Friday, October 31, 2014


Every other Saturday I help my daughter out by watching her boys for a few hours.  When it’s “the boys’ weekend,” Kayla and I brainstorm on how to keep them entertained.  They are always up for a walk to the park, or a hike through the woods.  With the approaching holidays, I wanted to incorporate a few crafts (start a few new traditions??) to: 1) teach them about the seasons and the meaning behind the holidays, 2) make them feel apart of the whole process; 3) have something tangible that they themselves made to decorate their rooms with; and 4) the bonus reason – make a memory.

Upon browsing the internet for “fun things to do or make,” I found this fabulous leaf craft idea from Martha Stewart.  Although we did modify the original idea in that we had the boys find sticks to hang their leaves from and instead of beeswax, we mixed up one part glue with one part water to dip the leaves in and we hung the leaves with plain old string.  Basically, we used what we had on hand and the boys were very happy with the end results.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Editorial Calendar for Your Blog – What’s Your Style?

When I first heard about editorial calendars I was intrigued and fascinated.  I am intrigued and fascinated about a lot of things, just ask me how many articles and youtube videos I’ve watched on how people use and/or create their planners.  I could only wonder if an editorial calendar was what I needed to become a more regular blogger. Time will tell.   

I read with great interest “How to create a blog editorial calendar,” found at Launch Grow Joy.  This article really put the whole idea of having a blog post calendar in prospective for me.  I realize the article is directed more for business type blogs, but I got a lot out of it.   

Another article that really was very inspiring to me and directed to bloggers, was found at Tales of Beauty for Ashes.  You can read the original post “Why You Need an Editorial Calendar,” here.

 AND, I can’t even count how many times I’ve visited Michele McGraw’s Pinterest board on editorial calendars.  Oh, the inspiration!!!!

I admire all of it, and while I love jotting lists down in notebooks, I’ve found what is truly working for me (so far) is just keeping a “Post 2014” file saved on my PC.  Below is a look at October 2014.  I type each day of the month.  Then I add any holidays next to the appropriate day.  Then I add any appointments, or parties, or things I have to do.  Then I add potential post titles/ideas.  I have a simple code: (P) published, (S) scheduled, (W) written so I can see at a glance what’s been done.  Then I schedule it. Then I publish it.  Of course, writing a post is half the battle. 

I have also started an “On Reserve” posts file to store posts written and waiting to be published. These will come in handy on those days that I’m rushed or have nothing eventful to write about (most days).  I’ll just add photos and push publish.

On a personal level, I LOVE, love, LoVe my blog. Love it!  I wish I had known about blogging lonnng before I began.  I love being able to look back and see what we did on a particular day.  That very reason is why I have made it a goal to be more intentional with blogging.  I want to REMEMBER IT ALL!

Here’s what my “editorial calendarlooks like.  Note: Lots of empty days, but building steam.

(P) Published (S) Scheduled (W) Written

Blog Posts for October 2014
October 1, 2014:  
October 2, 2014:
October 3, 2014:   (Friday) Welcome October (P)’
October 4, 2014:
October 5, 2014:   Church
October 6, 2014:
October 7, 2014:
October 8, 2014:   Things to Do in October (P)
October 9, 2014:   My Personal Goals for October (P)
October 10, 2014:
October 11, 2014: Watch boys
October 12, 2014: Church (2nd Sunday)
October 13, 2014: Columbus Day
October 14, 2014:
October 15, 2014: Happy Birthday Jacob  (also purchase zoo pass)
October 16, 2014:
October 17, 2014:
October 18, 2014: Pumpkin Farm
October 19, 2014: Church
October 20, 2014:
October 21, 2014: Pumpkin Pickers (P)
October 22, 2014: Wordless Wednesday (pumpkin farm) (P)
October 23, 2014: Routine – Baby’s Bedtime (P)
October 24, 2014: Well Read (p)  (Children’s Hospital for Elliot)
October 25, 2014: Zoo Boo; Top 10 Favorite Horror Flicks post (P) (watch boys, leaf collecting)
October 26, 2014: Church (A sign of the season post) (photos taken) (P) (drop off-Joey); wallet missing
October 27, 2014: Transient (Toxic) Synovitis. (P) Week in the Life 2014 begins;
                             Hair straightening
October 28, 2014: WITL (Monday WITL (P)
October 29, 2014: WITL; Wordless Wednesday – Elliot eats; cancel cards
October 30, 2014: WITL; Project Runway; Put out trash
October 31, 2014: WITL; DAY OFF!! Shopping, cooking. Get new license.
                             Celebrate Halloween

