It’s that time of year again; apple cider, colorful foliage, pumpkin pie, jack-o-lanterns, bags of rocks..sorry Charlie Brown, it is what it is….and of course Susanna Leonard Hill’s Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!

You knew I’d enter right? I just can’t help myself. It’s like Susanna and the cider spiced doughnuts know voodoo or something…I just can’t stay away!  And really, why would I want to? A fun Halloweensie contest never hurt anybody, neither did a cider spiced doughnut…unless of course you ate the last cider spiced doughnut and I only found out about it when my coffee mug was full and ready for it’s sweet round friend…

Then. cider. spiced. doughnuts. become. quite. serious…..and. life. threatening.

I’m just sayin!

Cider spiced doughnuts = LOVE




Oh right! The Halloweensie Contest…

Well grab your doughnut and coffee…here we go!

The rules this year were to write a 100 word Halloween story for children that included the words costume, dark, and haunt (or any variant of these), and post between October 26-30th! You can head over to Susanna’s blog here http://susannahill.blogspot.com/ to read all of the entries and vote for your favorites on Monday November 2, 2015.

I went with funny. What can I say….I love humor!


“I’m going to be scary for Halloween.”

“You are a mouse, and mice are not scary.”

“But I’m a scary mouse in this costume.”

“You look like a deranged Easter bunny.”

“Well how about my cloak, is my cloak scary?”

“Nope! Not even a tiny little bit. You are a mouse!”

“Fangs! Fangs are scary.”

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Mouse fangs are funny.”

“I want to be scary!”

“There is no way in the dark haunted forest, that a mouse will ever be scary! Mouse? Mouse? Mouse are you there?”

“BOO!  Ha! Ha! Ha! A Halloween mouse is scary after all!”


Sooooooo, What d’ya think?

100 words is quite challenging, especially with bantering characters, and that’s what I love about these contests….they challenge me to think outside of the box and write in ways that maybe I hadn’t thought of before…Thank You Susanna!

Now, one little request… I want to know who you all thought Mouse was having this conversation with! Please leave a comment below even if it’s only one word….I can’t wait to see what answers come up!

Here I’ll go first…


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Lavender Sachet DIY

What do you do when your best friend gives you a bunch of dried lavender stems? Why you make hanging sachets of course!


Cute right?

How do you get one you ask?

Get someone to make them for ya!

Only kidding!

Jeez… It’s almost Frrriiiddddaaaayyy!!!!! Lighten up!


Okay, Sew up a few little fabric squares leaving one end open for stuffing. Next, remove those sweet fragrant filled blooms from the stems….

Try not to go into a dreamy coma, I dare ya!


Seriously, I saw Angels!

Now scoop those heavenly buds right into your fabric squares, and sew those suckers up!

I suppose you could hand whip stitch the closing to make a nicer finish, but who’s got time for that?

I made this bunch in between homework, putting soccer cleats on a 5 yr. old, and cleaning up spilt

milk from under the kitchen table….Whip stitch nothing!!!!

Another plus about these little lovelies?

My hands are rocking that hippie smell!



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The Queen Speaks

Want to know what one of my favorite things is?

Well, YES cake is one of them, but….

Look at that stack! Ain’t it purty?

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So many things to love about that great stack!  I mean, have you read The Curious Garden and sat in awe at the inspiring illustrations?  How about Sam & Dave Dig A Hole? So wonderful you might find yourself awestruck by its complete brilliance! Little Owl’s Orange Scarf is perfect, lovely, sweet, perfect! Peggy makes me long for the country..and the city…and the country!  The Best Pet of All is one of my all time favorites…who would’ve thunk that a dragon would lead to the best pet of all?  And Mo Willems?  Forget. About. It.  This stack is full of awesomeness!!!

Speaking of awesomeness, I have been helping out with my kids elementary school reading program.  If you read to your goal, then I bake a treat and you get to celebrate with Minute To Win It games! Prizes?  Well duh, Books!

IMG_0905 (2) IMG_0902 (2) Of course we had to try out the games…there was absolutely no tasting of cake and icing…NONE!

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The challenge was to build the tallest tower in a minute.  I thought he was very creative…I would’ve never thought to build it that way.  Must’ve been that cake and icing….if there had in fact been any sampling going on…which there WASN’T!

Moving on…

What do you do when you’re standing in line at a book rummage sale and spot Rainbow Brite?  I did NOT leave my four year old standing in line to hold my place, well not for longer than 10 seconds anyhow!  I mean, come on..RAINBOW BRITE!

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Somebody else spotted some great finds too!

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Now Go Forth My Friends..

Get it? Go forth..it’s May fourth?

Yep!  You’re so glad you’ve chosen MY blog to read today aren’t ya?  I promise to keep my humor at bay from now on…just like I didn’t taste that cake!

Go Forth My Friends…and READ, READ, READ!

The Queen Has Spoken…


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A Story of Spring

And then it’s Spring….

It was a long, hard winter ya’ll, but oh how the tides have turned….

Gardening has begun….Time to break out the hats!

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But what do you really need for Spring gardening?



A Gardening Sister!


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“Hey I’ve Got An Oil For That!”

Several months ago my sister became a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils.  She loved them so much, she thought her older sister needed to try some too!

“Your boy has a headache you say? I’ve got an oil for that!”

Now I’ve always used natural ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, 100% grape juice, local honey, rubbing alcohol etc. before OTC meds.  I’m just not a fan of throwing un-needed chemicals/meds at my kids. I’d rather try natural alternatives when possible.  When I found that Young Living oils are grown/distilled on either their own farms or co-oped farms free of chemicals and pesticides I decided…Why Not?

I know what you’re thinking….

It was love at first smell.

Nope!  Not even close.  I’m pretty sure it should be suggested….Ahem!….Instructed, that Melaleuca Oil (Tea tree) not be the first essential oil you take a nice big whiff of!  That stuff is rank!


It seemed like every oil except the citrus oils were way earthy, but dangit I paid good money for those suckers so I was gonna use em….even if I had to hold my breath till I turned blue in the face!

Anyhow, I slowly started adding lemon and grapefruit oils to my water…not bad, thieves to the bottoms of feet, frankincense to naughty fine lines, peppermint on sinuses…..

Hang on a sec…. This story is one worth telling!

You can use essential oils in several different ways; diffuse them, inhale them, ingest them, neat (no carrier oil), or with a carrier oil (my favorite is coconut oil).  When using some of the stronger oils it is necessary to dilute with a carrier oil.




I don’t know why I have to learn all my lessons the hard way, maybe it’s the fact that a hard learned lesson sticks longer? Anyhow..

Feeling a bit congested and having trouble breathing through my nose as The Good Lord intended, I thought…Why not use some of my all natural peppermint oil?”

Now this by itself wasn’t such a bad idea, but the light-bulb moment that followed was flat out ludicrous! You’d think by now that I’d have found the off switch on that darned light-bulb, but Nope, It’s brighter than ever!

Ever heard the statement…”We’ll leave the light on?” Yeah it’s like that!

Well this is when Yours Truly decided to slather some of this peppermint oil on her sinuses WITHOUT  a carrier oil…because if peppermint oil is good with a carrier oil, it must be great without one right?

Bet you’re wondering how that worked out huh?  Almost instantly I could breath again, but now I had no use of my eyes!  Yep! The peppermint oil is so strong that the wafting fumes? odor? smoke? was daring me to take a peek!


Stupid is as Stupid does……I freaked out and started adding coconut oil to the peppermint oil already on my face thinking this would alleviate the burn/chill? I’m pretty sure I got too close to my eyes because now I couldn’t open them at all but the tears were pouring rivers and my entire face felt like it was trying out for one of those eye popping York Peppermint Patty commercials!

Hard learned moral of this story?


You’ll be happy, or bewildered one,  to know that I have successfully used a diluted peppermint oil on my kids since that brilliant moment of mine when they’ve been congested, and it works like a charm!  Paired with Coconut Oil, the kids say the peppermint smells like Junior Mints!

I. Love. Junior. Mints.  You did not need to know that but… I. Love. Junior. Mints.

You know what else I love?  Grapefruit EO mixed with coconut oil.  It smells heavenly!  I whipped up a bunch of this stuff and spooned it into old milk glass tea cups and use it every chance I get!  I’ve replaced my after shower lotion with this and I love it!  The smell alone was enough to win me over, but the soft skin really makes you a believer!

But seriously….The Smell!!  And hey, if for some reason I ever get stuck upstairs with nothing to eat I can just eat this stuff!  That’s not too weird is it?

Yeah well, it takes a weirdo to know…..anyhow…

I guess you could say I’ve become an EO believer.  I’m really starting to love using them.

We’ve used these EO’s instead of standard meds for things such as stomach aches, headaches, sore throat, chest congestion, sinus congestion, skin irritations and flare ups, muscle soreness, and the list goes on and on.  Needless to say at first introduction I wasn’t so sure these guys were gonna stick around for dessert, but after using and getting to know them better I’ve found they are most welcome in my home.

A few of my favorites?

Frankincense  – Face, coughs (has worked so well for us), fabulous smell!

Grapefruit – Because it smells so dang good!

Lavendar – Skin ailments (my psoriasis in particular), sleepy time aide!

Peppermint – Tummy troubles, headaches, congestion, overall mood enhancer!

Some of Young Living’s Oils are blends, which saves you a lot of time and money on mixing!  A couple of my favorite blends are…

Thieves – Immune system, germ & bacteria killer, great smell!

Stress Away –  Great for end of day unwinding. My kids ask for this (with coconut oil) every night.  Not sure which they love better, the oil or the back rub they get with the oil, but either way they love it!

Purification – Air freshener (perfect for those stanky athletic shoes, and Soccer Mom minivan stench!)

Overall these oils are quickly becoming an every day part of our lives.  I’ve even made several creams that we use everyday such as; Before School Cream with thieves, lemon, & peppermint; Blemish Cream with malaleuca, lavender, & frankincense; Bedtime Brew with stress away and lavendar; Face Cream with frankincense, lavender, & Grapefruit.

If you’ve ever been interested in trying essential oils I would encourage you to do so.  It might not be love at first smell, but if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself wondering what you ever did without them!  My only word of advice…Research!  Research the company and research the abilities of and how to use each oil! And then take a deep breath and ENJOY!

My friends!

My friends!


Somebody managed to sneak into the pic!

Somebody managed to sneak into the pic!

Want to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils?  Shoot me a comment below, go to the company website at http://www.youngliving.com/, or Follow my Staying Healthy board on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/thislittlebirde/staying-healthy/,

Happy Oiling!



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A Holiday Story!

Weeeee!   It’s that time of year again!


Time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Annual Holiday Contest!  You know what that means?

That’s Right!  You’re about to read my newest manuscript! Restrictions were….

1.  It had to be a children’s story…..CHECK!

2. Theme is wild weather impacts the Holidays…..CHECK!

3. Not to exceed 350 words…..CHECK!

Okie Dokie folks, grab a comfy seat, a warm blanket, and your favorite cup of hot chocolate and we’ll get started!




Perhaps you should grab your bathing suit and a tall glass of iced tea!

Yep, we’re headed South Ya’ll!

Let’s get going shall we?

                                       JUAN PABLO AND THE CHRISTMAS WISH
For Christmas, Juan Pablo wished for just one thing…a wintry wonderland of white! Unfortunately, for a chicken living on Isla del Sol, 
sparse! Nonexistent! Obsolete!
When the other chickens of Isla del Sol heard about Juan Pablo’s wish, they laughed and clucked, clucked and laughed, there was even a cackle and some rolling on floors!
Was Juan Pablo’s wish really so silly? What could it hurt to wish for snow chilly?
A still hopeful Juan Pablo strutted home beneath the blazing sun, 
to plop…
in front of the fan…
and think! Ponder! Plan!
It wasn’t until his ice cube puddled that Juan Pablo had an idea. THE idea!
On a night when young chicks should be tucked into beds, 
With visions of sugar plums dancing in heads, 
A determined Juan Pablo whistled a tune,
And headed outside to work under the moon.
Following his plan, OPERATION BIG WHITE, he flitted tree to tree,
With a sack full of big yellow Christmas seed. 
Like a jolly chick-ninja he worked through the night, 
Only the stars to guide him by their holy white light!
In the blink of an eye he’d accomplished his feat,
Then settled inside for a bite of mincemeat!
He laughed and he jiggled and sighed joyfully,
He couldn’t wait till tomorrow when his friends would all see!
Christmas morning brought presents and glee,
As everyone gathered round the Isla del Sol Christmas tree.
With temperatures soaring like never before,
Juan Pablo’s wish of a white Christmas surely existed no more!
Unless, of course…
Pop! Pop!
Pop! Pop! Pop!
Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!
The chickens looked up and much to their delight, 
It was snowing big flakes of popcorn of white!
Juan Pablo had done it, his wish had come true, 
But there was still one last thing on his list of “To Do!”
That’s when it was heard, as he dove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all and to all…
Pop Corn Fight!”
Are you chuckling?
You’re supposed to be chuckling!
And what has happened to my font and spacing?
My Christmas Wish to be computer savvy has yet to come true!
You can find more Holiday stories at http://susannahill.blogspot.com/.  Finalists will be posted on the blog Monday Dec. 15th, or Tuesday Dec. 16th!  Good Luck to all the contestants!


Hope your Christmas is filled with joy!

Wishing you a Christmas filled with joy!


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Post Card Fun!

You just finished off that last box of cereal, your trash is full, and the recycling doesn’t come for two more days….

What on earth do you do with that cereal box?

Well you send it to somebody else that’s what!

No, not the whole box silly…that would be weird!

But this is not weird.

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This is fun.  Practical.  Eco-Friendly. And a great way to send a little  “Hello” to someone special!

Homemade Postcards!

All you need is a pen/marker, ruler, scissors, and an empty cardboard box. *You can use any cracker, oatmeal, pasta, cereal, Pop Tarts etc. box*   To get your Picasso on, grab some inking stamps, stickers, crayons and/or markers and let your imagination GOOoooo….

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First things first!  Begin by marking and cutting your cardboard box into 4′ by 6′ rectangles.

Next, using your pen, draw a line just off  center to give you a left and a right side of the postcard. Use your ruler to make 4 equal lines on the right side of the rectangle. *This is where you’ll put the recipients name and address*

Now on the left side of the postcard you can get creative.

IMG_0927 Add a little, or add a lot. It’s really up to you!

I’m absolutely positive this will brighten someone’s day….and give you a reason to finish off those Froot Loops!

Now get going! Somewhere, somebody’s waiting for your masterpiece!

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