Treat everyday as a new adventure

Faith, Effort, Persistence

I don’t know what I was reading yesterday. It might have been one of my horoscopes, but these three words came up; Faith, Effort, and Persistence. And they made perfect sense to me.

It doesn’t matter what we are going through in life or if we are struggling with problems, or maybe we are just trying to complete a project, these three words can help keep us balanced and moving forward.

When you look at the word faith, it can be the faith in a higher power, the faith in someone else, or faith in yourself.

And we have to put in the effort to keep moving forward. To accomplish our goals. To make things better. Without effort, you might as well give up. Because no one else can do what you do. You are unique in everything you do.

And last but not least, persistence. If it doesn’t work out the first time; Try, try again.

It makes sense, right? Life isn’t easy and sometimes we need guidance and a plan.

So, remember these three words; Faith, Effort, Persistence, today, tomorrow, every day.

Hugs till next time!


How do you blog?

I know it has been some time since I last posted a new blog post. My cousin Pam has been emailing me asking if I am okay. So for everyone out there, I am alive and still kicking. (And right now I am cursing the wind. I hate the wind.) We did have a beautiful rainbow on Tuesday so I guess it’s just nature balancing itself out.


I follow a lot of blogs and notice that they all seem to have a different approach to blogging. Some only promote whatever it is that they do. Writing, sharing recipes (cooking blogs), crafts, etc. While others (like me) like to share everything. Well, almost everything. 🙂 I like to keep my darkest secrets to myself. Bahahaha!

So when you blog, do you share those funny little moments, like the cat puked up a furball, or my kid used the toilet for the first time today?

Do you let people see the more human side of you or is your blog strictly business?

Do you blog every day? Once a week? Once a month? Or whenever you have time?

I’d love to hear how you blog. Let me know in the comments.

And till next time; HUGS!


Help! I’ve Got Fleas!

Not me actually, but my dogs do. And I’ve tried just about everything except… My son called me last night and I told him my dogs have fleas and he told me, “So get rid of them.”

“What, the dogs? Okay, I’ll send them down to you.”

And he laughed. He’s probably tired of me telling him every time he calls that I have fleas. A couple of months ago it was ticks but I got rid of those. The fleas are seeming to be a bit harder to eradicate. I don’t like to use chemicals on the dogs, in the house, or in the yard so I tried the natural ways. Flea shampoo and spray with lemongrass, cinnamon oil, and cedarwood oil. Didn’t work. I tried Dawn dish detergent. Works for a few hours and then they are back to itching, scratching, and chewing. 🙂

I’ve used white vinegar on the dogs as a rinse after their bath and apple cider vinegar in their drinking water. No go. Coconut oil, lavender. Nope. Diatomaceous earth in the yard, on the carpeting, under the couch cushions, and their beds. Nada. Even sprayed the yards with lemongrass.

I’m running out of natural options here.

Now you are going to tell me to go out and buy that chemical stuff. Works every time, you say. Nope. Tried that too. Spent $47 on Frontline Plus. Didn’t work. Spent $53 on K-9 Advantix. Still got fleas.

What irks me is that this is the first year in many, many years that I’ve had fleas.

Any ideas? I’m open to suggestions.


Have you ever?

Googled your book, that is. My nephew asked me that question yesterday. Then he asked, “Would it show up on Google?”

“It should.” I told him.

“Okay, give me a title to one of your books.”

And I told him, “Kiley’s Best Friend”  and this is what he found!


(The photo is mine, not theirs.)

BookCoverPreview bff


After I hung up from talking to him I decided to google “Kiley Wished for a Puppy”


And where I found it (and a few of my other books as well) was at Bokus.

That made me smile. Why you ask? Because my dad’s ancestors immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden!

That is soooo cool!

So, have you googled your books? Let me know what you found in the comments!

That’s it for now. Happy Saturday!

Hugs till next time!




Lets Cut Costs!

Okay, so I’ve decided to cut the cord. Actually, I cut it months ago. My phone, TV, and internet was up to $195.00 a month. That’s outrageous! So I canceled the TV and phone.

Yeah, right. Like I can get by with no TV. Ha!

I picked up a Roku and I got a free Roku by signing up with Sling TV for two months.

I was paying $25 a month for Sling and then another $15 for Tennis TV. And it was okay.

But last week I decided to try You Tube TV. I am paying $40 a month still, but I am now getting Espn, Disney, and the Tennis channel, plus a bunch more. (There’s a difference between the Tennis channel (Which is the one I had with my cable provider.) and Tennis TV. And I also get all my local channels. (Except for the CW which is channel 5 and I’ve got to have channel five so I can watch “Legends of Tomorrow! 🙂 )

I also get my local channels with an outdoor antenna. That thing has been there for about 30 years and yet it still picks up all the local channels in HD and even some extra channels.



learn more about You Tube TV

Compare The different TV streaming services here.

Best streaming tv services

As for a home phone, I am using Magic Jack and I kept my internet with my original provider. (If I can get it cheaper and just as reliable, then I’ll switch that too.)

So, overall I am saving about $80 a month.

Internet-         $69.99 a month

You Tube TV- $40.00 a month

Magic Jack is $35.00 a year. Which makes it about $2.92 a month.

If you are looking to cut some costs, check out your options. It’s worth it!

These are just my opinions and I don’t get paid for them. Bummer! Haha!

Okay, till next time, HUGS!

I forgot to mention that if you are a sports fan, you’ll love You Tube TV!

