I'm just a mom, painting pictures with my words
Life happened because I turned the

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time at all then you know that I have an amazing friendship with Crystal Ponti. Crystal and I had a telephone call (technically a job interview via phone) several years ago and as strange as it sounds we have been instant friends ever since that day. We talk daily via email, we have not spoken on the phone since that interview! And we have never met in person! But, I can tell you she’s one of my closest friends, when she cries I cry, when she celebrates I celebrate and

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return of the highlander

If you’re a frequent reader of my site then you have most likely noticed that I am far less active recently than I have been in the past. There’s a very good reason for that, I’m writing a book! In fact, my first (extremely rough) draft is finished which means I am deeply embroiled in revisions, edits, and rewrites! In the meantime I have opened my site up to guest posts, including book reviews and today I am bringing you one of those! Don’t worry, I’ll be back as soon as I can come up for air!   Review of

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sundaes

To be perfectly honest I’m not one of those parents who does things like a DIY Sundae bar on a regular basis. I’m not crafty, and while I would think it sounded fun I would think I wasn’t able to pull it off the way I wanted.  But, when the kind folks at Shari’s Berries reached out to me and asked me to write a post for National Ice Cream Day (July 19th) and include their gorgeous, delicious, amazing strawberries in my sundae bar I couldn’t say yes fast enough! I mean…have you SEEN these things?     So my

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Several weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to receive 4 free tickets to Slide the City-St Louis in exchange for writing a post both before, and after our experience there. Normally when I receive something for free in order to write about it here on the website for my readers I’m required to tell you that I received the perk and that it didn’t influence my opinion. While I realize that sounds like something you say but don’t really mean, I’m about to prove to you that it’s true. In the past if I received a product that someone

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Several years ago I had the incredible pleasure of writing book reviews for both a print magazine, and an online magazine. I loved writing reviews because–well–free books! At the online magazine I met some amazing women who shared my love of books, particularly of romance books, and the authors who wrote them. We also loved writing, but for us at that point in time we were solely dedicated to writing reviews and getting to be near our idols, the women who wrote the books we inhaled like a woman with PMS inhales Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. If you read

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Family Fun Night: Make Your Own Movie

I have to admit, my kids would love this idea! ~Angela Are you looking for a fun way to bond with your family on a Friday night? If you enjoy watching films and eating popcorn, try a twist on classic movie watching night by gathering the troops and filming your own flick. It is an experience you and your family will treasure forever. Here’s an easy guide to create your home movie: Start with an Idea What kind of movie do you want to film? Do you want a light-hearted movie with silly outtakes or does your family want a

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Giving a helping hand can go a long way.

Today’s guest post is brought to you by a fellow Community Manager from “across the pond” as they say.  Those who have read my blog for a while know that my day job, so to speak, is working as a Community Manager! I love the theme of this post and just want to add that you shouldn’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to community service. If you or your kids have a particular talent, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, consider contacting a local nursing home and sharing your talents with the residents. My daughter

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Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts?

It can be a difficult decision to let your teenager transition from wearing glasses to contacts. Not only do you have to worry about the costs (and whether they are covered by your insurance), but you also need to decide if your teen will be comfortable in contacts and responsible enough to take care of them. Keeping the contacts clean is crucial for eye health. An eye infection even at this young age can permanently scar their eye and mean they’re unable to wear contacts in the future. For us, once our daughter began being very active in dance, we

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The Up Side of Loving Someone with ADHD

Loving someone who has ADHD, or any similar condition, is not always easy. There are definitely struggles, and arguments, and hard days when you love someone who is always moving, always thinking, always busy, and so easily distracted sometimes you can hardly stand it. This is especially true for someone like me, who is happy with a quiet room, a book, and nowhere to go and no one to talk to outside the people and stories I’m creating in my imagination. The saying opposites attract is definitely true! My husband, and my son are the opposite of me in many

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home-moving

Moving day can be exciting since you are starting over in someplace new, after all. Besides, that new home is just waiting to be occupied. However, even though it can be all that, it can also prove to be quite stressful. There’s just so much to think about and do and, of course, you want it to be as smooth a process as it can be. Don’t fret because you can make your moving day easier. Here are 5 things to remember: Draw your floor plan – Drawing a floor plan saves you time. It also removes any confusion. Before

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Today’s guest post is a topic that might not have appealed to me a few weeks ago but after a recent experience I was excited to share it with you! Here’s what happened to me: A few weeks ago I noticed that my car seemed to have a funny wobble to it when I drove it.  When I drove at a slow speed it literally felt like it was bouncing up and down, kind of like a clown car. Since I don’t drive much, as a stay at home mom, it actually took me several days to remember to mention

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Today’s guest post is written by someone who has been a close personal friend of mine for over 15 years, and we have never met in person! I first met Christina when she was the moderator and I applied to be a volunteer host of a community for romance writers on the channel she ran.  Luckily for me she said yes, because not only did I get to embrace my love of writing romance, I stumbled upon a career that has allowed me to work from home with my kids all these years. I’ve also been lucky enough to work

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Top 6 Things

I have worked from home for the last twelve years. When I first started working from home I had a newborn and a 4 year old. I remember doing the interview for that job while my son, who was supposed to be napping but you know how that goes, lay on my lap happily filling his diaper. A few weeks later I was doing training meetings online for that job while he lay in my lap drinking a bottle. I definitely knew after those first two incidents that working from home was not going to be the cake walk that

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As any parent who has stepped on a LEGO at 2 a.m. knows quite well, many kids have plenty of toys. Rather than taking trips to the toy store this summer, focus on unique ways you can make memories with your kids. To get started, find some common interests and then get busy making plans. For Theater Lovers: Musicals If you and your kids love the theater, treat the entire family to tickets to a live production. Your town might have some great community or kid theater options, or you can plan a trip to New York City for the

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10 Awesome Playground Activities that Will Make You the Cool Mom!

