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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday eyeglasses

I remember when I was growing up I used to wear a snowman sweater during the holiday. I've grown out of that look, but there's always a way to add some holiday cheer to your wardrobe. How about a little of that cheer on your eye wear? I spotted a pair of stylish, rectangular frames that sport a white poinsettia flower on the temple at Now that's what I call Holiday Fun Eyeglasses.

Buying a new pair of glasses doesn't have to break the bank; there are $8 Prescription Zenni Glasses and to stay up to date you can check out their New Arrivals. Whatever type of specs you're looking for, you'll find a wide variety for the occasion you're looking for or to use everyday.

Where has the day gone?

First of all, if you see Lin, don't tell her I was on the computer today. I forgot that I'm supposed to be taking a break - one day a week on the weekends - because there were some things I wanted to get accomplished. And I have a deadline to meet. I guess that means I better plan my weeks better in order to be able to take that day off, huh?

Today has been a relaxing day, but I am a little irritated that it's almost over. All I did was wake up, take a nap (the highlight of my day), eat/fix two meals (so far, with the kids), write a paid post, finish reading a good book, send a couple of e-mails, talk on the phone, FB, work on my assignments, take out the trash, wash my hair, shave my legs, etc., and that doesn't count disciplining the children and doing for them.

That doesn't sound like much to me since I still have some things to get done. I sat down to write this post and my butt hadn't even made a dent in the seat before one of my children said they want juice. So, I'm off to get juice and fix a late dinner then I'll be back eventually. I must convince myself that washing one child's hair will be a headstart in getting things done tomorrow.

What did you do today?

Holiday family fun

Sometimes trying to come up with activities, outings and events to keep everyone occupied during the holidays can be hectic and tiring. But with a little planning and creativity everyone can have a stress-free, fun holiday break with a little variety.

What types of activities and traditions does your family participate in during the holidays? There's always large, lively dinners, neighborhood light tours and the yearly holiday movie marathon. Now is a good time to insert some holiday games that are an excellent way for group interaction, and a lot of the games can be altered and played with a festive Christmas twist.

Teach someone how to play a game of Bingo and include a friendly wager or prize package. There is also Chinese Checkers, Monopoly and a large selection of other board, Internet or computer games that will interest family members of all ages and skill levels. To put a holiday twist on other games, pop in a Christmas CD to jam to, mix some eggnog and don Christmas attire, family members can laugh through a game of Charades, have someone make up a Christmas Trivia game or organize Christmas Bingo.

Now along with the good food, surprise gifts, holiday music, entertainment and decorations, there will be good times had by all with the addition of a couple of fun games.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Forbidden sleep

Last night I did not sleep well at all. Not.At.All. I started coughing and couldn’t stop. I thought I had been asleep for several hours, but when I stopped trying to keep my eyes clamped shut and glanced at the clock I saw that it had only been about an hour or so.

All night long, between the coughing, tossing, turning, going to the bathroom then a crying child who only wanted me to put their blanket back in place, I never got more than a few minutes of sleep at a time. Can you imagine my frustration?

When my first alarm made a loud announcement this morning at 5:30, I didn’t hear it at first. I accidentally hit snooze, but that’s no problem because I have a second alarm set for just such a mishap. Well once the second alarm went off I was wide awake… oh, for about three minutes I guess.

Suddenly I jolted awake only to discover it was about 6:45. Only 30 minutes – give or take – before my son’s bus was to arrive. I rush to get him up, his clothes ready, breakfast prepared, etc. No matter how late I am I always make sure he gets on the bus so then only one child will be late – the one I have to drop off.

It’s funny how as soon as it was time to get up my body relaxed and I dropped into a deep sleep. Funny is so not the right word ‘cause I am not amused. As I sit here with a lack-of-sleep headache and keep the momentum with the fuel of three cups (16 ounces each) of coffee, I hope that I have that deep, peaceful sleep tonight. YAWN.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am Black.

I really had no intention of writing another post today. I have quite a few other things that I need to do so I was resisting the urge to write something random or forced. But I just had a very interesting and unexpected (isn't it always?) conversation with my son.

Most nights we read a book because it's required for school. Yes, I'm one of those parents who doesn't read to their children on a daily basis, but I do enjoy it. I actually love books and you can often find me with my nose buried in one.