Update! I was going through my You Tube TV and found that it doesn’t have the A&E channel. So just a heads up on that.

Also, if you don’t care about ESPN and the Disney channel, Sling Blue is the best value at $25.00 a month.


Yes, I Can!

When our kids are young we teach them that they can be anything they want to be. We encourage them to try new things. (Even that yucky piece of green broccoli on their plate.) We inspire them. At least we hope we do.
But what about ourselves?
We procrastinate. We hesitate. We doubt our own abilities. We strive for excellence and if we feel we haven’t accomplished it, we give up.
Thomas A. Edison wrote; “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
I was in the back yard a few weeks ago and was thinking to myself, I can do that. (Now if I could just remember what it was… LOL!) At first I thought, What’s the point? It probably won’t make me rich and famous. But then I thought, I can do that! It doesn’t matter if it gets me noticed by everyone. 
Heck, even Picasso’s paintings weren’t classified as great works of art until after he died.
Besides, my kids could look back and say, hopefully with pride, my mom did that. With my luck they will be busting a gut laughing. “What was mom thinking?” LOL!
It doesn’t matter if we finish in last place three days after the marathon has ended. What matters is, “We did it!” We ran the race!
They say pride is a sin, but I think we need to take pride in just doing it. It doesn’t have to make us rich and famous. Just pray our kids aren’t laughing their heads off after we die. 🙂
That’s why I wrote, “Kiley Visits the House of Mirrors”, to encourage and inspire all children that they can be anything they want to be. Yes, there’s hard work involved and sometimes you fail, but you have to keep trying.
If it’s your dream, live it, and keep telling yourself, Yes, I can!


Hugs till next time.

A story about inspiration.

Are you a multipotentialite?

Back to Basics

I love to make things, create things, and grow things. Last week was a good week for doing everything.

First, I made two pints of yogurt. Love homemade yogurt.

I’ve been growing pickling cucumbers, so I’ve made a couple of quarts of refrigerator pickles. The recipe I used is here.DSC_0002 (4)

And I’ve got my radish seeds sprouting so I can have fresh sprouts on sandwiches. (Also great in salads!)


And then yesterday, I decided to try a recipe for Queso Blanco. Find it here. It was relatively easy. (I quartered the recipe, though and only used 4 cups of milk. and 1 1/2 T. vinegar.) My son said that it needed a little more salt. Next time. 🙂 It turned out good and I used it in the cheese enchiladas that I made for dinner. I’m going to make this recipe next! Check out their site for more great recipes!


Four cups of milk doesn’t make a lot of cheese. So next time I’ll use 1/2 a gallon.

Well, that’s it for today. Hope all of you have a great productive week.

I’ll see you soon and till then, HUGS!


E-books for Kiley’s Stories

The first three books in the Kiley’s Stories series are now available for Kindle.

“Kiley Visits the House of Mirrors” is just $.99 cents.

And you can find it on Amazon here



And “Kiley Wished for a Puppy” is just $1.99 for the e-book and it’s on Amazon also right here!


And finally, “Kiley’s Best Friend” is going for $2.99 Right Here!

BookCoverPreview bff

And for just $5.99 you can get the first book in Kiley’s Activities series. (Available in paperback only.)

cover fun

More to come soon!

Till then, HUGS from Karen and Kiley!


Kiley’s Stories


BookCoverPreview bff

Watch for more stories from me (and my creator/mom) coming soon!

Till then, HUGS!

From Kiley and Karen

Children’s Books

Today I want to talk about children’s illustrated books. The frustrations. The excitement. The ups and downs. Children’s illustrated books have a format all their own. You have 24, 32, or 40 pages to create a book that catches the eye and the imagination. Even though they are shorter than your average size novel, you put a lot of work into them. Writing the story usually comes first, then the illustrations, and finally formatting. And it’s the formatting through CreateSpace that has been driving me crazy.

It started with, “Kiley Visits the House of Mirrors.”


A 32-page book (Which included the inside and outside of both covers in the page count) that they added 4 blank pages at the end making it a 36-page book. I didn’t understand the reasoning so I contacted them and this is their reply,

“I’m sorry for trouble caused regarding the page count of your title ‘Kiley Visits The House of Mirrors’.

Due to CreateSpace‘s unique print-on-demand model, your book may have blank pages placed at the end. Blank pages result as part of the printing process and cannot be eliminated by adding additional pages to your book’s print file. 

You may consider adding a final page at the end of your book with a statement similar to “The remaining pages have been left intentionally blank for coloring/notes.”

However, the member price or manufacturing price is same for page count of 28 and page count of 36.”

(When you add pages to take your book from 28 pages to 32, they add 4 blank pages to make 36.) Which both, “Kiley’s Best Friend” and Kiley’s Learn and Play Activities” Vol. 1 have the 4 blank pages at the end.

CreateSpace has a minimum 24-page rule for the interior. That means that your interior has to have at least 24 pages when you upload. Then when you add in front and back covers (which is considered 4  pages) you get 28 pages so then you know that you should add 4 more pages to the interior to get a 32-page book, right? So why do they keep adding 4 more blank pages?

Below are a couple of links to good articles about writing and formatting children’s picture books.



And the Amazon links for,

Kiley’s Best Friend

Kiley Wished for a Puppy

Kiley’s Learn and Play Activities vol. 1

I am so confused. I didn’t have this problem with, “Kiley Wished for a Puppy.” But it came up to 40 pages including the front and back covers. Any ideas? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Till then, HUGS!


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