Oct 092017

A large part of self-acceptance is tied to your ability to accept yourself holistically. The sum of your parts is what makes everyone unique and valuable. The earlier we teach this concept, the better. It’s important that kids grow up with self-acceptance and feel encouraged to explore and develop their interest. It’s a healthy part of developing self-esteem.

Encouraging Free Play
Most schooling platforms place a lot of emphasis on structure. In most educational settings, there’s an allotted time for each scheduled task or activity, already pre-determined for a child. Although structure has its value, it is equally important to encourage free play and exploration. This part of child development allows kids to feel comfortable trying new things and exploring any and everything they are interested in. Encouraging free play is the opposite of the type of precise training you’d need to perform harmonic scalpel repair. Instead, it’s crude and undefined on purpose.

Encouraging Differences & Individuality
Groupthink is alive and well in the world today. Even adults fall victim to this type of influence. Honestly, it can be quite strong. However, once again, the earlier we encourage the exploration and expression of different ideas, tastes, and preferences, the easier it is to show our children that it’s ok to have differing thoughts and preferences. These distinctive opinions and tastes are the early beginnings of what will make your child authentically who they are.

Encouraging Discussion about Differences
Another powerful tool that supports creativity is encouraging open and honest expression. No child is too young to voice his or her concerns or preferences. Encourage it as much as possible. You are empowering their voice. If a child feels that he or she is free to voice their feelings, thoughts, and preferences about a variety of different things without being censored, they are more likely to practice this essential communication skill. Effective communication is a beneficial skill for anyone, however, self-acceptance is an essential skill that promotes self-love. It also gives children the confidence they need to stand apart from the crowd if necessary.

There are no two fingerprints alike. Your child needs to know that he or she is uniquely and wonderfully different. However, they also need to know that it’s ok to be different. Talk to your child often and encourage open and honest communication. In addition, create as many different opportunities for free play as well as other creative activities. It allows children to explore themselves and find their own unique interests and preferences.

Oct 072017

The average adult spends 1/3 of their life sleeping, and must of that is on a mattress. Do you really want to spend all that time with dust mites? Dust mites are tiny insects that consume dead skin cells, which we shed on a regular basis. Dust mites are harmless in themselves, they can trigger and aggravate allergies. And even if you don’t suffer from allergies, the mere thought of tiny insects in bed with you can be unnerving. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to keep dust mites at bay.

Clean the Bedding
Regularly cleaning your bedding is an essential step in living a dust mite free life. Once all the bedding, such as pillowcases, sheets, and blankets, are removed, laundry them in the hottest water temperature allowed for that specific fabric. Once all clean, dry the bedding as you normally would.

Don’t forget the Pillows
Your pillows can also be full of dust mites, but washing them is no easy task. Instead, place your pillows inside a plastic bag that you can secure closed. Set the bag outside on a sunny day. The sun will cause the temperature inside the plastic bag to increase, which will kill the mites on your pillows.

Vacuum the Mattress
The upholstery attachment on your vacuum is a wonderful tool for cleaning your actual mattress. Once attached, run the upholstery cleaning tool over your entire mattress, making sure to get into any nooks and crannies where dust mites can hide. Flip the mattress over and repeat on the bottom. You will also want to repeat the process on your box springs. When finished, carefully transfer the contents of your vacuum’s canisters into a garbage bag and seal closed. Make sure to place the sealed bag outside and away from your home until you can throw it away.

Consider disinfecting the mattress and box spring with a hand-held steamer after vacuuming. You will then need to set the dampened items in an area where direct sunlight can hit them for at least four hours.

Preventing Dust Mites
If you really want to get rid of dust mites once and for all, then you need an organic mattress. Organic mattresses are ideal for anyone who is suffering from allergies since they are dust-mite repellent and resistant to mold. They are also chemical-free, which means they aren’t made with synthetic polyurethane and are never treated with chemicals.

Sep 292017

Sponsored Post

Just recently I was in a car accident and my car was totaled so I had to get a different one. I had really loved my old car so I was not looking forward to car shopping.  Before going car shopping I wanted to do a bit of research. I wanted to make the right purchase so I needed to know the facts about the make, model and price.  I found that Cars.com was a great resource for me.  Their website has a huge selection of information so I could make the right choice. I found that they have extensive reviews and essential information on a wide variety of different cars.


Along with researching the car you need to check more than one dealer. You want to make sure you are getting the best price for what you are buying.  This is really important if you are thinking about buying a used car.  The number of miles on the car will impact the price of the car. You will want to visit a couple different deals and compare the cars along with mileage and pricing.  This will help so you do not over spend.

Last week was Car Seat Safety Week and I found a great article on Cars.com. Certified child passenger safety technicians conducted hands-on tests of a car’s latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. Great information if you are a parent.

My last bit of advice is take you time.  Don not rush or you will end up overpaying and be unsatisfied with your purchase.  I ended up getting a RAV4 and love it! Doing my research before buying helped me get a nice vehicle at a good price. That’s my new car.

Sep 142017

When I was a little girl I loved doing craft projects.  It kept me busy and I had a lot of fun.  I found a company that offers great kits for kits of all kinds.  The company is  Klutz. Klutz is celebrating 40 years of creating award-winning, premium activity kits for kids. Since 1977, Klutz has kick-started creativity by combining crystal-clear instructions and a silly sense of humor. Our mission is simple: Create wonderful things, be good, have fun.

In this kit kids can create ten of their own fuzzy friends using pom-poms, paper punch-outs, and glue. Then they can assemble their own pet carrier to transport their critters. It’s everything you need to make a pom-pom pet shop; no food, walks, or house-training required.  The kit includes everything you need – it includes: a 28-page book • 30+ pom-poms • 20 half-bead eyes • Glue • 70+ punch-out pieces.

I give this kit to my niece Miley  who is six . She was so excited!  She couldn’t wait to start. Above are her first two pets – aren’t they cute?  She had those done within a few minutes of opening the box.  Below are the rest of the ones she made – they were done within a couple hours.

Isn’t her little family of pets cute?  She had so much fun and could make these all by herself.  The kit is made so children 4+ can make the Pom-Pom Pets.

You can find the My Pom-Pom Pet Shop HERE.  You can also find other fun kits for kids!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Sep 142017

You can Win a Package of Two Pumpkin Carving Books!
Three lucky contestants will win a package of two of Fox Chapel Publishing’s top selling pumpkin carving book titles.
Contest ends on October 16, 2017
You can enter HERE to win!!

These look like great books – Rex and I always try to get creative with our pumpkin – sometimes they look great sometimes they don’t!  It is fun to carve them together and one of my favorite holidays!  Happy Carving and Good Luck!

Sep 112017

Have you ever felt stumped over what to gift your loved ones for the holidays? In the end you probably went with a tried-and-true gift card from someplace you know they love. Which is fine, but gift cards can be a bit impersonal. And you can bet that same person will get that same kind of gift card from a dozen other people because no one has really taken the time to get to know them. Bummer. Read on for ways you can come up with great gift ideas, that aren’t gift cards, for your loved ones.

Get to Truly, Deeply Know Your Loved Ones

Sometimes you can live with someone for years and never truly know who they are and what they love. Change that. Get to know your loved ones on a personal level, where you have a memory bank of their interests, passions, hobbies, and favorites. Not only are questions and in-depth conversation great for delving into someone’s ideas of a perfect gift, but it’s a great time to truly, deeply bond.

Ask Around to Their Closest Companions

If you have had one conversation after another and still draw a blank, ask other people that are close to your loved one. You know, the people that are with them every single day. Chances are that somewhere; someone will know an in-depth amount about what makes your gift recipient tick.

Be Aware of Their Needs and Wants

Is someone is moving into their own house for the first time, or if a couple is having their first baby, you have a vague idea of what these people need and want to celebrate the occasions. The same can be said for your loved ones and the rest of the year. Gauge what they want or need from what they are doing at present, then run with some of those ideas.

Look at Their Wish Lists

Everyone has some sort of wish list on the interwebs nowadays. From Amazon and EBay, to Wish and online chain stores, people make wish lists specifically for the occasion of telling someone, “this is what I want.” With that in mind, do a search for their name where you know they love to shop. Or, simply ask to have the URL to their wish list, then pick something that they really want. Get them what they want. Are they fans of anti-aging makeups? Spend a small bundle for a basket. Or, do they love  neck firming lotion ? Snag a bottle, plus a gift card for more when they need it.

If you really get to know someone, don’t be afraid to comprise a care package of their favorites. Getting one awesome gift is lots of fun, but getting several in a basket of goodies is even better.


Aug 282017

Just for Fun: Drawing: More than 100 fun and simple step-by-step projects for learning the art of basic drawing

Author: Lise Herzog

Format: Trade Paperback, 160 Pages

ISBN: 9781633222816

Publisher: Walter Foster

$21.95 US /$ 28.95 CAN

With Just for Fun: Drawing, aspiring artists and art enthusiasts who have never before picked up a pencil can follow simple step-by-step instructions and discover how to draw everyday subjects. Each featured subject starts with basic lines and shapes, and slowly progresses with each new step to a fully rendered, completed drawing. Saving the nitty-gritty technical aspects of drawing for the more advanced student, Just for Fun: Drawing simply touches upon key drawing concepts and fundamentals, including perspective, proportion, volume, shading, and composition, among others, that are relevant to a beginner’s core understanding of the craft. With its abundance of approachable and contemporary drawings, as well as loads of tips, instruction, and inspiration, Just for Fun: Drawing will have even the most artistically challenged individuals mastering the art of pencil drawing in no time.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to draw?  I didn’t think I could draw very good but with Just For Fun: Drawing I can!  This book gives you step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow. I love that it starts out really basic and by the time you are done you have completed an object.  4 or 5 steps and you have a cat as pictured above!

In Just For Fun: Drawing you can learn how to draw animals, faces, trees and much more.  It has nice detailed instructions and is great for the beginner.  I can see an improvement too in my drawing from when I first started.  It’s lots of fun!

You can purchase your own copy of Just For Fun: Drawing below.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Aug 282017

My job this year has been very stressful so I am looking for ways to let my creative side shine!  I really enjoy drawing and coloring.  It reminds me of when I was in school and we had a sketch pad we had to draw in for class each week.

Here is one of the newest books I have called – Anywhere, Anytime Art.

Anywhere, Anytime Art:  Crayon

Author: Monika Forsberg

Format: Trade Paperback , 128 Pages

ISBN: 9781633222700

Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing

$16.95 US / $21.95 CAN

Anywhere, Anytime Art: Crayon allows artists of all skill levels to create beautiful, spontaneous artwork inspired by their surroundings, no matter where they are! Discover how to work with crayon, master basic strokes and drawing techniques, and choose the right colors for your subjects. Fun and simple step-by-step projects teach you how to create your own contemporary works of art using crayons.

What I like the most is all the helpful tips through out the book.  Here on this page it talks about color schemes.  It suggest color four items the same way but use different colors to see what you like the best.

Here is a simple way to draw summer flowers – that look great!  You can add this to a picture of a garden, park or house and it would add a lot.

I am learning a lot by using this book and love all the helpful tips.  This book is great for anyone trying to be a bit more creative. This is a fun way to work away some of the stress you may have.

You can find this book below on Amazon.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Aug 162017

About the Brush Pen Lettering:

Drawing gorgeous letters, words and phrases with a brush pen doesn’t have to be difficult! Brush Pen Lettering will show you how to create your own unique style. To help you on your lettering journey, this comprehensive how-to guide includes:

• DIY projects
• Tips and Tricks
• Color Photographs
• Inspiring Ideas
• Step-by-step instructions
• Practice sheets

When it comes to creating beautiful, handwritten letters we always admire calligraphy as a symbol of romance, charm, and skill. These iconic letters showcase the individuality of the sender and are kept as treasured keepsakes for decades. And with the evolution of these gorgeous flourishes– creative lettering is more popular today than ever, with hundreds of inventive souls embracing this artistic niche.

Brush pen lettering has taken over calligraphy art with it’s more nuanced ways of adding color, shape, and design. In a world gone digital, lettering provides the perfect hand-drawn, organic element to any design, whether it be snail mail, a company logo, or custom wedding invitations.

With Brush Pen Lettering, readers of all skill levels will experience the creative facets of lettering with this informative, easy-to-use guide. Readers will learn the fundamental practices of brush pen lettering, from what type of brush to use- to the position you hold your body and paper, from wrist and whole arm movement- to the different small pressures that develop the gorgeous designs of brush pen lettering.  Author Grace Song, is a self-taught brush pen calligraphy artist who creates dynamic, hand lettered pieces with a variety of tools, including brush pens, watercolors, and paintbrushes. Her many followers admirer her beautiful designs, each of which highlights Song’s technique and style.

My thoughts on Brush Pen Lettering:

Brush Pen Lettering is an easy to read and practices writing beautiful lettering.  It takes you step by step through how to make your letters more decorative. Through out the book you will find drills to help make your lettering more interesting.  I think it is a great book for beginners and love the variety of designs.  I am someone who loves to doodle and practice drawing and writing all the time. To me it is very relaxing. I like to schedule a time a couple days a week where I can be creative.  Grace has included guide practices sheets along with lots of tips through out the book. If you practices you will be a pro within no time!

You can purchase this book from Amazon below.


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Aug 162017

Going to the fair was always a big part of my summer growing up.  I was in 4-H and always baked, knitted and even did woodworking projects.  My Dad was a judge for the woodworking section so we would spend a couple days at the Seymour Wisconsin Fair. I remember going on the rides and of course trying all the great food! Rex and I are going to the fair this weekend and I can’t wait.

Here is a fun cookbook – Fair foods – The most Popular and Off Beat Recipes from America’s State & County Fairs.

Fair Foods is an illustrated cookbook featuring the recipes of the most popular and offbeat food served at state and county fairs across the USA.

Packed with 120 original recipes created by award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator George Geary, Fair Foods includes such state and county fair classics as Texas Maple Bacon Donuts, The World’s Gooiest Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting, Aztec Hot Chocolate, Witch’s Brew, Caramel Kettle Corn, Fried Sweet Potato Sticks, Ten-Pound Cheesebuns, Cheesecake on a Stick, Chocolate-Encased Bacon, Fried Coca-Cola, Fried Guacamole, Fried Oreo Cookies, BBQ Turkey Legs, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken and Waffles, Blue Ribbon Chili, Pork Chop on a Stick, and Spicy Peanut Butter and Jelly Burgers.

Each page in Fair Foods is lavishly illustrated with both vintage and contemporary photographs of America’s most beloved fair foods, as well as fun and lively images of rides and attractions and nostalgic ephemera. Fair Foods is not only mouthwateringly addictive, it also captures the joy and spirit of America’s greatest state and county fairs.

Meet the Author

George Geary is an award-winning chef, best-selling author, and renowned educator. A former pastry chef for the Walt Disney Company, Geary is a Certified Culinary Professional, and was recently chosen as the Culinary Educator of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is perhaps best known for creating all of the cheesecakes for The Golden Girls and other top-rated television programs. Geary has worked as a critic and/or judge for ABC’s The Taste with Anthony Bourdain, The American Baking Competition with Jeff Foxworthy, Hell’s Kitchen, Supermarket Superstar, and many other popular television shows. He also teaches cooking classes aboard Holland America Lines.

For over thirty years, Geary has been a culinary contest judge for major food manufacturers such as Canola Producers, Veg-All, Hormel Foods, the Hershey Company, Knott’s Berry Farm Foods, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Fleischmann’s Yeast, the San Diego Union Tribune, ABC News, and many more. From 1982 to 2010, George was the culinary coordinator of the Los Angeles County Fair.

Geary is the author of L.A.’s Legendary Restaurants, as well as nine cookbooks including The Cheesecake Bible, The Complete Baking Cookbook, and 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes. He is presently the featured chef on the San Diego Living television show on the CW Network. Geary lives in Los Angeles.

I am sure you will find lots of good recipes that you will want to try.  I can’t decide if I want to make some Frozen Cheesecake on a Stick or maybe some Fried Guacamole Bites. What would you try?

You can purchase your book below from Amazon.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”