Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Halloween is today and every kid's favorite part is dressing up for trick-or-treating to get candy. 

There are costumes for all ages and sizes, but here are some of my favorites. Most of these costumes could be adapted to adults, but kid's just look cuter than adults in Halloween costumes, but as an adult it can be fun to dress up too. 

Little girls look adorable in fairy costumes.

Baby boys make cute monsters, especially popular since Monster's Inc./University.

Little toddlers always look so adorable in animal costumes, plus they are usually warm.

Here's an 'easy' homemade pumpkin costume that just looks cute and fun.

I really like this knight costume on this girl- she looks ready to slay some stuffed animal dragons.

This is an easy cute costume for Alice in Wonderland- a blue dress with a white apron.

For the last minute art lovers, Frida Kahlo. Wrap a shawl, put in flowers, and add facial hair, so funny.

You can always dress up your pet to match you or your child.

Or for an easy DIY Superman costume, put formal wear over pajamas.

This costume is really fun, and could probably be done fairly easily with a cardboard box and ski goggles.

Even before Pirates of the Carribean, being a pirate has always been a great choice.

(Click on each picture to be linked to their website.)

Originally published by myself on another blog:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Good Book Day

"One day I was 12 years old and broke. Then Grandma gave me Grandpa's old riding lawnmower. I set out to mow some lawns. More people wanted me to mow their lawns. And more and more…

One client was Arnold the stockbroker, who offered to teach me about "the beauty of capitalism. Supply and Demand. Diversify labor. Distribute the wealth." "Wealth?" I said. "It's groovy, man," said Arnold.

If I'd known what was coming, I might have climbed on my mower and putted all the way home to hide in my room. But the lawn business grew and grew. So did my profits, which Arnold invested in many things. And one of them was Joey Pow the prizefighter. That's when my 12th summer got really interesting.

Gary Paulsen's comic story about a summer job becomes a slapstick lesson in business as one boy turns a mountain of grass into a mountain of cash." (Scholastic)

I worked in a junior high with the resource classes. The kids just needed a little more attention and help to do their work, but they were smart. The teacher read this book to the class, and one boy got very caught up in the idea that a twelve year old could make money and have a business. He wanted to learn more about investing and buy some stock in Disney. This book inspired him to dream big, even though he was only twelve. He may never make big amounts of money while he's a teenager, but I think the lessons he learned from this book will influence him down the road. 

Lawn Boy is a fiction business book for teens that can inspire big dreams. Learning about business and investing at a young age is a good way to set kids on a financial path that can better their lives. 

It inspired me to dream big and not give up. I've had some lucky chances, like this boy, to do some work that turned into more work. Some people may see this story as just a pure luck story, and it is to some degree, but at the same time, he put work into it first, learned, and stuck with it. There's a lot of luck that comes into success but it has to be accompanied by hard work.

Check it out and have a good book day!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Who You Are

It's so nice and refreshing to meet someone who just likes you automatically and accepts everything about you. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, hold on to those people!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good Book Day

Empire by Orson Scott Card feels eerily like it could happen tomorrow, like it says on the cover "A disturbing look at a possible future". It has an equally intriguing sequel- Hidden Empire.

"The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone.

The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side and militia foot soldiers on the other, devastating the cities and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons, and strategic geniuses of their own." (Hatrack)

Empire is about the United States entering another Civil War. With the recent government shutdown, the scenarios in this book seem a very real possibility.

I listened to this book on cd and the reader did a wonderful job. I would get home from work and sit in the car for a couple extra minutes to hear more of the story.

This is a huge surprise in the middle of the book. I had to listen to it three times before I could actually believe what happened. It's a fascinating book that rings true in our times.

Check it out and have a good book day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Enemy Conquered

Yesterday I faced down an enemy and told it, "We shall not both live in the same place, you must die." 

Lis - 1, nasty big black spider - O

It looked like this jumping spider, except it was black.

                                                                         Nat Geo

It crawled behind a heavy bookcase before I could grab my shoe to smash it, so I had to move the bookcase by myself, which is doable when you have the motivation. Then it crawled behind the desk, which is even harder to move because it is really big. 

I used a piece of cardboard to slowly move it towards me and it dropped to the floor so I quickly put a glass jar over it and slid the cardboard underneath to trap it. 

Then I had to put my shoes on while trying to keep my curious daughter away.

We took it outside, I let it out and then promptly squished it with my shoes, then dragged my shoe through the grass to get rid of the spider guts. 

My neighbor told me that most spiders won't harm you. I told him that I kill them anyways, you never know which ones will harm you and your family or not. 

Good luck fellow spider hunters!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Best Days

Some people say their best days are behind them. That can be true- graduations, wedding day, births of children, adoption of kids, adoption of animals, and great vacations. But that doesn't mean the rest of your life has to be boring.

Your life is what you make it, so make the rest of your life the best so you can add more past best days!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Get Rid Of It

"When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.... Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our days and nights into a hellish turmoil." - Dale Carnegie

It can be very hard to let go of a grudge, but if you can, it will make your life better, which makes the lives of those around you better.

An extreme example is the classic Romeo and Juliet story. Two families are feuding and ruin the lives of the star-crossed lovers. Family feuds have been happening for a long time, but to what point? Just anger, hurt and pain.

John-Roger and Peter McWilliams have some words to help: "Whenever he thought about it, he felt terrible. And so, at last, he came to a fateful decision. He decided not to think about it."

Don't spend all your time dwelling on your troubles or trouble is where you will dwell. You do need to acknowledge and work through your negative feelings, but don't let them linger, let them go.

The best way to deal with an enemy is to not deal with them at all, including in your head.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Good Book Day

I've had a fascination with Australia for a long time. There are many different and wonderful things in Australia, all natural there. Bill Bryson, a travel writer, wrote a book about his adventures in Australia called In A Sunburned Country.

From Bill Bryson's website: "Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity.

Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging...."

This book makes you laugh while you learn, especially if you get the audio book which makes the story come even more alive. If you'd like to dip into non-fiction or travel books, this is a good start because it reads like a fiction book.
Check it out and have a good book day!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Family Ties

Family is the people who are related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption. Family is also the people you hold nearest and dearest to your heart regardless of whether they are legally your family or not.

I just finished watching The Tigger Movie with my daughter and was surprised by the storyline, and the tears it brought to my eyes. 

The Tigger Movie is obviously about Tigger. Tigger's theme song tells us he loves being the only tigger. After a while though, Tigger realizes that being the only tigger means he doesn't have any family, and there is no family picture in his locket. So he goes on an adventure to find his tigger family.

Pooh, Roo, and the others pretend to be his family, but Tigger doesn't want pretend family, he wants real family, real tiggers. In the end (spoiler alert) he doesn't find anymore tiggers, but Christopher Robin helps him realize that Pooh, Roo, Kanga, Eeyore, and the others are his family.

Family is very important. It's the people you grow up with, the people you spend the holidays with, the people you spend your life with, the people who are buried next to you. Friends tend to come and go, but family sticks around. 

There are dysfunctional blood related families, but like Tigger found out, family is the people who are nearest and dearest to you. These are the people who are worth making an effort to keep in touch with, to treat royally, to keep close to you, to stay friends with them.

Family offers support- emotionally, financially, and physically- a place to live, money to pay bills, love and encouragement through good times and bad. 

One great thing about families is that there is no limit on the size. So find your family, whether by blood, marriage, adoption, or friends, and make sure they know they're important to you. Family ties create a bond that can't be broken and will provide support forever.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Musical

Whenever I've seen a musical, especially a live performance, it feeds the little flame inside me that wants to write a musical. I've written down parts of songs over the years with no particular story line in mind, but now I've finally found a story line! The songs are coming to me, and I'm adding songs I'd previously written right into the musical.

It's going to take a lot of work on my part to get it all together and some collaboration with others as well. I'm planning on signing up for a play writing class, and part of the research will be watching lots of musicals, which will be very fun.


Some of my favorite musicals are Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Aida, and Newsies. What are some of your favorite musicals?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jewelry Box

I needed a new jewelry box that fit all my jewelry with easy access, so I designed this jewelry box and built it with my husband. I love it! 

It hangs on the wall so it won't take up space on the dresser, and it doubles as decoration too. There are holes around the frame for stud earrings, pink netting to hang dangly earrings, hooks across the top inside to hang necklaces, and more hooks on the side walls for bracelets, plus a bottom shelf to hold rings. It's perfect for me, I just need to add all my jewelry now!

I added it to my Etsy store, so you can check it out there if you are interested:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Eight Days A Week

Happy Monday everyone! Time for a new week, but don't you feel like weekends need another day in them?

Everybody has the same amount of time in a week, but some people use it better than others. I know sometimes I get a lot done, but other times, it's Monday again and the counters are still covered with dirty dishes and the floor still needs to be vacuumed. Luckily my husband was extra awesome this weekend and did a lot of dishes!

My favorite weekends are the ones spent with my husband and daughter when we just do whatever we want. We might go window shopping, fly an rc plane, go on a walk, or have a picnic. It's fun to have nothing we need to do, but lots of possibilities of fun things to do. The feeling of non-responsibility is very freeing and makes a weekend very relaxing and fun.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Trust Your Gut

Your stomach is an amazing organ- it digests your food, but also sends you messages: "I'm so hungry!", "I'm going to die!" (me on a roller coaster), "I love that man!" (butterflies in your stomach), "I'm sick!" It also sends warnings: "I don't feel good about this."

Gut instincts are fairly accurate indicators of something wrong. They can warn about people, decisions, actions, or ideas. It's usually a good idea to listen to your gut instinct because your stomach doesn't think, it just feels and knows.

One warning though is that it is your gut, so the instincts are for you. Sometimes you feel it for others, but it's still your gut, your feelings, your life, not theirs. There are definitely cases when you can use your gut for good in other's lives, like checking on your kids and saving them from a falling dresser. Just be wise about when to try and impose your gut instincts onto others.

Your body keeps you alive in more ways than physically, it reacts emotionally. Learn to read your body and respond appropriately.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


According to this chart, it's best to power nap for ten to twenty minutes, or make the time to take a long nap. I prefer the ninety minute nap, but that's usually not possible.

Sometimes it helps me to just lie down for a little while, even if I don't sleep. My body gets a little rest and enough energy gets saved up that I can keep going.

My daughter takes one to two naps a day that range from one to two hours each. I take naps sporadically of varying lengths, and my husband never takes naps unless he's really sick.

If you can't grab a nap, then grab a healthy snack and do a couple jumping jacks to get some energy going.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Board Book Favorites

I've been reading a lot of board books with my daughter. She loves to look at the pictures and the books are more destruction proof with the thick cardboard pages. Plus they are generally smaller and easier for her to hold because she loves to look through them on her own also. Here are some of our favorites.

This Little Piggy and Other Favorite Action Rhymes by Hannah Wood. We like having all the favorite nursery rhymes and songs plus some new ones. Wood has several books and they are all fun.

ZooBorns! Zoo Babies from Around the World by Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland. There are lots of unusual animals in here for kids to learn about and anything that is a baby is just cute.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. I thought this book was cute, but my daughter absolutely loved it! I think we read it three times in a row without her moving once. She likes pictures of other little toddlers and this has lots of different toddlers from around the world.

The Splendid Spotted Snake by Betty Ann Schwartz. This book is fun because the snake grows and grows with each page turn. It's fun to watch and my daughter liked to feel the ribbon snake.

When the World was Waiting for You by Gillian Shields and Anna Currey. This is a cute book about getting ready for a baby to come, then enjoying the baby with family. It ends with the world waiting for the baby to grow up and be and do something special.

Let's Go to the Farm by Fisher Price. There are lots of flaps to lift in this book that teaches animal names and sounds, and also shapes and colors and farm things.

The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton. Anything by Sandra Boynton is "serious silliness" (from the back of one of her books. This one is fitting for my daughter who loves her "bee bo" a lot.
My First Library by Baby Einstein. This is a great set to have because it teaches shapes, nature, colors, letters, music, and animals with real photos mixed with drawings, and also most have one word per page. They are also the perfect size for little hands to hold and come in a handy carrying case.

~ Originally posted by myself on On How To Be Lovely