Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Book Challenges Wrap Up

2012 Challenges
My A-Z Book Challenge

A - Aurelia
B - Bless Your Heart Tramp, Becoming Sister Wives, Brain Matters
C - Cairo
D - Death By Petticoat, The Darkening Dream, A Dance with Dragons
E - The Enchantress of Florence, Envy
F - Four Thousand Year of Uppity Women, The Fault In Our Stars
G - The Garden Intrigue, The Goddess Test, A Great & Terrible Beauty
H - The Hunger Games
I - If I Have a Wicked Stepmother..., The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Indian Captive
J - The Jinx
K - A Kingdom's Possession, The King's Mistress
L - The Last Boleyn, The Lady of the Rivers, Let's Pretend this Never Happened, Life with Lily, Literacy for the 21st Century
M - Mistress of Rome, The Magician's Nephew, The Magic Warble, The Mermaid Chair, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, The Murderer's Daughters
O - Oh My Gods!
P - Peter and the Starcatchers
R - Reluctant Disciplinarian, Rebel Angels, 
S - Scary School, The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Sister Wife, Salem Witch Tryouts, Saving CeeCee Honeycut, Special Education for Today's Teachers
T - A Treasury of Royal Scandals, To Marry an English Lord
U - Unending Devotion
W - The Wedding Dress
Y - Your Best Birth

As you can see I didn't finish my own challenge. For shame. Let me hang my head..... Ok I'm back. I think that since I only read 50 books this year, I actually did quite well. The only ones I didn't do were N, Q, V, X, and Z. Not sure how I didn't manage to find and N or a V, but Q, X, and Z are excusable. :) Better luck next year. PS. Sign ups are up for the 2012 A to Z Challenge.

Picture Book Challenge - Level 3 : 24 books (Finished June 6th!)

Current Tally - 27

Mr Brown Can Moo, 1 Moose 20 Mice, Dear Zoo, Star Wars ABC, One Two Buckle My Shoe, Old Hat New Hat, Jamberry, Hop on Pop, Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, The Sea of Bath, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Are You my Mother?, Eyes & Nose Fingers & Toes, I am a Bunny, Barney's Book of Opposites, Sesame Street Who am I?, Moo Baa LaLaLa, RS' Cars and Trucks From A to Z, Almost Bedtime, On the Track...There and Back, How Many Kisses Do You Want Tonight?, Sharing is Caring, Night Night Blessings, 10 Minutes Til Bedtime

I managed to finish this one back in June. It wasn't surprising since CJ and I read at least two books a night. He's turning into quite a bookworm and it makes me so proud. :)

Eclectic Reader Challenge

  1. Literary Fiction - The Enchantress of Florence
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction - Aurelia by Anne Osterlund (there was a mystery in it, so it counts!)
  3. Romantic Fiction : The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig
  4. Historical Fiction : Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
  5. Young Adult : If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where is My Prince?
  6. Fantasy : The Jinx
  7. Science Fiction - A Kingdom's Possession by Nicole Persun
  8. Non Fiction : Death By Petticoat
  9. Horror : The Darkening Dream
  10. Thriller /Suspense - Rebel Angels 
  11. Classic : The Magician's Nephew
  12. Your favourite genre - Historical Fiction : The Last Boleyn 
This one was a toughie, I'll admit. I didn't think I was going to be able to finish it, but I did. I just don't like crime/mystery fiction all that much, so it was hard for me to find one. But I snuck one in there at the last second. So woohoo. 

I also just barely finished 50 books this year. That is crazy for me. I'm more like a 75 books per year kind of gal. I don't even have excuses like I read Game of Thrones or big books like that again. I did re-read the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, but those aren't too crazy long. 

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Lindsey has completed her goal of reading 50 books in 2012!

I actually signed up for about 5 more challenges, but as the year went on, it became quite obvious I wasn't going to finish them, so I just deleted them from my challenge page. Oh well. I do have my 2013 challenges ready to go. That page will be up soon. 
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012

I've seen a lot of bloggers doing this, and decided to be unoriginal and jump on the bandwagon. Here are my post popular posts of 2012. I was surprised at some of them. I'll write a post that I think will be popular and no one will read it, then I'll write a random just for fun post and it'll get a ton of votes. This is helpful for the new year as I know what sort of posts you all love. My top ten lists are a lot more popular than I would think. My posts about children were also very popular.

  1. Top Ten Favorite Characters of All Time I was absolutely shocked to find that this is my most popular post off all time, not just this year. It has 1666 views. I'm not sure why this is so popular.
  2. Mad for Mad Men - In July I became obsessed with Mad Men and watched all 5 seasons of it. I then had to share my love for the show with all of you. And for some reason, that post is also very popular with almost 500 views.
  3. Ten (Mostly Free) Online Preschool Curriculum for Toddlers - This is my most pinned post, so I'm not surprised that is so popular. I'm glad I could help fellow tot moms. 
  4. Toddler Summer Fun List - I love that CJ and I's list of fun things to do during the summer was so popular. We had a lot of fun playing and I'm glad it was helpful to others. 
  5. Best Christmas Books for Children - This post is only a month old and already is in 5th place. I think was due to a lot of people doing the 25 books of Christmas countdown with their kids and needing ideas for which books to choose. 
  6. Keeping Your Child's Smiles Bright - Should I be offended that one of my most popular posts is a guest post? I kid. This is a great post about helping your toddler learn dental hygeine, so I'm glad to share the information. 
  7. CJ Afraid of the Vacuum - So funny that this is one of my most popular posts. It is just two pictures of CJ strumming the guitar on the couch, crying, and trying to hide from the vacuum cleaner. He still does this. He is petrified. No idea why. 
  8. Top Ten TV Guilty Pleasures - Another funny one to be so popular. Just my list of trashy tv that I love. Maybe you can all relate and that's why it is so popular. 
  9. Georgia's Anti-Obesity Campaign - This one is all the way from January, when I decided to share my thoughts on how disgusting I found Georgia's anti-obesity campaign to be. I guess most of you agreed. 
  10. A to Z Mini-Challenge #1 - This was the first challenge in 2012's A to Z Book Challenge. If you are interested in joining this years, go to A to Z Challenge 2013
Some of my other popular posts were:
Ten Things Guaranteed to Make Your Toddler Smile Pin It

Sunday, December 23, 2012

End Of Year Book Survey – 2012

I didn't read as much as I did in previous years, but I decided to do this survey anyway. I got this one from The Perpetual Page-Turner

Enjoy, and don't forget to go and link up if you do the survey as well. 

Best in Books 2012
1. Best Book You Read In 2012? 
Fiction - A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin.... obviously. 
Nonfiction - Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake. I cannot wait to get pregnant again. Now that I know so much more about my body and the birthing process and how important it is to know what you want before you are in labor. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn't?
Lady of the Rivers by Phillipa Gregory. I love me some Phillipa, but this book was just boring to me. It didn't grab me as much as her books usually do. It took forever to get through.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Becoming Sister Wives by the Brown Family. I knew that I liked them from their show, but now I feel like I understand them even more, and I love them.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
The entire Game of Thrones/ Song of Fire and Ice series.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Hunger Games. At least I think that was this year...

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
John Green.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I read a graphic novel for the first time, and it was awesome. I highly recommend Cairo by G Willow Wilson.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
If George RR Martin releases the next book, I'll re-read Dance with Dragons. I do plan on re-reading The Hunger Games, but I don't know if I'll do that next year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Cairo by G Willow Wilson & A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
I'm still going with Tyrion Lannister. He's my man what can I say? I did also love the ladies from Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. They were very awesome no-nonsense prim and proper Southern ladies. Also, Arya Stark from Dance with Dragons just became more and more of a badass. I want to BE her.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
The bane of my existence, George RR Martin has one hell of a way with words.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake. Like I said above, this book really helped me understand my role in the birthing process. I cannot wait to have another baby.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
None really.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

“I am Cersei of House Lannister, a lion of the Rock, the rightful queen of these Seven Kingdoms, trueborn daughter of Tywin Lannister. And hair grows back.” - from A Dance with Dragons. 

