Monday, September 30, 2019

Tuba Christmas: A Holiday Tradition

Monday, December 2 and Friday, December 6, 2019
Tickets available beginning October 1, 2019

I remember seeing a picture of my friend Liz and her beautifully dressed children at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at Christmastime 2014 and I was so envious of the fact that she got them all together to do something so cool and expensive. We had never been to Kauffman Center, let alone for anything CULTURAL and cool. I was afraid it would all cost too much money anyway.
Well, she told me it was called Tuba Christmas. And it's FREE. She got 10 tickets (general admission) and I was able to secure enough for my family for one of the Friday noon performances for 2015. Here are some pics from the under-an-hour performance (which counts toward homeschool fine arts, by the way)! Here is the link to get your free tickets, but note the venue change. 

About TubaChristmas

The first TubaChristmas was presented on December 22, 1974 at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, making this the 40th anniversary year of MERRY TUBACHRISTMAS. The first Kansas City TubaChristmas was in 1979 when the group performed for the lighting of the Crown Center Christmas tree. TubaChristmas in Kansas City has happened annually since 1979, often bringing together over 500 tuba and euphonium players from all walks of life, and sometimes multiple generations of the same family who have made TubaChristmas an annual tradition. For more information see
TubaChristmas concerts are presented with permission from the Harvey Phillips Foundation, Inc.,  founded by Harvey Phillips in memory of his teacher, William J. Bell. Harvey Phillips is a distinguished professor emeritus of the Department of Music, Indiana University, and one of the most acclaimed tuba players in the world. He has commissioned more than 200 solo works for tuba and in 2008 was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Phillips is a native of Aurora, Missouri and attended the University of Missouri prior to being accepted to the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Harvey Phillips received an honorary doctorate from the University of Missouri in 1987, in part for his national efforts to establish TubaChristmas as an annual tradition. 

DO NOT BE LATE, because in 2017 we were late and even though we had tickets, they would not let us in. There were a bunch of others who were also late and they herded us into some stuffy room to watch the whole thing on a tiny television. We did not stay because there were not enough places to sit, it was hot, there were crying babies, and nobody could see or hear what was going on. Although with the 2018 venue change, I wonder how this might change.

2018 pictures from when they achieved the World Record for number of tuba players  and duration of playing a specific song.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Kansas City Field Trip: American Royal

One of the best Kansas City field trips is to take an educational tour of the American Royal! I remember doing this back when I had maybe 3 little kids and they loved it, so it's definitely time to do it again! It's not too late to check out the Arabian Horse Show December 7-8!

Here's the website for the American Royal. And check out this hilarious Welcome to our (AR) Farm video!

The school tours program is built to educate students in the 2nd through 4th grades and consists of an educational tour and Invitational Youth Rodeo. With many old favorites and new additions that will delight both students and teachers alike, there is something for everyone at the American Royal!"

Even though it says for grades 2nd through 4th, I would totally take all of my kids, ranging from 2nd through 11th, because I know they would all enjoy it!

Have You Fallen in Love with #CoconutOil Yet?

Holy crap! According to this page of, “Coconut oil is used for diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, Crohn's disease,irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, and boosting the immune system. Ironically, despite coconut oil’s high calorie and saturated fat content, some people use it to lose weight and lower cholesterol.”

Sounds like a miracle drug! Below I have a link to a bazillion uses for coconut oil, and I haven’t even read it; just wanted to make sure you have a great place to go once you’re done reading my post!

Not all coconut oils are the same, and some are more healthful than others. According to Body Ketosis, there are 3 main types of coconut oils: partially hydrogenated coconut oil, refined coconut oil, and virgin coconut oil. The last 2 are the ones you should include to your menu as both offer benefits but are different in terms of appearance, taste, and nutritional value.

So I’ve been hearing about coconut oil all over the place. I am in love with coconut, period. So I can do something with the oil? I’m in! I’m all over that!
I can get a good-sized jar at Trader Joe's or Aldi for only $6. First thing I did with it? Well, Mr. Kerrie actually did it. He cooked me a fried egg in it. Did it taste like coconut? NOPE.
I put some tea tree and lavender oil in a bit of it and made a nice little anti-fungal foot rub for Mr. Kerrie as well.
I’m also going to use it as a deep conditioner before my next shower! Then I'm going to have a truck dump some in my tub and I'm going to BATHE in it. If you're trying to lose weight, you can use coconut oil as well!
Check out this post over at Crunchy Betty to find out A Millionish Uncommon and Not So Uncommon Uses for Coconut Oil. Also, this piece on the Health Effects of Coconut Oil over at ManyEats.
New post: Beating the Dead Coconut Oil Horse
Since I posted the information above, I’ve been using it as my main eye makeup remover for after showers since I don’t take off my eye makeup at night. It works way better than anything else I’ve ever used.
I use it instead of vegetable or canola oil in cakes. I’ve been putting it in coffee. I also put it all in my hair at night before I go to bed to get my hair all shiny and soft. The next day I take a shower like normal and put a little more in my wet hair. Way cheaper than something like Moroccan oil for sure!
Check it out!

