Tuesday, March 31, 2020

My Life In Pictures - Aug 3 - Aug 9 - 2008

Let’s face it, I take a lot of pictures. Why? Well mostly because I don’t want to forget anything and I don’t want my kids to now have them. My dad took a lot of pictures but I only have about 100 pictures total of my life from newborn to when I was 20 taking my own photos. Life is fast, take as many pictures as possible. Once the moment is gone you can’t get it back but what you can get is one glimpse into it forever.
August 3, 2008 – Sunday – The hub, kids and I were on the deck. My daughter like most baby girls wants to be just like her mommy. She asked if she could borrow my hat and played at the sand table. I snapped about 15 pictures but I think I love this one the most because of the coloring. I only picked up the color of the hat and really like the effect. She is stunning no matter what I take. I love the way her hair is hanging and the tiny peek of face.

August 4, 2008 – Monday – My husband colored my hair over the weekend. We used a 2 step process color and then highlightening. I really like the effect and think he did an awesome job considering it was his first time.  The electric company stopped by to tell us that the power would be off for a few hours so I invited myself over my girlfriend’s house. She gladly invited me in even though she was already having a play-date complete with another kid and another friend. It turned into a girlfest of gossip, sex talk, bra sizes, drinking, fantasies and then they straightened my hair. Nice! My friend has to tell me what the name of this contraption was because my hair was never straighter whether done by stylist or by myself. As you can see, I was loving myself.  

August 5, 2008 – Tuesday – My GF’s youngest at the lake. To see the original picture before Photoshop head over to my main blog here.

August 6, 2008 – Wednesday – I had to take one more picture of my son before I had his hair cut. My husband and I love the long hair as does my son but too many people were saying she is cute even with him sporting muscle shirts with dragons or sports equipment on them. He is playing with the Little People in my daughter’s bedroom while watching TV. She has cable and the coolest TV in the house (Santa, I hope you are listening, the boy needs a new TV, preferably like his sisters with a flat screen that can be mounted to the wall).

August 7, 2008 – Thursday – After their bath I wrapped a towel around my daughter’s hair for the first time and she couldn’t stop looking at herself in the mirror. She loved it because “it’s just like Mommy,” I loved it because she looked cute. She is her father’s daughter so she proceeded to ham it up. What’s not to love about a baby in a girly PJ with a towel on, making faces

August 8, 2008 – Friday – Was a not picture day. I was out from 9:30 a.m with my girl Sheress until 4:30. I was so pissed that I didn’t have my camera but there was a reason. I have a pet peeve about being late and Sheress is ALWAY late. On this particular morning she called as I was heading to the door and screwed everything up when she said, “I’m here!” I thought she meant the park so I hightailed it out of there. Nope, she meant the gas station, the she went to Dunkin Donuts, then SHE arrived at the park. Which meant we waited 15 minutes in the car for her. I so had time to get the camera!
After the park we headed to pick up her eldest, while I waited for her (what else is new?) to come pick me, the kids, and the car seats up. This was the first time we didn’t travel via caravan. We all got into her mini van, the kids watched a very LOUD The Golden Compass and Sheress and I talked. Very fun! Then we headed to Chili’s where I made sure I stuck to my diet by getting salad and chili. After that we headed to Target, where I picked up Wii Fit and found out I am obese. Oh well! Overweight yes, but obese? Hardly!!
Today – August 9, 2008 – Saturday- While I have some amazing pictures from today, I chose this one because my son looks so happy. I hardly ever take my kids to the yard because we have a huge deck and a creek that runs through my back yard which would you utilize? Today my husband came home and took the kids to the backyard. My son loves going down there and my husband, like most fathers,  give the kids way more freedom than I ever would. They were picking up rocks and sticks and throwing them in the creek. My son is proudly showing his to his daddy. My daughter is jumping on a rock that my husband put over a huge gopher hole.  They had an amazing time, I took a couple of pictures, did 30 minutes on Wii fit, saw them walking by the house to go around the block and met them outside to join them on the walk. I think this was the 3rd time we have walked around as a family and I was loving it.

