Monday, May 20, 2019

Ostracized, Stigmatized, And Categorized + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

This month is National Mental Health Awareness Month and how aware of Mental Health issues I am! I've been touched by those who struggle with mental health issues all of my life. And do you know what? Most of them are wonderful, kind, intelligent people. Yet many times they have been ostracized, stigmatized, and categorized.      

My Uncle was such a kind person per my recollection, and he had schizophrenia. He alternated between living with my grandparents and in the veteran's hospital, due to his diagnosis during his time served in the Korean War. I remember him walking around the house aimlessly, sometimes muttering to himself, as if participating in some fascinating conversation, unseen by myself or anyone else. But he was oh, so harmless. I remember that no one really gave him presents on his birthday or Christmas. One year, I gave him a handmade reindeer ornament. I will always remember his smile of delight. It was such a small gesture, but it showed that he knew me, and valued my gift!
Another close relative, though not by blood, was diagnosed with Type I Bipolar Disorder. That was really interesting. One day he would be so talkative and have all kinds of amazing insights. He would keep you a captive of his conversation for hours, unless you could somehow get away. The next week he would be down for the count, seeing no one and going nowhere for weeks.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Domino Effect + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

This past few months have been a chance to renew relationships with family. We've had a few get-togethers that have been absolutely wonderful. That, despite a nasty divorce that is trying to destroy one of my closest loved ones and kick him down until he can't get back up. But as it turns out, our love and loyalty go beyond just showing up at family get-togethers. We have shown that when things get rough, we can and do pull together. I have spent some sleepless nights worrying about him and praying that he can find the strength to weather this crazy and surprising turn of events. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

How To Celebrate A Milestone Event For Your Elderly Parent

This past January, my Dad celebrated his 90th birthday. It is quite a milestone for anyone and it was no different with him. He has lived a lot of years and has seen a lot of things in his lifetime. One thing he would tell you is how far the world has come in terms of technology and how wealthy our country has become. He was just a little boy in the Depression and although he was still young, it was extremely hard on him. His Dad was like a lot of folks during that time. They owned a nice little farm in rural Utah, but they just couldn't scrape together the money to pay the property taxes and so they lost the farm. It was such a blow to him at that young age.

For several years, He often went very hungry, at a time when he needed to eat in order to grow. He remembers eating oft-boiled bone broth made of one potato if they were lucky. Once a year they might split an orange for a special treat. Somehow he survived, but he was never the same care-free child he was before the Depression. He grew up quickly. From that time forward, everything he did was influenced by those early hardships. He was gone and out the door at 17 years old, working on huge ships, delivering cargo all over the world as a merchant marine.

As his 90th grew closer, I knew I wanted to do something special for him, something that was different from the normal birthday cake and dinner get-togethers we have with the family. Those events are always nice, but this called for something a bit different.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Resurgence of Spring + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Our weather has turned from cold and snowy all the time, to cold and snowy half the time and springlike the other half. No wonder I'm in a tizzy with my moods, and my plans.  I'm always caught by surprise! Even the most weathered weather person can be off by a day or two. So although they can forecast a general weather pattern with general certainty, they can't always get the timetable absolutely correct!

And even if it's pretty and sunny where I live on any given day, go just 10 miles up Alta Canyon and you've got a whole different scenario. Like the picture below, winter is still in full force in the mountains. 

But I wouldn't have it any other way. I love winter because it serves my introvert self quite well. I mean, what can you really do after work in the winter, except curl up in a blanket, dog on lap, hot chocolate on side table and read, binge on shows, or do games on your tab and take sweet, sweet naps? After all, with no kids at home, and not even a sign of a grandchild, my dog, dad, and dearest get all the attention they want from me, leaving me with some extra time on my hands.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Build Your Blog With An E-mail Campaign!

This blog may receive compensation, samples and uses affiliate and non-affiliate links for information purposes!

I've been blogging for awhile now. Because I started it up as a hobby, I never really wanted to put a whole lot of money into it. I've been pretty picky and choosy about what kind of expert I will rely on, which conferences I'm going to attend, and which services are necessary for me and my blog. I've found that there are plenty of people wanting to spin their products as indispensable to my success as a blogger, all to their own ends. Just saying, the next SEO expert from India, Sri Lanka or China wanting to develop my web page and springboard me to the first page of Google Search, will still get a resounding 'No Thank You' from me!

But one thing I've realized is that some things are just necessary. If traffic and response to your website is what you want, then you want to create an e-mail list! Next, you want to have a good email provider to get the message out there! 

E-mail marketing is an important tool for promoting a blog. Together with some good SEO, this instrument can bring your website to the top of search engines. In addition, e-mail marketing will help build the good reputation of a blog or brand, as well as gain the loyalty of your readers. It is very easy for a newcomer in this area to get confused. So before launching an e-mail marketing campaign you need to build a clear plan of action. Define the main goal you want to achieve with your e-mail campaign.

One Of The Most Effective Ways To Promote Content 

Thanks to email newsletters you can:
  • Achieve targeted actions such as site registration, visits to landing pages, etc.
  • Increase audience trust to the site
  • Inform users about innovations
  • Motivate to purchase
  • Make a regular visitor a regular reader
Email marketing is an important part of internet marketing for bloggers. More than 34% of the population uses e-mail, with users sending approximately 196 billion emails. Experts predict an increase in coverage to  2.8 billion people by 2020. According to the recent researches, online retailers that were using email marketing were able to achieve a profit increase of 24%.

Picking the right e-mail service provider (ESP) is not always easy but a very important part of an email marketing campaign. You want to ensure your ESP offers the elements that will help you make your email marketing efforts a success. To help you choose, here are six helpful things to look for:

Look for an email service with an average delivery rate of 98% or higher!
I've been really happy with the Email Service Provider I am working with. They have treated me quite well and I'm happy to recommend them here!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Those Darn Science Projects + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I remember the days when I tried so hard to get my son to do school projects. The resistance I got was unbelievable sometimes!
Science fair, health fair, and other academic and art related projects or recitals all were met with procrastination, arguing, half-hearted effort at best, crying, dodging, and refusal. He is very intelligent, and I say that because he walked away from his academic career with a Master's Degree in Business  Administration and is doing his thing as a City Planner in a city in the Midwest. He's in charge of a lot of things and heads up plenty of committees and is a regular contributor at City Council Meetings.

During his elementary years, it seemed like I was the one doing the homework, the planning, dreaming up the ideas and everything else. I felt like I was actually sometimes physically moving his hand with the marker on the poster board, willing him to do it! Maybe I should have just let him do a Lego project. That's what he loved! 

Now that he's gone, he will call me and share with me some of the ups and downs he has at his job, and in his life. No longer am I physically willing him to get his projects done. He is the one that has to do that. And frankly, I'm amazed at his ability and his drive to do such a great job in his field.

I often miss those times when I had a little more control in what he did every day. Now all I can do is put my worry skills to work, and they are very refined. My grandmother was a pro at worrying and I seem to have inherited that propensity.

I am now able to help several students at my school complete assignments and practice academics every day. It is very difficult for them---because they are special education students and English isn't their first language. So they have it doubly difficult. But due to my experience at helping my, at times, wayward child be the best he could be, I'm happy to be a guiding hand behind some of their success in school. I know that someday it will pay off! 

If you're a parent wondering how much you should or shouldn't help your child down the pathway of life, just know that you are the one that knows your child the best. You know instinctively what they are capable of. But know this--you will be surprised at how much more they really are capable of. If they seem to be leaning on you more than you'd like right now, just be patient. If you are patient, they will literally grow wings and fly. And you will be happy you were there when they needed you, but didn't let you know in so many words.
  Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome)   

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How To Choose Your Child's First Pet

As you might know, I am a huge animal lover, and especially have an affinity for dogs. They are such intelligent and loving creatures and humans do well learning from them. I feel like anyone who has a shred of good in them, or has a hope to have good instilled within them, should have a dog, or at least access to one. Dogs are ultra sensitive, giving, loyal, and loving, to name just a few characteristics! Having said that, you want to have a pet that is right for you and your child! There is nothing more sad than seeing a dog dropped off at the shelter because the owners couldn't handle the responsibility of being dog owners. Shelters are not any kind of substitute for a caring and loving home. Shelters try to adopt the dogs out, but if they can't within a certain window of time, the future isn't good for that once wanted and loved puppy.
I am featuring a guest writer who is in agreement with me on those points! Introducing Cassandra Matheson! Take it away, Cassandra!

"A dog is the only thing in the world that loves you more than you love yourself," said Josh Billings. For this reason and many more, dogs are the most popular companion animals, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Among cage and exotic animals, aquarium fish are more preferred as compared to their closest competitors which include rabbits, ferrets, turtles, and snakes.

 At some point in their childhood, most kids will ask their parents for a pet. Selecting the perfect one should be done with caution as it will create a foundation for the child to become a worthy pet owner in the future. The ideal pet should give your child a great experience while sparing your finances. 

Are You And Your Child Ready For A Pet?

The first  two questions to ask yourself are whether the child is ready to adopt the pet and if you are ready to monitor the new household. As a mother, you should not hand over the care of a new pet entirely to your children, especially if they are young. "Parents have the ultimate responsibility for pet care. If you give your child chores to do for the pet, such as walking the dog, you need to ensure that it is done," said Melissa Bain, an assistant professor at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to acquiring a pet, you should check your kids for obedience. If he or she can understand and follow basic instructions, they have a better chance of keeping the new pet safe and well fed. Another trait to look for is gentleness. Your child should have control of the force she uses to touch the animal, lest she risks hurting it. Additionally, they should have a sense of responsibility so that they are able to feed and take care of the new pet, even in your absence.

Matching With The Perfect Pet 

While finding the right pet, Bain advises being realistic about both the child and the pet. For instance, an overly active kid should be supervised closely more than one who is calm. She also added that the most difficult combination is an active child and a nervous pet. When it comes to the new pets, the most common problems as observed by veterinarians are aggression and adaptation to the new environment. As such, you should conduct sufficient research on the breed while comparing its traits against your family's lifestyle and requirements. Particularly, dogs and cats should be introduced and socialized using reinforcement techniques if necessary. To achieve good results in establishing a smooth relationship, you can opt for professional pet obedience training. 

A first pet is an exciting but demanding challenge for your young son or daughter. While looking for one, remember that there is a big chance that he or she has never been responsible for something as involving and delicate. This means that you should monitor the whole process of acquisition from the word go. While at it, don't forget to consult a pet store or veterinary for advice on how to feed, clean and play with the new pet!   


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Back To Basics With Hand-Dyed Textiles [Review]

Well hello, hello! Happy New Year! I am happy to get started after a much-needed break over the holidays. I hope you had an amazing holiday too!

Getting started again is always hard because I do get a little bit rusty with the whole blogging thing, which is why it's risky to take a break. Some bloggers I know have taken a break, fully intending to return, but sadly, never do. But not this gal, because a gal needs to blog!

I can't count how many times I've been in the midst of an activity that I'm doing and think about how I'd love to share it with my readers! 

Today I'd like to share with you an Etsy Shop that makes the cutest hand-tied and dyed products.  Using natural dyes and non-treated fabric, the shop is called Practical And Pretty!

The dyes are used with the following natural substances:
  • Light pink is made with avocado pits and skins
  • Hot pink is made with dried cochineal
  • Yellow is made with turmeric
  • Blue is made with indigo
  • Purple made with logwood extract
I gave some tea towels as gifts to a new mom and they were really much appreciated! The towels are quite large and I  think she could use them as swaddle wraps, burp cloths, or regular towels. 

Below is a cute baby set of a Swaddle and Onesi using indigo!
This beautiful  throw was dyed with avocado pits. It's a sort of grayish pink that is hard to duplicate! Who knew you could find a use for the pits of avocados? 

Follow Practical and Pretty on  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Fun To Fantastic $100 Del Sol Cash #Giveaway

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Del Sol is a company that makes you smile. It's a gift that makes you light up and say, "That made my day!" Using exclusive color-changing technology, Del Sol puts their special brand of fun into everything they make. They make something that would normally be fun into something fantastic! 

For instance, with their color-changing clothing--They have everything from teeshirts to hoodies! They are made with the finest fabrics available and they guarantee that their clothing will change colors in the sun for the life of the fabric! Below, I'm loving my Del Sol Flamingo tee and lifestyle sunnies!

Something that is really exciting to hear is that they have just rolled out some new lines---perfect for Christmas gift-giving!

Their new skateboards are the bomb! They change colors beautifully and will be the talk of the neighborhood!

 And what a great idea to put color-change technology into charm bracelets! With 25 charms to choose from, it will be easy to find something that is individual to you!  

One of my personal favorites are the Solize Sunglasses in lifestyle, aviator, and fashion styles. The guarantee is that if your sunglasses are damaged or lost, you are guaranteed a free replacement pair! They are UVA/UVB and polarized! So awesome!

Check out their website and see what other great gift ideas and bargain prices that are available! You'll love it! 

I'm excited to be able to partner with Del Sol to give someone $100 Del Sol Cash. It will be awarded with an exclusive discount code to spend for whatever you would like at Del Sol! It would make a great Christmas present and there would still be enough for you as well! Enter below in the Rafflecopter form below. Open to U.S. and Canada, Ends November 20th at 11:59 MST See below for full disclosure. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Affiliate links may be present. No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, nor any other social platforms are involved in any way!
Must be 21 or older to participate. Winner will be contacted by e-mail
after 11/20/18.  1 entrant per household please and must be a resident of U.S. or Canada. Must respond within 48 hours. Entrants with invalid entries will be disqualified. Sponsor, Del Sol, is responsible for delivery of prize. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fear Of Failure Causes Anxiety + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

This past September was National Suicide Prevention Month. I, like too many others, have had personal experiences where suicide has touched me personally, or has been way too close for comfort. 

But I've had far more experiences where, although no suicide was involved, the impact of stress and anxiety have affected lives and could easily have ended in suicide. These are stories about teen anxiety that need to be told in the hopes that we can start to recognize and prevent what could happen later on.

In my 9 years of working within the school system, I have been close enough to teens to see what motivates them. I have followed some of their lives and have somewhat of a sense of what can make a teen feel pressure, anxiety, worry, and the need to fight or take flight! I will be sharing one story now and more later about some things that definitely make a teenager anxious and feel stress. Maybe if we can recognize some of these situations, we can be of help!

Fear Of Failure
I knew A. when she came to our unit fresh from a detention center.  She was smart, but had decided that school was not the way she would be successful....

Something that filled her with anxiety and dread was math. At some point along the way, someone or something had convinced her that she couldn't understand or do it. At all. In anticipation of math, she would begin to hyperventilate and would start to panic. The only way she could get through a math lesson was if she had someone right there helping her through ALL the problems, which doesn't happen often in a busy classroom. More often than not she would refuse to work, throw her materials, and leave the room with angry words hurled at whoever happened to be around. Gradually, she was able to get help and encouragement. She learned to retain some of the things she was being taught and she became more confident, thus feeling less stress when she was asked to do math problems on the board or at her desk. She got the assistance she needed that year because she made it crystal clear about how she felt about math and, luckily, there was someone available who was willing to work with her. 

Not all kids are able to verbalize their fear and trepidation when they run into academic hurdles. Sometimes they will take the fail, rather than turn attention on themselves and their problems. Unlike A. they are not squeaky wheels that will get the grease!
 Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome)