Tuesday, November 30, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day twelve

Today is my last '12 Days of Christmas' find. I hope you've enjoyed the feature... I think I might plan to do it again next year. I had a lot of fun searching for camera and photography related goodies (even picked up a few things for Santa to leave under the tree for me this year) In fact I think I may just have to launch similar features for a couple other holidays in the new year. :) But on to today's find... 

This adorable little case by CB Sew can  hold business cards, debit/credit cards and cash too!

Super cute little accessory perfect for anyone who likes to take pictures, whether they do it for a living or not. :) Toss it in your purse, stuff in a pocket or even keep it in your apron at a craft show. It's the perfect little size to fit just about anywhere! (and if the camera design doesn't float your boat she's got a million other designs... she's got a classic NES controller, one that looks like a cassette tape and an old school Gameboy, a calculator, a pop tart! SO many cool choices available!)

Today's gratitude: today I am thankful to be back home after a fun 5 day visit with family in Ohio. though there's still a car to be unpacked, laundry to be done and million other things to catch up on, it's always nice coming home again. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day eleven

This is an AWESOME find by Focal Length Designs! I've never seen anything like this before and I just think these pieces so amazing!

This seller creates totally unique jewelry pieces using old camera lenses and broken camera parts. The ultimate in recycling, perfect for ANYONE even remotely interested in photography! Each bracelet is a conversation piece all on it's own.  And depending on the lens used, there are sizes that should fit both men and women. Super fun!! I seriously LOVE these!!

Today's gratitude: the weather today is beautiful outside and though we're sad to be going home, today it will be nice to have pleasant weather to drive home in. now if I can just manage to get out of here before dark comes and the expected storm hits!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day ten

I've shared two different sizes of camera strap over the last couple weeks, it's only fair that I also show two different sizes of camera bag as well! This adorable little case for your point and shoot is by Jack and Bee Designs.

SO many people these days have the super small pocket sizes cameras, but I know a lot of pro photographers like to keep a smaller camera on hand as well. Something they can just throw in the bag or keep in the car, something perfect for catching the every day memories without having to lug around a huge camera. And like it's bigger counterpart, sure they sell lots of basic point and shoot cases in the stores, but this is so much more unique. I love the image in the little window on the front of the pouch. Super cute little stocking stuffer, perfect for anyone that loves to take pictures.  

Today's gratitude:  today I am thankful for the flexibility in my life that allows me to bring my kids out of state for five fun days spent with family. They've been having a super time with their cousins the last few days, even my 15 year old who is the oldest of the bunch. He usually tends to hang out more with my dad or my sister's boyfriend, but last night he was playing games with his cousin and brother, and judging by the amount of laughter coming out of that room, it sounded like a  pretty good time. :) I am so glad that they're all so close and I hope that continues to be the case as they get older.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day nine

Today's find is this fun print by Little Types. I've seen a lot of these done using different combinations of words but I really like this one.

I love the different words she chose for this print and the way they gradually get smaller and smaller as you move towards the bottom of the page. The shape beneath the last row of words that looks like the open shutter on a camera, that's just a little bit genius! I can just see this matted and hanging in a nice frame. Perfect for the photographer on your list. :)

Today's gratitude: As corny as it sounds, today I am thankful for Chick-fil-A!! :) I grew up in Colorado and there was a Chick-fil-A at the local mall, anytime we were there shopping I would get a regular Chick-fil-A sandwhich, waffle fries and a lemonade. After getting married I lived in Washington state for eight years where there was no Chick-fil-A. Now I'm living in Michigan and we don't have one here either. But my family lives in Ohio, so a few times a year when I visit I always hope to make it over to Chick-fil-A just once! But they're not open on Sundays... and between my sister and I, with eight kids, it's not easy to sneak away. So I rarely make it there before it's time to head home. But this weekend we're here for  FIVE whole days. One of them a holiday and one of them a Sunday, that's still THREE chances for Chick-fil-A! Last night we had to run to the store and we were able to swing by and I had my first Chick-fil-A sandwich and lemonade (though I skipped the fries) in a VERY long time. OMGosh it was SO good! I hope I'm able to get back there again before we leave, but if not it was so totally worth the wait! ;)

Friday, November 26, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day eight

A few days ago I shared an awesome camera strap cover for all the DSLR owners out there. But what about everyone with smaller digital cameras? Lucky Straps has you covered...

This wrist strap is perfect for smaller cameras. The polka dots are super fun and the inside is covered with that AMAZING incredible super soft minky fabric. I love that stuff! This would make a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone with a pocket size camera.

Today's gratitude:today I am thankful for... banana cream pie at 3am! ;)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day seven

Today's super fun find is this adorable necklace by Heather Kent.

hip polaroid camera hand painted necklace

I cannot believe those cute little cameras are hand painted!!  How cool would is it to be able to wear an original work of art around your neck?!? That's not something that many people can boast! This is from the artists description: 

Original hand painted watercolor masterpiece necklaces by Heather Kent to adorn your body! Are you sick of being kicked out of art museums for drooling on the paintings? Become a walking work of art: Each pendant is a unique, signed watercolor painting, sealed with a clear protective resin(drool all you like!).

LOVE! :) Become a walking work of art... or turn your photographer friend into one by making this a gift. ;)

Today's gratitude: today I am thankful for too much food, eight loud kids, and the fact that I live close enough to my family so that we're able to spend almost every holiday together.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day six

Today I'm sharing this GORGEOUS camera bag by XcessRize Designs. THIS is an awesome bag!

small camera purse

I see all those boring look alike black camera bags in the stores and wonder who would buy those when you could have something fabulous like this?! Why doesn't everyone shop on Etsy?! I LOVE the fabric used for this bag and the shape is so fantastic! Definitely unique. What photographer wouldn't LOVE this bag?! I know I would... are you listening Santa?? lol 

The shop has loads more fabric styles to choose from and a bunch of equally awesome and unique bag designs. That talented photographer that YOU know, she would LOVE to find this under the tree! So get to shopping, you don't have much time left!

Found em on Facebook, check it out ---> XcessRize Designs

Today's gratitude: today I am thankful for LONG WEEKENDS! YAY! My kids are off school for the next five days and we're heading to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, my sister and my 5 nieces/nephew. Good times will be had, much food will be eaten! ;) Hope everyone else has a great Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day five

Today's find is a super cool piece of art by the Joni James Gallery, called a calligram.

I ADORE this! I think it would make a fantastic gift for anyone who loves to take pictures, amateur or professional. I love the different font sizes and widths and how clever is it that things like hotshoe, lens, strap, shutter release button, etc are all written in the actual place they would be on the camera!! SOO cool!! They offer prints with or without a photo mat and in two different size options. Of course they have loads more designs (though I'm partial to the camera). This is DEFINITELY on my must have list. I love it!

In addition to the shop you can find Joni online here ------> artbyjonijames.blogspot.com/
and on Facebook here -----------------------------------> www.facebook.com/Art-by-Joni-James

Today's Gratitude: today I am thankful for MUSIC! The American Music Awards were on the night before last and they were so great! I got to see two of my VERY favorite artists on stage - Enrique Iglesias (OMG HE IS SO HOT! That accent just makes me weak in the knees!) and NKOTB (technically they performed with the Back Street Boys - but who cares about them... NKOTB were SO FREAKING AWESOME ---I may *POSSIBLY* have let a few shrieks and squeals go during their performance, but I'm not officially  admitting to anything) ;) and a bunch of other great acts (I thought Pink! totally rocked, Usher was amazing as always, Ke$ha is pretty wacky but cool and while I love Train's music, the lead guy is WAY too old to be wearing SEQUIN SKINNY JEANS, what is up with that!?!). The kids stayed up late and we watched the awards together, everyone collectively sighing when Justin Beiber won again and again even beating out Usher and Eminem! (and I laugh because, back in my day... that was NKOTB, snatching up all the awards). 

At any rate, it was a good time, watching with the boys and the music was great. :) LOVE

Monday, November 22, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day four

Today's find is a total luxury that I haven't splurged on ONLY because I don't have a big heavy DSLR camera (boy does this make me wish I did!). But I know A LOT of people who do and Sew Tamz has the perfect accessory for those of you who do!

This shop has a huge variety of strap covers, most of them with that amazing, luxurious minky fabric on one side. I LOVE minky, it's just so incredibly soft! This red damask strap cover is SO beautiful, but she has loads more to choose from if this isn't your style. You can have a little pocket added to hold your lens cap and you can even get an initial embroidered on it. Huge bonus: most (possibly all, I didn't read every listing description) are machine washable! THIS would make a fantastic gift for the photographer on your list this year (even if that photographer is yourself)! ;)

Today's gratitude: I know it's totally cheesy... but I bought a new Christmas tree this year (because I HATED the old one... it was just too big and too heavy and SO hard for me to put up on my own every year) and let me just say, I am SOO thankful for the person who invented the pencil tree!!! I put it up yesterday and it was SOOO light and so easy to put up by myself! It takes up almost no space, I didn't even have to move a single piece of furniture to fit it into my tiny townhome living room. LOVE!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day three

Today's finds totally blew me away when I stumbled upon this shop! Reclaim 2 Fame makes the most incredible art sculptures using old/vintage recycled items, including sometimes - CAMERAS!! Check it out!

Tell me that's not just about the coolest thing you've ever seen!!! I'm totally in love! The puppy pieces pictured above are at the higher end as far as cost (though 100% worth every single penny!), but he also has some smaller, equally amazing pieces that won't break the bank if you're on a budget. ;) Something for everyone! I love that!

What a fun addition to a vintage camera collection these would be!

Today's Gratitude: today I am thankful for the many talented artists that call Etsy home! looking through pages and pages of all the wonderful handmade stuff, adding things to my favorites... it's ALMOST as good as shopping, but without the empty wallet at the end (though I do more than my fair share of shopping there as well, gotta support handmade). ;)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - day two

I know there are a lot of people, not just professional photographers, that have multiple lenses for their cameras. So what do you do with your additional lenses when they're not on the camera? They're expensive toys that need to be protected from dust, dirt and moisture. That's where the lens huggie comes in!

Phat Straps makes these lens huggies to order based on your measurements so they'll fit every lens. I think they're absolute genius! And adorable to boot! I had an SLR with two lenses years ago before I switched to the digital camera I use now. This would have come in so handy for my big zoom lens when I wasn't using it. 

If you are a photographer, or you know one, I think this would make a fabulous stocking stuffer! ;)

Today's Gratitude: Today I am thankful for time with friends... tonight is 'crop night'  and I'm so looking forward to it. I used to scrapbook at crop night, now I sew and work on orders. But the best part is getting together with friends. We don't see each other very often since LM closed last year so it's always a treat when we can get together.

Friday, November 19, 2010

12 Days of Christmas...

I am constantly adding things to my favorite folder on Etsy (it's embarrassing really how many pages and pages of favorites I have). I try to share two of my favorite sellers almost every Friday but for the next twelve days we're doing something new, and it's called... 12 Days of Christmas! All of the items I've chosen are photography/camera related. Some are art pieces, some are handy props and accessories for photographers. I hope you'll enjoy my finds and maybe you'll even find a Christmas gift or two! There's still time to order! ;)

12 DAYS, day one:

I LOVE the stark black of the camera against the small print on the white page behind it. Very striking! :) Winterberry Cottage offers a huge variety of prints on book pages so if the camera isn't for you, maybe you'll find something else to your liking! :)

Check back tomorrow for another fun favorite!

Today's Gratitude: Tonight I am taking my boys to dinner at their favorite restaurant (Bob's Big Boy - it was my favorite when I was little too) and a play at a local high school. I am so thankful that my boys still like to hang out with mom every once in a while, even now that two of them are teenagers. ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

pause for music

Tonight I had to take a break from sewing as my youngest son had his very first orchestra concert. :) He was so excited this afternoon that he just had to try on his whole outfit an hour before it was time to go. ;) I had to remind him that he didn't want to be going to the concert with pants covered in dog hair so he, reluctantly, took it off. He's in 6th grade this year and this is the first year they are able to play an instrument in the band or orchestra. Both of my older sons played the trumpet and french horn in the band so a string instrument is a completely new thing around here. :) As the kids came out and got set up the parents all ran out to snap some pictures. When I walked over and Carter saw me, this was his spontaneous reaction to the camera...


