Monday, December 30, 2013



           As a home schooling mom, my time is consumed with curriculum planning and seeking out educational activities that will keep my nine and six year old boys’ attention spans.  Top that off with regular mom duties to four others boys, and a hubby. That’s a full day.  However, my day doesn’t end there.  I still have the writing thing to squeeze in.  
                 
          Writing is a must! Without that escape of putting pen to paper the voices in my head would take over.  Sounds like enough creativity for a single person, right?  Not!  I can’t speak for other writers, but the creativity bug doesn’t stop biting for me with just conjuring up characters or the fantastical worlds they live in. I have several creative vices that I dabble in aside from reading and writing.

 Photography is very high on my list of creative hobbies!  I bought my first camera body and lens at nineteen years old, and I fell in love. Over the next twenty five years I would discover the “hot glue gun” and would re-vamp anything I could glue. Photo albums, coffee cans, jars, etc.  Do you remember stenciling and sponging?  There wasn’t a wall in my house that hadn’t been tainted by this variable art form.  One the sweetest memories is when I purchased my first set of power tools.  That’s when I knew I had a problem.  Walls started coming down….literally! Then came the scrapbooking trend! Good Lord help me! Finally, a place I could incorporate my pictures and decorating! Woo Hoo!!!

Now for my newest creative challenge. Crocheting. I’m hooked.  No pun intended! I’ve made 11 Santa hats to date, three cup cozies, four pairs of slippers, five Afghans, a hat for a doll, and one very short, ugly scarf! That was just in the last two months.  

 At this point, there is not enough time in a day, or days in a week to get everything done that I need.  So why add more to that growing list? I have no idea!  Maybe it’s genetic or it could be that the moon and the stars were aligned a certain way when I was born. My brain is always looking for a new way to express my creativity.  Am I alone in this or are there others of you out there with the same affliction?

My advice? Self-discipline! The key to being successful in anything, especially life is keeping a  balance. For me the list goes in this order: Family first, writing/reading, and then all those other creative endeavors are sprinkled into the mix after. 


Creative Addictions by Angela Rose


As a home schooling mom, my time is consumed with curriculum planning and seeking out educational activities that will keep my nine and six year old boys’ attention spans. Top that off with regular mom duties to four others boys, and a hubby. That’s a full day. However, my day doesn’t end there. I still have the writing thing to squeeze in.

Writing is a must! Without that escape of putting pen to paper the voices in my head would take over. Sounds like enough creativity for a single person, right? Not! I can’t speak for other writers, but the creativity bug doesn’t stop biting for me with just conjuring up characters or the fantastical worlds they live in. I have several creative vices that I dabble in aside from reading and writing.  Photography is very high on my list of creative hobbies! I bought my first camera body and lens at nineteen years old, and I fell in love.

Over the next twenty five years I would discover the “hot glue gun” and would re-vamp anything I could glue. Photo albums, coffee cans, jars, etc. Do you remember stenciling and sponging? There wasn’t a wall in my house that hadn’t been tainted by this variable art form. One the sweetest memories is when I purchased my first set of power tools. That’s when I knew I had a problem. Walls started coming down….literally! Then came the scrapbooking trend! Good Lord help me! Finally, a place I could incorporate my pictures and decorating! Woo Hoo!!!


Now for my newest creative challenge. Crocheting. I’m hooked. No pun intended! I’ve made 11Santa hats to date, three cup cozies, four pairs of slippers, five Afghans, a hat for a doll, and one very short, ugly scarf! That was just in the last two months. At this point, there is not enough time in a day, or days in a week to get everything done that I need. So why add more to that growing list? I have no idea! Maybe it’s genetic or it could be that the moon and the stars were aligned a certain way when I was born. My brain is always looking for a new way to express my creativity. Am I alone in this or are there others of you out there with the same affliction?

 I’ve had to use some self-discipline! The key to being successful in anything, especially life is balance. For me the list goes in this order: Family first, writing/reading, and then all those other creative endeavors are sprinkled into the mix after.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Solstice

My family does something a little different for the holidays.

What we celebrate:
The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and the longest night.  We celebrate because no matter how bleak the night looks nor how long it lasts, the sun will always rise again.  The seasons change and winter is not forever.  Every day after winter solstice will be longer than the one before.  Plants will grow and animals will thrive with the lengthening of the sunlight.  Do not despair: the earth is not dead, just asleep.  Brighter days are ahead, thanks to the winter solstice.


