Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Essential Things For Newborn Baby

 

5Z8QJ8SIHDLike every new parent, I wanted to buy nearly everything and anything for my first child. I wanted to spoil her rotten. I wanted her to have a pink, princess-themed nursery. I wanted nothing but the best for my daughter. But, as it turns out, you need very little for a newborn baby.

So, I’ve compiled a list of 5 things that I found to be most useful for my baby girl.

  1.  Breast Pump

As any breastfeeding mom knows, a breast pump is absolutely essential. You’re going to want it for those times you need to bottle feed you baby.  I have the Lansinoh manual breast pump.

 

2. Several Sleep ‘N Plays

Do you know that all your newborn baby is going to do is sleep and eat and poop and sleep some more? That’s why it’s good to get a couple of Sleep ‘N Plays that you can quickly and efficiently get your baby in and out of for those middle of the night diaper changes. Plus, they are super comfy for baby. I had several of those in the newborn sizes. But looking back, I wish I had bought them in the 0-3 month size. My baby girl outgrew her newborn clothes so fast.

3. Diaper bag

My diaper bag came in so handy. It was big enough to fit all of the baby essentials, such as bottles, breast feeding cover up, wash cloth, extra onesies, reusable changing pad, diapers, wipes, blankets, and all those little odds and ends that a little baby needs. Plus, diaper bags are cute and adorable!

4. Onesies

Onesies are so easy to get baby into. You just slip the onesie over the baby’s head and then snap it shut. It’s super easy for diaper changes. And they come in so many different colors. Baby can lounge in these things all day. Check out these adorable onesies I bought for my baby.

5. Receiving blankets

Receiving blankets are so useful and there are so many uses for them. You can use them to swaddle your newborn baby. You can use them as a burp cloth. You can use it as a comfort item for baby. They are lightweight and come in so many different colors and styles.

Tell me what you consider to be some of the most essential things for baby.

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Review of Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

 

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YES! There’s going to be another Harry Potter book!

That was my reaction last year when I heard that there was going to be an eighth Harry Potter book. As a child of the 90s, I grew up reading… no, devouring, the Harry Potter series. I fell in love with the characters. I loved Harry Potter, Hagrid, Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Snape, even Voldemort. Even though I am not a wizard, I felt like I could totally relate to the characters in the series. I remember reading one book and then waiting anxiously, excitedly for the next book to come out.

But when it came time for the seventh book to come out, I was eighteen and graduating from high school. The end of the Harry Potter series was, at least for me, the end of my childhood. It was such a powerful moment.

And now, nine years later, we see the eighth Harry Potter book. This time, we see Harry Potter as an adult, married, and with three kids. Similarly, I graduated, have a child, and in a relationship with a man that I love. But besides that, I was so excited to see what became of Harry Potter.

We saw Harry Potter as an adult in the epilogue of the seventh book but I wanted more details. What did he do for a living? What kind of father, and husband, was he? What did Ron do? Hermione? I always imagined nothing but the best for Hermione, although I was a bit surprised to find out that she became Minister of Magic… I always imagined that she would be advocating for house elves, goblins, and muggles.

I was also surprised to find out that Ron Weasley took over his brothers’ joke shop. But then, I suppose it is only natural. After the death of Fred Weasley at the Battle of Hogwarts, I suppose that George needed some help with the joke shop. Speaking of… there was no mention of any of the Weasley’s, except for Ron and Ginny of course. I wanted to know what happened to Bill, Charlie, Percy, and their parents. But then again, this eighth story is the story about Harry Potter and his son, Albus Severus. Again, we don’t see that much of Harry’s other kids, James Sirius and Lily Luna.

We do see them on King’s Cross though, every year as they depart for Hogwarts. I like how the play starts off where the seventh book ended, with the epilogue. It was nostalgic to read the very first act and very first scene and find that it was pretty similar to the epilogue. I could not help but see the film replay itself before my very eyes (yes, I’ve seen the HP films that much). Also, starting the eighth story with the epilogue reminds us of how the seventh book left off. It uses some of the plot points that Rowling carefully plotted in the epilogue, such as Albus Severus’s fear of being sorted into Slytherin and then discovering that he has, in fact, been placed into Slytherin house.

While I would have loved to see an explanation for why that was (I can only guess that he chose that house because that’s the house that Scorpius was placed into), the eighth Harry Potter story is a play. A play has dialogue and very little description, unlike the rest of the Harry Potter novels. While it was interesting to read Harry Potter in a vastly different format from the other books, I still found myself missing Rowling’s long flowing descriptions.

The dialogue itself read really well. The dialogue read similar to the dialogue from the seven Harry Potter books. I also felt that the dialogue was true to the characters. I only wish that there were more descriptions. But since there wasn’t, I had to imagine the play in my head and try to fill all the empty gaps.