I digress.

The book I chose to read tonight is "Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children" by Sandra L. Pinkney with photographs by Myles C. Pinkney. This is not a review, but I must say that I think this book is beautiful. It's a quick read with superb pictures. I've read this to my children before, but this is the first time it's clicked.

The first page is of a beautiful young girl - maybe about 4 years old - who has greenish/gray eyes, black hair and yellow brown skin. The next page says, "I am Black, I am unique."

My son says, "I don't see any black on her."

Although I've tried to explain this to him before it was obvious that he wasn't getting the meaning. (The English language can be so hard to explain.) I said, "Black isn't the color of our skin, Black is who we are. It's what we're called as a people. We're all different colors, but we're all Black."

I kept reading. He saw a very light-skinned child with dark eyes, a chocolate brown boy and those that had a blue tinge to their skin, an orange tone and the pretty brown of a pretzel. And there were even more. The way this book described each tone of skin was sweet. I just can't think of another word. It was a perfect way to relate it to children to help them understand.

Through the book the phrase "I am Black. I am Unique" is repeated. At the end, my son said, "I didn't know I was Black and unique."

"Do you know what unique is," I asked him.

He didn't. So I explained that it means special, different. Also during this conversation I said, something to the effect of, "A group of White people would be called white, but the shades of their skin may be different. They're all different. We're different too we're just all called black."

He then investigated our skin and I showed him how I am a light brown with a little red and that he's a little darker then me. Then he started pointing out scars and darker areas on the skin so I had to explain that without using the word "pigment."

Then, do you know what he said? "Do some people kill black people?"

"Where did you hear that?"

I don't recall his answer, but I tried to give him a quick and kid-friendly rundown of slavery and even now some people are killed regardless of their color 'cause people do bad things.

"Are black kids killed?"

Well, how do you answer that? I didn't want to say no because that would be a lie and eventually he would learn or hear of something that told him that children are killed. I ended with telling him he didn't have to worry about that right now.

My son, in all of his 6-year-old wisdom, learning and capabilities, said, "I want to learn more about being Black. Black people."

I sort of smiled. "We'll talk about it again soon and we'll try to get a book about it, okay?"

"Okay," and he skipped off to tell his sisters about what he learned about being Black. They were in the bathtub, but I guess it was important for him to relay the information before he forgot.

It dawned on me - even regardless of one's race - that it's so important to teach our children about who we are and give them the pride, knowledge and history. I'm just surprised that the subject came up, but I'm glad I had a chance to answer his questions and teach him something that is important to us as a people. It also made my "proud to be Black" feeling even stronger.

Interested in purchasing a copy for your kids or to give as a gift then click the book image. It's one of those books you'll be proud to share with your children.

Wordless Wednesday: Whooo? Whoooo?

5 Minutes for Mom WW participants

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Give a gift card

Every year for as long as I can remember I have packed my oldest daughter's stocking with a variety of small gifts. Watches, gum, candy, chapstick, lipgloss, fingernail polish and files... As she got older I gave her travel toilet paper and paper towel rolls, hand sanitizer and any little travel-sized item I could find. Yes, believe it or not, she uses every one. She used to tell me how nasty the girls bathroom is in high school and that they sometimes don't have toilet tissue, hence the gift of a travel-sized toilet paper.

Now that's she's gone away to college I was thinking I would get her the "normal" stocking stuffers, but will mix it up a little this year. She'll probably get more than one Gift Cards so she can purchase exactly what she needs for her dorm room and herself.

Gift Cards - there are quite a few sold at - are the perfect gift. They're easy to purchase on because you can search the category from which you want to purchase. Make giving a little easier - and brighter - by giving gift cards.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Bare Skin - new fragrance by Leslie Blodgett (REVIEW )

Before I read about the inspiration behind someone's creation, I like to test it out for myself. That's why I've been avoiding reading in-depth information about Bare Skin, which is the first fragrance from Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries exclusively for Sephora. I received my sample a few days ago and, honestly, upon first sniff I wasn't quite feeling it. Then it dawned on me that a lot of fragrances adjust a little to your natural body chemistry so I put it on and fell in love.

Bare Skin is one of those scents that seems like a natural part of you. The scent blends nicely with my style and vision of myself as well as being gentle on my sensitive nose. As a matter of fact, by the end of the day, I could still faintly smell it and I was still enjoying it.

After I had that entire experience and asked a male friend what he thought (he gave it a thumb's up), I ventured into Leslie's world. Here's what I discovered:

Bare Skin "revisits and evokes pivotal moments" that occurred in Leslie’s life. I really enjoyed the way the press materials relay Leslie's thoughts and the process that resulted in this fragrance so I'm going to share that with you here:
"Having kept journals since she was a young girl, Leslie has captured the essence of every trip she has taken through the pages of her journals. With the release of its first fragrance Bare Skin on [October 8], these pages have been brought to life through scent, enabling Leslie’s ardent fans to walk a fragrant mile in her shoes. Bare Skin, the first scent in the series, is reminiscent of an experience during a trip to Mexico, where Leslie cart-wheeled fancy-free down a sunny beach while emanating true, unbridled joy."
Leslie says, "When I have an experience, I like to have a scent behind it. Bare Skin, which is what Mexico reminds me of, is the way you feel when the sun is beating down on you during the day, but then you go out at night and you’re still sizzling from the warmth of the day which mingles with the night air and the music."

Isn't it amazing how she describes that? Makes you wanna get a whiff of it yourself. Once I read what she was feeling behind it, I could feel and see her memories and my own surfaced as well. I happen to love being outside and enjoying the beach. Now when I inhale and enjoy the scent of Bare Skin my mind is flooded with my own memories of lazy days on Jamaican beaches and the calm, but joyful feelings that come from gazing at the sea.

Bare Skin is sold in 1.7 ounce eau de parfum - $55, solid perfume compact - $35 and perfumed body cream - $30. You can purchase it at, but don't wait too long to get your hands on some because it's a limited edition fragrance collection. Also, check out Leslie on Facebook fan page (LeslieBlodgettPerfumeDiaries) or follow on Twitter @LBperfumediary.

Want to meet Leslie? She'll be in New York City at Sephora Times Square on November 18th and in Tampa at Sephora International Plaza on November 19th. For more information or to RSVP click here: NY and Tampa.

Let the GIVEAWAY begin!


WIN The Zoopendous Surprise by Boots Hensel

When I first read about this children's book I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy and share it with my children. Now, I can't wait to share it with one of you. The author Boots Hensel has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of The Zoopendous Surprise to an It's a woman's world! reader.

I originally reviewed the book on August 27th and you can read that review here. It's based on a true story to give honor to the author's daughter Courtney who died of cancer four years ago. Courtney was a zookeeper for two Asian elephants at the Little Rock Zoo in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Boots would often visit her daughter at the zoo and watch the interaction of the animals as they played together. She noticed the elephants' sensitivity and antics, which compelled her to write about her daughter's "girls."

The Zoopendous Surprise is such a sweet and entertaining story of the elephants, Mary and Ellen, who try to find out what's going on around the zoo. None of their animal friends will tell them what the surprise is and just as they're getting discouraged and about to give up they discover what it is.

What do you think it is? That's what I asked my children when I was almost finished reading the story. Between the voices that can be used for each animal, the colorful and beautiful illustrations (by Andrea Gabriel) and the suspense of trying to figure out what is going to happen, The Zoopendous Surprise is a book that your children will love hearing and reading again and again. Honestly, it's one of my favorites.

How can you win?

There's one simple way to enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me about your child's favorite book. If you don't have a blogger profile that includes your email address, be sure to include that in your comment.

Who is eligible?

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.

The winner will be announced Monday, November 30th on this post and a separate announcement post. The winner, who will be chosen by, will receive an email and have four days to respond. If a response is not received in that time then a second place winner will be chosen.

Finished pouting

Guess what? Pouting doesn't make a computer do what you want it to do. I pouted about the Window's Live not working the way I need it to - giving me an error when I try to post with pictures - and boycotted updating my blog. Nothing changed about it not posting. So I have to get back to work and figure out the problem. I really like the way the program works besides that so I can't stall any longer.

As for the post that's waiting in the wings, it was specifically for posting on Friday so I will delay it until this Friday and hope I've fixed the problem (or had it solved!) by then. Hopefully it won't take long and it'll be easy.

Any tips on using Window's Live?
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