How To Meditate in 5 Easy Steps (video guide)

How To Meditate in 5 Easy Steps (video guide)

During my months of sickness, I learned that the best way for me to deal with my husband’s long absence and to get rid myself of daily pressures while raising two little children was to meditate every day.

What is ironic about meditation is it has only lately become seen in the West as a healing technique – but it’s been practiced for ages in the East.

In my quest to find practical methods to calm myself that were simple to do and cost nothing, I learned a couple of things about the best way to meditate correctly.

In this post, I am going to discuss some of the methods I learned, just in case you are trying to find some early Asian head-healing yourself.

I’ll begin by defining meditation, … Continue Reading

Story of World Volume 1 Resources

Story of World Volume 1 Resources

Story of the World is our homeschool spine.  

Our writing, reading comprehension, vocabulary and geography all center around Story of the World.  We do a lot of art projects and field trips relating to what we are learning in Story of the World.

I have compiled a list of the websites, additional reading materials and projects that we have used to supplement our learning.
I always buy both the book and the Activity Guide for each level.  On several occasions, we had friends who had a volume or two that they were not using and that is SO helpful–my girls could read along or we could all take turns reading.
My children each have a binder with a section for each volume and a section for vocabulary.
Carnitas Time, Senior Frog

Carnitas Time, Senior Frog

Man, I love carnitas.

I ate them a TON when my husband and I were stationed in Texas, years past. I mean, what’s better for a day of football than a huge pile of nachos carnitas?

This is an excellent carnitas recipe for a crowd. It doesn’t require much prep, either, which means you see the game and spend more time with you friends.

Pork carnitas is a classic Mexican pulled pork recipe that is just so good. Carnitas can be used in tacos, quesadillas, salads – or eaten by itself.

Carnitas is more of a cooking technique, while pork is the most common meat used in the recipe. Basically, the pork is cooked on low heat for a long time until it is tender. Then it’s torn up … Continue Reading

Why You Should Let Your Kids Use Social Media

Why You Should Let Your Kids Use Social Media

Today, social media is just another part of being a member of society – so your kids need to participate! Especially if they are nearing the age of 13, like mine.

That said, as parents we want to keep our children safe while they are using social media.

I logged some time on the interwebs last week and found a few ways to keep them safe online – including a few security products/services that seem to work.

Best Practices

Protecting your kids when they are using social media isn’t as simple as installing a software package (see some of those below). It mainly involves being proactive in enforcing internet safety by educating your kids and by following up and monitoring their activity. Here are some of the best practices that … Continue Reading

Don’t Just Give It Live It

Don’t Just Give It Live It

The image that pops into our heads when we hear about charitable donations is that it involves giving money, food, books and other material stuff. This is the image that has been painted by most of the modern day charity industry.

To me, though, the best kind of charity work does involve giving – just not cash or material items. I prefer another type of charity – donating my time.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against giving money and donating stuff to help others! In fact, I encourage people to give whatever they can.

Here are the reasons why I prefer donating my time vs. writing a check.

Charity is about the recipient.

So why give your time vs. giving money (or other material items)? My answer: donating … Continue Reading

Built in Bookshelves with Window-seat for under $350

Built in Bookshelves with Window-seat for under $350

When we finished our basement a couple of years ago, we made one room an office and lined the walls with IKEA Billy bookshelves. This summer, when we decided we never really used the office and the space would be better as an art studio, we needed to do something with the books and some of the bookshelves to make room for the large craft tables we now wanted for the space.

A friend mentioned an IKEA Hack. I looked it up on-line and became inspired. Not only would we be able to use the bookshelves we already owned, but we could add some character to our living room.


Our wall was 158″ with a window slightly off-center, so a row of bookshelves would not work. I have
Continue Reading
It’s a Jersey Thing

It’s a Jersey Thing

In 1984 I was twelve years old.  I had a major crush on Ralph Macchio from the Karate Kid.  I read in TeenBeat or Bop or one of those magazines that I used to spend my allowance on that Ralph Macchio loved Bruce Springsteen.  So, I started saying that I loved Bruce Springsteen–because this way, when I met Ralph and we fell in love, we would have something in common.  Sharing music taste is what it takes for a good marriage, y’know?  My dad listened to country music and that was all we were allowed to play in our house at the time, so I had no clue who Bruce Springsteen was.

One night that summer I was swimming in our above ground pool and my mom called out to … Continue Reading

Halloween Costume Review – I’m a Parisian Showgirl this Year (ooh la la)!

Halloween Costume Review – I’m a Parisian Showgirl this Year (ooh la la)!

It is almost that time of the year again when all attention turns to October 31st – Halloween.

For me, Halloween is one of the best days of the year. I have always enjoyed myself throughly every Halloween, since I was 5 years old I think.

I enjoy everything about the holiday: talk about carving pumpkins, attending a bonfire party, playing pranks or any other thing that can rush my adrenaline. I am not expecting any less this year.

In fact, I decided that after years of walking around as a parent, I am going to start wearing Halloween costumes again. And I’m going large this year – well, hopefully not tooo large.

Moulin Rouge + Pumpkins: That Works, Right?

Ok, so this is my Halloween Costume this year:

moulin rouge costume

I … Continue Reading

Always Remember

Always Remember

Do you know someone who has died from an overdose?

I do. Two overdoses in my circle, actually. One very close relative many years ago, and a friend who died less than 4 months ago.

Overdosing is a truly sad, meaningless way to go. It leaves families and friends feeling terribly guilty, asking themselves “what did I miss” and blaming themselves with, “I should have been there!”.

In my friends case, his family had even covertly cut his hair while he was sleeping and sent it in for a hair follicle drug test – just to make sure he wasn’t lying about his use.

He was lying, of course. Addicts always do.

I recently ran across this touching site by the International Overdose Awareness Day association (which is on ____ … Continue Reading

Thankful Thursday Friends Edition

Thankful Thursday Friends Edition

This Thursday, I am giving my heartfelt thanks for my two long-life besties, Tammy Winscott (a well known family attorney around here) and Charlese McDowell.

Due to my recent illness, I’ve had a tough time keeping things running here at Castle Winslow during past three months. But help was not far.

Despite having two busy families and intense careers of their own, Tammy and Charlese both came to my rescue many times during the past 12 weeks with food deliveries, surprise dessert boxes and plenty of talk time to keep my mood up (even though my hair was gone!). They ran many errands for me and the twins, as well. I owe them so much – so I wanted to share a little about them with you.



Tammy is … Continue Reading