Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Find A Way - Book Review

Read an Excerpt of Find A Way by Diana Nyad
Dreams are the great drivers in life.  They inspire, motivate, and take us to greater heights.  For some, though, lost dreams can be the source of their greatest regrets.  I have lost count of the number of times I have had others tell me they wish they had pursued a dream, or that now they are too old to make their most fervent dream come true.

Diana Nyad, in Find A Way, lives out for us her singular pursuit of the dream that gave her life true purpose and meaning—swimming the stretch of ocean that was deemed unswimmable.  She wasn't supposed to make it from Cuba to the Florida coastline.  Nobody ever had.

Because Nyad had failed to complete the swim in her twenties, when she was a record holding world-class distance swimmer, it seemed crazy that Nyad thought she could accomplish this in her sixties.  After all, Nyad had done no swimming for thirty years.  This would ultimately become a test of will, of mental strength, and of finding her peak long after most athletes are past their prime.  There would be the agony of many defeats before there was the thrill of victory at age 64.
"I failed and faltered many times, but I can look back without regret because I was never burdened with the paralysis of fear and inaction."
In the case of this epic quest, it wasn't just a question of physical prowess.  Nobody had ever conquered what was, and is, considered the Mount Everest of swimming due to factors outside of the control of the swimmer: the presence of deadly ocean predators (sharks and incredibly toxic jellyfish), violent storms, unforgiving currents and winds, and the debilitating effects of being submerged in salt water for a prolonged period of time (three days and nights).

The rigors of pulling off an expedition of this magnitude make for fascinating reading.  Nyad had to find and enlist the support of the foremost world experts in dealing with the extreme complexities of Gulf Stream navigation, fending off sharks (she swam without a shark cage), surviving the punishing and immensely painful stings of the deadly Box jellyfish, sustaining the body and mind while swimming for days without rest, and negotiating the divide between two countries that had long been estranged.  Without the bottomless commitment and devotion of lifelong friends, Nyad would literally have been dead in the water.

Find A Way is the book I would choose to give to everyone who has ever told me their dream has escaped them.  After reading it, my excuses for not chasing after my current dreams sound flimsy and embarrassing.  As a woman who wishes to live with far fewer regrets, I found in Nyad the kind of inspiration needed to launch myself toward my other shore.
"Whatever your other shore is, whatever you must do, whatever inspires you, you will find a way to get there."
To all of the dreamers out there, I say read this and jump back into the water.  Your distant shore beckons. 


















Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Come to the Quiet by Denise George: A Book Review

Are You Tired Today and Longing for Rest?


I know I am. Although I now live only with my husband and neither of us works outside the home, I still find it hard to find the rest I need. It's especially hard to find quiet rest. It seems there is always some kind of noise in the background. Maybe it's a neighbor using a leaf blower or my husband watching television or a motorcycle driving by. Since I've moved to the city it's never been quiet. That's why I have to use white noise to block unwanted sounds and get to sleep.



Even though I work at home as a blogger, it seems I never have time to relax. There's always something to read or write, photos to take or edit, other blogs to visit and comment on, and social promotion to do. That's on top of the normal chores involved in keeping us fed and in clean clothes, doing necessary housework, and paying bills. Interruptions come in the form of phone calls, husband, workmen, and knocks on the door. There are errands to run, doctor appointments, and emergencies to deal with. I have to plan carefully to spend time with friends.

Many reading this have even more on their plates than I have -- a full time job outside the home, children to care for, getting children where they need to go in their own busy lives, etc., etc., etc. It never stops, and probably neither do you until you drop physically and emotionally exhausted into bed at night.

The Right Book at the Right Time


Solitude and quiet have always been important to me. Up until we moved into our house in a small city I always had a place to get away to de stress . Since we now live in a one story house and have a television which can be heard from almost every room, it's been much harder to have my solitude. And I've been feeling the tension build. Sunday I had almost the entire day to myself and I spent most of it reading this book: Come to the Quiet by Denise George. I found it sitting on a shelf of samples publishers had sent me years ago. For me it was certainly the right book at the right time.



My husband was gone almost all day. I took advantage of the solitude to rest my body and my spirit. This book was like a drink of ice cold water on one of those triple digit summer days we've had this summer. It confirmed my need to escape to solitude more often.

When my mind and body can't rest my spirit suffers, too. Rest for body, soul, and spirit are essential for physical and mental health. George's book explains how we can find the quiet and rest we must have even though it seems like there is no time or place for it. We were created for quiet. To be healthy we must leave room for quiet rest in our lives.



Finding Rest in the Midst of Stress

George points out that we often bring unnecessary stress on ourselves. Maybe a mother doesn't really need to work outside the home. George helps a woman who has a choice evaluate the value of her job to herself and her family. Denise George also recognizes that some women must work -- especially those who already have the stress of parenting alone. She suggests ways even single working moms can find quiet rest in the midst of their stress.

