Mix of motherhood, writing, photography and homemaking

Circle of Mom’s Top 25 Photographer Moms

Continue Reading

Pink, that’s also what little girls are made of

Continue Reading
home comfort zone

Relish the Calming Effect of an Aquarium

By on April 30, 2016

We live in a fast-paced world. Everything seems to go by in a blur and unless you’re quick enough, you’ll be left in the lurch. The hustle and bustle of everyday living is enough to make some people weary and anxious. Some are even high-strung and normally on their toes. While alertness is something that can help you get by in this cutthroat world, there is no denying the fact that it can be dangerous, too. If you’re not careful, the anxieties of life could make your blood pressure shoot up. Aside from hypertension, other illnesses and diseases could get the better of you.

Of course, you can always relax and take things slow. That’s actually the reason why you go home to your family after a grueling day at the office. Nevertheless, there’s no guarantee that you’d get the peace and quiet you want and deserve. If you have young children, chances are they would be too excited to see you and would demand that you play with them. Otherwise, your wife and older children could engage you in small talk, something that’s very common in a household setting.

Aquarium at home
photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/minimalspace/

When it seems that the only alone time you could ever have is those few hours before you retire to bed, you might want to invest on an aquarium. Many people have discovered the calming effect that aquariums provide.

It’s scientifically proven that the movement of water can soothe a person’s mind. Hence, if you are always tightly wound, having an aquarium at home can do wonders for you. Not only does it enhance your home aesthetically but the movement of the water as the fish moves also creates a calm rhythm that can permeate an entire room.

Having an aquarium at home is also a wonderful opportunity to explore your creativity. When you go to a pet store, you’d find plenty of items you can use to make your aquarium even more beautiful than it already is. Make sure you buy a feeder, heater, light, filter, and pump for the aquarium. You can also by environment-friendly decors to make your aquarium even more interesting.

Designing your aquarium to create an entirely new world for your colorful schools of fish is enough of a stress-reliever already. Just make sure to set up your aquarium as far away as possible from a window or any direct source of light. Even fish can be stressed especially if the temperature of the water is disrupted. Make sure that nothing impedes with the cool temperature of the water if you want your fish to thrive.

If you’re unsure how to set up an aquarium properly, consult with a trained fish technician. He can give you valuable pointers and ideas about patterns, colors, types of fish, decors, and anything else you may need in relation to your aquarium. Once your aquarium is ready, you’d find yourself more relaxed and calmer.

fish and snail
photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/genista/

Continue Reading


Bridging the Gap Between Your Children and TV

By on May 12, 2015



You’ve got two choices: First, you can let your kids watch whatever they want, whenever they want. Second, you can try to ban them from TV altogether. The first option just feels like bad parenting. The second option, in reality, is quite impossible.

It’s time to find a third option. Here are a few candidates:

Make Sure There Is Always Something Wholesome to Watch

There is always something wholesome to watch. The problem is, you may not have access to it with your current content package. A television is like the internet. It is a conduit of information and entertainment. Information is not bad. It just may not be age appropriate. Kids are information sponges. They need a steady supply of appropriate information. Therefore, your TV has to be a conduit for appropriate information, and plenty of it.

If there really is nothing wholesome to watch when your kids are watching TV, then you need more content options. That means more channels. Conservative states like Oklahoma  and Utah will have different entertainment needs than states like Oregon and California.

You might need to opt for a bigger content package to accommodate more family friendly channels. Local Oklahoma DIRECTV, for example, offers a minimum of 100 channels. And it goes up from there, depending on the package. If you want to make sure there is always something good to watch, choose your content options accordingly.

Have Only Curated Content Options in the Home

If you have no TV in the home, they will just get it from some place else. Did you know that almost any smartphone can be used as a TV? One option is to pay only for services that cater to a certain type of programming. There are some that would pay extra for a package that only had TV-Land and the Hallmark channel.

While that package does not exist, The cable and satellite companies are now offering family-friendly content packages that limit you to channels such as Disney CW, and the Science Channel, along with local networks. Choose carefully, though. Some packages will not include popular options like Discovery, Animal Planet, Food Network, and the Travel Channel. It is always tricky when you let someone do the curating for you. But until content options are completely à la carte, this is the best we can do with the major providers.

There are Netflix-style packages for kids on the Internet. These are paid services that you will have to research carefully. The problem is, once you get kids used to getting their entertainment from the Internet, you open up an even bigger world of issues than what you were trying to escape.

Teach Your Kids How to Contextualize Content

Rather than trying to restrict TV content, teach your kids how to contextualize it. The best way to do that is to watch TV with them. Don’t turn it into some kind of punishment. Let them watch what they like, then talk about it together. When you do that, it doesn’t really matter what they watch, because you are doing it together. And you can use any content as a springboard to teach the lessons that are important to you.

Action movies, scary movies, sexy movies, funny movies: they all have their place in life. They may be too young to understand a lot of it. But they are likely going to see them anyway, with or without you. If they see it with you, then you get to shape the message. Also, by watching their shows with them, you might discover that you have less to fear from TV than you thought.

You can’t ban television. Nor can you leave it plugged into 500 channels to raise your kids for you. But there are plenty of good alternatives between those extremes. With a little bit of specialized parenting, you can make the TV an ally rather than an enemy.


Continue Reading


Three Ways To Grapple With A Frail Marriage

By on April 29, 2015

If marriage would always be fresh as these bouquets.

At some point in their lives, every couple will experience a substantive relationship challenge. Yet in some marriages, relatively minor problems evolve into molehills that go unresolved for extended periods of time. Once this happens, the marriage can become frail and both partners may grow unhappy with the union. In the event that you find yourself experiencing this difficulty, there are several things you can do to grapple with the frailty of your marriage. Here are three:

1. Attain Professional Counseling Services.

Oftentimes, attaining professional counseling is the most effective way to address and resolve marital issues. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that many couples never acquire the advanced communication skills that are often necessary to facilitate mutual understanding and intimacy. Counselors typically have extensive communication skills and are also effective in teaching couples how to openly and honestly express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns with one another. Once this process is put in motion, couples oftentimes find themselves able to resolve some and even all of their marital issues.

2. Temporarily Separate.

Another strategy you might want to think about implementing in order to grapple with a frail marriage is a temporary situation. Oftentimes, the living situation between a marital couple who are experiencing challenges can become very tense and anxiety-inducing. In these situations, both partners can say things they don’t mean and become subject to bad moods. When you temporarily separate, you have the opportunity to give your partner space and think critically about whether or not it would be wise to remain in the relationship or part ways.

3. Agree To Part Ways.

Even if you’ve done everything in your power to help facilitate a strong, long-standing relationship, you may find that parting ways is the most appropriate and advantageous thing to do. If this is the case, it’s important that you find a great divorce lawyer who can ensure that all of the legal proceedings move forward in an ethical, appropriate manner. Once you start looking for a divorce lawyer, click here for reviews of Cordell & Cordell, and to learn more about this dynamic legal firm and how they can help optimize your legal proceedings.


If you currently find yourself in a troubled marriage, you should know that there are many things you can do to make the situation better. By using some or all of the strategies outlined here, you will likely find yourself locating the appropriate solution for your marriage challenges.

Continue Reading


Create Your Own Customized CRM App for Your Business

By on February 2, 2015


image via http://www.theatlantic.com/

People would usually have two things to say about technology – it’s awesome or it’s made so many people lazy. Whatever differences in opinion individuals may have, there is no denying how technology has had a huge impact on how entrepreneurs manage their businesses. In fact, technology has modified how entrepreneurs regulate their customer base. It has also changed how businesses interact with their customers, all thanks to Customer Relationship Management software or CRM software, which has been around for quite some time.

While the practicality of CRM software is undeniable, a growing number of businesses have adapted a more streamline approach – the use of mobile applications to manage their customers – and are starting to reap numerous rewards from such apps. Mobile apps, both Android and iOS, for customer management has made it possible for each member of a team to keep in step with office protocols and manage individual customer accounts even when away from the office. Because of this, the productivity as well as the sales of the company can be boosted.

It’s a good thing that developing mobile apps these days have become a breeze, but especially so with Android apps. In fact, one doesn’t need to have a solid background in app development or IT in order to create your own Android apps. Creating apps have become commonplace thanks to websites that make app creation as easy as 1-2-3.

Mobile Apps for Your Business

Let’s suppose you have a startup business and you want to attract potential customers. How do you go about it? Simple. Create catchy, convenient, and reliable mobile applications that wouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

However, before tapping the most feasible mobile app software being used today, entrepreneurs, especially the newbies should know what mobile applications could do to their businesses.

1. Mobile applications are very convenient for consumers. Customers can access a certain website or program just by tapping several keys on their smartphones. Mobile applications empower consumers to further educate themselves about the products and/or service that they’re considering.

2. Mobile applications promote freedom. Since creating your own mobile apps give you free rein on what and what not to include, you can easily maintain your business’ program, manipulate various information, enter up to date info, and install new data. It’s about the owner having no restrictions regarding his company.

3. Creating your own mobile applications allows you to make use of features to enhance customer communication. Such applications could leverage the brand especially since it’s already installed in the device. Other than that, mobile applications could aid entrepreneurs in enhancing their interaction with their consumers. They could as well handle queries and complaints, as well as solve problems efficiently.

Where to Look for Android Mobile Apps Creator

Are you finally convinced as to the usefulness of creating your own Android apps for your business? If you are, here are a few platforms that you can check out. These platforms make creating Android mobile apps so much easier.

* ChupaMobile

This site offers app and game templates that are fully customizable. You don’t even have to start from scratch because everything you’ll need to start creating your Android app is right there.

* TheAppBuilder

This specific platform supplies a suite of applications, which would fit events, clients, brochures, as well as the employees, and there are two different approaches. User could develop an application by utilizing the online toolkit. It has a dedicated AppLibrary, which allows the entrepreneur to render the users with a vast range of apps, which could be customized with the company’s own branding.

* Mobile Roadie

This is among the most sought-after application creators, since it enables the users to develop, as well as manage their own Android or iOS application. This platform could support all kinds of media.

There you have it. It doesn’t take a genius to create an Android app for your business. With ample computer know-how and a solid platform to help you create a failsafe app, you’d be creating apps like a pro in no time.


music app…


Continue Reading


Taking Pictures On The Slopes

By on January 14, 2015


family ski trip
A photo that I took during our last ski trip, before heading down the hill.


Whether it’s your first time on the slopes or you’re an experienced skier, you might want to get some pictures of yourself on the snow. There are ways that you can get amazing pictures while you are skiing that will let you remember your day and see how your placement on the skis is so that you can improve.

The best time to take pictures while skiing is before you head down the hill and while you’re going downhill. Try not to take pictures while you are going through curves. Instead, let someone else take them as they are standing on the side. You can get some action shots if the person knows how to control the zoom and the shutter speed. Avoid getting dead space in the picture. You don’t want to have a picture of only you with a large area of white snow surrounding you in the picture. This is where the zoom feature comes in handy.

boys sled, skiing
Waiting for dad.


Most of the time, you won’t have a camera attached to your goggles while you’re skiing. If you can attach a small camera, then this would be the best way to get pictures of the slopes and the maneuvers that you do while on the snow. There are some ways that someone on the sidelines can use to get the best pictures possible. It will be cold outside, so you need to know how to handle the camera. The batteries in the camera might not be able to withstand terribly cold temperatures. You will need to have extras in case they fail. The shutter might also be a little slower than usual, so you need to be ready to snap a picture as soon as you get the shot in the frame. Keep everything in your coat pocket until you’re ready to start taking pictures. If you only have a large camera, consider downsizing for these pictures to something smaller so that you can keep the camera warm.

When you take want pictures that give the impression of speed, there are some things that you can keep in mind. You need to know of the right location to sit so that you get the best shot when the skier is going past you. You can communicate with the skier so that he will know where you will be if he wants to do some kind of trick. You should also give the skier a signal so that he knows when you are ready to start taking pictures. This will also help keep the camera from being exposed to the cold air for a long period of time. If you have on gloves, take them off before shooting so that they don’t interfere with hitting the buttons on the camera. You can stand in the path of the skier if you want to get a shot of the front of the person, but you need to be ready to move out of the way quickly. Most new cameras have autofocus so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting the target in the frame. Jim Decker’s Twitter page shows examples of pictures that can be taken on the slopes.

skiing, gondola, gopro
A Gopro camera attached to the helmet is a good idea, too. ^_^


Continue Reading