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Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Lucky Me. :)

At first glance the title of this blog post looks sarcastic.
I am not being sarcastic though. I really am a very lucky person.

I am blessed with many great things (family, kids, dog, friends, house, job, car, etc).  This list goes on and on.  And when I can, I try to pay it forward.  Raising money for a charity or donating to a friends cause. At the holidays I really enjoy purchasing gifts from "Giving Trees" to those who may need a little extra help.  I like to pay it forward, I consider it good karma.

I feel like such a lucky person that I want to share my luck with others.

So what prompted me to write about this today?
Well....I just found out I won another raffle/giveaway.  This one is fairly minor, it's just a Christmas decoration, but still.  I've won rubber duck races, raffles, giveaways, etc.
I'm fairly lucky with scratch tickets too.

(I haven't won the lottery yet...I must want that one too badly...)

And this week, for a reason I haven't figured out yet, I'm just overflowing with holiday spirit and good cheer.  I feel myself smiling and glowing for no reason at all.  It feels great.

Unfortunately....I know a lot of people who are unhappy right now. I don't know if it's that time of year for seasonal depression or if a lot of people are experiencing pain and loss right now.
But I want to share my good feelings.

If you are feeling down or lost or sad....please reach out to someone who may be able to help. Sometimes you may just need a hug, or a shoulder to cry on.  Maybe just some eyes or ears to read or listen to you venting your frustrations.

Too often we find ourselves being emotionally drained by people who are like "emotional vampires". They can suck all the energy out of us. But I feel like right now I see too many people who need a boost.  And I feel like I have extra to give.

I'm not sure the best way to share what I have...just want everyone to know I'm trying my best to send the positive vibes out to those who need it.  If you have some good luck...try to pay it forward.

It's good karma.

I hope that all my friends feeling the drain on their mental states this week get a nice boost before the holidays. :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Christmas Casualties

We had our first Christmas casualties today.  

I was chatting with my dad on video chat and I saw out of the corner of my eye on the ground a stuffed animal that looked like one that I purchased for my son for Christmas.  So I asked my husband if our dog Oscar had gotten into anything today. He replied that Oscar had been in his office all day today.

The office also happens to be one of my hiding spots for some Christmas presents. Including Oscar's Christmas presents.  Which includes yummy smelling bones.
Guess which bag got ripped open today?

Oscar didn't find HIS presents...but he found that stuffed animal dog I had purchased for my son. And it's not in gift-giving condition anymore.  I'm not sure what to do with it....
I ended up going into the bag and digging out the bone that Oscar wanted and gave it to him...leaving his other presents for Christmas Day.  I'm hoping this will stop his digging into the bag....

Although I guess I could just take them out and start wrapping them....and then I won't have to worry about the kids presents getting ruined...just Oscar finding his early. I guess I'll be making an extra trip to the store tomorrow to replace that stuffed animal. 

So dogs are a bit destructive to presents.  
And not-quite-two year olds don't really go with Christmas trees....

My daughter was really looking forward to decorating our tree tonight. I got out a few ornaments for her to hang and of course her brother wanted to hang some up as well.  I figured candy canes were safe (because who cares if they break) and they are easy to hang on the tree.

Zoe put all of hers in one spot on the tree.  As tempting as it was to "correct" it, I'm leaving it alone. Let the kids decorate the tree how they want.  Rex went to put his up...got frustrated that he couldn't hang it....took the candy cane in both hands....and SNAP.

Right in two.  Okay.....no breakable ornaments for Rex.
I decided for a second one I would go with one I made with some pipe cleaners and beads.  It's bendy, it won't break, and I don't really care what happens to it.

With two hands on it again.....RRRRRIIIIPPP!  And beads go scattering across my living room floor.
Okay...never mind then.

All done decorating the tree!  It looks great! 

(with four ornaments and just lights and a few candy canes, ALL DONE!)


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Do something that makes you happy.

Conversation with my daughter last night after I picked her up from daycare:

Her: "Mom, I really missed you today."
Me: "awww, I missed you too, but I had to go to work."
Her: "Oh."
Me: "Do you know why Mama goes to work? It's so I can earn money to buy us things like food, toys and trips to the zoo."
Her: "But I really missed you."
Me: "Don't you like having food and toys?"
Her: "Yes."
Me: "Someday, you will grow up and go to work too. Do you know what you want to do for work? What would you like to be when you grow up?"

(I should interject here...this is the first time that I have asked her this question and was expecting a real answer.  She is only 4.5 after all, so answers before now didn't seem "real".  Even before she answered I was planning on writing this one down for her.)

Her: "I want to do something that makes me happy."
Me: "That sounds like a great idea, what makes you happy?"
Her: "Reading books, coloring and playing with my iPad. Can I get a job doing those things?"
Me: "That sounds awesome."

Conversation stops for a moment because her current favorite song came on the radio. Song ended, and she continues.

Her: "Mom, does fixing computers make you happy?"
Me: (big dorky smile on my face) "Most days yes....I do like my job. But I think I want to do your job, because reading books and coloring makes me happy too."

And then we proceeded to talk about things that make us happy. (me = clean house, her = watching Supergirl) And things that make us sad. (me = messy house, her = having to share toys with her brother)

So....out of the mouths of babes.  Do something that makes you happy when you grow up.
If you can't make money doing it....find a job that allows you to do it.

But above all else?  Be happy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Supergirl.

We don't watch a lot of TV in our house.

So our kids don't really see too many commercials.  When we do watch, it's usually Disney channel, New England Patriots football games, or Netflix.  It's actually kind of funny to see how annoyed my daughter gets at the commercials.

But this past weekend, she saw a commercial for a new television show.  Supergirl.

"Mooooooom!  I've never seen a show with a super hero girl before! Can I watch this show?!"

It definitely made me laugh and it caught me off guard.  You see...my daughter is only 4.5 years old.
I hadn't considered this show for her because it's a prime time show and it isn't a cartoon. (I've had it on the calendar for myself for months.)

But she's a smart girl.  And she loves super heroes. One of her favorite books is my old beat up Wonder Woman book from when I was a little girl.  She thinks She-Ra is the absolute coolest (well duh, yeah!!!). And when Barbie came out with Super Sparkle?  (well...let's put it this way....she pretends to be Super Sparkle or Spiderman more than any other imaginary character)

She likes ANY and ALL super hero things.

So I really shouldn't have been too surprised she was interested in this show after seeing the commercial.  I decided that I would view the show first and then let her watch it later if I thought it was okay.  I was trying to make note of any language or scenes that I wouldn't want her to see.  I had a game plan.  I would watch it on Mondays and let her watch it on Tuesdays while I made dinner.

I watched the premiere last night and I absolutely loved it.  Zoe definitely picked up a love of Super Heroes from me.  She-Ra being my absolute favorite, but I find Superman pretty awesome as well. So Supergirl by default is also awesome.

I've read some really great reviews and have watched every clip I could get my hands on, so I pretty much knew what to expect.  It has some great messages and lots of girl power.  I think the only thing I would be concerned with is when Supergirl has to fight the "bad guys".  I'm worried she may have some bad dreams from that.  BUT....other than that, so far nothing too bad.  Maybe she can handle it.

Then...during a commercial break, I noticed the bathroom light was on upstairs.
In order to understand what happened next....you should know that there is a lofted playroom above my kitchen/living room that has a view of the living room....and incidentally the TV.

Guess who snuck out of bed and was watching Supergirl last night?
Yep...my sneaky daughter. :)

My guess was that she got up to use the bathroom (why the light was on...if she was being really sneaky she wouldn't have turned it on, she's smart like that) and heard the show, and got curious and started watching and forgot to return to the bathroom to shut off the light.

I had to go upstairs and get her back in bed and be really stern.  But I had a really hard time NOT laughing. And when I texted hubby to let him know he responded "Can you blame her?"

Nope...I can't.  My little supergirl wants to watch female super heroes.  And I'm going to let her. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Candy Bowl....

So I just watched this video and I was laughing over it...because I purposely wait as long as I can before opening our Halloween candy.  Anthony asked what I was laughing at....and then he informed me that he ALREADY OPENED ONE OF THE BAGS.

With my jaw hanging open I said...which one?
(we have two....one I could possibly resist if opened.)

He said the one that isn't Skittles.
Guess which bag has the Reese's Peanut Butter CUPS?!?!

ARGH!!!  STUPID DIET!!!

Enjoy the video. :)




Original Song if you want it stuck in your head because I incidentally love this 90's song:


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

awww...

Just under two years later and he now fits in those work boots.


