Happy Holidays!


I want to wish everyone who follows my blog a happy holiday! I will be taking a blogging break to spend time with my family. I will be back in a couple of weeks.

Thank you so much for reading my blog!

10 Reasons for Using Google Photos

10 reasons for using Google photos

A couple of months ago, I heard about Google Photos and how sleek the interface is. What attracted me to this web application was the fact that I am completely disorganized when it comes to the way I store photos. Luckily, my husband has organized the photos by year on a hard drive (thank God for him or my life would be a complete mess) so I was able to easily import them into my Google account.

You may be wondering how to sign up for Google photos. You actually might already have it provided you have a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can easily sign up for one at the Google site. Once you have an account, you can access the web app from your browser at Google Photos or by getting the free app for android, ios, or a desktop application at App Downloads for Google Photos. Once you have the app on your mobile device, photos you take on your device should magically appear in the Google cloud as well as photos that you backup from your computer using the desktop app. After you have access to the application, you can start playing around with Google Photos. read more

Winter Family Fun in Summit County

Winter Fun in Summit County, Ohio

My family plans on enjoying a staycation this winter holiday. Originally, we planned on going to Disney World because we have never been there for the Christmas season. Once I looked at the park traffic schedule, we decided against it. We are a family which avoids crowds and I didn’t realize that Christmas at Disney is one of the busiest times of the year. Visiting Disney at Christmas time is still on my bucket list, but we will do this in November when the crowds aren’t as bad. So, I am writing this post as a way to help plan what our family will be doing over the holidays. I realize many of my readers aren’t from Ohio, but this list may serve as a springboard for ideas to use for your own community. Please verify dates and times for the events which interest you. read more

Alliteration Books to Improve Your Child’s Reading Skills

alliteration books for young children

Have you been following along in my reading series?  As mentioned in a previous post, Great Rhyming Books, the first phonological skill developed is the enjoyment of rhyme and alliteration (developing around the age of 4). You can access the phonological development chart at Reading Rockets. Phonological skills are one of the building blocks to successful literacy. In the link of my post “Great Rhyming Books” listed above, I gave several examples of age-appropriate books which could be used to promote rhyming skills. In today’s post, I will give several examples of picture books which promote alliteration skills. read more

An Open Letter to my Daughters From a Theater Mom

Image with comedy/tragedy and chaos

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I have not been able to post for a while as my life was wonderfully interrupted with a theatrical production. I thought I would be able to write this while the production was going on, but I am not that organized. Being in a show seems to take up over 90% of my brain and most other parts of my life go by the wayside. This post serves as an apology to my kids for the way our household gets turned upside-down, inside-out, completely discombobulated, etc. while I am in a show.  As much as I love performing, there are reasons why I only do this a couple of times per year. Because I am already deficient in my physical organizational skills, this upheaval in our life seems to set me back tenfold every single time. I set up a house-cleaning system, then BAM! I’m in a show, and chaos ensues! This coupled with driving my children to an after-school activity which runs 7 days per week turns my brain to mush. So here goes….. read more

Time for a Break: It’s Almost Performance Time

Thank you so much for following my blog. I am taking a short break and hope to be back to blogging in a couple weeks. I am deep into rehearsals for a production of Quilters which opens on October 8th. I must learn my lines and music. I will be back as soon as I get through opening weekend.

Where to Find Free Crochet Patterns

Where to Find Crochet Patterns

This is my first post about crafting on my blog. I started a blog about crocheting last year, but realized that I like the actual act of crocheting more than I like writing about it. And, there were only so many things I could say about yarn, crocheting, and patterns. I didn’t think I could keep that up every week. I love yarn and I enjoy looking at patterns, but how much more can  I say about that?

Now, I am feeling inspired to  write about crocheting because it is getting cooler outside and I am getting excited about it again! I am a three season crocheter.  Over the summer, I had no desire to crochet. When it is hot, I hate having yarn on my lap. Our air conditioner doesn’t work very well and I can’t stand sweating under a pile of yarn. Now that it is finally getting a little cooler, I’m pulling my yarn out again, reopening my Etsy shop, and getting ready to finish some projects.  I experimented with opening an Etsy shop last year, but didn’t  learn about how to market myself on the huge Etsy marketplace. So, I have yet to sell anything and most of the people in my life don’t even realize I have a store. My store  YarnKnitDarnIt has just a few crocheted items right now, and I am hoping to make more items before the holiday season. And, no, I don’t knit as the name might imply, but I liked the name and I would like to knit eventually. read more

Great Rhyming Books to Build Reading Skills

In a previous post, How to Raise a Reader, I discussed ways to grow a reader in the early stages of life. I mainly talked about the importance of reading to your children from an early age. In this post, I will talk about other ways to promote reading skills in your kids. I will also focus on which books to choose for developing rhyming skills.

A key component for learning to read is through the development of phonological awareness skills. According to a definition on Reading Rockets:

Phonological awareness is a broad skill that includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language – parts such as words, syllables, and onsets and rimes. read more

10 Ways to Have Fall Family Fun In Summit County, Ohio

Fall Family Fun in Summit County

Soon, the days will begin to get cooler and the leaves will change color as we approach the fall season. Autumn is my favorite time of year in Northeast Ohio. With the changes in season, the Akron area offers many opportunities to enjoy this beautiful time of year. Listed below are some ways to enjoy the fall activities which Akron offers. If you don’t live in Summit County or in Ohio, you could use this list as a springboard for ideas of how you can enjoy the fall season in your own community. read more