Friday, February 28, 2014

Follow Your Dreams Friday

It's freezing, again. We're stuck inside for most of the day, again. But, we're going to have some kind of an indoor adventure at our house. Just as soon as we thaw from our morning errands. 

Normally, I'm good with the snow through February. This year is a little different. I've been dreaming of a warmer climate - like, pack your bags and move permanently warmer climate. But, we've got kids, jobs, bills, and so many things going right now, it seems silly to pick up and leave. Right? Maybe, maybe not. 

Maybe I just need a vacation, YES! Or, maybe this is the perfect time to dream of warmer places, and other things. What's got me thinking about fulfilling dreams? Our personal goals, the long winter, the realization my book is real (when it was once only a dream), reading articles on taking risks to realize your dreams, like this one on HuffPost about author Allison Winn Scotch, or this one about a terminally ill man in England with only six months to live who marries his sweetheart and spends his last days making her dreams come true (tissues, please!), and our children who show us the beauty of dreams every day. 

I honor of all these varied and wonderful dreams, I included the article links and added some quotes below to help you start the weekend right. Happy day, dreamers!

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Surprising or Not? Barnes & Noble turns down buyout bid

As a reader and writer, I've been keeping an eye on this and other industry developments. While I'm not surprised they turned down the buyout offer, they certainly keep making headlines with what is to come for their business, with or without Nook. Here's the latest from Forbes: Barnes & Noble Turns Profit, Tightens Nook's Belt And Dismisses Buyout Bid.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I’m ready for the weekend…and it’s only Monday

If you feel the same, read these ideas and take a break. I'm going to work my way through the list this week, and probably next week too. 

1.  Read a book. Whether it’s a history, mystery, or romance, a good book can transport you. Try Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Like thrillers? Check out The Ark by Boyd Morrison.

2.  Don’t like long books? Read a short story. Check out One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak (of The Office fame).

3.  Read something fun with a little one. Switch things up with Mother Goose on the Loose by Hans Wilhelm.

4.  Listen to music. Slow jazz, classical or whatever helps you unwind.

5.  Catch up on TV. With so many ways to stream, there’s no reason to miss your favorite show, or find a new one.

6.  Take care of yourself with an at home spa. Place cool cucumber slices over your eyes for a few minutes to rejuvenate your peepers.

7.  Got time for a getaway? Check out these ten quick beach getaways from NBC.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Reading to your child: Encouragement and tips

Whenever I come across ideas to encourage reading I just have to share. It's important to make reading a habit for the entire family. We've done it since before our kids were born - yes, I was the mom who read books and poetry to my bambinos before birth - and we've been doing it ever since. Reading is awesome for everyone. So, whether you're an aunt, uncle, cousin or friend, encourage every kid you know to read, read, read! 

Because most of us are balancing more work than ever, here is a brief article from Scholastic (a great resource for parents). Check it out here

I've posted another one with 6 cool ways to read every day on other social media sites, but since you're reading my blog (Thanks!) you can check it out here

Monday, February 17, 2014

More snow!

Is it just me, or do the penguins look like they're trying to fly south?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sweet Week - Wednesday Wisdom

We've been in a seemingly endless cycle of sleep, wake, wash, school, work, with some variations on feeding, cleaning, and shoveling (mostly snow). I've got major deadlines; a family on the brink of colds, but powering through since our girl is student of the week; and piles of snow and laundry taking over our house inside and out. Who has time to shower, plan meals, or participate in school parties? I actually contemplated not going to the school Valentine Party. (Oh, no!) This is shocking because it's a big deal to my kid, and Heart Day crafts are pretty cool. 

I'd just about given up on the whole party parent thing, and was planning either a drive-by or a full-on escape, which would have required a careful explanation to our daughter since she's probably expecting me there. Instead, another mom e-mailed the group to say her son got sick and she needed someone to take over the craft she planned for the party. 

Within minutes of receiving her message I had these thoughts. How awful, her son is sick. Great, he puked in my kid's class. I hope he's okay. I hope he didn't spray any of the other kids. Gee, I feel bad for her, she sounds really stressed. I'm stressed too, but my kid didn't hork up lunch, sure I'll help. 

