Thank you for stopping by! As I rarely have time to update this blog anymore, please come visit me at my new photoblog, Cari Berry Photography where I'll blog the occassional Beauty and the little Beast story, as well as post sneak peeks and stories from all my photo sessions. I try to give return blog love to all visitors over there, and hope to start giveaways there in the very near future!

For visitors to this blog, please accept my apologies, but I've had to turn on captcha because of the insane amount of spam comments I've been getting. Dontcha hate it when one bad apple ruins it for everyone else??!! ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Wiggles are Coming! {A Giveaway!}

UPDATED with winner: Congratulations Pam! Thanks to, you and Laney have won 4 tickets to the Wiggles! Thanks to all who entered. If you'd still like to go to the show, it's not too late to buy tickets. And Beauty and the little Beast readers can get $5.00. Just enter the code MOM when you buy your tickets online. Now, I'm back to my blogcation, but look for me in about 6 weeks! I'll be back with new giveaways, funny stories and pictures!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled summer blogcation to talk about four of the little Beast's favorite people - those singing, dancing cuties from Down Under, the Wiggles! If you're a caregiver of toddlers or preschoolers and you've never heard of the Wiggles, then you must be living under a rock. Just kidding. Seriously, though, if you and your kids haven't gotten to know the Wiggles, you should!

Now, you all know that there are kids programs that I would rather gouge my eyes out than watch, and even some that are simply banned from our house altogether (remember my rant about a certain pint-sized, Spanish-speaking brunette who recently underwent a major growth spurt?). Fortunately, my little Beast and I can agree that the Wiggles are a great way to start our day!

The Wiggles are on very early here in Seattle so it's the first show that the little Beast watches when he wakes up at the crack of dawn. It's such a cheerful way for him to entertain himself while gulping down waffles and chocolate milk. The Wiggles program has a really fun, slightly retro feel - a good old-fashioned variety show for kids, with musical numbers, goofy skits and even a cartoon segment. With a campy cast of characters and a plethora of silly songs, the Wiggles is a delightfully upbeat and positive half hour of viewing pleasure (and they ain't hard to look at either!).

And this summer, we all have the opportunity to enjoy the Wiggles live on stage! That's right, the Wiggles are currently touring the States! Sam, Murry, Jeff and Anthony are bringing their friends Dorothy, Wag and Captain Feathersword to the Comcast Event Center in Everett, Washington, on Friday, July 17, 2009 and one lucky reader of this blog is going to win 4 tickets to the show! Here's how to enter:

Leave me a comment telling me what you love about the Wiggles. If you're not sure, you can visit their super-cool website and browse around until you find something you like!

You can earn extra entries for helping us spread the word about this giveaway and the Wiggles Go Bananas Tour. Leave a separate comment to earn an extra entry for each of the following:

1. Blog about this giveaway on your own website. Leave the url to your post in your comment.
2. Twitter this giveaway. Leave the url of your tweet in your comment below.
3. Post a link to this giveaway on Facebook. Leave your Facebook url or username in your comment.
4. Email the link and a description of this contest to your friends and family. Copy me on the email at Leave your email address in your comment below.

Contest ends Friday, July 10, 2009 at 8 pm PDT. Winner will be randomly selected using the widget. Tickets will be available for pick up at the will call window on the day of the show.

If you'd like to BUY tickets, they are available at the Comcast Arena at Everett Box Office, or charge by phone 866.332.8499.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Announcement

I have put off making this announcement until the very last minute because I wasn't sure what I wanted to say. But if I waited for the right words to come then I would never write this post and you all (or maybe one or two of you anyway) would be sitting in cyberspace wondering, "Whatever happened to Carebear and her crazy kids, Beauty and the little Beast?!"

I have decided to take a summer vacation from blogging. Between family commitments, teaching Bible school, working and playing with my new baby (the Nikon D90), I have not one single second of free time to dedicate to blogging. I'm disappointed that there aren't more hours in the day, or fewer obligations, but C'est La Vie, as they say in their obnoxious accents.

I do have a few pre-written posts scheduled to publish over the next few weeks, and of course, I will spend a few minutes each day visiting as many of your wonderful blogs as I can, but for the months of July and August, Not Quite A Fairytale... Beauty and the little Beast will be on hiatus.

I thank you all for understanding and hope you'll join me here again in the Fall for improved pictures, funny stories and awesome giveaways. Enjoy a fabulous summer and take care of you and yours!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Heart {Sepia-Toned} Faces

This week's theme at i Heart Faces is sepia toned.

I had a hard time deciding between Beauty and Ms. Smartypants for my kids entry, but I was so pleased with how the conversion turned out in this photo that I had to enter it. I converted this photo to sepia in GIMP, then added film grain and burned the edges in Picnik.

My adult entry is a portrait of my good friend Colleen at seven months pregnant. I originally converted it to black and white, but tinting it sepia in GIMP only took a minute and I really like the way it turned out.

For more sepia toned images, head over to i Heart Faces and browse through the 500 or so links you'll find there...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Torture By Water

It's gonna be a long summer...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What the %@*#?! Wednesday, CAPTCHA

It has been too long since I posted a What the %@*#?! Wednesday story, and today, since I'm already giving away sex toys, I figured I might as well jump into the adult content with both feet. Here goes:

Over the past few months, I've observed a disturbing trend in CAPTCHA, the word verification system Blogger uses to ensure that the people leaving you comments are normal humans and not computer-generated spammers. Take this gem for instance:

Now, I know it's not an exact spelling of the feminine hygiene product or that name my husband loves to call people who drive slow in the fast lane (d-bag), but still, it's a questionable choice for word verification, dontcha think?

And what about this one? Again, I know it's "misspelled" but still - What the %@*#?!

