Date Joined: June 11, 2016
Last Online: January 17, 2020
Birthday: July 10
Country: United States
UPDATED PROFILE AS OF DECEMBER 26, 2019. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO READ THE WHOLE THING THIS YEAR!
If you want to just get to some swap ideas for me and skip my biographical frippery, please feel free to scroll down to the last section titled "Guilty Pleasures/Swap Ideas." Thank you.
ALLERGIES: evergreen/pine scent, seafood and shellfish.
If I have not rated you, it is because I have not received your swap.
Electronic Swaps: Please send e-swaps through swapbot, or if it must be through regular e-mail, please send me a SB message with your email address so I know to search my Other folder for it.
I am a married stay-at-home-mom (more on my family in the following section.) It has been said my home is a petting zoo in progress; we have two dogs (chihuahua/terrier mix: No Way Jose, pitbull: Tsumani Noh), two cats (white tabby: Ellington, tortoise shell calico: Harley Quinn), two bearded dragons (male: Haku, female: Acacia - housed separately), two ducks (Jet and Frances), four chickens (rooster: Hei Hei, hens: Nemo, Big Mama, and Onyx), a parakeet (Kevin), two bettas (Blue Fairy and Fishy - also separated), a Chinese Algae Eater (still nameless) and a zebra snail (Cupcake). It sounds hectic but it's a life I enjoy (and thankfully, so does the rest of the family). We live on 1/2 of an acre and try to make the most of it! We live near Southern California's only natural lake, Lake Elsinore. My family visits Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park frequently. These are our "vacation in a day" outings. We live within a few hours from anything we could want to do, the desert, the mountains, the beach, even Las Vegas is only four hours away and the Grand Canyon is six hours away. Our area is quiet and our neighbors are wonderful people. I wouldn't change it for the world; I enjoy traveling, but I love our little homestead. I'm not a very outdoorsy person, but I do love our region, earthquakes, fires, drought, and all.
I live a pagan lifestyle; I believe in the magical and mythical, and I love nature. I embrace organized chaos. I have a Mini Happy Planner from Me & My Big Ideas (the Biz Babe theme, not my first choice but it was what was cheapest on Amazon at the time.) I'm not the greatest at using it but I'm trying to at least give the impression I have things under control around here. I try to carve out time for reading when I can (more on that in a later section). I enjoy donuts, and most sweets in general. I have a very big sweet tooth: caramel, chocolate, peanut butter, I'll eat pretty much all of it. I have been a coffee drinker for quite a while (not a snob by ANY stretch of the imagine, I actually enjoy most gas station offerings) but Swap-Bot has introduced me to a world of teas I did not know existed. I have met many new enticing flavors and caffeine levels. I prefer factory sealed tea bags because I started a tea journal that I put them in, along with the steeping time, sweetener, milk, color, scent, etc. and whether I enjoyed it or not. As my parents always said, "How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tried it?" Please do not send me empty wrappers; I can't put them in the journal since I don't have all the information mentioned above. I also don't have the means to steep loose tea (I know, horror!) If there is a specific way you enjoy the tea you send, please let me know how to make it! It's kind of a "When in Rome" thing, if you enjoy it, tell me how you enjoy it so I can get it right.
Postcards: I enjoy all types, even the ones that no one seems to want. You know, that one card you've had floating around for months because you're just not sure who would want to receive it or even how you came to be in possession of it in the first place. I'd be happy to have it appear in my mailbox. I prefer 4x6 so they can go in an album, but I also have a folder for larger and shaped cards. Please don't use envelopes if it can be avoided (I know in some countries it's a preferred method of mailing, and that's ok, also if they're part of a larger swap, envelopes are obviously necessary). I appreciate the little scratches and tears that happen to postcards on their journey. They're kind of like scars that tell the story of what it took to get here! I appreciate tourist cards with a little bit about the location, if it's somewhere you've visited, tell me about it! If it's just a random card being passed on, I appreciate a little personal note, just a little something like the last book you read (would you recommend it?), a news story you heard recently, the funny thing your kid said at breakfast, or what kind of dog you have. I keep every postcard and letter, I'm collecting little bits of history and culture, these will be the time capsule I leave behind when my time is spent. There's longevity in the words I receive.
My husband Mike is a nerd like me (I tend to think he is more so, he just hid it well until after we were married.) He likes Star Wars, Star Trek, Vikings, Jeopardy, Law and Order: SVU, South Park, Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Archer, The Walking Dead, Rick & Morty and Batman. He enjoys board games. He wears a size medium (USA) in t-shirts (like me, thankfully! He shares his shirts with me, but I can't really say that I reciprocate.) He likes whiskey, gin, sour candies and the darkest chocolate he can get his hands on. His favorite colors are red and black. He enjoys firearms and going shooting at both indoor and outdoor ranges; he likes tactical and preparedness type things. We're [slowly] testing the waters on this whole camping thing. We bought a house so as to not live in a tent... He does enjoy grilling (albeit with rubs and no sauces, he hates all condiments). He and his immediate family are the only men I know who aren't into sports of any kind. He'll go outside and toss a ball with his buddies or help out with our kids' soccer team, but he doesn't have any interest in professional sports. He likes war and horror movies, even though I tend to not watch the latter with him because they give me nightmares! I'm not one to cuddle up to him on the couch while everyone dies on screen.
We had a miscarriage with our first daughter in March of 2011. Her name is Robin, and I am very open to discussing pregnancy and infant loss. If you or someone you know has experienced a loss and are looking for some support, I know of a very helpful group on Facebook that I would be more than happy to share with you, or I can communicate with you directly. This experience was life altering but has put me into contact with so many strong, grieving mothers. I will never call it a blessing in disguise but it certainly introduced me to some incredibly strong and vocal people and has made me an advocate for a world that needs to be brought out of the shadows.
Our son Jonathan (Johnny) will be eight years old in May and is growing too big for his britches, as my mother would say. He's named after Johnny Cash; I gave him Jonathan so he could have more name options as an adult. He is a bit of a hippie: He appreciates the sun reflecting on water, the stars appearing in the twilight, and he is very quick to point out the colors in a sunset. His favorite color is green. He plays soccer on a non-competitive league. He is quite the machine/vehicle aficionado. He loves trash trucks (he wants to be a trash truck driver when he grows up), construction equipment, trains, big rigs, tow trucks, street sweepers, airplanes, basically if it has an engine and some wheels then he is in heaven. He still watches Disney Junior (Puppy Dog Pals is a big hit in this house) and Zig And Sharko on Netflix. He goes on YouTube and watches Bright Side videos. He is currently obsessed with missing airplanes and the Titanic.
Our daughter Evie turned three in October; she is the epitome of a threenager. She is named after Evangeline, the star in The Princess and the Frog (I wished on stars for both of my kids and they both came true.) I tried the gender neutral thing with my kids, it didn't hold for either of them. If it would be considered "girly", then it is her style. Her favorite colors are pink, purple and glitter; anything with princesses, stars, mermaids, unicorns, fairies, baby dolls or baby animals is also right up her little alley. Her current favorite princess is Belle. She is also quite fond of Barbie (the new career dolls are wonderful!). She thinks going to Starbucks is a right, not a privilege (apparently, cake pops ought to be considered a healthy lunch.) She plays soccer on a toddler league with her best friend and loves it. At least she's an active girly girl.
I bring my kids along with me to volunteer at a local rabbit rescue which cares for abandoned and surrendered house bunnies. I started after Robin's passing and have brought my kids along with me since my son's first birthday. They've grown up caring for these rabbits, they've seen love and abuse from a very early age and while they don't understand the cruelty of man, they do understand that there must always be those willing to fight for those who can't fight for themselves. It's a bittersweet experience, we've seen things that should never be inflicted on any creature, but we love every animal that comes through the door and we celebrate when they finally get a forever home (even though we miss them dearly).
We are also active in another shelter program called Huey's Heroes, which is founded by the Saving Huey Foundation. One afternoon a week, kids of all ages are encouraged to sit with a shelter animal and read. The kids are rewarded immediately with a patient listener and the animals get some much needed attention. The kids are also able to earn gift cards with continued attendance. It's another bittersweet experience, because we are there weekly, we see a lot of the same faces, sometimes for months on end. (We actually ended up adopting our parakeet after having seen him at the shelter for two months.)
"I cannot avoid compassion for everything that is called life. That is the beginning and foundation of morality." - Albert Schweitzer
Please do not send anything relating to religion to my children. We are not a Christian home. We are open and communicative of other beliefs but my husband and I consider it our responsibility of how and when to introduce these topics to our children, and for now we are just covering the basics of what we believe and what our friends and family believe. Inspirational quotes and positive messages are always welcome, but please do not include references to the Bible, Torah, Buddha, Hinduism, etc. Thank you, I deeply appreciate it. If you are a fellow pagan parent and have any tips or references on teaching nature/the gods to children, please let me in on them! I am always looking for simplified ways to guide our kids on our path.
"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it it to the caterpillar." - Bradley Miller
*The Color Purple by Alice Walker
*Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
*Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
*The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
*Hawaii by James A. Michener
*Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I love Harry Potter (Prisoner is my favorite book and least favorite movie!), The Lord of the Rings, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Little House on the Prairie, and The Hunger Games series.
I grew up on The Babysitters Club and Goosebumps.I have a special spot for the chapter books I read as a child: Little Women, Charlotte's Web, The Mouse and Motorcycle, The Swiss Family Robinson, Who Stole the Wizard of Oz?, Black Beauty, A Little Princess,The Secret Garden and Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards (I just learned that this was written by THE Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins herself! All these years and I had no idea, I just simply loved the story.)
Some books I've really enjoyed as an adult are: Water for Elephants, Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Joy Luck Club, The Help, Summerlost, Calico Joe, Saint Maybe, and The Bridge At Andau.
If you are ever stumped on what to write about in a letter or on a pc, a book recommendation or quote are a pretty safe bet. We are ubiquitous faces at our local library and I'm happy to check out recommendations from fellow swappers.
"I have nothing to fear and here my story ends. My troubles are all over and I am at home." - Black Beauty
I adore Disney/Pixar, especially Renaissance Disney (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin). These are the movies that make me feel something, whether they bring me to tears or bring a goofy smile to my face (see what I did there? Mom Jokes slay Dad Jokes any day of the week.) I don't focus on the "outdated cultural depictions," if anything they're just reminders of how far we've come. The literary nerd in me loves plot devices and such. Aside from Disney, I love the Star Wars and Harry Potter sagas. I'm not a huge romcom fan but there are certain ones like Practical Magic, French Kiss, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding that get me every time. I will also watch A Muppet Christmas Carol at any time of the year. For as much as I love the macabre, I am NOT a fan of horror. I saw the remake of The Hills Have Eyes and ever since then, horror films give me anxiety and nightmares. They've become too real. I'll stick to my singing princesses and talking animals, thank you.
My kids rule the tv. It's horrible. They've taken the flat-screen babysitter hostage. But if I do get to wrangle the remote away from them, I like to watch (or at least DVR) Pitbulls and Parolees, RuPaul's Drag Race, The Zoo: San Diego, Vikings, Sister Wives, Bob's Burgers, Letterkenny, and Ink Master. Other shows I enjoy are Dirty Jobs, Roseanne, Golden Girls,Three's Company, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,That 70's Show, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, the 60's Batman series, Bewitched, The Munsters, and The Addams Family even though I don't get to see them on a regular basis. As you can tell, I don't watch very many serious things. Television is a bit of an escape when I do get to watch it so I like it to be somewhat lighthearted and frivolous to an extent. [Un]reality tv makes me appreciate the mundane in my life. We have Disney+, and I'm obsessed with The Mandalorian and The World According to Jeff Goldblum (his joie de vivre is infectious!)
My time for crafts and hobbies has diminished significantly. I enjoy photography; I was recently able to replace my favorite lens but I've not had the time nor the energy to go out and take the millions of pictures that I used to. I was gifted an HP Sprocket printer so now I can have more permanent versions of the photos I take with my cell phone. My baking clientele is virtually nonexistent, I can't compete with grocery store bakery prices, even though I definitely put more quality, time, and love into what I make. I have been telling myself that I need to work on my Book of Shadows (the book pertaining to my spiritual beliefs), so maybe 2020 will be focused at least somewhat on spiritual growth.
*49ers (The Faithful!)
*"A" Monogram (My real name is Amanda, although I go by Mandi, I like the letter A.)
*Address Labels (Most of the time I steal my husband's)
*Airplanes (this is actually an obsession I share with my son)
*Anchors (My dad was in the Navy in Vietnam)
*Ball point pens (especially clicky kind)
*Bears (I've always called my son "Baby Bear")
*Can Koozies (those things that slip over cans to keep them cold, I don't know if koozie is a universal name for them, but I love them, advertising ones, touristy, I think they're all great!)
*Candy (Especially those only available in certain locations)
*Chevrolet (I drive a Cruze, I love my little beat up mom-mobile. Best part is fitting in the parking spaces the big SUV moms have to pass up!)
*Chickens/Roosters (My kitchen is entirely chickens and sunflowers. I've loved them my whole life and now having my own small flock has brought a flood of different emotions.)
*Clarinet (I was a band nerd with three instruments and now have a niece and nephew following in those footsteps. I'm so proud!)
*Colors: Bright yellow, hot pink and black
*Disney/Pixar (If it's owned by the mouse, it's probably right up my alley.)
*Disneyland (I love hearing about special memories, first visits, employment, etc.)
*El Dia De Los Muertos/Sugar Skulls (Our wedding anniversary is November 2, this time is very special to us and my ancestors)
*Essential Oils (even if they're just for diffuser use. Also, if you have any blends/recipes you prefer or use, I'm open to recommendations.)
*Fairytales (Classic and Modern Interpretations)
*Firearms (We have his and her shotguns and hopefully I'll be getting my matching 9mm later this year. We are not hunters. We are recreational shootists and second amendment supporters.)
*Fireworks (They're illegal in my county, but I love images of them.)
*Frodsham Village, Cheshire, England (This is my dream destination. My maiden name is Frodsham, my family line was traced back to the founding of the village and the building of the church. Any information, photos, maps, literally ANYTHING about this place will make me your humble servant.)
*Funko Pop figures (especially any of the ones wearing nerdy glasses, even just pictures of them)
*Halloween (the decorations, the legends, EVERYTHING!)
*Harry Potter (We have one from each House here: I'm Ravenclaw, husband is Slytherin, son is Hufflepuff, daughter is Gryffindor)
*Herbs (NOT the "green cross" kind!)
*Hippos (I want a hippopotamus for xmas... I've been singing it for years, still waiting to find one waiting in my living room!)
*Honey (Do you have any local honey sticks? I'd be on cloud nine to taste one!)
*Incense (sticks and cones)
*Journaling (mainly tea-journaling but there are times I grab my notebook and pour my heart out)
*Junk Food (sweet, salty, this is what sustains me while sitting in the long pick-up line after school)
*Lipsmackers (or other lipglosses/chapsticks. Mine mysteriously keep ending up in the hands of a certain little girl.)
*Lisa Frank (This obsession never diminished and I'm in heaven with its revival.)
*Little Witch Academia
*Lord of the Rings
*Miscarriage/Stillbirth/Infant Loss Awareness
*Mix Tapes/CDs/Playlists (Yes, I still play my old cassette tapes from high school!)
*Photography (especially photos pre-90s)
*Pirates of the Caribbean
*Planner (Me & My Big Ideas Mini Happy Planner - Biz Babe theme, not my favorite but working with what I've got - if you have ideas on how to motivate me to actually use it, I'm all ears!)
*Raiders (Raider Nation!)
*Recipe Cards (filled out or blank)
*Robins (the bird reminds me of my first daughter and I love their image)
*Seahorses (I held a seahorse at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm in Kona, HI. It was magical!)
*Stamps (Rubber and Postage)
*Stickers (any kind, my kids go for reward and kiddie types. Ok, I do too.)
*Suzy's Zoo (Suzy Spafford)
*Tarot/Oracle (full decks and loose cards and books/recommendations)
*Tattoos (I have several and would love to see/hear about yours.)
*Tea (any flavor, any caffeine content, but please no loose leaf teas and please tell me how you prefer to drink it)
*Vikings (the tv show and historical paraphernalia)
*Voodoo/HooDoo/Santeria (Images, spells, candles, you name it!)
*Washi Tape (Deco tape too, but if it's a washi swap, please send actual washi tape. I probably signed up because my stash is getting low!)
*Wind Chimes (I already have one tree covered, this year I plan to expand to many more!)
*Witches (The ugly hags and the beautiful nude full moon dancers, we are all sisters.)
*World War II (especially aircraft and propaganda)
*Zodiac Signs (I'm a deep Cancer, my husband is oh-so-Virgo, my son is a through-and-through Gemini, and my daughter is the stereotypical Scorpio)
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