Celebrating a Year of Storytime Life with GIFTING!

For the entire month of March I am celebrating my one year anniversary of doing Storytime Live – this coming Wednesday is the one year mark! Crazy, right?

My theme of March is Gifting. Gifting people with surprises, good deeds and love. We talked about it on Storytime last night and all the winners last night got duplicate gifts. One for them and one to gift-away. I also challenged all the children (and adults) watching to gift people this week and then tell me their experience as their comment entry for next weeks Gift-Away.

For the entire month of March every penny I make in my Etsy store will be donated to a family that is in need. They have six children and are going through something that no parent ever should have to. I can’t go into details for legal reasons, but please know that if buy anything from me in March 100% of the profits will go to this amazing family. May they feel our support and outpouring of LOVE to them!

Adding a bunch of stuff to my store today, but feel free to begin browsing by clicking below!
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Storytime Live! March 4, 2015 at 7:30pm (eastern standard time)

Join me tonight for a Dog and Mouse Storytime!! I am announcing a FUN March project I want you ALL to help me with to CELEBRATE a YEAR of Storytime Live episodes!!!

Dog and Mouse would approve of what I have planned!

Tune in tonight to find out what I have in store for March!

As always, comment on this post for your chance to win a gift from ME to YOU!

Watch Storytime by clicking here or on the photo below!

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February 25, 2015 Storytime Live at 7:30pm tonight! (eastern standard time)

Hello lovely, lovely people! Today is the day! Have you ever wanted to see a UNICORN to a headstand? Well now your dreams will be fulfilled!!

If you have no idea what in the heck I am talking about, all will be explained on tonight’s Storytime Live! Tonight we will celebrate our WEIRD and embrace our DIFFERENT! And of course read Bob is a Unicorn!

Comment on this post up until 7:30pm eastern standard time for a change to win a Storytime gift!

Can’t wait to see all of you!

Click here or on the picture below watch live. You don’t have to register to watch, only if you want to chat with me live. And as always, it is FREE.
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Print for sale on my Etsy site by clicking here.

February 18, 2015 Storytime Live! at 7:30pm (eastern)

It’s a Whatif Monster kind of night! What wold you do if you weren’t too scared? Who would you be if you didn’t worry what anyone else thought?

Tune in for a reading of Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster, see new art and projects and win some fun gifts from me! I have a Whatif Painting Kit to give away!

Go and comment on my Storytime blog post at http://www.whatifmonster.com by 7:30pm tonight for your change to win!

Click here or on the image below at 7:30pm to watch! Totally free to watch! Register with Livestream if you want to be able to chat live with me during the show! (costs nothing to register)
WhatifKit

Dog Day Afternoon

Finished two awesome Skype visits with AMAZING kids in Iowa. ❤️

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Then Piggy Pie and Otto Von Schmidt wanted to nap and cuddle.

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That was okay by me. A day filled with love. ❤️

Storytime Live! tonight at 7:30pm (eastern standard time)

It’s a Dogs, Dogs! kinda day!!

Did you know I did pet portraits for 10 years before I got published? Yup! Painted over 800 of them! Now you know how I got the inspiration for my first two picture books!

I even made a book about how to paint pet in my style! And I’ll be giving that book away on Storytime tonite! They don’t even sell them anymore, so this is practically one of a kind!

For your chance to win this book and other awesome gifts (I have coloring books too – hint, hint!), comment on this post by 7:30pm eastern standard time!

To watch Storytime Live click here at 7:30pm. You don’t have to join or register unless you want to chat live with me and the other fantabulous people watching – which of COURSE you do! So join the fun!

PopPooch

Be willing to be wobbly….

I recently took up yoga and so much about what I am learning in this journey can be used in every aspect of life. We are not perfect or good at anything in the beginning of a goal. Be willing to be bad, make mistakes, be wobbly in order to learn and become strong. The goal is always there waiting, so surrender to the process, fall in love with it and in that? You will find joy and happiness. But it took me beginning my yoga practice to really get this for the first time in my life. (keep reading below Mouse if you want to hear about it.)

