Archives for December 2016

What Worked for Me in the Year 2016


I was reading another blogger’s post and she listed things that worked for her in 2016 in a post and I thought that would be a great idea to help me reflect on my year. I linked to each product that is still available for more infomation or if you would like to purchase them. So here is a list of a few things that worked for me this year:

My Planner This past year, I switched from a Lilly Pulitzer planner to an Inkwell Press planner and I have to admit it was a game changer. For starters, I moved to a smaller planner size and was able to tote it around if need be. I don’t write small so I couldn’t go tiny but I moved to a 7″x 9″ format. I love this planner. First of all the owner makes videos that she sends out to you with worksheets to help you to set up your planner. They are both fun and functional.  I tracked all of my work and home planning inside of this planner. I love that it has the elastic strap to close it and it keeps it nice and neat. It worked well with my work planning so I ordered the 2017 planner for the new year. Well worth the investment.

My P-touch label maker Last year, I bought one for the boys and one for myself for Christmas and I have to say, I still love the pink labels and that I can make them quick and move on to other things. I use it mostly for organizing at work.

Bose speaker I moved from a Beats Pill to this Bose speaker and never looked back. I bring it all over the house even to the pool in the summer to listen to music while we swim. I enjoy the quality sound and I love listening to audio books on it at work!

Shelving and Reorganizing my office space – I purchased additional shelving for my office space recently to make room for my new Silhouette that will be arriving on Christmas. I also cleaned out my main work storage closet earlier this year and now I have quick access to all of my supplies without all the clutter that used to hang out in my room. My workspace has moved to a more sophisticated look that I was aiming for. I will continue to refine it in 2017.

Hanging rack with laundry sorter I had to include this baby. Each Sunday, I select the clothes for both boys week (Nick wears uniforms so his is a breeze!) and then Leao irons them and we hang them up on the hanging rack above the 3 laundry sorters. I used to have 3 laundry sorters and would select the boy’s clothes each night. But now all they have to do is pick up their outfits from the rack each morning. I placed this in the laundry room and so it’s out of the way and I have quick access for laundry days. I picked this one up at Target in the year and happy I did.

Cup and Trash clip-on for my craft table One of my recent purchases inspired by my friend Elaine at one of our craft dates. I love it. It clips onto my desk and I can ensure no spills on my workspace because I place my cup of tea in the holder and the trash bag that clips onto it, is so convenient. No bending to search for my trash can under my table anymore. Love this!!

Project Life Grid Journaling CardsI have had these for years and used them in my scrapbook albums but since I haven’t been working on my albums lately I had these cards laying around when I realized I could write down my favorite color combinations I use on work projects on them. I then purchased a gorgeous Heidi Swapp storage case with tabs and place them in there. Now I can access all this information in one place. I love the grid lines so that I can write all the information on there neatly. I usually grab a pack each time I visit Joann’s.

That was fun. It’s the little things that make a big difference and reflecting on them in this post was pretty cool.  What everyday item worked for you this year?


“Baby it’s Cold Outside!!”

babyitscold1Hello Everybody!! Happy Friday!!!This is a photo of my dashboard in my car this morning when I drove Nick to school today. Brrrr…..The little i you see is letting me know the cold is messing with my tire pressure.  Wow is it cold. Yesterday we had a 10 minute snow squall and then major gusts of winds that stayed with us throughout the night.  I drank lots of tea yesterday and I expect to snuggle up with my blanket and put the kettle on regularly today.


It’s so cold that this morning we found “Jingle”, our Elf on the shelf, was snuggling with Mr. Snowman!!! Jingle isn’t a fool.

As soon as I dropped off the boys I loaded up my crockpot with the ingredients to make a turkey chili. So the scents will make me feel happy throughout the day and dinner will be ready around 5. I am also going to roast some butternut squash to make soup for lunch today for Leao and I. Notice I will be roasting the squash. That’s because I bake and roast a lot during the cold winter months because it’s a win-win. Yummy food and additional heat for the house!!

babyitscold3I can’t believe I still have cards to send out and Christmas is 9 days away.  I sent most of them out but my cards to my crafty girlfriends requires more preparation so I haven’t been able to focus on them fully. I will work on them out this weekend so I can get them off by Monday.  I hope you all are keeping warm if you are in a cold part of the country and have a blessed weekend. I will try to make a post next week but there is a chance it might not happen until after the holiday. If I don’t, I want to make sure you know that I am sending you holiday blessings and cheer from our home to yours.


Happy Monday!


Good morning!! How are you today? Are you feeling happy or dragging about just a bit?  Despite a scare this weekend with my mother-in-law, I am feeling really peppy. Almost annoyingly so. I have my instrumental holiday music playing today at work and that and my tea has me in a good mood.