Then there's this doozy, my favorite of this trifecta - an actual curse word spelled correctly, and worst of all, presented when I was leaving a comment on a mommy blog that focuses on Christ and makes a point of abstaining from questionable, offensive or adult content. Say it with me now - What the %@*#?!

Call me juvenile, but I laugh out loud everytime I get a CAPTCHA word that's the least bit dirty. I feel like Beavis or Butthead cracking myself up over a dirty word. Heh, heh. She said crack. Heh, heh.

Do you pay attention to your CAPTCHA words? Do they ever make you laugh? Recently, when reading comments over at Cake Wrecks, I noticed people copying their CAPTCHA words into their comments and creating their own definitions for them. Things like:

WV*: Halis. As in, “What the halis wrong with these cakes?”


WV: Unsoc, as in, “Excuse me while I unsoc my feet.”

Hilarious right? In fact, it's so amusing to me that I'm turning word verification back on for a few days so we can all play along. I encourage (beg) you to use your CAPTCHA word in a sentence at the end of any comments you leave on my blog this week. There might just be a prize involved for one or two lucky commenters!

WV = word verification

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fan of the Week!!!

There isn't an i Heart Faces contest this week, but contestants are encouraged to share their vacation photos with readers. Since my husband never takes us anywhere *wink wink* I've decided to share something exciting that happened to me over the weekend instead. You can checkout the full post over at i Heart Faces, or just read the excerpt I've "borrowed" below:

Congrats to our Fan of the Week!

Carebear @ Not Quite a Fairytale... Beauty and the Little Beast
(formerly - Two Under Two. Whew!)

Carebear has been one of our biggest supporters from the beginning and we want to give her a big shout out!!

Her self portrait was one of our favorites!!

We love reading her blog which is full of inspiration, wonderful photos and fun mommy stories.

Be sure to visit Carebear’s blog to say congrats and thanks for commenting on so many of your blogs and for being such a great supporter of I ♥ Faces!
We ♥ you Carebear!!

Isn't that awesome?! Thank you Angie and Amy - I'm honored and flattered and such a big fan!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

100th Post Celebration and Giveaway!

Wow, I cannot believe it! I've reached my 100th post and 300 followers in the same week! How exciting! Let's celebrate with a giveaway! But first, since it's my blog and my party, you have to take a short walk with me down memory lane...

I started this blog in January as a way to keep my hubby up-to-date on the kids while he was in Oklahoma for a few months. But really, it has ended up being so much more - in fact, I'm not sure my husband even reads it anymore! When I first started blogging, I posted every day, but recent life changes (Beauty grew up and stopped sleeping 20 hours a day; the little Beast gave up naps; I went back to work part-time;, hubby came home and actually expects me to spend time with him...) have forced me to cut back to a couple times a week. Still, I enjoy so much the friendships I've formed with other bloggers, the fun comments I get, and the way that blogging about the crazy things my toddler does helps me see the humor in them.

To celebrate my 100th post, I'm revisiting where it all started, when I had, like, 3 readers, and they were all people I knew in real life who owed me favors. So here it is for all of you who missed it the first time around, my very first post:

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The other day as I was getting out of the shower, the little Beast came running into the bathroom covered in goo up to his elbows. He thrust his hands toward me and said with pride lighting up his face, "Look, Mommy, I got shampoo!" On closer inspection, I noticed the goo covered not only his hands and arms, but was rubbed in his hair as though he had tried to wash with it. I knew whatever the slimy substance was, it couldn't be shampoo, as all our bottles had been safe in the shower with me. I asked the little Beast to show me where he'd found this "shampoo," so he led me into my own bedroom to the far side of my unmade bed, and opened the drawer to my nightstand. Then he reached into the drawer and with a triumphant flourish handed me ... An empty bottle of KY Jelly!

"See, Mom, shampoo!" he gleefully shrieked as I fell onto the goo-covered bed laughing hysterically.

Funny, right?!

In keeping with the theme of my very first post, I'm giving away a set of KY massage oils!

And just so you don't have to feel embarrassed about entering to win KY, I'm throwing in a bunch of items relevant to my blog (but you and I will both know you're really entering for the lubricant.) ;-)

In addition to the KY six-pack, the winner will also receive all this:

1. Set of colored Sharpie pens in honor of my little home decorator.
2. Flowered Headband, Beauty's signature style piece.
3. Chocolate Covered Pretzels, a personal obsession.
4. Cheesecake-scented tealights to remind you of my very first giveaway.
5. Seattle Chocolates because they frickin' rock, and so does my hometown!
6. The green coil bracelet from A Work of Heart Jewelry, my real-life BFF!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post. I will automatically give one extra entry to each of my 304 existing followers (thank you!!!). Bonus entry if you fave me on technorati or twitter about my giveaway. Leave a separate comment for each entry with the url to your tweet or username for technorati.

FIVE EXTRA ENTRIES for anyone who buys a piece of jewelry from A Work of Heart. Just leave me a comment letting me know you've done so.

Contest ends Thursday, June 11th at 9 p.m. PDT. Winner will be randomly chosen by Stay tuned next week for another giveaway featuring my brand new blog button!!! Best of luck, and thanks for being part of my celebration!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

i Heart Faces Pet Week!

This week at i Heart Faces there is a "Happy Birthday" category and a "Pets" category. I don't have a single birthday shot worthy of entering, but I do have a pet photo I absolutely love.

I snapped this on Saturday at my mom's house with the point & shoot I'm still stuck with. I was practicing macro shots of flowers when I happened to glance up and notice the little Beast chatting with his favorite playmate. I'm glad I didn't pause to correct the settings on my camera because a second later they were off and running and I would have missed capturing this adorable moment. It's definitely not a perfect shot, but it is a perfect memory!