24 October 2016

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey - Nov10-13

Great news! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is playing The Palace of Auburn Hills, November 10 - 13, and tickets start at just $10!

We love attending the circus at every opportunity. When we were visiting Florida a few years ago, we were lucky enough to go to The Ringling Circus Museum. It provided so much history and so many more circus stories, and I have memories of that trip too every time we get to celebrate at the circus near our home again.

From their website:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREMEIt’s time for your family to be amazed byall the X-TRAORDINARY things you know and love about America’s favorite live family entertainment experience. Be astonished by UN-XPECTED circus spectacles you’ve never seen before and that can’t be seen anywhere else but at The Greatest Show On Earth®. Get ready for anX-HILARATING adventure with X-TRAORDINARY circus artists and magnificent X-OTIC animals, like our big cats!  It’s time to awaken the spirit ofChildren Of All Ages and stir the imagination of your family!

Hope to see you and your family there too!

20 October 2016

Reading Challenge - Book 11

The 11th book I read this year satisfies #37 on the PopSugar Reading Challenge - a book about a culture with which you're unfamiliar.

The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke was (I think?) an Amazon Prime Kindle freebie for October. I chose it pretty blindly from an email list, but I'm so glad I did.

This very engaging book was about the life of Chye Hoon, a Malayan-Chinese woman. Through her life, she teaches us everything she thinks is important about being Nyonya (the name for the Malayan-Chinese mixed culture). I find it fascinating to read about the world at that time (the late 1800s into the early 1900s), and how she differentiates her culture from the Malayan world around her in her adult life. Her love for her culture is obvious, as well as how much she wants her 10 children to love and respect it as well.

Everything is discussed in this book, including her daily life, friendships, marriage customs, food, and the role of women in all of it. So much of the relationship struggles she dealt with were truly a story of, 'the more things change, the more they stay the same,' and I loved her strong spirit through everything.

I would love to see this book turned into a movie, to discover how much my vision of it matched or contrasted with what the author was really trying to say. I would definitely recommend this book.

14 October 2016

Election Tips

I wanted to take a few minutes to share just a couple election tips for the US election coming up on November 8. Please keep in mind that I am an election inspector in Michigan - if something sounds completely wrong to you, please clarify with your local government's website.

My first tip is one I've given a few times recently on Facebook. I realize a lot of Americans are not thrilled with the presidential candidate options available. While that is literally all I'll say regarding the candidates, I need you to know that writing in someone who has not completed the correct steps to be a valid write-in candidate is useless. And beyond being useless, it creates a ton more work for election workers in your precinct. See, the ballot scanners will pick up that there's a write-in, but they can't read. So at the end of the night, the election workers will need to go through ALL of the ballots until they find the ones with write-ins. If the write-ins are not valid write-in candidates, this is giant waste of time.
Please, do not write-in an invalid write-in candidate. Also, if you are writing in, please be prepared to actually write-in - we've been told that using a label or sticker may jam the machine.

Where are you supposed to vote? Maybe you vote at every election, so you know where to go. That's great!
If this is the first election where you want to make your voice heard, be sure you know where to go. This information is usually available through your local government website by putting in your address or other information. Do it before election day in case you're surprised. And if you're ever not 100% sure if you're going to the right place, go early enough that you have time to go somewhere else if necessary. The ballots can be different at different precincts because of school districts, city lines, or other regional votes. If an election inspector tells you you're in the wrong place, they'll probably also tell you where you should be.
Being mad at the election inspectors, or even being sure you voted at that place last time doesn't change the fact that they do not have a ballot for you. You need to be in the correct precinct to vote, and it's your responsibility to get there if you choose to vote.

Seriously, this is my very best advice. Vote now, or any time that's convenient for YOU. Contact or visit your local government (in our case, township) office to request an absentee ballot. There are a variety of valid reasons to request an absentee ballot. In Michigan, these reasons are 
-you are 60 years old or older

-you are unable to vote without assistance at the polls
-you are expecting to be out of town on Election Day
-you are in jail awaiting arraignment or trial
-you are unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
-you are appointed to work as Election Day inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

This is also a great option for anyone requiring assistance to vote. You can do what you need to in the privacy and comfort of your home.

While I won't count it as official advice, please be polite and respectful to the election inspectors you encounter. It's a long day and potentially stressful. We're doing the very best we can to make sure that everyone who wants to vote can and does. 

10 October 2016

Reading Challenge - Book 10

I finally finished reading Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs!

I read the first two books in the trilogy of Miss Peregrine's peculiar children last year, and I was SO EXCITED to read the third. So the first time it got to my turn through my library's online borrowing, I was in Florida visiting my parents. And I accidentally checked it out to my MOM's kindle account. Whoops. I did not have time to read it on her device while we were there, so I just got back on the borrowing list.
A few months went by, and I got another turn! But I was so busy right then (I don't even remember why), I never even got so far as to put it on my kindle.
The third time was indeed a charm, and I finally got to read it, more than six months after first trying! LOL

I have to say, it was worth the wait. I'd grown attached to the children in the first two books, and was really happy to find out how it all ended. Well, mostly happy. Of course it couldn't have a happy ending for everyone.

It's hard to say much about this book without giving away spoilers for it, or for one of the first two books (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and Hollow City). They are sort of an alternative universe/sci-fi sort of story, but if you're open to that sort of book, they are really great. I'm also excited to see the movie made from the first book in the trilogy.

The ending of Library of Souls, though, was almost too perfect. But I do love a happy ending, so I certainly can't recommend against it based on that.