It saddens me whenever I see kids playing with iPads nowadays. I could only think about all the things they’re missing out like playing with real kids outdoors! This is why I promised to allot time and enforce playing active games to my kids once they grow up. So far, they’ve learned how to play 3 active, outdoor games. However, I observed that they’re getting bored whenever we go to the park for a stroll or for a picnic. Here are 10 awesome kiddie playground games that will make you the coolest mom for them: Hens & Chickens As the

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5 Child Safety Tips to Minimize Risks at Home

There are a lot of hazards that can be present at home and it’s almost impossible for you to isolate your kids from all of them. However, these reminders can help you minimize the risks associated with these hazards: Burning and scalding – Because of the inherent curiosity that all kids have, a pot or a pan that has bubbling content is going to attract them. A lot of children have had scars that lasted a lifetime because of the burning and scalding that can result when they reach up and grab the handles of these cooking utensils. For you

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slide the city

When I saw the segment on the Today show this week about fun things to do with our families over the summer the segment on Slide the City was definitely the one that caught my interest the most! My kids have always loved an afternoon playing with the Slip n Slide, and this takes that fun to the next level and then some! When I saw they’re coming to St Louis in July and closing down Market Street to have fun I was all in! On Saturday, July 11th – Market Street will be transformed as participants ride inflatables down

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Summer Camp Checklist

It’s that time of year again — summer camp is around the corner. Soon, school will be out and your kids will be off exploring nature and making new friends at sleepaway camp. Follow this checklist to make sure he or she is prepared for camp away from home. Backpack and Gear Invest in a lightweight backpack or pack made specifically for camping so he or she is as comfortable as possible on long hikes. Travel backpacks also reduce risk of back strain. Also stock the backpack with camping supplies (i.e. flashlight, batteries, canteen, first aid kit and a camera).

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If you’re like me you’ve collected recipes over the year from an amazing number of sources.  I have recipes that I have clipped from magazines, printed out from online blogs or websites, been given from friends and family! Literally dozens of different sources for some recipes that my family loves! I would hate to lose any of them, but I also don’t take the time to organize them properly. A few years ago my mother-in-law gave me this beautiful recipe organizer and I was so excited until I realized that it literally meant I would have to re-write every single

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custom privacy post cyberwise

Over recent years Facebook has made a lot of changes that affect what appears in users’ newsfeed. You may have noticed that you don’t always see posts from your friends like you used to, or maybe you see a whole lot more posts from other friends than you used to? The good news is there are some simple ways you can regain control of what you see in your newsfeed, and which of your posts are seen by your friends! First, let’s talk about who you “Follow” on Facebook. If there are friends you want to make sure you see

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Reader's Dream Giveaway- Summer Kick

There are few things that I love more than going to the mailbox and finding that someone has sent me a book to read! Even if I ordered the book, and I totally knew that it was coming, it’s still the best prize the mail carrier ever leaves me! If someone has sent me a book for free, then it’s even more of a bonus! If you’re like me, and would love to find your mailbox stuffed full of free books then this giveaway is for you! I have gathered up some of my favorite authors—some you’ve heard of, and

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Advice for the Graduates

There are boxes lining the hallway from your bedroom down to the family room.  Waiting to be carried downstairs and loaded carefully into your car so you can leave.  Once you get in that car and drive away this house won’t be ‘home’ for you anymore, it will be the house you grew up in, it will be your parents place, and it will be somewhere you visit for holidays, but it won’t ever be home for you again. That makes me sad in unspeakable ways, but it also makes me think back to the day I moved out of

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As a parent, it’s your duty to protect your child from unsuitable content. However, as we progress into an increasingly digital age, it becomes harder to monitor what children see online and on TV. Use these tips to take control of your child’s media consumption:

As a parent, it’s your duty to protect your child from unsuitable content. However, as we progress into an increasingly digital age, it becomes harder to monitor what children see online and on TV. Use these tips to take control of your child’s media consumption: What Do The TV Ratings Mean? In the mid ’90s, the television industry created the rating system for TV shows. The rating labels are shown in the corner of the TV screen for about 15 seconds at the beginning of a television program. These labels were created to help caring parents identify which TV shows

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date pic

I knew that this day would come eventually, I admit that I’m glad it has come later rather than sooner! There is a lot of time for dating, and there was no reason to rush into it. As she has with everything, my daughter is very level headed, she wants more from life than just a boyfriend, or series of boyfriends. But as my beautiful daughter came running down the stairs this past week to tell me that the cute boy from school had asked her out on her first real date I knew there were a few things I

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Please

First let me say that I absolutely love blogging. I love that it gives me a creative outlet, and sometimes just an outlet! I love that I have made some amazing friends! I love that a woman at home with her children can have a thought, write a post, have it go viral and maybe—just maybe—change the way people think about something, about motherhood, about parenting, about life, about the world as a whole! I love that blogging makes our world feel smaller because I can be best friends with someone who lives half a country away that I have

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