Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Love Books

I love books. This comes as no surprise to most. I especially love children's books. I thought that I would share a few of my favorites with you here today. If you prefer sappy books for kids keep in mind that I really don't like 'Love You Forever' so if that's what you're looking for ya ain't gonna find it. ;)

First up I LOVE Lauren Child. She's the brain-trust behind Charlie and Lola. She does however have several other books and characters for a range of age levels. One of my personal favorites is:
Whose Afraid of the Big Bad Book
In this book Herb, who has not been kind to his books, falls asleep and falls into a book of fairy tales. The queens and princess are not happy with him since he drew mustaches on all of them. There is a missing prince, a hole through a page and phones in every room. Herb has to get out before Goldilocks annoys the daylights out of him. It's very clever and funny. I could read it again and again.
To check out more about Lauren Child go to her official website:

I also adore the illustrator David Catrow. If you've ever seen one of his books his style will always be recognizable. One of my favorite books illustrated by him is:
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon
by Patty Lovell

In this book Molly gets picked on by the class bully but she just remembers Grandma's advice and everything turns out OK. It's cute and I love Molly!
You can check out his website at:

I was going to share more but my own little people are hollering for attention. I will post more. I'd love to hear what your faves are!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Ladybug Bliss

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crafty Tuesday: A Fab-Tabulous Craft-Tastic Swap!

One of the members of my Face Book craft group Craft-Tacular put together a really cool swap. Anyone who wanted to participate filled out a simple questionnaire about the types of crafts we like, things we don't like, even whether or not we live in a smoking household. After that we were paired up with a top secret swap partner. Our job was to fill up a gallon size storage bag with goodies from our own craft arsenal, some sort of treat and a card or note. We had a set date as to when we had to send these off by. It was fun. Above you can see the loot that I received. It was like Christmas all over again! And YES that is a pair of super-sized foam sunglasses along with water balloons.
I encourage all of you crafty types to either pair up or get together in a group and do this. It's fun to get surprises in the mail.

If you're on FabeBook and would like to join Craft-Tacular please do so. We will hopefully have more fun things to do soon!!/group.php?gid=274128252197

Monday, April 26, 2010

NOOK Review

I don't ever really review products... Especially not tech gadgets but I just need to share that I think that Barnes and Noble's NOOK is way cool. Now, I will say up front that I work for Barnes and Noble. This is probably the only way I know about such things as E-readers and such. The other day at work I had to stand at the NOOK nook and talk to people about this for 3 and 1/2 hours. In that time I also got to play with it. It was cool. It goes on-line. You can sample books on it. You can get books like Margret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale for like $3.50. You can get picture books like Curious George Goes Camping on it... and YES you can see the pictures. I even found some crafting titles in the e-library. I read parts of the Chicago Tribule and the NY Times Book Review. You can even play games like chess and Sudoku on it now. Both of these are too smart for me but I'm sure some one will enjoy them. You can even download (upload?) MP3s to it.
The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was navigating through my FaceBook page using the touch screen at the bottom. Keep in mind that I am 'text challenged' so I'm sure it won't cause a problem for most people AND I had to keep stopping to share info with customers. As I used it more it did get easier.
So I just had to share that I really do think this is pretty cool. If I had the extra cash I would have one. If you have a Barnes and Noble near you stop in and see if they have one you can play with. I think I'm OK with it if this is the wave of the future... Did I just say that?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How did this happen?

Not sure how this happened but I have a 'girlie-girl'. She loves all things princess and ballerina. She serves coffee and cake from her kitchen. The other night the boys were gone so we watched the Madonna Glee. She made me rewind it so that we could listen to all the songs again. She ran around in a princess dress repeating over and over 'This is my princess song'. I'm not 100% sure how Madonna would feel about that but I was amused.

Later that night I painted my nails while she took a bath. She was mesmerized. She does not have a mommy who does girlie things for herself too often. She wanted hers done. After she was out of the tub and dried I gave her her first mini-mani. I was convinced she would last about five seconds but the whole time she sat very still looking up at me from time to time to say 'This is perfect for me'. She was sooo proud of her nails. Even the next morning she looked at them first thing and said 'I like it'.