She also helps us work through our priorities. Misplaced priorities are a major source of our stress and overwork. Some stresses are easy to get rid of by changing habits we might not have even thought of as stressful. She points out some of those stresses that have easy fixes. She explains ways we can tune out external noise we can't control and have a more peaceful life.

I think many of us are so used to some stressors we don't even realize they are there, but George shows us some practical ways to escape them. There are changes we can make and places we can go to rest our stressed minds. George's suggestions will help anyone, no matter what causes the stress or how economically well off one is.

Christian Answers to Stress

Christian women's lives can be as stressful as any other lives, but our faith and relationship with Christ mean they don't have to be. It's very easy to buy into the world's mindset and get our sense of worth from what we do instead of who we are in Christ. This book shows us how to let Christ transform our minds. It also offers suggestions for resting our bodies and spirits.

Stress eventually affects our bodies enough to make us sick. Researchers have determined how much stress we can take before this happens. The book contains a stress test that gives points for various life events and pressures and you can see how close you are coming to the 300 points that can make you sick. As the points add up, quiet, self-care, and solitude become more important than ever in keeping you well. There are plenty of suggestions in this book for lessening the stress both you and your children have in your lives.

George invites us to come to Jesus when we are physically and emotionally overburdened and find rest for our spirits and minds. She shows us how to do that. She leads us to the quiet place of healing and shows us how to guard our hearts against the hate, prejudice, bitterness, and selfishness which stress us and  hurt others. Jesus can replace those things with agape love in our hearts.

Jesus invites you to come and rest with him. He wants to lift your burden of stress and lead you to his quiet place of refreshment for your body, mind and spirit. Come to the Quiet will give you the details on how to rest in Him.









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

I'll Push You - Book Review

Every once in a while, if we are fortunate, we are given a glimpse into a relationship of such incredible beauty that we are instantly inspired to be more, to do more, and to love more than we ever have before.  To read I'll Push You, is to witness the ultimate expression of brotherly love and devotion.  It is the opportunity to enter into a pilgrimage of the heart.

There are volumes of travelogues written by those who have embarked on such ancient walks as the Camino de Santiago.  The thing that sets this story apart, along with Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray's extremely rare lifelong friendship, is the fact that this trek was supposed to be impossible for them to accomplish.  Few believed they could actually pull it off.  Of course, those naysayers did not comprehend the enormous overcoming power of Justin and Patrick's friendship, of their faith, and of their spirits.

Born just 36 hours apart, Skeez and Paddy, as they affectionately called one another, never really knew life apart from one another.  They were classmates throughout their schooling, were best man in each other's wedding, and only became closer when Justin was diagnosed with a debilitating neuromuscular condition similar to ALS.  When Justin lost his capacity to walk, and to use his arms and legs, Patrick did not hesitate to step in to help Justin's wife care for his every need.

Not one to wave a white flag and give up in defeat, though he would have been justified in feeling more than a little bit of hopelessness, Justin sought to find ways to continue to live life with gusto.  When he learned about the Camino in Spain (The Way), Skeez asked Paddy if they might attempt it. Without losing a beat, Patrick replied: I'll push you.  At the time, neither Justin nor Patrick knew just exactly what it was they had agreed to do.  All too soon, they would begin the most arduous journey of their lives.

How do you cross the Pyrenees, and other mountain ranges, make it through the Mesita desert, and ford through raging rivers in a wheelchair?  What do you do when the pathway becomes a steep, boulder-strewn bowling alley, or an impassable quagmire of deep mud?  These became the daily challenges that had stopped even the most robust pilgrims along the way.  With the help and kindness of strangers, Justin and Patrick are drawn into the pilgrimage within the pilgrimage.  What began as a travel adventure, becomes a deeply transformational journey of self-reflection.

Over the course of 500 miles, Skeez and Paddy explore what it means to love, to serve, to trust, and to grow in grace.  To take the journey with them is a blessing, a privilege, and the chance to ponder how we might be the love that turns the impossible into the possible.









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review

A Glimpse into What Ruth Graham Learned as a Child of God


For a long time I thought of Ruth Bell Graham simply as Billy Graham's wife. I knew she was the daughter of medical missionaries and had spent her childhood in China. Other than that I didn't know much about her until I started to read her books. I'd like to share one of them with you here: Legacy of a Pack Rat.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Image Courtesy of Pixabay, edited in PicMonkey


Those of you who know me probably know why I had to open and read this book. I'm a pack rat. This was one of the books that I've had around the house I'd been waiting to read. I'm trying to read through these piles of books now so that I can pass them on. I won't be passing this one on just yet. It's a keeper.

