Lava Flow!

The Lava Flow

Today’s drink is a mixture of strawberry rum and pineapple slush and I am all about it!

I found the Lava Flow on Pinterest and traced this recipe back to The Chic Site. Be forewarned, there is a bit of effort involved. You need to blend a red mixture and then you need to blend a yellow mixture and then you need to mix the two mixtures. If that wasn’t already obvious by the picture.

Next time I’ll double the batch and drink with a friend!


(video here)

Enjoy!

Writer’s Workshop: Books of 2015 (Part 2)

Books of 2015 Part Two

4. Book review!

I promised myself I’d get back into reading this year. I shared my favorite books of 2015 part 1 reading list a few months ago when I hit the seven book mark. And now I’m pleased to announce I’ve officially read 16 books so far this year! I have surpassed my 2014 high of 11, but I’m still nowhere near my 2003 record breaking 40-something. Today I’m sharing part 2 of my favorite books of 2015. And by “favorite” I only mean “I read them.” The nice thing about catching up on 10 years of reading is that you really reduce the risk of reading terrible books. I’m picking out books that are coming highly recommended because thousands of people have already given their approval. Without further ado:

1. Life Of Pi

life of pi

“To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you.”

4 Stars! Life of Pi is about a boy who winds up alone at sea with a Bengal tiger after the ship his family was on capsized. The beginning was slow going for me, but I really wanted to know if he’s able to survive and for how long etc… It’s an awesome story and then at the end you have a wait what? Time out…what? And you kind of want to go back and re-read a bunch of it because you didn’t really see that little twist coming at the end there. I recommend!

2. An Ember In The Ashes

ember in the ashes

“Fear can be good, Laia. It can keep you alive. But don’t let it control you. Don’t let it sow doubts within you. When the fear takes over, use the only thing more powerful, more indestructible, to fight it: your spirit. Your heart.”

4 Stars! YES! This book has a sequel coming and I cannot wait. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because it does have a bit of that immature protagonist voice I don’t care for in young adult literature, but the story was still awesome. It’s got the Hunger Games do or die Apocalyptic feel to it, but can definitely stand on it’s own as an original. Laia is a slave, her parents are killed, her brother is imprisoned. She joins an underground resistance group and becomes a slave to get information that can ultimately free her brother, but at the risk of her life. I recommend!

3. Sold

sold

“A son will always be a son, they say. But a girl is like a goat. Good as long as she gives you milk and butter. But not worth crying over when it’s time to make a stew.”

5 Stars! 13 year old girl lives with her desperately poor family in on a mountain in Nepal. Her stepfather decides sending her to work in the city is the only solution to help their family and he (unbeknownst to her) sold her into prostitution. This book is more than a book, it like a poetic work of art. Every other line was quoteworthy and impactful, but the subject is heavy and sad. I recommend…with caution.

4. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fried Tomatoes

“You cain’t dwell on sadness, oh, it’ll make you sick faster than anything in this world.”

4 Stars! Good ol’ story telling at it’s finest. Good time southern hospitality meets beautiful southern characters and a touch of mystery. Every person I’ve talked to who has read this book puts it in the ‘must read’ category. I recommend!

5. Divergent

Divergent

“I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another. It is a beautiful thought.”

4 Stars! Another apocalyptic young adult series. I honestly thought if you read one in this Hunger Games genre you’ve read them all, but that’s not the case. Just like Ember in the Ashes, the Divergent series has it’s own twist and feel to it. I couldn’t put this one down. The book jacket reads, “In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.” Beatrice definitely surprised me. I recommend!

6. Insurgent

insurgent

“…I always thought I would be happy when I stopped looking like a child. But all I feel is a lump in my throat.”

4 Stars! The second book in the Divergent trilogy did not disappoint. I maybe liked it a tad less than Divergent purely because Beatrice makes some choices that drive me nuts. But I still recommend!

7. Allegiant

allegiant

“Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”

4 Stars! The last of the trilogy and MAYBE I sobbed quietly in bed for the remaining hour of the book. I thought this one was a little more slow going than the others and I felt like there were some rash decisions…I wanted to jump in and just be like, “WAIT! Let’s think this through!” But I had to watch on and boy that ending! I recommend!

8. The Book Thief

The Book Theif

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

5 Stars! I’ll admit I was afraid to pick this book up because I knew it had something to do with The Holocaust and I after binging on all things World War II in high school, I’m drained. I just can’t wrap my brain around that hatred and abuse and I’m at this point where I’d rather spend my time getting lost in a make believe story than reeling over so much suffering. That being said…5 stars. “It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .” It was sad for sure, but also inspiring. I’m so glad I read it. I recommend!

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1. List 7 things you love about your favorite animal.
2. Write about the last thing you sent your child to their room for.
3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: impulsive.
4. Book review!
5. Create a list of some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow.
6. Talk about a food someone convinced you to try.

Link up!:



Vlogging Workshop: Straight To The Toy Maker

I finally found my passion in life and it was quite by accident. I shared awhile back that I had tapped into a community of tweens on YouTube that I didn’t know existed when I made a video complaining about how my daughter was begging for $30 Littlest Pet Shop toys on Ebay. That video is now at 160K views and has over 2,200 comments. It’s crazy. And I insulted them all by calling them a little bit crazy. They came to my daughter’s defense, I followed up with an apology and this week I really won my tween friends over by taking their fight straight to the toy maker. Here’s a message I have for Hasbro:


(video here)

And I loved seeing some new faces in last week’s link up! Katie from Amotherthing coined some pretty hilarious new mom words and I definitely related to a few of them more than I care to admit!:


(video here)

Check out Katie’s channel on YouTube and give her a subscribe!

Now it’s your turn!

This week’s prompts:

1. Share the books you read in July…which were must reads and which should we pass on?
2. Compile short clips, Vines, and Instagram videos and make a video that highlights your favorite July moments.
3. July favorites haul! Share some of your favorite July finds.
4. August 5th is National Oyster Day. Make some, try some, buy some…do something with oysters for crying out loud.
5. Free Day! Link up any video you haven’t previously shared in a Vlogging Workshop.

Link up!:



Get a jumpstart on next week’s video! Here are the prompts next Wednesday’s Link up:

1.  Complete  the A Little Bit Of Everything Tag. (found here)
2. Show us what you do when the kids are in bed.
3. A day in the life of your child.
4. Show a messy room in your house and then create a timelapse video of yourself cleaning it.
5. Vlog at the location of a pretty sunset.
6. Free Day! Link up any video you haven’t previously shared in a Vlogging Workshop.

Vlogging Prompts For 08.12

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Every week you’re invited to join me in a Vlogging Workshop focused on working together to create a community interested in video blogging!

  • To join, simply add a link to the Vlogging Workshop posted here every Wednesday that will direct viewers to your video (either on YouTube or your blog).
  • New vlogging prompts will also be posted on Wednesdays, so you will have a full week to create your video response!
  • I will feature a favorite video each week.
  • You can subscribe to this weekly newsletter if you’d like the video topics delivered early, along with a weekly vlogging tip.

To view more detailed instructions on how this weekly Vlogging Workshop meme works click here.

Here are the vlogging prompts for the Wednesday 08/12 Link up:

1.  Complete  the A Little Bit Of Everything Tag. (found here)
2. Show us what you do when the kids are in bed.
3. A day in the life of your child.
4. Show a messy room in your house and then create a timelapse video of yourself cleaning it.
5. Vlog at the location of a pretty sunset.
6. Free Day! Link up any video you haven’t previously shared in a Vlogging Workshop.

Now go make that video!

Writing Prompts For 08.06

writing prompts

Every week you’re invited to join me in Writer’s Workshop by responding to one of the provided writing prompts posted each Tuesday. The directions are simple:

  • Choose a writing prompt from the list provided that inspires you most.
  • Write.
  • Come back this Thursday and link up by pasting the URL from your post into the list of thumbnails that will be displayed. Just scroll to the bottom of the thumbnail list, click the bold words you will see that say “Click here to enter” and you’re all set!

View more detailed instructions on how this weekly meme works in the Writer’s Workshop FAQs. To receive writing prompts in your inbox each week, subscribe to the writing prompt newsletter here.

Writing Prompts:

1. List 7 things you love about your favorite animal.
2. Write about the last thing you sent your child to their room for.
3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: impulsive.
4. Book review!
5. Create a list of some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow.
6. Talk about a food someone convinced you to try.

Some Favorite Entries From Last Week:

“I worry the about the lack of kindness in the world” –Musings And Meanderings

“I try to get out of bed and take a shower.” –The Jammie Girl

“I Wonder how long will he have to fight in this war” –Our Nutty Life

“The petty bickering escalates into an arm-waving argument and the dog hides in her crate.” –Momma On The Rocks

“I worry that time is going too fast” –A Hop Skip And A Mom

31 August Vlogging Prompts

August Vlogging Prompts

Vlogging prompts are a great way to develop video content ideas for your YouTube channel! Use them to inspire consistency and fuel that creative mind! Below is a list of 31 August vlogging prompts, peek back in next month for a fresh September list!

31 August Vlogging Prompts

1. Have a fun craft for kids? Create an easy to follow tutorial!
2. Share a favorite summer drink recipe.
3. Share the books you read in July…which were must reads and which should we pass on?
4. Compile short clips, Vines, and Instagram videos and make a video that highlights your favorite July moments.
5. July favorites haul! Share some of your favorite July finds.
6.  Complete  the A Little Bit Of Everything Tag. (found here)

7. Show us what you do when the kids are in bed.
8. A day in the life of your child.
9. Show a messy room in your house and then create a timelapse video of yourself cleaning it.
10. Vlog at the location of a pretty sunset.
11. Wednesday August 12th is National Middle Child Day. Talk about what being the middle child is like for you.
12. Participate in the Dance With Your Kids YouTube Challenge. (found here)

13. Parenting fail! Describe a time you feel like you really messed up!
14. Take us to the pool with you!
15. Pinterest inspired! Try something you saw on Pinterest.
16. What song has been your summer anthem?
17. Wednesday August 19th is National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day. Take us on a trip!
18.  Complete the Most Likely To… Tag (found here)

19. 10 things you most dread about Summer ending.
20. Try your hand at TieDye!
21. Review a movie you love.
22. Wednesday August 27th is National Pots De Creme Day. Do something about that.
23. Vlog your last day of summer.
24. Complete the Disney ‘Name That Tune’ Challenge (found here)

25. 10 things you most look forward to when school starts.
26. Show us something you organized.
27. Make a sprinkler for your kids using recycled items (like a colander).
28. Review something!
29. Show us the last thing you purchased.
30. Preschool. Is it necessary?
31. Back to school haul!

Have a great month and happy vlogging!

Click here for a collection of more fun YouTube Tags!

31 August Writing Prompts

31 August Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are a great way to work through writer’s block when it comes to journal writing and blogging. Use them for yourself or share them with your kids to inspire consistency and fuel that creative mind! Below is a list of 31 August writing prompts, peek back in next month for a fresh September list!

31 August Writing Prompts

1. Share a back to school memory.
2. Write a blog post inspired by the word: cheap
3. 10 things you have learned from reality tv.
4. Share something you learned in July.
5. What grade is your child going to be in? Share a memory you have of yourself at that same age.
6. Share a favorite quote (or group of quotes) that you enjoy and describe what they mean to you.

7. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous August and write a poem or a blog post.
8. Who needs a vacation when you can spend your summer doing this…
9. List 8 things you’re looking forward to and/or list 8 things you are dreading about sending the kids back to school.
10. Write a blog post inspired by the word: deep.
11. Your childhood neighborhood.
12. List 10 things you love about the state you live in.

13. Write a blog post in exactly 12 lines.
14. Write a post where the first and last sentence contain any form of the word “creep”
15. Write a blog post from your dog’s perspective about he/she feels about your kids going back to school.
16. Find a brunch recipe on Pinterest and try it out! Was it successful?
17. Share the story behind your current Facebook and/or Twitter profile photo.
18. What is sabotaging your plan to drop 5 pounds?

19. What did not get accomplished this summer that you wish you had time for?
20. Top 10 reasons why you are glad you are done with school.
21. Write a post that begins and ends with the same sentence.
22. Write a blog post that ends with the word: leap.
23. If you had more time, what is one last summer excursion you would plan for your family?

24. 10 Lessons your child could teach you.
25. You were supposed to start a garden this summer…share the fruits of your labor.
26. Write a blog post inspired by the word: steep.
27. Book review!
28. If you had to be a school teacher, what age would you choose to teach and why?
29. Write a poem inspired by that thing that’s been on your mind lately.
30. Talk about the last thing your husband did that made you laugh.
31. Highlight 10 favorite summer moments so far.

Here’s hoping August goes by slowly! I want to hang on to Summer for as long as possible!