Last night Daddy took her and her brother to see UT Arlington's Theatre Dept. perform 'My Emperor's New Clothes'. She had seen a rehearsal and insisted on wearing one of her princess skirts since the girl's in the play wear them. Apparently she sat on the edge of her seat and took it all in.

Don't get me wrong... She's still a clown albeit a PRINCESS clown and I love her all the more for it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night: Another foray into the world of fiction

It was a dark and stormy night. No, really it was, I’m not just playing the Snoopy card here. I hate driving in bad weather which is why I was following Blythe’s car pretty closely. She had made meet her at a new restaurant after work. I am hopeless with directions and can get lost in my own yard. Blythe was leading me home.
The rain poured down on our cars in heavy sheets. I could barely see her tail lights. Suddenly the sky was bright with lightning. I could have sworn I saw some one standing on the side of the road. It may have been a trick of shadows. I don’t know, but what happened next will stick with me forever. I was still following the tail lights but the ground under my tires felt different. Crud! We had gone off the road. I had stopped but Blythe’s car kept going. I lost sight of her lights in the rain.
I tried calling her cell. No answer. I texted her. No response. I dug for my umbrella. I knew it wasn’t going to help but I think I went into auto pilot. I stepped out of the car. My shoes sunk deep into the wet, muddy grass.
“Blythe!” I trekked forward not really knowing where I was headed. I couldn’t see anything, “Blythe!” I yelled again. The thunder was loud. I saw a light. I headed towards it. The rain eased up enough for me to see a little ways in front of me. The light I saw was from Blythe’s car. It was the interior light. Her door was open.
“Blythe, where are you?” As I approached the car I realized that she wasn’t in it. “Blythe!” I hollered as loudly as I could. The lightning flashed again and again. I saw the trees at the edge of the field we had ended up in. It was like watching an old movie flicker. I could have sworn there was some one standing there. Some one that wasn’t Blythe.

Opinions and suggestions always welcome. I'll try not to cry. ;)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Whatcha Reading Wednesdays: April 21

Grab the book you are currently reading, open to a random page, scan down to a random spot and type two sentences If it is a spoiler at all be sure to put **Spoiler Alert** at the top of your comment (like if the selection announces the death of an integral character or something).

here is mine: "Friday looked at me, looked at Mum, stuck his finger up his nose and said, "Sunt in culpa qui officia id est laborum?"
I ruffled his hair and he showed me a booger he had found." Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Thought this was fun. Check out the site Busy Moms Who Love to Read by clicking the title of this post.

Wordless Wednesday: Bubble Time!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Job Hazards!

Do you ever have times when you see something happening and it just makes you want to lay down and give up?
The other day I was killing some time with the youngest Beastie and we headed into Burger King so she could run off some energy. A young kid who worked there came in and wrestled a 15 foot ladder out of its hidey hole. An older guy, one of the 4 or 5 managers that were running around obviously on a store visit, came back and talked him through setting this thing up so the kid could climb up and wipe down the vent. The ladder was leaned against the wall with the legs sitting sort of precariously between two banks of seats. The kid was OBVIOUSLY nervous as he headed up so what did this older guy do? HE WALKED AWAY! Really? I grew up with an electrician father who always stressed how important it was to have some one hold a ladder for you (even if he didn't heed his own advice and could be found 'hopping' ladders from point A to point B). I asked the kid if he would feel better if I held the ladder for him. He said 'yes' so I did.
The managers had to be able to see me through the big window but did any come in to help or even check on what was happening? NOPE. I wasted play time with my kid because I was uncomfortable letting this nervous kid put himself in jeopardy. Maybe I'm overly cautious or a nervous nilly but man...
Just had to share. It really bugged me and I'm still considering calling and complaining. I did have my husband check the OSHA stuff but there wasn't anything really WRONG with what they did. I guess common sense isn't regulated.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Kids music that rocks!