I started my yoga journey at the very end of December – literally December 31, 2014. I had never taken yoga before and I’m not gonna lie, it was intimidating. But for some reason, I saw a random yoga post on Instagram of Irene Pappas. This woman was AMAZING. I mean, I was in awe of what she could make her body do. I followed her on a whim – I mean, me? Yoga? I am this big, uncoordinated lady who comes from Iowa farm stock – you know the kind, big birthing hips! Yoga was not for people with MY body type. Yoga was for thin, light, flexible girls who were probably gymnasts as kids.

Big secret? I was always so jealous of those girls when I was little. You know the ones – they could do headstands, handstands, back handsprings, cartwheels. Me? I was a chunky monkey little girl and my body was staying squarely planted on the GROUND. I played softball – and I was GOOD I might add. (I once had a track and field coach literally BEG me to come do shot put instead of softball one year. Have you seen most women shot-putters? Can you imagine how that made a teenage girl feel? Yeah, I stuck with softball thankyouverymuch.) I was confident with my abilities there, but I always was jealous of those gymnast girls who had such control of their bodies in ways I could never fathom having.

Fast forward to about a month and a half ago. Why this woman Irene intrigued me so, I have no idea. I looked her up. I found out she had only begun her yoga practice in 2012. I was IN AWE. She’d only started 3 years ago?? Now, maybe she had been a gymnast in her past, but still she only BEGAN yoga 2 years ago. That was when that first kernel began. “What if?” I thought.

Then on her Instagram one day I saw her advertise an online yoga class she had for beginners. And that was it. I had to try. I told no one I was doing this. I didn’t want anyone to know in case I was such a big, fat failure.

And so I began. (And side note, she follows me on the app I log my workouts with, and she actually comments to me!! How cool is THAT?!) And like anything anyone starts with no experience, I was not good. I have ZERO flexibility. Years of running with very little stretching has made my muscles super tight. I could barely touch my toes the first day. But then there were some poses that I was so GOOD at. I am strong. I have always prided myself on how strong I am and I was good with strength poses. That inspired me to keep going.

Something Irene says in her class is, “For some of us in yoga, flexibility is our strong point, for others strength is our strong point. Figure out where you are and work harder on the weaker point.” I have strength and I have to work lots and lots on becoming flexible. But I know I can do it. And I will.

My biggest goal for some reason, was to do a headstand. It was something I could see in my head doing. But I was scared. I was so scared of trying and finding out I couldn’t do it. So I did lots of prep poses to strengthen my shoulders and core hoping that whenever I decided to try, maybe just MAYBE I could do it.

Well, just two weeks ago, I did my first inversion! And I was ELATED! Only after I did it, did I realize how much I had brought my childhood fears right along with me on my journey to adulthood. I was strong enough, but I had been too scared to try. When I did this pose below, I felt like I had let years of fear go. I just dropped it off and watched it drift away. And the little girl Michelle inside me? Well, she was jumping and cheering and giving me high fives for finally letting her experience a dream!

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This was my first EVER inversion! Tripod! This was such a big deal I cried after I did it!

How often have I done this before? Let fear stop me? Well, I waited an awfully long time to try to get published because of the same type of fear. And once I started trying to write books? I was awful. And wobbly. And terrible. But I got better. And I began to love trying to get better. And now? I just sold my 6th book.

And so? It worked with books, so I kept trying with yoga too. And then this happened!

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Tripod headstand! I was actually not even leaning on the wall in this! I was SHOCKED!! And the look on my face is utter and sheer concentration. LOL!

Then I wanted to try supported headstand, but for some reason I was really scared of that one. But then just yesterday, I decided to try.  And? BAM, Y’ALL!

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Big. Giant. Freaking. Deal!

I guess some life lessons require learning lots of different ways to get into our heads. Maybe begin upside down, this time it will stick. What other experiences have I not tried simply out of fear?

(And y’all KNOW I want to do a handstand. So, I’ll keep you posted.)

What is it YOU want to try in life? My advice? Begin. Be willing to be terrible and wobbly and awful. And fall in love with the process of getting stronger, more flexible in whatever it is you want. Because if you don’t quit? It absolutely WILL happen. And trust me, if I can do it? SO CAN YOU. I promise.

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