There was a couple of gaps in time when the play fast forwarded through the kids’ years at Hogwarts, until we were in Albus Severus’ fourth year. That is when everything started to happen. I admit that I was disappointed that we did not get to see exactly what went down during the first three years of Albus Severus’ time at Hogwarts. But again, it’s a play and there’s only so much description that you can put in.

But the play really takes off with Albus Severus’ fourth year of Hogwarts with a time turner. It was nice to learn more about this elusive device. We only briefly touched upon them in the third book when Hermione used it to go to more than one class at a time. And then, all of the time turners were destroyed at the Department of Mysteries.

But the way that the time turner was used to go back in time to Harry Potter history (specifically, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) to save Cedric. But of course, as we all know, if you meddle with time, you can change the future. And change they did (Albus Severus and Scorpius).

This caused them to meddle with time again to try to reverse their actions. Turns out that if Cedric had not died, then he would have became a death eater, Harry Potter would be dead, and Voldemort would still be alive and ruling the wizarding world.

To be honest, I think this was a bit too fan-fiction for my taste. But that wasn’t a big deal because I’m just glad that there is another Harry Potter book and I got to see Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger all grown up with kids. I only wish that I could have seen the play live in London. Though I hear that it might be coming to Broadway and possibly being made into a film and then.. just maybe.. there might be a DVD available.

Well, one can hope.

Tell me your thoughts below! Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Did you like it? Dislike it? Did it live up to the original?

 

A Great Honor — Liebster Award

This evening a great honor was bestowed upon me by fellow blogger, Bridgett. Bridgett nominated me — or rather, my blog — for the Liebster Award. The Liebster Award recognizes blogs with less than a 1000 followers and strives to increase collaboration and recognize newbie bloggers. Think of it as a game of blog tag. Person A nominates Person B. Person B must then answer a couple of questions on their blog and then dish out some nominations. It is a cycle of collaboration in which everyone benefits. Sounds like a winner to me.

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So, without further ado, here are the rules:

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator gave you.
  3. Tag 11 bloggers with less than 1,000 readers.
  4. Think of 11 questions for the bloggers you have nominated.
  5. Let them know you have nominated them through social media or their blog.

…. And here are the questions that Bridgett gave me:

  1. What music gets you in the mood for writing?

My favorite band is Relient K. I first started listening to them in 2008-2009 and never really stopped listening to them. I enjoy the melodic and tonal qualities of the music and I’ve always been a sucker for lyrics. Sometimes when I write, or blog, I have Pandora open in another tab and am listening to the Relient K radio.

2. In your opinion what is the best thing you’ve written so far?

In 2011 (which is the first year that I won Nanowrimo), I wrote a novel (albeit unfinished) about a mother who loved her child so much that she was willing to give up her heart for her daughter. I’ve always loved stories about mother-daughter relationships and investigating how deeply one person can love someone else. I wanted to put this relationship to the test by exploring what happens to a family when a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice: she willingly gives up her own life for her daughter’s. I’ve never finished that novel but one day I’d like to go back and revisit the plot. Perhaps that one day will be sometime next year in 2016….

3. Have you accomplished your goals for 2015?

My primary goal for 2015 was to graduate from college. I can happily say that I have completed this goal and I am beyond excited, ecstatic, and oh so happy. That moment when I walked across the stage at my graduation. Or that moment when I finally received my diploma in the mail. Nothing compares to it. I felt as if everything that has happened so far has led up to me receiving my Bachelor’s degree — and it will only go up from here.

4. What is one thing you want to see happen in 2016?

In 2016, I would like to start my career. I would like to jump headfirst into my industry (Communications/Marketing/PR/Social Media) and not stop, never stop, just keep on going, increasing momentum with every step.

I would also like to become a published writer. Currently, I am in the process of editing my Nanowrimo book from last month. I’ve been dreaming about becoming a published writer since I was a little kid and to see my name on a book would be the greatest dream of all. It would complete me.

5. What is your favorite book you read this year?

Perhaps my favorite book from 2015 is Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. As a woman, I’ve always been drawn to books about female main characters and the female condition. I enjoyed the writing style. I remember reading the book and feeling intrigued about what happened, what could have happened, and why it would have happened. Books that spark thought inside me are, I believe, the best kind and the only ones worth reading.

6. Coffee or tea?

I’m not much of a tea drinker, though I wish I was. I very much enjoy my iced mochas with whipped cream too much.

7. Have you visited anywhere exciting in the past year? Where?

In May, my long-term boyfriend and I went to Boston, MA & Manchester, NH for my graduation. For the weekend. It was one of the best weekends ever and not just because it was my graduation.

8. What is your favorite thing about blogging/writing?

My favorite thing about writing, in general, is the ability to get my thoughts down on paper. I’ve always been drawn to the written word, perhaps even before I could talk. I love words. I love how they flow so seamlessly together. I love it when the words just pour out of me and I can’t stop it and I don’t want to stop it because it’s something that makes me happy… that makes me me.

Writing is definitely a private activity and blogging has made it a public activity. I don’t hate that. In fact, I love it. I love connecting with strangers on social media. I love reading other people’s blogs and escaping, for just a moment, to another world. Blogging allows me to not only write but connect with others. What could be better?

9. What would you do if you won a million dollars?

This is a question that I’ve considered many, many times during the aftermath of dreams of winning the lottery. First and foremost, I would pay off my student loans. And then, I would put the rest of the money into a savings account and start collecting interest off it. I’d also like to sponsor a kid in Africa or donate money to St. Jude’s. I would definitely like to give back to those who really need it, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because that is how I was raised.

10. What book would you like to see made into a movie?

Well, I’d love to see one of my books be made into a movie one day. 🙂

But, joking aside, I’d love to see another movie made from the Baby Sitters’ Club series. The BSC series was probably one of my favorite book series growing up (aside from Harry Potter of course) and I’d love to see a continuation of the series in film.

11. What is your current favorite tv show?

My current favorite show is probably Switched at Birth, though I also love The Fosters just as much. Of course I’m also looking forward to the release of Fuller House in February 2016 on Netflix to satisfy my nostalgic heart. 🙂

I must say, that was really fun!! Thanks so much for nominating me, which reminds me….

I nominate…

… And my questions…

  1. What are you most looking forward to in 2016?
  2. Where would you like to be five years from now?
  3. What is your favorite food?
  4. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
  5. How active are you on social media? What are your favorite social media platforms?
  6. What is your birth order and do you think that reflects your personality?
  7. What is the most influential book that you have ever read?
  8. What is your favorite childhood book?
  9. What was the last movie that you saw?
  10. Nutella or peanut butter?
  11. Lefty or righty?

Good luck and have fun!!

Winning NaNoWriMo

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Every November, I participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). What is NaNoWriMo, you ask? It is a collaborative writing forum consisting of thousands millions of writers all around the world. It is an awesome and unique experience, uniting us all around a common goal: to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days — one month.

I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo every year since 2011. This is my fifth year participating and the first time I ever successfully completed and finished my novel. I concluded my NaNoWriMo novel at 58,475. That’s right. My novel has a beginning, middle and end. I printed all 199 pages of my manuscript out and will start editing in January, after a delicious break in December.

During this year’s NaNoWriMo, I’ve learned how important it is to keep writing no matter. Sometimes it’s important to skip around and write the ending before the beginning. But the most important thing I’ve learned is that NaNoWriMo is not just about churning out that perfect New York Times bestselling novel. It’s about getting to know your characters. Characters will scrabble. Characters will fight. But you’ve got to let your characters figure things out.

As a self-diagnosed perfectionist, I’ve often struggled to write a first draft novel that is perfect on the first try. But in reality, that is rarely the case. Writers write and then write again and again and again. Words are added, deleted, evaluated, omitted. Writing is constantly a process of trial and error. In the past, I expected perfection but in reality  you have to allow your characters, words, scenes to evolve and change each other.

This past November, I wrote as I did during my previous NaNoWriMo’s. In the past, I admit that I cheated by, for instance, not using contractions and thus creating two words instead of one. But this November, I didn’t. And I think I know why.

In the past, I was always more of a pantser instead of a planner. But this year, I vowed that things would be different. So, one day in October, I sat down, opened up my Google Drive and created a new document. I then set about writing up an online complete with chapter titles.

What this did for me was give me a path to follow. I was no longer writing in the dark. I wasn’t just blindly letting my characters take me where they wanted to go. Instead, I was writing within the confines of a plot that I had outlined. Within these confines, my characters were allowed to move forward while getting to know one another. It was a win-win situation. My characters were allowed to go for their dreams and my novel was right on track.

I’m taking a break in December and will begin the editing process in January. The editing process is completely new to me but I’m excited to meet it head on and embrace its many challenges. I’m excited to see where my novel and characters will go from here. Maybe my novel will never get published. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I wrote a novel from beginning to finish in a month and then I edited it. I got to immerse myself in an entirely new world of my own unique creation.

And that is the point of writing. Writers are not in it to just make money or become famous. They do it because they love it. So, if you enjoy writing, creating new worlds, transforming characters, then this is for you. Writing is a creative hobby. You can’t get rich off it so you need to enjoy it.

www.nanowrimo.org