Tag Archives: Grammarly

An Attitude of Gratitude!

My little blog is celebrating the month of January. It’s cold and snowy here in America’s Dairyland but it’s Thank You month and I have a lot to be thankful for.  My friends at Grammarly are helping me throw a party.

What?  Write a post on your own blog about something or someone that you are thankful for. Link back to this post and to Grammarly, the world’s best grammar checker.

Why?  Because you can win an Amazon.com gift card.  Currently it is valued at $120 but the value increases by $10 for every thankful blogger that enters the contest!

When:  Between now and January 31.  The Random Number Generator will pick one lucky winner on February 1.


What are you waiting for?  Give thanks and win big!


Once you’ve entered, share your link here:

Deep Breaths…

Yesterday, I promised you “Before” pictures of my house.  Today, I find that I am very hesitant to post them.  But here goes.

I know, right?  Here I am this Lean expert with a house that looks like a war zone.  This is what kids, dogs, a husband with lots of gear, too many hobbies among too many people and depression do to your lean state.  I am thankful that I have hit the tipping point.

This clutter is not healthy so it will not fit in 2012.  As I said yesterday, I’m dedicating 20 minutes a day to clutter-busting.  Because I want my bedroom to be a sanctuary, I am starting in there.

Here are the rules:

Gather your necessary supplies:  Cleaners, rags, trash bags, Goodwill box.

Set the timer for 20 minutes.  No more, no less.  This is focused time spent clutter busting.

Find a  place for everything and put everything in it’s place.

If it does not belong in that room, put it away in the room where it belongs.

If you don’t like it/wear it/ use it then toss it in the garbage or Goodwill box with no regrets.

Stop after 20 minutes and enjoy your success.

That being said, I am off to spend 20 minutes in my bedroom.  After pictures coming soon!


Don’t forget about the Gratitude giveaway I’m doing in partnership with Grammarly!  Which of my readers will win a $? Gift Card to spend at Amazon.com?


Thank You

This post is brought to you in honor of National Thank You Month in partnership with Grammarly, the World’s Most Accurate Grammar Checker.

In the past year, I have learned to embrace my craftiness.  Not crafty like sneaky, crafty like creative.  There, I said it.  I am creative and I enjoy it.  I can sew a bit, knit a bit, am learning to crochet and I really like playing with paper, glitter, stamps and glue to make cards.  Creating beautiful things lowers my stress levels by clearing my mind and soothing my spirit.  When I crave color, willpower is not necessary.

For that I am thankful.  I am thankful to my mother, first and foremost.  My mom has taught me too many lessons to list.  Since this is a post about creativity, I will thank her for teaching me to sew, showing me a trick here or there about playing with paper and for reminding me that no one is perfect.  Perfection is not the goal.  Quality is important.  Things should look hand made but hand made is not flawless.  It is human.  That is what makes it special.  My mom is also the influence that made me resourceful.  She can fix anything I can screw up.  I hope someday I possess that skill also.

I am thankful for my grandmothers too.  My mother’s mother was an amazing seamstress.  She made quilts, embroidered, and created the most exquisite Barbie clothes.  Of course as a stupid kid, I didn’t have the sense to save them.  In partnership with the woodworking skills of my Grandfather, my cousins, sisters and I all had the greatest doll beds of all time complete with quilted mattresses and comforters.

From my father’s mother, I seem to have inherited a love of yarn (along with an old-fashioned Norwegian stubborn streak ten miles wide).  From the earliest memory, I could crochet a chain.  My sisters and I would make them seemingly hundreds of  yards long.  Her weight maintenance plan was crochet.  “I figure if I’m sitting in front of the TV crocheting, I’m not sitting there eating.”  She knit as well.  My grandmother created the most wonderful afghans, lace doilies and this angel.  She has been atop my Christmas Tree for more years than I can recall.  Please pardon the abuse she takes because we move so much.  I’m afraid to try to re-shape her.

So, to all three of you; my mom, her mom, and my Dad’s mom, Thank You.  Thank you for sharing your time, your talents and your love of beautiful things with me.  I can only hope the projects I create will make you proud.

Now, blog readers, it’s your turn.  Grammarly is working with me to sponsor a Virtual Flash Mob of Gratitude!  What are you thankful for?  Who are you thankful for?  In honor of National Thank You Month, Grammarly is offering  a minimum of $100 Amazon.com gift card to one lucky blogger. Each blogger that enters increases the size of the prize by $10.    The contest begins today, January 2, 2012,  and ends on January 31.  A winner will be chosen on February 1!  For more information about how to enter, leave me a comment or e-mail lisa (at) LisaSharp(dot)com!


P.S.  W00t!  My Grammarly Score for this piece was 89 out of 100!  What’s yours?

Once you’ve entered, share your link here:

It’s Like a Computer Game for Grammar Nerds!

I was recently asked to have a look at Grammarly, an online grammar checker. Of course I pooh-poohed the idea because of my flawless command of the English Language but after checking one of my posts and scoring 67% further urging, I agreed to give it a try.

Interface: Grammarly has an online option as well as a downloadable plug-in to use with Word. Since I primarily use Google Documents, I opted not to download the plug-in and will not comment on it. The online interface is smooth and easy to use. Pages load quickly. Analysis takes only a few seconds depending on the length of the passage. In theory, I could paste a lengthy thesis into the tool and receive a comprehensive analysis. I was unwilling to prepare one for this review. When checking sections of text, be sure to select the type of writing you are doing as well as whether or not you want to check for plagiarism.

Testing: To do the first test (after the blog post), I dug up from the dust a piece from my PhD program days. I won’t bore you with the subject, but using the menu in the screen shot, I checked that it was academic writing, check for plagiarism and did a check of it. I scored 69%! After my initial shock, I pored over the detailed analysis of my writing.  I was quite impressed with the depth of analysis and detailed explanations.  Like other grammar checkers, you must take the result with a grain of salt. I initially rejected some of the suggested changes but did change my mind after considering the explanation (What can I say?  I’m an arrogant grammar nerd, too).   By far the largest point of disagreement between Grammarly and myself related to synonyms. I chose not to change anything. I am not the sort of writer who chooses to use “parsimony” when “simplicity” will do.

However, I do give Grammarly big, big points for clearly explaining possible issues and offering alternatives.


Grammarly is for you if:
1. You are a student at the high school level or higher and want to make sure your writing reflects your intelligence. It is particularly helpful for College and Graduate level students.  Grammarly is also a great way for college-bound students to prepare themselves because many top schools subscribe to this exact service or a similar service designed to prevent plagiarism.
2. You’re a business professional who struggles with the written word and wants to appear professional.
3. Non-native speakers of English would benefit greatly from Grammarly.
4. You’re a homeschooler or homeschooling parent. I particularly enjoy the explanations of errors. Grammarly is an exceptional supplement to any language arts or writing curriculum for the upper grades.

There are a variety of subscription options ranging from $19.95 for a month to month option to $95.45 ($7.95 per month) for the annual subscription.  Given the importance of excellent communication skills for professionals and students alike, I would say it is a worthy investment for students and professionals alike.


Once again, I was asked to review Grammarly, an online grammar checker. I received a trial membership valued at $40 for the review. All opinions expressed about the product are, as always, my own.


P.S.  This post scored 87%  How did your last article do?