To Do:

Halloween is on October 31.  SEND CARDS TO THE KIDDIES.

Work on Halloween party menu, gather recipes.

WITL – October 27 – November 2.

ON RESERVE POSTS: the leaf project; the acorn project, Around the House (3)

So, that's my editorial calendar. Nothing flowery, or pretty, but currently, what is working.
It's Thursday! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Five favorite dinner photos featuring Elliot

Lunch at Subway
Dinner at Eat n Park
In the kitchen laying across the island shelf 
Dinner at Steak & Shake

Dinner at home

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WITL 2014 - Monday

I warn you now, my days are pretty much by rote.  I get up at 5:30 a.m., follow my morning routine, throw in a load of laundry, and leave for the office.  My house is mostly dark (need NEW lighting ALL OVER!), so my photos, well, they are what they are and I do not do much altering to them.

Today started out cool, weather wise, around 50 degrees with a promise to climb to the high 60's. Fabulous for late October!

I walk to the bus.
Down West towards Kelly
After about a 45 min. bus ride, I get off at Smithfield and Sixth (right at the corner of where I work).
The Henry W. Oliver Building (this is our 2nd year in this building)
Got my water and my coffee, I'm ready!
Me! and yes, I am a morning person.

Pizza and Salad for lunch

Work, Work, Work
I left the office at 4:00 to go to the Salon.  Time for some hair straightening.  

Home again.  It's getting darker earlier.
Elliot eats his dinner while K and I cook ours, talk, clean up the kitchen.

Bath time, play time, tv time. I love capturing E as he watches his favorite shows.
Not much else got done.  I had lost my identity sometime Saturday.  Wallet missing.  Everything in there.  I mean EVERYTHING!!! I've turned my house upside down and cannot find it.  Don't know when or where I could have lost it.  It's sickening.  So, last night was spent, again, cleaning and searching.  Anyway, that's my Monday.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Friday evening was spent at Children’s Hospital for our little Elliot.  Arriving home after work, Kayla and I were going through our usual routine of making dinner while little E played, feeding him and then bathing him, we noticed that he was limping.  I am one to rush to the ER.  I take no chances, I may self-diagnose sometimes, but when it comes to a little one – no games!  We knew he had a touch of a stomach virus earlier in the week (he’s also cutting four more teeth), because he was out of sorts (not his exuberant, happy, loud self), but more quiet plus he threw up a few times. 

By the time we were in the ER, the limp became more pronounced.  Observation and a few x-rays later, we were told it was “Transient (Toxic) Synovitis”.  It appears that it is caused by a viral infection that sometimes settles in the hip joint.  It's mostly found to affect boys.  This can last up to four weeks and can transfer to the other hip joint.  Nothing much to be done, but Motrin to keep the swelling and pain at bay, and lots of rest.  You can read more about Transient (Toxic) Synovitis here.
Our Elliot, he is so beautiful, what a little trooper.  Despite the diagnosis, he is still playful, although quieter, but still a happy, lovable little man.  I will say he was quite taken with this round table/stool at the ER.  I am hoping to find something like it for his room.
Tickle Time

P.S. I am participating in Ali Edwards' WITL 2014.  I look forward to this project each time.  It helps to focus on what's real, what needs done and how life has changed. You can get tons of information about this project here

