Archive for the ‘Fun Friday Lists’ Category

Take some time out to have some fun with your kids!  Here are some helpful suggestions and ideas!

1. Build an amazing couch cushion fort!

2. Celebrate an eco-friendly Valentine’s day together.

3. Here’s a whole list of fun winter time activities for you to enjoy.

4. Parent Magazine has a large collection of activity ideas for you to pick and choose from.

5. Do you have a tiny chef in your family?  Encourage his/her culinary passion with these baking recipes for kids.

6. Want to play games with your kids and have them learn at the same time?  Check out PBS Kids for a good start.

7. And eHow has an article on how to have more family fun on a small family budget.

What are your favorite ways to have fun with the kids?


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girl-with-bubblesMy Friday was a little on the busy side, so this list is a bit late.  However, better late than never, right! 🙂

This Friday I wanted to focus on creating our dream day.  What would your dream day, or perfect day, look like?  Sound like?  Smell like?  Feel like?  Even taste like?

And, more importantly, what can we do to bring in elements of our dream day into our realities?

As adults, we tend to think about work and then family and then if there is any energy left over we can think about ourselves for a minute.  But we have to remember: you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.  This is a lesson I learned the hard way.  As a teacher, I was so busy taking care of my 4- and 5-year-old students that I neglected my own health.  It came back to haunt me.  My health became so poor that I had to quit teaching in order to get back on track.  We have to make sure that we are taken care of before we take care of others because if we get sick there will be no one left to take care of any of us, right?

So, focusing on our five senses, let’s take a moment to figure out how to incorporate some comfort into our hectic lives:

1. Think about the things that make you feel comforted.  Those items, people, and experiences that you crave after your most hellish days.  I discovered my own set of comforts after my father died.  I realized there were certain foods, sounds, activities, people, and thoughts that bring me comfort.  I noticed that my comfort foods were foods I grew up eating- cheese toast, chicken salad, Drumsticks ice cream, white grapes, Granny Smith apples with peanut butter, hot tea.  What foods do you find yourself craving when you need comfort? Try to eat one of your comfort foods this week and see if you don’t feel your shoulders relax when you take your first bite.

2. What about your sense of touch?  Most everyone loves to get a hug when they are having a bad day.  But what can you do to soothe yourself?  After my boyfriend and I broke up, I found my cat to be a great source of not only companionship but she also soothed me when I pet her.  There is something very cathartic about a pet.  And there is research to prove it.  If you don’t have a pet, borrow one for a while and just pet it.  Today I, along with my mother and sisters, received prayer shawls from my mom’s church to help us with my father’s death.  They are beautiful to look at, but best of all they are made of the softest yarn and they are warm.  We were all wearing ours around the house this afternoon, feeling great comfort in this simplest of ways.  Soft fabrics such as wool, silk, and cotton are very relaxing to the touch.  Having a wool or cotton blanket on hand that you can bring out when you need some pampering can do wonders.  Massages are a nice way to relax your muscles, as well, whether you seek the expertise of a professional massage therapist or give yourself a pedicure at home.  Having some thick lotions on hand that you can rub into aching feet and tired hands can make a bad day seem to float further away from your consciousness.

3. What about your other senses?  Aromatherapy candles can bring relaxation to your mind or can bring back memories of a time when you were happy.  I love the smell of coconut.  It takes me away to a tropical place where I can imagine lying on the hot sand at the beach, listening to the cool waves of the ocean crash on the shore.  Very dreamy!  Peppermint is a great aroma for times when you want to feel more alert and energized so you can spend the day surfing or playing a pick-up game of basketball.

4. What about sight? Think about the colors you surround yourself with.  Then consider how you want to feel when you are in your home.  Soft blues and muted greens and beiges are good for a relaxing bedroom.  Bright yellows and vibrant reds are perfect for a recreation room.  Bring nature into your home with a potted plant or two or decorating in greens and browns with the occassional hint of color (as long as it is not too bright). If you love the outdoors, get out there more!  Eat dinner on the back porch during the summertime (don’t forget your citronella candle!) and take in all of the beauty of the trees and flowers and sky.  Pencil in time to go skiing one day in the winter and take in the majesty of the mountains covered in white snow.  Take the kids on a hike and try to name as many plants and trees and flowers and forest animals that can.  Take in the beautiful sights that are right there for you, free, anytime.

5. And don’t forget about sounds! Keep some CDs or I-tune playlists on hand that have just the right mix of music for you when you are feeling nostalgic or needing a pick-me-up or just wanting to bask in the happiness that surrounds you.  What songs elicit certain feelings in you?  And if you have trouble sleeping because of traffic noise or noisy neighbors, invest in a white noise machine.  It can help even the lightest of sleepers get some zzz’s.

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There are some great websites out there for helping you live your life to the fullest.  This blog features many of these through its posts.  However, there are other websites out there that I would like to share with you that you might find interesting, as well.  These sites will be listed on Fridays, five at a time.  Called Five for Friday.  Enjoy!  And don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know what you think. 🙂

1. Lost in Books – This is actually my other blog that I began this month.  But I will tell you why I want to share it with you (other than just to let you know about it).  I am an avid reader and I have started this blog in order to review and share books I have read, to challenge myself in my reading, and to learn about books from others.  The book blogging world is a wonderful place and I invite you to participate if you enjoy reading- if not with my own blog, than with any of the many others out there.

2. 43 Things – If you don’t know about 43 Things, I can’t wait for you to discover it!  43 Things allows you to list your goals, share your progress, and cheer each other on.  The members here love to cheer each other on and it is a terrific motivational tool.  Whether your goals are short-term or long-term, you can list them and keep track of your progress with entries until you have reached your objective!

3. PatientsLikeMe – PatientsLikeMe is a kind of social networking site for those with chronic illnesses, from multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia to post-traumatic stress disorder (and if your illness is not listed, you can add it!)  You can keep track of your symptoms and treatments, track changes in your condition, find other patients, and learn from their experiences with different treatment options, medication dosages, and more.

4. Words that have different meanings in British and American English – Wikipedia’s list of words that can mean completely different things depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on.  Everything from “beaver” to “checker” to “tailback”.

5. The Daily Green –  A consumer’s guide to green living- from fuel-efficient cars and solar water heaters to green beauty products and “green cuisine”.

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1.   Have an annual tree-trimming party, where everyone brings an ornament to hang on your tree to bring you good luck and blessings in the year to come.

2. Hold dinner at a different person’s house each year, trading off.

3. Use specific hand-me-down recipes every year.

4. Adopt a family for the holidays.

5. Go Caroling at nursing homes or hospitals.

6.  If you play musical instruments in your family, have everyone learn a favorite Christmas carol and play it together as a family.

7.  Watch a favorite holiday movie together on Christmas Day.  Serve hot chocolate and pop popcorn.

8.  Open just one present on Christmas Eve.

9.  Check out area light displays.  If you don’t have community displays to view, drive around neighborhoods and look at the lights on the houses.

10.  Spend an afternoon doing some holiday baking.  Kids will love it even more if you make it a messy baking day.  You can even make goodies to put in baskets and deliver to home-bound neighbors or relatives.

11.  Volunteer your time as a family to help someone else.  You could help an elderly neighbor put up Christmas decorations or you can shovel snow off the walk of someone who is disabled and needs assistance.  It will warm your heart and the person that your helping.

12. Decide to fill stockings up with dollar gag gifts.  The creativity will grow with each passing year and the laughter will, too.  Some ideas I found on various Internet forums to help get you started: fake lottery tickets, straws in a bag with a note that says “Straw Hat- Assembly Required”, Sawdust in a Ziploc bag with a note that says “Expert Jigsaw Puzzle”, or try two AA batteries in a box with a note saying “Gift not included.”

13.  If your children’s grandparents all live nearby and they all want to see the kids, try spending  Christmas Eve at one grandparents’ house and Christmas Day morning or afternoon with the other set of grandparents.  Next year you can switch who gets which day.

14.  Once you have teenagers, you may want to hold the suspense longer to make Christmas morning a bigger deal. You can do this by making them eat a family-style breakfast before going in to the other room to open presents.  My own parents did this and it really can make the morning extra special.

15.  If you are Christian, you can use an advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas, use an Advent wreath in your home together, and/or make it a tradition to go to church/mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day every year.

16.  Take the family to the store and have each of you (or each kid and the parents as a couple) pick out one new ornament for the tree.  After a few years, you will have a collection of ornaments on the tree that everyone got to be a part of.  Each year as you hang them, it will bring back memories of the previous years.

What traditions do you and your loved ones celebrate during the holidays?

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1. Blueberry jelly beans were made especially for Ronald Reagan.

2. Checkmate comes from the Persion word “shah mat”, which means ‘the king is dead’.

3. The U.S. consumes more oil than any other country in the world.  In 2006, the U.S. consumed as much as the entire European Union and Japan combined.

4. No president of the U.S. has been an only child.

5. It takes seven shuffles to thoroughly mix a 52-card deck.

6. Picasso could draw before he could walk.

7. The first e-mail was sent in 1972 by Ray Tomlinson.  It was also his idea to use the @ symbol to separate the name of the user from the name of the computer.

8. The opposite sides of a dice cube always add up to seven.

9. One in ten people in the world live on an island.

10. The first daily broadcast was started by the BBC in November 1936.

11. The word “millionaire” was first used by Benjamin Disraeli in his 1826 novel Vivian Grey.

12. If the amount of water in your body is reduced by just 1%, you feel thirsty.

13. A storm officially becomes a hurricane when cyclone winds reach 74mph (119k/h).

14. There is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to pave a two lane highway from San Francisco to New York.

15. The average life span of a peasant in medieval ages was 25 years.

16. Milk chocolate was invented by Daniel Peter, who sold the concept to his neighbor Henri Nestle.

17. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, never telephoned his wife or mother because they were both deaf.

18. A language becomes extinct in this world every two weeks.

19. The word ‘umbrella’ is derived from the Latin root word ‘umbra’, which means shade or shadow.

20. The tongue of a blue whale is as long as an elephant.

21. Domestic cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.

22. A grand piano can be played faster than an upright piano.

23. The six official languages of the United Nations are: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

24. The Boeing 737 is nicknamed Fat Albert.

25. The twelve days of Christmas are December 24th to January 5th.

26. As an iceberg melts, it makes a fizzing sound because of the compressed air bubbles popping in the ice.

27. The first lighthouse was in Alexandria in 290 B.C.

28. From the age of thirty, humans gradually begin to shrink in size.

29. The U.S. has the most cinemas, but India produces the most movies.

30. The people killed most often during bank robberies are robbers.

31. To most Americans, the orient is China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam; to Europeans, it is India and Pakistan.

32. In a desert, a mirage is caused when the air near the ground is hotter than the air higher up.  As light from the sun passes from cooler to warmer air, it speeds up and is refracted upward, creating the image of water.

33. The reason why your nose gets runny when you are crying is because the tears from your eyes drain into your nose.

34. The Dutch people are known to be the tallest people in Europe.

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If you think celebrities naming their children Apple, Coco, River, and the latest, Bronx Mowgli, are strange, take a look at these other very unusual names given to children.

1. Armand Hammer – named after the “Arm & Hammer” symbol of the Socialist Labor Party.

2. Metallica – daughter of Michael and Karolina Tomaro, named after the band.

3. Loser Lane – a NYPD sergeant, mentioned in the book Freakonomics.

4. Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette –daughter of magician Penn Jillette.

5. Poppy Montgomery – The star of Without a Trace was born Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Devaraux Donahue.  She has a brother named Jethro Tull, and sisters named Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Lily Belle, and Marigold Sun.

6. Number 16 Bus Shelter – registered name of a child in New Zealand.

7. Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii – name of a girl in New Zealand.  In 2008, at age 9, she was made a ward of court in order that her name could be changed.

8. Pilot Inspektor – son of actor Jason Lee

9. Indiana Jones and her brother, Dow Jones – She says she was named after the state her family came from.  Dow?  He was named on a dare to the father while the mother was asleep after giving birth.

More unusual registered names:

Carrie Oakey

Gladys Friday

Lisa Truck

Moon Unit Zappa


Harlequin (like the romance novels)





Queen Esther (yes, they wanted Queen to be said when addressing her, no she was not royalty)



Zuma Nesta Rock (Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s second child)

Peanut Kai

Ignatius Martin

Soleil Moon Frye


Aldaberontophoscophornia Bowen Fearing

Share your own favorite unusual names in the comments section!

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Things that have happened on October 31st that you may not have known:

  • 1517- Protestant Reformation- Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg.
  • 1864- Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. State
  • 1876- A monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 human deaths.
  • 1892- Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
  • 1912- The Musketeers of Pig Alley, directed by D.W. Griffith, debuts as the first “gangster film”.
  • 1926- Hungarian-born magician Harry Houdini dies. (born in 1874)
  • 1931- American television journalist Dan Rather born.
  • 1936- American actor Michael Landon born. (died 1991)
  • 1938- The Great Depression- In an effort to try to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.
  • 1938- The day after his “War of the Worlds” broadcast had panicked radio listeners, Orson Welles expressed “deep regret” but also bewilderment that anyone had thought the simulated Martian invasion was real.
  • 1950- Canadian comedian and actor John Candy born. (died 1994)
  • 1956- Suez Crisis- The United Kingdom and France began bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.
  • 1956- Rear Admiral G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole.
  • 1960- Former Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi was born.
  • 1961- In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin’s body is removed from Lenin’s Tomb.
  • 1968- President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.
  • 1984- Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh security guards (riots soon broke out in New Delhi and nearly 2,000 innocent Sikhs were killed.)
  • 1999- Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop, and unassisted.
  • 2001- A 61-year-old New York hospital worker died from inhalation anthrax.
  • 2002- A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas formally indited former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer.
  • 2003- Mahathir bin Mohamad resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia after 22 years in power.
  • 2005- President George W. Bush nominates Appeals court judge Samuel Alito to join the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 2006- P.W. Botha, South Africa’s apartheid-era president, died at age 90.

If you see any mistakes or have any events you’d like to add, please leave me a comment!

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