Oh, while this book could have fit in several categories of the PopSugar reading challenge, I am listing it as the eighth category, a book set in Europe. I'm pretty sure that's where most of it takes place (but of course an alternative part of Europe...).

07 October 2016

10 Random Things for Friday

  1. I'm suddenly in a better mood. This week has been busy, which has just complicated my anxiety about the kids' school stuff, and my to-do list, and keeping all the balls in the air. Now that I made it to Friday, I'm taking a deep breath. The cider and donuts from our orchard trip yesterday probably aren't hurting either.
  2. Haven't looked at the forecast yet, but really hoping this gorgeous weather holds out for another day so we can enjoy the homecoming parade tomorrow.
  3. I have a GREAT book review planned for ya'll. I'll probably get that written and up on Monday (famous last words). I finished the book more than a week ago, but I got started on another one that's really good, so I've been spending my time reading more, instead of writing up what I already read. It's a good problem to have.
  4. What good movies for the whole family have you seen lately? I promised the kids we could pick up pizza and a movie from Redbox tonight.
  5. I think I'll actually take some time to make thank-you cards for my Close to My Heart customers after lunch. It's much easier now that my office is finally clean.
  6. The world just feels full of POSSIBILITY today!! Is it just me? (btw, I'm making myself finish this post before I have a fresh caramel apple from the orchard yesterday. LOL)
  7. What is up with Pandora's randomness? It all tends to be songs I enjoy, but all. over. the. board.
  8. Jack is so thrilled to have found the Go Noodle videos they dance to in school, on his sister's laptop. I can hear him all morning talking back to them and dancing. I assume he's still downstairs alone, anyway.
  9. I can't wait to go visit my parents this weekend. I'm always happy to see them :) Wish we all lived closer.
  10. I realized, part of my better mood is my monthly commission payday. LOL Want an extra income from home? Message me about Perfectly Posh. ;)

30 September 2016

Disney on Ice - Dare to Dream

Disney on Ice - Dare to Dream was as great a show as expected :)

It opened with a spectacular section about the Princess and the Frog - my personally favorite Disney movie. I'm not sure if I love New Orleans or the movie first, but they both hold a special place in my heart!

After the opening, we moved on to the story of Cinderella. Turning the mice into horses and the pumpkin into a carriage was especially impressive while on skates.

The last segment was the longest and definitely left the biggest impression. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider not only skated flawlessly and with tons of tricks and talent, but also did an acrobatic/ribbon flying performance that I've never seen at an ice show before. The kids were both most impressed with these skaters, and they both honestly took my breath away.

There's still time to see the show at the Palace of Auburn Hills for yourself. General admission tickets are available starting at just $15 - what a great price for a show that's fun for the whole family!

19 September 2016

Maggie's KidPik Box - August 2016

Hello KidPik! Still not sure on the schedule, but we always love an email saying a box is on its way, and I optimistically crossed 'clothes shopping' off of our get-ready-for-school list when the magical email came. :) This time, it worked out for me.

After loving a maxi skirt she got this summer, Maggie was excited to see this 'Ditsy Floral Tier Skirt'  in scarlet (regular retail $22.50). For her, it looks like her beloved maxi, but the lining makes it a bit more suitable for fall and winter wear.

We paired it with the 'Rhinestone Dolman Tee' in KidPik Navy (regular retail $10.50). It matched well, and she's already worn the shirt with jeans as well.

In the picture on the top right, you can also see the 'Flower Ballet Toe Cap with Bow Kids' shoe in navy (regular retail $19.50). While she really liked the look of this shoe, she said it was 'scratchy' at the back on one shoe. After trying on the rest of the box, we figured out it was cheaper to take the shoes straight to the resale shop than to send them back. And oddly enough, she picked out a very similar, but comfortable, pair of ballet flats there.

Maggie immediately declared that this 'Suede Pleather Dress' in chili pepper (regular retail $26.50) will be her Christmas dress this year. It fits great and is flattering, and she's right about the color - it's a very holiday-type red.
I suggested to her that it would also be adorable dressed down a bit with a denim jacket, and she loved the idea. We don't do a lot of really dressy stuff for the holidays, so we may actually combine her original idea with my warmer styling modification.

The 'Rhinestone Bracelet' in KidPik navy (regular retail $4.50) is very sparkly, and similar to the white one she got in a previous fix.
With 30% off by purchasing the whole box of all items, and jewelry for less than $5, it becomes ridiculous to send something with such a low retail value back!

Last but not least was the 'Classic Girl Rouched Tee' in light heather grey (regular retail $19.50), which we paired with the 'Straight Jean' in a lapis wash (regular retail $15.50).
She loved them both. I was glad, because she's had a hard time finding comfortable jeans lately and usually prefers leggings. This outfit had something for either option. The shirt is long enough to cover her tushy, but the rouching makes it look a bit more fitted than just another tunic.

Overall, it was a great box and really got Maggie ready for the new school year. We 'officially' kept everything for a grand total of $82.95 after the 30% discount for keeping it all. We took the uncomfortable shoes straight to the resale shop, but she has plans to wear the rest.

We were also pleasantly surprised that for the first time of our three boxes, she got a little beaded bracelet that says KidPik as her freebie, instead of more appliques. In all honestly, I don't know where the appliques are going, but they aren't getting sewn on by me. ;)

We would still recommend KidPik for school-age girl shopping.  Maggie is now nine-years-old and in fourth grade. She is so excited every time we get another box of new clothes delivered for her to model, so we can decide in the comfort of our home what will stay and what will go.

We can't wait for our winter box!