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Signs of the Autumn Season

It’s Fall here in Pennsylvania as if you couldn’t see that.  So many trees have burst into colors of red, yellow and orange and pumpkins dot rolling fields.  Leaves float gently to the ground carpeting sidewalks.  There is a crispness to the air that has us pulling out packed away sweaters and scarves.  The welcoming scent of burning logs in fireplaces taking off the chill.  On my commute to and from the bus, I am aware of and take note of these little changes, Mother Nature in all her glory.  Autumn in Pennsylvania is simply beautiful.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

14 of the Scariest Horror Films (according to my family)

14 of the Scariest Horror Films – (according to my Family)

My family enjoys scary movies, in fact, the scarier the better.  I always joke that my children were weaned on horror flicks, BUT I always followed a viewing of the original Dracula or Frankenstein or Wolfman, with a comedy.  That worked, and there were no ill effects as after 30 – 60 minutes of laughter, the terror they may have felt while watching a classic horror film was soon forgotten. 

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Chiller Theater and stayed up every weekend to watch this iconic show.  Sadly for my sister (who had gone to bed at a normal time as she was not a fan) I would stand at the bottom of the stairs and call her name until she came down and walked me up to our room. What a weenie.  But I did it again next week and she would, again, come down and walk me up.

With Halloween fast approaching, I got to wondering what family members would say was the ultimate scare flick for them.  Upon texting the question, the answers came pouring in immediately with The Exorcist being the clear winner.  Here are the movies chosen (listed in the order of votes, though you will note, some voters nominated more than one flick as the scariest):

1.            the exorcist  (Kayla , Amanda, Jayme, tina, deborah)
2.            The original frankenstein (my Mom, Kenneth)  I remember the first time I saw this though I am not sure how old I was 9, 10?  My Mom stayed up with me, but as soon as Frankenstein came out of the shadows, it was bed for me!
3.            The conjuring (Kayla and myself)I chose this one because for me, it was downright scary.  I think I jumped more and screamed more at this one than any other.  Except for the time I was watching Insidious with the family.  At one point I let out a scream that lasted quite a while. Didn’t realize it was me until the kids started laughing.
4.           halloween  (mom)
5.           Rob zombie’s version of Halloween (Amanda)
6.           saw (jade)
7.           The grudge (kayla).  Elliot and I can make the sound of the grudge.   Well, he doesn’t realize that’s the sound having never watched it.  However, he can and we save it for when K needs a good scare, though I don’t do it often because sometimes I scare myself.
8.           the leopard people (dad) This is a 1943 film.  It’s one of those films you see as a youngster and it just sticks with you. 
9.           jaws (mom) really?
10.         dawn of the dead (tina)
11.          Silence of the lambs (mom)
12.         war of the worlds (mom)
13.         salem’s lot (tina)
14.         Silent Hill (tina)

I extended the poll to co-workers and I must say hands-down the Exorcist was voted #1.  One co-worker chose The Omen and I have to say that was an excellent film.  My Mom and I first saw it together at what was once the Regent Square Theater.  Even though we sat in the very back row with our backs against the wall, I still found myself looking behind me.  That was one good, scary film.

So what is the scariest film YOU ever saw?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Well Read (what we are currently reading)

As I have mentioned before (and not just once), I have a passion for holiday themed books.  One of my favorite writers of holiday themed books is Leslie Meier.  I thoroughly enjoy her Lucy Stone series.  Currently, I am reading Trick or Treat Murders by Leslie Meier on my Nook. 
Kayla is, begrudgingly, reading “Little Women,” as it is part of her Literature/Composition studies.  I, personally, love this story and have read it quite a few times.  I’ve also seen every movie version, the 1994 version with Susan Sarandon, being my favorite. 
We are also reading excerpts from Christopher Columbus’ journal (History); becoming educated about Ebola (Health) and learning about sound waves (Science).
October additions to Elliot’s ever-growing library, include Fisher Price’s Halloween is Here (what child does not love to lift the flaps?), and books from Kayla’s younger days.  After he has had his dinner, been bathed and dressed in pajamas (little ones in pajamas (love it!!)), we sit down to read a handful (or two handfuls) of his little books.  This simple ritual has fast become one of my favorite times of the day.