As I mentioned, my mother-in-law gave us quite a scare this weekend. She experienced really high blood pressure along with a few other symptoms that led her to the emergency room.  She’s home now, feeling better and I am scheduling some follow-up appointments for her to ensure her well-being. She is a pretty healthy woman so this took us all by surprise. Yesterday I bought groceries and we went over and cooked dinner and spent time with her and my father-in-law. I’d like to think my cooking was the magic but the grand kids seem to cure all.  I am really excited for her because in a few weeks, she will be flying to Florida to spend the holiday with our family out there and she will get to yum up her other grand kids. So there’s some more medicine for the soul coming her way!

I also spent Saturday with my crafty girlfriends (Ashley you were missed!) and eating homemade soups, and of course major desserts was great fun. I primarily worked on my faith journal. I will have to take some pictures to share with you. It’s a fun art journal I created to contain great quotes from the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I also have one I use with quotes from my spiritual studies. It’s a fun visual way to place these words in front of me more often.

Today I need to chug away at more Chirstmas cards. This is the latest I have been at getting them out! I am only hand making a few and the rest are boxed cards but I still have managed to let it slip! Oh well.

By the way, the photograph above is of Jingle our Elf on the Shelf and yesterday he sat on top or our mini tree in the kitchen and Leao thinks he might not choose this location again from the splinters in his butt!

I am off to get some work done! Have a blessed day my friends.



Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly


Title: Hidden Figures
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
Copyright: September 6th 2016
Genre: non-fiction
Format: book Pages: 368

I saw the preview for the movie “Hidden Figures” around two months ago and the cast for the movie are some actresses (Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer) that I really like. They would be be portraying the women from the book. This movie is based on a true story about black women that were mathematicians back in the 30s thru the 70s that contributed to major developments in aeronautical engineering with NACA (Nationa Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) and later for NASA’s space program.  I found out that the movie was based on a book so I quickly zoomed over to Amazon and pre-ordered the book.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program—and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now.

Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as “Human Computers,” calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these “colored computers,” as they were known, used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America’s fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

My Thoughts:

What you need to know is that for myself and many other black people in this country we are thrilled when we see people that look like us making big achievements and contributions to this country. Because, so often, we read about our history and it is filled with slavery and then there’s a big gap and then there’s present day. It’s as if we’ve never contributed anything to this country that we went from slaves to free people and then that was it. We also are inundated with news reports today with the imagery of black America in a one dimensional perspective (usually committing a crime) and bypassing any major contributions. So when I heard about this book and this movie I wanted to know more. I couldn’t believe how many black woman were working in these major establishments.   Because up until this book, with the exception of a handful of astronauts from the early 80s into the 2000s,  I never knew of all of the black woman who were working hard behind the scenes to make these endeavors possible. Because the most common images I’ve always seen from NASA was a room filled with white man in white shirts with black ties staring at monitors sans any diversity.

Let’s remember also this book takes place during the 30s 40s 50s and up into about the 1970s. So to hear about achievement of this magnitude by black women during this time seems unheard of to me. But that wasn’t the case. They were black women that despite segregation and all of the racism that was taking place here in this country, that pursued high level degrees in science and mathematics  (with teaching as a back up), that went on to work and NACA and NASA to contribute to aeronautics and flight into our space program. These women managed to pursue their mathematical and scientific degrees and secure jobs at NACA as computers, mathematicians, and scientists.

It was during World War II when the country was really trying to bolster it’s space program in order to compete, defeat and exceed the Russian space program that the doors became open to anyone and everyone who could help meet this goal.  What’s interesting is that the drive was so strong that all of the internal issues that was going on in the United States in terms of race relations and segregation residuals of slavery were eventually put to the side to achieve this goal. This is not to say that it was without difficulties and there was segregation at the workplace. But as their collegeaus began to see how devoted and talented these women were, they began to request them on more and more projects. John Glenn, one of our most famous astronaut, specifically requested Katherine Johnson (one of the women highlighted in this book) to run the numbers and computations to ensure a successful flight into space. By this time, actual computers (machines) were introduced but he was that sure of her ability that he placed his life into her hands.

All this said, I went into the book with a lot of anticipation and excitement. I even recommended it to my book club which is surprisingly they accepted. I got home and I just dove into the book. Although I managed to learn a great deal about the contributions and the struggles that these women faced leading up to their employment, the structure of the book made me put it down often.

The problem for me was that the book weighs heavy on facts and information and less about the story of the women. I had to read 80 pages before I even got into some sort of story and introduction to some of the ladies. My desire to read this book and learn might not be the same as others so readers might ditch the book before getting to the point where the women’s stories begins. Even after the stories begins, Shetterly didn’t quite integrate the story with the data so there are long periods of facts and technical information then stories about the women. It made for a harder read for.

In all fairness, coming off the election emotions, might have tainted my view or tolerance for this format a bit. Perhaps a different time, might have made a difference. But I do recommend this book even with the format she chose to use to tell the story. Because it is an important part of our history and also a game-changer for some young children of color to find more role models in the fields of mathematics and science.

I give this book 3 1/2 butterflies and I can’t wait to see the movie!





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