Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bringing In the New Year

People around the world finish each year with some sort of celebration.  For many it's a get together at someones home, or if you're in America, it could be joining thousands of others in some sort of public celebration.  And, that got me to thinking....what do people in other places of the world do to celebrate New Years Eve?  I did some research and found some pretty strange customs....well, strange to me since I grew up in the USA.....and thought I'd share with you.

 ~~There's a city in Chili, called Talca.  In mass, the people participate in a religious mass on New Years Eve and then they all go visit the graveyard.  They all pull up their chairs and wait for the year to arrive with the dead.  Gives new meaning to the word "dead beat" huh?
 ~~How about wearing brightly colored underpants?  You'll find many of the residents of Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia and other South American states welcome the New Year by doing just that. If you're looking for good fortune you should  wear red, yellow or other brightly colored under-wear past midnight. It's also believed to help one find a loving mate. Red means an amorous love life ahead and yellow expresses the desire to gain money and wealth. The wishes of the locals are expressed via their underpants.  Which begs to question....does that mean they wear nothing but their underwear on New Year's Eve?  Fortunately for me, I'm not superstitious because if I was, I'd have neither good fortune or the possibility of finding a loving mate in the New Year since I wouldn't be caught dead in any color of underwear outside my house!

~~My heritage is predominately Scottish, and here's a tradition I never knew about.  It's called the Hogmanay Festival and takes place on December 31st of every year (in the city of Edinburgh it actually takes place over 4-days!).  While holding blazing balls of fire & swinging them over their heads, the men parade through the streets of their town.  This practice is supposed to bring purification and sunshine.....just wondering how many end up with no hair by the end of the parade.  This tradition dates back all the way to the Vikings.....could that be an explanation for why there are  no more Vikings?

 ~~Okay....jogging over to the Philippines.....they wear polka dots and eat round food on New Years Eve. Their belief is that by wearing polka dots, and dining of food that is round in shape they will have prosperity.  You're wondering how the heck does a polka dot relate to wealth?  Polka dots are round, and so are coins.....and if you have a lot of coins you will be wealthy.  Okay--it's a stretch, but I didn't invent these beliefs!

 ~~In Ireland, the single women there have an interesting way of garnering a mate for the future.....they sleep with mistletoe under their pillows.  Far be it from me to tell another woman how to catch a man, but I just can't see this being really effective.  Plus, isn't mistletoe really a fungus?  My head is starting to itch while I type this stuff.........

~~Time honored American tradition--the midnight kiss.  There's such an anticipation about this particular kiss for so many, I can't help but wonder if it's as good as they dreamed it would be or what?  The superstition that goes along with the kiss, is the it brings true love.  I'm wondering how many drunken people have kissed each other at midnight on New Years and don't remember it the next day?  It's also rumored to wash away the bad memories and issues from the past, marking new beginnings.........but the anticipation more than the reality?  Just a thought. 

Regardless of how you celebrate, or don't, the new year does bring the anticipation of a new start, along with new challenges.
I'm particularly fond of this quote:
Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  
Start with a fresh page.  
Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, 
or let down one, according to circumstances; 
but on the first of January let every man gird 
himself once more, with his face to the front, 
and take no interest in the things that 
were and are past.  
~Henry Ward Beecher


I'm off to put on some red underwear, with a polka dot bra, to eat my Oreos while sitting next to a large candle and praying the mistletoe pinned to my clothes doesn't catch on fire....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2012 Wedding Fashion Trends for Spring & Summer

The trends for 2012 seem to falling in favor of the Romantic or Minimalist look for brides.  The Romantics will be choosing silhouettes that are  flowing with soft fabrics, ruffles, satin sashes (at the waist), and delicate floral details. Many of the dresses will incorporate delicate overlaying of fabrics such as chiffon, tulle and laces, embellished with crystal, cubic zirconia, and/or pearl bodices.

The Minimalist will opt for the modified A-line skirt (slim through the waist and flared at the bottom).   Strapless gowns are perennial favorites, but this season will bring back the off-the-shoulder look for brides who want to accentuate their neckline or draw attention to gorgeous jewelry, as well as the illusion neckline (sheer fabric covers the area of skin normally exposed) for a soft elegant look.

As our international societies blend, you'll see more and more cultures blending their own customs and colors into one wedding.  The one thing is for sure, the "traditional" wedding is no longer constrained by  one color, and one way of doing things.  With access to the internet, television shows about weddings, and the time honored printed magazines about weddings, every bride is sure to find just her own look.

Colors are trending towards the vivid, as well as the soft neutrals.  You'll see these colors combined with lace and floral prints.   Black and white is coming on strong, with the navy nautical look as well.  Expect to see a myriad of patterns, stripes and bold geometric patterns.

As for the children who may play a part in the wedding, the one thing that seems to hold true, is the preferred suit for little boys is the traditional tuxedo.  Here at Adorable Baby Clothing, you'll find not only color choices, but various styles, from the tuxedo with tails, to the tuxedo with a cummerbund, to actually choosing the color of the vest and tie to coordinate with the rest of the wedding party.  No longer are you confined to black or white.

The flower girl dresses are incredible.  Not only will you find sizes from infant to big girls (here I mean pre-teen and teen), but the colors and fabrics are scrumptious!  You'll find a wide array of styles, colors, and many that like the boy's suits and tuxes, allow you to choose colors to coordinate with the wedding party.  Every dress is lined and has a crinoline slip sewn into the body.  Your little one will feel like a princess in the dress you choose.  The new spring styles that have started to appear are a mixture of tulle, embroidery, and yummy colors like soft butter yellow, mint green, as well as the splashes of brights like fuchsia, purple, orange.  There's just so much to choose from.  You'll even find the traditional flower girl baskets, and headpieces to compliment the look.

At, you'll find formal wear designed with classic styling, contemporary fabrics, and constructed with children in mind.  They're not only beautifully made, they're made to be worn.

Looking to the future........

I'm sure we're all alike, thinking, "where the heck did 2011 go?".  I remember when I was little and some days used to drag by like they'd never end, wishing time would speed up.  My mother would tell me to be careful what I wished truer words ever spoken.  As I've "matured" it seems like every day goes a little faster than the one before.

With that in mind, I was thinking about all the spring and summer weddings that are being planned, and how it may seem along way off, but in fact they're just right around the corner.  The details can be over-whelming if you aren't organized or have someone to help.  One of the details that rarely gets serious consideration is what the ring bearer and flower girls will wear.  Most people tend to think they'll go right out and find it at the very last minute and then end up in a panic trying to do just that.  If I had a nickle for every one of those phone calls I've received, I'd be laying in a hammock somewhere on an island right now....
Adorable Baby Clothing has some of the most beautiful and well made special occasion clothing for children that you'll find any where.  We keep our prices reasonable, and now offer free shipping on minimum orders of $40.00.  You'll find lots of dresses and suits can even be customized to match or compliment the colors of the wedding party.  

The details of our clothing is what is truly amazing.  The jackets of the little boy's suits are fully lined--no details escape the attention of our manufacturer.  The embellishments of the girl's dresses will truly astound you, from little tiny sequins and seed pearls, to satin bows and ruffles.......and the fabrics....oh my gosh the fabrics--gorgeous! Virtually every dress is lined and has a crinolin slip sewn into the body to make sure it doesn't lose it's fullness. The clothing you'll be receiving from Adorable Baby Clothing, is the clothing you'll pass on to the younger brothers and sisters, and eventually pack away as a keepsake.  They are constructed to last, designed for classic style, but always made to wear the way a child is going to wear them.

The new Spring Line has started to trickle in, and you'll find not only retro looks, but timeless classics that never go out of style.  We hope you'll stop by and take a look for yourself.

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas with Grandchildren....what fun!

I have to confess....I'm in love with my grandchildren.  This year has been fun because the twins - Leila and Lilly,  are just reaching the age of "kind of, sort of, understanding" Santa Claus.  At least this was the first year they didn't scream and cry like someone had set them on fire,  trying to get off Santa's lap when we went to see him.  My little grandson (Calvin's, 11-months old) was more confused for the most part, I think because his sisters were sitting on either side of him, but towards the end of the picture taking he was on the verge of crying.

It's been fun going to see the Christmas lights in our area and hear the excitement in their voices when we pass the next house......they've told me repeatedly they NEED the same thing in front of their house.  So I'm thinking.....hmmmmm.....all the decorations will go on sale after Christmas....think I'll have to go shopping and get some exterior decorations for next  year. 

Christmas has changed for I'm enjoying experiencing it through the excitement of my little grandchildren.  I even sat with Santa this year to get my picture taken....I think all of us should do that at least once or twice.....

I can hardly wait for Christmas morning!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let's all eat cake....oh wait....what's that on top!?

I've had the pleasure of meeting a lovely, talented lady who has the most amazing artistic talent.  Her name is Sachiko Windbiel, and she is the lead talent and owner of a company called Mimicafe Union @New York.  Sachiko creates the most incredible cake toppers you'll find anywhere.  Each one is hand crafted by Sachiko and her love for what she does is apparent in every one of her creations.

Sachiko worked for many years in various restaurants in Japan, and then by fate, met two talented women in Chicago and became fascinated with their pastry creations.  So inspired by what they did, she relocated to New York City, and enrolled and graduated from a culinary school there.  After she graduated she worked for a custom cake company in New York, eventually taking a leap of faith and starting Mimicafe Union.  Made of edible fondant, she creates a whole fantasy that will make the most simple of cupcakes, or cakes a marvel for all to see. 

I've listed her various links below, and you really need to take a look.  It's hard to believe that she can create such amazing little works of art.  And, by the way, they are shipped around the world.  So if you see something you love--let her know.  And, if you have a great idea, get in touch with Sachiko.....I bet she'll absolutely amaze you!

Oh! I almost forgot...Sachiko asked to use the design of one of the dresses from Adorable Baby Clothing for a topper and see for yourself....she captured the dress to a "t"!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Times change & so do Things....

Since I became "Adorable Baby" I've been on a whole new adventure.  Having owned another business, I thought, gee, how much different is a website from the traditional brick and mortar type store.  Well....let me say--they are two different universes!

The one advantage I guess I have, is I'm willing to try new things, and when I'm wrong I can admit it.  I'm not saying that's always easy, but only being human, I have to admit I don't know everything, and I'm going to make mistakes from time to time.  I have spent countless hours studying other websites, and talking to people to try and figure out, what brings success to some and failure to others.  I of course, want my site to be considered among the best of the best........but that takes some doing for sure.

As I studied other sites, I was seeing offers of free shipping, or various discounts--no real pattern of what was being offered.  I've offered discounts of various amounts on a fairly consistent schedule, but never offered free shipping.  However, I feel like I've entered another world because now FREE SHIPPING is available at Adorable Baby Clothing.  After visiting countless sites, I was able to come up with what I thought was a great deal.  If you make a minimum purchase of just $40.00, you'll get free shipping.  After looking at other sites, this is really a great deal--most require a much larger purchase.

Hope you'll stop by.  I'm starting to stock a lot of the baby and toddler boy's suits, as well as the LeTop line of clothes.  That means, you can order one day and if it's in stock, it will ship out the next!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tradition with a contemporary twist.....

I've always been a "traditional" things from the past, and treasure the keepsakes I've preserved over the years.  Now that I have grandchildren, I'm always looking for special things that they'll enjoy and maybe tuck away to someday pull out and remember the joy it brought them in the past.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting (in a virutal sort of way) a lovely woman who has such an incredible artistic talent for creating such treasures.  Her name is Tegan, and she's the creator of the little rag dolls on the Etsy website, "GoHeyJudy".  These dolls, or "Little Charmers", are by far some of the most original, and adorable dolls I've seen in a long time.  Like I said, I'm a  traditionalist, but I love things that have the elements of the past and those of today.  These dolls are just that.

Tegan and I talked about what I wanted to get for the twins, and lo and behold, she far exceeded my expectations!  The twins love love love anything to do with a princess, so I had inquired as to whether or not she had a "princess" doll.   Tegan said she would be happy to create one.  We also discussed the colors.  Lilly loves anything Cinderella, which means the color has to be blue, and Leila loves anything Tinkerbell, which means the color green.  Tegan incorprated these colors into each doll.  She even embroidered "Princess Lilly" and "Princess Leila" on the crown of each doll.  I was beyond thrilled, and have no doubt the girls are going to love them too.

Beyond the fact that these are one of a kind treasures, they're just the right size for the twins.  I have no doubt these "Little Charmers" are going to get lots of love and attention from the girls.  If you're looking for something for the up coming holidays that is unique and a future treasure, be sure to stop by Tegan's page and have a look--but be're going to fall in love!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Traditions have a place in this world.....

Today's world is filled with innovation and high tech gadgets which make our lives wonderful, but it would be a shame to forget and lose the traditions of not too long ago.  I've seen all the DVD's of pop-culture music for babies and children, and for the most part they're really well done.  However, there's a certain sweetness and innocence to the songs and rhymes of the years I grew up (a rather long time ago!).

Recently I ran across someone who's taken the "old" traditional nursery songs, and has put them to the DVD format with pictures.  I have to say, the first one out, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, is captivating.  The tone of the music is rich, and the little "twinkling" star that sings the song is sure to captivate the imagination of your little one as they watch.  What I found particularly intriguing, is that because it's a little star singing, it implies that it doesn't matter who you are....if a star can sing such an alluring song, then surely anyone can.

You can find this DVD at Little Baby Bum, and they'll soon be releasing more DVD's for,
Baa Baa Black Sheep
The Alphabet Song
Incey Wincey Spider
and more...
They'll even copy these to the MP3 format for you!  Be sure to check them out.  This would make a terrrific baby shower gift, or gift to the little ones in your own family.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mission 10 - Bridging the Gap

I will be willing to bet that the vast majority of us have at one time or another, found ourselves near or at our financial end.  Wondering how we're going to survive....wondering where the next dollar will come from.  In fact when my husband and I were newly married, and in college, there were many such times.  We'd find ourselves down to a pack of hotdogs in the frig, rent was due, and even though we were both working and going to school full time, we had no idea how we'd survive.....and yet, God was merciful and always provided exactly what we needed.

In today's world with the economic downturns, sky-rocketing unemployment, and all the down sizing of corporations and small businesses, these times are sadly becoming more the norm of too many of us.  And yet, there are those who have taken this to heart, and searched for a way to help those who are struggling to get by.  That group is called, Mission 10.

This group realized that it often doesn't take alot from one person to help another.  Quoting from their website, 

"Mission10, Inc. was formed to allow us to make a difference in the lives of the people around us regardless of our own financial stature.  The premise is that while $10.00 given will not negatively affect anyone’s overall budget, $10.00 multiplied many times over will make a huge impact in the lives of others! 

We are a community of donors willing to give $10.00 on either a per-need or monthly recurring basis for the purpose of lifting burdens off the shoulders of our neighbors who are experiencing financial difficulty."
I find what they're doing truly inspiring.  There were many times in my college years when a relative would just send a little note with a ten-dollar bill in it, and I felt like I'd won the lottery--back in the early 70's that would buy a considerable amount of food!  Today $10.00 doesn't go far, but like the Mission 10 philosophy states, with several donations of only $10.00, it can add up quickly and do much.
This is a group that deserves to be noticed, and I hope you'll take a moment to stop by their website, get on their email list, or join them on Facebook, and rally behind their efforts.  As individuals working together as a group, there is much that can be many lives that can be changed.  Again, quoting from their website......

"Everything Mission 10 does is for the purpose of following God’s mandates to love our neighbors, to bear one another’s burdens, and to show our faith by our works, bringing Him all the glory!  (Mark 12:30-31,  Galatians 6:2, James 2:18 & 26, Matthew 5:16)

In our communities today we are surrounded by troubles and trying situations.   People from all walks of life suffer silently, many thinking help should go to someone who has it worse than they do.  How often do we hear of a struggle, and quietly hope or pray the person finds the assistance needed? 

Mission 10 provides the mechanism by which almost anyone can get involved and make a positive difference in someone’s life."

Below is how you can contact Mission 10:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today is the day that counts!

It seems the older I get, the more I appreciate the family that surrounds me.  They have been the ones through all the years of my life that have been there.....through the good times and the bad.  Lately I have been working on a project  that depicts my family.  It's been an interesting process.

What I realized after embarking on this, that it wasn't just about me.  I in fact play a very small part of a much larger group.  I was going through drawers, boxes, and albums in an effort to record every aspect of my life as I could.  My last surviving aunt has been sending me pictures of family I never knew.  I have even started communicating with a cousin in Scotland, who has spent that past 15 years researching and documenting the family genealogy!  Low and behold, it dawned on me that without great-grandparents, parents, children, extended family, friends......I would not have even made a blip in the universe.

What was brought to the forefront of my mind, is that without others we are nothing.  The interactions of our lives is what makes a life worth living.  I have scanned nearly 1,000 pictures over the past few weeks and as I looked at each one, the remembrance of that moment was crystal clear.  The reality hit that had that other person not been there, neither would I.

In today's world I think we often think "oh, I'll do it tomorrow"....when in fact there may not be a tomorrow.  And, as I watch world events unfold in front of me on television, I am reminded even more how important it is to treasure today--every moment of it.  To not take for granted the moments we have with the ones we love.  And, so I continue in my quest, to learn more about my family, to love those who are here now, and to pray for those of the future.

My advice.....go tell your family how much you love and appreciate them...and give each one a is the day that counts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life Experience and StinkyKids

One of the tough things in life, is finding yourself in the middle of a "situation" and not knowing how to deal with it.  Of course, they say life has a way of teaching us. However, I can't help but wonder, if I was better equipped to deal with everything that's thrown at me--how would many of those situations turned out differently?  And, when it comes to preparing our children to deal with those things, sometimes it can seem like an insurmountable mountain of obstacles they have to traverse, and we can ourselves feel over-whelmed at knowing how and where to start.  Of course most parents navigate the waters just fine, but what if there was something that could help begin to prepare the little ones? 

What if I told you that there is now available, and amazing set of books and dolls that can offer a myriad of problem solving skills in a fun and non-threatening way?!  StinkyKids is an amazing group of books and doll characters, that go way beyond the norm in the world of toys.  Each book is beautifully written and illustrated to basically prepare your little ones on  how to deal with issues that are invariably going to "pop up".  One aspect I found very appealing is the "voice" of the characters was clearly distinguishable as the child's voice.  Most children and adults tend to listen to the voice the most identify with, and the manner in which the stories are written, provides a child's voice your little one can relate to, to pose the problem, and then solve it.

Another aspect I really liked, was that it teaches your little one that YOU are the one they need to come to when something happens.  In today's world, I think families often become fragmented, and kids simply don't know who they're supposed to go to.  Or they're afraid of consequences.....when often, if they'd come to their mom or dad to begin with, the consequences would have been considerably less.  The books offer up great solutions, but beyond just the story, there are suggested questions you as the parent can begin to talk with your little ones about.  I like that because it teaches them without being "teachy" gives them good thoughts that will no doubt prove invaluable as their lives progress.

The dolls....oh my gosh, are you going to love the dolls!  Made by the Madame Alexander company of dolls, the quality is amazing.  The price will shock you--so reasonable.  Every doll's face is actually embroidered, so you never have to worry about parts falling off, or paint getting scratched off.  I have twin granddaughter's, and have to tell you, these are truly the first dolls I've found that I was genuinely impressed enough with to purchase.  I also like the fact that the clothes are removable, and the entire doll is soft, so they make great bedtime or travel buddies.

Britt Menzies, coined the StinkyKids motto,“Always Be a Leader of Good".  It's a concept she taught her own children -- to make right choices, not to follow bad behavior, and be a leader of good behavior.  In addition to the books and dolls, Britt has taken her venture to one more level, which just speaks to the quality and thoughtfulness of this product.  You can visit the website of StinkyKids, where you can actually print coloring pages of the characters (my granddaughters LOVE to color).  She even has a page of pictures by kids who've become fans, and their drawings.  My personal opinion of the StinkyKids line of books and dolls, is that it is a superior, thought provoking series that every child would love to have, and benefit from.  Books are recommended for ages 10 and under, and the dolls....well, suffice it to say, you're never too young to have one of these, and dare I say--never too old!

© StinkyKids and the Runaway Scissors, which is now available for purchase at Barnes and Noble (can order at their local BN store) or at
© StinkyKids See a Full Moon at or (books hits stores September 2011 but can pre-order now)
© The dolls can be purchased at or 

    Become a fan of StinkyKids on Facebook 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Poolside & Beach Must Haves for the Little Ones

It's summer and the heat is really going full blast.  Here in Florida, we're surrounded by water (or so it seems), and when the heat gets too much, we all seem to head for a pool or the beach.  Easy enough as adults, but when you have children in tow, it takes a little more planning.

You always have to think beyond the trip to the water.......what will be the "mood" after a couple or several hours, and are you going to be prepared to deal with it?
The little ones need extra protection from the sun (hats and sunblock), plenty of water to drink, little snacks throughout the day, and something to do.  If you're going to the beach, I'd suggest taking along anything from "official" beach toys to some of the plastic containers in your kitchen cabinets -- they love to fill them with sand.  It can become a great learning opportunity while filling their time with creative fun.    If you're at a pool the same thing applies.  I am constantly amazed to watch my twin granddaughters fill, refill, dump out, and refill again and again, the plastic containers I've given them to play with.  Sometimes they sink them in the pool....and sometimes they go around the patio and collect leaves and flowers to add to the water in the containers.  They love to pretend, and it's a great way to make a mess without making it in the house!

Sunscreen is imperative!  Here in Florida, during the summer, the rays of the sun are really potent by early in the day.  You can feel the UVB abd UVA rays just penetrating your skin if you're out for just a few minutes.  There's been lots of controversy over which sun screens are the best, safest, etc., and the latest one I think might be really good (I'm not being compensated to say this by the way!) is Neutrogena's Wet Skin  Sunblock.  The  most important thing is to protect the delicate skin of your little ones.  Remember--they haven't been around for years being exposed to the sun, so they're going to burn much faster than you or I.  And, if you've ever been with a child with a know you don't want to go there again!

Another item I never seem to have enough of.......towels!  What I finally realized is I need towels for lying on, towels for drying, and towels for getting home in.  The long story short--you can never have too many towels at the pool or beach! There's nothing worse than sitting on a towel that's already soaked through, or covered in that fine beach sand.  Take enough so that when you're ready to leave, you can wrap everyone in a clean, dry, non-sandy towel to ride home in comfort.  There are so many available today, that there's really no excuse not to have an abundance of beach and pool towels for everyone!

One last thing to consider might be a change of clothes before you leave the beach or pool.  You know the little ones are going to most likely fall asleep if your trip home is more than 10-minutes, so why not make them comfortable.  Taking a change of clothes can make all the difference when they finally wake up.  And, if you're staying longer at the beach or pool, then you'll definitely want to take a change of clothes.  Look for little outfits that have coordinate hats.  Sometimes we forget the glare of the sun can be damaging over time, so look for hats with wide brims to help protect your little one from that.  If it happens to match the outfit--that's a plus!  But the main thing is, shade those precious little eyes from the glare of the sun.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Verdict.....

No doubt, if you've paid any attention to the news, you know by now that Casey Anthony was found "not guilty" on all counts, except for lying to the law enforcement officials.  I have read the cries of dis-belief and anger......I have felt them all--as a mother and a grandmother.  And yet, after watching this trial from beginning to end, I have a new appreciation of a trial by jury.

What most people are not thinking at the moment (because they're caught up in the emotions of the trial) is that this jury made their decisions NOT based on emotion or personal opinion.  They were ordered by the court to base their verdicts on the facts, and just the facts.  They were told that if they had ANY doubt, that their decision must be not guilty.  They were instructed that the verdict was based SOLELY on undisputed facts, and not innuendo, personal opinions of Miss Anthony, or "supposed" incidents that were dreamed up by either side of the law.

What you saw, if you watched the trial, was a prosecution who took as many circumstantial facts and laid out their plan to convict Casey Anthony.  The defense masterfully took those very circumstantial facts, and spun as many questions, as the prosecution laid out.  The defense successfully created in the minds of the jury, that not all the facts were "FACT".....that there was perhaps a reasonable doubt that something else happened.

I'm not defending Casey.....I am simply saying that what makes our justice system unique in the world, just exhibited to all of us, whether we agree or not, that justice can be blind.  I still can not wrap my head around whatever happened to precious little a mother, a grandmother, I would give my own life before I would knowingly allow something to happen to one of my children or grandchildren.  There is no reconciliation in my mind as to what could possibly say that whatever happened was just an accident.....but, I don't think any of us will ever know the truth.

What I rest on is that we each have our day of reckoning.  We must each account for the things we have done in our life.  Caylee, being the innocent angel that she was, rests squarely in the arms of of pain, free of anxiety, free to be the creature God created her to be.

I feel sorry for the Anthony family--torn apart by the death of Caylee, the lies, the is such a sad day beyond The Verdict.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working Moms and Dads

The world is a very different place than it was when I was growing up.  My mom was a stay at  home mom, and because of that I pretty much expected to do the same when I grew up.  However, not everyone has the luxury or desire to do that, and the children are the ones left in the wake of those decisions or circumstances.  So what's a parent to do?  How do those of you who need to work to survive make your children understand you're doing it to make a better life for them?  Or, if you're working because you have that desire -- how do you explain that to the little ones you still love them more than anything, but you love working too?

When parent's walk out the door, children don't always understand why.  Kids, like most people fear the unknown....they worry, they imagine all sorts of things when all the pieces of the puzzle aren't there (remember that boogie man under your bed or in your closet when you were little?).  As adults we can usually reason our way through, but how do children resolve those fears (I'm not telling how old I was before I got rid of the boogie man!)?

In today's world with so many parents working, you would think there would be an abundance of literature to help parents explain this, but sadly there is not.  Jennifer Pereyra, a young mother in New Jersey, found herself in that very situation.  At one point, her then, six-year old daughter wanted to know why Jennifer always had to go to work.  After searching, and not finding anything suitable to help explain, Jennifer sat down at her kitchen table and wrote her own book.

The result is a beautifully written lyrical prose, that can not only help your little ones understand why you go to work every day, but open doors for lots of new conversations about life and the world.  It will give you the opportunity after reading it, to talk about the kind of work you do -- which could then lead to getting your little ones to talk about what they think they want to do when they grow up.  Just imagine the kinds of conversations you can have after reading this book with them! We all know that there is a much greater comfort level when we understand what is happening in our lives.  

Another aspect that is particularly appealing about this book (aside from the awesome illustrations) is that it's said simply, so a child can understand.  Jennifer knew her little girl needed simple straight forward answers to her questions, and through her book she was able to achieve just that. 

You can now buy her book at Borders, and onlineJennifer will even autograph a book for you!  If you're a parent, or grandparent of grown children who are dealing with this, this book would make a wonderful gift.  You owe it to your children (or grandchildren) to buy this book to help them understand, that mommy and daddy love them, but sometimes they have to go to work. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Casey Anthony Trial

Tragically, three years ago, a beautiful little girl died.  The mother did not report her "disappearance" for 31-days, which has led to massive speculation that she murdered little Caylee.  You've no doubt heard something about this entire incident, and even though I told myself I wasn't going to watch this trial, I like so many others, have been glued to the television when time allows to listen and watch the proceedings in Casey Anthony's murder trial.

The first thing that struck me as I listened to the lawyers lay out their points that would be covered during the trial, was how could any mother give birth, raise a child for nearly 3 years, then murder that baby?  Worse yet as the evidence for the prosecution was being presented, was the point hammered home, of the smell of a decomposing body in Casey's car.  The accusation being, that she drove around with Caylee's dead body in the trunk of her car for several days before leaving it somewhere else.  I have tried to wrap my head around this one fact........and for the life of me I cannot.

I, like the majority of people watching this trial, believe that Casey did something to her child--I have not, for myself, been able to decide if she did this intentionally or not....but the thought of her not seeking help for her baby when whatever happened, actually happened, is not something I can understand.  

At the same time, I am surprised at the media's declaration of her guilt before this trial is even over.  I've always thought that a person was presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Since day one, the media in Central Florida has given the public opinion that Casey is indeed, without all doubt, guilty of premeditated murder of little Caylee.  We all can understand that something horrible happened to this little angel....but, I think it unfair that the media has capitalized on this tragic event to promote their own agenda.  It seems to be yet another glaring example of how distorted the media, and "political correctness" has become. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tribute to My Dad

                                          Texas A&M 1952

My Dad...what an amazing man he was, and I was so blessed to have him as my father.  I was born during his final exams of his senior year at Texas A&M, and my mother said he managed to graduate with a 4.0 average in spite of my entrance into the world.

What I remember most about my Dad was his honesty, his humor, and his devotion to our family.  Early on he taught me to never compromise my integrity in whatever I was involved in.  I can't say I always have lived up to his standards, but, it is always in my mind when making decisions.  He taught me to work hard, and to always believe that whatever goal I set for myself, I could achieve.  There have been so many times in my life that would have been miserable failures, had this not been instilled in me by my Dad.  

My Dad was a petroleum engineer.  He went to work for Sun Oil Company right after he graduated from Texas A&M, and when I was about 12, he bought a small oil and gas exploration company called Triad Oil and Gas.  He went on to drill the first, and deepest triple completion well in Laurel, Mississippi.  To this day I still have no idea what a triple completion well is, but I do know that he was revered and admired for his daring courage and determination to reach his goals.

My Dad was in my life until I was 18.  He died of a heart attack while driving his car--a shock to say the least, and one I thought I'd never recover from.  He was my rock, my idol, my "soft place to fall" (thank you Dr. Phil for this quote), and when he was gone I had no idea how I was supposed to continue forward.  But, Dad was in my heart and head, and I did continue forward.  I went back to college; graduated; got married; began teaching; had children; got a couple more college degrees; worked in a couple of different fields; started a retail business, and finally here I am.  Not because I'm so great, but because my Dad made me believe that no matter what--no matter how unfair things in life seem to be; that no matter what road-blocks we face....we can continue on.

If he were here today I think I'd just want to sit with him and talk about the things we did when I was  little....perhaps journey back and relive the times that seemed simpler........but I can't, and yet, I am forever grateful that God gave me my Dad here on earth.  I love you Daddy.  x0x0

Friday, June 17, 2011

Angels for Epilepsy - Children Can Make a Difference

Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior, or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. During a seizure, neurons may fire as many as 500 times a second, much faster than normal. In some people, this happens only occasionally; for others, it may happen up to hundreds of times a day.

More than 2 million people in the United States -- about 1 in 100 -- have experienced an unprovoked seizure or been diagnosed with epilepsy. For about 80 percent of those diagnosed with epilepsy, seizures can be controlled with modern medicines and surgical techniques. However, about 25 to 30 percent of people with epilepsy will continue to experience seizures even with the best available treatment. Doctors call this situation intractable epilepsy. Having a seizure does not necessarily mean that a person has epilepsy. Only when a person has had two or more seizures is he or she considered to have epilepsy.

I'm the first to admit, until I met Jamie's mother, I knew virtually nothing about epilepsy, and just how debilitating it can be.  Since meeting her, and learning more about this condition, I have a new appreciation for the courage of Jamie and her family.  Daily they are faced with the fact that her medication must given at precise times, and then there is still the risk that a seizure will occur. Jamie has spent countless days in hospitals being monitored to find an effective treatment for her.  If you've ever been admitted to a hospital, you know first-hand how boring, and sometimes scary, being there is!

However, this hasn't slowed little Jamie down from being a dynamic little girl.  She does all the "normal" childhood things, and  has even (with the help and direction of her mom) formed a non-profit called Angels for Epilepsy.  Jamie gathers "goodies" and delivers them to children in hospitals where she lives, in cute little packages.  Last year Jamie was awarded a grant from Pepsi to help make this endeavor possible.  As a result of that grant Jamie and her Mom and sisters, have delivered over 150 bags to local hospitals in Georgia and Florida.  They even have volunteers in Indiana who hope to soon replicate this mission.

Angels for Epilepsy is once again trying for another grant from Pepsi.  It's not just something you apply for, it's a voting competition.  If she gets enough votes, she'll be the recipient of  $25,000 grant that will go a very long way in helping her to expand her outreach to so many other children.  

This is where you come in!  It takes about 10 seconds to vote for her.  The link to the Pepsi grant voting page allows you to sign in several ways--one of the easiest is via your Facebook information.  Then just click on the vote button and you're finished.  Hopefully you'll take a moment to do so, and help this little girl "pay-it-forward" to many other children who struggle with this disability.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paying-It-Forward -- Yet another inspirational story of helping.....

 Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. 
                                                                 ~William B. Yeats

As a former teacher, and a student many times, I know all too well, how difficult it can be to afford the cost of higher education.  It seems most of the grants and scholarships offered are for very specific groups.  So, if you don't fit into one of those groups, you're pretty much left to your own resources.  Yes, federal loans are available, and quiet honestly, that's how I paid for all three of my degrees, but it is a costly venture, and in some ways puts the student at a disadvantage financially after they graduate.  Now, let me be clear--I am a believer in getting as much education as you can get......and if getting a loan is the only way to achieve that, then you do it......but, if someone had said to me, "there's a scholarship available for ANYONE"--honey, I would have been the first in line to apply for it!

Well, guess what....I found one of those scholarships!  Too late for me, but definitely one others could benefit from.  It was started by two women who wanted to "pay forward" to others, what they had benefited from themselves.  They did their research, and starting in May 2009, the RMHS Alumni Scholarship was born.  Michelle Petrillo, and Kerry Moots, founded this awesome scholarship fund, and have committed to giving 2 scholarships of $1,500.00, each, to students who are struggling with the financial cost of higher education.

Just a month after starting this scholarship fund, they were contacted by the Orlando, FL, family of a former classmate who had passed away.  This family asked if they could offer a scholarship in memory of their family member.  They wanted it to go to students who were majoring in the field of education to honor her memory.  This just proves how far reaching one person's efforts can be.

These ladies exemplify what makes America great.  They've each committed to helping others achieve their goals and dreams by offering these scholarships.  They and all who generously donate to this scholarship fund, are as the quote at the top of this says......"lighting a fire".  I hope you'll take a minute and visit the website for RMHS Alumni Scholarship, and just maybe you'll be a "fire lighter" too, by helping pay success forward for someone.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Paying-It-Forward -- Pamper's Miracle Missions

Recently I was the recipient of a $50.00 American Express Gift Card via PampersPampers is celebrating it's 50th annivsary, with a "pay-it-forward" program designed to deliver acts of kindness to little miracles and their families.  Pampers is challenging people like you and I to support others within our own communities.

I was thrilled to get this, and it gave me great pleasure to purchase two large boxes of pampers for someone near and dear to my heart--my oldest daughter.  She has 3 little ones under the age of 3!  And, she's in nursing school full time.  She is juggling family life with the pursuit of her professional goals, and as you can imagine, money is tight.  She was so thrilled to get something as simple as a box of diapers because it meant one less thing she had to buy this week.

In the letter I received with the Gift Card, Pampers made this statement, and I hope you'll participate:

".......remember that everyone can participate in a small way by logging on to Pampers Facebook page ( by hitting "like" and then going to the Miracle Missions tab and committing to Mission 1 by clicking "I Want To Pledge."  Once more than 2,500 people pledge, Pampers will respond by giving baby showers to expectant mothers nationwide just in time for Mother's Day.  As a side note, anyone who pledges is automatically entered to win a year's supply worth of Pampers diapers and wipes (and that can definitely help someone in a big way!).
Well, Mother's Day has passed, but we can all still do something to help a mom with her little one(s).  Think about what you can do and pay-it-forward.....if we all do something, the little acts soon become amazing gifts! 

Pampers didn't forget the Dad's!  They now have Mission 2--Making a Father's Day!  Father's everywhere might love some special time with their children which leaves a world of possibilities of things we can do to help them too! I pledged to do something special for the father of my 3 grandchildren--won't you do the same for someone special in your life!?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The only Good ant is a DEAD ant......

I've lived in my house for over twenty years.  For the last ten or so, every spring I engage in the "battle of the ants".  What I call sugar ants.........they drive me crazy.  They're the little itty bitty things that crawl into spaces no other creature can get into to.  This year they've decided my bathroom counter is the place to set up camp.

What they don't know is I finally found the secret to eliminating least until next spring.  For years I used sprays, traps, and anything else that claimed to eliminate ants.  The problem with the sugar ants, and probably with any ant, is you have to eliminate the the colony, or they just send new ones to take the place of the ones you've already killed--it can be an endless trail of the creepy crawly little buggers.

So what I finally found that actually works; is environmentally friendly (except to the ants); and is safe to use around pets and children, is a mixture of  honey and borax.  Yep--that simple--and cheap too!  You just place it along or near their trail, and within a few days they're gone--obliterated!  If you're having a problem like me try it--you will truly be amazed.  I've even found their trails outside and put it there and found it works.

What you'll need:  a straw (or several depending on how bad the problem is), a toothpick,  honey, a box of Borax (you can buy it at your local grocery store--big box for about $5.00).  Put a few drops of honey on a plate, then mix in a little borax.  It doesn't take very much borax so don't go crazy.  Ants find borax very toxic.  After you've mixed it together, cut the straw into 1-2 inch segments.  Using your toothpick, drop the honey and borax mixture into both ends of the straw pieces.  You don't have to fill the straw pieces--just put enough in that they can get to it.  Lay the pieces along or near their trail.

What you'll most likely see is a lot more ants in the beginning.  I don't know if they have little tiny cell phones to call each other, but once the word is out they seem to be everywhere around the straws.  You'll see them "feasting" on the honey.  The goal is to get them to take it back to the nest and feed it to their little friends, "ants and uncles", and most of all the queen.  Within a few days you should see no more ants--it absolutely makes my day once I've reached that point!

I put a picture below of day 2 in my bathroom.  Last night there were ants'll see today, very few......and yes, I'm is a thing of beauty to me!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Twins...To dress alike or not?

If you've read any of my posts by now, you know I'm a grandmother of twin girls.  Lilly and Leila are faternal twins, which means they look different.  Since they've been born, there have been lots of days they were dressed just alike, but probably just as many when they were dressed differently.  

I'm sure every parent grapples with the question about whether or not to dress their twins (or multiples) alike.  Certainly when they're babies and toddlers they look adorable when dressed alike, but what happens as they grow older.  Even if twins are identical, they most certainly have their own individual personality.  So what happens as they get older?  Do we insist they dress alike?  And what if they are a boy and girl?  Research varies on the subject, but most conclude that as children get older, it's best to not dress them exactly alike.  And, if you're a parent, you know, kids are going to let you know exactly how they feel about their clothes.

Suggestions for other options:
~Dress them in color coordinated outfits.
~Use matching outfits for special occasions (like family  group photos).
~When you want to  make sure others can tell them apart, dress them differently.

At Adorable Baby Clothing, we try to offer clothes that are classic in look, and are made up of fabrics and workmanship that will last a long time.  Whether you choose to dress your multiples alike, or differently, you may just find the perfect outfit for them on the website.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Pretty Lips" for $5.99

One of the great joys of being a grandmother, is finding the greatest happiness in the silliest of things your grandchildren do.  I am blessed with three grandchildren.  The first two are twins, Lilly and Leila, who are fast approaching the age of 3. Calvin is the newest addition to the family, and I really look forward to doing "boy" stuff with him when he's finally old enough for the two of us to get into trouble together.

In the meantime, I have the best time with Lilly and Leila.  It amazes me how quickly they have learned what's "girly".  The term 'pretty lips' is what they call lipstick.  They've watched their mom and I apply it and several months ago decided they needed it too.  Of course lipstick to a 2-1/2 year old can be literally we've discovered them with lips covered in mascara, markers.....and one of their favorites is the clear crayons that only show up on the Crayola paper.....I can't convince them it's invisible on their little mouths.

So this morning, I picked up Lilly and Leila, and we drove straight to Walgreens to buy them their very own "pretty lips".  They were in awe of the makeup section......and I could see they were dying to grab everything within their reach--which was considerable.  However, they've been raised "right" and didn't, but made a point to show me everything they wanted.  We finally decided on some lip gloss in a pale pink (that was my influence--I figured pale pink won't show up on my furniture as much).

The gentleman at the checkout counter seemed a bit perplexed when they demanded their "pretty lips" back from him--I had to laugh, because I knew they thought, he was going to keep it.....

The best part other than watching their little faces in the store, was standing in the parking lot and unwrapping their new treasures so they could apply it right away. simple and sweet.......makes my heart just want to explode sometimes.  You would have thought I'd just given them a million dollars......and it was as simple as "pretty lips".......