Friday, March 10, 2017

My Read-O-Rama TBR List


Round 6 of Read-O-Rama is coming up and is one of a number of consecutive readathons this month! Seriously this month is cray cray when it comes to readathons. See my sidebar for the full schedule of current and upcoming readathons.



Read-O-Rama is a week long readathon and is March 12 - 18th. This readathon is kind of intense if you attempt to do all the challenges. I've chosen books for each challenge but I seriously doubt I will get to them all. The first challenge is to read 7 books and there are 7 different individual book challenges. 

1. R-A-M-A in the title/author name


Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth


2. Book With An Animal on the Cover


Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland


3. Main Character That Shares Your Initial


The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Alternative Choice (I have it on hold at the library)


The Burning World by Isaac Marion
(Not only does a main character share my first initial but my entire first name.)


4. Book with Irish Elements 


Orphan Train by Christina Baker Cline
(Main character is an Irish immigrant)


5. Book About an Illness


What Alice Forgot Liane Moriarty
(Amnesia is an illness, right?)


6. Start A New Series


Lick by Kylie Scott
(First of the Stage Dive series)


7. Read a Book Blind


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
(I have no idea what it's about I just know it is a hugely popular YA novel.)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Info and Sign Ups for the 2017 Paranormal Reading Challenge


This challenge has been moved from Whole Latte Books!

New for 2017!
I've decided to make some changes to what has been known as The Reading Bites Challenge and expand it to all paranormal creatures! This year it's called the 2017 Paranormal Reading Challenge! This means you can read about vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, ghosts, and even witches!

As always this is a challenge where you choose your own reading goals. It's low pressure so read as much or as little as you would like!

The Rules: 
  • This challenge begins January 1, 2017 and ends Dec 31, 2017. 
  • You may sign up anytime during the year. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want. 
  • Books must be paranormal. This means the book has supernatural beings or elements but is set in our world. This includes vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, ghosts, witches, wizards, psychic powers, magic, fairies, mermaids, angels, gods, etc. 
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks. 
  • Books may be YA, adult, horror, romance, graphic novels, etc. 
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges. 
  • Use the hashtag #2017ParanormalChallenge
  • If you could be so kind, please place the 2017 Paranormal Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.

Info and Sign Ups for the 2017 Young Adult Reading Challenge


This reading challenge as been moved from Whole Latte Books to here!
I am bringing back my YA Reading Challenge for it's second year!

Last year about halfway through the year I realized I had read over a dozen YA books but had no challenge to count them towards so I created one! Most of these were series I have yet to finish so I knew I just had to do it again.

I happen to be an adult who reads a lot of science fiction and fantasy young adult books with an occasional contemporary book thrown in. I am not embarrassed by this at all.  However, this YA reading challenge is not just for adults. Anyone can participate! As with all my challenges, I let you set your own reading goals.
The Rules: 
  • This challenge begins today but books read from January 1, 2017 and ends Dec 31, 2017 will count.
  • You may sign up anytime during the year. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want. 
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks. 
  • Books may be horror, romance, dystopian, supernatural, graphic novels, etc. 
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges. 
  • Use the hashtag #2017YARC
  • If you could be so kind, please place the The YA Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Unread Books That Are Sitting on My Shelf



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.






























I Want This Blog to Be My Compass


I have felt so lost these last several months. I haven't been writing or making art. I'm 41 years old mother of adult children and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I know I want to be creative. But I've never been able to decide what I want to create...that is other than children.

I have five of them. I've very good at creating children.

In fact, when I first created this blog it was about parenting and my children. But I jumped in the mommy blogging game too late and there were far too many mommy blogs already. I had a few posts that did really well so that's something, I guess. I kept at it but discovered I hated writing about just parenting. Maybe it's because I'm on kid number five. There's only so many years you can keep talking about kid stuff and not be bored out of your mind.

I've never really done is sit down and figure out what I want this blog to be. So I've started and stopped it. Posted and taken down posts. Tested out topics but never really committed to them. Tried to do everything but just sit down and write from the heart. Did everything but just be myself. 

Why?

Is it the standard identity issues that comes with borderline personality disorder and years of depression? It is over twenty years of being a wife and mother and experiencing the cliche feminine mystique? Or is is a midlife crisis? All of these things?

I don't know. I just know I don't want to be this person anymore. I don't want to keep living an uncreative life. I also know I want to blog about art, writing, creativity, philosophy, politics, feminism, and spirituality with the occasional parenting topic thrown in. 

I want to find myself in this blog. I want this blog to be my compass. If readers follow along with me on this journey than great but it has to be first and foremost about finally becoming the woman I've always wanted to be. This blog is my tool for that. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Man Starts "Help Protect Betty White from 2016" Go Fund Me



The year 2016 has claimed more lives of so many beloved actors and artists. Twitter user @christhebarker created an image to capture everyone that has passed. (Boy was that worded awkwardly.)


Another twitter user @L3GSV has captured them as angels on her "angel tree."


Well we all want to prevent Betty White from 2016. A man started a Go Fund Me account to do just that.

When I first heard about this I thought this guy is either brilliant or an absolute moron. How can sending money protect Betty White from the angel of death that is 2016?

It turns out he's brilliant. All of of the donations actually go to the Spartanburg Little Theater.

Demetrios Hrysikos writes:

Hello again! Wow , what a day. I'm at a loss for words for the support this little post has garnered. It's hard to keep up with all the tags but we're getting the word out and that's good! I've been in contact with the little theater and have some news. I've decided to up the goal of the campaign because at this point I don't see a point in capping the amount of money donated. Also , I've decided to end the campaign at midnight on New Year's Eve. One way or the other, for a worthy , cause 2016 will end on a good note. In the days following the new year I will appear on Your Carolina to present the check to the head of the Spartanburg Little Theater. Every red cent minus go fund me's fees. I had no idea this would get this big and it's been a lot to take in, but I'm glad it did. Carrie Fisher as much as Betty was a driving force in this and with the news of her mother's recent illness I'd like to hope we're all keeping her and her family in our thoughts. And now for the hashtags. #iwasntready #Bettyblessuseveryone #dontmakemetalktoreportersbeforecoffeeagainplz

Well Demetrios, we weren't ready either.

The Bumper Pad Alternative: DIY Wonder Bumpers



The Single Mommy Blog is no more but I wanted to repost my most popular post from that blog here. I posted this back in 2013 but it never stopped being the most read. 

Yesterday I did something I never do. I posted a parenting question on another Facebook page because I'm so torn about what to do. Boy do I regret it.

My little 4 month old is a squirmer when she sleeps. She wiggles and writhes so much in her sleep that she moves all over the crib. She gets her arms and legs stuck in the slats sometimes but the worst part is she whacks her head on the bars. Sometimes it's only a few times, or like last night it's every hour!

So I decided to violate the no bumper pad in the crib rule and attached the bumper my 8 year old daughter used in her crib. Not 5 minutes after attaching it, Skylar was somehow drawn to it like a magnet and squirmed over to it. She smooshed her little face right into the bumper pad. I watched her for a few seconds to see if she would instinctively turn away from it, like so many parents claim, but she didn't! It absolutely looked like she couldn't breathe so I moved her back to the center of the crib and took off the bumper.

So I decided to have the question posted on the Facebook page. I got answers that were even more dangerous than the bumpers! One woman suggested putting folded up blankets in the crib. Another suggested rolled up towels. (Don't these mothers know you aren't supposed to put anything in the crib!?) Another told me to put the bumper pad back on and "have faith everything will be alright." And the last one I read claimed babies getting smothered by a bumper pad never really happens. I stopped checking the replies to the post after that. I had heard enough.

Here's the proof that it certainly does happen. There aren't just facts and statistics but photos of mannaquin babies demonstrating exactly how their faces were smooshed into the bumper pad. It's disturbing and downright terrifying.

Apparently there's so much evidence against bumper pads being safe that they are illegal to sell in Chicago. The state of Maryland proposed a ban against them as well.

When I Googled bumper pads I also found something that absolutely shocked me. One of my favorite parenting blogs has pictures of her nursery and the bumper pad covers the entire bar area of the crib. I looked at the date and it was from 2011. I believe the warnings about removing bumper pads really took off around 2010, so it really surprised me. (Feel free to correct me on that date. My last baby was born in 2004 so I missed a lot!) I won't share what blog it is but it's easy to see there would absolutely be no air circulation. I found a similar picture on Etsy and am shocked that anyone would sell these with all the studies on bumper pad safety. 


Skylar is almost able to roll over from her back to her front, but she isn't even close to rolling over the other way. So if she rolled over, stomach down, face down into the bumper pad - she isn't likely to roll back. I could easily she how she could suffocate. Sometimes I think she put her face in the bumper 5 minutes after putting it on for a reason. It's like she demonstrated exactly why it isn't safe.

Now there were a few other answers to the bumper pad dilemma that made sense. They weren't things I hadn't already researched already though. I was hoping someone could give me some other suggestions but it seems there are only these other options.

1. The breathable bumper
Breathable bumpers are made of mesh. The theory behind bumpers being a risk for SIDS is that there isn't enough air circulating. The mesh bumpers allow air to circulate but keep baby from getting her arms and legs stuck in the slats. Great idea but it's not much of a help if your baby is whacking her noggin on the bars.

2. Wonder Bumpers
These are brilliant. They are bumper pads that wrap around each individual bar of the crib. They cover the entire length of the bar. However, the price of them is absurd. I also don't know if they would even work with my crib because my crib bars are wider and flat, not round.

There are some people that are making their own DIY versions of Wonder Bumpers. They are using pipe insulation and the no sew versions use modge podge for applying the fabric. At first, I worried that the pipe insulation isn't safe to put in the crib, nor is the modge podge. If your baby is breathing in these materials, is that really safe? However, it seems the actual Wonder Bumpers are made from the exact same material as the DIY versions - polyurethane foam. After some research on Modge Podge, it turns out this is nontoxic as well.

After rewatching the how to video I was also happy to see that her crib has slats exactly like mine! 





The one thing I don't like about the Wonder Bumpers is that they go the entire length of the crib bars. I really would like to have mine the length of a regular bumper. My crib also is curved at the top so it would need 14 different sizes! I'm not the only one who wanted smaller versions because I found a tutorial on doing the shorter versions of them! They look like this:

Making these mini-Wonder Bumpers is going to be my next big project! Thank you A Day in the Life of a Five Foot Mama for showing how to make exactly what I want for my baby's crib!

2017 Creativity Reading Challenge Info and Sign Up Post


I am dedicating 2017 to becoming more creative in my life! In order to do that I need some inspiration. I decided to create the Creativity Reading Challenge to help inspire me.

This challenge is about reading books on creativity, art, crafts, writing, film making, photography, cosmetology, DIY, cooking, and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life.

To get you started, here is a list of my Top Ten Books on Creativity.

The Rules:

  • This challenge begins January 1, 2017 and ends Dec 31, 2017. 
  • You may sign up anytime during the year. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want.
  • Books may be nonfiction, memoir, how to, self help, coffee table books, instructional, picture books, and even fictional if they are about people who are creative.
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges.
  • Use the hashtag #2017CreativityRC
  • If you could be so kind, please place the 2017 Creativity Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • Come back to this post and share links to your book reviews in the comments.
  • To sign up please add your link to the Linky Tools below.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Parenting Reading Challenge Info and Sign Up Post


Welcome back for the 3rd annual Parenting Reading Challenge! 

This challenge isn't about reading to our kids (although we should be doing that every day). This challenge is about reading parenting and homemaking books to help us improve our parenting skills and our home life.

The Rules:
  • This challenge begins January 1, 2017 and ends Dec 31, 2017. 
  • You may sign up anytime during the year. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want.
  • Books may be nonfiction, memoir, how to, self help, humor and even fictional if they are about parents. Nonfiction books should be about parenting or homemaking.
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges.
  • Use the hashtag #2017ParentingRC
  • If you could be so kind, please place the 2017 Parenting Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • Come back to this post and share links to your book reviews in the comments.
  • To sign up please add your link to the Linky Tools below.