J C Penney Portrait Review

J C Penney Portraits

I’ve been wanting to have photos taken for years.  Since I don’t photograph well I was always reluctant.  When I was offered an opportunity to have photos taken at J C Penney Portraits, I accepted the offer.  It was the perfect opportunity for me to have business and casual photos taken.  We take the kids to J C Penney Portraits for many of their photo sessions and we’ve always been pleased, so I believed that I had a chance at getting at least 1 good picture.  I ended up with so many, I had a difficult time selecting my package.  


Booking the session was easy.  I went on-line and selected a date and time that fit into my schedule and received an email confirmation.  As the date got closer, I received a call from the studio to confirm the date.  Additionally, we discussed the type of photos that I wanted to take and any props that I wanted to include.  I wanted a dressy photo to use for business and one that was more casual to give to my family.  

When I arrived at the studio, I was greeted by the receptionist who was quite professional.  She helped me select the backgrounds that she believed would work best with the color of the clothing that I would be wearing.  She was right, I love them.  The photographer had a great sense of humor, and helped to make me feel at ease.  She didn’t rush through the session and gave me an opportunity to have input on poses and the result of each shot.  
From there the receptionist helped me select my package, which was fun.  It turned out to be a positive experience and I love, love, love the photos.  


J C Penney Portraits would like to offer you an opportunity to experience a photo session at their studio too.  The offer includes:


  • – 1 free traditional 8×10 ($10 value) and 1 free sitting fee ($9
    value).
  •   – Plus get 23
    portraits of your favorite pose for $7.99 or 3.99 traditional sheets (reg $10)
    plus 20% off portrait collections.
  •   – Valid till
    3/31/14

For more information, check out their exclusive offer by clicking on the link.  I was quite impressed with the photos they had on display in the studio, they were stunning.  After seeing them, I plan to have a portrait taken with my children this summer.    


J C Penney Portraits offers several packages that will fit into many budgets, which is great since most people have a tight reins on their finances.  Book your session today, it’s a great time to make memories with a spring portrait.      
  
Note:  I was compensated by J C Penney Portraits with a gift certificate for this review; however, the assessment of the studio session is my opinion alone.  



Product Review: Minted Wall Artwork

  


I love beautiful artwork.  I fell in love with this piece of artwork called Blessing II.  It was a limited addition painting by John Holyfield, who lived in West Virginia.  West Virginia just happens to be the state that I was born and raised in. His story touched my heart and so did this painting.  John Holyfield was orphaned as a child and raised by his grandparents in small town, Clarksburg, WV. He is now a renowned artist who is known for his southern flare in his paintings.  A limited edition copy of Blessing II found a home in my breakfast room.

I was contacted by a company, Minted, to review their artwork.  I jumped at the chance, since I’m always in the market for a unique piece.  I found their selection unique.  Most of the pieces have a modern flare, which I normally wouldn’t select.      


I did find several pieces of art that I liked.  I recently remodeled my office and used a Paris theme. Although I like more colorful prints, there was one entitled Rooftops of Paris that caught my eye. It would fit perfectly in my office.  



Minted offers a large selection of prints for nurseries, children, limited edition and typography in various sizes.  They also offer framing for an additional price.  I loved that the artists are from around the world.  


I found an adorable Nursery Rhyme print that would be great for a mom who’s doing the baby’s nursery in this theme.  One of my favorite rhymes was the Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe.  Is this not adorable. 


I did Pin a few prints being offered in the Photo art challenge on the site, which ended up being my favorite category.  I fell in love with the City Photo art piece below.  You can add 14 different photos to the display, it’s adorable.  I’m seriously considering this piece for my grandchildren’s photos to display in my foyer. Head over to Minted and see what catches your eye.  The Photo category alone is worth the trip.   


  
Note:  I have been compensated for this review with a gift certificate; however, my assessment of the site is my own.  

Only Children Syndromes: Fact or Fiction

This is my beautiful daughter who grow up an only child.  When I was raising her, I heard many women say that they would never have one child because they wouldn’t want them growing up alone or only children are spoiled and misbehaved.   My daughter turned out just fine.  She had playmates, she listened and she followed rules.  Now I must admit, I spoiled her rotten and I enjoyed every second of it.  Yes, she had more
than most children because she was an only child, but that’s not my problem.  I told parents who were bold enough to make comments that maybe they should have stopped at one too.  


She find herself a target by other kids at school at times.  When we got to the bottom of the harassment, we found that the child or children where envious of  her clothes, other possessions, and accomplishments.  She was called Little Princess by some of her classmates and if you can believe it by some adults.  Those with siblings seemed to be the ones who were green with envy.  I’m not saying that all children who had siblings were a problem, but I am saying that the children she had issues with had siblings.   Funny, she was suppose to be the one who ended up with problems.   

During that time, I often wondered why people believed that only children would be unhappy, selfish, spoiled, lonely and maladjusted.  The Only Children that I knew did not fall into any of these categories.  I’ve also wondered how America explained the behavior of children who misbehaved and who had siblings.  Most importantly, when our children end up with drug and alcohol problems or behind bars, does it really matter that they were Only Children, the Baby, the Middle Child or the Older Brother or Sister?

I did some research on Only Children and I’m happy to say that this article in  Psychology Today discusses some issues that parents encounter raising only children, however, the majority of only children turn out to be happy, well-adjusted adults.  It has also been proven that children with siblings often have self-esteem problems because they grow up thinking their siblings were favored or they were neglected because mom and dad had to divide their time, attention and money.  Oh lets not forget the middle child syndrome and the arguments and hatred spewed between siblings.  Psychologist have found that it can take a lifetime to work out problems created because children grew up believing they were treated unfairly by their parents or siblings.  In some situations they don’t speak for years if ever again over childhood issues that were never resolved.  

My daughter has stated that there were times she wished she had a sibling, but for the most part she was content with her upbringing.  She had my undivided attention, everything she needed, and the majority of the time she got everything she wanted.  By the age of 21, she had traveled to places that most people won’t see in a their lifetime.  I had no behavior problems with her growing up.  She did not hit, spit or bit other children nor did she disrespect any adults.  She excelled in school and had plenty of cousins and friends to play with.  To this day, she’s very sociable and respectful.    

For mothers who only have 1 child, don’t allow the myths of the “Only Child Syndrome” make you feel guilty about your decision. Personally, I believe people should have as many children as they want and can afford.  None of us know how our children are going to turn out.  Whether we have 1 child or 10, we just do the best that we can raising them.  I survived motherhood one day at a time, and it is still my motto.  


Do you have 1 child?  Did you grow up an only child?  I would love to hear your take on this issue.  Please leave us a comment. 

5 Tips To Becoming A Confident Woman

 self-improvement, self-confidence, self-esteem

Have you seen women that exude an air of confidence and self-assurance.  You get the feeling that they can conquer the world and achieve anything.  You admire them and wonder how they reached that level.  You secretly wish you had half of their skills and success.   

I was there at one point in my life.  As a single mother, I wanted to be successful.  I wanted to achieve a six figure salary and I wanted to know how to get there.  I wanted to be strong as a mother, as a leader, a mentor and manager.  I’ve had a mentor through out my life and I’ve been a mentor.  I accepted the fact that I couldn’t achieve success on my own, I needed guidance and advice.  
Our role as mothers, spouses, partners and influencers is huge.  We need to display confidence to our children, our spouse or significant other and those that we influence in our life and on the job. Building confidence is a process.  It doesn’t happen over night, but if you continually enhance your skills you will become a confident woman.
Here are a few traits that I believe all women need to become confident:
  1. Define Your Belief System – These are your core values that remain unchanged.  They can include but are not limited to being ethical, family-oriented, reliable, trustworthy.  Define them and stand firm
  2. Be Consistent – You must be consistent in all areas of your life for the most part, but be flexible when needed.  If you’re inconsistent you won’t be taken seriously by your family, co-workers or anyone else that you influence.    
  3.  Become An Achiever –  Set goals and make a plan to achieve them.  It’s important to be an example for your children in this area.  Achieving goals requires stamina and hard work.  
  4. Be Positive – I read daily affirmations to help me stay positive.
  5. Have a sense of humor – You will make mistakes along the way.  Be able to laugh, pick yourself up and move on.
If you don’t want to obtain a mentor, surround yourself with positive people who have arrived at the destination that you’re trying to achieve.  Ask for advice when you need it.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a road map how to achieve success in your business or on how to be a good mother.  Becoming confident and believing in yourself will help you achieve your goals in all areas of your life.  Your spouse, partner and children will see it and believe it.  Take the first step and everything else will fall into place.

 

Self Improvement Tips: 10 Steps To A Better You

self improvement


I gave up on making New Year Resolutions years ago.  I decided to reach my goals by taking small steps rather than making big plans and than fail.  The first steps that I decided to take was making myself better as a whole.  I believed that I needed to start on the inside rather than focus on losing weight, exercising a hour a day etc.  I believe that being healthy is important, but I wanted to ensure that I was healthy on the inside before I moved to the outside. 


