There was no test product, but it was a familiar brand and the coupon was a good one.  You build your Bzz score and as you share more and tell more people about your experiences to build brand bzz you get more campaigns.  I received a great Bzzkit from Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Insoles which contained a free pair for me to try in my work shoes and also lots of $5 off product coupons so I could share the product with friends.  Again, it was a brand I was familiar with and already like so it was easy to express my thoughts to the company.  My Dr. Scholl's Bzzkit looked like this.

      I have also been fortunate to get a special Bzzkit for Kindle owners.  I receive a pre-launch copy of Oliver Potzsch's new novel The Dark Monk and also his original novel in the series The Hangman's Daughter.  It just arrived yesterday and as soon as I am finished I am going to start it.  Bzzing about a book?  Awesome!  I also just found out that I was accepted to a John Freida campaign to try a version of their Frizz-Ease Sheer Solution product that is lightweight for people with fine hair.  I look forward to that because although I have used the product many times to style wigs, it was always too heavy in my hair and weighed it down.  I love free products - they are like awesome little gifts that pop up from time to time.  (Just today in my mailbox I got a coupon for a free 64oz. juice from Old Orchard, Always Radiant samples with a really cute wristlet purse, Tully's brand K-cups for my Keurig brewer and a Clif Builder's Bar in their crunchy peanut butter flavor.  All of those were just random freebies I signed up for on Facebook - how cool is that?)

      Okay - I know BzzAgent sounds great - If you are interested in an invitation to join leave a comment on this post and I will shoot you an email with the information, or just go to BzzAgent and sign up to get bzzing!  (P.S. they are looking for testers for lots of really awesome stuff like BE wines and a company that sells juicers as well as pretty party ware from Mozaik, and charity related campaigns like Live Below the Line.  There is really something for everybody!)

      Alllllrighty then!  That's the lowdown on the three big ones.  I also applied to host a game night from a site called House Party but still haven't been confirmed.  I also occasionally do Vocal Point which offers some "try and tell" coupons and opportunities.  The Always offer I received today actually came through them.  You don't have to write a review, but they encourage you to interact and to enter their contests for full sized products.  Later this week I am going to talk about all of the wonderful things that have randomly shown up on my doorstep and how you can go about getting them for yourself if you need a little bit of extra joy heading your way.

      Much Love and lots of summer sun and fun.  Have a great weekend!  (I'm going to start early because I'll be done with work by 11am tomorrow - yay!!)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rest in Peace Ray

      Even though I should be in bed (since I have to work at 3am tomorrow - yikes!) I just wanted to quickly post about some cool things that have happened.  I got my copies of Oliver Potzsch's The Hangman's Daughter and The Dark Monk today on my Kindle from BzzAgent.  I actually read The Hangman's Daughter which was a historical mystery novel a while ago, and enjoyed it although it was slow at first.  The Dark Monk doesn't launch in print until next week and if I hurry I will get to review it early.  I am always fond of books, and the opportunity to read it free makes me really happy!  I will be posting a review here and on GoodReads as well as soon as I get into it.

      Another exciting book win happened today too.  I just found out that I was randomly picked to win a free copy of the memoir Jasmine and Fire by Salma Abdelnour from Read It Forward.  It is about her experiences during a year she spent in Beirut.  It looked really interesting, and this is also an advance copy but it is a physical book rather than one for my e-reader.  I am expecting it in about a month, so I will definitely be talking about it after I'm done, and in the read it forward spirit I would be happy to let anyone else who has an interest borrow my copy.

      One very sad thing that happened today was that one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury died.  I loved his short story collections especially, and also have been a fan of his since I was very very young and I watched a wonderful ABC after school special based on one of his works called "The Electric Grandmother."  I also have loved the Disney movie "Something Wicked This Way Comes" based on his story The Autumn People for as long as I can remember.  I have dvds of the old Ray Bradbury theatre shows from HBO that I watched when I was younger too.  From Dandelion Wine (which was almost the name of this blog) to Fahrenheit 451 I have loved his work and I am sad to see that he has passed on.  Thankfully he has left behind a legacy of wonderful science fiction and fantasy writing to readers everywhere and he will live on in his words and his influence in other's work.  I will always be grateful for the little moments of wonder and excitement he has given me.  Thank you Ray.  Rest in Peace.

      Much Joy and Love to you.  Read a little every day and I know you will find it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sample Subscriptions - Genius!

