Try A New Book! Amazon GC & Children’s Chapter Book Giveaway

The weather’s been a bit wonky this winter, hasn’t it?

Being snowbound with little ones who have a hard time putting down that electronic gizmo can be a bit trying, so I’ve decided to hold a giveaway!

Recently, we found that one of our girls (while still reading) has been reading below grade level in school.  So we made the decision to box up all under-grade-level books and comic books and stow them away until things have improved.

To help our girls gain confidence in their reading, and to ensure it was an enjoyable experience, we chose several series of 2nd-grade-level chapter books that featured some of their interests, for them to try out!

We got Scooby Doo, Puppy Place, Rainbow Magic Fairies, Black Lagoon Adventures, Cam Jansen, Magic Tree House, Bailey School Kids, Thea Stilton and Charming Ponies.

Imagine my joy when the timer ‘dinged’ on their mandatory 20 minutes and they still wanted to keep on reading longer!

To help give you a boost in finding something new to tempt your little one’s literary tastebuds, I’m offering a $5 Amazon gift card and a new paperback copy of “Goldie” the first book in The Puppy Place chapter book series (both my 7-year-old girls LOVED this one!).

puppyplaceprizepic amazongc

Just enter in the rafflecopter form below!

Happy Reading!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mommy fall down and go boom!

Three guesses who slipped on some ice over a week ago and whacked their head?

That’d be me.

Yep, I was walking in front of my apartment building, the snow had been shoveled away and it looked pretty clear, if a bit wet on the pavement. But little did I know that ‘black ice’ was lurking there to trip up the unwary.

Next thing I know, my legs are shooting out from under me and I land on my right butt and head. I ended up with a moderate concussion (somewhere between mild and severe), a scalp laceration, whiplash and even managed to pull my newly-repaired abdominal muscles!

The paramedics came to take me to the ER where they did a CT (“cat”) scan to see how badly my noggin was hurt. Luckily, my skull was not fractured, even though my brain and forcefully sloshed up inside it.

Still, the doctor benched me for about a week, and still looked a bit peeved when I mentioned going back to class (I’d missed an exam in one class, and a quiz in another) and that I had a boatload of studying to catch up.

Even using the computer for more than 10 minutes a day was painful and left me woozy!

Still, I laid down the law to the husband and littles that Mommy was a bit banged up and needed Peace, Rest and most of all, Quiet.

They did their best, and for the most part I’m feeling a little better and survived the first day back at class.  Still can’t use the computer or study for more than 10 minutes at a time without feeling poorly though.

At least there’s a bright side to all this – I’ve caught up on my sleep! And the management of my apartment complex said to send them the medical/paramedics bills.  So there’s that at least.

But seriously – PLEASE be careful! Don’t trust “puddles” in this cold weather, and if it’s not salted, assume that wet spot’s icy.

Be careful folks, and stay safe! <3

A Creepy Conversation

Several weeks ago, my husband brought up an uncomfortable topic: What would I do if (Heaven forbid) something happened to him?

Despite being a topic I’d prefer to entirely avoid, it was something that really needed to be discussed.

Of course he has insurance, but not much. But even if he upped the amount, we’d be eating through it in no time!

The kids are 7 years old – six more years until they can legally be home alone. If I worked, I’d have to pay for afterschool care.

I’ve been out of the workforce for so long and would most likely have to start at minimum wage/entry level again. I’d be lucky if I made enough to pay for the kids’ afterschool care!

Going back to my original career as travel agent isn’t really an option. Travel agents are practically obsolete these days. And quite honestly, I’ve always disliked secretarial/file-clerk work whenever I had to temp as such.

Possibly going back to school now might be a good idea.  I could finish my B.A. in English degree that I was halfway done with, maybe switch it over to a teaching certificate, but from what I’ve been hearing lately about the increasing rates of job dissatisfaction among teachers due to the core curriculum, that didn’t sound too appealing.

One thing was clear though, waiting until my kids were of home-alone age (I’d be graduating at age 55 then!) or my husband croaked, was idiotic. I’d be having to contend with grieving, my kids grieving, loss of income – nope. That would not be the best time to start back to school.

So now I’m back in school while the kids are at theirs!  I’ve decided to switch my major over entirely to a B.S.W. – a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

I’d be able to help people,and the forecasted job growth is pretty huge.  There’s so many people currently in that field that are set to retire in the next few year; there’s not much chance I’d be obsoleted out of another career, and a lot of the classes I’ve already taken can still be applied to my new major.

And here I am, 46, and back in class again! And it’s been pretty interesting so far. I seem to blend in, even though the majority of other students are still in their teens. I’ve gotten several lovely compliments on my purple hair (next season, I’m trying out red), my sci-fi-themed t-shirts, and when I mention that I gave birth to twins, most people’s eyes sorta glaze over in disbelieving awe. :D

It’ll probably take me some time to graduate – I’ve got to fit my classes in around my kids’ schedule, can’t take classes in the summer, unless they’re online (and supposedly the university I’ll be transferring to won’t accept online classes – go figure!), but now’s a good time to start getting things done.

But you can’t wait until it’s crunch time.  So yeah, it may be skin-crawl-inducing to think about such things, but the best time to prepare for worst-case-scenarios is right now.

So have that conversation with your significant other. Get that out of the way while you can make level-headed, well-thought-out decisions. Don’t leave it until the last minute.

Doesn’t matter whether your a stay-at-home caregiver, or a dual-income family. You’ve got to make sure there’s a game-plan to put into play if one of you gets drop-kicked through the pearly gates ahead of schedule.

What’s Better? Real vs Fake – Times when going “Fake” is better than Real


My little girls (age 7) are desperate for a pet. Yet I only have to look at how they treat their plush animals to see how well that would turn out. Kids: 1, Critters: 0.

They wanted to help their plush ducky really fly – so they tied some yarn around its neck, flung the other end over the staircase bannister and voila! One flying fake ducky!

And the girls also have aspirations of becoming fashion designers, so they made all their plushies lovely outfits – and sewed the outfits onto them with one of my child-safe needles.  I’m not too convinced the girls actually really truly understand the difference between plush toys and real live animals, so until I see that proof, they’ll have to be content with those electronic pet gizmos.  At least if things go south with those, no-one’s really been hurt.

Children’s Clothes

Most small kids don’t really understand about designer labels on their clothing. However, it seems that they’re at the age when a lot of their classmates do. Even with my husband’s new job, paying those designer label prices isn’t something I’d like to do for more than special occasions, especially not for items that will end up irreparably stained, torn, frayed, etc., possibly on the first wearing!

So I head down to some local thriftstores and lookie here! Those same designer clothes in like-new condition for a small fraction of the price to buy the same thing at the mall! And when the girls come home with chocolate ice-cream all down their front, it won’t break our hearts or wallets, and anyone checking out our kids’ clothing labels or logos won’t know that we didn’t really lay out enough moola to require taking out a second mortgage!

Covering Up The Gray

Nope, my hair really isn’t the same lustrous brown it used to be 7 years ago (before my kids were born and I still retained some small smidgen of my sanity). But thanks to kindly folks who manufacture a plethora of hair-coloring options, I can still smile with pride during family photos without worrying about lens flare from my shining white/gray locks.  These days, though, I cycle through brown, purple, blue and green. (I always had a thing for Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts – especially Mercury!)

Check This Out

Here’s an infographic that lists some other occasions when it may be better to go “fake”, rather than the real McCoy!
24 Times When it was Better to Fake It
Graphic via Treetopia.

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