I spent the last year working on who I was as a person.  I must say for the most part I have been successful in achieving a better me.  Here are the 10 Steps that I took one at a time:  

  1. Surround yourself with positive people.
  2. Learn to say no and not feel guilty.
  3. Respect yourself and others will too.
  4. Embrace your flaws, we all have them.
  5. Know that obstacles are temporary and you  have the ability to remove them.
  6. Reach for your dreams whatever they may be.
  7. Nourish your soul by reading daily affirmations.
  8. Understand “Me Time” and take it.  
  9. Write down your goals and work toward them one at a time.
  10. Know that success takes time.  
I have found that I feel better emotionally and physically.  As a result of me feeling better physically I have been able to incorporate more exercise into my week.  This step has taken me one step closer to reaching my weight loss goal.  

I believe that we must first be fit on the inside before we tackle the outside.  They go hand and hand.  What are some of your goals for 2014 and how are you working to achieve them?

Note:  photo courtesy of stockvault.net

                                                                     

A Tour of My Hometown

I used to play in this little house when I was a child.  It had a living room, kitchen and a bedroom upstairs.  Rather than dolls, it had bears to play with.  It seems so small now, but I was able to stand up in it as a child.  I grow up in a small town in WV where everyone knew everyone and we ran around the town carefree. I wanted to share some of my fondest childhood memories with you.  So I thought we would take a tour of my hometown.  


I loved this little house.  It was open to the public on certain each week.  On the days that it wasn’t open, we looked at the bears through the window.  My fondest memory of the bears was them having a tea party.  


This stream ran behind the Little House.  We would take our shoes off and stand in the water.  It seemed so much deeper as a child.  

Oh the memories of Betty’s Restaurant.  We hung out here as teens.  Betty was the owner and cook.  She made the best cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate shakes.  The restaurant is still in business.  Occasionally, I will stop by for breakfast.  They still have the same booths and bar stools, lol.  I’m squeezing in the booths now rather than sliding in, but the hometown atmosphere is still the same.  

This is where a our town newspaper was printed.  Mr. Charlie was the printer.  He was always covered in black ink as he rolled the newspaper off the printer.  We would look through the window as he was working. Mr. Charlie never allowed us to distract him from his work.  He just smiled and kept the printer rolling.  It is now a 5 star restaurant called The Press Room.

This is the Rumsey Monument. We spent hours here climbing the steps to watch trains cross the bridge behind it and cars cross the bridge on the other side of it.  This monument is dedicated to James Rumsey, who launched the first steam boat on the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, WV. According to the history books, Robert Fulton was given credit for the first launch, but residents of Shepherdstown, WV know better.  

                                                                               


This is a view from the Rumsey Monument.  Absolutely beautiful and more so in the fall.  The local Girl Scout and Brownie troops walked across the bridge shown so we could hike along the C & O Canal Towpath.  My sister was a Girl Scout and I was a Brownie.  I have to admit I crossed it, but I was scared to death.  My troop leader would allow me to walk in the road until a car came and than I had to get back on the sidewalk.  Her kindness sure helped ease my fears.  Because of it, I was able to take the hike along with the other girls.  

       
I spent many days at this little library reading or going to story hour.  I remember my mother scrubbing me until I was as shiny as a new penny and sending me off to story hour each week. Books were big in my home.  We had library cards, so my friends and I would head to the library until closing during the summer.  I also remember not returning books on time, and having to use my allowance to pay the fine.  I learned early to pay my bills on time.  

This is The Wall and my sister posing.  We spent hours sitting on this wall people watching and playing games.  Residents have been banned from sitting on The Wall on now, what a shame.  It was a great gathering place for chatting, eating an ice cream cone or just passing time away.  

We would leave the house early morning most days and just walk around town heading nowhere in particular.  Our parents never worried, they just wanted us back in time for dinner.  If we missed lunch, someone in the community would feed us and they in turn would do the same for the kids who where out of their neighboring area.  What a great era to be a kid.  We didn’t have children being kidnapped or harmed in any way, it was the least of anyone’s worries.  

We gathered pop bottles to cash in at the local store for money.  We had a red wagon that we pulled to the store to cash in our goods.  Back in those days, candy was a penny.  We would have candy for days with a quarter.  My best friend’s Uncle owned the candy store, he would always give us extra when we visited.  My favorite was the chocolate covered peanuts.  Yes, I was a chocolate addict at an early age.   

I loved my childhood.  We weren’t rich, but we had a great community.  Everyone knew what community meant, and looked out for each other.  Lend a handing hand, wasn’t a saying when I was growing up.  It actually took place.  We were raised by the community.  We trick or treated with brown paper grocery bags until midnight.  Our parents purchased sleds, Lighting Guiders, every Christmas.  Daddy gave us sand paper to sharpen the blades, and sharpen we did.  We stayed out until we damn near froze sled riding, and nobody called us in.  What are some of your favorite childhood memories?

8 Reasons to Use Gift Bags

Image-Reasons-To-Use-Gift-Bags


Do you use gift bags or wrapping paper when you give gifts?  I used to love wrapping gifts, and I was pretty good at it.  I spotted a gift bag while shopping for wrapping paper one day, and decided to give one a try.  I have never looked back and from the looks of this gift table others think the same way.

[Read more…]

Brother Sister Love

I love these pictures of Xavier and Zarriah. They demonstrate the love they have for one another.  I can’t say that it’s always been there, but it has grown over the years.  When Zarriah arrived at 31 weeks, and the doctor announced it was a girl my grandson immediately told the doctor to take her back.  He didn’t realize the severity of her early arrival, he just knew that he wanted a brother to play with not a sissy girl. 



We told him that we wanted to keep her, but she was really sick and we needed him to help us get her well.  Amazingly, he rose to the occasion.  Looking back at Zarriah’s fight for her life still brings me to tears.  She was one of the smallest preemies in the NICU, she weighed 2 lbs. 10 ozs., and she was there for 3 months.  I have to say, it was the longest 3 months of my life.  

My granddaughter has an attitude, and she has had it from the day she arrived.  She’s pretty independent and demonstrated her independence in the incubator.  The nurses wanted us to touch her and talk to her as much as possible.  When I tried to touch her or hold her hand she jerked away.  When her brother touched her or held her hand she would grab his finger and hold on.  I was amazed that she could make a distinction between us.  The nurses placed a step stool beside her so Xavier could reach her when he visited.  He made just about every trip to the hospital to visit her and never complained once about the length of time we spent there.  He was 4, and we all know that a 4 year old has little patience.  He spent hours coloring pictures for her.  The nurses placed the pictures around the incubator.  
                                                                                 

They are now 6 and 2.  He’s an excellent big brother, I’m so proud of him.  He loves her up, plays with her and protects when he thinks he has to.  He said he never wants her to go back to the hospital.  

Those 3 months had a major impact on all of us, but it had a major impact on him too.  He thinks about her stay, he built a hospital out of his legos.  I hope their love for each other never dies.  It does my heart good that he is happy she’s here and she’s his baby sister after wanting to return her.  Happy Valentine’s Day Xavier and Zarriah.  

                                                                        

Happy Valentine’s Day



Happy Valentine’s Day to all my followers.  May you and yours find the love you desire and deserve.  Art work courtesy of my little Picasso, Xavier.  

                                                                                

Disney Movies: Muppets Most Wanted

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I love Miss Piggy’s gown.  Will she marry Kermit?  Miss
Piggy is back on the big screen, starring in Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted,”
which follows the Muppets on a grand, star-studded tour throughout Europe. The
European setting screamed romance to Miss Piggy, who’s been trying to convince
her favorite frog to tie the knot for years. But what will the divine diva don
for the all-new film, which hits theaters in the US March 21, 2014? Vivienne
Westwood was commissioned to create couture desingers for the fashion icon,
including a white dress that would be perfect for a wedding if one should
actually take place.


In
the film, Miss Piggy wears a Vivienne Westwood couture Long Ivory Court wedding gown, with corset detailing and paillettes
made from recycled plastic bottles, accessorized with an ivory tulle veil.
Piggy also entrusted the designer with additional looks for the film, including
a Vivienne Westwood couture Harris Tweed houndstooth check coat and matching
beret worn in a scene set at Tower of London. Miss Piggy also chose a long
silver hand-embroidered floral lace gown for a very special number in the film.

“Vivienne Westwood is fabulous—just like moi,” said Miss Piggy.
“When I asked her to design this wedding dress for moi’s new movie “Muppets
Most Wanted,” she was thrilled and I was thrilled. The only one a bit ‘iffy’
about it was the Frog.”  
Will Kermit the Frog Finally Say “I Do”? That’s the question.  Miss Piggy says, “You’ll have to see
the movie to find out.”   Mark March 21, 2014 on your calendar, and go see Muppets Most Wanted.