Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Fun with Cartoon Inspiration

The firestorm of cartoon character debates that flew through our living room when I answered Bruna's Let's BEE Friends interview questions for my feature on her blog today were wide and wild.  Everyone had their opinions as to who the best was and the reasons why were as varied as the cartoon characters were.

I haven't been able to get a few of those characters off of my mind.  Let's welcome the weekend in with some Friday Fun and take a stroll through a few things that have been created with a couple of these characters in mind.

Tweety Bird
~ one of my nicknames as a kidlet ~

Source: via Karen on Pinterest

That cake ROCKS!!!

Source: via Karen on Pinterest

Crayon roll ups are great in the car & for coloring in unexpected places!

How cute would these be at a party!

Wonder Woman
Okay, I realize now, I wasn't thinking of Wonder Woman from the comic or a cartoon, but rather Lynda Carter kicking some butt!

I want one!

This gives me so many ideas for kidlet wallets, party favors, a way to include more pics, journaling, or memorabilia on a scrapbook page!

Source: via Karen on Pinterest

So sweet. Outwear that reminds me of Underoos. I can't remember if I had Wonder Woman, but I know I had SuperGirl!

And since I'm still singing La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, laaaa...and I do adore Neil Patrick Harris and Project Runway with the fabulous Tim Gunn started last night and Jayma Mays is cute as a button...

...did you sing along?  You did, didn't you.  It's okay, you can admit it.  Wouldn't want you to get blue or anything over it. ;>  Will you be getting Smurf'd and seeing this 'reimagining'?  I promised the kidlets one more trip to the movies this summer, so it's this or Winnie the Pooh.

Happy Friday!  Hope you're on your way to wickedly fun & wildly wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Can we BEE Friends?

I'm being featured by Bruna at Bees With Honey today!  She's interviewed me as part of her Let's BEE Friends Friday link up series.  She's such a sweet gal, who will keep you chatting on Twitter and thinking on her blog, all with a smile.

Come on over, see why I have cartoons on the brain now, and please say hello.  And while you're there, link up a favorite post to share with her friendly bloggy peeps & twitter tweeps.  See you there!

Let's BEE Friends

Brush Away Boredom

Mama’s Losin’ It

Rollin' & writing along with Mama Kat's third prompt today:  share a favorite craft or game that will keep your kids busy for at least 20 minutes.

Somehow, the phrases, "I'm bored." and "I don't know what to do." have sauntered into our home within the last year and they kind of make me a wee bit batty.  Each time, I take a deep breath and rattle off at least a couple dozen suggestions.  Sometimes one will spark an idea in their sweet heads and other times, not a one will do.

There are however, a couple of activities that will keep them self entertained for much longer than twenty minutes.  My boy will fly with a few of his thousands of Lego bricks or a good book or a Star Wars board game or an adventure outside.  It all depends on what mood is striking at the moment.

My girl, however, can be in any kind of mood for one particular activity and it will keep her busy for far longer than twenty minutes (more like hours).  What is that magic activity?  Why, it's painting!

If I'm pulling out acrylic paints and the mood is right, my boy will hop in and paint along side his li'l sis, but lately she's had an itch for watercolors and apparently, that's not his style.

So, with an inexpensive pad of watercolor paper from Walmart and the little Crayola paint set Santa left in her stocking last Christmas, she has been painting away.  It costs pennies and provides so much in return.

And in all honesty, watching her paint - sticking the tip of her tongue out as she concentrates, singing a song when the colors are flowing just right, gasping out loud when she discovers a new way to pull the brush - ends up giving those around her as much joy as she's experiencing in the process.

Sometimes, I get stuff done while she's painting (or both of them, if her brother joins in), but it's even better when I pick up my own brush and lay some color on canvas, right along side them.  It is most definitely smile worthy!

What keeps your kids busy?  What do you do to stave off your own boredom?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Love the Ocean, Dig the Beach

I love where we live!  Country, city, farmland, hills, and the ocean are all nearby.  And the mountains are pretty darn close too.

The weekend before last, we headed out to the coast for a Family Day that was quite smile worthy.

Northern California Coast

The Northern California coastline is gorgeous!  While I've never been to any kind of tropical beach, I've been to both the East & West coasts and of all the locales I've visited, I just love the northern half of this state's coastline.  I start relaxing before we're even out of the car as the terrain and the air changes.


This is a no swimming beach, too many rip tides.

No Swimming

But, that didn't stop our fun!

There was chilling and playing in the sand to do.

And digging.  Lots o' digging.

And sand flying (she had more sand than hair on the top of her head by the end of the day!).

One dug a very narrow, uniform hole longer than the arm's length, while the other made some sand angels.

Hubs adventure walked with our boy, several times, seeing what the ocean had washed up.  And in between adventure walks, Hubby grabbed some smooth stones to create stacked sculptures, reminiscent of our dating days when one of our ocean visits treated us to a woman creating these all over the beach.

And me?  I hung out, clicked away with my cameras, looked at the kids' sand creations & holes, picnicked with the fam, got a wee bit obsessed looking at this weathered & worn log, tracing the lines with my eyes, and simply relaxed.

This was the best family beach visit ever.  The kidlets are old enough now that we weren't spending the whole time chasing them or conversely, forced to cop a squat when our arms tired of carrying a baby.  We've always loved our visits to the coast, but now, I think we'll love them even more!

Where do you like to go as a family?  Where do you relax?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Autism & GFCF Links Update

In January I updated the Autism & GFCF Links page (just below my header) to include a few of the great autism bloggers and now, half way through the year, it's time to update with a few more resources.

This time, I've added a few allergy free (GF, GFCF, Dairy Free) bloggers & Twitter tweeps where you can click your way to and learn more.  I do hope you'll click on over for some wonderful resources!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting There...

Swinging her bag onto her shoulder, she grabbed her keys and booked it to catch the train.
Maggie left her car at Jack’s last night.  They had been celebrating a friend’s birthday.  The party was still in full swing when she scrambled to catch the last train to get her home.  She knew she had been in no condition to get behind the wheel and thankfully, still had a clear enough head to know staying the night would have been just as reckless.
It was early when she got back to Jack’s.  She quietly got behind the wheel, not really wanting to see exactly who had made the choice to stay last night.
Maggie was meeting her girlfriends for a weekend getaway.  It had been a whole year since they had all escaped for a weekend together.  It had been too long for her, but she knew she was a good part of the reason why.
A quick stop for her share of the food and the drive south sent the familiar terrain whipping by.

Maggie would have much preferred to daydream about where she might take her life next to pass the miles she still had to go.  Instead, she heard herself telling her friends that she was too busy to get away for a weekend with them all last year.  She knew her disappearance would either be the topic of conversation this weekend or a horribly huge elephant left to lumber around the room.
The smooth pavement transitioned to crunchy gravel which gave way to sand.  She cut her engine and climbed out of the jeep at her old beach house.  Leaving everything, but her camera, she walked around the house, sighing when she saw the peeling paint.  Painting would certainly be in her future.
Maggie was out on the beach, barefoot and snapping frame after frame of the sea lions bobbing through the waves when Cassie came up behind her.
Cass wrapped her arm around Maggie’s shoulder, not saying a word.
Maggie didn’t dare risk looking at her friend’s face, afraid of what she would see.
So sorry, Cass.
You’re here now, Mags.  I don’t care about the rest.  We’ve missed you.  We don’t work without you.
Still…..but yea, lesson learned.
Maggie couldn’t believe how easy Cassie was being on her.  She knew it was a gift, one worth taking.

Angela and Galit are our Guest Hosts at The Red Dress Club this week and are prompting us to "write a short fiction or non-fiction piece inspired by any or all of the photo below. Word limit: 400 words"

I have a little fiction & a new character to share with you, Maggie.  Cassie is the woman in my last two Red Writing Hood pieces, first in R.S.V.P. and then in Kick Ass Shoes.  I finally named her!  What do you think?

photography Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shine a light on { Yellow }

Mama’s Losin’ It
I'm coloring my day with Mama Kat's prompt number two, brought to us by the color Yellow!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Yellow shines light, energy, and warmth, quite literally, from the sun above to the earth below.

Yellow is one of those happy colors and since we're talking color, I think we all need to see it!
Source: via Karen on Pinterest

Let's start with this fresh happy bit!

And use some to make yourself...

...citrus scrub with it...

...or some spray to wake up a room.

Yellow colors my daughter's "Wish Flowers"...


...and draws her in to pluck a fistful & bring her Mama happy yellow bouquets.

For some bigger smile worthy flowers...

...sunflowers will do.

And if you want to keep getting your Happy Yellow on...

Source: via Karen on Pinterest

...just follow, follow the yellow brick road... car needed, just a bounce in your step...

...though a yellow bug is mighty cute! It wasn't these four wheels, but back in the day, I hear my hubs drove a yellow Super Beetle, round windshield and all.

When winding your way, gettin' your yellow on...

Source: via Karen on Pinterest out for those rubber duckies...

...and the real ones too.

May you find bits and pieces of yellow tucked in and around your day.

What does yellow say to you?

Let's BEE Friends

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken

~ If you are looking for my TRDC RemembeRED piece, click here. ~

I'm pretty lucky.  Hubs is known to get creative in the kitchen and one random evening, he came up with this.  Baked bacon wrapped chicken breasts, stuffed with artichoke hearts and roasted red bell peppers.  Yum.

We were treated to his creative bit with what the kidlets call "Yummy Rice" (brown rice cooked in chicken stock with fresh garlic) and roasted broccoli.  And like all of our family dinners, it's GFCF (gluten & casein free).  Delish.

Hope you're having a smile worthy day! :>

Angry Julie Monday

Forward March

TweeEEeet. TweeEEeet. Tweet Tweet Tweet.

The Drum Major’s whistle blew.  Forward march.

Left.  Left.  Left, Right, Left, Uh-huh.

The blue polyester pants, white shirt, and hat complete with plume might not have been something to get excited about, but being part of the marching band was.

The notes coming from my flute were not something to advertise, but band geeks were.

Dad drove me down from our family vacation in the Sierras so I wouldn’t miss a day of Band Camp before school started.  And back up the mountains afterwards.

Left.  Left.  Left, Right, Left, Uh-huh.

Marching and competing in parades in the seventh grade.

Moving just before the eighth grade to a Middle School with no Marching Band, where the lack of close knit band geeks could be felt.

Began marching again in high school.  Marching in Half Time shows.  Marching on Main Street in Disneyland, once a year.

Left.  Left.  Left, Right, Left, Uh-huh.

The school colors, red and black, were a step up, but the polyester flare kick pants were not.

The notes blowing through my flute still weren’t anything exciting.  Practice might have helped with that.  Novel concept.  But, Marching Band coloring high school memories was.

Not much of a joiner in high school, Marching Band helped me stay in step.

Left.  Left.  Left, Right, Left, Uh-huh.

Natalie of Mama Track, is guest hosting this week's RemembeRED prompt "to write about a time that rhythm, or a lack thereof, played a role in your life. And don’t use the word 'rhythm'" at The Red Dress Club.

My mind immediately marked in double time to my five years of Marching Band at two schools.  Did you feel the rhythm?

Did you play an instrument as a kidlet?  Do you play one as an adult?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kick Ass Shoes

 Kir is guest hosting at The Red Dress Club this week and prompted us "to write about a topic very near and dear to many of us: shoes.

You were to write about a pair of shoes of yours or your character's. They can be real or symbolic."

This continues the R.S.V.P. fiction that I shared two weeks ago.  If you are interested in more of the story, you may want to read that first.

Kick Ass Shoes

With the same rashness that her whole relationship with him had been, she began trashing any object that reminded her of what had been.

The little box of trinkets on her dresser called her.  She debated whether to open it and take one last sprint down memory lane.  Her heart skipped a beat, her breath caught.

She moved on to “his” dresser drawer.  She scooped up the contents, unceremoniously dumping them into the large black trash bag waiting at her feet.  And she began to breathe again.

In her closet, she closed her eyes as she wadded up his favorite shirt, her favorite shirt.  A couple more items, ripped from the hangers, dived into the black bag.
When she grabbed his hiking boots, left behind from their camping trip, she saw her own tennis shoes.  Sitting back on her heels, she realized how much those shoes screamed what had been going on, what she had been oblivious to.  They had gone camping rather than to L.A. with their friends because she was a secret to those friends.  He had lived two lives.  Though at the time, she was only aware of the one.

Her tennis shoes joined his hiking boots in the trash bag.  She also slipped off her cute black shoes, the ones she’d bought for their first ‘official’ date and they had to go.  She slid on a pair of kick ass cherry red heels while her mouth hinted at a smile.

In the kitchen, she chucked the beer bottle opener into the bag.  It landed with a satisfying clunk against something else, some other memory that she was done with.  The glassware he gave her shattered as she tossed it in.  Not wanting even a single speck of a memory to be left behind, she grabbed another bag and doubled up. Those slivers of glass, shreds of her life she had handed over to him couldn’t be allowed to escape.

As she moved into the bathroom, it became easier to keep moving forward.  Deodorant, shaving gel, razor, and toothbrush all found a new home in the black bag.  Her anger was fading with each tossed object.  She was giddy, almost dizzy with giddiness.  Each item, each memory gone from sight made her feel free and even a bit braver.

She grasped that bravery and headed back to her dresser to take on the box of trinkets.  With a light creak, she gingerly lifted the lid.  She was dizzy alright.  Steadying herself, she picked up the movie tickets and bagged them with the other memories.  A flash drive loaded with their music, a charm, a stone from that camping trip, a piece of driftwood, letters tied off with a red string all went, one after another, into the doubled black trash bag.  She was almost done, almost ready to kick all of her memories of him to the curb.

She picked up the silly little bracelet he had made with shiny foil gum wrappers.  Her breath caught again.  The room spun.  And she was dashing for the bathroom.

She didn’t make it in time and her red heels suffered the consequences.  The shoes that reminded her of who she had been before him suffered the consequences of forgetting for just a moment that there was one memory of him she couldn’t be free of.  The memory that was growing inside of her would make sure of that.

Cleaning up the mess, she threw her cherry red shoes into the black bag and quickly scooped the trinket box up off the dresser and dropped the whole thing in as well.  She slipped on a pair of sensible shoes and carried the black trash bag full of memories outside.

She hoped that one day she would be ready to wear a new pair of kick ass shoes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writer's Workshop - A kiss & a smile!

Mama’s Losin’ It

I love Mama Kat's prompt number five: On a piece of paper write down something that makes you happy…take a photo of your paper and wa la…there’s your post. 

In fact, I love it so much that even though the day is winding down, I still am hopping in on the party workshop!

My Princess wanted to "do art" today and spent most of it cutting out words & pictures from an old magazine to use for collages later.  And I thought it was the perfect time to color right along side her.  Coloring, just to color, not for a pretty purpose is so full of happiness in and of itself.  Add that to some precious time spent with a sweet girl and I was definitely smiling!


I just adore it when I am the victim/benefactor of a sneak attack kiss for no apparent reason from my kidlets!

So, spread the happiness, what's making you smile today?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pinterest Inspired: One Bowl Wonder

I took a break from Pinning over at my favorite place to escape, Pinterest, to actually look at my boards and see what I've pinned.  And while looking at my food board, Tastebuds and Eyes, I saw that I had collected a few fresh corn ideas & recipes.

Already beyond the dinner hour and completely not in the mood to hit the store for specific ingredients, I decided to use these three as inspiration, rather than a recipe.

I grabbed leftover ears of cooked corn, cut off their kernels into a bowl and headed to the fridge to see what else we had. 

I had already reheated the baked chicken & brown rice leftovers for the kids and there was about a quarter cup of rice and an ounce of chicken leftover, so while I was initially going for a salad, I threw them in.

Grabbed an organic red bell pepper, red onion, and avocado, sliced them up and threw them into this One Bowl Wonder.  And I dressed her up in lime juice and a little sea salt.

One Bowl Wonder

It was absolutely delicious!  I think it could be even better with some zucchini and chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro, depending on your preference.

I will definitely make this again.  And you want to know what else is cool?  This delish dinner is GFCF (gluten & casein free) and since it was a One Bowl Wonder, there's minimal clean up!  Now that's what I call a perfect summer meal.

What have you been creating in your kitchen lately?  Are you Pinning on Pinterest?  Are you bringing your Pins to life, literally or simply inspired by?

Tidy MomPinterest IRL Link-up

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Fun with Lego!

To my surprise, two of my most popular posts are about the Lego obsession in this house.  Apparently, we weren't the only ones swimming in & stepping on them!

Earlier this year, I shared the insane amount of Lego bricks my son has when we dumped all of his loose Lego pieces on the living room floor in A Landslide of Lego Love and then when we had finished sorting them, we went from Lego Landslide to Organized!  (And I'm happy to say, six months later and they're still organized!)

But, my son's Lego bricks and sets aren't the only ones in this house.  My husband has them too!  He has a large collection of Star Wars Lego sets, to my son's delight.  And my Princess has a few sets of her own too (though, there's more pink involved!).  So, you can see, there's a whole lotta Lego Love goin' on around here.

Though I'm the only one without a Lego of my own here, I do appreciate Lego creativity and thought we all could have a little Lego fun to welcome in the weekend with!

About a year ago, this uber fast Lego recap of the first three Star Wars movies....the first three to come out, that is, was made.  It has almost five million views, so you may have seen it.  I had and still think it's so Worth the Click...and the watch!

And two months ago, another uber fast Star Wars Lego video was done of Star Wars Chapters 1-3, which of course, came out 4th, 5th, and 6th.  What was used for a pregnant belly cracked me up!  Don't blink or you might miss it!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend.  Anyone with any special plans?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fruit Flies & Pinterest, who knew?

Out of the 384 brilliant bits I've pinned and 40 ideas I've Liked, never in my wildest dreams did I think the first one I would try at home is this uber simple fruit fly trap from The Idea Room!

But........I did!  I don't know where they came from, but suddenly we had fruit flies and those little buggers multiply fast.  Thankfully, I saw this one night on Pinterest and immediately Liked it and headed off to its original source so that I could learn more.

And it works!!  No chemicals, no expensive sprays or traps, just a couple of pennies for a piece of fruit, some tape, and a piece of paper, rolled to make a small hole for them to enter, but not fly out of (I used lightweight cardstock...'cause goodness knows, I've got a ton o' that!).

Best, simplest idea of someone else's I've put to work in awhile!

If you're not on Pinterest already, get on there!  Email me & I'll send you an invite if you need one.  When you get on there or if you're already pinning away, come find me so we can share more brilliant bits to pin!

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