Picture coming soon of him IN the boots. :)

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Tonight, I needed a break.

Ahh....I've really missed this.

You can tell when I'm busy....or unmotivated....or feeling depressed.  Or having writers block.
Or just plain don't feel like writing here.

But right now...tonight...this feels good.  I have emotions and feelings and a moment I need to capture.

I had a not-so-good-day at work today.  Tomorrow may not be much better.
And tonight...all I really wanted was a break before my temper got the better of me and some innocents (my kids...dog....spouse) bore the brunt of my emotions and temper.

But I didn't get a break.
Because I have two goofball kids who need me.

We got home and I made dinner.  Hubby came out of his office and started talking to me about my day.  All of a sudden I found myself running circles around the kitchen cleaning while I vented about my day.  So at least one good thing came of it...I did a little cleaning.

But still...I needed a break.  The kids were mostly done their dinner at this point.
I figured now was my moment for a break.  I told him, just five minutes. I went into our bedroom, in the dark and laid down on the bed.

Hubby tried...he really did.  While I was lying there, I overheard him telling his business partner that they needed to move their meeting to 7:30pm (the kids bedtime).  I immediately jumped out of bed.
Not because I didn't need the break anymore.  And not because I felt obligated.

But because I felt grateful that he understood how horrible my day was...and he was willing to push off work (he runs his own business) to help me.  And I appreciated that more than anything.

I brought the kids upstairs...and I let them run around in circles screaming and laughing and playing and climbing up on the furniture....I probably shouldn't let them climb the furniture....

We had a quick facetime chat with my parents.  I was hoping to show off how silly my kids were and maybe do some more venting about work....but they were enjoying a dinner with my Aunt and Uncle. So instead I just showed off my kids.

We snuck in this selfie before bed.


I keep looking at this picture.

Then I went downstairs and finally realized I was hungry.  I made nachos and cracked open a beer.

I watched a youtube video of Hillary Clinton on SNL:

Nachos + beer + SNL.  Starting to feel better.

And halfway through my beer I realized I wanted to write a blog post before I got too tipsy.
SO here I am.

My day seems better now.  :)  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Vacation....

So I want to post about my "vacations" that I have taken so far this summer.
I believe in many vacations. Small ones, big ones, day trips etc.

But when you have small children, it's not REALLY a vacation.

I hope I am building some amazing memories for my kids.  I'll relax more in the future,
For now, this OTHER blog...(brilliant this one), sums up for me how I feel about vacation with kids.

http://www.greatdad.com/dad/vacation-is-all-ive-never-wanted

More "vacation" stories coming soon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One day, one moment, everything changes.

That's a pretty abstract title to this post I know. I'm going to get a little....sappy? Silly?

Is my inner writer going to emerge?  That little part of me that thinks I can write a story?
Maybe.

Here is a story for you.
Ten years ago (July 2005) I was living in Worcester with my roommate Martha. I was single and had taken the past 9 months or so to really concentrate on myself and hang out with my friends.

It had been a really great year. I took a french class, a hockey class, traveled to Chicago and Texas.  Many many more great things happened that year. I also got season tickets to the inaugural season of the Worcester Tornados Baseball team. For any games that I had not attended, I was allowed to turn in my tickets and get free general admission tickets for a particular game.
That game was on July 28th.

I emailed all my friends and tried to get as many people to go and to bring their friends as well (even if I didn't know them).  My plan was to give away as many tickets as I could and spread some good karma.  (I even blogged about it! http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2005/07/take-me-out-to-ballgame.html)

While waiting for people to arrive I even handed out tickets to a few parents with kids waiting in line to buy tickets. I didn't know it at the time, but I was being observed.

A friend of mine had been seeing a guy for a while and I hadn't met him yet. She was bringing him to the game. She introduced me to him and as I shook his hand, my thoughts were this:
"Ah...so this is _____'s Tony. He's kinda cute."

And I didn't think anything more of it.
We didn't end up meeting again for almost two months.

But on that day, ten years ago, I was introduced to my future husband.
And I had no idea.

So what is the moral of this story?  You never know.
And one day. One moment.  Can change everything.

There is actually a lot more coincidences behind how we ultimately came to be together.
But I like this story.  Because I distinctly remember meeting him for the first time.
And on our first wedding anniversary I asked him what he thought when he first met me and he told me a story of going to a baseball game and meeting this really cute girl who was doing something really nice and giving away free baseball tickets.  And I had no idea he had even remembered that.
Can't get the stupid grin off my face whenever I think of this story.