Losing Someone Creates Confusing Feelings! The Memory Book & The Memory Box #GIVEAWAY

As a child who lost my mom I would have loved these books. They would have meant so much to me. I was so worried about forgetting her and trying to reconcile all my thoughts about what growing up without her meant. I am proud to showcase The Memory Book and The Memory Box by Joanna Rowland.

The Memory Book:
I will always remember you . . .
Joanna Rowland's best-selling The Memory Box: A Book about Grief has helped thousands of children and families work through the complex emotions that arise after the loss of a loved one. Now, with The Memory Book, Rowland has created a beautiful grief journal to help readers put her methods into practice.
The Memory Book helps grieving families process their emotions together by remembering their lost loved one and creating their own memory album full of photos and keepsakes of the person they lost. With gentle prompts and ideas for journaling, drawing, and talking through grief, this journal will bring comfort in the midst of loss and be a keepsake for families for years to come.

The Memory Box:

"I'm scared I'll forget you…"

From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved - a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes expert information from a Christian perspective on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box.

Joanna Rowland grew up in Sacramento, California where she still lives today with her husband and three children. She teaches Kindergarten by day and writes picture books at night. In the summer you'll find her at the pool coaching synchronizing swimming or cozying up with a book. 

The Memory Box is a 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards winner—a contest intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading.

The Memory Box received the Mom's Choice Award Gold Medal. The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for children, families and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.

The Memory Box was chosen as a finalist for the 2017 Midwest Book Award in the Children's Picture Books category. The awards recognize quality in independent publishing in the Midwest, including creativity in content and execution, overall book quality, and the book's unique contribution to its subject area.

"A small children's book can't say everything, but it can say something very important. This wonderfully illustrated book does just that. Joanna Rowland gently reminds a hurting child that amid the pain of losing a loved one to death, their love remains alive in memory and relationships, and that love is not diminished even as the child is called to go on living. Many young (and old!) hearts will find real comfort and courage in these pages."
—Sue Atkins, author of Parenting Made Easy: How to Raise Happy Children

"Baker's mixed-media collages integrate bits of fabric and softly textured papers, creating a homey atmosphere that dovetails nicely with the girl's homemade box."
Publishers Weekly

"Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box is beautifully illustrated by Thea Baker and will help adults talk about this very difficult topic with children ages 4 to 8."
Midwest Book Review, The Psychology Shelf

Author and illustrator:
Joanna Rowland grew up in Sacramento, California, where she still lives today with her husband and three children. She teaches kindergarten by day and writes picture books at night. In the summer, you'll find her at the pool coaching synchronized swimming or cozying up with a book. She is the author of The Memory Box: A Book about Grief, The Memory Book: A Grief Journal for Children and Families, and Stay Through the Storm.
Thea Baker grew up in a country town in England. She is currently living in Australia and working internationally as a children's illustrator. Thea obtained her BA (Hons) Degree in illustration at the prestigious Falmouth University. Her dissertation was on the subject of grief in children's books.
Beaming Books publishes high-quality children’s books that help kids thrive in every part of who they are–emotionally, socially, and spiritually. With topics ranging from self-esteem to kindness, ethics, and faith, our books are designed to spark the imagination and equip kids and families to live full and flourishing lives, together.



To Purchase:

To Enter The Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Career as a Wardrobe Stylist


Are you considering becoming a wardrobe stylist? Whether you are considering a career change to chase a childhood dream, or whether you are still deciding where you want your career path to take you, here are all of the facts that you need to know to make it happen. 

What is a Wardrobe Stylist?

A wardrobe stylist is essentially a professional who takes control of an individual’s or team’s, complete aesthetic. It is his or her job to ensure that the individual or team (such as the actors on a film set, or several models on a magazine shoot) look as visually appealing as possible. 

Versatile Career Choice 

The number one benefit of becoming a wardrobe stylist is you will have the opportunity to work within a variety of different industries. While you may be lucky enough to work directly with celebrities and other A-listers, wardrobe stylists may also work on the set of photo shoots, music videos, film sets, and in TV newsrooms. Sometimes you will be responsible for the visual aesthetic of a single person, while other times you may be required to handle the visual aesthetic of a number of people at one time. This means an eye for detail and excellent time management skills are of the utmost importance. 

