Thursday, April 10, 2014

New creative writing @ eMOTIONS

One of the pages I follow on Facebook issued a writing challenge and I accepted.  Just for fun of course.  It's been a while since I've done some creative writing and I really need to get back into it if I want to go anywhere with my ideas.  So, go check it out and tell me what you think.  It's just a short paragraph.  Happy reading!

eMOTIONS by *SKC* - Shadows - a writing assignment

Monday, March 31, 2014

Optic White Toothbrush with built in Whitening Pen from Influenster!

I have been a member of Influenster for some time now, thanks to my friend both in and out of Second Life, Ashley Dickerson for introducing me. This latest VoxBox makes it four times now in the past year that I have had the pleasure of testing several items sent to me from Influenster. This latest being Colgate® Optic White™ Toothbrush + Built-In Whitening Pen.
I know from past testing that the Optic White toothpaste works great. I actually like the new built in whitening pen. Colgate uses a gel inside of a pen. Turn the base of the pen two clicks to push a bit of the gel up into the built-in soft plastic brush of the pen the smooth across your teeth. The gel takes a little getting used to, but once you do it's not bad. The gel, while it doesn't stay on as long as the strips for obvious reasons, doesn't have a bad taste and still gets the job done. Other whitening brands use whitening strips. To me those feel funny and after a couple uses the concentration of the chemicals actually makes my teeth hurt. While I brush my teeth twice a day and try to have good oral hygiene, I also tend to drink a fair amount of tea, coffee, and Dr. Pepper. A little extra whitening power never hurts. ‪So many thanks to Influenster and Colgate for introducing me to another wonderful product. Give it a try and see for yourself. Before
Day 4
#‎Influenster‬ ‪#‎BrushWhitenGO‬ ‪#‎Colgate‬ ‪#‎Voxbox‬

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Relay for Life of Second Life

Relay for Life:

One of the biggest reasons why I continue to log into SL (albeit much less these days) is because of Relay for Life. Second Life has been involved in the fight against Cancer with Relay for Life since 2005, as have I. It's just a game, you say? Well, let me tell you what a bunch of gamers can do!

In 2005, the first year RFL events were held in SL, a bunch of "gamers" (315 people) raised $5,000 USD for the ACS and RFL. The very next year that amount jumped to $41,000 USD raised and sent to RFL. In 2007 the total raised more than doubled at $118,500 USD! In 2008, the amount almost doubled again at $215,000 USD raised that year. In 2009, over 1/4 of a million was raised... $275,000 USD. By 2012 Second Life Relay for Life raised and sent $375,000 USD to the ACS and RFL. 

Totals are still coming in for the 2013 Relay, but we again raised over $350,000 USD this year, which put the grand total for all SL RFL efforts at and beyond the $2,000,000 (million) USD mark!!! There were almost 3000 people who walked the virtual laps, exploring the creative 3D builds, donating, lighting luminaria, sharing their personal stories in their fight against cancer, celebrating loved ones saved, and honoring those we've lost.

3000 people from all over the world and every time zone imaginable came together for one 24-hour period to walk, talk, laugh, cry, share, love, and raise money to help find a cure for cancer. There was no hated, no prejudices, no drama. Just a common bond - to find a cure.

Now I know many of you have theories, conspiracy or otherwise, regarding ACS, RFL, cancer research, government interference, Big Pharmacy manipulation, etc.... This post is about NONE OF THAT!!! Please keep those comments to yourself or they will be deleted.

This post is about the amazing things that happen when people come together to work towards a common goal, even if they come together virtually. I have a lot of people on my timeline now who do not know what SL is and may wonder about the strange cartoon-like pictures I post from time to time. THIS is what SL is about for me. Not a game, but merely another platform, a social network to do good things. Relay for Life organization and the American Cancer Society have official representative inside SL and recognize SL as an official RFL team. Convio is set up to allow RFL donations to be made on behalf of the SL team. These are real people, real money, relaying together against a real disease. And I for one am proud to be a part of that effort!

$2,000,000 USD raised for the fight against cancer by Second Life residents.

Until there is a cure, we Relay!!

http://rflofsl.intuitwebsites.com/History-of-RFL-of-SL.html

and

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Relay_For_Life_of_Second_Life

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sierra is...

a double shot of Espresso in the morning
Ice cold sweet tea in the sun
Sushi & Ice cream; together?
the beat of a different drum
a summer thunder storm
Angry rain on a tin roof
an ocean breeze
Sunflowers
cuddles
Precocious
confusing
Living dead girl
Strong & weak
Your worst nightmare
Your wildest fantasy
eyes that have shed too many tears
the cold side of your pillow
a tease
a goddess on her knees
an angel with broken wings
shy & guarded
Intellectual & contradictory
a lover
a dare
Empathic
Kinky
Leather & Lace
Flirty
Friendly
Fiery anger
Fiercely protective
a mother hen
Optimistic
Waves of the ocean
a soft kiss on your lips
breath on your neck
a lick on your cheek
a bite on your shoulder
Nails down your back
Nothing in between
Sweet & tart
Fragile
Pretty when she cries
a kitten resting before a fire
Not a Fairy Tale
Naughty
Nice and spicy
Passion
Restraint
Desire
Submission
Strong
Sweet
Sarcastic
Consuming
Demanding
Uncertain and scared
Alive
a survivor
Cleaning up so well.

(c) sierra sugar - I wrote this several years ago and have had it up in my profile in various places at different times.   It's probably time that I put it up somewhere more public.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Updates

Lots of new posts, creative writing, emotional insight, and more over at eMOTIONS.  Clicky and go check it out. I'd love your input.

~sierra

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dutch Pancake Puffs with Peach and Banana Compote





Dutch Puff Pancakes w/ Peach & Banana Compote, made 
                                with Nectresse from @influenster Sugar and Spice Voxbox:

For the batter:
6 Tbsp Salted butter
4 Large Eggs
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Lowfat Milk
1 packet NECTRESSE

For the Compote:
3 Large Peaches, peeled and diced (or substitute 1 can of sliced peaches)
3 Packets NECTRESSE (or substitute 1/2 cup sugar)
2 Bananas sliced
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1 Tbsp salted butter
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Pinch of Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425

Step 1: Cut butter into 12 even pieces.  Put one piece in the bottom of each section of a non-stick muffin pan.  Put pan on the middle rack of the oven.  While butter is melting prepare the batter.

Step 2: In a blender, add eggs, flour, milk, and sweetener.  Blend on high until smooth, about 20-30 seconds.

Step 3: When butter is bubbling in the muffin tins, pour batter from the blender into each cavity of the pan (1/2 - 2/3 way full).

Step 4: Bake for 22-25 minutes, until pancakes have puffed and are golden brown (You may still notice a slight depression in the puffs with a bit of melted butter, this is ok).

Step 5: While pancakes are baking,prepare the compote by placing all the ingredients (except the sliced bananas) into a saucepan and cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, for at least 5 minutes, until the peaches are soft and most of the water has cooked off.  Turn heat to low and fold in bananas.

Step 6: Remove pancakes from oven and place pan on cooling rack.  Using a spoon or small offset spatula, pop the pancake puffs out of the pan and place onto a serving plate.  Serve immediately and spoon the warm compote over the top of each puff.

(a little deviation from what i normally blog about.  But i love to cook and bake, and these were a definite hit here in the house.)

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."   (Nectresse)

Shattered Morals and Cracked Integrity

I posted this awhile ago on FaceBook and decided to copy it over to my blog.  Just a little venting and a bit of a rant on relationships, trust, morality, and the digital age of social media.

Social media makes it easy for people to keep in touch and to share information. In some cases too easy. The age of the internet, particularly as we know it today, has been both a blessing and a curse. Families and friends can be a part of each other's daily lives from hundreds, or even thousands of miles away, across time zones, and even continents.

However, the free access and inundation of information desensitizes people to things like respect, discretion, loyalty, common courtesy, and common sense. We wonder sometimes what is wrong with our society today, and well this is part of it, part not all. Some people need to remember that not everything in your life or the lives of people you know needs to be shared, not just on the internet, but not shared with everyone you come across in your daily life; that there are still some things that should remain private, privy only to the people directly involved. Just because I know you or know of you, doesn't mean you automatically get to know all of my business. And if I trust you enough to divulge a bit of my private life or a part of me with you, doesn't give you cart blanch to share it with the world.

In an age where information is upheld as power, and “secrets” are branded the bane of all that is “good”, I sincerely beg to differ. We have too much information floating out there. It becomes a point of information overload and people begin to feel entitled to know everything about everyone. Well I ask, what gives you the right to know every minute detail about me? Do I have something to hide? Not really. But my life is my life. Your life is your life. And somethings are just not meant to be openly shared with the world. People need to learn to THINK before they speak. Think about who they are talking to and about. And remember that the people on the other side of the screen, across town, or the other side of the world do in fact have feelings and a life outside of pixels on a screen. RESPECT each other's lives and show a sense of morals and integrity.