So babe....Happy 10th Anniversary that we've never celebrated before! ;)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Foods I don't like: Twinkies.

Life is short right?

So...why eat foods you don't like?
For some reason I have a few people in my life that want to push me to eat things that I:
1) don't like.
2) have no interest in.
3) or both.

As someone who struggles with weight control and food allergies, I really really really don't like having food pushed on me. My choices are limited as it is and I don't like feeling judged for my food choices.

"Just try it."

"This is healthy, you should eat this."

I really don't understand why they won't just give it up.

I like what I like. I know the foods I like won't make me sick.
I've never had a doctor tell me I need to eat foods that I don't like in order to be healthy.

What someone else eats is their own business. You can MAYBE say "I really like this, have you ever had it before?  Would you like to try it?"

Those are things that are okay to say.
BUT...if you know someone has already said no, then don't push it.
Don't insist.

Back off, let them eat what they want.

My daughter is a "picky" eater.  She's only four, so she might outgrow this.  Or she might not.
But if the doctor says she is healthy and she is growing and thriving...I might just "spoil" her and not push foods on her.  Because I hate it when foods are pushed on me.

And for those that think I just want to eat sugary junk foods?  Well...yeah, of course I do.
But I make healthy choices too.  And once in a while, those junk food choices also taste gross and I won't eat those things either.

For example...yesterday I bought Twinkies.  They had Minions on them!  (okay, I like the Minions!) And I couldn't remember the last time I had a Twinkie.  I was a mean mom.  I didn't want to share.  I waited until after the kids went to bed to open them.  (Also...Zoe was refusing to eat her taco, a food we know she likes, so no dessert.).

I took a bite....and oh...nasty...gross, why is this FOOD?!  It was seriously horrible. I'm not sure if I ever thought these were good.  Why did I try to eat this?  I'll be honest.  I threw away the Twinkie and I spit out what was in my mouth.  It was so gross.

Now hubby had one too and he enjoyed it and didn't know what was wrong with me.
Which proves my point.

Different people like different food. And you shouldn't try to force your food preferences on others.
Back off.  Let them have a peanut butter sandwich instead of that food item you insist they eat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Reading...2015

This years Summer Reading List was going to be "Game of Thrones".
Or the series, A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin.

And well....it didn't go well.
Here we are...halfway through July.  And it took me just over one month to read the first book.
I found it to be torture.
I wasn't looking forward to reading.
I had to force myself to finish.

And I haven't touched any reading since then. (about two weeks ago)

And now...I have to admit something.  I picked up another book before I finished "Game of Thrones".
And I FLEW through it. And enjoyed reading it. And stayed up late to finish it.

Now before I admit which book I read, I should give a few theories as to why I didn't enjoy "Game of Thrones".  I think...it was because I already knew what was going to happen.  Since I have been watching the TV series with my husband, I already knew what was coming. So it wasn't like each chapter was a page turner to see what happens next.  I already knew.
And I think it also might be because this isn't my usual genre of books to read.
And maybe...just maybe...because the author's writing style just wasn't what I enjoy. (this is my way of politely saying maybe it wasn't that good.)

And all of that...is ironic. Because the book that I did pick up and enjoy....the author of that book has been ripped apart by social media for being a terrible writer.  But guess what?  I enjoyed her book.

I read GREY by E.L. James.

This was 100% a "guilty pleasure" reading. And I enjoyed it. So...with that in mind.
The rest of my Summer Reading list for 2015....will be all guilty pleasure books!  What is a guilty pleasure book?  For me it's anything non-educational or intellectual. Or anything I'm not about to start raving about reading to strangers. And maybe it's the books that I read over and over again for some reason. It's whatever I read purely for the pleasure of reading.  No one's mind is getting expanded or educated.  Or at least I don't open or start the book expecting to be educated.

I'm going to maybe re-read a few favorites and add in a self-help book too.

And I'm seriously considering reading Holly Madison's Down the Rabbit Hole.

Got any other suggestions for me?  ;)

New list to be posted soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Winner!

I have a winner for my giveaway....




And the winner is Erin!


