j-flamingo reflections

Inspired by the grace and beauty of the flamingo, my life reflected by my love of reading, writing and creating.

Tile Coasters

Originally, I had wanted to make tile coasters for gifts for some of my friends at Christmas time but I decided on a few other projects instead like the tote bags, journals, calendars etc... Anyway, I wanted to let you see the tile coasters I made. They were so much fun and I love the way they turned out! Perhaps, at another time I'll make some up as presents. For now, I'm just enjoying using them at my house.

What's your #1 song?

I thought this was fun! See for yourself about your song if you'd like.

Do you know the #1 song the day you were born?
Go to
http://www.joshhosler.biz/ and look up the number one song for your birth date.

My #1 song is:
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack

David Cook (Self-Titled) CD Review

Alright, I'll admit I'm a bit of an American Idol TV fan. I've enjoyed watching the seasons of the show and seeing what actually happens to the contestants after winning or losing. So far, two seasons have impressed me the most and that was the first season, because it was new, and this last season 7, because I came to love David Cook!
I'm happy that he won Season 7 and he was so graceful about it too. I've been awaiting his CD debut and it happened in Nov. last year!
I've read reviews and many were not very nice at all about his CD, so I was worried about this. I still purchased his self-titled CD, though. I waited a bit and eventually found one for about $11.00.
During the first couple of times I played it, I wasn't sure how I liked it and a lot of the songs sounded so similar. I was thinking that DC would have all completely different songs as he tried to showcase on A.I. I know he worked very hard and did his very best with what they envisioned for his debut CD and the genre they tried to go for, being rock, I think. Now, I realize the music business must be really HARD! Excruciating and unforgiving, even.
Now, that I've listened to the CD a lot more the songs are magically growing on me! I'm coming to hear what the true D.C. is trying to convey and I'm enjoying rediscovering D.C. all over again. I think he has such potential and I look forward to what he'll be able to achieve. I'm so hopeful for D.C.! I'm still a fan!
So, please listen to his songs more than twice and give him the chance to make another very unique album that I know he is capable of.
My favorite songs on his current CD are: Light On, Life on the Moon (I made a Flair on Facebook in honor of this song), Time of My Life (from A.I., of course) and Come Back to Me!
See what you think, here.

Library - Under my Bed?!

Recently, I was talking with my mother about books, which we often do, and I was mentioning that I really missed having bookshelves in my house. I hadn't been able to get any and I want ones that are skinnier so that they blend into the wall so as not to take up much room. I guess I'd really like them built in. I know I'm probably being too picky, I'm sure, but I like an open, clean look around my house - although you'd never guess that if you saw my house right now but anyway... She gave me a great idea!
My mom has dubbed herself the "Paperback Queen" and she has a lot of paperbacks! Anyway, she has used ordinary boxes and cut them to size to fit under her bed. She has filled them with books and she reads all of them eventually! She told me once that she has read as many as 25 books in a month!
This is really incredible for her as she became overlooked in school and she didn't really learn to read until she was in the 5th grade! She said school was so challenging for her until she learned to read! Reading was something magical and incredible to her and she conveyed that to us as children, I believe. I remember when I was young, she always stressed reading and she made sure that I knew how to read. She took us to the library often. Reading and gaining education, even a self-education, was so important to her even though she doesn't have a college degree. I think she helped me realize this and I am so thankful to her for that.
She buys all of her books on sale or at thrift stores like I do as well. It's become sort of a hobby - collecting books and we share what we read often. When I go visit her, I take some of my books for her to borrow and she gives me some too. It's been fun to do this!
So, now I've been cutting up boxes and organizing all my books. I've enjoyed this little task and so now I have a library under my bed. Perhaps, I'll sleep better now. Anything you'd like to check out? You're welcome to it!

Just for fun, here's a funny little blog post out of UK that is sort of about Heathcliff, one of the classic characters from Wuthering Heights that I'll never forget:

Clean Reads

If you're looking for good, clean reading check these sites out:



I know you might find these sites interesting at least. Have fun!

Don't forget that I post all of my book reviews on 5-squared!

Reading Challenges

I was inspired by all the reading challenges that my friend, Amanda, is doing. I haven't been involved in this before either. So, I searched the web to find some that would fit best with me. I found them, amazingly enough, and I posted them in my side bar as links.

I've decided to join "My Friend Amy's Buy one book and read it!" challenge for 2009! I do love to buy books once in a while because I can't help browsing through the book racks anywhere I go. While I was shopping for some Christmas books to give, I bought Mozart by Peter Gay for myself as a Christmas gift. I've always wanted to learn a bit about Mozart's life so I thought this looked good. I'd like to do that one for the challenge.
I was also interested in the LOST book reading challenge also hosted on Amy's site but it is well-underway, so I'll have to try that another time. Besides, the new LOST season will be starting soon, right?

Another challenge that I joined is called "Read your Name Challenge: 2009" hosted by Victoria (a.k.a. Phantom Inkheart)The basis of this challenge is to read your name in book title first letters an at the end you'll spell out your name. I'm planing on using my first name 'Julie.' Here's the ideas I have for books I'd like to read so far:

J: Jungle, The by Upton Sinclair

U:Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

L: Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

I: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

E:e by Matt Beaumont

If all goes well with my reading than I should reach my goal this year for 25 books with possibly reaching as many as 3o. I'm going to aim for 25 first! Be sure to read all my reviews on 5-squared. Most of all, I'm going to have fun reading!

2009 Looking Forward

A New Year is here again! Here I go pondering about my life and I'm looking forward with some new goals for 2009:

1) I plan on reading 25 books and posting the book reviews on 5-squared. I broke it down to 2 per month with an extra book thrown in one of those months. I plan to attend, as consistently as I'm able, the Classic Lit. book group and Focus book group and these reading selections will help me achieve this goal.

2) I plan on writing one personal story from my life each month and mailing it to my sister, Bonnie. I would like my sister to get to know me better and I'd like to record bits and pieces from my life. I would also like to include writing a poem here and there as well. (10 poems/12 stories)

3) I plan on continuing to make tote bags for people. I would also like to use re-usable tote bags at the grocery store and get in this habit of becoming more eco-friendly.

4) I plan on helping my children learn some basic conversational Spanish, having regular trips to the library with them and scheduled reading time too. Also, I'd like to help them learn their math skills better, esp. multiplication facts, including re-memorizing some myself.

5) I plan on going on a walk every day. I'd like to be ready to participate in the "Light the Night" Walk or the "Walk Now for Autism."

6) I plan on reading the scriptures for the
Sunday School lessons for church. Teachings are from the Doctrine and Covenants this year. Our Heritage is suggested to be read along with this, so I'll read this too. I would also like to read these chapters from the Holy Bible in Genesis, Pslams/Proverbs, Job and the Four Gospels.

I'll update and re-evaluate my progress, even if just to myself, from time to time.

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.

~Greg Anderson

Timothy T.C. So wrote this great article on setting goals - Check it out!

2008 In Review

In the beginning of 2008, I don't remember a whole lot since I had my baby, Noah, in Oct. '07 and I think I was still recovering with that somewhat into the first part of the year. I know I thought about goals, since I usually do at this time of the year, but I can't find my journal entry or sticky piece of paper or wherever I may have written my '08 goals. So, I'll do my best to see what I can remember. I think my year really started to be a bit better in April of '08 - thanks to a re-evaluation, started to blog and some encouragement from my friends too.

1) I do remember making some sort of weight-loss goal. I'm embarrassed but the truth is I didn't stick with it at all. I tried a little bit on my own and created a SparkPage at SparkPeople.com. I had good intentions but didn't bring them to action so I'll have to re-evaluate for '09.

2) I had a writing goal and I attended a few writing groups as I could throughout the year. Although, I didn't get my novel written or any super great stories, I did manage to write a couple handfuls, or a bit more of poetry. I do like the poems I have written this year.
Also, I participated, in March, as a guest editor to the San Antonio Express News. I read & chose some poems that others had written for print in the paper. I really learned a lot. It was a good experience.

3) I made a goal to read more books. I continued taking part as I could in the Classic Literature Book Group at my local library. My friend, Amanda, is the moderator for the group and she does a great job so I enjoy this book group. I plan to continue next year.
In April, she set up an amazing book review blog called 5-squared and she invited me to participate in reading books and writing the book reviews on the blog. Personally, I was flattered for the invitation and this inspired my reading goal. My goal was 17 books last year and I have 15 posted on there right now. I have one last book review to write for '08 and that will be 16/17 books for me! I'm happy about that! (Jared , I did make your challenge of 8 books!)

4) I can't remember my original art, scrapbook or craft goals but I did end up learning some new skills and doing a few projects. I've enjoyed a bit of rubber stamping, beading, and sewing. I've posted most of that here on this blog.
The highlight of my craft projects this year would have to be the tote bags that my brother-in-law, Nathan taught me how to make. I was amazed at how quite a few things I had learned about sewing in my childhood, from my watching or helping my mother, came right back to me. I completed 5 tote bags, with Nathan's help, and I have 4 others in the works. Perhaps, I'll post a sneak peak later.

5) I've been participating in a Joy School for Gracie this year too. We've had some fun times and it has been so fun! I'll post our Halloween picture and what we made thanks to my sister, Bonnie and her fabulous idea to make the ghosts!

Sure, I have things to improve upon but I did accomplish some things. I'm sure as I keep thinking about '08, I might remember even more. All in all, I did alright! Here's to bigger and better things in '09!

About this blog

Welcome Readers~to my blog! A tiny extension of myself and my life. Here, I'll share this journey through my top passions in my life - reading, writing, and creating. You can expect to read poetry, view my papercrafts and read design related posts. Every once in a while, I hope you'll grasp an honest feel of my heart. If you haven't noticed, I love flamingos! I think they are beautiful birds. *Thanks for your attention.*
She is pure Alice in Wonderland, and her appearance and demeanor are a nicely judged mix of the Red Queen and a flamingo.
~Truman Capote

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    I love living my life through reading books, creating beautiful things to make people happy, and sharing snipits of the world as I see it through writing, blogging or designing.