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 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 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.”

Aug 112017

Do you remember the days when your dog eagerly jumped up to greet you each time you walked through the door? Fido may now raise his head and go right back to sleep. Though you may assume that your dog is just getting older, a lack of activity can be a sign of a dog suffering from pain or poor health. Dogs that are less active can gain more weigh, which increases their risks of developing common medical conditions like diabetes and arthritis too. There are some easy ways you can improve the health of your dog though.

Get More Active

The best way to improve the health of your dog is with some daily exercise. You cannot expect your dog to stay inside all day long without noticing some problems in the future. Even the smallest of dogs need some regular exercise. If you have a fenced in yard, you can let your dog play outside for around an hour, but you’ll want to make sure that you leave out plenty of water, especially on hot days. Try taking your dog for walks daily and giving your pets some toys to play with too.

Change Your Dog’s Diet

Making some changes to your dog’s diet can also help improve its health. While some pet owners swear by natural diets that include foods they make for their dogs like scrambled eggs mixed with fresh vegetables or steak and chicken, you can find healthy food in the grocery store as well as in pet stores. These foods contain real ingredients that you can see each time you feed your dog. Make sure that you follow feeding guidelines too. Feeding your dog too much or too little can significantly affect its overall health.

Use Supplements

Giving your dog a natural supplement once a day can help too. Dog glucosamine is an ingredient found in many supplements that can help relieve pressure on the joints that cause aches and pains. If your dog has trouble walking, laying or sitting because of joint pain, these supplements can help. The best supplements will contain other vitamins and minerals too. You may want to talk with your veterinarian to avoid any negative interactions with the medicines your dog already takes. Using supplements, making diet changes and getting your pet more active can all significantly improve your dog’s health.

Aug 112017

Perhaps the most difficult concept to grasp and understand is the need to forgive those who have wronged us. It is extremely difficult not to use prior abuse as an excuse for our shortcomings today. Most people believe that forgiveness lets the perpetrator off the hook. In a divine sense, the very opposite is true. When we forgive others for past transgressions we are somehow able to steady ourselves and move on with our lives. The release of the past somehow graciously releases us and puts our lives back into our own hands.

Many people have had a challenging past. This truism is well known to everyone. However, this truth applies to many groups for many different reasons. One central truth is that there have been struggles based purely on race, disability, sexual orientation and economic status, to name a few. Many groups have suffered abuse and disenfranchisement for many reasons, both present, and past. Some might say that they didn’t deserve what happened to them. Some could also say that based upon what has happened it is impossible to move forward and take full responsibility for their own lives. However, none of this is true. On some level, we all know this. It is a well-known fact that life is not fair and that innocent, undeserving people are hurt all the time. The son of an alcoholic father who was abused can still grow up and not abuse alcohol or his children. This is true although he was abused and did not deserve it. It’s clear that the innocent suffer all the time.

However, it’s not enough to feel sorry for ourselves and not take responsibility for our own lives and dreams. Despite any abuse or wrongdoing past or present, we are still responsible for our own lives. This fact is not partial to anyone. We all have a responsibility to take control of our own lives regardless of color, socioeconomic status, disability and past hurts and disappointments. Nothing lets us off the hook. We must own our own lives regardless of what circumstances we come from. Ownership is equal to responsibility.

Blame, quite simply put, is a lack of ownership. If you don’t own something you can’t control it. You are powerless in terms of control. Blame is the act of making other people responsible for your life. It is equal to giving other people control of your life. This concept can be true regardless of who or what situation we choose to blame for our current situation. You are powerless until you put the saddle back on your own horse and become responsible for your own life.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

We must understand that taking responsibility for our own lives is actually a gift. The choice and ability to steer puts everything back in your hands. You get to build the life that you truly want. Who else knows and cares for you more than you do? No one. You are the only person worthy of steering your ship, so why put this precious gift in the hands of people, places, and things by blaming people, past or current situations, or things? Once we truly realize what blame is there is no way we will want anything to do with such a self-defeating process.

The beauty of responsibility and acceptance is choice. Choice is tantamount to freedom. What could be better than freedom? The ability to decide what we are going to do with our lives at every street and juncture is truly a gift. Acceptance and responsibility releases us from waiting on people, places, and things to change our lot in life. When we carry our own load by choosing personal responsibility instead of blame we are held back by nothing but ourselves. We refuse to let any circumstance or person determine our next decision by stopping to throw a pity party for ourselves or by playing the blame game. Our fear from a past trauma should not lead us to wear a concealment shirt all the time.

“The power behind taking responsibility for your actions lies in putting an end to negative thought patterns. You no longer dwell on what went wrong or focus on whom you are going to blame. You don’t waste time building roadblocks to your success. Instead, you are set free and can now focus on succeeding.”
Lorii Myers

The inward battle to take back your life is just the beginning of living a purposeful life. Personal responsibility creates a better world. What you practice you teach. Children learn personal responsibility from parents who practice this moral characteristic. Children also learn from what they see, not what you say. The practice of personal responsibility helps to build a generation of more mindful, self-aware, self self-led individuals.

Life ownership is taking responsibility for every aspect of your life. Giving the gift of choice back to yourself by refusing to blame past events, people, places, or things for anything amiss in your life. It is the simple yet difficult task of speaking inwardly. You may be saying, “I control myself.” ” I am a chooser.” I am not going to let anything past or present determine what I do or how I live my life today.”

Slavery was an institution that lasted 245 years in North America. However, despite the horrific atrocities that were a part of slavery and its’ aftermath, we must go on. We must forge ahead and continue to create a beautiful tomorrow in addition to recognizing the strides that have been made in the wake of the oppression of many different peoples. We owe it to ourselves as a collective people of America. We owe it to themselves to overcome, move on, and transcend the stigma of oppression for future generations as well as present generations.

Freedom is granted by taking steps necessary to transcend the awful historical events of the past and step into a brighter tomorrow by choosing not to blame; by mastering our thoughts. Our thoughts become our deeds and our deeds become our way of life. The releasing of blame sets us free to live the life we truly deserve. Personal responsibility helps us to create authentic lives that reflect who we truly are.