How we celebrate:
The night before we burn a log that we have attached cinnamon, cloves, apples and oranges to so that it smells good while it burns.  For as long as it burns we talk about events of the past year and hopes for the coming year.  We eat together and drink wassail, toasting to our family's health and good fortune.  We also sing songs like The Wassail Song, Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, and The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - all of which have themes that can be enjoyed no matter religious preferences.


We decorate an outdoor living evergreen with edible items for animals to eat during the winter when nature provides them the least.  mother nature puts fruits and nuts on the trees in summer for all her creatures, including us.  We put fruit and nuts on the tree in winter when she cannot.  We enjoy seeing the animals and birds eat our decorations because they are reminders that life continues and that the circle is never ending.

We decorate the Solstice Tree with:
1.) pinecones (evergreens - proof that there is life even in the coldest winter) covered with peanut butter (just plain tasty)
2.) golden apples to symbolize the sun
3.) suet cakes with birdseed and raisons in fat
4.) popcorn strings (corn kernels - cold and hard and seemingly lifeless, it just needs heat and 'pop' the life comes bursting out - just like the earth in winter looks dead, but holds life inside, just waiting for the sun's heat to bring it out.

 



Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays!

photo courtesy of Microsoft

Its the 20th day of December and I'm finished with our Christmas shopping.  If you knew me at all, this would come as a shock.  My husband and I are the biggest "OMG, we still haven't shopped on its the 20th of December" people.  To compound that, we always leave on the 24th to journey to the in laws for the holiday.  Yes, we scramble people but not this year.  I'm not sure why we are ahead of the game.  Maybe because he got paid on the 13th and we had the money to spend.  I don't make any money so we depend on the husband's salary for everything.  Its frustrating at times...

We didn't go overboard either.  I actually had to reel my husband in when it came to our son.  We have never spoiled our son at Christmas.  His grandparent's do that because they can and want to.  I'm a believer in not overspending on presents for your kids.  I wasn't spoiled at Christmas by my parents.  My own grandparents did that for me and my younger brother.  Our son never wants for anything so at Christmas, we come up with gifts that he is NOT expecting and will appreciate even more.  

We thought about upgrading the Wii gaming system but realized it works just fine and we can still get games for it.  I mean what do you get for an 8 year old boy that has a TV, DVR, portable DVR, Wii, bicycle, basketball goal, Kindle Fire and a bow/arrow?  We actually got him a real target and new arrows for his bow.  He is going to freak when he sees the target.  LOL!

I was on Facebook the other day talking about what am I supposed do now that I'm rushing around shopping and pulling my hair out?  Someone said "relax" and I don't think I've ever heard the term.  LOL!

I hope that whether you celebrate or not, have a safe and fun holiday week.  





Monday, December 16, 2013

5 ways to relieve holiday stress...

hiya, everyone!

People who know me, know I suffer from terrible migraines. Triggers can be as simple as weather changes, icky food additives, hormonal crap...and stress. We all know that though December is a time of fun (and presents!), fellowship, and for some, religious observations. Throw in the flu season, cold weather, cranky kids... and the month is a stress crockpot!


But stress doesn't just affect those with migraines. Many of us dash around doing "fun" holiday things (decorating, cooking, shopping), plus all the kid things (who in the heck thought December was a great time for a recital? Are you kidding me? Why not February?), the job stress and year-end workload (and for those of us who write--though NY seems to shut down in December, a writer's work is never done)--it's no wonder we are stressed and haggard.

When you are feeling tense, try these things that help me:

1. Turn off the Christmas music and pop in some music that makes you happy. Trust me, though I love Christmas music, the 400th airplay of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" puts me into sniper mode.

2. Take a few deep breaths while closing your eyes. Think about the warm sunlit beach. Or mountain views. Or do yoga. Take a relaxing bath. Or my favorite: take a nap! The most important thing is to PAUSE and take a few moments to recenter yourself.


3. Curl up with a good book or movie. Or play a board game with the kids. Getting your brain tuned to things other than all the To-Do things can work wonders.

4. Stay hydrated! If you are thirsty--you've waited too long to drink. Caffeinated beverages don't help since caffeine is a diuretic. Dehydration causes tiredness, headaches (including migraines), sluggish thoughts--sounds like holiday season to me! And if you are drinking alcoholic beverages--you need even more water. Here is my favorite water (it has electrolytes in it!), recommended to me by my friend, CJ, at a conference. This stuff is gold:

5. Lastly, if you are feeling stressed--hug someone. It really works! Whether it is your significant other, your kids, your pets, or even a pillow--hugging releases endorphins and reminds you that there's more to life than surviving the holiday season. Try it! Not just a little squeeze, but a full-body long hug. There...doesn't that feel better. And you aren't limited to one a day. You won't gain weight from hugging. And hugs are free...