As you know... I am a mom. I have a five-year-old and a two-year-old. I am not the kind of mom that can sit and listen to RAFFI over and over every day. It would kill my soul. I know it. I was so excited to see that They Might Be Giants was doing kids stuff and we engorged ourselves on that. I'm also a fan of Dan Zanes. Thanks to Yo Gabba Gabba and Jack's Gig Music how my kids are finding more kid friendly music to listen to that I actually enjoy. It's easier than having to edit The Dead Milkmen (which my son LOVES).You have NO idea how very ecstatic I was when I found that my friend Jim Gyuro had formed his own kid friendly group, Mr. Mocos. I would listen to this even if I didn't have the little ones. He rocks. I am excited to share this interview I did with him as well as his links. Check him out. He's a fave in this house and I know he can become one in your abode to!

Me: How long have you been playing music?

Jim: I started playing music in the 1st grade, piano lessons. I took lessons through the 5th or 6th grade, then I discovered the guitar! I liked the guitar a lot more than the piano because I could move around. I kept up with the guitar over the years and formed my first band as a sophomore in high school with my friend Tom Alexander. We started out with just a keyboard and drum machine...Tom bought a guitar and I bought a bass. We recorded songs for years and played live all through college. After college I found myself in a few other rock bands, made a couple of self produced CDs and had a great time.

Me: What made you start playing kids music?

Jim: I started playing kids music because some of my friends that had children were going crazy with the selection of music available for kids. They would play some of my "grown-up" band songs to them and found that the kids liked that more than the "ABC, 123, blue, red, look at me" CDs. So I took the same type of music I was playing for adults and just made the lyrics kid-friendly. Mostly the song subject come from my own memories as a kid, my bikes, playing with bugs, being sick etc.

Me: What are your influences?

Jim: My influences include Reverend Horton Heat, They Might Be Giants, The Presidents of the United States, Elvis, The Beach Boys, and a few obscure 80s goth/alternative bands. I am mostly influenced by the gritty 50s R and B and 60s surf music.

Me: What are you working on now?

Jim: I have 1 CD in the can and currently on iTunes and CD Baby. I'm working on getting the next set of 10 songs for the 2nd album. I'm half way there. I've hooked up with the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ to play a couple of times per month so my catalogue of songs is growing. I have 5 new tunes that are not on the current CD, "You Can Pick Your Friends" but demos are available to listen to on the FaceBook page.

Me: What's your favorite kids' group that's not you?

Jim: My favorite kids group that is not me would be The Jimmies. First of all, cool name - (same as my real name), they spell Jimmie right and they RAWK! "Bedhead" has to be one of my all time faves and the video is super cool. And of course They Might Be Giants, be it their kids music or regular music. My daughter is currently in LOVE with Mickey Mouse and we have to watch The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse whenever we can. They Might Be Giants does the theme song and the "Hot Dog Dance" song as well. I find myself singing both tunes all the time and my daughter goes nuts when she hears the Hot Dog song, she dances all over the room.

Me: Any parenting advice? (Jim has a beautiful little toddler named PJ)

Jim: My parenting advice is love your kids, have fun with them, be firm but fair, give them rules and boundaries to start them off in the right path. You don't want them to grow up and just be your friend, we all know what trouble some of our friends have gotten us all into. We are the models they will follow when they grow up and have kids, keep the cycle healthy and loving.

Me: What's your favorite kids' book?

Jim: My favorite kids book is a toss up between Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Both have kept a hold on me throughout the years due to their influence of using your imagination. Kids without imaginations are a travesty, never let it happen. Imagination is what led me to create music and hopefully spread some joy in the world.

Me: Thanks Jim!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Much to My Surprise

I am a fan of Glee. I know... It took me by surprise but not as much by surprise as finding out that I thought the kid who plays Finn, a sorta goody goody football player, was H-O-T! Cory Monteith is super cute. I couldn't believe it. SO not the kind of guy I normally think 'Hmmm...' about. Clean cut and probably a baby.
With the exception of my husband I always lean towards boys who seem to be headed for jail. The ones who carry beer bongs in the trunk of their car or who skateboard naked at public parks. Not the clean cut, choir boys. I usually don't get it when the college girls I work with talk about these teen stars. Give me an Anthony Bourdain or a Mike Ness any day.
My next thought (although the whole time I'm thinking 'Man, this is a KID I shouldn't think he's so cute!') was that obviously he's gay. The boys that I have liked that have been clean cut have turned out to be gay. (Some of you are now snickering because you know who I'm talking about) That must be the answer!
I know, this is taking up a lot of my thought process but you have to understand... I have standards and this kid just didn't meet the criteria. Then it happened. Sitting on the breakroom table at work was some weekly magazine with a cover story of Glee. I non-chalantly picked up the magazine and started flipping pages. There he was. My secret, guilty crush. The boy that could get me sent to jail under the right circumstances. I read. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was still the same old Cheryl. My tastes were not changing. This hottie who plays a choir boy high school kid on tv was actually a 27 year old high school drop out. Thank God!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crafty Tuesday: Red and white Cherry Box

I held a contest on the FB site Craft-Tacular for one of my treasure boxes. My friend Kandra won and informed me that she likes cherries and red and white. This is what I came up with. I've not mailed it yet because I can't get the darn lid to stop sticking when it slides but I have a plan!

By the way... If you want a box let me know we'll talk. Most of these are big enough to fit 3x5 note cards making them perfect little recipe boxes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Here it is Sunday already...

So I'm still having computer problems so my blogs are a bit scant. That's OK because I should be doing some other stuff anyway. I need to clean and prepare for our BIG trip this summer. I also need to get some crafting done to prepare for at least one event: a renaissance festival in IL. I'm hoping to make at least a couple dollars from it. I'm also waiting to hear whether or not Lauren and I will have a booth at the Bloomington Farmer's Market this summer. Since we are both SOOOOO on the ball our app. will be late and have to go in with round two. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.Keep watching... I will try to show up from time to time.

As a self-motivator I'm trying to get to at least 25 followers (more would be swell) so FOLLOW ME!

For now please enjoy these random photos:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Get to know you

I thought this looked like fun. If you want to join go to

The questions..
1. Showers or baths? Showers: they're faster and, when I shave I'm not sitting in stubble...

2. Do you have any crazy urges? All the time. Sometimes I want to sing out as loud as I can in public... and yet Karaoke frightens me...

3. What is one thing we don't know about you? I would love to be famous for my writing or my art one day

4. it or hate it? Actually I like it when I do it but it takes a while to get motivated

5. Do you think you have a good body image? No, not really.... I do like my boobs though

6. Flour or corn tortillas? Flour all the way

7. How do you celebrate Easter? Easter Bunny, egg hunt pretty low key

8. Hard boiled Easter eggs or plastic eggs? Both

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How can my favorite companions also be my worst enemies??

My husband has been gone to a conference for the last 4 days. It has been me and my children. Here. Alone. Together. I love them I really do. They can be exceptionally funny. They can be absurdly adorable. They can also be totally lovable.
Then there are the other times. The times where I try to tell my 2 year old daughter 'No' and get screamed at by Linda Blair. Or I ask my 5 year old to pick something up and suddenly his arms are tired, his head hurts, he's sleepy. And the whining... The whining never seems to end. The whining always seems to accompany tattelling. "Mom, Claudia has my chicken." "Moooooommmmm, Clyde is on my side." I didn't even know that I had designated lap sides .
By the end of the day I feel like I may strangle some one. I'm so worn out I don't get the projects done that I have planned. I always think that I can get sooooo much done being home in the evening by myself. I do get a lot of time lying on the couch thinking about what I should be doing but nothing else really gets accomplished.
It makes me feel like a bit of a failure, a slacker at the very least. My husband always manages to get so much done when it's him and the little ones. They leave him alone, does what he says, life is good. When it's just me and them they can't leave me alone. I get very little down time. My personal space is just about non-existent. I become a yeller. I hate being a yeller. I want my children to listen to me when I use a calm tone of voice. I want to be able to control myself and USE my calm voice.
I don't like them getting the better of me. I don't like feeling like a crazy lady. I don't like giving in. But I do. I give in. As the day comes closer to an end I start finding myself saying OK to things I should really say no to. Or saying OK to things that I've just said no to a gazillion times. I know I'm supposed to be consistent and not give up but man are they good at chipping away at me. How do kids know this? DO they start having discussions about it at playgroups even when the are pre-verbal? It's a conspiracy I tell ya. How can I love these little beings so much and yet want to lock them in a sound proof box?
Anyone have any magical dust they can send me to fix all this?