      Howdy folks!  One of the ways I have recently been adding to my "small wonders every day" project is through the purchase of a few sample subscription boxes.  Eventually I am going to do a breakdown of all the ones I have bought and if I thought they were sweet or decided they wouldn't be showing up again.  Basically a sample subscription is this: you send a small amount of money per month to a bunch of people who build boxes of samples (generally beauty but could be any number of things catered to your interests like food, cleaning products etc.) that you might be interested in.  Sometimes you get full size products, most of the time you get "luxury" sized samples that give you plenty of the product to try and fall in love with or leave behind in a post-it note breakup.  Today I am going to share my very first experience with Cravebox - a site that charges $10 a month and sends you a big box, chock a block full of things to amaze you and small wows to get excited about.

      Open it with me!

      When it arrives there is intense excitement!  What could be in here?  What cool discoveries am I going to make?  I had been on a waiting list for what seemed like ages to get in with this company.  They pack an eclectic mix of everything in their boxes, so you never know what is in store.  They contacted me a couple of weeks ago and let me know that I had won a lottery to get a subscription slot.  They are very popular and I was very happy to get in - I know lots of people wanted to get their hands on the Cravebox loot!

      Right away there was a letter telling me what was in store in my Cravebox, but I didn't want to spoil it, so I tucked it aside to read later when I wasn't busy bouncing up and down.  I uncurled a pink ribbon and found some Plum Amazins snacks from Sunsweet.  They were delicious and I munched on them right away. They are kind of like Crasins or raisins but they weren't as sugary sweet and they were nice and chewy.  The next thing was a Lipton sample which I was psyched over until I saw it was pineapple mango flavor -two fruits that I am completely allergic to!  Ick!  But Andy will like it a lot so it's still cool.

      Next came two full size products: An 18oz. Tree Hut coconut lime shea sugar body scrub (which I would adore except for the shea in it.  I unfortunately am allergic to everything under the sun).  It smelled fantastic and I wish I could use it but it will make a great gift for someone's birthday!  The Skintersection cream for crazcked skin repair was also full size - 2 fl oz. and felt really great on my heels - I popped open the cap and tried it immediately.  Normally I would have been reading the product to see what was in it, but I had heard about them before and I knew what it was - a jar of super creamy goodness that works on cracked skin.  It has tomato extract in it which I thought was neat.  Last but not least - GuyLian chocolate seashells.  Um - yum!  I loved getting candy!  And truffles at that - so yummy.

      So the whole box of surprises looked like this:

      I thought it was a great value and it actually had several things I could put to good use including recipe cards for the plums, and coupons to buy bigger sizes of the tea (in a non allergy flavor) and the Amazins.  I wouldn't have sought out most of the products on my own but I was happy to have found the cream which I really like and the chocolates were dreamy.  I think they have that chocolate brand at Sam's Club.  I might look into them at Christmastime and see if they have other seasonal shapes.

      All in all I thought it was a great mix of exciting stuff and even though two of the products were not well suited for me given my allergies, I am really encouraged to see what the coming months will bring.  I also filled out a survey for Plum Amazins and they get back to you with offers that include coupons and full sized products, so I just might win something cool too.  I also attended the Taste of the Tropics Cravebox Twitter party tonight and had a good time getting to know some other women who shared my interests.  They gave out prizes, and even though I didn't win I was interested to learn about Tweetgrid where I can watch the parties happen in real time.  If you want to follow me on twitter I post about free stuff and twitter parties on there, and often about contests and giveaways too.  You can follow me at @mjreynolds32.

      I also have tried these kinds of boxes from Birchbox, Eco Emi, Julep Maven and New Beauty Test Tube.  There are some definite winners (Eco Emi I love you so!) and losers (Me and the Test Tube are on  the outs, and I can't be won back).  Stay tuned for posts and pics about them too.

      Here's hoping much love and joy are headed your way today and every day.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

      Woohoo!  I love winning things.  When I was a little girl my Mom always encouraged me to put my name in raffles and drawings.  She always told me I was lucky.  I started to believe it.  I don't win all the time.  I wouldn't even say I win things a lot, but even if the win is a pen I'm on cloud nine.  I think the excitement of being chosen is so much fun.  I like the randomness of random drawings and I love when I can show off my mad skills of remembering dumb little things that most people have let slip from their brains ages ago.  I am certain that my knowledge of the name of a branch of the Russian Secret Police (the Oprichniki) is going to land me a prize someday.  I'm even more certain of this because when asked the question "name a branch of the Russian Secret Police" on my Principles of Democracy exam in tenth grade I sloppily wrote "Zagnut" and received full credit.  I was partially testing my teacher's ability to grade exams, and also I couldn't remember one and I had just seen the movie Beetlejuice.  Now I will never forget it, so obviously it is necessary information!

      At the end of April our local branch of Chik-fil-A had a small appreciation event for Mother's Day.  They called it ladies' night out and invited local small business owners to come and set up in their booths to host a little area where you could shop for Mother's Day.  My friend Kathy was there promoting her business (A SpecialTea Place) and I went to visit her and lend my support.  Long story short - there was a raffle - I dropped in an entry form and I won this...

    ...An awesome gift basket that was filled with cool stuff from all of the vendors at the event.  I was so excited when they called me I might have whooped a little, but no one gave me any funny looks because I was at work on my lunch break and people there expect me to be a little bit weird.  I found it really encouraging.  It was also filled with all kinds of stuff that I love - makeup, free food and tea (thanks for the tea Kathy!) and house goods too.  Additionally there were some great gift certificates which I have already made use of.

      Just after I won this I started having all kinds of good luck come my way.  I won a $30 Fandango gift card from an AT&T instant win game, and Oasis face hydration product from the company H2O+ in their online Under the Surface Game, and I was one of the first 300 folks to sign up for and win a free wedding bag from an online store called Boncy Boutique.  This is what it looked like:

The stuff in it is jewelry of my Mom's and I am using the photo to enter yet another awesome little contest from them.  They asked all of the winners to show how you were using your bag and the person who gets the most likes on their image will win some free jewelry from them.  If you want to vote for me, visit the Boncy Boutique Facebook page and like the photo above that appears on their wall.  While you're at it wish me luck!

      Instant win games are easy to find.  Companies sponsor them on their Facebook pages a lot.  Also you can find lists of active games on sites like Free Samples to Fill Up Your Mailbox and if you go to their site (or link to it from their Facebook page of the same name) you can click on "Instant Win Games" at the top of the page to go to a whole list of active games including the H2O+ Under the Surface promotion.  Most of the times you just have to give your name and email and click a button to spin a wheel or try to reveal a prize.  Bic markers is currently having a giveaway on their Facebook page too and it is pretty easy to win that one since they are giving away 100 an hour.  Remember what I said about being happy just to win a pen?  I scored a new Bic Mark It marker in a fashionable summer color.  Yeah baby!

      Another way you can win things is by being one of the first X amount of responses.  The Boncy bag was something I won like this.  I was one of the first 300 people to click at 9pm on a certain night.  You need lightning fast fingers to fill out your forms and auto fill helps if you have it enabled.  I am usually pretty bad at things like this unless there are at least 1000 being given away.  In the last few weeks I won a free coupon for a full size Dickenson's facial care product, and a cooler (like an insulated lunch box) from Friggo cheese products.  These little games pop up all the time if you are on any of the free product alert Facebook pages. There seem to be a lot of them in the early afternoon, right when I get home and I'm online anyway.  Sometimes if there is a specific time a company is going to be giving away free samples or products they will post reminders so you can be there to try and catch the deal.  I have received free samples of Crystal Light and Garnier shampoo this way.

      I hope that you are excited and encouraged that you can win.  Half the excitement comes from the anticipation!  I love the feeling of waiting for a name to be announced.  I think that most drumrolls must surely be meant for me!  Just knowing that I might win is often really fun.  The next best thing about winning is forgetting that you won a prize and then having UPS show up at your door with a package.  I love getting these mystery boxes - when I open them and look at the little wonders popping up in my day, I am filled with glee!

      Much love and many winning moments is my wish for you today!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nifty little things in my mailbox

      So one of the things that I have been very excited about (super, stupid excited about) is the fact that my friend Marcie showed me how to sign up for free stuff online.  Now I know that people occasionally get free samples in their mailbox, and I am a total sucker for the gift with purchase deals (Clinique Bonus Time anyone?) that you see in the stores.  I never realized how much companies want you to try their stuff.  I know it is all a marketing ploy to get you to fall in love with something so you will repurchase it in the future even though it might be expensive or something you would've never planned on buying in the first place.  That being said, I am a terrible impulse shopper so if a company is willing to let me test out something that I find out I don't care for I don't waste any money.  At the moment, I have enough shampoo sachets to keep my hair clean for several weeks and I didn't have to shell out the $3 -$5 a bottle on them just because I thought they smelled good.

      Like I said before, going to the mailbox every day is a little like Christmas.  Besides Sundays and holidays I have gotten at least one cool (or possibly cool) thing in the mailbox every day except one for the last three and a half weeks.  Free magazines, free beauty products, free coupons, and free cleaning products.  A whole mess of stuff that I think is amazing.  Now I understand that some of you might say - "Oh wow - cereal - big freaking deal!"  but I love the potential of a little gift brightening every day.  I am amazed and impressed by the quality and the size of some of the samples.  I look at some of them and I think "really?  They wasted a stamp to send me 2 blisters of Prilosec?"  In the end it is all part of the excitement.  If I can't use it I know that I could donate it to a local food bank or save it for Christmas when they put out calls for sample sized items to send overseas in care packages for the troops.  None of it will go to waste because I will pass on anything I get that doesn't suit me to friends and family.  Do I really need an Arby's t-shirt?  No.  Will I sleep in it and garden in it and love  it just the same?  Absolutely.

      The very first thing I got was also one of the things that blew me away.  It was an Atkins weight loss start up kit.  Now I'm not running out to start the Atkins diet plan.  I consider myself a starch-itarian, so it would be murder for me.  However I have tried the bar before as a snack in place of candy and I really enjoyed them.  The kit came four days after I filled out my info even though it said "allow 6-8 weeks".  It looked like this:

      The box was filled with a meal plan and recipe book, a carb counter card and three of the bars that I liked so much.  I know that the bars generally come in six packs, so I was able to try several flavors that I hadn't had before.  I thought this was a genuinely cool sample, and I was happy to take the bars to work with me and have them as a snack or even as lunch.  The chocolate peanut one in the middle tasted about as much like a Snickers bars as anything that had no sugar in it could, so I would say it was pretty awesome.  I emailed them and asked a question about how I could get a second one for my mother in law who didn't have an email address and they took her mailing address and sent her one too which was pretty cool of them.

      I plan on making little posts whenever I get something awesome or surprising in my mailbox.  If you want to know more about how I got it, where I got it or if it is still available, I will do my best to find out for you.  Leave me a comment and I will post a link if you can still get it.

      As of today (June 2, 2012) the Atkins link is still open if it looks like something you might want to try.
                                      Atkins Start up Kit

      In my next post I'm going to talk about another new discovery - instant win games and contests.  After that there is a whole world of cool things to come - product test sites, coupon match ups that are already done for you, and the thing I am most excited about - sample subscriptions!  (The last ones cost money.  No worries though, I will try and explain the ins and outs of the ones I have subscribed to so you can make informed decisions.  Are they cool - yep!  Are they all worth the money? - nope.)

Much Love, and the hope that you may find some small wonders in your life today.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hi! Welcome!


      My name is Michelle and I am thrilled to call this my very first blog entry.  I'm new to this blogging thing, and I know it takes a little time, but I am excited to get my voice out there in a different way.

      There are so many delightful little moments that take place in our lives that get glossed over and taken for granted that I thought maybe I might just share my "little wonders" with you.  What are little wonders?  They are happy little things that take place in our everyday lives.  Maybe someone compliments you, or you can finally button up those jeans you've been trying to get into again.  Maybe you tried something awesome and are happy that you had the experience.  It might just be that in gazing down at your lawn and regretting the fact that the grass is high or there are 500 things you ought to accomplish before you have time to tackle it, you spot a something.

      A tiny yellow flower.

      Some might call it a weed.  The second before you return to the busy clip of your life you really look at it.  What you see is amazing.  A tiny glowing button of color that has popped up despite of all the things working against it.

      I love dandelions for many reasons.  They are pretty little monsters that seem to be everywhere you don't want them to be and at the same time they are tiny glorious interruptions of color in the middle of the sameness that we see everyday.

       This blog is going to be about appreciating the unexpected joys of  the daily grind.  I get tremendously excited over little things.  If someone says "hey you have beautiful eyes" I will glow for days.  If I win a contest or even score something free, I am bouncing with joy.  If I happen to try a new lipstick or a new recipe I can't stop talking about it for days.  If I ever won the lottery or "a major award" (like in A Christmas Story) I just might pass out.

       I think there are 1000 reasons to celebrate right here and now.  That's one of the reasons I love Christmas so much.  For a few weeks there is an undeniable excitement in the air.  People seem kinder.  The world looks rosier.  There is so much good will going around that I don't know who to smile at first.  That's why I want a little Christmas every day.  A little excitement.  A little appreciation for the tiny hearty dandelions that are just begging you to make them into a crown and wear it with pride and delight.  I hope that you can find the same happiness in the tiny wonders that present themselves to you.  If you find one, please share it with me because the only thing I like better than the feeling I get when I stop and appreciate the world is knowing others can share in that same simple happiness.

      Much Love.