Those are some of my tips for a less-stressful holiday season. They won't take away all the stress, but remember--December is only thirty-one days long. It will end.

I'd love to hear other tips to de-stress! Please share in the comments.

Kerry Adrienne

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

No Rest for the Wicked...

I may have mentioned this a time or two but every other weekend the hubby and I get a weekend to ourselves.  My two girls go spend the weekend with their dad and grandmother and his daughter goes and spends time with grandmother so hubby and I have the house to ourselves for two nights and almost two full days.  You would think the hubs and I would use this time to rest, relax, enjoy the quiet, and well spend some quality time together and while most of that is true there's a lot more to our weekends.  You know what they say about idle hands. ;-)
 
Generally I use that Friday night that I drop off my girls to catch up with my friends.  We'll go out to eat and more importantly drink. lol.  After two weeks we all definitely need it.  Last Friday was drinks and Catching Fire.  By the way...LOVED IT!

Typical Girls Night Out
 
Usually the hubby is asleep by the time I get home Friday nights so that leads into Saturday.  Now, the man and I have an extremely hard time sitting at home on the weekends.  We wake up around 9ish and once we are up and ready we are out of the house.  Doing God knows what.  We'll do our shopping, eating lunch, sometimes car shopping for the hell  of it.  We just hate sitting home doing nothing.  I know I especially hate it because I'm home all week long.  Sure I have a full time job but I get off work and I come home.  I like to get out and about on the weekends. Granted there are a few weekends here and there where he and I will go do our shopping and then go home and watch football and chill but that's few and far between.
 
 So hubby and I have use the past two weekends to go to a couple places we've been wanting to go back to.
 
Burritt on the Mountain
 
 
Hubby and I got married at Burritt on the Mountain two years ago so we wanted to go back and visit.  This is Burritt museum which was Dr. Burritt's house/mansion.  My grandfather actually helped build this mansion which was why I really wanted to get married there. It's also beautiful!
 
The second hubby and I walked out of the doors of the front gift shop we saw this!  A new reception hall!  That was not there two years ago when we got married!  It's a beautiful hall though and  made us wish we had waited two years. Hehe. Just kidding.


 
These three pictures are inside the Burritt mansion.  They had it all decorated for Christmas.  It was gorgeous.  I love old houses.
 
Today and two years ago...
 
 
 

 
 
 
Burritt also has these old log houses up there too.  It's pretty cool to look inside of them.  Hard to believe people used to live like that.
 
 

 
 
 
Just because hubby takes awesome pictures. :)
 
 
Then hubby and I decided to go up on the mountain in 40 degree weather. It was freezing! But worth it. :)
 







 
So that's what the man and I do every other weekend when we have no kids in our house.  This weekend coming up is going to be another kid free weekend so I can't wait to see what we get into this time. ;-)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me...let me spread the love!!

Guess what?

It's my birthday today!!

As of midnight last night I'm officially 29 with 5 years of added experience. :) Woo Hoo!!

I love birthdays and holidays of any kind and I'm glad I can share a special part of my day with each of you lovely people!! I'm definitely not one of those people that hides that it's her birthday. Seriously, I made it another year and it's AWESOME!!

So...it's a little backwards but I decided to have a giveaway and give one lucky commenter a bit of Members Only swag, plus a giant candy cane to...umm...celebrate the holidays in style.


Why a candy cane the size of your forearm? If you'll read A Very Menage Christmas all of your answers will be answered!!!! Quite a good way to kick off the holiday season if I do say so myself!

Okay, so to enter to win the giveaway just leave me a comment and tell me your favorite birthday memory. A great gift, awesome trip you took, surprise party...

You just might win a few stocking stuffers you can't get anywhere else!!!




Members Only, Book Three
Skye has spent her life being the perfect daughter for her prominent, wealthy parents. She says all the right things, wears all the right clothes…and lies through her teeth about the kind of sex she needs. The bland “gentlemen” she dates don’t know a thing about what gets her going—and when they find out, they run screaming. In her deepest, naughtiest dreams, she finds a man…or two…who knows just how to tie her up and tease her until she’s begging for more. But those guys don’t really exist, do they?
Jackson wants one thing for Christmas, and her name is Skye. He’s watched her from afar for ages, biding his time, waiting for his chance to give her the kind of pleasure she craves. And this Christmas he’s going to get his way. He’s enlisted his buddy Nick and the two of them are going to give Skye a holiday treat she’ll never forget.
Inside Scoop: This holiday threesome features bondage and spanking benches…and creates whole new uses for Christmas lights and candy canes.
A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
 Buy Links



Jennifer Kacey is a wife, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's been busy in our house!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We did! Lots of food was consumed. In fact, I think I'm still eating it. What can I say, leftovers are the best. My mom makes fabulous cornbread dressing and I made a chocolate pecan pie this year that was to die for. My husband doesn't eat pecan pie and he told me that I 'must' make it from now on every year. Score! Plus, I made the crust gluten free so my little fairy could eat it too... LOL, she took one bite and said 'no momma!' spit it back out and ran off to play. Oh well. I guess I can't win them all.

Our biggest change this year was adopting a fur baby! Well, he's not much of a baby. Try a two-year-old giant weighing in at 70lbs of sweet lovable doggie. The shelter didn't have a clue what he was, but most people that look at him agree he's mostly Rhodesian Ridgeback. He was on the shelter EU list and was scheduled to be put down 20 minutes before we got to the shelter to see him. He is so sweet and so good with our little girl. Already housebroken and leash trained.

Double thumbs up for this smart doggie!

The shelter nicknamed him Lovingham because that's the street he was found on, so naturally his name became DUKE. He is our darling Duke of Lovingham and we are so blessed to have him in our house. He can't get enough love or stop giving us his.

So what do you think? Here's a couple pics of Duke.


Here's a couple pics of purebred Rhodesians. 




So do you think our Duke of Lovingham is a pretty good match for a Rhodesian?

HUGS,
Krystal Shannan

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Driving" Us Crazy By Angela Rose



“Driving” Us Crazy
          Nothing or nobody can make you feel more incompetent as a driver, than a fifteen year old that has attended his first driver’s education class.  They know it all…and just after one session.  It’s mind boggling!

            When my son,  Michael’s first class was finished he jumped in the passenger seat of my car and we were off.  As we came to the first of many traffic lights. While I waited, I picked up my phone and checked my messages. 

Michael said, “The driving teacher said that you should never text and drive.”  Technically, I wasn’t driving.  However, I didn’t want to set a bad example so I set my phone back down.

I replied, “Yes, that’s very good advice.”  The light turned green and we were off again. 

            Over the next four miles, Michael is regaling his entire one day’s worth of driving
knowledge and correcting every aspect of my driving.  I was driving to close to the car in front, I was going 5 mph over the speed limit, I didn’t put my blinker on quick enough.  Well, you get the idea.

 I’ll be the first to admit, that after thirty-one years of driving, that I have gained a few bad habits or quirks. One of them is driving with my left foot on the dashboard. It’s comfortable and it works for me. 

Michael says in a singsong voice, “You knowwwww, you really should be sitting correctly in your seat with both hands on the steering wheel.” 

I said, “I do have both hands on the steering wheel.”  He said, “I’m talking about your foot on the dash…its wrong.”  Humph!

So here we are. I’m driving with both my hands on the steering wheel and both my feet on the floorboards. I’m completely cut off from the outside world, because I’m no longer allowed to use my cell phone at traffic lights.  We come to the next set of lights, and I reach over for my travel mug full of coffee.  Not just any coffee…my Dunkin Donuts coffee.  I see his face light up at the prospect of correcting me again, but he wasn’t quick enough.

 I said, “Don’t even…think about taking my coffee away.”  That silenced him. 
Before we could head home, I had one quick errand that needed to be done.  I pulled into a parking space at the store. When no advice was forthcoming from the “teenage peanut gallery”, I was elated. I obviously still had a bit of driving skills left.  I was gone all of five minutes into the store, jumped back in the car and proceeded to back out of my parking spot. 

Then I heard it. 

“You knowwww…you’re supposed to have your right hand on the back of the passenger’s seat headrest, with your head turned over your right shoulder as you back out.”  With my lips twisted, I placed my hand onto the headrest, as he suggested. There was smug little grin on his face, as he continued to look out the front window.  I have no idea how it happened, but my right hand slipped off the headrest and slapped the back of his big head. 

Michael yelled. “Ow!”

I gave him an apologetic smile and said, “Oops! I’m sorry my hand slipped.”