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Weird. **


Mid-Year Goals

I decided I really like Lauren's idea about setting goals during the middle of the year.  I don't ever set goals... ever!  I'm writing my goals here so that I can be held accountable for them.  "They" say that when you write down a goal you are 75% more likely to complete it, rather than if you just think about doing it.  Hopefully during the second half of 2011 I will:

1.  Read my scriptures every day and finish reading the Old Testament
2.  Go back to school, full time, even if my boss won't let me go to class
3.  Stop regretting/living in/wishing I could change the past; move on and progress
4.  Pray.  The real get-down-on-your-knees-bow-your-head-and-fold-your-arms kind not the quick-utter-one-in-traffic-kind, at least once everyday
5.  Read 5 non-school books
6. Start the Spending Fast, and stick to it. 
7.  Listen to more church music and learn the harmonies
8.  Exercise at least 3 times a week
9.  Start studying for the DAT's
10.  Choose to be happy (I'm not miserable, but I guess I mean, make it a point to be happy everyday)
11.  Make at least 1 new friend every month
12.  Spend 5 minutes everyday "quick cleaning" my house, and deep clean every Saturday

I figure I'll start working on these July 1.  It's a nice half-way-through-the-year point. 
July 1 is also the first day I start my Spending Fast, I start school (I'm enrolled full time for Summer & Fall terms), and I'm starting my new workout regimen.
I'm going to be busy.
Wish me luck!

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I stumbled upon this today, and decided I'm in love with it.  It's so true.
"We often fall into the trap of thinking a new car, job promotion, beauty makeover, or fame will make us happy. And often they do—for a time. But it never lasts because wealth, power, beauty, and fame simply don’t bring lasting happiness, as much as we wish they would.

True happiness comes from following Christ’s example and developing Christlike attributes such as obedience, goodness, honesty, gratitude, humility, love, charity, and forgiveness. It comes from serving others and helping them to follow Jesus Christ. It comes from controlling the appetites of our human bodies and following the promptings of the Spirit. It comes from working hard and having a healthy lifestyle, friends, family, and personal achievements."

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Create a Custom Drop Down Menu

Recently, Blogger added a Pages widget to their template designer.  FINALLY!  I love blogger, but they are way behind the times when it comes to what us bloggers can and can't do easily to make our blogs "cute."  I feel like after all the customizations I've had to research and learn, I should have a PhD in blog design!

Blogger pages is great because it allows us to create a menu of static links on our main blog page.  What do I mean by static?  A static post is basically a single post that, when it is published, goes directly to a menu item rather than to our normal archived posts.  While this is a really fun widget, it still leaves something to be desired as far as customizations, including a mix of static and non-static links.  A non-static link is a link that doesn't necessarily take you to one post it can take you to another website, or where ever else you want.  Non-static links are still relatively easy to create simply add an "HTML/JavaScript" widget to your page, and enter the following code:

While that is all fun and dandy, that isn't the point of this post. I'm going to teach you how to create a drop down menu in your blogger header, just like the one I made yesterday for this blog, and for my garden blog!


Step 1 Adding the CSS Code to your blog's HTML.

First, you want to add the CSS code to your Blogger HTML.  To do this, go to your Blogger Dashboard and click the  "Design" tab.  Click “Edit HTML” and then click “Expand  Widget Templates.”
Push “Ctrl F” and in the search bar type:
Directly above that, enter the following code:

Take a minute and glance over this code.  You’ll find it a lot easier to customize your drop down menu if you know what you’re looking at.  This code created three parts of the drop down menu:

1.       The Main Menu:  This is what you will see on your page, a row of options.
2.      The Drop Down Menu:  There is a separate drop down menu for each main menu item.
3.      Elements of the drop down menu:  These are the individual pages you are linking to in your drop down menus.
In the CSS code you will notice there are things like: “font color of main menu,” “font size of main menu,” “background color of main menu,” and “background hover color of main menu.”  You can change any of these options to customize the look of your main menu.
Next, you’ll want to customize the options for the “menu elements.”  Customize these as you did for the main menu.
I’m no computer expert, but originally the menu I made was very small.  I fiddled a lot with the “margin” sizes and “padding” sizes and that seemed to make it larger and the menu then spread across my whole header.
When you’re finished click “Save Template.”