If you've ever kept a journal or made a scrapbook, you know that only what is significant to you goes into it. Much of this book is treasured memories. Some of it is Ruth's original poetry. You will also find quotes from others which she wanted to preserve and keep handy to read over and over. As I read the results of Ruth's collation, I got a great deal of insight into who she was.

One portion I especially appreciated was Chapter 42: "Bible Study for Tough Times." These are suggested passages to read followed by some of Ruth's thoughts on persecution, affliction, and God's sovereignty and sufficiency.

Some anecdotes in the book are humorous. Some thoughts she shares are inspired by her Bible reading. Many stories are about her interactions with her husband, children, and parents. All of the stories, meditations and poems leave me with something to ponder after I read them.  One example from Chapter 43 shows how a barracuda gave Billy Graham more energy than he knew he had.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Image of Barracuda Courtesy of Pixabay. TExt added with PicMonkey


The Perfect Book for Small Bits of Time


This book offers inspiration in short doses at times when you may need it most. Only a few minutes for a morning quiet time when you're still too tired for real Bible study? Reading a bit of this book will speak to your spirit and keep you going until you have more time and energy.

Are you sick in bed or in the hospital and can't read anything heavy for encouragement? This book is just right. It's also good to have beside your hospital bed for family who are keeping vigil when you are sleeping after surgery. It's perfect for reading while you are in the ICU waiting room awaiting your next visit with a family member who is in critical condition. You can also take it to a friend who is in the hospital for surgery or to recover from an illness.

Keep it by your own bedside and read a short chapter before you close your eyes. That can help focus your mind away from problems or pain that may be keeping you from falling asleep immediately.

I carry it with me now when I know I may spend time waiting anywhere. It doesn't require long periods to finish a section, since chapters can be less than a page to five pages in length. Most chapters are a page or two. I used to keep my Kindle in my purse for these waiting times, but then I often find I don't want to put my book down and tackle my to-do list when I get home. Instead I want to finish my book. Legacy of a Pack Rat is easy to pick up, read, and put down when you need to do something else.

Who Will Get Most Out of This Book?


I would say that Christians or those who believe in God will benefit most by reading this book. Ruth Graham knew what it's like to be a young mother with several young children and a husband who is gone frequently for long periods of time. So she understands the pressures of other young mothers. She also understands what missionaries face as they work in other countries and cultures. She understands what it means to be very busy and very tired. She understands being under pressure. Her book speaks to those at any stage of life from teen to old age.

Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Bell Graham: A Book Review
Photo  ©Barbara Radisavljevic, Poem  © Ruth Bell Graham


This book offers food for thought in the form of humor, poetry, inspirational quotations, stories from the mission field, stories of returning prodigals, and more. She deals with hard topics like death, persecution, church problems, suffering, and forgiveness, interspersed with humorous anecdotes, reflections on prayer, original poems, and inspiring family stories.

Many of these stories may also be interesting to those who are not yet believers. Some may help a seeker move closer to faith. But I recommend the book most to those who already desire to walk closely with the Lord and lead lives that are very busy and/or who struggle with physical or emotional pain. 

The other two books you see below offer more insight into the life of Ruth Graham. Two of her children, including Franklin, were prodigals at one time. In Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, she reveals her heart as she waited for them to come home spiritually and explains how the experience helped her learn to rest in God's sovereignty. In Footsteps of a Pilgrim, Ruth reflects on her life both as a child in China and as a wife, mother and grandmother in the United States.

You can buy Legacy of a Packrat and the other books by Ruth Bell Graham at Amazon by clicking a link below or you may find them on eBay for less. 





You may also want to read my review of Billy Graham's book, Facing Death and the Life After.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

When You Have An American Heart - A World of Good

Find American Heart by Faith Hill Here
And More Inspirational Songs About America Here

Stand Beside Her and Guide Her

"From the small town Friday night lights, to the Broadway neon burning up bright, We're all the same and it's in our veins, A spirit that you can't keep down, A fire inside that'll never burn out if you are the owner of an American Heart" (Lyrics from American Heart by Faith Hill)

America The Good Representing a World of Good

The inspirational song by Faith Hill, American Heart, reminds us about not only the good in America, but also in people who proudly call themselves members of the free world.

Free speech, compassion, human rights and the collective good remain a constant work in progress and as a Canadian, like my brother and sister Americans, I'm blessed to be a part of it.

As people of earth, our diversity along with our sameness are the weights that create the balance. It's cliche, but it really is our differences that teach us and our common ground that unites us.

As an example, even with a physical border between Canada and the USA, the earth doesn't shift when you place a foot on one side or the other: Stand on one side, or stand on the other, I'll venture a guess our aspirations are fundamentally the same; those being prosperity, peace and the pursuit of happiness.

We all know Canadians and Americans share the longest peaceful border on planet earth. This speaks loudly about the people who inhabit both sides of this man-made invisible line.

The most successful friends on the planet have earned a few bragging rights and the Oscar should go to the people of both countries, not our governments. For it's the people who set the pace in a free country; it's people who push governments one way or another, and in a free world governments reflect who we are.

Belting out the lyrics of American Heart, Faith Hill sings these inspirational words 'We're all the Same'. The song is speaking to the soul that makes up America. Today I'll push these worthy sentiments forward to encompass my own country, and even further out to wrap these words of hope around the planet.

When times get tough, play Faith Hill's song American Heart full blast:

Cause it beats like a drum down in New Orleans
Sings like a Motown Melody,
It dreams like California,
Bigger than a Texas sky,
it Bleeds,
it Scars,
it Shines when Times get Hard,
and you can't break an American Heart..

(Lyrics from American Heart)



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Board Game to Encourage Your Better Self

A Board Game that Encourages Positive Action & Thought

Are you looking for a family game or party game to help inspire and encourage the better side of people?


There isn't anything that says we have to continue to feed into the overwhelming negativity that seems to be infecting our lives and our playtime

Many are consumed with violent video games and even board games that promote the not-so-nice side of people. Although game lovers will never stop playing violent and vulgar games (and yes, they can be fun too!), it's nice to know that, once in a while, we can actively switch things up to something that leans positive.

With Thanksgiving approaching, 'Better Me' is a game the whole family can play. It encourages us to expose the better side of ourselves to others.
"Better Me is a new approach to relationships and personal development. The game encourages it's players to take real action after the game has ended to better themselves in this life. It uses the basic principles of positive psychology to help strengthen relationships and to help tap into the better side of the human condition"
Better Me helps you to quickly get to know people as well. If you're hosting a party and need a game to encourage conversation, this game does it in a positive, constructive and forward thinking way. You'll get to see the inside of people very quickly just by their responses to a variety of life questions and scenarios. 

The fundamental play of the game involves Players completing their five areas of life; Heart, Mind, Body, Tangibles and People. You earn points by passing along a true compliment, sharing a story where you learned a positive lesson, and even committing to taking a positive step in your life when the game ends.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays - Have Fun, Be Happy

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Owner - Funkthishouse.com






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sayings to Write in a Get Well Card

Funny Sayings to Write in Cards
One of my personal 'crazy skills' is the ability to quickly create lists of 'sayings' - Yes It's a bit strange
If we were face to face and you gave me a 'Topic' and 5 minutes to come up with 20 quote-sayings about it, I would most likely be able to get it done. In fact, here's an entire section I've created on original sayings you use to write in cards.
So onto today's challenge:
Review a List of Things to Say in a Get Well Card
Finding just the right thing to say in a get well card can be challenging, so I've put together a collection of things to say according to the emotion you want to convey: humor, sarcasm, or inspirational. You'll find things like, 'If you're really sick, I'm sorry, if you're faking it, you're my hero!'
Yes it's always easy to get a card that has something written inside of it, and then just sign your name, however even if you select a pre-written card, it's makes for a lovely personal touch to add some words in your own handwriting.
Humorous Get Well Sayings you Can Choose from:
  1. Getting well is hard work, being well is harder work - so milk it!
  2. Don't be a baby when you're sick, I heard you do that when you're well !
  3. The world found out you were sick today, and the whole planet was given the day off !
  4. I was so upset to hear you were sick today, that I held a party in your honor (too bad you were sick)
  5. When you're sick, I'm sick - because I have to do your job!
  6. You need to get better fast, I can't take the pressure!
  7. You don't look sick, you don't sound sick, those Acting Classes are paying off
  8. You're probably the best looking sick person I've ever seen in my life
  9. You look better sick than I do well !
  10. Natural healing - it isn't fun is it
  11. So you thought getting sick would keep me away from you, well you thought wrong there pumpkin
  12. Here take these two Heal-Me Pills - possible side affects; your nose will fall off, your ears will turn green, your house may get termites, you could wake up with four flat tires on your car, and your eyeballs could end up on the side table when you're sleeping - other than that, you should feel better by 6am (OH! and you're dog might hate you)
  13. If being sick is some sort of a grand plot to get the attention of everyone at work, well congratulations you little genius it's working! In fact I think you've received a raise and a promotion while you've been off!
  14. As long as you're sick, I was wondering can I borrow $1000 bucks to buy you the best present ever!
  15. Did you get sick to just give us all a break ... well we all got together to thank you and to say that you would be happy to know that NOTHING is getting done while your sick!
  16. Don't worry, nobody is stealing your glory while you're sick, 'cause everyone refuses to do your job! (apparently your job makes people sick)
Inspirational Things You Can Say In a Card to Someone's Who Isn't Well:

If someone you know is quite ill, often times it's hard to know what to say when you want to say something nice. So below you'll find some ideas. Feel free to use them as is, or simply as an idea to expand upon with your own words.
  1. You deserve a medal for perseverance and fortitude; the way you've handled this illness is an inspiration to all of us and we're very lucky to be in your life
  2. You always carry yourself with dignity and grace no matter what challenges come your way
  3. We want you to know that you can count on us to be there for you because you've always been there for everyone else
  4. Time takes a hold of our heart and with a gentle squeeze it reminds us why we're here - to love deeply, and to live with purpose
  5. We've all signed a petition and asked God to help you through your illness because we all love you and need you here with us
  6. When we face a severe challenge, we are given an opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves, but everyone agrees you're the only exception to the rule - you've lived with honor and are a rare bird; a triple A person in every aspect of life
  7. Good health is a gift you deserve more than anyone we know
  8. When you're at your best, all of us are at our best - you're an amazing inspiration to us all
Sarcastic Funny Things to Put in a Card for Someone Who's Not Well and Appreciates a Laugh
  1. So you decided to get sick to avoid me right!
  2. You are the sunshine in my life, the reason I am who I am - what a load of garbage, just get well ok!!
  3. You're really sick right? Really right? really honestly and truly right? Darn 'cause I needed you to paint the house!
  4. Give me six reasons I shouldn't be mad 'cause you're sick, go ahead...I'm waiting...see NOTHING! I'm mad that you're sick, 'cause I miss you
  5. In order to get well you have to actually be sick, so this card is a 'stop faking you're sick card' so you can actually get sick so I can get you the right card..a get well card. Gheesh you frustrate me!
  6. There's a chance you're just faking sick to avoid responsibility right? You better puke soon or you're done!
  7. Not everyone is scared to touch a sick person - hope those people can visit you 'cause I sure the h*ell can't !
  8. You want to know why you're sick, it's because you do too much, talk too much, help too much ... the only cure is to become totally selfish and useless like me
  9. If I could find the answers to life itself, I would be able to become the kind of person who writes extremely profound diatribes in a card - aren't you glad I'm a selfish tool now!
  10. Give me three reasons you became sick...never mind allow me....(1) You needed an excuse to get some time off, (2) You're looking for payback by making me do all the work now, or (3) You're really sick and I'm an A-hole.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Which Quote Best Describes You?

Quotes for the Wall Here
In the New World of 140 Characters, Quotes are Fast Becoming a Way of Making a Quick Statement About Ourselves; Which Quote Best Describes You?
It's going to be difficult to select just one quote that best describes yourself! Most of us have numerous quotations in our repertoire that resonate with us.
Certainly, as we grow older, a saying that meant something to us once at 20 years old may not hold the same meaning for us at 40. However, having noted all of these obstacles, take a gander at the quotations I've put together below to see if there's one particular quote that means more than an other, at this time in your life.
Of course, I've only focused on a handful of quotations to feature, but don't let that stop you
from adding the saying that you personally like best in the comments section.

Does A Quote about Success and What it Means to
Succeed Hit Home With You?

Are you the sort of person who connects with phrases and quotations about success versus failure? There are a number of them to choose from including this extremely popular quote by Michael Jordan.
"I have missed over 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan"
This particular saying says a lot about perseverance...taking 9000 shots, losing 300 games...and this is why he succeeded. Are you the sort of person who's just stubborn enough to keep going until you make it? Do you look at the failures in your life as merely temporary obstacles? Maybe you're motivated by failure?
A few of my own personal favorite quotes are:
  1.  This too shall pass
  2.  Sometimes God calms the storm, but sometimes God lets the storm rage, and calms his child
Some people find it difficult to cope with obstacles and failures; how about you? Do you believe that anything is possible if you just put your mind to it? There are a lot of questions here aren't there? Go ahead, offer up your thoughts.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

One Hermit Crab Takes on the World with His Message of Hope; 'Stop Crabbin'

Terry the Hermit Crab Hires a Public Relations Representative to Help Spread the Word about his Dream to Morph the
Terry's Motivational Products Here
Grumpy

Terry the Hermit Crab has a purpose, and he's on a mission to morph the grumpy!
Terry was quietly resting in his aquarium one day when his little hermit heart filled with meaning: He suddenly realized his life purpose...He jumped up and down (in his mind) then sauntered over to his buddy, fellow aquarium mate, Marcel, to tell him his plan!
It went like this..."Marcel, Marcel, OMG, I know what I need to do now....I'm meant to spread happiness and tell people to STOP CRABBIN'
Terry's Motivational Tip Greeting Cards!
Marcel abruptly yawned (in his mind) and after several "ho hums" told Terry that he could not possibly succeed without a solid internet marketing plan. Terry really has trouble with Marcel's negative thinking, and without any qualms told him he didn't need any of this "so called marketing" cause "he knows people, who know crabs, who know people".
Now, as you can tell Marcel won this battle and convinced Terry he needed a product page, a website page, effective SEO (Marcel has all the buzz words down), effective backlinks, and lots of fans who will make him go socially viral.
Terry was upset with Marcel's commercial approach and only wanted to spread the word with his tiny little hermit crab voice, until he realized he didn't have a voice! Marcel wiped away Terry's hermit tears, and told him, that going commercial would not compromise who he is or his positive message and that he knew the perfect person to get rolling on this! Our caretaker Jared is too busy writing music, but I'm calling his Mom, Barb...she can help us..she knows about this marketing stuff!

Barb Meets with both Hermit Crabs, Terry & Marcel

The Meeting was Tense but Productive

Well, it was an honor to be hired by these two crabs to help get Terry's message out. After meeting with Terry and Marcel, I must say, I was totally impressed with their ability to articulate exactly what they wanted to promote.
Now if you read the first the section you already know that Marcel the Hermit Crab is very much about the business and promotion side of things, and at this point only wants to work behind the scenes. I'm hoping he'll change his mind! I'm working on it. Terry on the other hand is all about the message he so vehemently wants to promote, which as you know is "Stop Crabbin". I will attest that Terry is very genuine about wanting to achieve world happiness...He's no Miss America, but he means what he says.

Terry the Hermit Crab's Photo Session
STOP CRABBIN' - Terry's Motivational Poster

Well Terry made it very clear that I wouldn't get a great photo of him unless his aquarium was completely revamped. So after extensive remodelling of his classy home, he was stoked and ready to roam.

With their aquarium shining, I settled in for Terry's big photo session. After an a hour of watching Terry and Marcel wander with speed and agility (like Hermit Crab Ballet) through their home, I was able to finally get the photo that Terry is most proud to tag onto his message...Stop Crabbin'.
Terry hopes you like the photo of him climbing the tree, 'cause he's very proud of his climbing skills...oh, and he's very pleased with how nice his eyes look.

Terry Decides on a Motivational Poster

Terry is such a stubborn Hermit Crab! He insisted on a Poster as his first Product. From where he sits, there seems to be a lot of walls, so he figures motivational hermit crab wall art is a breakthrough idea. I tried to explain to him that the world isn`t exactly how he sees it, but he thinks my perspective is the perspective that`s skewed. Arguing with a Hermit Crab seemed pointless, and after all he`s the boss.
Terry the Hermit Crab's Motivational Tip Classic White Coffee Mug
Stop Crabbin' Coffee Mug

STOP CRABBIN' Coffee Mug

Terry knows how some people wake up grumpy, so naturally a coffee mug made his shortlist of products. Grouches in the morning make up a huge percentage of people (so Terry says), and his purpose to de-grouch the world just wouldn't be complete without addressing the morning crowd!

A Hermit Crab Binder for School

Terry wants to have a positive influence on young people, and remind them that getting an education is critical to building their future. His buddy Marcel the Hermit Crab has a fabulous business mind acquired from business crab college.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mom's Visual Tweets, How to be Heard Without TALKING

One of Mom's Visual Tweets! - Wall Quote on Amazon
Yep, I've personally tagged wall quotes in our home with the title and purpose...'Mom's Visual Tweets'

Mom's Review of Wall Quotes and Their Intended Purpose!
My first child was born in 1986 and my last child came into our life in the year 2000. Watching the world change so quickly has been an incredible, almost shocking, ride. I've been holding onto the railings for a long time, so, yah, quotes prevent me from going postal. Fact.
Understatement coming....parenting today is challenging. There's too many outside forces coming at our children; products, technology...more stuff...more things...more useless crap, even more crap that's eventually going to become useless and rinse and repeat! Quite frankly, too much 'stuff' and too many 'things' make mom a big grump, and maybe a tad nutz.
Most of my boys are young men now, but I'm sure other parents can attest to the fact that parenting never ends, and I do mean NEVER. As the mom of 4 boys, it's hard to deliver life tips and messages without getting that 'hurry up, yah yah, glazed over look' from your kids-slash-young men.
So, to solve this dilemma, I decided to use wall quotes as well as hand written quotes to feature in our home.
Instead of Deciding to beat the 140 Character-Attention-Span-Syndrome, I Decided to Join It
By using wall words, sporadically through the house, I'm able to send a positive life message to the
This would get an Eye Roll - I Need to Put it Up :)
Wall Lettering on Amazon
boys (and myself). Oh yah, the quotes get eye-rolled. But tough bananas, like Martina McBride said in her song, I Do It Anyway.
I haven't just purchased wall quotes, I've also hand written them and put them on the fridge.

Unfortunately the fridge started to look like a hippie wall from the '60's, so I've since transferred most of them to a binder.

The binder sits ready for the kids to read..I've yet to see them open it. I should stuff some cash in it - in 10 years check it, bet the money will still be there. 
But I don't get discouraged. Not me. Nope. I'm going subliminal.
I just keep rotating them from the binder to the fridge, where one always sits in full view: I have to keep that puppy up for a longgggg time, cause it's usually a month before they notice 'a quote change'.
For the family, I particularly love quotes about the mind, about our thoughts, and how "we become what we think about" - 'control your thinking, control your life'. <---I'm hoping to control that thought so it sinks in.
I say, don't let the eye rolls discourage you, get those 'Visual Tweets' up! They eye-roll this Mom til the cows come home and it makes no difference, actually motivates me to look for more. Big mistake. Huge. In fact, I have a continuing series of mom's messages through song here! They'll appreciate it when I bite the big one; nobody puts Mom in a corner.

By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com
Drageda.com - Heart of Country




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I Was Here, I Made a Difference, I Mattered

History of Money Fridge Magnet Here
There's an Unexplainable Feeling in Your Soul; You're being Called to Contribute Something well Beyond Serving Self

It's an ache, a light, but mostly something you're driven to achieve for the contribution it will make to the greater good.

Money isn't the driver.

Money almost annoys you. You've come to terms with the fact that money isn't even the measuring stick you were told it was.

Money turns out to be something the human condition glorified as necessary paper in a desperate world saturated with mixed up priorities.

This driver goes well beyond money.

This driver is the Art.

It's the grand vision to bring a smile to someone's face, to aid a suffering heart, to tell someone they matter, to bring unexpected laughter to a troubled soul ... you know the truth about this driver. This driver is timeless. It's the immortal spark that endlessly ignites creativity and genius through multiple generations.

You have been gifted a universal secret, and you comprehend the ultimate meaning of purpose:
"When this body has sung it's last glorious song, written it's last sonnet, or penned it's final poem, you know without a doubt that just like love, the artist leaves the body and lives on"
The art is what's remembered.

The art is what matters.

The art, like the artist lives on.

I Was Here by Lady Antebellum



(Lyrics) "I wanna do something that matters
 Say something different
 Something that sets the whole world on its ear
 I wanna do something better
 With the time I've been given
 And I wanna try To touch a few hearts in this life
 Leave nothing less Than something that says "I was here"
You can find the song I Was Here by Lady Antebellum on the Album 'Act of Valor' - A Compilation Album for 2008 Team USA. 

Learn more about and follow country music sensation 'Lady Antebellum' on Facebook and Twitter.


Article dedication: To George William (Billy) Tremblay, My Uncle - Forever remembered and respected. His art lives on his family; his art will forever be his family.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Day of Paying Attention

“It is quite possible that an animal has spoken to me and that I didn't catch the remark because I wasn't paying attention.”   ― E.B White, Charlotte's Web      

Last week, on Review This! I wrote about the Shawan Downs Legacy Chase annual benefit steeplechase in Maryland.  I love going to watch the horses race around the course, jumping over a variety of fences.  It is an amazing, good time.

I made it a point to go again this year.  The weather Saturday was perfect. Following days of cold and rain, Saturday was a sunny, clear-skied day in the 70's.

Moving from one spot, to the next, finally settling on the deserted back fence. I sat in the long grass along the very old fence. Between races I admire the lichen on some of the ancient wooden rails.  Then I realized, despite my best efforts to find privacy, I was not alone.

Dancing spiders
There were spiders moving and dancing along these flat old hardwood boards.  I wasn't sure if they were marking their territories or trying to mate. Perhaps they were warning me to leave. Every few inches there was one of these thumbnail sized spiders. They slowly moved along, back and forth, lifting their hind ends high then dropping them, like hydraulics on a car in a parade. Up and down, up and down, while moving back and forth.

At first I nearly squealed. I'm not extremely afraid of spiders, but I do hate walking into webs when I hike and I'm afraid of the ones that jump.  Initially, I thought these would jump. They looked aggressive. I thought they would move up and down, up and down, side to side, then jump on me.  But they never jumped.

As I watched, mesmerized, I began to notice the webs spitting out of the spider's caboose.  I could see it with my naked eye, spurt, shooting off into the wind, iridescent in the sun.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Look closely, see the web?
I watched and tried to photograph the dances and web spurting, being very careful not to rest my elbows on the top board again in lieu of a tripod.  I was vaguely aware of people walking by, probably wondering what in the world the crazy lady was doing.  Why bursts of shutter clicking while no horses were running?

But I remained focused on the spiders. And their dances. Amazed at how relatively thick and how long the webs were. String after string, like invisible kites being guided by the spider's hiney. Not forming a cobweb, but streamers of spider string blowing to the sky.

The spiders had begun to look less ominous.  In fact, I began to think of one of my very favorite books of all time. Charlotte's Web.  What a great story.  And something was scratching away at the back of my brain.  I knew I had read a fun review about Charlotte's Web. Now just who wrote that thing, I asked myself over and over.


Charlotte's Web
I returned home and found it, the reviewer of Charlotte's Web was Mary Beth's granddaughter.  That explains why the review stuck in my head. Do you want to read a cute and insightful review from the perspective of a little girl? I am five times Rachel's age of 10 but I still love Charlotte. Isn't it amazing how a good story can stick with us for our entire life?

And that was how I spent my Saturday at Shawan Downs, watching horses fly and spiders dance.  

Written by Dawn Rae
Images of spiders by Dawn Rae

Disclosure: In affiliation with AllPosters.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPosters products.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Imagine, Create, Inspire!

Today I'm going to talk about why it's so great to share your crafts for kids online, and the best ways to do it!

First off, crafting for little ones is so very important, because it encourages them to be creative and imaginative from an early age, makes for great messy play (also very important!) and can benefit them in a number of other ways, ranging from fine motor skills to learning counting, colours and shapes.

It can be hard to know where to start for new parents, so anything online that can help inspire moms and dads is a wonderful thing - it's where I started when I was a new mama! Reviews of books and kits, ideas for resource materials and basics, and step-by-step tutorials for different age groups are all so very helpful to your readers! And even when you're a crafting pro, fresh inspiration for your kids is always welcome, so any more complicated crafts and fabulous ideas you may have are perfect for young crafters as well!

Remember, everything that you do with your kids that makes them happy, could make other children happy too! Sharing resources with other parents means you are inspiring others to imagine and create their own crafts and fun ideas.

As the Little Crafty Kids Contributor, writing about kids crafts comes easy for me because, chances are, we'll be doing crafts weekly anyway, I'll be taking photos anyway, and I'll be wanting to share them online anyway! So it's really easy to find things to write about each week. Plus I love doing it, so hopefully that shows in the writing! Be inspired by the seasons, festivals and events, what you can find in your recycling bin, or the story you've been reading together at bedtime. What can you make today?



To write a great article or tutorial about what you're doing with your kids, make sure you take nice, clear photos of each step, as well as the finished result! It can help to have a not-too-cluttered background, but hey, this is parenting, so that's not essential! Take some colourful pictures of the materials you're using, too. Pictures of your children actually doing the crafts are fab, but if you prefer not to put pictures of them on the internet, then take back-of-head shots of them crafting, or shots of each stage on the tabletop. If you're a wiz in a photo editing program, then you could make a montage of some of the photos with a tagline like "How to make a Toy Oven out of an Old Box" or "10 Great Crafts to Make with Pine Cones"! You could use this as an intro photo and also to promote the article on social media, especially great for visual ones like Facebook and Pinterest.

Think about niches and keywords, and how to get traffic for different kinds of craft articles. Individual how-to's might not get many searches, especially if your tutorial is something unusual, but if you can slot it into a niche phrase that is searched for, then write a piece that incorporates it - for example, you might have a review of an Easter Make and Do book, a tutorial on how to make an Easter bonnet, and a how-to on different ways to dye and decorate eggs, and so on. Write a lens or blog post on "Fun Easter Activities for Preschoolers" or "Easy Easter Crafts for Toddlers" and link to each of your related articles!

How else can you help other moms and dads? Last time I talked about reviewing craft kits. Craft books are also great to review - most parents will want to buy at least one or two of these, but there are so many out there, a really good selection of reviews can help them choose. If you put effort into your reviews and really show your enthusiasm or passion for the book (along with things you've actually made) then your readers will turn into shoppers!

Share your thoughts on:
  • The ease of instructions for each craft
  • Age suitability
  • How clear/inspiring/beautiful the photos are
  • How many projects and ideas there are
  • Levels of difficulty
  • Do they work? Are they easy to make? Are there good challenges? 
  • And most importantly - do your children enjoy making the projects? 
 I created a list of craft books suitable for under-fives here, which you can use as a starting point for writing a book review. There have been some fantastic reviews written by Squidoo'ers in the last few weeks, such as this review of Show Me a Story by MeltedRachel, which shows the passion she has for the book as well as lovely photos of how she used inspiration from it to make story mats and maps from her leftover textiles. Meanwhile, tonyleather shared this bumper binder of books for making things from household items, which gets his granddaughter in the creative mood! Finally, CorrinnaJohnson gives a great example of how to review a seasonal crafts book with her take on Valentine Things to Make and Do.



Of course, when it comes to crafts for little ones, you don't have to just stick to basic crafts - you could also come up with recipes and ideas for materials (home-made paint, play-dough and so on), crafts to create toys and other items (we've been making rainbow rice for sensory play, and we've saved an enormous cardboard box to make a rocket out of!), and crafts for grown-ups to make things for preschoolers. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity!

Next time I'll be looking at making recycled crafts from household items. Happy crafting!








Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner