Monthly Archives: January 2014

Appreciating Art


I grew up thumbing through the Saturday Evening Post, as I’m sure some of you have as well. My grandma still has a few old copies put away on a bookshelf. The cover is usually what everyone remembers; the beautiful artwork done by the gifted artist Norman Rockwell.

This semester in college I’m having to take an Intro into Visual Arts class. It’s one of those class I have to take in order to receive my Associates degree. Though I have taken a few art classes in high school and middle school, I have never really taken a class to study about actual art pieces and their artist. I have always had an appreciation for art. I do enjoy the beauty and the craft, but have never serious stared at a painting and truly see what the artist is trying to say in his work.

This class is actually teaching me a few things about art and the artist behind their work. My instructor would show slides of certain pieces and talk about the artist, then talk about the artwork he’s showing on his slide. We’ve looked at quite a few Norman Rockwell paintings, that I’ve found a new likeness for the artist and his work that I didn’t have before. Sure, I have respect for Rockwell and love his work. He’s truly gifted. But, after really looking at certain pieces, I can actually see that his work is actually telling a story. There’s symbology in his work, as there is in all artist work, you just have to look for it and I’ve never really done that. Since Rockwell is a Christian and a family, who also loves his country, he’ll always show one, if not all of those traits in his work.

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Image found on Google images

One of the Rockwell pieces is that of Rosie the Riveter. It’s actually one of my favorites as it represents a time in history where women were allowed to show that they too can do things other than teach and sew and keep house. The year was 1943, WWII had started and most of the men went off to war. This left the women back at home to take up jobs usually done by men. Posters were made up, showing the women that it was okay to do a man’s job, who else was going to do it? 

Rockwell’s painting shows patriotism. It shows that women can do a man’s job and still hold their femininity. He also placed a halo above Rosie’s head, showing that he appreciates what they did for their country. With her feet placed on top of a book by Hitler shows that they aren’t scared of him and that they can defeat him. Those are just a few symbols in the painting that we talked about.

I’ve actually learned how to really look at a painting. Not just by staring at it and enjoying the beauty of it, but by really looking at some of the things that the artist drew or painted. What did he/she mean by putting this or that in the painting? Those certain items explain the actual meaning behind the piece of work and the reason why the artist painted it, or drew it. 

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My Visit to the Art Gallery


A very interesting sculpture catches my eye…

Found In Arkansas

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I visited the Arkansas Art Gallery in Little Rock. Though I knew of its location as I have been to the MacArthur museum next door, it was the first time I had visited the gallery itself. Before I made the trip, I checked their website online to see if I might find a particular artist that I may want to see. According to their website I would find Picasso, Renoir, and Van Gogh amongst their artwork, which had me excited and more willing to go to this particular art gallery.

As I walked through their doors, it felt inviting with its spacious entrance. To my left was a set of doors, leading to the sketched portraits. Next to it, a set of doors, standing open, leading to their gift shop and diner. I continued to walk straight, stopping at the desk to pick up a few brochures, then continued walking…

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Must try baked chicken recipe


I’m always looking for recipes to try and change things up. It gets boring making the same thing over and over. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, pinning things to try. Some recipes are a hit, while some recipes aren’t worth a second try.

Not too long ago I found a recipe for baked chicken that I wanted to try. I had most of the ingredients at home, but made a run to the store for the things I didn’t have – wasn’t too expensive really. After I got home, I mixed up the ingredients and put the chicken in the oven. let me just say, the recipe was a hit and so I placed it in my little cookbook that I use quite often. The only thing that I would change is placing aluminum foil down to cover the bottom as the ingredients stuck to the dish, making it hard to come off, even with scrubbing. It says that the recipe is for 6 chicken breast, I had used up all the ingredients on just 3 thin pieces.

Now I can’t take all the credit for the recipe of course, so click here. She has a wonderful blog of fun activities, crafts, and other wonderful recipes you may like to try.

Brown Sugar Baked Chicken

2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp garlic salt

Mix ingredients and cover chicken breast thoroughly. Bake at 425F, for 20-22 minutes.

The day I brought home a giraffe


One day I went to pick my daughter up from daycare. I walked into the room, searching for my little girl, but I didn’t see her smiling face anywhere. One of her teachers pointed towards one of the tables and said, “She’s right there.” But I didn’t see her, nor her recognizable blonde hair. Instead I saw a fuzzy creature with its back towards me, playing with toy animals.

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I walked up to where her teacher pointed, to get a better view. When I came face to face with the fuzzy thing, I smiled and began to laugh. There stood my daughter, wearing a giraffe costume, smiling so big and bright at me. “Mommy!” she cries out with excitement.

“Aren’t you just the cutest giraffe I’ve ever seen, ” I say back. “May I take you home with me?”

“Yes,” she says. Though she wasn’t going to take the costume off, she wanted to wear it home. I was told it okay that I let her continue to wear it, and I promised that I would wash it and return it on Monday.

When we walked into the door at home, I called for Grams to come look at what I brought home. Grams comes into the living room and smiles at my little girl, then says, “You’re so cute, what are you supposed to be?”

“I’m a giraffe,” my little girl says proudly.

The day continued to go on as normal, but the giraffe costume had no chances in coming off. I continued to watch a giraffe eat dinner at the kitchen table, then walk around the house, then watch cartoons with me in the living room. Then it was time to go to bed. With a little sweet talk and a promise she could where the costume tomorrow, she finally took the costume off before she crawled into bed.

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The next day, after her bath and breakfast, I turned to see the giraffe standing in the kitchen. I smiled and laughed. She’s just too cute, I thought to myself. She then asked for some milk. “Do giraffe’s drink milk?” I asked her curiously.

“Yes,” she says smiling. Why wouldn’t they?

“Ok, if you’re sure.” I gave her one of her small cups, poured milk in it, and put one of her bendy straws in it and watched the little giraffe drink every drop. “I guess giraffe’s do drink milk.”

She hands me her empty cup, then takes off to her room to play. I watch her run in a galloping way that makes me think of how a giraffe runs. She takes being a giraffe seriously.

She continued to wear the giraffe costume all weekend, but took it off each night, before bedtime. Sunday night I had it washed and ready to return, as promised, to the daycare the following day. It was a fun an interesting weekend, when I brought home a giraffe.

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How I published my children’s book


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Image found on Google images

I’m often asked, “How did you get published?”, “What all do you do to get published?”, “Did you do the illustrations in your children’s book yourself?”, “Do I have to do my own illustrations?”.

About a year ago I wrote a blog post on how I got published, the steps I took, and the process I went through (click here). I thought I would share it again with everyone as it seems to have helped those I shared it with and answer quite a few questions.

Publishing your book can be a lengthy process, but worth the wait. Also, never give up on getting published. Just because you continue to receive rejection letters, doesn’t mean you should stop sending in your work, it just means they weren’t the publishing company for you. Stephen King was rejected several times before his first book Carrie was accepted.

I found another blog by Jane Friedman on some interesting, yet very helpful tips on how to get published.

Check out those links and see if those are helpful to you. I wish you the best of luck in all your writing endeavors!

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Image found on Google images

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family


Since becoming a mom, I’ve always tried to incorporate a positive atmosphere for my daughter. Majority of the pictures I take of my daughter, she’s smiling and seems to be happy, that’s because she is happy. I enjoy having fun, whether it be singing and dancing at home to her cartoons, or from our many trips to the park, discovery museums, and zoos. Wherever we may be, we always have fun.

This weeks photo challenge is about family. I picked out a few pictures of me and my daughter that are favorites of mine.

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Riding the carousel at the Little Rock zoo.

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Making silly faces

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One of our many road trips to watch a civil war re-enactment.

To show, or not to show…


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Image found on Wikipedia

Not only am I an awesome mom, I am also a writer/ author. I’m not a professional…yet, just a budding author. I have taken a few classes to help me learn the right and wrongs of writing. I am still learning new things as I go. One of the important things that I have learned, and this is coming from the professionals, is that you are either a writer, or you’re not. You can’t be a writer and call yourself ‘an aspiring writer’ or ‘an aspiring author’. To aspire means to want. In other words, what you’re saying is, you want to be a writer, but you don’t write. Either you are a writer/ author, or you’re not.

In one of my creative writing classes, I’ve learned the writing process of ‘show, don’t tell’. At first, I was clueless. What does that mean? Someone had to explain it to me. When telling a story, you have to show people your story, not just tell it. You already know what your story is about, what your characters look like, what the scenery looks like, your readers don’t. You have to show those details in your writing, so when someone is reading it, they can get the visual of what your story is about and what it looks like.

I had also learned the saying, ‘gun on the mantel piece’. Which means if you explain everything in your story, such as items in the room, like the gun on the mantel piece, you better use it in your story somewhere. This is a such thing as too much detail.

There are some instances where you have to tell and not show. I found a blog where she explains it perfectly, click here.