Step Away from the Drive-Thru… (free printable)

I made this printable ages ago, in hopes of inspiring you all to make changes in your diets and lifestyles.  I never posted it.  If you want to make a lifestyle change, this is where I suggest you start. Pretend the drive-thru doesn't exist. It's healthy for your body and your pocketbook. Simply drag to your desktop and … [Read more...]

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers: Do’s & Don’ts

holiday gift ideas for teachers, teacher gift ideas

  By the end of my 7th year of teaching, I amassed 1,500 candles, 74 bottles of body lotion/shower gels, and 45 coffee mugs. Please for the love of consumerism, do not buy these for the teachers in your child's life.   Of course, I appreciated all gifts. It just becomes a running joke after you open that 45th: Best … [Read more...]

Top Ten Holiday Gifts for Kids with Autism

holiday gifts for kids with autism, holiday gift ideas for children with autism

Need gifts for kids with autism?  Confused on what to get your own kid?  Here are the sensory seeking toys my son Moose adores and his NT {neurotypical} brother Monkey has a blast with as well. For those who don't know, kids with autism often don't have pretend play like NT kids do. So buying Moose the latest action figure or Lego set isn't … [Read more...]

sweet potato oven fries recipe

sweet potato oven free recipe

Most store-bought fries are coated in flour or wheat starch, so the convenience factor for my family is out of the question.   Luckily, with enough experimentation, this recipe replicates what I miss so much about those bagged and easy fries. With a little more elbow grease and cleanup, at least I know what is going into our food. As an … [Read more...]

hauntingly beautiful…


Music haunts me.  A song will come on the radio, and suddenly I'm taken back to age 16.  19.  25.  29... This song, from a local band here in Chicago called Farkus {yes, aptly named from that evil character in A Christmas Story}, will forever remind me of this year. Take a listen.   Here it is on iTunes. This Happens … [Read more...]

Halloween Alphabet Word Wall Tutorial


From my Halloween archives.  For those of your new to my site, this is one of my favorite projects I made for my children: seasonal/holiday word walls.  This one, in particular, is my favorite...   Although Moose is in special ed preK 5 days a week, I still make a huge point to homeschool with my boys.  We have a "circle" time each … [Read more...]

Halloween Wreath: Nevermore…

halloween wreath, Poe-inspired wreath

My theme for Halloween decorating this year is elegant, but creepy.  So, I took my famous recession wreath {named solely so it can be interchangeable throughout the seasons}, and made a Halloween wreath inspired by one of my favorite authors Edgar Allen Poe.   grapevine wreath form creepy cloth ala Dollar Tree crow 20 gauge … [Read more...]

ghosts of halloween, past.

the boys halloween 2009

Just stopping by to share the most gruesome Halloween photo of Moose and Monkey, circa 2009. Ah, the early days of motherhood.  "Blood" {ok, red food dye, which is oh, so healthy...} and vomit.   Happy Halloween, Nicolette   … [Read more...]

on letting go…

Back Camera

It was a dark and ugly morning. I really did wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  I found myself tense, short with the kids, needing a shower.  I looked up in the mirror, and the bags under my eyes screamed back at me. You know it's a bad morning when you make it a point to get dressed and wear some make-up every day, and you looked like … [Read more...]

a quick Halloween vignette

halloween vignette

A few old hardcovers with the spines facing inward, mixed with a craft store skull, a few reject flowers from a future etsy shoppe, my year round sparkly owl, and one of my dollar store must-haves for Halloween made a quick and easy Halloween vignette. Everyone at Moose's birthday party loved my Halloween decor.  I can't believe how many … [Read more...]