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Personal Growth

Just Be Better Than Your Former Self

My spouse and I re-watched a film over the weekend, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” We sat down to soak it in again after we saw the sequel in the theater. In it a line by main character and mentor Colin Firth was said to a rookie kingsman in training Taron Egerton. The phrase really struck …

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Personal Growth | School | Writing

Writing Lessons from a Writer

I recently had the privilege of speaking to a group of 50 teachers for the National Writing Project conference at the University of West Florida. I delivered an hour long presentation on my writing background and experiences writing as a child. In addition, I shared how I came to write the book Kazoo Makes the …

Holidays | Parenting

Not According to Plan (Thoughts on Mother’s Day)

I woke up this morning feeling light-headed, dizzy and nauseous.  After I took my first few steps, my legs gave out and I ran into the dresser. Not long after that I vomited. Then I repeated the throw up cycle two more times. This was not exactly how I wanted to spend Mother’s Day. As …

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Personal Growth | School | Writing

Literary Symposium Inspires the Writer, Parent and Mentor in Me

How does a writer like me re-energize and stay inspired to keep writing? The answer to that changes daily. But today my inspiration came from a whole room full of people, mostly educators dedicating time on a Saturday to help promote writing and reading among the youth in our community.  It was a humbling, amazing …

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Home Life | Parenting | Personal Growth

Happiness Within

Leave it to another kids’ film to have a great life lesson, something simple that we all know but need a reminder about – happiness. The DreamWorks’ Trolls movie tackles subjects like loss, disappointment, fear, lack of self confidence and more in a fun sing-along feature.  One particular troll, Branch, is the unhappy one among the …

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Art | Books | Culture | Parenting | Writing

The Importance of Reading

I have been thinking about the importance of reading the past few days. As next week is Celebrate Literacy Week in Florida, schools all over the state and in my district are planning activities to engage kids in reading. This makes my soul happy. I wish adults could have a break from the regular work …

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Art | Culture

Play More Funky Music

Do you listen to music every day? How about multiple times per day? How does it affect your mood? Last week, the music app on my phone popped up and displayed how many hours of music I listened to in 2016. It was an impressive amount. The notice had me thinking about how much I …

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Culture | Holidays | Home Life | Personal Growth | Work | Writing

New Year’s Goal: Enjoy My Time!

Ahh, a New Year…this means a clean slate. New possibilities await. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you set goals at the beginning of a calendar year? I certainly have in the past.   Last year I came up with a word for 2016: Mindfulness.   Although I must admit, it was well past …

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Home Life | Parenting

My New Puppy’s Top Ten Greatest Hits Album

Our puppy saga continues. The adventures can be described lately through song. In fact in the two short weeks we have welcomed Tiberius “Ty” in our family, I have composed a greatest hits album of puppy classics. They include a good mix of R&B, Country, Pop, 60’s classics, dance and rap. Please see the artists …

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Home Life | Parenting

Our Furry Newborn / Toddler Puppy – the Truth and Need for One

We welcomed a new member to our family a week ago. We purchased a four-month old puppy, a Siberian Husky, from a local pet store two days after Thanksgiving. Meet Tiberius or “Ty” The first two nights were like bringing home a typical newborn. My husband and I received no sleep. We gave each other …