The orchestra did really well, I was surprised by how good they sounded in such a short time! After all, most of them have only just picked up an instrument for the first time mere weeks ago!! Kids are definitely little sponges. It helps that their teacher is really young (she barely looks older than the 6th graders!) and she looks like she really enjoys her job. Carter said she's a really fun teacher.:)

Now it's back to work for me... I have been trying to finish up a sock monster this week and I think tonight is the night. It should be super cute when I'm done and I can't wait to share.

Today's gratitude: I am VERY thankful that those first few days of living in the house with a child learning the violin pass quickly. ;) Before I knew it I could hear actual notes and songs coming out of the bedroom in place of that awful screeching noise that I first heard. ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


One of the weekly features I'd like to institute here on my blog are interviews, and I'd really love to be able to feature some of the fantastic photographers who have purchased and used my Lens Pets. SOO I thought I'd send a request out this way, asking that any photogs who wouldn't mind being interviewed get in touch with me. I will obviously post the interviews here on my blog, with links on my Facebook page and Twitter as well. I think it could definitely be a positive thing for everyone involved. :)

If you'd like to play along just send me a message at {m.zelenka (at) hotmail.com}with 'interview' in the subject line. I'm still working on compiling my list of questions but once I have it together I'll reply to your email with the list. Then I'll send you a link once your interview has been posted. 

In other news, I'm still plugging away on orders. Yesterday I mailed off this guy (first time creating him in the large size) and I love how he turned out: 

that mane is crazy time consuming, but so much fun! :) 

And now I am off to run errands before I crash. I do most of my sewing at night after my kids have gone to bed and I usually hit the sack somewhere between 4-7 am but I worked right through that this morning. Now it's past 8am and I need to go to the grocery store and then pick up a prescription, I know if I lay down I won't be up before the boys get home so I'm going to take a quick shower and get the errands done BEFORE I sleep.

Today's gratitude: Today I am thankful for a quiet house, a warm shower that I will soon be enjoying, and the fact that I have a toasty, snuggly puppy dog to look forward to napping with after my errands are finished. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

best buddies...

Yesterday was the first day this month that I missed posting something on my  blog. :( BUMMER! But if I can keep it up for the next two weeks, one day missed isn't too bad in the end. :)

Part of the reason I didn't get a chance to post yesterday was that the kids needed the computer for homework. That's one big drawback to sharing a single computer. I get booted out of my work space completely when someone else needs to use it. SO, to make use of the time, I stood in the kitchen sewing for about 3 hours last night. I couldn't get to my Lens Pet supplies with the kid sitting in my spot, so I grabbed a sock (since I still have plenty of sock monster orders to work on too) and started cutting. I finished up this guy shortly after I got my chair back. ;)

*don't mind his ears, the wind kept trying to pick them up and fly him away! lol

About a week or so ago I completed this sock monster...

They will both be going to live together with my cousin's two little boys. :) SO of course I had to pose them for a couple pictures together. ;) 

tell me those aren't the cutest little hineys ever!! ;) I especially love the bear's stubby little tail.

Today's Gratitude: I am thankful for the many friends and family who have supported me since I started this crafty little business. I wouldn't be where I am right now without them! :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gobble Gobble!

I thought it might be fun to share some super cute Thanksgiving finds today. I had a really hard time narrowing it down, there are a gazillion fun things just perfect for this holiday on Etsy!

First up... the EAT-ables! ;)

Next up, the wear-ables!

the squishy-ables! ...WHAT?! do you have another name for them??? :p

and last but not least... the decorate-ables! ;) (that's totally a word too, in case you were unsure)

I hope you enjoyed today's Thanksgiving finds. :) And of course, in closing, today's gratitude: I am thankful for cheesy (and totally fabulous) teenage vampire films on DVD, perfect for watching on a gray and gloomy day like today. ;)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

CIC Saturday!

CIC SATURDAY is back again... and this week I have some beautiful PURPLE finds to share with you. :) 

(As always, if you click the shop name you can see everything each artist has for sale, if you click the item name it will take you directly to the item pictured here)

and don't forget to check back next Saturday for another batch of colorful handmade goodies!!