Erin, I will be messaging you to provide details for you to collect your book.
Everyone else, thank you so much for the comments on the blog.  I'm going to take them all into consideration....and use them as motivation to write more.

Thank you!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Interview and Giveaway: Jessica Spotswood

Hey everyone ....I have a giveaway to kick off my summer blogging.  One of my goals this summer (along with reading the Game of Thrones books) is to do a bit more writing this summer.

And if I'm writing...I'm hoping that you are reading.  And to kick off my summer and to get my readers excited to return to my blog....I have a book giveaway and interview with one of my favorite authors! :)  I love the Cahill Witch Chronicles.  I enjoyed them so much...I'm debating putting down Game of Thrones and rereading this series again.  Because I enjoyed it.  And I'm not enjoying Game of Thrones so much. It feels like a chore to read.  And reading shouldn't be a chore.  It should be fun!

Lucky for us...Jessica agreed to another interview with me and will be giving away one of her books.
Read below to find out more...and find out which books she is looking forward to reading!

1. How does it feel to have a published trilogy?  Ready to retire or give me more?

I love the Cahill sisters, and these books - my first trilogy! - will always be so special to me. Ending the series was bittersweet, because I'm very proud of the books and was so excited to share the last book with readers, but it was hard to say goodbye to characters who've lived in my head for the last four years. Now I'm branching out and ready to try new things! 

2. Do you think you will ever visit the Cahill Sisters world again?
I don't think there will be any other full-length books, but I'd love to write a short story or two. I have an idea for a free short story from one of Cate's sister's point of view that would take place after Sisters' Fate, to give readers a little more closure. I'm hoping to find time later this year - maybe as a holiday gift to readers?
3. What are your next projects and when can we expect another book?
I just finished editing an anthology, PETTICOATS & PISTOLS, which will be out next April! It's historical YA - fifteen short stories about American girls throughout history, from pirates to protestors and belles to bank robbers. I got to write a short story for it (my first ever!) and my authors are amazing: J. Anderson Coats, Andrea Cremer, Y.S. Lee, Katherine Longshore, Marie Lu, Kekla Magoon, Marissa Meyer, Saundra Mitchell, Beth Revis, Caroline Richmond, Lindsay Smith, Robin Talley, Leslye Walton, and Elizabeth Wein...
And I just finished writing my first contemporary YA, WILD SWANS, which will also be out next April! It's about a girl dealing with her mother - who abandoned her when she was two - coming back home with the two half-sisters she's never met. There's also a tattooed poet love interest.
I can't wait to share more about both projects - including covers! - soon.
4. What book are you looking forward to reading the most this summer? (last time you answered this question for me I found a great new series, it was Isla and the Happily Ever After. Anna is one of my all time favorite books!)
Ooh, I love Steph Perkins' books! She's amazing. I don't know if I can choose just one book but some on my to-be-read stack that are already out are: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller, MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera, TINY PRETTY THINGS by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, and DAUGHTER OF DEEP SILENCE by Carrie Ryan. Plus I've got ARCs of Kim Liggett's BLOOD & SALT, April Tucholke's SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS, Marieke Nijkamp's THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, and Shaun Hutchinson's VIOLENT ENDS that I am dying to dive into! I'm all about darker contemp lately. 
5. What is your favorite beverage and/or snack while you are writing?
Tea. Spring/summer = currant or mint iced tea. Fall/winter = Earl Grey.

*********************************************************************************
Looks like I have a bunch of new books to look into (thank you for the recommendations Jessica!) and a short story told from another sister's point of view for Cahill Witch Chronicles?  YES PLEASE! 
Pretty please?  :) 

Ready to enter to win your choice of either Star Cursed or Sister's Fate?

Leave a comment below and let me know how you follow my blog (email updates, subscription...only when I tell you about a new post, etc) and let me know your favorite topic that I write about.  Or used to write about.  I should update more often.....I'll pick a winner on Friday July 10th!

(fine print...US only, choice of Star Cursed OR Sister's Fate, one book only)

Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles and a few other works, check out her website here:  http://www.jessicaspotswood.com/


Monday, June 08, 2015

Summer Reading List 2015

It's June...and school is almost out.  And even though I work through the summer, something about this time of year just still feels like summer vacation.

And with that....a new summer reading list!

I'm trying something different this year.  Usually I find a bunch of books that are on my "must read" wish list. Usually a new author, or the next or final book in a series. This year...I'm going to work on just one series.

