Monday, December 31, 2012

Create a success list!

As the year is wrapping up, I'm starting to ponder.  I could think of all the things I want to change for 2013.  and Yes, of course I can think of all the things I didn't get done or start or even do right but that would be silly and mean to me!  And I'm not going there... so I thought lets make a success list.  Wanna join me?  

I'm wishing you an amazing New Year filled with all the things that are fulfilling, beautiful, and bring you creative joy, health and happiness!

Thank you for making my day and stopping by each time, it really makes me smile!  Join me for a creative, exciting, inspiring year where we can grow happily together worldwide! 

xxxxxoooo Michelle

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A fisherman's wife, a tale of a day

I woke up startled when I saw the time (6:30) and ran to the light in the kitchen, I missed him.  But, atleast he wasn't late, he never is.  I call to see if I can catch him, I don't.  I must have drifted off to sleep because Andy calls, I can tell by his voice all the agitations flowing in his mind are paying a toll.  

He didn't want to go fishing, the weather is suppose to be 35 F & blowing 15-20 possible snow, rain.  It's a day trip, he left at 5:30 am and should be home by 9ish tonight.  He didn't want to go work on the boat yesterday in the cold or the day before in the cold and rain or even the day before Christmas Eve.  But he did - for free.  That's what a fisherman does. Getting the boat ready for a trip is a given, you show up, work as long as it takes with or without lunch then the payoff is a trip.

I have to go back and tell you, he hasn't gone fishing since Hurricane Sandy hmm... 8+ weeks ago.  We've had a blast during that time, soaked up every bit of family life we could but time off has weighed in - Andy's grown worried, plump (me too) from livin' the good life, frustrated, our bank account dwindling, fulfilled and ready to go back to work all at the same time. 

The call finally came and we're glad...just why today as I always say.

xxxxoooo Michelle

For more post on being a wife of a commercial fisherman, read these:

Pretty Perk of a fisherman's wife, easy craft

Treasures from the sea

In memory of...

Friday, December 28, 2012

My new cell phone...

Don't you just love it!  I call it the Pink Hottie by Dollar-Rama.

It rings only when I want it to, has a little button that says, How may I help you?", the time is set so it is always lunch time or sleepy time and I never have to worry about charging it.

In this day when cell phones are a must, it's nice for me to have a "cut the cord" option and I've been feeling that way lately- I'm working on  getting my creative groove back.

I hope everyone's finding their groove today, whatever it may be! xxxxxoooo Michelle

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Time...

Hi It's Nyla and it is 3 days till Christmas and Santa is coming soon my elf on the shelf is in my stocking and I'm making cookies on   
Monday!!I have my Christmas tree.                                                  

Have a merry Christmas love Nyla!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Love Us!

This is the first thing I see when I wake up, it's on my wall, it's big, sparkly and a reminder to me.  Even when I'm grouchy, grumbly, silly and goofy, I love us and that means my family, my super dooper friends everywhere and all of you out there!  

Have an amazing time out there and know that you are loved even when you don't know it!         (I just wanted you to know it :) 

xxxxxoooo Michelle

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finding Home...

A while back we went to the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College.  It was the first time for us, and boy what a compelling jewel of a museum! 

The Noyes Museum is a wealth of creativity and inspiration in a natural setting that soothes the soul.  I'm in love with all their current exhibits but the one I'm going to boast about is 
"Finding Home".

It is an exhibit by artist, Seth Camm.  He touches a subject that is an ugly, pushed to the side kind of one, "Homelessness".

His paintings eloquently captures the beauty of his subjects.  Not only can you see the paintings but this exhibit takes it a step forward by providing an audio of their stories which you can hear at this link Finding Home Exhibit
(Be sure to listen to JoAnne's story, her beautiful song will no doubt bring a tear to your eye.)   

I feel the "Finding Home" exhibit touches a tender spot in the fabric of our country that seems to be growing by natural disaster and personal circumstances. This exhibit takes it beyond seeing the paintings, the provided audio of several stories as well as sharp, crisp  photographs of the many homeless people of Atlantic City, NJ hits home and does what I think art should do - makes you feel and think.

I started writing this post awhile back, throughout my days, this exhibit has lingered in my mind.  As I sat tonight eating my homemade chicken soup, I felt humbled, grateful and a bunch of other emotions but mostly wishes filled my heart that people of our  world will all one day feel the warmth & love of a safe home and community; the comfort and nourishment of delicious food prepared with love; and the beauty of our world rather than the distraught, struggle and ugly.

Thank you Seth Camm, Noyes Museum of Art and all the people of the "Finding Home" exhibit, I'm so glad I got to hear your story.  You have made a difference to me! 

Click on the links for more information about the heartfelt artist, Seth Camm and more about the Noyes Museum of Art Stockton College.

Some days are difficult but today, I'm choosing to find the beauty in the day.  xxxxxoooo Michelle

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Backseat Feet... Costa Rica

We're going where laughs and sunshine are abundant... not sure if I'll be able to post while we are away so here are a few posts to check out in case you missed them the first time around.

Farm Life in Costa Rica

Coconuts, Wow I love them!

Mango's YUMMY!

Costa Rica PURA VIDA!


Beach Art


Art...My style

Oreo Art

Shrinky Dink fun

Graffiti fun time photo shoot

Hey, there's still a chance to get this! Click here, first one to leave a comment gets it, I'll send it out as soon as I get back...Give Away still available!

I'm working on my dreams, join me where ever you are! xxxxoooo Michelle

Monday, November 19, 2012

I received a gift

I recieved a gift in the mail.  As I opened the brown UPS box I saw the most beautiful gift, as I looked at it, touched it, held it, read it, I realized I am actually holding a dream come true!

My friend and published author, Kelli VanHorn sent me 2 copies of her new children's book, This is Bob, (a Tale of Tails).  Kelli is the first stranger to ever send me surprise support.

One day I received an e-mail from her, loaded with encouragement to pursue my dream of becoming a children's book author, ever since we have been friends, she is right up there on my support platform!  I have been carrying the torch of sending surprise support ever since. 
To find out more about Kelli and to buy this cute tale check out her website, its filled with awesome resources

For all of us dream seekers and inspiring writers, I asked Kelli a few questions:

Where did you get your inspiration from for your book?

The inspiration for Bob came from one of my grad classes.
We were asked to write an original children's book to use as a springboard for meaningful conversation with our students.

I couldn't think of what to do and my Mom (aren't Moms awesome) told me that I should write a story about the crazy squirrel that, at that time, lived in my front yard.

He did not have a tail...but despite all of this, he was still a furry woodland critter with loads of personality.  So, Bob was born! 

(See, inspiration is usually close by, sometimes just outside your door!)

What kept you inspired to finish?
The whole process of seeing it through took a long time. Three years, I think. My professor told me to look into publishing and I actually got to use researching of the publishing process as my graduate project.  It was really disheartening...who you know, how you know them...all of that.  

It was clear that traditional publishing was not for me. I guess at this point, I just forgot about making Bob go. Then, I could not get a job and I got even lower...finally, I decided that this whole happiness thing was not a pursuit.  I realized that I had a lot of things to be mad about but I also had a lot to be happy about and making Bob go was one of them.

I teamed up with my dad, who illustrated the book and my brother in law (much needed tech support), and decided to see it through.  I learned way more than I ever thought I would ever know about copyright, photoshop, and the bulk purchasing of ISBN's.  I started my own press, found a printer and launched a website.  Since then, it has been giving copies to family, friends, grassroots effort.

(I love it!, Kelli's family was part of her support system, who's your support system?  I also admire how Kelli chooses the pursuit of happiness rather than being mad and "Bob" helped her find the way)

Is writing easy for you?
There is certainly a flow in my writing process...but definitely never, ever easy.  Any creative process is actually sort of painful.  I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night with that one word that just....aaahhhh....I hated it.  So, no, definitely not easy.

And I tell this to my students e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y!  Anything that your whole heart is poured into should never be easy. 

(Thanks Kelli for sharing that.  Dream completion isn't easy, I usually throw in some fun to get me through those tough times.  What do you do?)

Can you describe what it feels like to achieve your dream?
It was actually sort of anti-climactic.  I had worked and waited three years to see this book done...but right as it was coming off the press, I got my first teaching job.  After I started getting the books out, it was a realized dream.

The coolest thing of the whole deal is seeing my students in the book.  In my third grade classroom, Bob is well-loved and never on the bookshelf!

I told the kids about the book and one day, a little girl found it, read it and put it back. This happened a few times, until a few days later one of my students said, "wait, this is like your last this your book?"  From there on out, it is always on a desk. That is all the achievement that I need.

(Wow, Isn't that the sweetest reward for a children's book author?!)

Do you like cake?
I love cake, especially in cup form. 

Now lets celebrate!! Kelli has graciously given me a copy to GIVE AWAY! YAY!!

All you have to do is spread the word any way you can about, This is Bob by Kelli Van Noppen.  We gotta support our fellow dreamers, right?  (I'm a super dreamer too! The more followers a writer has the better for publishing their book.  hint, hint. just sign up under the Inspiration Makers over there).

The first one to comment gets it, make sure I have some contact info!  Easy peasy :)   xxxxooo Michelle  (I'm also available at my email: daydreamingmommy at gmail dot com

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'll blog more later...

Hey, I've been a little busy with life, I'll be back into blogging real soon...  thanks for checking in, I really appreciate it!

xxxxxoooo Michelle

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy...

Things I know now...

First let me say, I feel totally blessed, we have power now (only 3 1/2 days off) and we are safe.  We made it thru but 3 minutes from our house, there is total destruction.  I'm not going to show you my personal pictures, there are plenty on the internet to see.

We have friends still without power, they can't leave their houses even if they wanted to, their cars are gone, businesses are non-existent, gas lines bubbling up, no water, electric, it's getting cold, looting has begun, food is running out, no internet, or cable tv, propane is running out, just out of their reach generators are being sold on the side of the street for inflated prices.  I still haven't been able to reach some of my friends, I'm worried and scared for them.  I miss them and tears fill my eyes as I write this, children and animals are cold and homeless.

Something I didn't know before...
When your in a hurricane, you have no idea what is going on, while the rest of the world is watching and hearing the news we can't. All the information is "word of mouth" and as the news spreads the story changes to uncertainty.

My husband is a commercial fisherman, thank God all the boats were home.  At one point we heard his livelyhood was gone, that goes back to the "word of mouth" isn't always correct and thankfully this time it wasn't.  So many jobs are non-existent now, like mine.

Our phones we're and are a key source of information, that is how we saw bits of information but seeing it on a little screen isn't the same and was difficult.  Calls and text messages were spotty and often didn't go thru and calls had to be short so you wouldn't run out of battery.

A car charger for you phone is a must have.  

Gas up your cars AND fill up your gas cans, propane tanks.  Gas stations don't work without electricity, you can't start a chainsaw without gas. 

Luckily we had a friend with a generator, all the kids had fun, we shared food, concerns but when we returned to our home our daughter was scared and sad without electricity, she missed Halloween and that makes me sad.  

You can cook a frozen pizza on a grill and get pretty creative with your food but hot, home-cooked meals are cozy when its nasty outside, hot drinks and cold ones with ice are a luxury.  Stocking up your freezer only lasts so long without electric.  You can only eat so much food at one time.  Vegetables and fruit run out and are really missed, believe it our not.

There are so many people without warmth, food, dry socks, dry shoes, clean clothes, information, any comfort, toiletries are running out I have to think sanitary issues are arising.

All the people that are still in their homes are pioneers, they have to be.  As soon as I have information I will let you know what they need. 

Please spread the word, I miss our friends, I hope I get to hug them soon.

xxxxooo Michelle 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chili days...

We're having some serious stormy weather here and what better food to eat is a bowl of turkey chili.  Gosh, I wish I had some! I made this last week and it's gone.  :( 

Turkey Chili
Ground turkey
onion (chopped)
kidney beans (2-3 cans, various kinds)
canneli beans
red & green peppers
tomatoes (2 big cans, whole, I like to squish them)
cooked rice
thyme, salt & pepper

I saute the ground turkey with the onion in a little olive oil and loads of thyme, little salt lots of pepper.  

Then I throw in the chopped peppers and saute until turkey is cooked.  

Add all the beans with juice and tomatoes. Then simmer for awhile, add more seasoning if it needs it.

Serve over hot cooked rice, add cheese, cilantro, hot sauce and yum your done!

xxxxxoooo Michelle

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween craft easy!!

I saw this at the Lacey apple festival and knew I just had to share it with you!  I think this is  perfect for class parties. Nyla had fun making these and then gobblin them up!  


Plastic gloves (make sure it's not the powder kind, I got ours from Dollar Store but they were gigantic, we had no problem eating them up though :)
tons of popcorn
candy corn
little bat rings (from dollar store)

Fill and "hand" out. (just couldn't help it :)

Thanks Lacey Apple Festival for a great time and this very cute idea!

Nyla & her best bud, Stella having a great time eating their popcorn hands and picking out perfect pumpkins.  We couldn't talk them into the pie eating contest though.

xxxxoooo Michelle

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cars oh my!...

I know nothing about cars, but WOW! We went to a festival the other day and I'm in love!
It was so much fun imagining, reminiscing, watching the owners kick-backed and chilled, as we were all dreaming...

but NOT touching!

It was so hard not to just jump in and take it for a pretend spin like a kid - just holding on to the steering wheel wiggling it left and right, why couldn't we just touch the perfect paint color that I thought only animals could have and make it all smeary?  The sun reflected and sparkled in every car, everyone looked amazing in those reflections!  Why couldn't I just?

Because... for so many reasons, even my daughter got it.

xxxxoooo Michelle

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Corny kind of...

One day we decided to take a walk, Nyla started showing me how crunchy the acorns sounded as she stomped on them.  So as we walked with heads down trying to find more, we realized our neighborhood was covered with them.  Soon, I realized these are cute little things, so I began collecting them and filling up Andy's pockets.

When we got home, I started swooping them with my gold paint pen and that's how my cute little acorn family came to be.  Aren't they cute with their little hats?

They didn't last too long in our family though, it was time for them to move on... our dog Martine got some off the table for a little snack and rolly toy.  Bye, acorny family thanks for hanging with us! You too! Have an awesome adventure today :) xxxxoooo Michelle

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Man Cave... I get it!

My husband's Man Cave is our garage and for the past 2 years the only time I would really go in there was to throw out the recycles, grab a drink out of the spare frig. or just to plan ol' pass thru.

Until now.  We just recently moved Nyla's chair and ottoman out there.  The chair that I nursed her in, rocked her to sleep and stared at her for hours in has really not been used to much since those early baby years.  I just could not get rid of it, so many precious hours were spent there!  Now, about this man cave, what I realized is guys don't necessarily need comfy, they can sit on a box, stand for hours it really doesn't matter but now that Nyla's chair is there, I don't mind hanging a little bit.

His cave, it's cluttered and dusty, filled with left over, unused stuff, electronic cords that will probably never be used and who knows what they go to - I know this because I just added some more.  There's possible idea's & dreams hanging around waiting for their time, a lot of used items, the emergency plunger, beachy seasonal items that don't belong in the attic.  

This man cave is exploding with stuff that is not yet forgotten and not ready to be, and ideas that aren't quite thought out but have started, it's got the spinny chair that my daughter if she could drag it up the stairs she would! It's a haven for surfboards that are used every chance they get, half empty paint cans and lots of spray paint cans, house cleaners, all kinds of tools, nuts & nails and basically stuff that I really have no idea what they are. Recycles, are out in the cave too - spilling over their bucket just waiting to be taken to the big recycle bin. Stuff that was given to us - we really didn't want it but took it, some bins filled with our past homes and just plain past that we can't keep at mom's anymore. It's cold in the winter and cool in the summer, there's probably a mouse hanging out in there too.

It also has different kinds of fishing boots and fishing clothes for Andy's work, wet suit, springsuit, 5mm, 3mm booties and gloves, the snow shovel and half used bag of salt waiting for snow, brooms and balls, an antique chair, easel and paints, broken toys and things that get dragged in and dragged out.

You don't have to be tidy here, no inhibitions, no dress code you can come here unshaven, wear the "outfit" that you would never want anyone to see you in.  You can do this anytime of day or night and it will welcome you with the same "come as you are" policy. Anything can be said and like Vegas its staying there, it's basically a kid free zone, although Nyla gets a kick out of "going to get" a juice box from the spare refrigerator for her and her friends.

It's a chaotic, messy, unorganized bunch of love.  So, I get it now, I get why he hangs there. (now that I've got a comfy spot to hang, I'll be hanging more.)  I use to always want to straighten it up and maybe glam it a bit.  Don't get me wrong, it needs a good sprucing every once in awhile but you can leave that need to clean and organize right at the door, cause this man cave is all about getting away and leaving that kind of cleaning behind.  It's really a genius secret spot, to grab a few silent, alone minutes.

Yes, my husband's man cave - its filled with us - lovingly all parts of us and he shares it, I'm so glad...

Don't worry, I'm not sharing a picture of this mess of love with ya. :)  I just wanted to share that I get it now.   xxxxxoooo Michelle

Friday, October 12, 2012

Random things...

Here's some random pics I thought were cool...

Hey, have a fabulous weekend, I'm gonna take a few days off to enjoy my family.  Andy just got home from a fishing trip, we're gonna recoup (well he is) and play.   :) xxxxoooo Michelle

Graphic pattern I fell in love with...

What random things are you looking at  -   that you think is cool?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Today is the perfect day for baking something yummy, its been gray, spitting rain and the temperature has dropped to well, what fall weather should be.  We've been so fortunate to hang on to the warmer temperatures that I just have to thank my lucky...flipflops.  Now its time for socks.
all ready to bake

My Mom makes some real yummy pumpkin date bread, she bakes them in left over cans and they look real cute all wrapped up in aluminum foil.  Well, I couldn't find her recipe, so I tried another.  All I can think about is that yummy stuff!  Warm, with a little butter and sprinkle of sugar.  The batter was tasty, we added butterscotch chips, Nyla said, "delightful", big wow about to happen.  I thought, I will give a few out.  I kept checking, after an hour I took them out, then thought no maybe longer, after some time I took them out and let them cool, I scooted them out of their cute little cans, their puffy tops kinda fell and now realizing it they're super heavy. I did something wrong, I'm bummed :(

xxxxxoooo Michelle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Random Nyla

I'm a Mommy in love...

here are some random pictures I found that touch my heart.  There are so many more. each has a special memory, I just had to share. I love you Nyla  xxxxoooo Mommy

Monday, October 8, 2012

More farm fun...this time in NJ

I just have to say, I'm so glad I have a child 'cause I just don't think I would do any of this stuff and boy would I be missing out on some serious fun!  We roamed around back and forth for hours. This year hasn't gotten cold yet, which seamed a little strange but hey, I'm really not into freezing, no complaints here!  I didn't grow up in NJ so this is all really cool to me; what kind of seasonal fun are y'all doing in your neck of the woods? I would love to hear... 

 We went to Argos Farm, check out their link for some fun farm time!

Corn was falling out of our clothes for the rest of the day; my feet never felt so good & tingly from the corn massage...we left pooped and happy, life is good! Don't let the kids have all the fun. Embrace your local scenery and tell me about it.               xxxxoooo Michelle 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Costa Rica Farm...Rancho Avellanas

There is nothin better than a farm near the beach!  This farm was so awesome, the animals were so cared for, beautiful, silly and happy. 

We left with home-made cheese, yogurt drinks & cream cheese. 

I can't wait to go back, this time we'll get up early enough for the milking!

Thank you, Rancho Avellanas for letting us walk around and enjoy your animals!       

and kids being kids!

This was such a fun and memorable experience.  Thank you Farmers worldwide, we really appreciate you!!

Love and big hugs to all the kids, Cindy, Tiffany and Jerry for sharing this day with us!  

Even if you can't get to the farm to get some of the freshest milk ever, you can still have a home-made experience. Here's how we made some buttery goodness.

Were going to check out a different farm today, a pumpkin farm. We'll share pics when we get back.  xxxxoooo Michelle