Friday, March 27, 2009

made me cry

This link will take you to a wedding video that will either, make you cry or pee your pants... take your pick. It's hilarious.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the actual survey

this is the survey for my thesis, the first part is a disclaimer... yada, yada, yada  if you didn't email me but are interested in taking the survey perusing it over - I will love you forever & your childrens children - Please copy & paste it into an email and send it to: maren_buchanan at yahoo {dot} com

Survey for SSC Thesis Paper
Maren Buchanan

Thank you for volunteering for this survey. Your answers will help me to get a better understanding/feel for the relationship that you have with blogs, online/offline relationships, and your creative outlet (ie sewing, scrapbooking, etc.).

Any information that I obtain will be used for academic purposes. Please complete the survey as well as you can. If you have any comments, do not understand what I am getting at, or need further clarification, you can email me or respond to that effect on your survey. If there is anything you don’t want to answer just state that, please don’t leave any blanks. Completion of this survey is optional. You may quit at any time during the survey; it does not need to be submitted. Your name will be kept confidential, any answers provided will be written under a pseudonym.

I might email you after the survey is complete for further light only you can shed. Again, I truly appreciate your time and thoughtfulness to these questions and participating. You rock!

Online/Offline Bloggy Survey
Marital status:
Children, ages:
Pets, how many what kind:
Whose responsibility is it to care for them?
Which of the following categories do you fit into: (check all that apply)
stay at home mom
work full time away from home
part time away from home
work full time from home
part time from home
full time student
part time student
other, please explain:___________________________________________

Your “techno” status:
1. What is the easiest way to get in touch with you (cell, email, txt, etc.)?
2. Why is that easiest?
3. Does your computer have a nickname?
4. Does your car or cell phone have a nickname?
5. Can you give a rough estimate (for a typical day) how many hours do you spend using a computer? (Include listening to music or watching movies/work or personal use)
6. How much time in a given day do you spend “online?”
7. How frequently do you use email?
8. How many email addresses do you have?
9. Are you a member or do you visit chat rooms?
10. How much time do you spend in chat rooms?
11. Are you a member of any social networking sites? (facebook, myspace, ning, etc) Which ones?
12. How often do visit them?
13. How much time do you spend in a day at these sites?

Your home life:
1. How many people depend on you in your “home” setting?
2. What are your top ten (or so) responsibilities?
3. How often do you perform these responsibilities?
4. How does it affect your household if you are unable to meet your responsibilities?
5. What is your least favorite responsibility? Why?
6. What is your most favorite responsibility? Why?
7. What are one or two motivating factors for you to fulfill your responsibilities?
8. What percent do you contribute to your family income (%)?
9. If you had no income source would this affect your quality of life?
10. Would it affect you emotionally, mentally, and/or physically? How so?

Your “Online” relationships:
1. How many blogs do you author/coauthor?
2. How many are strictly personal?
3. Why do you blog?
4. Have the reasons for blogging changed from when you began blogging until now?
5. Who is your intended audience?
6. Who is your actual audience?
7. Do you blog stalk or lurk? Why?
8. Are any of your blogs restricted to private? Which ones?
9. Do you follow other people’s blog? Officially/unofficially, why?
10. How many? How often do you check them?
11. What do you like about blogging/and or bloggers?
12. What do you hate about blogging/and or bloggers?
13. Do you participate in a group blog? What percentage do you contribute?
14. What is your relationship and/or responsibility to the group blog?
15. How often do you get online to participate in group blogging or other online discussions?
16. How do you feel about your relationships online vs. offline?
17. Do you feel a special connection to an “online only” friend?
18. Do you know any of your “online only” friends educational background, race, class, gender? Is this important to know? Why or why not?

Your “Offline” relationships:
1. Are your parents married? Divorced? Remarried?
2. How often do you talk to your parents/in-laws? Grandparents? How do you communicate with them? (online, email, phone calls, IM, txt, etc.)
3. How many siblings do you have? How many live close by (within the valley)?
4. Do you feel obligated to maintain any of these relationships?
5. Are they mostly positive/negative encounters?
6. What friend(s) do you communicate with most often?
7. Do you feel obligated to maintain any of these relationships?
8. What is your definition of friend?
9. How do you communicate with your friends most often? (online, phone calls, IM, txt, etc.)
10. Does internet use detract from time spent with friends and family?
11. What church/civic responsibilities do you have?
12. Do you feel they detract or add to the time you spend with family/friends?
13. What are your feelings about these responsibilities?
14. Does the internet affect neighborhood/religious/civic community?

Your creative outlet (aka hobbies):
1. What are your creative outlets?
2. What is your preferred creative outlet? Why?
3. How were you introduced to this creative outlet?
4. What does it do for you?
5. Do you see it changing or your relationship with it changing in the future?
6. What do you love about your creative outlet?
7. What do you hate about your creative outlet?
8. Do you use this creative outlet as a business opportunity?
9. Do you feel successful in this endeavor?
10. Do you belong to a (hobby, book club, craft, etc.) group of some kind?
11. What group is it?
- If you don’t participate in a group… you can stop here, and Thank You!

Online/Offline Group:
1. Do you meet online/offline or both?
2. If it is an online group have you ever set up an offline meeting with anyone you’ve only met online? Explain.
3. How have your relationships with other people in the craft group changed/developed since joining the club?
4. What were they like before? Now?
5. Do you feel like the online community you are involved in is important to your creativity and crafting? Why or why not?
6. Does your blogging/online community motivate you? Inspire you?
7. What have you sewn/crafted/read that you probably wouldn't have if you hadn't been involved in an online group?
8. How do you accomplish your creative "needs" and your everyday house responsibilities?
9. Is one sacrificed to the other?
10. How alike are the people in your group?
11. How different?
12. How do these differences and similarities contribute to the group?
13. How do they hinder?

Thank You for your time and attention to this survey. I need this back ASAP - by Wednesday, March 31st at the latest.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

with a little help from my friends

So I just posted this on the SSC, but I'm posting it here as well. As many of you know, (or not know) I'm in my last semester of grad school at ASU. Right now I'm working on my thesis, the title is "Those who stitch together, stay together; the modern June Cleaver's Relationship with online group blogging and an offline social sewing community"... 

So basically I'm examining a women's community's relationship between blogging online and offline social connections. I'm focusing on the SSC, but I'm also looking for some other outside perspectives.

SO this is where you come in. I'm looking for willing blog readers, stalkers, lurkers, friends, or relatives (like they read my blog by choice) who will fill out a survey for me in the next few days and have it back to me in a week or so. You just need to be a wife, mother, grandmother with a creative outlet (sewing, scrapbooking, cleaning, etc.) and a blog. Are you up for it? If your in just send me an email to: maren_buchanan at yahoo dot com, to let me know your interested. Thanks!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pay it Forward

I've decided to join the 'Pay it Forward' bloggers on the blogosphere. I signed up under Jeanie. What it basically is, just sharing the love, doing something, making something, giving of yourself... to 3 people and you have a ridiculously long amount of time to do it in, 365 days to be exact.

So what I need is 3 people to leave a comment to me so I know who to spread the love to, and by doing so you agree to Pay it Forward on your own blog & find your own 3 people to spread the Love forward...  You ready to be loved by me? Just so you know. My deadline is the end of summer. If your one of my peeps, you'll be feeling it long before 365 is up (Christmas gets too busy and I will forget by then - so bonus for you) So are you up for it? You ready to pay it forward?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

because who doesn't want to see a gorgeous baby?

I still wonder where she got those pouty lips? She just gets cuter everyday.

not so secret crushes

So last night at Bunko we were all laughing at each other for our not so secret crushes. My friends names have been changed to save them some embarrassment, but to give you an idea: 

Pretty Skin Girl is obsessed with Christian Bale, but I can't say I blame her. He has a great smile and his lips are pretty sexy. 

Tall Blondie is in love with Shia Lebouf - we keep giving her a hard time because we still see him as the little Disney boy that he's been all these years. When you think of Blondie in love with the star of Holes, it's more yuck then ohhh, but he is getting cuter (did you see the last Indiana Jones) - So Blondies choice isn't that bad.

But Shortie Brunette does have a thing for Billy Bob Thornton, which rivals my weird obsession with David Bowie (not the hundred year old man he is today, but the Goblin King, Lord of the Labrynth from my youth)... I can't deny my love for the Goblin King. Maybe it was the big hair or lots of makeup, he had the best shimmer lip gloss. 

(I also have a thing for Robert Smith, lead singer for the cure... I do love a man in eyeliner). My crush on Robert is more for his music then focusing on how shallow I am by on caring about how a person looks.

Except when it comes to Ben Makenzie. I'm completely taken in by Ben. He is so hot. Seriously, if he ever moved to the ghetto of Mesa, Jason might have some competition on his hands.
Actually, I think that's exactly what I like about Ben is his character from the OC, Ryan. Ryan was always trying to save someone. He was always looking out for everyone, Jason has that tendency to be soft and caring. Then there was that silent brooding side of him - Jason doesn't really brood, but he can be quite cardboard at times, that's why I love him. My cardboard boy.

My sister doesn't call him my 'trophy husband' for nothing. I have to admit, he is pretty hot!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

some pictures

My little sister Meg, emailed me these pictures yesterday from her marriage that took place in November. I just thought I would share them. Look how tiny Abbey was.

These beautiful ladies are my sisters. Maren, Sunny, Allison, Megan, Kelly, Leslie

These are all my siblings. Isn't this view of the temple amazing! I love the palm tree in the shot. Who knew I would love the desert so much. St. George is really pretty. Maren, Joey, Leslie, Dad, Josh Megan, Jake, Mom, Sunny, Allison, Kelly, Jared. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

musings of a wandering grad students (caution this is shallow water)

- My name is not Chris, I borrowed all images from flkr, because how can you possibly read a story without pictures in it (Alice)

(This is an actual email I wrote to my friend Sammy, we did MCC & our undergrads together at ASU, she likes my dumb library stories. I thought I would share this one with you.)

These guys talk so stinkin’ loud. Okay so maybe the music here at Starbucks is a little loud. But I kind of like that because it’s all foreign music and I can’t sing along so it feels more like white noise, its not hard for me to concentrate if I can’t sing along. Plus it’s good for concealing other peoples private (or just annoying) conversations. Except the three monkeys who just walked in feel that they are in competition with it. Okay maybe it’s a culture thing or a guy thing, but seriously – it’s a Saturday night 9pm in Arizona (wonderful weather outside) please tell me you have some zoo lights party to attend or can enjoy swinging from trees and all your screeching ways out of doors. They are killing me.

I miss Hayden. He closed at 5pm today. 5pm. That is so early. Stupid Spring Break, giving the lazy librarians an early night off? For what? It’s Saturday, they are just going to go home and sit on their lazy arses (like they just did for the previous 8 hours) and watch all the reality TV that they Tivo’d the previous week. Dorks. I wish I knew Hayden would be closing so early. I would have headed over there earlier. I didn’t get there ‘til 3pm and my new hang out is the basement. Everyone down there are super subhuman basement dwellers. It’s really quiet. There are even these little Jail cells, well… more like isolation chambers you can check out and lock yourself in for that added bit of insane quiet. Okay except for today, Mr. Weirdy Middle Easterner man that is at least 60 years old had to sit one row away from me in the chairs facing me. A couple times I looked up from my intense reading and he was staring at me (yuck). Hello, it’s not like this basement is not freaking huge! And there might be 5 whole people in the building. Seriously. Please gross yucky man maybe you should just sit in my lap.

It’s probably time to go. My Carmel Apple Cider is cold, my butt is asleep, and the music is English, and they actually seem to hit the late-night-coffee-drinkers-rush. I think I’ve over stayed my welcome.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Apron and book giveaway (guess who made the freaking cute apron)

So we are hosting our first FREE giveaway on the SSC (Secret Stitch Club) site, which I am a proud member of. The author of the book featured below gave us a free copy to give away... (she's kind of a celeb in the apron blogosphere subculture). Anyway, what I'm more excited about is the stink'n cute apron I made to giveaway with the book. This is our first combined project and launching point for Christie, Jill & I, (we will hopefully be opening an Etsy site next month to sell these suckers for actual money)
Okay so one reason I love this apron is that it is green. Let me hug a tree for a minute and tell you how cool this apron is. The book is about vintage kitchen linens, and this apron is made from repurposed household linens. The main white section came from a laundry room curtain, it has the sweetest white on white flowers along the bottom.

The red gingham ties and bottom ruffle are a repurposed bed sheet. How cool is that? This apron has a generous fit (I hate aprons that only cover half of my loverly plump thighs) - rest assured that this one will fit you.

This is the book. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it is hot off the presses and will probably teach you everything you need to know about kitchen linens and then some. SO... to enter just go to our SSC blog and leave a comment. You can say almost anything you'd like. Also if you blog about our give away you can enter a second time. Nothings better then upping the odds right?

show your dorky pride...

Calling all apron lovers (aka dorks)! Get you Apron Pride t-shirts. 
Aren't these t-shirts so much fun? My friend Christie designed them. And people have actually asked us if they could buy one (weird, I know. If you want one click on the link at the right side of this screen, if you can't find the link - you've spent too much time on the internet and should probably put down your mouse and go read a book) 

I have to explain where the name (Apron Dorks) originated from: My sister-in-law invited me to a "come-buy-stuff-so-I-can-get-free-junk" kickback party at her house a couple years ago and I took my friend Rachel with me, when Ashley first saw Rachel she didn't offer the usual (Hi. Nice to meet you, bla, bla, bla) - she said, "Are you one of those apron dorks?"

Well, we embraced the term and if you've spent any late nights sewing with us, you would know we proudly own the term. It doesn't get much more slap happy or dorkier then us. Here's a historical side note for you: Jason (my husband) actually named us the Secret Stitch Club. He (like his little sister) was making fun of us (shocker, I know) and asked if there was some secret stitch we put in each of our aprons so we would know they belonged to us... (He's still waiting for royalties, just keep waiting sweet cheeks - that's okay I'm still waiting for the laundry to get done)... 
So there is a lot of useless information that you've never wanted to know about us but were obliged because you are wasting your time reading this crap instead of someone else's blog. No, you can not have the last 15 minutes of your life back. sorry.

thank you sir, may I please have another!

I really can't justify spending 5$ on my favorite drink more then once or twice a month... but thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, I can make one at home - let me share my fav. Jamba Juice recipe.

Orange Berry Blitz
8oz. orange juice
2 scoops pineapple sherbet (I got at Wal-Mart)
2 scoops frozen strawberries
1 scoop frozen blueberries
2 scoops crushed ice (you can buy it at Sonic by the bag)

pour orange juice in your blender, add sherbet, strawberries, blueberries, and crushed ice. Blend until smooth. 

I used a ice cream scoop for all my measurements, (only about 2 frozen strawberries can fit in the scoop, and the sherbet I made on the smaller size.

my verdict for homemade jjuice: It was yummers. Probably just mess with the scoop size a little and it will hit perfection.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

because you are still not as fat as me

anything with this much butter has got to be good right? Seriously, this gut takes a lot of work. It doesn't look like this for nothing. My glucose intake has to be maintained while my lean fat stays low. I'm looking to see how close to clogging my arties I can get, I refer to my mantra as 'modern day housewife living on the edge...' pretty hard core if you know what I mean. This stuff will kill you, but you will die happy. 

Coconut Chex "HC" Party Mix (hard core)
2 cubes of butter
1 cup lite Karo syrup
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 reg. box of corn or rice Chex

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, stir in syrup, and sugar. Get it to a rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Take off the heat, add coconut extract. Dump over the Chex, almonds, and shredded coconut. Mix really well. Wait till it cools or you'll burn your fingers and mouth while shoveling it in.

because I love you enough to want you to be as fat as I am

I came across this recipe on the good old interbay (how my dad says Internet), and it looks so good and incredibly fattening at the same time. 2 sticks o' butter... why not call for two pounds of lard added to both of my thighs? it's about the same thing right? So I'm making it for FHE treat for tomorrow night... I'll let you know how it tastes when it will no longer burn my fat tongue (just out of the oven)

Outrageous Oreo Crunch Brownies

2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking squares (3)
3 eggs
2 Tbs. instant Pero (or coffee granules)
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 cup + 2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. flour
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups coarsely chopped Oreo cookies (25 cookies)

Preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9"x13" baking pan. In a glass medium bowl add butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate. Microwave on high at 30 sec intervals stirring well in between each until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, Pero (or coffee), vanilla and sugar. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture. In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir coarsely chopped Oreos and remaining 2 Tbs flour. Add Oreo mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake 35 minutes (my oven is gas and it took 45 min.) or until a toothpick inserted 3 inches from center comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow to cool. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, until cold; cut into squares.