I have two kids now and I just don't have as much time to read.  And this genre is one that is a bit harder for me. I don't normally read fantasy and so my normal speed reading will be slowed down. I just don't fly through these books like I would a romance or young adult series.

I've decided to tackle the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin.  I've been watching the HBO show with my husband and so I decided I'll give the books a try after many recommendations from friends.  Based upon how far into the first book I am...it will probably take me all summer to read all five books that are currently out. (I started last Wednesday and I'm on page 118.  That is how slowly I am reading this book....and how much free time I have to read the book!)

Want to follow along?  I've started with the first one, Game of Thrones.

The books in order are:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons

The last two books are not released yet.  Now....what if I all of a sudden fly through the books? What if I reach the end of summer and my final camping trip and I have no books to read?  Please feel free to leave some more summer reading suggestions for me in the comments and I'll consider it for this year or next year.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Book Giveaway!

I'll be doing a giveaway/raffle for one of my favorite author's books VERY soon.
Stay tuned!

Friday, May 08, 2015

The Last Unicorn with Peter S. Beagle

Last night....I wasn't a good mom.  I kept my daughter out waaaay past her bedtime.

We didn't get home until just before 11pm.

She was a bit grumpy this morning. Didn't want to eat her breakfast.

BUT....she got to meet the author of one of her favorite stories, "The Last Unicorn" by Peter S. Beagle.  We went to a screening tour of the movie. (It's been remastered, etc) and there was a question and answer session, giveaways and a meet and greet after the movie.

I definitely tested Zoe's patience as we sat through an hour of Q&A and giveaways before the movie started. But she had a full bucket of popcorn, so she was pretty happy. When she started asking me when the movie was going to start, I suggested she raise her hand and ask Peter. (We were not picked for a question.)

She LOVED the movie...though towards the end she started yelling out what was going to happen spoiling it for everyone around us who might not have seen it before.  (we may have watched this a few times at our house...) But at least everyone around us laughed about it. :)

Since I knew there were going to be people dressed up at this event, I let her wear her favorite pink cape and carry her Unicorn Head on a Stick (what is this toy called anyway?). She was easily the youngest person there.  Had she not been such a big fan of this movie (and now the graphic novelization which I got for her birthday a month ago) I would not have brought her to this event.

But I felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I'm hoping when she is older I can tell her all about the evening, how patient and well behaved she was, and how she met the author of one of her favorite stories. I hope that she will see the pictures...and maybe...just maybe...remember this very special evening.

Zoe did three pictures while waiting for Mr. Beagle. Then she tried to give him one of the drawings and he signed it and gave it back to her. It went back and forth a few times before she kept it. 

And I want her to remember because it was super special for me.  First...I got a one on one evening with my daughter. That doesn't happen too often anymore.  And I got to enjoy going to the movies (I LOVE going to the movies!).  AND...I got to meet the author of one of MY favorite stories too. :)

He was the first famous author I have ever met and I didn't think I was nervous about meeting him, until it was our turn to chat with him and get our books autographed...and then I started shaking. I hate that I do that when I'm nervous....

He was a very pleasant person and took time to chat with everyone (that's why we didn't get home until so late...the line to meet him was VERY long) and didn't make you feel rushed. When he learned Zoe's name, he told her a story about a cat named Zoe who used to pounce on him from the rafters and that the cat in "The Last Unicorn" was actually inspired by that cat named Zoe.

Everything he said sounded like a story. He didn't just talk to you...he told you stories.
It really was a magical evening.


I'm very thankful to the other "moms" who took pictures for us. My phone battery died while we were there and I was really bummed out about not getting any pictures.  A few people volunteered to take pictures and email them to me and this morning I had some awesome pictures from this event!  (THANK YOU!)



If you want to learn more about the tour, they are all over New England right now, here is the website: http://lastunicorntour.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thelastunicornmovie?fref=ts

And of course there is merchandise to buy and clubs to join if you want to learn more information.
And maybe another showing of the movie at my house very soon...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter




When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can't go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can't make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.
Her older self has been through it all already--she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

Wow....so I finished this book a few weeks ago. And I'm still having trouble putting my thoughts into words. I'd like to start off by saying that I think if I had read this book BEFORE I became a mother, I might have had a different perspective. It breaks my heart to think of ANY child going through what the main character goes through. Since I was not a victim of bullying in school, I'm not sure how I would have related to the characters in this book.  I was one of the "middle" kids in school. I wasn't one of the "cool" kids....but I didn't get picked on either. I had plenty of friends but also still felt left out at times.
I think I had a pretty normal high school experience.
But that's not the case for every kid.
And that's not the case for our main character Ashley.

I had a hard time getting into this book. In fact, I read the first chapter, put the book down, and didn't pick it back up for a month. But once I got into the meat of the story...I found that I couldn't put it down. I had to see what happened. There was a bit of a supernatural twist towards the end, I'm still not sure if I liked that or not. I would recommend this book but it's not a "light" read at all. What I do think this book accomplishes more than anything....is putting yourself in someone else's shoes.  I am going to make it a point to re-read this book when my children are teenagers.  

Final thought.  This book was heavy and it had my heart racing and I wanted to yell at the character to get her out of bad situations. I don't think I can articulate how this book truly made me feel but I definitely recommend reading it at least once. I plan on reading it multiple times.

A paperback version is being published in June and is available through your favorite bookseller.
The e-reader version is currently only available in Kindle and if you have Amazon prime I believe you can read it for free.  Add it to your summer reading list....I'm still processing it.  Even a few weeks later.
I am looking forward to more books by this author.

You can find her: 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Prom Proposal: Romance is NOT Dead!


I find it interesting that my last post was about Valentine's Day...and here I find myself writing once again about romance.

Today I got to witness something pretty cool.  It put a smile on my face for the remainder of the day.
I got to witness.....a Prom Proposal.

Have you heard of these?  They are basically elaborate events planned by someone to ask another person to go to the prom. Pictures and videos are being posted on social media all over the place, do a quick google search and you will find a few stories.

BUT....witnessing one in person was a lot of fun.

I was helping out at one of our high schools to prep for an exam that is coming up. It's a lot of time hanging around in hallways waiting for someone to need some tech support.  It was while waiting in a hallway that I noticed a group of teenage boys in one hallway.
Usually...this would mean mischief.

But in this case, they had balloons...and flowers...and a banner.
The banner said "PROM?".

It was a Prom Proposal.  I started chatting with these guys to find out the story. This was not the first time this particular guy had done something like this.  For Homecoming he had carved pumpkins that spelled out "Homecoming?" and then lit the jack-o-lanterns for his would-be date.  The plan this time was that she would be surprised going to her class. She always took the same route to get to her next class, and they took up half the hallway to surprise her.  There were 112 balloons. One balloon for every day they had been dating.  And he was holding a bouquet of pink roses. He had five friends helping him out. They planned on singing a song as she approached.

As these guys waited in the hallway for this girl....there were many comments:
"How are you ever going to top this?"
"If this is how you ask a girl to prom, how would you ask one to marry you?"
"How much money did you spend on the balloons and that banner? You know you will need to spend more on the prom right?"
"This is dumb, why would you do this?"

All of those comments were from ADULTS.  Every single teenager who came by had something positive to say.  I wanted to smack all the negative-nilly adults.  Why would you discourage this?

I told these guys to always continue doing things like this, never stop. And I also told them that they don't have to "top" this or do one better.  As long as they keep doing it, their girlfriend or wife or whoever they end up with, will ALWAYS feel special. They could do the same things over and over, as long as they are still done. Don't stop being romantic and doing nice things for others.
Two of the guys practicing...

As predicted, she was very surprised, she said yes and there was a lot of yelling and cheering.  As kids headed to their classes the guys passed out the balloons to all the kids walking by.

What I liked most about this event.
1. The guys' friends helping him out. Not all teenage guys would help their friend do something so sweet and romantic.  And they were super excited about it too, very into it. In fact when an extra friend showed up, he asked "what can I do? I want to help!".

2. And the most?  This girl....was already dating this guy.  She was a sure thing, he KNEW she was going to say yes. He could have just asked her with a text and she probably would have said yes. He could have just assumed they were going together.  Instead...he took that extra step and made it memorable and romantic.  Even though he had already "won her over".....he took the time for some romance.

That girl must be floating down the hallways today.  She must feel special.  She must feel cherished.
I really hope that guy (and his friends) NEVER lose that romantic spirit.

Romance is still alive!  And I have a little more hope for the next generation...