The way this played out reminds me of a post circulating the web a year or so ago with the caption, "If a toddler hands you a ringing toy phone…you answer that s*!t." Someecards has one, if you want to see it/share it. I should never have thought I could 'skip' or 'skate' through a kid party, especially not one my kid is psyched about. And when a mom with a sick kid needs help. What do you do? Step up, of course and answer that phone, e-mail, or whatever!

So, I'm now signed up for a crafty craft. Although, it's below freezing (still) and I've got to find craft supplies. Then proceed to unwrap, draw, cut and organize these things in about a day to make it to the party on time. At least I'm doing my part to help. If it works out the kids will enjoy Valentine's Day and mine will think I'm pretty awesome. 

The countdown is on, cheers! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Sweet Week - Gearing up for Valentine's Day

It takes some effort to dig out of the snow, if you haven't yet, and prepare for Valentine's Day. We actually have a few reasons why we celebrate. We've got young kids, birthdays and school parties this week, so you can understand our house is happy Heart Day is coming. I know others don't feel the same and that's fine for them, but try not to rain on our Valentine's Day parade

Here are a few things you might consider doing this week to make it more fun for everyone:

1. Share some chocolate. Who doesn't enjoy getting special treats every now and then? Besides, it has to last you until the furry guy comes in April. 

2. Share some wine with someone over 21, preferably your spouse, significant other, or a friend. 

3. Can't or don't drink? Try sparkling cider, it'll do the trick. 

4. Take a bath. Who gets to do this anymore? It's totally indulgent and really worth it to relax. Why not make it ultra luxurious? Light a couple candles and play some soft music while you soak. 

5. Make hot chocolate and throw in some marshmallow hearts. You can make your own with this recipe, I have no idea if they're good. I just thought they'd be cool to try. I'll be too busy with school party/birthday celebrating, so I'm trying the bagged stuff.

6. Enjoy a romantic getaway. Seriously. You can do it even this late in the game. Pick a spot and go. Too busy? Take five minutes one early morning and stare out at the quiet snow with a loved one. 

7. Send a selfie. Draw an 'I love you' sign. Hold it up. Snap a pic. Send it to your sweetie and see what happens. 

8. Hug or kiss somebody you love. 

9. Hug yourself. Do it. Then take a selfie and share it with all of us here. It'd be funny!

10. Smile. Share. Be Happy. Repeat.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Playing through…Part 2

Grief doesn't just stop when the funeral is over, and it certainly doesn't stop when you try and resume your daily activities as if the world is unchanged. Your part of the world has changed, and it's completely normal to act like it.

I don't advocate wallowing in misery every minute of the day, but sometimes it's okay. 

I mean, it's been months and I still get choked up every now and then thinking of grandma. She's gone. Really gone. I think of all the people she influenced, people she stayed in touch with, helped, talked to each day, and loved. I think of how my mom lost her mother, we lost our grandma and my kids lost their great-grandma. Just when it starts to feel overwhelming, I remember how many times grandma told us to hug the babies and each other. 

We all have to move on, and so I do. But, I try to pause briefly and remember all the good things she did so I can share them with our children. I need to make sure to be there for my mom, too. She must be going through a number of emotions as she tries to deal with her loss. 

I just think it's important to give ourselves time to react and reflect, and give those around us the same courtesy. It feels like a time to reflect, but stress over all the other things going on starts to take over.

Thinking about all the work we need to finish this weekend before we start another work week makes me cringe. Assignments, bills, home projects, and school work loom for most of us, but there really is no need to get hyper-stressed about getting it all done perfectly in one day. Right? Maybe I won't get my kid's student project, work assignments, this blog and my book finished and published today, but it will happen (soon, in fact). Everything will work out as long as I remember to do the important stuff, like hugging the kiddos and my husband, first. 

Feel like sharing your ideas/advice about how to get through a tough time or loss? Comment below. 

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