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{SQT} Social Media Strategy

I’m helping to organize a small regional blogging conference, and in planning, it’s become clear that many bloggers are looking for information on social media; how to grow followers, gain more likes, increase interaction, and generally figure out, what is the point of all this gobbledy gook??   When I’m not sharing bloggingĀ tipsĀ or parenting advice,…

{SQT} Party Planning Like a Boss…a Crazy Boss

I know you’re all waiting to hear about last Saturday’s sacrament party; did the weather cooperate? Did all 120 people show up? Did our septic system hold out???? Okay, so humor me anyway. In an unexpected twist, thanks to a forecast that called for 50 percent or greater chance of rain all day Saturday, we…

{SQT} Seven Ways I’m Organizing My Life Right Now

The first month of 2016 is gone. How are those resolutions treating you? I’m not doing too badly. Certainly, there’s the usual craziness and the fun that comes with home ownership (furnaceĀ on its last leg, new roof is still leaking, etc.) but on a day-to-day basis, I’m not a frazzled wreck. I think it helps…

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{SQT} Seven Ways To Stop Anger From Stealing Your Day

  It’s been a rough week. I really needed another week off after the craziness of my previous week off, however, I do want to be able to wrap the school year up before next September so, back to work it was. My kids would be quick to tell you I’ve been yelling a lot….

{SQT} How to Get From Point A to Point B

Summer’s winding down but the Mantoan family fun just doesn’t stop! Next on tap, a sixteen hour+ drive to the Midwest to visit family and bust a move at a wedding. As you can imagine, I‘m knee deep in trip planning (I’d probably have an easier time arranging to drop Navy SEALS behind enemy lines),…

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How to Write Your Own Lesson Plans, Part 2; Completing and Motivating

You’ve decided to write your own lesson plans! Good for you! If you’re this far you’ve probably already filled out a Course of Study for each of your students. Now you know what subjects and what materials will be covered for the year. Now the trick is to take all that information and break it…

Five Things to do When You Have Writer’s Block

Since I started blogging three years ago, it’s been common for me to go through creative slumps, or dry spells, when I find it absolutely painful to formulate a post or even share a few favorites. In the past, I’d sometimes force myself to post anyway, often in a grumpy mood, and wind up with…

How to Use Amazon Wishlists to Reduce Gift Giving Stress

As much as I love the idea of buying small, handmade and local gifts, typically the majority of my Christmas shopping starts around NOW in December, at which point most crafters are out of stock or unable to take my order thanks to all the responsible gift buyers out there. More often than not, I’m…

Rain Gutter Bookshelves

I’ve mentioned a couple of times to visiting friends that I decorate with books. We have many shelves placed wherever there’s wall space and they’re just bursting with titles. I can’t think of any shelves we have that aren’t spilling over with books as opposed to say, dusty trinkets and collectables. Maybe just the dining…

How To Dine Out With Children And Not Die

Since our family, and several of our friends are battling some insurance battles, a few of us decided to dine out with children after Mass on Sunday for a “feel better feast” where we could drown our sorrow in good food, good drinks, loud conversation and hot fudge. Besides, our parish wrapped up 40 Hours,…

Tips For A Low Stress Family Beach Trip

As you may have noticed if you’ve spent any time poking around my blog lately, I enjoy finding any excuse to take a family beach trip. Despite all the sand, sun and sweat, I tend to have as much fun as the kids. My love affair with the beach goes back early in my childhood….