I may not like the b*tch, but she is a BAMF.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
Longest - A Dance with Dragons - 1045 pages
Shortest - Cairo - 160 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Every single scene in A Dance with Dragons. Luckily, the hubby had read it so I was able to discuss.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Samwell Tarly from A Dance with Dragons and everyone else. He's just the sweetest.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously?
Sorry, but I have to go with A Dance with Dragons again.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else: 
I don't think I did this year. Oh wait, I read The Mermaid Chair, one of my sister in law's favorites, and I didn't like it at all. Ooops.

So what were your great reads of 2013? Were you as underwhelmed with the books this year as I was? What books are you looking forward to? 
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Announcing The A to Z Book Challenge 2013

I can't believe that it is 2013, or almost. It is insanity. As 2012 winds down, it is that time again in the book blogging world.... time to sign up for more book challenges. I have about ten that I'm looking forward to participating in. Since I wasn't able to complete my A-Z challenge this year, I wasn't planning on hosting again in 2013. Some of my wonderful readers sent me messages, emails, even a few tweets requesting that I did. I couldn't let my readers down, so without further ado, here are the signups for The A to Z Book Challenge 2013. Don't forget to grab a button!

The rules are the same as last year. So I am just copying and pasting them here:

Technical Stuff
This challenge will run from January 1st, 2013 until December 31st, 2013.
You can join anytime.
If you are blogger, leave the link to your actual post about this challenge.
If you are not a blogger, leave a link to where you will be keeping track of this challenge.

So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z challenge.

A - Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. For example: A - Atonement B- Black Beauty C - The Count of Monte Cristo D - Dances with Dragons etc.


B - The lazy way (how I do it) : Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Hope that by the end of the year you have read one book for each letter. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

Bonus! Each month, I will add another challenge to this main challenge. It might to read a book with both A and Z in the title or to read a book with 3 words that all start with the same letter. I might host a few random giveaways too for good measure. If you've got some idea for the mini-challenges, send them my way!

Since it is really hard to find titles beginning with X, the letter X just needs to be in the title somewhere.

So to join along....
1. Write a blog post about this challenge and whether you are going go with A or B.
2. Add the button to your blog.
3. Attach yourself to the linky.
4. Follow my blog so that you can see when I post the monthly challenge!

There are three different buttons. Just pick whichever one you like!

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Friday, December 21, 2012

National Geographic's Novica Celebrates Christmas

When I was a kid, I love National Geographic magazine. I had all of my Grampy's old copies, and I would get my hand on the new ones whenever I could. The pictures were amazing for a girl growing up in the city. It showed me that there was this whole other great big world out there, and someday I could go and be a part of it. I wanted to eventually collect and own every single edition of National Geographic. Luckily I got over that or my husband would probably have to leave me. My books take up enough space as it is. Someday I do plan on going on one of National Geographic's tours where they teach you about photography and you get to see some amazing places.

The reason I am telling you about my lifelong love affair with National Geographic is because I got to work with them recently! Seriously. They contacted me to see if I wanted to review their new Novica program. If you didn't know, Novica is a new online boutique where National Geographic sells amazing handicrafts made all over the world.

I got to pick absolutely anything I wanted from Novica to review. It was a really hard decision. They have a lot of objects with elephants on them, which I love. They also have some great articles of clothing and accesories.

In the end, I decided to go with a wooden nativity set. I have been searching for a nativity set that was pretty and that I could let CJ play with and not have to worry about him breaking it. I found a bunch of absolutely gorgeous nativity sets on Novica. Here are some of my favorites. You can get Nativities from Peru, El Salvador, and America.

The one I chose is similar to the one on the far left, but it isn't available on the website anymore. It was handmade and shipped from the Andes. It arrived in the cutest little package, wrapped up like a present. Attached was this adorable little "worry doll". It is a tradition in the Andes that you take all your worries and you tell it to this doll. Then you put it under your pillow, let the worries go, and fall deep into a peaceful sleep. That's the idea anyway. Every time we strip the bed and this falls out of my pillow hubby just looks at me like I'm crazy.

So I unwrapped my present and found this gorgeous Nativity set. It included two wise men, Joseph, Mary, some animals, baby Jesus, and of course the stable. Isn't it the cutest? CJ loves playing with it. I actually had to put it up because he plays with the pieces so much that they were disappearing into couch cushions and such. He loves to play with baby Jesus especially, or baby "Ess" as he calls him. He is currently obsessed with babies. 

The quality of the Nativity is absolutely amazing. It will truly last forever and is gorgeously handcrafted. I think that next year I'm going to have to buy one of the other sets. They're just gorgeous. I would expect nothing less from National Geographic. 

You can find Novica products at You can find information there on how to host a Novica party, where you can earn free Novica products. Everyday they have flash sales on some of their products. You can even join their website and curate your own collections. Oh, by the way, every single thing that I've mentioned in this post, the Nativities, the elephants, and the clothes... each one costs $50 and under. The prices are amazing considering the quality you are receiving. You are also supporting the amazing artists all over the world who create these amazing products. 

Luckily for you, Novica is offering one reader a $50 giftcode. You can truly get an amazing gift for yourself or for someone else. To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Siblings

Four of my Grampy's six siblings.

My mom and her siblings.
(Excuse my aunt's face, she was mid-sentence.)

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

RIP Grampy

My grandfather and his children - my mom is the top middle. 
My grandfather passed away yesterday. He went peacefully and quietly, not kicking and screaming like he claimed he would. He wasn't always a very good man, but I am choosing to remember the good moments and leaving the judgment up to God. So rest in peace Grampy. I hope you have found peace at last. 
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Things I Found on the Interwebs (24)

First off, I just need to say that my heart goes out to all of those whose families are affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT. I can't imagine how those parents must feel right now. To send your child off to kindergarten, what should the happiest, safest place on the planet, and have this happen. It is just terrible. There are no words to describe the pain they must be feeling. So hug your kids a little bit tighter and thank God for them.

This Interwebs post was written before the tragedy, so I'm going to post it up anyway. I hope you aren't offended by that decision.


America's First Heiress - Hetty Green
Gorgeous Dream Home - I want it. 


Easy Strawberry Shortcake


Celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with kids.
Cute Angel Ornament - Great for little ones. 


CJ School

The Letter O
The Letter I

Ha! Egyptian humor gets me every time.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Children's Book Review - One Little Christmas Tree

This is an adorable children's book that is just perfect for Christmas. It was part of our 25 days til Christmas book countdown.

One Little Christmas Tree by Rusty Fischer is about a Christmas tree named Alfred. When the book starts out Alfred is one of the smallest trees on the farm. Next to him is his friend, the very large Christmas tree Mr. Phipps. Mr. Phipps is very wise and he tells Alfred that one day a nice family will come to the farm and inherit him. When the families come, Mr. Phipps is inherited, but Alfred is left behind. He worries that he will never have a a family. Years go by, and still Alfred isn't chosen. During that time though, he grows bigger and taller. Finally, Alfred spots a boy that he knows would be just perfect for him. He decides to do something special to try to convince him that Alfred belongs with his family.

This book was really cute. The only thing that I would caution against, is that while they say it is a picture book it really isn't. There are a lot of words on each page, so it is more appropriate for a read-aloud for ages 3-5 and a book that kids can read themselves at around age 6. Just my opinion, based on what I know about reading levels. This is just the first book in the series, and I look forward to the next. The book is available on amazon as both a paperback and an e-book. 
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 - 12 in 12

I am linking up with the Teeny Tiny Teacher and Miss Kindergarten today for the 12 in 12 linky!

12.  Favorite movie you watched
Currently the Hunger Games. However in just a few days, when The Hobbit comes out, I'm sure that'll change.

Mindy and Dr. Castellano
11. Favorite TV series 
I still love Game of Thrones, Supernatural, and Doctor Who. But this year, I have been really loving some of the new comedies. My favorites are New Girl, The Mindy Show, and we watched every season of 30 Rock this year. That was awesome. 

10. Favorite restaurant
Uhmmm... we don't get out much. But I do like this Indian place in Haverhill MA called Royal India. Yum! I also really like D'Angelo's Thanksgiving sub. It's like Thanksgiving in my mouth ALL THE TIME.

9. Favorite New Thing I Tried
Going back to school! Tonight I finished my first graduate school class and I'm pretty sure my end grade is going to be a 96% Woot woot! Holla back youngin, woot woot! 

8. Favorite Gift You Received
I got a Snuggie last night, so that's pretty awesome. :) My mother-in-law took me out for my birthday to buy summer clothes, that was great. 

7. Favorite Thing You Pinned
Wow, way too many. I pin all the things. I can't choose on favorite pin. Go look at all my pins. Lots of pins. I've pinned a lot of toddler activities for CJ School and a ton of great outfits that I wish were in my closet.  
This guy is pretty sexy though. 
Source: via Lindsey on Pinterest

6. Favorite blog post
Just yesterday I did my favorite Christmas movies post. Then there's the best children's Christmas books and my only political post of the year. 

5.  Favorite Accomplishment
 Well, I managed to keep the child alive for another year, wahooo! I'm really proud of myself for doing so well in school. 

4. Favorite Picture 
I've taken a ton of pictures of CJ sleeping because I think he is the cutest little angel when he is asleep. At the end of the month, I'll have a picture collage of all my favorite pics this year, but I'll tide you over with Yoda. 

3. Favorite Memory
We had an awesome summer vacation down on Cape Cod this summer. I think just hanging out, exploring Provincetown in the rain, and having stiffies (The Aylward family drink) was the best. 

2. Goal for 2013
Continue going strong with school, get out of the house more, and FINALLY GET MY LICENSE!! CJ and I have things to do and people to see. I need to be able to drive and take him to all the places. 

1. One Little Word 
Family. I would like to take care of mine and hopefully have it grow by one.  Pin It

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Buddy the elf, what's your favorite color? My top twelve Christmas movies

Don we now our gay apparel, falalalalalala. Tis the season to be jolly, falalaalalalalaaaaaaaa.

It's the most wonderful tiiiiiiiime of the yeaaaar.

Yes, we have had Christmas tunes on non-step since Thanksgiving night. I regret nothing.

I have also been slowly but surely introducing CJ to my favorite Christmas movies. So in no particular order, here are my top ten favorite Christmas movies!

This is also how CJ thinks.
Elf - We watch Elf probably 5 times a week at the least. This has been going on all year, not just now that it is Christmas. CJ is obsessed. He could care less about Santa Clause. He thinks that Santa is just Elf's pal. Elf is the big kahuna. Any time he sees and Elf he loses his mind. ELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He freaks, it is hysterical.
The Santa Clause - I think Tim Allen is hysterical, and he was especially funny in this. There are some awesome scenes in here. I want the elves' hot chocolate recipe, and I want it now. Also, is it wrong to be physically attracted to an elf? Cuz Bernard is sexy. True story.

Nightmare Before Christmas - We actually have a Nightmare Before Christmas tree because we love it so much. Our wedding cake topper was Jack and Sally. The blanket covering our couch is Jack and Sally. We looooove Nightmare Before Christmas. CJ hasn't seen it yet, I think it is a bit scary for him yet. Oogie Boogie scared me when I was a kid. I'm not yet ready to scar him completely, but it is still one of my favorites.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - "I'm cute, I'm cute... she thinks I'm cute!" Love that scene. This is just one of the all time classic Christmas movies. CJ likes this one, but it isn't his favorite. Oh, and if you haven't heard DMX sing Rudolph yet, you haven't lived. Watch it, watch it now. "Come on! What!"

Frosty the Snowman - Another one of the great classic Christmas movies. My hubby takes offense to the lyrics "There must have been some magic...", he says no, it should be "There likely was some magic..." CJ likes Frosty, but he loves Frosty Returns. Don't know why.

My brother-in-law can actually
do this face. It's amazing really.
The Grinch - I love the Grinch!! He's my favorite! I used to be the Grinch. I hated Christmas for a really long time. (Boohoo, horrible childhood, blah blah blah.) Now that I have CJ I make sure to love the whole Christmas season. But I still love the Grinch. I love him before his heart grows and I love him even more when he, he himself, carves the roast beast! I also think that Cindy Lou Who is the cutest thing ever. Note - I am talking about the original, but I also love the Jim Carrey version.

It's a Wonderful Life - "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings." Now tell me you don't think that every time you hear a bell ring. I know I do. This movie brings me back to the good old days, when towns were small and everyone knew everyone and banded together and everyone lived happily ever after and you could pull down the moon for your beloved if you wanted to. "I'll take it."

That's Jesus with Ben Hur.
Told you so.
Ben Hur - Yes, Ben Hur is a Christmas movie! I always have to explain this to people. Ben Hur is born around the same time as Jesus, and their lives go on divergent paths until Ben meets Jesus. The wise men are a big part of the book, not so much in the movie. But a great movie that I love to watch around Christmas.

Muppet Christmas Carol - This is another one on heavy rotation in our house. We love everything Muppets, and Michael Caine is amazing as Scrooge.

The Little Drummer Boy - I used to love watching this on Thanksgiving. The Little Drummer Boy gives the only thing that he can to the baby Jesus. Ba dum a dum dum. CJ watched this today and said "Baby esas". Yep. :)

Scrooged - So yes, the ghost of Christmas Future is freaking HORRIFYING, but this is an awesome remake of A Christmas Carol. Billy Murray is absolutely perfect.

And as a bonus, Home Alone - While I will never understand how someone can leave their child home alone on Christmas (or any other time for that matter), it does provide an awesome premise to the movie. I also love the second movie when he gives the old lady a turtledove. Oh Macauly.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

A-Z Mini-Challenge #12 - End of Days

I am so sorry that this is 8 days late!

So as you may know, the world may be ending on December 21st, 2012. In honor of that silly little factoid, read a book that has an end in it. The end of anything. As usual, if you think it fits, it fits. :) At the end of the month, I'll post a linky for those of you who have finished the entire challenge. If you have, you are amazing, because I definitely haven't.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Yaya need that." and other CJ-isms

CJ apparently learned the word "need" at some point, but seems to be confused as to what it means. Check out the video. (Yaya is what CJ calls himself.)

During prayers last night, CJ added "baby" to his list of prayers. I said "CJ's baby?" thinking he meant his doll. He said "No, mama's baby." I said "CJ is my baby." and he told me "No, more mama baby." Awwwwww.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Things I Found on the Interwebs (23)

This is another lean week. I didn't get on the computer at all on some days. That's quite a feat for me.

Make your own clay ornaments - I might do this and use some of my gold plate paint.
DIY Bird Nest Ornament My friend Tina would love these.
Dum Dum Wreath CJ would steal all the lollies.

Dark Chocolate and Mint Cloud Cookies Yum!
Easy Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies Making these on Monday, I'll let you know how it goes.
World's Best Cookie That's a tough name to live up to. 
CJ (Toddler) School
The Letter H
Superhero Mini-Unit
Grinch-y Preschool
The Letter K

Turquoise I love turquoise.
Getting Your Dog Ready for Baby
Wall of Maps I would love to do this in my future classroom.
What to do in Seattle

This post brought to you by Grumpy Cat and a ridiculously adorable tiny deer.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Elmo's Super Heroes in Lowell, MA

“Elmo’s Super Heroes”
Lowell, MA; Lowell Memorial Auditorium
Thursday, January 24 - Sunday, January 27 
(Please include above information in all mentions)

Calling all super heroes!  Super Grover has lost his super-ness!  Never fear, the fabulous five Super Heroes are here -- featuring Elmo as Captain Fuzzy!  Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Zoe and all their furry friends are on a quest to put the “super” back in Super Grover.  

Singing and dancing their way through fun lessons on healthy habits, they discover how exercise, rest, nutritious food and good hygiene can save Super Grover -- and turn your children into Super Heroes, too!  

You’ll be feeling good when Elmo’s Super Heroes! comes to town!
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

CJ's Dinosaur Themed Gift Guide for Toddlers

CJ loves all things dinosaurs, so I put together a little treasury of dinosaur gifts he would absolutely LOVE from etsy. I'm sure your dino-obsessed toddler would enjoy these too!  Pin It

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Patient Santa

After half an hour of coaxing and peek-a-boo, this is the best we got.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Quickie Book Review - Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

It has been a long time since I've sat down and read a book all in one sitting. I've had this book on my to-read list for over a year now. My secret santa from The Book Nympho's secret santa book swap sent over Aurelia by Anne Osterlund (in addition to a bunch of the other great books). I wasn't sure what to expect, but I definitely didn't expect to love this one that much.

Aurelia is the princess of Tyralt, and heir to the throne. Unbeknownst to her, someone is out to kill her. Her childhood friend Robert returns to investigate. From there, the adventure begins.

I don't want to go into a lot of detail because it will give away the plot. There are very obvious red herrings, and I did figure out who the bad guy was pretty early on, but it was still a fun adventure. The book has the perfect amount of everything, romance, adventure, mystery. It is a great quick, not-much-thinking-involved book. I think it is actually YA, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Definitely recommend. I gave it four out of five stars on goodreads. There is a sequel, called Exile, that I have now added to my wishlist and can't wait to read. I have so many questions. Where is Aurelia's mother? What will happen to her sister? Will they fall in love and live happily ever after? Pin It

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Things I Found on the Interwebs (22)

What Tina Fey and Amy Poehler should do next. Besides become my best friends of course.
21 More Uses for Coconut Oil Remember I suggested using it in baby wipes! 
Crossing Borders in Vanatu This is the absolute cutest. 


Crockpot English Apple Cider I want to make this so bad!
Peppermint Oreo Fudge I mean really what else is there to say. Peppermint. Oreo. Fudge. 


Blog Writing Tips from Famous Authors Get some inspiration.


Book Tree Advent Similar to what I did, but more clever.
150 Ways to Gift a Book Everyone that knows me knows that they are probably getting a book from me for Christmas. I have a book buying problem. 
A Little House on the Prairie Christmas We have the book, but CJ is too little for this. I'm definitely saving it for later. 


Viet One Month Cleanse for Moms I just thought this was really interesting and cool.
Encouraging Your Child's Creativity Don't write in permanent marker "LIAR" to their "Most Creative" award. That's number one. (Yes, that really did happen to me. Parenting fail." 

The Marriage of Q and U Party So funny!


DIY Dimensional Mini Quote So clever.
Bear or Doll Carriers Soooo cute!


Custom Leopard Print Toms These are at the top of my Christmas wishlist.

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