Step 2 Add the Menu to Your Blog

Go to the “Page Elements “ area of the Design Tab.  In the Header section click “Add Widget” and choose to add the “HTML/Java Script” widget.
You can leave the Title area blank, but then enter the following code:

I tried to make this code as easy to use as possible.  This is a code to create your “Home” button, which will allow visitors to return to your main blog page, and has for 7 drop down menus.  To customize it, replace the words “Page 1,” “Page 2,” etc ., with the names for you Main Menu items.
Next, replace the words “Page 1-1,” “Page 1-2,” etc., with the titles you are creating under each main menu tab.  Before each of these replacement words there is a # sign in quotations.  DO NOT DELETE the quotations, but simply replace the # with the URL of the pages you are linking to. 
< li >< a href="MissPrissMorgan.Blogspot.com">HOME</a>
< li>< a href="#"
onmouseover="mopen ('m1')" onmouseout="mclosetime ()">MAKEUP</a>
< div id="m1" onmouseover="mcancelclosetime ()" onmouseout="mclosetime ()">
< a href=" www.eyeshadow.com">EYESHADOW</a>
< a href=" www.lipstick.com">LIPSTICK</a>
< a href=" www.nailpolish.com">NAIL POLISH</a>  < /div> < /li>

< li>< a href="#" onmouseover="mopen ('m2')" onmouseout="mclosetime ()">CLOTHES</a>
<d iv id="m2" onmouseover="mcancelclosetime ()" onmouseout="mclosetime ()">
< a href=" www.shirts.com">SHIRTS</a>
< a href=" www.pants.com">PANTS</a>
< a href=" www.dresses.com">DRESSES</a> < /div> < /li>
< /ul>
< div style="clear:both">< /div>
The blue text will be what appears in the Main Menu, and the green text is what will appear below the blue text in the dropdown menu.
If you want to add a link to your main menu that doesn’t have a drop down menu, it’s just a link, like a “Contact Me” page for example.  For these links, just use the code for the non-static link I talked about earlier, just be sure you place the link codes before the highlighted part of the widget code.
Click Save and there you have it, your very own drop down menu!
Hope you found this helpful.  If you have questions, I will try to answer them, but like I said, I'm no expert and I was literally trying to figure this out for about 9 hours!
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It's busy busy busy over here in MissPrissMorgan land!  This little bee has been hard at work on some new projects, and continuing my education in the wonderful of HTML (blah!)!  Below is a list of some of the things I've been working on this week:
  1. I already posted about it, but I have grab buttons!
  2. New Navigation Menu!  Well, OK it's not entirely new, but I did add a new button.  The cute Fun Stuff button was not at all fun to script.  There's so many little characters to get just right!  It's still not exactly what I want, but I quit when my brain stopped working at 3 am.
  3. In my new Navigation button, there are two, yes two rather large projects I've had in the works for a while, but have just recently begun to execute.  The first is Morgan Plays In the Dirt, my garden blog!  I decided it should be separate from this blog, because I have a lot to say on the topic, and I realize that not everyone cares.  Not only will I be posting updates from my garden, but I will be posting tos of "how-tos" and information, and I'm currently working on a a book customized to each person who buy one!  It is going to be a lot of work which is why it is still majorly in the works.  I estimate that this will be an ongoing project for the next few months.
  4. The next project, I mentioned the other day.  Morgan Makes Cents is the blog I've created to document my goal to not spend money for an entire year!  This blog actually already has a ton of followers, and did before I even published anything! 
I'm really excited about these two new projects, and just hope I can keep up with them.  I know exactly how I want the headers designed, but I'm currently looking for someone who can do it in a timely manner... meaning ASAP, and for not crazy expensive, because I only have so much money before I start the fast.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

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I Have Grab Buttons!

I finally figured out how to make some grab buttons for my blog! Feel free to take one, or two! I read that Grab Buttons are supposed to be about 200x200 pixels, but mine seem a little small... Any advice on sizing?  If you're interested in Making your own button, keep reading!

What is a Grab Button?
A grab button is a button that you can put in the sidebar of your blog.  Your viewers can "Grab" the HTML code under your button, and put it on their blogs!  Grab buttons are a great way to advertise your blog.  If someone has a ton of followers, and they put your button on their side bar, just think all of the people who can easily stop by your blog just by ckicking a button!

Create Your Own
  1. Choose an image you'd like to use as your button, or create one in a photo editing program. Resize the image to 200 x 200 pixels. 
  2. Upload your picture to an image hosting site of your choice, I used photobucket.
  3. In another tab, log onto your Blogger account. Go to the Design tab and then click Page Elements, and then Add a Gadget. Choose to add the HTML/JavaScript widget. 
  4. Copy & Paste the following code in the HTML area:
  6. In Photobucket (or where ever you chose to store your button image), copy the URL or direct link to the image and paste it in the above code where it says YOURBUTTONLOCATION.
  7. Then, replace the words YOURBLOGADDRESS with your blog address...
  8. Tada!
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First Fruits

All of my hard work has paid off!  Today I harvested my first crop!  Radishes are really easy to grow, and they grow really fast; like seed to eat in 60 days!  I could have plucked them all about a month ago, but I got busy, and sort of forgot...

They are crunchy and spicy and taste delicious!  I only harvested about 1/2 of the crop, because I don't think the others are ready to come out.  It's so rewarding to see "the fruits of my labor!"

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Pantone 17-1547

Summer is here, and I am officially in love with this color.  I really think everything needs to be Coral during summertime!  For Spring I was loving Mustard and Royal Blue, but now that it's summertime, this not-too-orange-not-too-pink color warms up everything right along with the weather!  I know that I really love this color, because everything I touch lately seems to be coral...Call me Queen Midas. 

Not that I'm actually turning things this luscious shade, but I see it and my brain thinks "Ooo, I need that," similar to the reaction it gives when I see sparkly things.  For the last year or so, I grounded myself from buying makeup.  I had so much that it was literally taking over my living space.  It seems, however, that Coral is everywhere this season, and so I couldn't help myself and went on a little binge...  Here's what I bought and some other things I'm loving in this perfect-summertime-color.

★ Benefit's Chachatint:  The newest little beauty in the Benefit arsenal of lip & cheek stains, this mango-tinted stain beautifully blushes lips & cheeks with a tropical sunset hue. It's smooch-proof & smudge-proof, and dare I say, waterproof?  This sheer stain will leave you looking deliciously sun-kissed for hours.

★ Nars Lipgloss in Wonder: Seemingly unwearable in the tube, this "mandarin orange gloss laced with pink and gold shimmer" wears surprisingly sheer.  However, if bold is what you're going for, the semi-translucent shade is also very buildable!  It goes on smoothly and evenly to give a plump, juicy, "I just ate a Popsicle" look that's perfect for summer.

★ Essie nail polish in Tart Deco:  Unlike most Essie polishes, this one goes on streak free!  It's a BRIGHT peachy-coral color that looks amazing on toes, but just as good on fingers.  The best thing about this polish, is that it makes my skin look darker than it is - instant tan!   I've had this on my toes since mid-May, and I swear whenever I walk into a room I feel as though my feet look sexier than everyone else's.  This polish came in with the Essie's The Art of Spring Collection in 2010, so it should be pretty easy to find. 

★ Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy:  This solar-baked blush brings new meaning to the term "long-wearing."  Infused with natural clay harvested from the banks of the Amazon River, this nutrient-rich blush benefits all skin types for a fade-free flawless finish for an amazing 12 hours.  For oily girls like me, the clay minimizes oil to balance skin and keep the product in place.  Dry skinned and combo skinned girls benefit as well.  The clay has nourishing and hydrating properties, which naturally restore skin's moisture, and the ability to zero in on skin concerns and deliver benefits to restore complexion harmony!  I could write a whole blog post just on how amazing this product is, but I won't...  It comes in eight colors, and while I have seven total, and love them all, this is going to be my go-to color for summer!

★ Mighty Mango Naked Juice:  Recently, for medical reasons, I've begun to eat about 40% raw.  I try to start every morning with a crap-ton of fruit, or fresh juice.  Because I am always running late, I've been cheating by grabbing a Naked Juice in the mornings rather than using my juicer.  I've tried every flavor but I keep going back to Mighty Mango.  Mangoes, oranges, apples, bananas, and lemon... Yum!  I know it's going to be a good day when I've got a bottle of this stuff.

★ Mangos:  It's been warm enough here to sunbathe for a while, so that's how I try to spend my weekends, floating in the pool, soaking up some rays.  When I go, I usually plan to stay for the day, to enjoy being outside, and not cooped up in an office.  I often bring some fruit to snack on, and lately my favorite treat is mango {and it's coral colored!}.  The taste of this summertime fruit reminds me a little bit of pine tree sap {does anyone else think this}, only in a tropical, beachy way.  I feel like one bite leaves me standing on a deserted island, and the next takes me soaring to the rain soaked mountains!  It's like being in two places at once, magical.

★ Coral colored clothing:  Coral is one of the best colors to wear in the summertime whether it's in clothing or jewelry.  Coral offers the same summer-fresh vibe that white offers, only more flirty, and without worry of getting dirty {I'm a poet and didn't know it}.  Plus, everyone looks tan in this color!

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The Spending Fast

Lately I have become OBSESSED with money. 
Don't get me wrong, since I was out of work for a year, I have been money conscious, but it's never been like this.  I have always hated money.  That tends to happen when you grow up in a house where there is always a money shortage...  I just hate it.  When I was out of work, I taught myself to coupon.  Extreme coupon even.  I learned to only buy things if they were on sale and if I had a coupon or multiple coupons.  While I saved a-crap-ton of money, I still ended up with a bunch of stuff I didn't need, and had no room for.  Couponing taught me that I was saving money, but my spending habits were still out of control. 
Do you know how many times I've gone to Target for toothpaste, and come out with a receipt for $150 and a bad case of buyer's remorse? Did I mention I would usually forget to buy the toothpaste?  But hey, I saved $94.63!

I don't know what it is, but for the past few months I have been really worrying about "being prepared" (prepared for what?  I don't know, just prepared) and "money" and "saving" (as evidenced by previous posts, and my monthly Save Money Series).  I feel like I am nowhere close to where I should be financially at this stage of my life, and the more I think about it, the more anxious/worried/sick I feel.

I do have a savings account to which I contribute 10% every pay period.  But I usually chip into it to support unnecessary spending, so by the end of each month, my savings account is essentially non-existent.  I am finally out of debt, and yet, I still find myself "broke" a lot of the time.  Even though my current job is paying me twice my asking price, I keep thinking the problem is that I need to make more money (isn't that the case with everyone). 
The real problem is that I have a "leaky bucket," and rather than fixing it, I'm just getting frustrated that all my water is leaking out.
I've tried budgeting.  I create these totally awesome Excel spreadsheets where all I have to do is enter the total amount on my receipts.  It tracks my money, tells me how much I can still spend, and would help me stay on track.  I create it, and then never look at it again.  I've tried being like Audry Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's and only using cash. They say using cash creates a mental drive to stop spending, because you physically feel the money leave your hands.  I've tried only using my debit card- bad, bad, bad idea.  The only thing I haven't tried is to just stop spending (Duh! Doesn't it seem like this should be the first course of action rather than the last?).
While cleaning my room this weekend, I had the TV on for background noise, and the Clark Howard show was on.  He had a guest named Anna who became debt free in just one year! (Click here to watch the clip) How did this young, thirty-something State Clerk/part-time-photographer go from having $19,000 of debt to getting rid of it in just one year without getting a new job or adding income? I had to know.
I started reading her blog And Then She Saved, and ended up reading every.single.entry.  Anna basically cut out unnecessary spending for an entire year.  In 2010, she paid her bills, and bought only what she considered to be essentials - food, gas, insurance, phone, medical, and even a gym membership.  She cut out everything else - travel, makeup, eating out, music, coffee, salon trips, entertainment, even gifts (all Christmas, Birthday, Shower gifts were handmade or re-gifted items) etc.  By the end of the year, she had saved almost $20,000 and was able to become completely debt free! 
While reading about The Spending Fast I thought, "eww fasting..."  In our church we are encouraged to fast on the first Sunday of every month.  If I'm being honest, I've never done it.  I've tried, believe you me, but usually around three o'clock I feel a migraine coming on, and have to sneak a few Cheerios.  The word "fasting" is kind of a dirty word, and even though many blessings come from any kind of fasting, it is, well, hard.
I decided that I want to try do this Spending Fast.  I am going into this knowing full well that it is really going to suck, and at times I might fail, but a small failure is OK, I'm not going to let it deter me from the big picture.  I am starting on July 1, 2010 and am going to continue for a year (I'll be blogging about the experience on MorganMakesCents).  There are a few roadblocks in my way already, because I do have at least two trips planned this summer but again, I won't let it deter me.  I am blinded by the lights and glitter of $20,000 which for me, would be a down payment on a house!  I'm mostly kind-of-a-lot nervous, but a little excited.  Not quite "I'm going to Disneyland excited" but more than "Tomorrow is the first day of school" excited.

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P.S.  This year, Anna is doing a Spending Diet, which is a little easier than the Spending Fast (this time she allots $100/month for spending money).  For anyone who wants to try this out, check out her blog to get the rules!


It's Becoming a Problem

Talk about De Ja Vu.  Yes, it happened again.  And it wouldn't be such a problem if I weren't running as fast as I can, shoving five and six year olds out of the way as I go...  I just can't help it.  When I hear that music, I drop everything I'm doing, grab a twenty and mad dash up the street.

Oh and yes, I do spend all $20.

Please excuse the mess that is myself.  I had spent the whole day cleaning, more on that later...

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Friday Night Live

I L♥VE the community I live in.  Yes the HOA fees are ridiculous, but unlike many other HOA fees, ours are used in ways that actually do benefit the community.  Yes, yes we have people who clean up trash, mow grass, plant flowers, and other landscaping tasks every single morning, but our fees pay for so much more.  For example, every 4th of July the community puts on a big parade (which has now become a city wide event), after the parade, they open all of the community pools for a free day of swimming as well as a free all-you-can eat BBQ, complete with live music and carnival games.  This is just one of many yearly events that have become tradition so that we can enjoy living in our community.

One thing I love about summers in this community is that one Friday every month, they host Friday Night Live, a free concert series in a local park.  This being Las Vegas, there is no shortage of entertainment, and so a band is chosen to play for friends and families alike.  Tonight, I decided that BF and I should go.

We packed a picnic and walked over to the park.  I couldn't believe how many people were there!  There were also lots of food and treat vendors giving free snow cones, glow sticks, "adult beverages," etc.  A 70's cover band called the Boogie Knights played disco and rock for over three hours!  We found a good spot right up front to set up our blanket, kicked off our shoes, and spent the rest of the night dancing and singing.  It was so much fun, I can't wait until next month!

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Tuesday Tunes


Stop what you're doing!

Play this and...


Preferably, as loud as you can

Shoot, dance if you want to.

You're welcome. 

Now enjoy the rest of the work day.

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Another Storm

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  I really hate when bloggers begin a post with, "I know I haven't been blogging but..."  Everyone is busy, and everyone has REAL lives outside of the Bloggersphere, so daily posts aren't always possible.  Lately, I haven't really been "busy," I've just had a lot going on.  Personal stuff.  Private stuff.  Stuff that I don't necessarily feel the need to publicly document.  However, I keep thinking that this blog started out as a way for me to document my daily comings and goings, my life. So I've decided to do it as best as I can while still keeping some privacy. 

You know the saying, "when it rains, it pours?"  I myself am quite familiar with it.  However, in the last few years, the rain of my life hasn't exactly been a good rain.  This saying more describes the... (how-to-put-it-nicely?CRAP that always seems to be happening to myself and those closest to me.  I have often felt tired of the storms and ready for the sun, but just as I catch a few glimpses of sunshine, BAM, I'm hit with thunder and lightening. 

Three years ago, I remember driving alone in my car, and feeling an overwhelming sense of grattitude.  "I am so thankful for my life," I thought as I pondered all of my blessings (everyone was healthy, I had a great family, and parents who were married for 31 years, everyone had jobs, etc.).  Almost the next day, it started. 

Since having that thought of grattitude, I have dealt with two divorces, court battles, custody battles, deaths, heartbreaks, betrayal, lies, financial worries, school troubles, threats of foreclosures, bankruptcies repossessions, and multiple unemployments, not to mention the daily stresses life always has in store for us.  Now, these things have not all happened directly to me, but I have experienced them all through my close friends and family, and therefore I am directly impacted.  I consistently feel helpless, angry, anxious, worried and sad.  And it seems to be that whenever one trial "ends," another begins.

I don't mean to sound so negative.  If there's one thing I hate more than lying, it's a Negative Nelly.  But this is the reason for my blogging absence.  Another storm.
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