Today's Gratitude: I am thankful for my family... I wish we could be closer (distance wise), but I'm glad we're not TOO far away. We get to spend most of the major holidays together and plenty of weekends in between. :) My kids are super close to their cousins, my middle son and my oldest niece (who are only 20 days apart) have even been pen pals lately, writing letters back and forth. :) Good stuff!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Favorite Finds!!

Another week of favorite finds!! :)

  • pixlpshr (seriously amazing video game themed felt collages done on canvas)
This one is a really unique find that I think would be super cool hanging up in my boys' room. They are definitely video game obsessed and I have to admit, I'm a big fan of the classic games from Atari and NES. Here's a couple of my favorite pieces... 

I like this angle because you can see all the individual little felt squares AND it's a great shot of the whole picture. If you go to her shop you can see close ups and pictures of each canvas from straight on.

I had a really hard time narrowing it down to just two! I have a bunch of them in my favorites. I especially LOVE the Frogger and Q-Bert ones! :) I may have to snag one for myself as a Christmas gift. :) I'm just totally impressed by the technique. The colors used to make the shading and the pixel looking squares... every piece is just full of awesome! Pixlpshr doesn't seem to have a FB page that I can find, but you definitely need to go check out her shop!! If you've got boys or if you like video games yourself you will not be disappointed. :)

  • Shop Dirtsa (super cool pillows and other home decor... but the pillows seriously rock!)
All sorts of awesome happening in this shop...my favorites are the color test pillows, the scrabble tile pillows and the penmanship pillows.

I was just watching the episode of The Office where Jim and Pam are having their baby ;)

SCRABBLE on the couch... or the bed... or anywhere really! MAN I want an entire alphabet of these! ;)

How great are these?!? So smart and creative! Can you imagine playing a jumbo game of scrabble with those pillows?? lol Okay, maybe that's not realistic. But I can think of a bunch of words that would be cool spelled out with these on the couch or the bed or a chair. Or initials. Or a short (very short) quote/saying on the penmanship pillows! Yeah, so you must go see her shop! And if you order any of her super fab scrabble pillows I totally want to know what word you get, so share with me in the comments here!

And... that's it for today's rendition of 'Friday Favorite Finds'. See you next week with more super fun finds!

(Please Note: I have been in no way compensated for mentioning these shops. All statements are entirely my own opinion based on my personal tastes)

Today's Gratitude: I am incredibly thankful for days like today when my boys get along and play together nicely. The weather this afternoon was fabulous and I know we won't have many more days like that as we get into Winter, so after school I took the boys to the park. They climbed around on the play structure together, laughing and goofing around. They had a great time. It was so nice to see.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fall photos...

Today I went out with a couple friends to take some pictures for them for their Christmas cards. I *hope* we got some good shots, I know they looked great through the viewfinder. :) My kids were off school today so Connor and Carter tagged along (my oldest is in Indianapolis right now at Marching Band Nationals after they won FIRST place at the State competition a couple weeks ago) and managed to insert themselves in front of the camera a few times so I thought I'd share some of those shots. :) These were my favorites, they'd found this huge pile of leaves and buried themselves in it.

Shortly after we got home I was sitting at my desk sewing and I happened to look up and notice the sky. It looked kinda pink through the back door so I ran out with my camera and snapped a few pics like this one... Of course this doesn't even begin to show how beautiful it was. The pale blue against the pretty pink and the clouds making lines across it all (there were  a whole bunch of cloud lines behind those trees but they're kinda hard to see here). At any rate, it was incredibly cool! I love that we get to see such amazing sunrises/sunsets where we are! The only thing that could make it more perfect is if I could see  the view from the other side of those trees!

Today's gratitude: Mother Nature rocks my world! ;) The colors she paints with are always so beautiful and I'm so thankful I am able to capture even a tiny bit of it on camera.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Today I chaperoned my middle son's 8th grade class on a field trip to the local high school where we got to watch some unbelievably talented young men and women perform their last dress rehearsal of  their production of 'Hairspray'. It was INCREDIBLE!! The singing, the dancing! I loved every minute of it! I took my camera with me but I was so engrossed the entire time I never even took a single picture! I'm going to try and get tickets to take all my kids to see the full show because it was just THAT awesome!! 

Since the first official show is going on as I type this I couldn't find any pictures on the internet to share. But I did find a You Tube video where the cast performed one of the songs from the show in a flash mob at the local mall last month! I cannot begin to tell you the love I have for flash mobs! I SOOO wish I was as outgoing and BRAVE as these kids when I was their age! :)

If you happen to be local there are still some tickets available, check the FB page the cast has set up for info! I also found an article on one of the local tv stations websites. I highly recommend seeing the show if you get the chance!!!

Today's gratitude: I am SO thankful for the school system my kids are in. While I might not be entirely happy living so far from my family and feeling so alone much of the time, I am SO happy with the schools my kids are going to that I can't even bear the thought of pulling them out to move. The elementary school (which my youngest son just graduated from last year) was AMAZING!! The staff was incredible. I love every single teacher all of my boys had while there. I miss them terribly! The middle school and high school are equally awesome. The programs my kids are able to be a part of,... and field trips like the one we went on today (which cost us nothing and every single kid there LOVED) are just a few reasons why I love these schools! :)  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

custom orders...

I love working on custom orders. Making my Lens Pets, even with the many different designs I have, it can get a little tedious when I'm making the same thing over and over and over. Then someone will come at me with an idea of their own and I love turning it into a reality! I just finished this super cool large Lens Pet that my customer (who happens to be a photographer) wanted to match her business logo. 

I love the color combo and those little heart eyes!! SO CUTE! :)

If you have a Lens Pet you'd like to see that I haven't made before, either a color combo I haven't used, a new pet or an alteration to a pet already in my collection, let me know! I'm always looking for fresh ideas!

Today's gratitude: I am so thankful that my mother taught me how to cook a few of my favorite meals when I moved out on my own at 18. Dinner is in the oven right now and it smells SOOO good! I'm not crazy about cooking (wish I had someone to do it for me most nights), but I do love to eat! ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sock Monsters anyone?

So my HOPE is to be able to get caught up on Lens Pet orders this month and get some sock monsters made and listed in my shop. I do custom orders for them every so often but not everyone realizes that. Not to mention that I have amassed a HUGE sock collection over the last 5 or 6 months and I'm just itching to start using them! SO I'm trying to make up a list of sock monsters and I thought I would ask for some input from the masses... Here are the animals I've done for custom orders thus far (following any of these links will take you to my Flickr page. I've made a few different colors/styles of some of the animals below and you can see them all on Flickr if you are so inclined)

The monster with the hat is one of my faves so I'll definitely be making multiples of that one. I also have a few custom requests coming up... for a cow, a tiger, a turtle, and an elf, plus a helicopter but I think that one will end up being made from fleece and not socks. I'm sure I'll make some of the others again as well. But I want something new to add to the menagerie. My brainstorm list...

bumble bee

Is there anything else you might like to see???Anything here that I haven't thought of that might translate well into SOCK form?! :) Definitely let me know! And if anyone wants to order a custom sock monster for Christmas now is the time to do it!!! You can leave a note here in the comments or visit my shop, I've set up a listing that has all the details you'll need to place an order. Make sure to read the ENTIRE description, then shoot me a message with your list of demands and I'll perform some sock magic just for you! ;)

Of course I can't leave a post without including some pictures, so I'm going to throw in some of my favorite sock monsters for your enjoyment. :)

a penguin I just finished a couple nights ago for a friend

one of my 'monsters with a hat'... LOVE this pink and navy sock :)

this dragon took FOR.EVER! but he was totally worth it, turned out so cool in the end!

a matching set for a little girl and her doll :)

the alien! I thought this sock was just perfect for him. I have a pink/navy star sock too and I'm dying to make a girly alien with it.

and last but not least, today's gratitude: I am SO very thankful for days like yesterday, when my oldest son (who is 15) cleaned his whole room, vacuuming and all, without being asked AND did his chores without needing to be reminded!!! He was in a good mood all day (not that he isn't normally a good kid, but those teenage mood swings are killer) and I LOVE it. Reminds me of the sweet little munchkin he used to be before hormones came into the picture! ;)