Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 30: “Make Soup!” by Dr. Carrie Barron

by Dr. Carrie Barron Here is a wonderful quote I just found by psychologist and creator of the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid, Abraham Maslow: “A first rate soup is more creative than a second rate pai…

Source: Storystorm Day 30: “Make Soup!” by Dr. Carrie Barron

Creativity. Sometimes it comes and sometimes you have to start working and then the juices get flowing. Writers and other creative souls, we just need to start working with our ingredients, be those pen and paper, paint and canvas, clay and tools. Smell the soup!


Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 24: “Bake Your Darlings” by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi I’m assuming that you’re all deep into your brainstorming about story ideas at this point and already have a meaty list after all the inspiring posts you’ve …

Source: Storystorm Day 24: “Bake Your Darlings” by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Simmer those ideas on the back burner or place them in the oven to let them bake a bit. Don’t peek too early – they might just flop!

Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 23: Interview with “Originals” Author Adam Grant

Back in 2010, Wharton Professor Adam Grant made a financial mistake that he still regrets—failing to invest in billion-dollar eyewear juggernaut Warby Parker when offered a pre-launch opportu…

Source: Storystorm Day 23: Interview with “Originals” Author Adam Grant

Originals? Creativity? Procrastination? Great talk about how generating lots of ideas increases the chances of finding the gems!

Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 22: “The Best Ideas Pop Up” by Keith Allen

by Keith Allen As a kid, I loved building things out of cardboard, whether it was a spaceship for the very first mission to Saturn or a fortified castle to keep out the fire-breathing dragons. That…

Source: Storystorm Day 22: “The Best Ideas Pop Up” by Keith Allen

This is much more sophisticated than the pop-up books I used to make for my son out of lawn mower catalogs and construction paper. Way to go!

Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 20: “Titlestorming” by Corey Rosen Schwartz

by Corey Rosen Schwartz Most of my picture book ideas have come from my own children. Unfortunately, they are getting older so I am a little short on material lately. I can no longer rely on them t…

Source: Storystorm Day 20: “Titlestorming” by Corey Rosen Schwartz

Great post! Finally, I see what type of writer I am!

Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 19: “Many Layers, One Cake” by Ross MacDonald

by Ross MacDonald Over the years I’ve been approached by illustration and design students who share an internal struggle: that they have other interests—cosplay, metalwork, bookbinding, writi…

Source: Storystorm Day 19: “Many Layers, One Cake” by Ross MacDonald

I appreciated this post about doing things we love. Enjoying other activities besides just writing allows the creative juices to percolate on the back burner. Plus, our brains get refreshment! Thanks, Ross!

Leave a comment

Storystorm Day 5: “Don’t Think. Just Draw.” by Dan Moynihan

by Dan Moynihan “DON’T THINK. JUST DRAW.” That’s what I’ll tell you in one of my collaborative story-making events. That’s our motto as we set forth to create a wild batch of picture book stories i…

Source: Storystorm Day 5: “Don’t Think. Just Draw.” by Dan Moynihan

Don’t think – just go. Allow the creative juices to flow and see where your story takes you! Thanks, Dan!

Leave a comment

Thinking in 12’s ~ RV Living

12’s become significant…

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Lately, I’ve been thinking in 12’s.

12 towels (the hubby uses many each week, plus there are the grands . . .)

12 dish clothes

12 sets of silverware (in case we have company)

12 wash clothes (we are messy)

I don’t know why 12 seems like such a good number. Except 12 towels will hold us if I can’t get to the laundry for a bit. Dishes shouldn’t be a problem, though we do go through them each day.

I am a 12th Fan (Go, Seahawks!). Maybe that’s the influence of 12.

A dozen. That usually means good things. A dozen eggs, donuts, months in a year . . .

Hmmm. 12’s were always the hardest for me to remember when it came to multiplication facts. I still have to think hard (or cheat) to figure out 12’s.

Moving into an RV trailer is a huge commitment. The storage space. Oh, boy. I mean the lack of storage space. That is the challenge. But we are up for adventure.

To end on a positive note, let’s have a list of 12 great and wonderful reasons to live in an RV!

1. Life will be one big adventure.

2. It will feel like camping. all. the. time.

3. We can move our house any time we want a change of scenery.

4. Less square footage means less area to clean!

5. Change. Change is good. Change makes you think outside of the box in which you currently reside.

6. Weeding. This is necessary to reduce personal effects to a sufficiently tiny amount that they fit inside the RV.

7. Cooking requirements will force creativity!

8. Potential for blog posts (the good, the bad, the ugly) will increase exponentially the longer we abide in each other’s hip pockets.

9. The porch. Sitting under the awning enjoying the evening quiet (and chatter of young grands) will be exquisite.

10. Free time! No sense in shopping – there’s no place to put it.

11. Clothing choices will be easy each day. With a limited wardrobe, it’s recycle outfits over and over again.

12. Fairy tale living. It’s true! I will be snuggled up to my honey in our home sweet home.

13. And for the baker’s dozen – Living in an RV will get us ready to live in our small home.

Now. That being said . . . I’d love to hear your RV living suggestions, tips, and strategies! Pretty please!


This Is My Dollhouse ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

This is what a homemade dollhouse looks like.

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

This Is My Dollhouse

By Giselle Potter

(Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016)

I’ve always loved dollhouses, so I was instantly attracted to This Is My Dollhouse.

A young girl uses an old box, craft materials, and toys to create and decorate her own dollhouse. Her imagination is in full swing as she makes food, clothes, and props for the little family that lives in her dollhouse.

Her friend, Sophie, also has a dollhouse. It is a fancy store-bought dollhouse with pretty furniture and a family. When the girl goes to visit Sophie and play with the dollhouse, their imagination is stilted and comes to a stand still.

After seeing Sophie’s dollhouse, the girl is afraid of showing her own dollhouse to her friend. But one day, when Sophie came to play, Sophie discovered the hidden house and was delighted. Many hours of creative play followed and the girl was once again pleased with her own dollhouse.

I don’t think this book is against store-bought dollhouses at all, but rather This Is My Dollhouse celebrates creativity and ingenuity of those who build from scratch.

It was so much fun to see the creativity of the young girl and the way she used her imagination to create scenarios and adventures for her little family. This book will inspire little ones to create from miscellaneous materials found around the house.

This is a little sewing room I made in a wooden box. Can you find the tiny mouse?


Make A Dollhouse

Materials: box (any size will work), cardboard, paper scraps, fabric scraps, ribbon, markers, scissors, tape, glue, toy figures, wood scraps or blocks

1. Make a dollhouse. You can use ANY type of container to make a little house. I once made one from a teapot! Cut cardboard and paper to make walls and floors. Ask for help in cutting a door and windows.

2. Use craft scraps and other materials to decorate your house. Add curtains, rugs, furniture, and whatever else you want. Use markers to add color.

3. Make your little family comfortable. Cut blankets, clothes, and other household necessities from your supplies.

4. Give your family (and their pets) names. You are now ready to imagine adventures for them!

P.S. This would be a fun activity to do with a sister, brother, or friend!

Leave a comment

Old Mother Hubbard Says It’s Time to Go Grocery Shopping

A sweet potato and a few onions…

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

You do know the nursery rhyme about Old Mother Hubbard, right?

Old Mother Hubbard

Went to the cupboard

To get her poor doggy a bone.

When she got there,

The cupboard was bare,

So the poor little doggy had none.


Presenting, on life’s stage, Old Mother Hubbard.

Played by Angie.


Old Mother Hubbard needs to go shopping for groceries. Now.

I resist grocery shopping. I don’t know why. I will scrounge, create, and do everything I can to make it last just one more day. All to avoid grocery shopping.

Maybe it’s the lines, the crowds, the cost, the forgetting something on the opposite end of the store and making repeat trips, the foraging through produce to find the freshest, the struggle to open produce bags, touching raw meat packages…

Probably it’s the having to take it all home and put it away.

But I so love having food to use when I prepare meals!

We are down to wilted celery, one sweet potato, a few onions, and garlic. Oh, I think there may be a dried up bit of ginger hanging around as well and some frozen peas and corn. Almost out of milk, yogurt, and bread.

Two pieces of frozen salmon and one package of frozen ground turkey make up the protein portion of our diet (per what is in the fridge/pantry/cupboard). I suppose I could count the canned chicken and tuna.

Well, that sounds like I have plenty for another day of Grocery Store Avoidance.


Frozen Food Tip:

Guess what?! The package directions actually work for frozen brussel sprouts! I’ve never even glanced at the directions, but did so last night on a whim. You can MICROWAVE the entire package – and they come out perfectly moist and not soggy and gross!