I apologize for the blurry pictures, I was in a rush to capture the event before the bell rang. What a great bunch of kids.  And whatever happened to just getting a note passed to you in class with a check the box for yes or no?

Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2015

In Defense of Valentine's Day

I realize that a lot of people do not like Valentine's Day.  I hear the comments every year about how much pressure people feel. Or how it's so commercialized.  And don't even get me started on all the competition out there to outdo what we did the year before.  Or to outdo that mom who has all the beautiful hand made Valentines. For their ONE year old's daycare class. (where does she find the time?!)

This year I asked a bunch of different people what they were doing for Valentine's Day.
Most replied with negativity, sarcasm and/or no plans at all.
Only one person asked me what my own plans were.

I even asked on my social media pages:
"Am I the only adult who gets excited for Valentine's Day?"

And most of the responses I got were one word.  Yes.

Well that just bums me out.

I do love the holidays and yes, most of them are very commercialized. But if we could put that aside for a moment and think about what the point of a holiday is, I think I could open up some minds (or hearts!) about this holiday.

Veteran's Day...to thank a veteran right?
Thanksgiving Day ....to give thanks.
Christmas...to be charitable (or give gifts, or religion).
Valentine's Day....to show your love.

We should be doing these things every day yes?  We should always say thank you or give thanks or be charitable. But we get caught up in our very busy lives.  And just like an alarm to wake you up in the morning or a meeting reminder for that weekly meeting at work....a holiday is just a reminder to take a moment out of our lives to celebrate.

And that is why I love holidays.  And particularly why I like Valentine's Day. Because sometimes we do forget to tell people that we love them. The gestures don't have to be grandiose. Sometimes a small handwritten note will do.  Maybe even just picking up someone's favorite snack and adding on a red heart sticker.

Keep it simple. Don't feel the need to compete. And tell someone (or show someone) that you love them. It's that easy. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

whoa

wow...too many snow days here in NH.  I didn't even realize I was almost half way through February!

I'm actually having a very hard time keeping track of what day it is.  Lucky for me my computers/phones/smart devices keep track of the calendar for me.

Anyone have any fabulous Valentines Day plans?

I do love this holiday!

In case you missed it:

2006:
http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2006/02/wow.html

2011:
http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2011/02/valentines-day.html

2012:
http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2012/02/love-and-stuff.html

2013: (two!)
http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2013/02/pizza-hut-perfume.html

http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2013/02/i-love-pizza-like-lot.html

2014:
Zero mention of Valentine's Day.  I was pregnant. And taking care of an almost three year old.
http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2014/02/it-looks-like-frozen-outside.html

What are your Valentines Day plans?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Miss America - Definitely outdated. :)

This is definitely worth 15 minutes of your free time.  Watch the whole thing. :)

I have no problem with beauty pageants...just call a spade a spade.

It is not and will not ever be a scholarship pageant unless you remove all the parts where appearance is judged and start basing the criteria on GPA and essays.  I still enjoy watching the costumes, dresses and talent parts of these shows...but can we stop the interviews please?

Just...watch.




Friday, January 16, 2015

Let's dust this off...

Brush, brush...sweep sweep....

It's been a while!  I've missed blogging.

I commented the other day to my husband that blogging seems to be dying.  It's too easy to quickly communicate our thoughts with social media.  And let's face it...our readers would rather quickly get an update in a newsfeed than read an entire blog post.

BUT...I still enjoy reading. And writing.  And one of my goals this year is to get back into my writing.  And therefore...blogging. :)

What else am I working on?  I'm in another weight loss bet!  I'll write more about that later.
So far I am doing very well.

This year, instead of a summer reading list, I've decided to review all the books I have been reading the past few years. I need to write some quality reviews for goodreads, amazon, etc.
And in the meantime I may re-read a few as well.

I'm a very busy working mom these days...my kids are keeping me on my toes!  A few nights a week we have a dance party while we make dinner.  We have a few favorites, but lately...we have a new favorite.

Have a good weekend everyone ...I leave you with this song.  I'm doing this on purpose, on Friday afternoon. You should have this song in your head all weekend.  It's my new theme song for 2015. My entire family LOVES this song.

It's a confidence booster, strut your stuff you sexy thing!
How can you stay still listening to this?
Start your dance party!


And if you want the SNL LIVE version which is also awesome, here you go...listen to it again, you know you want to: