I grew up during a time when we did not have all of the modern day conveniences and technology that the kids of today are privileged to have. I guess I am about to date myself when I tell you that about all we had was T.V. (without cable), record players (remember those?) and I can even remember when 8-track players came out! (Ouch!) So anyway, you get the picture, there wasn't much that we can entertain ourselves with other than our imaginations and the television. And guess what, my Nana wasn't having none of that sitting in front of what she called "the idiot box" for hours on end! Nana really knew how to coin a phrase! LOL!
So armed with nothing more than my imagination and creativity, I kept myself occupied and out of trouble by taking on at least one new arts and crafts project each month. I probably drove my mother crazy with all of the different projects that I decided to create but she never complained and always made sure that I had what I needed to accomplish those goals. I believe that it was her encouragement that helped me to become a creative thinker and not afraid to try or take on new challenges. It probably also helped that I was naturally creative. Nevertheless, my mom always supported me and made me feel that I could accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.
Imagine the joy that I felt when I first noticed that my daughter had a knack for making arts and crafts! I would even venture to say that because of the access that she has to technology, that she is 10x better than I was as a child. I say that because it has been mainly through the conveniences of technology that she has been able to teach herself most of what she has learned to make. She has learned and mastered arts and craft projects using duct tape (she thinks it is the answer to everything), rainbow looms, lanyard strings, parachords and of course her latest interest is crocheting.
Just recently, I had the fortunate opportunity to learn about a company named "Craftsy" whose main focus is "in providing education and tools to help you bring your creativity to life." Not only do they offer hundreds of online classes in areas such as quilting, sewing, knitting, cake decorating, art, photography, and cooking just to name a few, but you can also purchase supplies and buy or sell patterns too! How's that for a one-stop-shop?
My daughter was ecstatic when I shared this wonderful resource with her and immediately selected an online Amigurumi Woodland Animals crocheting course. For those of you who don't know what that is, Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. That just lets you know about the extent of courses that are offered through Craftsy. The courses are so user friendly and easy to understand. But what I really love is the fact that they never expire and you can upload them to any mobile device. Here you see my daughter watching it on her iPod as she relaxes on the couch. You can watch them at your leisure and repeat and pause them as needed. So far she is halfway through her first woodland creature. Stay tuned for updates and for the finished product! I can't wait to see it myself!
When I was growing up, one of my favorite past times and something that my mother helped to encouraged me to do is to read. Each weekend I looked forward to our trips to the local library so that I could check out books to read for the week to come. Seldom did I check out less than 5 books at a time. Although these books were supposed to last me throughout the week, I can often remember having finished all five books before the end of the weekend! Just proof that of how much I love to read but more than that, I cherished the time that my mother and I spent together at the library each week.
Now that I am a mother, I too try to encourage both of my children to read as a way of expanding their view of the world. Not only that, I don't want them to grow up relying on only what they see on the television to shape their thinking. Now that my son is 6yrs. old, he is at the age where he is like a sponge soaking up any and everything that he learns at school and what we teach and expose him to at home. So just like my mother did with me, I welcome any chance I get to encourage him to read.
That's why I welcomed the opportunity to review such a wonderful book! "Amazing Facts About Penguins," by Dan Jackson, is a wonderful e-book written specifically for children ages 4-12 that shares interesting and probably little known facts about our well-dressed, flat footed friends "Penguins." I even learned a thing or too!
My son was thoroughly engaged and loved the vibrant pictures as we explored the world of Penguins together. In addition, the author has a wonderful way of presenting the material in an easy to understand language that left little to be explained. So, if you are looking for a great way to bring penguins to life for your children, then I suggest that you take advantage of this e-book. It can be found on Amazon.com and is an easy upload to the e-reader of your choice.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Just recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the "Oprah's Life You Want Weekend Conference" courtesy of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). The first stop on this powerful tour was none other than the great city of Atlanta! Let me just say that the women and men (yes, there were a few brave souls in the audience) of Atlanta showed up and showed out as we welcomed Oprah and her team with open arms and hearts! The synergy and excitement in the air was nothing short of spectacular. DJ Kiss helped to keep the energy flowing as she spun our favorite old school tunes!
On day one, Ms. Oprah herself, addressed the capacity crowd as only Oprah can. And I quote: "Thank you for joining me on what I know will be a wondrous two-day journey. I'm happy to be here with you to share what I've come to understand about the things that matter in life...things like joy, resilience, awe, connection and gratitude. You live, and if you're open to the world, you learn. And what you find is ...YOURSELF."
Oprah's conference team, whom she referred to as her "Trailblazers," consisted of Deepak Chopra, MD, F.A.C.P., Founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing and who is a world renowned pioneer in mind-body medicine and personal transformation; Elizabeth Gilbert, who is most famous for her international best-seller, Eat, Pray, Love, which has made her a household name and a beloved sister/friend/role model to women and men around the world; Rob Bell, the author of many books and founding pastor of Mars Hill, an innovative church in Grand Rapids, MI; and last but certainly not least, Iyanla Vanzant, the star of OWN's "Iyanla: Fix My Life" a New York Times best-selling author, and prominent spiritual life coach who has captivated and inspired audiences around the world.
The main focus of the conference is on helping others to realize "What have you been called to do?" Which seems to be a resounding theme these days. Defining your life's purpose can be one of the most difficult challenges if you are not willing to open up your heart and soul to listen to the "whispers" that God sends to us through the Holy Spirit. Oprah stated that what she has come to know is that every time she doesn't listen to those "whispers" she gets herself in trouble. Sound familiar? I call it my "God Voice" but it is often referred to as "That still small voice."
Throughout the conference we were encouraged to "Create the highest, grandest vision for your life. Then step and move in that direction" by each of the trailblazers. Something that is not always easy to do but for me it has become an easier task as long as I reflect and meditate on what it says in Jeremiah 29:11 which states: " For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." This scripture alone lets me know that God always has my best interest at heart and not only sees what I am now, but also what I can become.
So step out on faith and push past the fear (F-alse E-vidence A-ppearing R-eal) in your life and learn how to do it afraid. Let your light shine to the world!
Wife and mother of two, pursuing my life purpose after getting laid off! Read more on my About Me page.
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