Monday, December 16, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Exhibit at the Armstrong Browning Library: Giving Nineteenth Century Woman Writers a Voice and a Face

My last post was about the Peg Doll which is travelling the world to help victims of human trafficking (modern day slavery).  After taking her to see the Waco Suspension Bridge, I headed over to Baylor.  No room to park at some of the usual spots I visited, but then I found a space near the Armstrong Browning Library.  Perfect!

Inside we learned that there was an exhibit going on titled "Giving Nineteenth Century Women a Voice and a Face."   It continues through December 12, and is absolutely free for anyone who wants to see it (as is all the library). 

The exhibit poster featured this quote... 

Do give your ear to me --your heart to me  
Do grant this confirmation of your voice 
To my voice, that it may not speak in vain... 
                     ~Elisabeth Barrett Browning
Well, that was certainly timely.    Transitions Global, the organization "Peg" is raising money for, is all about giving women forced into prostitution a voice and a hope.  The quote is beautiful both for giving voices to women of the past, and voiceless women today. 

Under the beautiful stained glass windows of the library we found a collection of works by Victorian women authors, along with letters they had written or recieved from the Elizabeth and Robert Browning.

One of the books is by the poet, Christina Rosetti.  She wrote some beautiful Christian verse, and I love the illustration on her book, The Goblin Market (above).

They also had this letter she wrote to the Brownings...

 There were also many other writers who I was not familiar with.  One, Augusta Webster, they mentioned wrote a book of poetry called "A Women Sold, and Other Poems," which caught my eye because of the circumstance of our visit.  I looked up the poem later, though, and discovered it had nothing to do with real slavery, but was about a woman who forsook her true love for a marriage of convienence.

It was fun exploring the library.   It's been a long time since I've given it a visit, and this was a great excuse.  While little ones may not enjoy this exhibit particularly, I think this might be something you could take your middle schooler or teenager too. 

You can learn more about the exhibit at the Armstrong Browning Webpage.  

Click here to find out how to get a visit from Peg, and learn how she's helping to raise funds for Transitions Global.    Also, I'd like to invite you to consider participating in Hearts Should Be Free, an online event to help spread awareness of slavery. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Peg Doll Travels The World to Help Trafficking Victims

Recently, I had a visitor.  A very tiny one.  I took her around to see the sights.

Meet Peg.  She's about 2" high, loves the color blue,  and is travelling the world to spread awareness about the injustice of sex trafficking, a form of modern slavery, and raise money for Transitions Global to help trafficked girls find healing and restoration.

Well, I couldn't let her leave Waco without seeing the Waco Suspension Bridge.

Can you spot her in this picture?

OK, how about now?

After that, we took a trip to Baylor and took in an exhibit on 19th Century Women Authors still going on  at the Armstrong Browning Library.   More on that in a post soon to come!

For now, I leave you with this...there estimated to be as many as 27 million slaves, people make to work or prostitute themselves through force, fraud, or coercion.  We can help change this.  Learn some ways you can help here.   Also, I'd like to invite you to consider participating in Hearts Should Be Free, an online event to help spread awareness of slavery. 

Click here to find out how to get a visit from Peg, and learn how she's helping to raise funds for Transitions Global.   

Travel Tuesday 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Candy Alternatives

Every year my kids come home with a TON of candy for Halloween, and a cold shortly afterwards.  Of course, sugar is all sorts of bad for you, and though I love the fun of Trick-or-treating, I'm not so keen on the volume of sugar consumption that follows (even when I limit it).  But there are some kids who can't even have sugar (for various reasons), so I like to have offer some non-candy treats in my bowl.

So, if you're still shopping to fill your Halloween bowls, here are a few non-candy alternatives, and some places you can find them locally.

Glow Bracelets and Other Glow Items
I give out glow bracelets every year, and trick-or-treaters LOVE them.  Plus they make my bowl look super snazzy.  I like to wedge them, unbent, in my candy bowl so it looks like a glowing light display (make sure to stick the attachment so they can make them into bracelets on first).  You can get 15 glow bracelets for $1 in round tubes at Target or Micheals (at Wally's Party Factory you will pay $5 for them so don't get them there).  Target also has a ton of other glow stuff (from fingernails to tops) but those are a little more expensive.

Party Horns
Both the noisemakers and the quieter one like pictured below are fun, cheap, and also look super cools sticking out of a candy bowl.  I offered these first because I had some left over from a birthday party, and didn't know if anyone would take them, but a lot of the kids really loved them.  The cheapest I've seen these is at Walmart, though you can get them at nearly any grocery store or party store.

Temporary Tattoos
Targets $1 section has temporary tattoos  $3 for 20.  Somewhat popular but not as cheap as some other items.

Silly Bands
I had these one Halloween, and they were somewhat well liked.  Not sure where's the best place to get them this year.

Vampire Teeth
Target has glowing vampire teeth, 8 for $1.

I've tried these, but I've got to say they weren't as popular with kids.  If you want them you can find them really cheap in the Target $1 section.

Other Plastic Flotsam
There are all sort of other plastic flotsam, erasers, and other stuff to be found at Targets $1 section, Dollar General, Walmart, HEB, Wally's Party Factory and other party stores.

So, have you tried non-candy treats in your halloween bowl?  What did you try and how well did it go over with trick-or-treaters?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Local Artisan Spotlight - Costume Itmes

Some of the artists above allow for you to pick up orders locally or have venues they sell through in Waco.  Scroll down below this collection of pictures to learn more.

Queen of Hearts Tutu Costume...

Skeletal foot hand-painted s...

Crochet One-Eyed Monster Hat...

Batman Tutu Costume

Dazzing Tinkerbell Tutu Cost...

Baby Bee Hat and Leg warmers...

An Adorable Little Mermaid T...

Adult superman cape

Batman and Robin Tutu Costum...

Bowtie - Pretied, Adjustable...

Oscar the Grouch Tutu Dress

Newborn Basketball headband ...

CLEARANCE Antique Creamy Whi...

Crochet Baby Football Cocoon...

Jack Skellington 8-bit Earri...

Local Events Where You Can See These Artists

OCT 18 - Tie Dye Dino Shop (TexasBelle83 above) will have some bowties up for auction in the Woodway Elementary School Fall Fest on October 18th (proceeds go to help the school).

OCT 26 - Mister Other One will have a booth at the Fall Farm Day Celebration at the World Hunger Relief Farm on Oct. 26 from 9am - 3pm (more info at

These Shops Accept Local Pick-ups 
Save on shipping by picking up your order locally.  Make sure to let them know when you order that you want to pick up items locally.

Mister Other One
Accepts local pick-ups twice a week.  Contact shopkeeper for more info.

Simplisticly Unique

Stolle Creations   (TexasBelle83 above)

Tie Dye Dino Shop
Use coupon code LOCAL when you check out to remove shipping costs if you will be picking items up.

Vintager Style

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Colony Office Burned Down

This Wednesday I drove by the Colony apartments, where I used to live, and this is what I saw.   The whole front office was charred...a giant burned whole in the roof.  

I asked one of the maintenance people there what had happened, and they said it was a disgruntled tenant.  I looked it up later...the lady who did looked familiar but if I knew her it wasn't well.  I gather they caught her on security camera, even though she tried to cover it up.   Some other residents tried to put it out but it had gotten too big by the time they noticed it.   It was in the middle of the night so no one was in the office at the time.  One firefighter was injured fighting the blaze.  All this happened back in early August, so this is old news, but new to me.

Now, here's the kicker (and this is just heresay), but I talked with someone at a nearby business about it and they say that she went to jail, served her time, got out, AND STILL LIVES THERE.  Really?  That doesn't get you evicted?  YIKES!

Now, I understand being disgruntled.   We lived there for several years, and maintenance was horrible.  We had stairs that were literally crumbling, and they weren't fixed for nearly a year (I sent in a request when I first noticed the cracks, and by the time they finally fixed it one of the steps had completely fallen away and we had been skipping over that step for at least a month).  They are lucky that me or my kids didn't get hurt because of it...'cause I would have sued (and I'm not one to do that lightly).

But, still, I don't think what she did was right.  There are better ways to handle things like that.

Anyways, here's a close up of the damage.  Dang.

More on this at:

WacoTrib - Probably the most detailed account

KXXV  - The comment are interesting on this one.  One resident posted that they sent everyone letters saying their rent was late 3 days after this.  Nice.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


A couple sales caught my eye today in the produce section of the HEB on Hewitt Dr:

  • Red Peppers - 2 for $1
  • Strawberries - $1.49ish* 
*(Actually, it was cheaper to buy two smaller strawberry cases than one large one, which was $3.59ish).  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Living Social Deal: Half Price at Johnny Carinos!

You can get up to $40 at Johnny Carinos for half price!  Check out the Living Social Deal here!

(Full disclosure - I get free stuff on Living Social if you buy through my links). 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This Fall, Why Not Rent Your Textbooks?

This is a Sponsored Post

To any of you heading to Baylor or MCC heading back to school this fall (and to all the homeschooling parents starting up another year), I just wanted to remind you about  It's a way to rent textbooks (and curriculum too) over the internet, and can sometimes be cheaper than through other venues.  (I did a price-comparison this April, which you can read here.).

Here's some reasons you might want to try Campus Rentals....
  • Save 40-90% off of new bookstore prices 
  • Free shipping both ways
  • Flexible renting periods
  • Dropped a class?  Return books within 30 days for free!
  • They donate to Operation Smile every time a book is rented!
You also can rent out your old books through their sister website Check out the video below to learn more...

I was compensated for posting about CampusBookRentals.  My opinions, however, are my own.  I have not personally used this service (I graduated from college ages ago).  However, back in April I did do the comparison research on my own accord, which you can read  on my last post about CampustBookRentals here.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Traveling Printables

Below Are Some Great Travel Related Coloring Pages and Other Printables From the Free Samplers sent out by  Dover Publishing

These printables are great for traveling...

Travel Games and Puzzles (includes Travel Journal pictured above)

Camping Coloring Pages

Camping Hidden Picture

World Map/Label Continents & Oceans

Travel Paper Airplane1, 2

Cat and Dog See the World - Packing

At the Beach Coloring Pages

Airplane Travel

Travel Destinations Wordsearch (EASY)

Airplane Trip Activity Pages

These coloring and activity pages relate to places in the US would be great on road trips.

Whole United States:

US Map/Flag

State Scavenger Hunt

Cross-Country Road Trip 

Alphabetical Order States

Draw North American Animals  (Buffalo, Bear) 

Regional or Multistate

States Bordering Mexico

13 Colonies Crossword

By State/Province:

Arizona - Saguaro Cactus
Arizona - Word Art 
Arizona - Native American 

California - Map/Landmarks


Trees of the Northeast

Cactus Desert Animals  (For Southwest)

And here are some coloring pages and other printables for places abroad...


Temples of the World Maze


African Designs

South Africa - Nelson Mandela


Canada - Niagera Falls
Canada - Vancouver


Mexican Folk Art
Mexican Folk Art 2
Mexico - Day of the Dead
Mayan Puzzle



Brazil - Brazilian Walking Spider
Mexico - Day of the Dead
Peru - Machu Pichu 


Austrialia, Great Barrier Reef
Austrailia, Bunyip (Legendary Creature)

Chinese Designs
More Chinese Designs
More Chinese Designs
Chinese Fan
Chinese Kites
Chinese Dragon
Chinese Lucky Cat Paper Dolls
Chinese Stained Glass 
Chinese Crane

Galapagos Island Animals

Indian and Middle Eastern Mehndi Designs
India - Draw Mandelas
India - Mehndi Designs 
India - Mehndi Designs
India - Indian Food

Japan Activity Pages
Japanese Art Coloring Pages
More Japanese Art Coloring Pages.
Japanese Fans
Kyoto Maze
Japan - Japanese Food 

Nepal - Mt. Everest

Polynesian Islands
Polynesian Islands- Captain Cook



Germany - Christmas

Great Britian
Great Britian:  Christmas
Great Britian: Prince William and Kate Middleton (2011 - 2013)

Ireland: Life in Celtic Times
Ireland: Celtic Knotwork, 2

Italy - Italian Renaissance Artwork (Raphael)
Italy - 2nd Century Roman Mosaic
Italy - Italian Food 

Nordic Designs

France, Trouville (Painting by Monet)
France, Argenteuil (Painting by Monet)
France, French Fashion Paperdolls :1900 - 1950
France, French Food

Scotland - Tartan Designs
Scotland - Loch Ness Monster, Resource 2

Spain - Alhambra Designs (from Ancient Spanish Palace)
Spain - Picasso
Spain - Barcelona


Arabic Patterns

Pages to Add - American Crosswords 
Collages (has some regional)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Waco Area Vacation Bible School Directory - 2013

Churches all over Waco are hosting Vacation Bible School, fun Christian day-camps which are usually free for kids to attend!   Here's a few I found in Waco and surrounding area:


Woodway 1st United Methodist Church
Theme:  Everywhere Fun Fair
Ages: 3 - 6th Grade
Dates: June 23 - 27
Time:  6:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.
Location:  Woodway
More Info Here

Trinity Lutheran Church at Badger Ranch
Ages:  3 yrs - Grade 5
Dates: June 23 - 27
Times:  (Light supper served before VBS each night at 5:45 pm)
VBS Times: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Woodway
More Info Here 

St. Jerome Catholic Church
Theme: Kingdom Rock
Dates:  June 23 -28
Location:  Waco
More Info Here


New Hope Baptist Church
Theme: Kingdom Rock
Ages:  Age 5 - Adult
Dates:  July 8 - 11
Times:  5 pm - 8pm
Location:  Waco
More Info Here

Western Heights Baptist Church
Theme: Colossal Coaster Worlds
Ages:  Age 4 - 6th
Dates:  July 8 - 12
Times:  9 am - Noon
Location:  Waco
More Info Here

Evergreen Baptist Church
Theme: Kingdom Chronicals
Ages:  Age 4 - 6th
Dates:  July 14 - 18
Times:  6:15 pm -
Location:  Waco
More Info Here

First United Methodist Church of Waco
Theme: Athens
Dates:  July 14 - 18
Location:  Waco
More Info Here

Cogdell Memorial Methodist Church
Theme: Everywhere Fun Friend
Ages:  Age 4 - 6th Grade
Dates:  July 21 - 25
Times:  6 pm - 8pm
Location:  Waco
More Info Here

Columbus Avenue Baptist Church
Theme: Colossal Coaster World, 
Dates: July 22-26
More Info Here

Bosqueville Baptist Church
Theme:  Colassal Coaster World
Dates: July 29 - August 2
Time:  Not Stated
Location:  Waco
More Info Here (Scroll Down Under Events)

Peace Lutheran Church
Theme:  Athens: Pauls Dangerous Journey
Dates: July 10 - 14
Times: 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Location:  Hewitt
More Info Here

If your church would like their VBS listed here, please leave the details in a comment below, or e-mail me at ecarian at yahoo dot com

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gardening Coloring Pages

These sure look like more fun than the fire ants!  

Enjoy the following gardening coloring pages from the Dover Sampler.

Bugs (Dragonflies and Mantis)


More Butterflies

Garden Fashion

Garden Party Fun

Shared on Throwback Thursday.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shop to Help West, TX

All of these items benefit the victims of the tragic explosion in West, TX.   Check individual listing to see how much is donated.*
















* 50% of the items shown above from Vinyl Designs (the pink West, TX ribbon and the Texas decal with 4/17/13) go to support victims of west, though it is not mentioned in the listing.  Also, the "Desert Photos Print Set shown above" is going to support West Victims even though it mentions Waco, not West (they are donating to the fund for West through the Waco Salvation Army).

Masons Mama