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a day in the life

I know I usually don’t get all “this is how *I* parent” on you, but I’ve found a new way to connect with Ariel and wanted to share it with you.

easy and fun bonding with your tween

Turns out she is as much of a “quote collector” as I am.  As many people are, just judging by the popularity of memes like Thoughtful Thursday and the oodles of Pinterest boards dedicated to quotes.

Ariel still doesn’t have any social media accounts, since I’m that mom and am sticking to their rules, so she doesn’t get to pin things on Pinterest or like things on Facebook.

My new connection:  I’m emailing cool quotes/pics to her.

See, back when she was in 2nd grade, her teacher encouraged the students to email in their spelling words in fun fonts and colors.  Computer literacy + spelling = WIN!  So Ariel had an email address from back then.  I hooked up her iPod with that email address and BOOM!  I can send her email and she can text that way too.

So what kinds of things do I send her?  Funny pet snaps, inspiring quotes, thoughtful ponderings….anything that I find that is appropriate or timely.  I keep a folder on my desktop and whenever I find something Ariel-worthy, I copy it into that file.  Then every so often, I send an email (or several) to her.  One night she complained that I hadn’t sent her anything in a while, so I bombarded her with coolness.

Here are a few that I’ve sent her (I wish I had the original source for these so I could give credit.  If you are the creator of any of these, please let me know and I’ll be super happy to recognize your contribution!):

choose singing!


jelly beans




box of raisins


be yourself


car ride


free to choose


Bed and Breakfast


And then probably my favorite one was found on Grammarly’s Facebook page.  And I liked — and totally believed in the quote earlier — but then Ariel told me how it had influenced her.


good english


Turns out, she had standardized writing testing shortly after I sent this to her.  She had fallen in love with the quote and memorized and quoted it in her written commentary on the test!  LOVE that!!

It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s a great connection for us.  Give it a try!  It might work for you and your tween too!


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Your influence as an adult is far greater than you might imagine.

This video struck a chord with me.   I hope it strikes one with you too.  Our children deserve to see us at our very best…. because they will emulate us — for better or for worse.  I’m not trying to put anyone on a guilt trip because I certainly have my own bad days.  Just trying to remind myself and all of you how our actions speak far louder than our words.


We are constantly reading around here.  Ariel is more of a book reader these days than I am, simply because she has more free time than I do.  She usually has at least two or three novels going at once and has no problem keeping the storylines straight.  Me, I have to read one at a time and my biggest problem is that time comes to a screeching halt when I am in the midst of a good read.  Laundry?  No time for that.  Dinner?  Order take-out.  Sleep?  Who needs it?  :D

So it was quite the shock tonight when I asked Ariel what she was reading these days.  (They just finished Number the Stars in school and I had ordered Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl for her (gotta love Scholastic!) because I thought it would tie in well.  Unfortunately, she got a little too much exposure to the Holocaust and now doesn’t have the desire to read more about it.  And that’s fine, because it is a very strong topic for most of us.)  She replied, with a start, “Nothing!”  And immediately went to her bookshelf to find a new book.

She found Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.  I had also ordered it from Scholastic.  It earned 4 out of 5 stars from Amazon reviewers, so I have high expectations of it.  I’ll let you know what she thinks!


Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

And lest you think less of me, I *did* just download the Audible version of The Book Thief and plan on listening to it while on my treadmill this week.  I gotta get back with that and am hoping the bribe of a good book will be just the kickstart I need!


World Read Aloud Day

I’m such a lover of books and have encouraged Ariel’s love of books as much as possible.  It broke my heart when I read on litworld.org about children who had NEVER had someone read aloud to them except at school!  How sad.

As I work in Ariel’s school as a volunteer and as a substitute teacher, it is my favorite thing to read aloud to the students.  To take on different voices and inflections, to bring the book to life for them…. and their faces as they enjoy the book are priceless!

Please make a note of World Read Aloud Day—it’s this week!!  And check out this post for more ideas on how to make this event successful!



ER quote


Ariel and I love having pretty nails and trying out new techniques.  We’re not pros yet, but love looking at some of the pros for inspiration.  Check out these beauties from our Pinterest boards and let us know how you’ll be doing your nails for the holidays!

fun holiday nails

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(NOTE:  None of these pictures are my intellectual property; they belong to their respective bloggers.  If you’d like to visit the original source, please click on the appropriate photo and go to that site to pin that image.  The only artwork on this post that belongs to The Tween & Me and should be pinned from this site is the collage image at the top of the post.)

(You also might enjoy the stunning collection of holiday nail art we showcased last year here!)



Eleanor Roosevelt quote


Candy corn is everywhere this time of year!  Truly, it’s become a great symbol of fall, and I can’t say that I don’t love the color combinations… because I do!  Bright in a fall palette.  It just seems right.  I guess Mother Nature is a pretty stylish gal, eh?

So many ways to use these colors… and not just in candy corn!  Check it out!!  And don’t blame me if you get a craving for some candy corn!!

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Ariel starts school Monday…. and we’ve been in a shopping frenzy lately trying to get all she needs (and some of what she wants!) for back to school.

I’ve been thinking about revamping my wardrobe too and found a great giveaway for all of us to check out!

Dress Up Your Autumn Giveaway

Beautiful Incentives is hosting a Dress Up Your Autumn Giveaway Event…. and we could all win!!  There will be 6 winners and over $200 in prizes!

Interested?  If you’re a blogger, go here to find out more details.  If you’re a reader who wants to be a winner, check back here on Monday, when the giveaway starts!!  It’s going to be lots of fun!!



Probably the hottest video out this week…. and I just got a chance to watch it.  I know, I know.  I should have watched it at the first mention I saw on Facebook—because it’s that good.  Really.

Watch it.  Pass it on.  The message is from a most unexpected (at least by me) person in the most unexpected place, but give it a chance.  You might just find that Chris is an unexpected gem.  I did.

One of my favorite lines:  “Build a life–don’t live one.  Build one.”


What was your favorite line?

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