I might be homeschooling. OMG.

Let’s pause and take a good look at that title for a moment.

Ok. Ok. Breath, me.

Having a child who doesn’t fit conventional schooling has always had me think about homeschooling.  It’s easy to over analyze early education years into regrets.  It’s not that he didn’t learn in those years but right at the point in which his brain process was wide with creative thoughts, I sent him to a place that supports thoughts within boundaries.

With a few exceptions, we had a handful of pretty good years until this year.

Along with the rest of the country, our district is adjusting curriculum to meet common core standards. I am actually in support of the standards, so this is not me against common core.  What this is about is how my district has changed curriculum and how those changes have been implemented.

Within the 1st month of school my son started complaining about language arts. To make sure it wasn’t just teenage crazy going on, I had him write me a paper with his thoughts on it.  Next, I went to a presentation on how the new language arts curriculum was being implemented. I sat with an open mind but the thing that struck me overall was the BOXED in feeling of it. I can’t explain exactly what I was picking up on but I asked a question about “the creative child” and was assured that this new curriculum was a great fit for all children.

Every day he came home with a criticism of the curriculum. He would pick it apart and would talk to me in exhaustion on how this should be that way, or x, or y, or z or omygoshigetitkid.

My son is also gifted in persistent point making.

So we talked with the teacher at parent teacher conferences about his concerns.

Then we had a meeting with the school curriculum assistant and his teacher.

When neither of those seemed to work, we explored getting him into the district gifted program, but I refuse to play the game, and that’s a different tangent.

Illinois gets a lot of things wrong about education, but not homeschooling. I don’t know how that group has done it but Illinois is a really friendly homeschooling state. We can even part time homeschool subjects with them going to school for the rest.

So that’s where I’m at.  The school has been notified; I have looked into curriculums and have even found one that I think is perfect for him. That’s what this is about anyways.  Him, his needs, and not being blinded into believing that education is a one size fits all approach. Because it’s not.


How I feel about Gluten Free Holidays

It’s been 1.5 years since I’ve had to go gluten free. EIGHTEEN MONTHS without Turano bread, Chicago pizza or funnel cake. This is my second holiday season as well and feel better equipped to show you how I feel about it.

The only items I can eat are the fruit salad and carrot sticks. Again.

I show up to the holiday party and the salad already has dressing on it

When someone makes me gluten free food from their own home.

I get invited to lunch and they ask me to pick the restaurant

When someone says “You want to share a piece of cake, oh, wait, I’m sorry.”

When something that is naturally gluten free gets added hidden gluten

I’m eating a potato and you ask “Doesn’t that have gluten?”

I get invited to a cookie exchange.

I’m >thisclose< to Martha Stewart now.

Remember when I was sent a box of craft goods from Martha Stewart and I made those Halloween frames?  That was for a contest.  I didn’t mention it at the time because I wasn’t entirely clear on all the details and in the end, I didn’t win.

It was fine.  I liked my craft and thought I used a wide range of items to create custom frames that Martha Stewart ended up pinning on her Pinterest board.

That happened.

And?  I still have a box of Martha Stewart crafts.

I think if you add all that up, I still won.

After a few weeks,  I was contacted to review Martha Stewart items (through Avery)  that were coming out.   One was a calendar line and the other a holiday wrapping line.

Let’s think about that.  Me, reviewing Martha Stewart products.


Now, if I’m going to be completely honest, I actually wrote back and turned down the calendar option.  That’s right.  Turned down.  I have about 5 calendar “systems” in place at any one time and I just don’t think I’m the best person to review calendars.    My current system is like this:

Wake up.  Get kids ready for school, grab keys to leave, OMG TODAY IS PICTURE DAY let’s comb your hair, change your shirt and wipe the syrup face while we walk to the car!

But then she wrote back and said “Don’t you need one for your collection?”

And there’s my Achilles heel people.

Yes.  Yes I do need one of Martha Stewarts calendars for my collection.

Then I was told that Martha Stewart herself would see these reviews.  This is my first product review and Martha Stewart might see it?   Is this for real?

I think we know my only choice was to video review it.

You can find a coupon to buy these products HERE.

See the whole Avery line HERE.

The one thing I would like to see would be the ability to personalize the covers.  Like, some way to change out the cover with a slip-on of a different design, or a photo sleeve.  Am I the only one who gets bored of looking at the same thing for a year?



As much as I really like these calendars, I have a hard time using one let alone four.

Or maybe they knew how disorganized I am so they loaded me up.

Anyways, since they were generous in giving me many, I’m giving them away.

Leave me a comment with which one you like and if you get picked, I’ll mail it to you.

Please, let me help you get organized in 2013.  I’ll just be over here under this stack of papers.


P.S. Of course I will be saving one for my ever growing shrine, I mean collection


P.P.P.S  Did you know that I used to have my own custom gift wrapping business?  Oh, I so did and can not wait to get my hand on that product.  You come back for that.


I was not paid for any of these words, links,  OR my unedited made with a head cold video.  I was sent these calendars in exchange for a review from a company working with Avery.  They didn’t tell me how to review them but I think we can agree the video adds a little something to the whole topic.  And if you really had any doubt, all written and video opinions are my own.  Finally, they didn’t ask me to do a giveaway.  That was my idea.  And I’m paying for shipping on my own because I’m generous and I care about your calendar needs.