Children’s Book Reviews: Elizabeth, Queen Of The Seas And My Pet Book

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Elizabeth, Queen Of The Seas – This is a very sweet story of a real-life elephant seal from Christchurch, New Zealand. Elizabeth has made her home in the Avon River but soon she goes onto the two-lane road near the river. Worried citizens decide to move her far out to sea but Elizabeth has other ideas and comes back.

Each time volunteers take her further out to sea, the elephant seal comes back to Christchurch where she loves to lie, stretch, and sleep on the two-lane road. The locals realize this lovely seal, Elizabeth, will always come back and becomes a celebrity of sorts. The town even puts up a sign, “Slow. Elephant Seal Crossing” near her favorite place to sleep.

In the back of the book is information about elephant seals, along with a photo of Elizabeth lying on the road in Christchurch. This book is for ages 4-8 and is a great book for animal lovers.

There was once a lovely elephant seal who lived in the city. Most elephant seals live in the ocean, in the saltwater.

They sleep on rocky coasts and lie along sandy beaches. But this seal was different.

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My Pet Book – In my pet book, a little boy would love to have a pet but has allergies. He decides that a book would make a perfect pet. He goes to a bookstore to find a pet book and a red hardcover book catches his eye. He loves taking his book out for walks on a leash and never has to worry about it shedding or even picking up poop.

Not only does his red pet book make a perfect pet, it also has wonderful tales inside that take the little boy to all kinds of places.

One day, after returning home from school, the little boy goes to greet his pet book and finds that his beloved pet is gone! He looks everywhere and the housekeeper realizes she made a big mistake. While cleaning up, she collected several things to donate to charity. The two race off to track down the pet book can’t find it anywhere.

They put their heads together to think of where a scared pet book would hide and he finds him in a little nook. Arriving home tired from the day, he takes his pet book up to his room and sleeps soundly with his beloved pet in his arms.

This book is for ages 4-7 and has a wonderful rhythm to it. I love reading this to the little hummingbird.

The boy’s mom gently asked him how a book could bring such joy.

“It’s cuz every book’s a friend!” said the yawning little boy.

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Back To School

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Well, hello there! I’ve been so busy with school and time with the hummingbird but I’ve really, really missed blogging. For awhile now, I’ve been looking into different education programs that would give me a chance to work outside the home since the hummingbird is finally in Kindergarten.

As much as I write here, other sites, books I’m working on, and my very first screenplay (yay, I’m so excited), I need something that will help supplement my income AND get me out of the house, even if it’s part-time. I really want to go back into the work force and make my own money.

That way, I can tell my husband, especially since it will be coming from my pay that “Yes, we do need that 6 piece martini glass set!” even though he never uses them. Or “I know I already have 7 pairs of boots but I HAD to get another pair in dark brown!” See, I won’t feel as guilty and it’s better than always using my standby excuse… “What, this jacket? Of course it’s not new. It’s been in the back of my closet for years. Well, okay since a few hours before you came home from work.

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I really wanted to go back to college and thought I would just start with a class or two at a local community college in the area but the closest one is 45 minutes away from us. Nope, not gonna do that. Mostly because it will be snowing here like crazy soon and I really don’t want to make such a long commute several times a week.

Another thing I thought of was how much I miss working in skin care, make up artistry, and being an Esthetician. I haven’t worked as one in years but have kept my license up to date. But I felt I really needed some updated training. Only, the closest school for that is about an hour away. Yikes.

Recently though, a friend mentioned how a good number of spas in this area like to do their own training so I’m going through the *frustating pulling my hair out process* of getting my school records together, as well as state board records, grades, testing, things signed in blood, etc. so I can apply for a state license here.

I know, this is boring shit. Sorry.

So, in the mean time I decided that since I’m so impatient and I’m really hoping to get out and work after the beginning of the new year (but it will probably be a little later), I decided on a fast track program. I rather not say exactly what it is but it’s in the medical field. When I was first looking into it, I was told to expect at least 20+ hours of homework a week throughout the program and I thought okay, sure.

Holy shit! Much easier said than done. I missed several classes in the beginning because the hummingbird got sick, then I got sick and had that sinus infection that’s still lingering so I still have several more classes and homework to catch up on. But it’s becoming a little less overwhelming than it was.

The nice thing about this program is if you do happen to miss a class, you can watch the recorded online lectures later.

I admit that what I’ll be doing isn’t something I actually plan on doing forever. And I am kind of bummed I couldn’t make going to college or esthetics work right now. But it will still be nice to have something that I can do no matter where we move to and not have to worry as much with state boards and such.

It would be nice though if I can get my state esthetician license here sooner rather than later. Who knows? If I do, I can mix my medical experience and skin care for my patients. While they’re waiting for the doctor, I could give them a relaxing facial massage. Hehe!

So, that’s why my blog has been abandoned for a bit and it sucks.

The bad news is the group blog I was hoping would work will have to wait since I’m already stretching myself too thin as it is.

I feel if I don’t get back to writing soon, my head will fucking explode. And that’s another thing. I know I will always be writing for years and years to come. That’s a given to me. With these different writing projects I’m working on, my fingers are crossed that something will hopefully come out of it.

I’ve also been thinking for a while about whether or not to put together a blog based book filled with essays I’ve written over the past 4 years, along with some new ones.

It’s been a crazy, hectic last few months since going back to school but I’m so glad things finally seem to be settling down a bit and balancing out.

Whether you work from home or outside the home, how do you manage and balance work and kids? Same if you’re currently back in school?

I’ve found with being a military wife, I’ve had an even tougher time finding work since we move every few years, people you meet in the Navy come and go so references can be a pain to have, and while the interviewer will usually let me know “I thank your husband for his service to our country.”, these people pretty much in the same breath say something a long the lines of “But, you have several moves and job inconsistencies on your resume.”

No fucking way? Really? Hmmm, let’s see. A military wife that has to move every few years, uproot the family, and start all over again in a completely new place? Well, duh! Okay, being told that so many times over the years has really gotten to me.

If you’re a military wife, how have you managed having a career while moving place to place? Has it been easy for you or harder?

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Andouille Sausage, Asparagus, And Smoky Potato Skillet

sapskillet1I’ve made this recipe three times in the last month and it’s definitely a welcome dinner for all of us. It also has balsamic vinegar, which I absolutely love, and is a really comforting meal. You can use any kind of sausage that you like with this.

Same for the potatoes. I’ve tried it with two large russet potatoes, cut into chunks. The only thing I didn’t care for was that they didn’t really hold their form and made the skillet mushy. Of course, it still tasted great.

I’ve put a “kidafied” version below in case you have picky eaters like mine. You don’t have to go out of your way to make something completely different, which is such a pain in the ass.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

24 ounce bag of small Yukon Gold potatoes (or two large potatoes)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

small red onion, thinly sliced

4-6 large andouille sausage links (or any you prefer… would also work great with Polska kielbasa)

1 pound trimmed asparagus, each stalk cut into thirds

1/3 cup water

Vinaigrette

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

dash of salt

Directions:

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

While potatoes are cooking, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Cook sliced onions for 2 minutes along with smoked paprika. Slice sausage into 1 inch pieces and cook in pan for 3 minutes. Add asparagus and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add potatoes and stir well. Add 1/3 cup of water to pan and simmer with lid on for 5-8 minutes, or until asparagus is to desired tenderness.

While that’s cooking, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add ingredients and whisk together. Remove the pan from heat, add vinaigrette, and stir together. Serve immediately.

“Kidafied” version:

Once potatoes are cooked, set aside some potatoes in a small bowl. Remove skin and add a bit of milk and butter to make mashed potatoes. Add a dash of salt if desired and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Before adding vinaigrette to the skillet, remove a few pieces of the sausage and asparagus and set on plate for your picky eater, along with the cheesy mashed potatoes. Add sliced fruit.

Sit down together for dinner and wait for one of two things to happen.

1. Either your picky eater will have complained for the past hour about how hungry they are and will at least eat the mashed potatoes and fruit.

2. They will have complained for an hour about how they’re starving but not want to eat a thing on their plate because ewww, the sausage has touched the mashed potatoes or the asparagus is “gross”.

Good luck!

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Blog Love: Katkinslee, Life, Motherhood, And The Pursuit Of Happiness, And The Places You Will Go

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I’m still stuck with some plague from hell. I finally went to the doctor last week and found I have a raging sinus infection on top of a cold so I was prescribed antibiotics. But, I had a nasty reaction to them and was prescribed something different a few days ago. Blech. I am so over feeling like this. The hummingbird hasn’t been feeling very good… again. It seems like we keep passing this cold back and forth.

I never knew just how germy Kindergarten was until the little bird started school last month. I thought we were out of the woods now that she wasn’t in preschool anymore. Ha!

I wrote a little poem on my blog Facebook page about having a cold while having kids to care for. Ready? Ready!

Kill me. Kill me. Omfg, kill me now!

Just fucking kill me.

*bows*

I also decided to go back to school. Eeeek! My night classes started a few weeks ago. I’ve only been to 2 of the classes because of this crappy, crappy cold and sinus yuckiness. Here that? It’s me hyperventilating and panicking over all the studying and homework I need to catch up with. *deep breath* I’ll write more about that later.

In the mean time, here’s blog love for some lovely ladies.

KatkinsleeSTAY CALM!!Cats In Wigs, SURPRISE!!!!, and My Top 5 Most Annoying Book Characters. Twitter: Katkinslee

Life, Motherhood, And The Pursuit Of HappinessThe Great Pizza Meltdown Of 2014, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star… I Really Don’t Care What You Are, 25 Reasons Why I’m Not Cut Out For The Workforce, and An Ordinary Duck.

The Places You Will Go4 Year-olds, It Is Permanent, Maid Or Wife?, and Mother Vs Daughter.

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When You Go Out Of Your Way To Make A Nice Meal For Your Family And They Kind Of End Up Being A**holes About It.

1350591749695_7822193*I’m still sick and I have to say, I am the biggest pussy ever when it comes to having a cold. It definitely makes you see just how good you have it when you’re healthy.

Last week, when I was in my “pre-sick” stage, I wanted to make a nice dinner for my husband and the little hummingbird. It’s also the day that I made the incredibly orgasmic mini salted caramel apple pies.

Even though we’re a family of 3, it’s such a pain in the ass to get everyone on the same page when it comes to agreeing on what to make for a meal. Okay, actually I need to take that back. My husband will eat anything. Even some of the most horrible, OMG, what the fuck went wrong meals I’ve made over the years.

It’s my 5 year-old daughter who is picky, picky, picky.

Here’s where I have to say I for the most part ate pretty much everything my mom made. She was a single mom for many years and we had several meals of those cheap pot pies. She did the best that she could to feed us so I absolutely appreciate her efforts.

Come to think of it, I was probably more of a whiny little kid when it came to the food we had but I did my best to eat what she was able to afford.

Anyway, as a parent, there is probably at least one time, if not more, where you make a nice dinner for your family and go out of your way to cover all of the different tastes for them. It’s a pain in the ass but damn it, you want everyone to sit down, have a nice dinner, and not bitch and complain.

This particular night did not go as planned. Of course it didn’t. Fuckity fuck!

It may not seem like a fabulous dinner but I made buffalo macaroni and cheese. The perfect comfort food. So delicious and kid friendly. I even made a special casserole dish of it for the hummingbird.

I was running an hour behind though and everyone was bitchy by the time I was able to serve it up.

I was also bitchy and a total asshole to my husband because while preparing this meal, I realized that while I went to the store earlier, I forgot to get half and half. Fuck!

Then I flipped the hell out and sent my poor husband to the quick mart down the road. He was trying to be helpful and offer alternatives but I was all like NO! I FUCKING NEED THIS FUCKING HALF AND HALF, FUCKING FUCK!

Not one of my proudest moments… obviously.

I finally get this dinner in order and on the table. But did my family appreciate it? Hell no!

My hubby chowed down without breathing because he was so damn hungry and my daughter whined and said she didn’t like it. She wanted me to make Kraft mac n’ cheese instead.

And I had to get up multiple times for my daughter. “Can you please get me a napkin, mom? I wanted juice instead. I dropped my fork, can you get another one? My food is cold now, can you microwave it? Now my food is too hot and I can’t eat it. I don’t like this. Can I have something else?”

OMG! Really, people? REALLY?!

So, I sat there and cried. I totally lost it and cried while thinking fuck this shit.

I sat on the couch and cursed my family under my breath while my husband and daughter happily played together after dinner.

But then, I kinda sorta pulled it together and we had those delicious apple pies for dessert.

And all was finally good again.

Because mmmm, pie!

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Tattoos And Guilty Pleasures

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I got the little hummingbird’s cold that she had last week. So, of course I’ve been so sick this week and really NyQuiled up. Yes, that’s a word. Okay, it is in my mommyhood vocabulary.

My week has pretty much been like this. Cough, cough, cough. Tell my husband “Fuck this shit! Kill me now!” Cough, cough. Nap. Do a shot of NyQuil. Cough some more. Tell my husband I think I’m dying. Cough. More NyQuil. Etc. Yes, I’m such a pussy when I’m sick.

Since I ramble all of the time, I wanted to hear from you.

Who, me? Yes, you. Couldn’t be! Then who?

That’s a little something my 5 year-old came home singing one day so it’s been in my head.

Anyway…

First off… tattoos.

I’ve been seriously thinking about getting another tattoo. Ssshh, don’t tell my husband. He’s still having a heart attack over the tiny dolphin tattoo I got 12 years ago. Yes, I’m a dolphin/ocean freak.

Poor guy. You should have seen him in my pierce everything phase in my early 20’s.

I just can’t decide what to get.

Something to do with music, a hummingbird, my daughter’s name?

Secondly, when you have a bit of free time, what are your guilty pleasures?

No judgements!

For me, it’s watching Teen Mom 2 and loving to absolutely despise Kim Kardashian and her WTF moments, which seem plentiful and endless.

Your turn. Spill it!

Happy weekend, ladies and gents!

*Updated. Oh, yeah! Another guilty pleasure is reading dlisted. I came across this gossip site 6 years ago when I was pregnant with the hummingbird, dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum, and desperately needed laughs. Michael K. and his writing is brilliant.

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Edible Coconut Body Frosting

coconut-body-frosting2 (1)Since my last pregnancy, my libido went way down. Add to that having our 5 year-old doing everything she can to sleep in our bedroom and my sex drive said see ya!

But lately, my sex drive has taken off and I was in a search to find something edible to use. I was surprised to find that while it seems like every place I looked had vibrators disguised with names like “personal touch”, there weren’t any edible lubricants to be found.

Sure, I can go to a sex shop or online but it baffled me that a place like a drugstore had a vibrator called “explore” for 50 dollars but nothing at all for some edible fun.

That’s when I thought I’d just make some myself. I use coconut oil in some skin care products I make and decided to give that a whirl. I made a quick trip to the grocery store in hopes that I would find some chocolate extract but they seemed to have every flavor except that.

As people lingered in the baking aisle, I stood there debating what flavor I wanted to lick off my husband. Raspberry? Orange? Vanilla? Hmmm, choices, choices. I decided on coconut extract.

After I made it, let’s just say the results are pretty satisfying. Each batch will probably keep for about 3 months but check it every now and then to make sure it’s not funky. Please don’t use this with condoms as I’m sure that wouldn’t be good for the latex and little hummingbirds may result.

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon extract of your choice

clean container with lid

Directions:

Put coconut oil and extract into a small bowl or mixer. Whip on medium until fluffy. This makes half a cup. Store in container with lid and make sure it’s handy when the mood hits.

Enjoy!

*If you may be having a dry spell in the sex department, as couples do, you could use this as a skin moisturizer. If you’re in need of a quick snack or the health benefits of coconut oil, voila!… lick it off your skin. Yes, expect very strange looks from people, then offer a lick. Total icebreaker.

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