Networking is Key

Networking is essential for ‘climbing the ladder’ in almost every career, but few more so than climbing the ranks as a wardrobe stylist. It is recommended that wardrobe stylists network regularly with designers and industry professionals by attending as many high-profile events as they can. Along with creating new relationships, it is also imperative that you work hard on maintaining those that already exist. You definitely don’t want to fall behind in an industry as competitive as this. 

You Need One-Stop Shop for all of Your Supplies

The quality of your supplies can set you apart from other wardrobe stylists who operate within similar circles. Manhattan Wardrobe Supply, for instance, is a great example of a one-stop shop for costume professionals, as well as wardrobe and fashion stylists. These types of stores stock everything from hair and makeup essentials to sewing supplies and more. 

Keep Up with Trends 

Your career pretty much revolves around aesthetics and popular trends and everyone knows just how frequently those trends can change! In order to remain ahead of the curve, and to be able to keep your clients stylish, you need to ensure that you keep up with those trends and implement them when it comes to the service that you provide. 

Know What to Study 

Ultimately, experience and ambition equate to greater success than simply having a degree or a diploma under your belt. However, many individuals who dream about becoming wardrobe stylists will enroll in a degree in fashion design or similar. This can give them the ‘edge’ in terms of having a better grasp on the visual and business aspects of the fashion industry as a whole. 

It’s time to turn your dream into a reality! Your success lies in your hands. 

Church Rocked


Church Rocked

Well it didn’t actually “rock” it was more like a sway.
Yesterday, I wrote about taking my kids to Church this morning. We got up a bit later than expected. The clocks being turned back totally screwed me up this morning.
I wanted to take them to the mass which would also get them into Sunday school class. Since I haven’t been there in FOREVER I wasn’t sure on the time. I did try to call but their answering machine doesn’t mention service times. I should really mention that to them.
Unfortunately we got there about 9:30 and mass with Sunday school was at 9:00 a.m. but there was another starting at 10:30 a.m. We drove around and got back at 10:18 a.m.
I had to drive around the block 2 times to find a parking spot and finally found one.
We walked hand-in-hand into the Church. It was overrun with folks who were eating a snack from the last mass. Lovely, we were thirsty so we shared a glass of apple juice.
Trying to get my kids through a crowd of Church people was a little ridiculous. My daughter was plowed into way too many times for me, I should have carried her but didn’t want to let me son’s hand go either. Amazing how no one apologized, they just got out of Church you would think people would be particularly pleasant. They were pleasant just not to the tiny 2.5 year old who couldn’t be seen through the crowd. Thankfully I was holding her hand or she would have hit the floor at least 2 times.
I talked to Pastor briefly and headed into a pew that would be easy for us to get out without disturbing anyone if we had to. I didn’t expect a miracle but I also didn’t bring any fidgets for them to occupy themselves with. I prayed for the best and reminded them that we were in Church, God’s house and we had to be on our best behavior.
Pastor walked in and the organ started. My son sat and looked around while holding a Hymn book, my daughter enjoyed the sound of her dress shoes on the floor and tapped a few times but all in all we made it through about 45% of the mass. We probably would have gotten through the whole thing by Goddess said, “I have to go potty.”
Picking up their coats I headed out with them in tow, we got out the door next to our pew which is exactly why I sat there and walked into the bathroom.
My daughter decided that she didn’t need to go but my son did go. I told them I was so proud of them and that they had been so good in church.
As we were washing our hands, my son said, “you did a good job singing mom.” I thanked him and we headed to the car with my son asking if he could play XBox.
So, this concludes our first church outing. Some juice, a song or 3, 2 readings a potty break and XBox. What are Sundays for really?
Here he is in his new Booster seat for the car. We got it on Friday afternoon but it has become his Gamer chair. Not sure what he is looking at here but he is totally concentrating.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Friday Fill In - March 2008


Friday Fill In

1. Some relationships are meant to last forever
2. Aerosmith is the last concert I saw; it was ages ago.
3. Spring should be here any day now.
4. Oh no! I forgot to check the eggplant
5. I’ve recently started thinking about my daughter’s 3rd birthday.
6. My kids never fails to make me smile.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to my kids seeing their Daddy, tomorrow my plans include cleaning and playing, and Sunday, I want to take the kids to Church.

Candyless Easter Basket #Giveaway #penguinrandom #prestel

I am beyond excited to host this Candyless Easter Basket Giveaway for all four titles of Prestel Junior’s All Around Bustletown series. Over the past two weeks I have wondered how I would be able to fill my children's Easter Baskets this year. Since I am an early shopper and always looking for deals I started the end of February but it was just two small things to add to their basket. It really may be all they get this year depending on the state of the world as we get closer to the holiday. If you have little ones these books are perfect for your children on Easter or anytime. 

Prestel's new All Around Bustletown series (Board Book $12.95; Ages 2-5; 14 pages) by Rotraut Susanne Berner follows the activities of a charming, bustling town over the course of all four seasons! If you look closer, you'll recognize the same characters appear on every page, each with their own story.  In the tradition of Richard Scarry and Where's Waldo, this series encourages kids to return again and again to each spread, following along with the characters and inventing their own stories. They'll recognize parts of their own world, while also learning about the endless ways we live, work, and play in each season. Kids will spend hours poring over these oversized pages of vibrantly detailed drawings in this joyfully illustrated series.

"What is it about cross-section illustrations — the kind where you can see everything going on inside a house, upstairs and down, all at once — that makes them so mesmerizing? Berner, one of Germany’s best-known children’s authors and illustrators, excels at these fascinating dollhouse-type scenes, a staple of the German genre known as Wimmelbooks. Hers are jam-packed with old and young characters engaged in prosaic, silly or mysterious activities that young readers can spend hours poring over...Parents and grandparents may be especially susceptible to this giant board book’s old-fashioned charms." —The New York Times

“[T]his book is more than just a sea of samey same same white faces. Amazing how that contributes to the joy of picking out all the details and repeating characters. A seek-and-find book for the 21st century.” — School Library Journal

In All Around Bustletown: Spring (2/18/2020; ISBN: 978-3791374093), a house gets a top-to-bottom spring cleaning and farm fields are being prepared for planting. People are shopping, commuting to work, constructing buildings, and meeting friends. If you look closer, you'll recognize the same characters appear on every page, each with their own story. There's Wilfred the jogger slipping on a banana peel and his friend Erica who comes to help him. Three cheerful nuns shop, chat, and share a snack at the cafe. A stork surveys all the activity from the sky while a mischievous fox scampers through the streets. 

It's summer in  All Around Bustletown: Summer (4/21/2020; ISBN: 978-3791374208) and that means flowers, picnics, thunderstorms, and bike rides. It's a busy time for construction workers, farmers, and house painters. Playgrounds are filled with kids and vacationers are boarding trains in droves. In the sky a pair of balloons drifts through every scene, while on the street people of all ages make their way to an outdoor birthday party. There's even a big storm that turns umbrellas inside out, sends hats flying, but ends in a lovely rainbow.

The leaves are blowing off the trees and the birds are flying south in All Around Bustletown: Fall (7/21/2020; ISBN: 978-3791374222). Farmers are preparing the fields for winter and kids are back in school. And look, there's a water main break that's causing havoc and a chimney sweeper perched on a roof! Each time readers look at these delightfully detailed spreads they'll discover something new, whether it's what's for sale at the outdoor market or how many pumpkins they can spot on a single page. Familiar characters appear on each page--a maestro and a violinist, a balloon-toting nun, and a mom with her baby. All the activity culminates in a harvest celebration lit by dozens of paper lanterns in every shape and size.

Winter has arrived in All Around Bustletown: Winter (10/2019; ISBN: 978-3791374154) and everywhere you look people are embracing the season. At home there's baking, reading, and sleeping in, while on the farm the fields are fallow and quiet. Outside people are bundled up against the cold as they are skating, sledding, and running to catch a crowded bus. The town's buildings are alive with activity--piano lessons, a dentist appointment, shopping for presents, and visiting the museum. 
Kids will spend hours looking at these books. There is so much to see and so much for you to point out. I love these types of books when my kids were small and now with my preschool class because I love I Spy Type questions. You can ask where is the computer, or red car, squirrel, etc. Kids love looking for things and get so excited when they know where something is. It is really good for their confidence and observing visual details. It helps them to strengthen their memory. Working memory is so important and like a muscle it requires exercise. This is what they will build on as they progress through their schooling. 
So while they are looking at all the detail and remembering where things are, they are actually learning. 
Look at this detail! 

To Enter the giveaway be sure to answer the mandatory question. Without that you will be disqualified to enter.  I wish you good luck!  

Enter here:
Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered for me to host this giveaway.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

5 Reasons I love the Upside Down Show

5 Reasons I love the Upside Down Show

I must admit, I love the Upside Down Show. It is probably one of the smartest shows ever put on TV for kids. Why you ask? Here are my reasons why the Upside Down Show rocks.
Adults can totally watch it and not feel like idiots.
The Umbilical Brothers a.k.a Shane and David are funny.
Kids see that you don’t need a bunch of commercial toys to play. There is nothing marketable on the show.
My son saying “Come on knuckles” while he plays “action fingers” using his hands instead of a highly priced toy “name brand” toy.
The guys have opened up a whole new world of playing for my kids. They use their imagination to pretend to walk in slow motion, or be stuck to a wall, to rewind what they are saying, to hold imaginary flies, and play imaginary instruments.
I just found out that The Upside Down show only got one season so if you are like me and love this show, write to the following to voice your opinion.

10 Things You Love About Your Life Fill Ins


Ten on Tuesday – 10 Things You Love About Your Life

10 on Tuesday
1- My Kids – I was blessed with two beautiful children who challenge me everyday. The sun rises and falls on my babies and I never loved so fully in my entire life.
2- My husband who is one of the hardest working people I know. He lacks a bit in the sensitivity department but he tries. I respect him and love him even though he doesn’t read my blog.
3- My friends who without I would be bored to tears. I am thankful to have so many actual friends in my life. We are lucky if we have one true blue friend yet I am blessed with many.
4- My life. I am thankful for everyday above ground. I tend to see the little things in life and not dwell on things that I can’t control. Everyday that I live past the age of 34 (my mom’s age when she died) is a blessed day.
5- My laptop (a gift from my husband). Being able to take it to the deck while the kids play or sitting on the couch at the end of the day makes the laptop worth it’s weight in gold.
6- I love my digital cameras, one for pics and one for video (also both gifts from my husband). My love for photography started when I was about 6 or 7, when just taking random pictures of my life made me so happy. Now that I am older and have kids of my own, I get so much joy from just being able to capture a moment in time. My kids are my favorite muses but I love taking pictures of everything. As I walk or drive along I am constantly seeing places that I want to capture on film once the kids are both in school and I can park and walk alone to spend time getting “the shot”.
7- The fact that my kids are getting to grow up out of the city. I grew up in Millbrook, NY and it was a great childhood. Picking wild blackberries, riding horses, spending time at diary farms, games of manhunt collecting frogs and fireflies at night, riding bikes from sun up to sun down and just enjoying the fresh air. When my mom passed away we moved in with my grandparents in Brooklyn. While it was still fun but in a different way. Roof top tanning, sitting on stoops, getting ice cream from the ice cream man with the jingling truck coming up the block and riding the subway everywhere I would have gone back to Millbrook in a heartbeat.
8- Finally mapping out some time to start reading again. I have loved getting lost in books since, well, since I could read. There is nothing like cracking open a new book and absorbing the words filling the pages. It is a feeling I have had since I can remember. There will never be enough days in my life to read all the books I want to read.
9- Waking up to a pot of coffee already made is heaven with a dash of milk. Love opening my eyes to the smell of coffee brewing.
10- My home. The fact that I actually have a house is still 9 years later amazing to me. My parents never owned a home. I still thought that we would not be getting the house until we actually recieved the key after spending an hour signing papers. It was too much to dream about and being a realist I wouldn’t allow myself to think about it until we actually got the key to turn in the door.