Originally posted 9/18/15

Friday, September 27, 2019

How To Handle Life After An Accident

Long after the cuts and bruises heal after a car accident, a crash can leave a mental imprint that can be very difficult to deal with. Some car accidents leave people worse off, with lifelong disability and trauma - others even die following a car accident. When you have to deal with the aftermath of an accident, it can be hard to keep moving forward. Drivers may suffer from everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to long term difficulties with movement. One of the worst losses that people deal with is their finances.
Intravenous Hose on Person's Hand
After an accident, the world slows down a little. Work goes on the back burner, but paying for bills and rent still has to continue. Handling life after an accident doesn't always come to what happens when you see a car accident lawyer, but how you move forward once you’ve sorted the compensation side. Taking the right steps to help yourself heal after an accident can ensure that your recovery is quicker, and you can return to your old life sooner than you thought. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can handle life -  so that you can focus on getting back to your best.

Take Care Of Yourself
You are going to go through a rainbow of emotion, and not all of those will be positive ones. Think about how stress and depression can impact your life, and you’ll see that these are common after an accident. These are natural reactions to the trauma that was suffered and there is no real amount of time to be able to say how long this will take to work through. The only thing that you can do is take your time and take care of yourself while you are recovering.
Have A Meeting With A Lawyer
If you were a vitin in the car accident, you need to talk to a car accident lawyer. They’ll be able to find out whether you are due compensation for the trauma that you’ve suffered, as the medical bills alone can cripple you financially. Car accident lawyers can get you the best information and the best deal from the insurance people.
Be As Healthy As Possible
You may not feel like it, but getting back into a regular routine is the healthiest thing that you can do for yourself. Eating well, moving as much as your injuries allow. Maintain your diet. You can’t control how long it will take you to heal after an accident, but you can control how you look after yourself while you are patiently waiting.
Ask For Help
Your friends and family will want to help you. You’re recovering from a terrifying time that will affect you long after the bumps and bruises are healed. Lean on your friends because they want to be there for you and they want to help you. You don't have to go through all of this alone, and you shouldn't even try!

What To Consider When Publishing A Book

Writing a book is one of the most challenging, hair pulling, but exciting things you will ever do in your life. If you have a creative mind and a world of stories in your head, translating them to page for others to enjoy is a privilege like no other. 

If you are looking to publish your book this year and share it with the world, there is a world of options to consider. Today though, we want to focus on self-publishing your story and gaining all of the royalties for your piece. There are plenty of factors that come into play when self-publishing a book, and here are some of the things you need to think about and jobs to do before you publish. 

1. Make sure it’s ready

The hardest thing you can do as a writer is to decide when a book is finished. After spending a long time creating a novel, making the decision to stop writing and start the publishing process can be a challenge. The best way to prepare your novel once you are finished writing is to proofread it a few times and ask a family member or friend to proofread it too. We can easily become clouded and biased as a creator, so asking someone else to read a piece of work will ensure that the story flows, the message makes sense, and the grammar is correct. 

2. How will you create the cover?

One of the most crucial decisions you need to make when you come to publish a book is the cover. A book cover is like a window into the soul of your creation. It is incredibly important that the cover conveys the tone of the novel and allows people to feel like they are within your world the moment they pick it up. Looking at some key examples:
    Twilight Series – These book covers are black and red, usually depicted the film characters or objects that make the reader feel like they are in a fantasy world with vampires and werewolves. Most young adult books use this same design
    Crossfire Series – These adult books depict romantic objects and sensual covers to make the reader feel relaxed and ready for a more adult reading experience
    Harry Potter Series – Every book has a nostalgic, magical, and whimsical illustration which makes the reader feel immediately transported into the magical world. 

It is important that you look at similar books to your own and design a cover that helps the reader make an informed decision on purchasing your novel

3. Get your website ready

Every author should have a website. If you have other works and writing pieces to share with your audience, or you plan to share more in the future; a website will display this. Before you publish your book, set up a website with a countdown to release date, with a link to the book, and also with a small sample of pages to pique the interest of potential readers. You can also share a comment board where people can ask questions about the book, share their ideas, and even a forum where aspiring creators can spread inspiration and ideas. 

4. Check for copyright issues 

Although you have written every word of the novel yourself, it is important to hire lawyers that specialise in copyright, unlike the many Personal Injury Lawyers you see on TV, to check for issues and also protect your work against plagiarism. Be sure to protect your work and also make sure that any references you make are legal and sound. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

6 Essential Things to Make Your Writing Session More Productive

Writing is an art, a mastery that requires creativity, focus, and dedication. Some people may be good at it, while others may find it too challenging to write even a couple of sentences. Despite this, we face it at all stages of our lives – in school, in college, at work, and even at home. To a certain extent, writing is an inevitable part of every person’s life, even if you don’t realize it. Thus, it is important to master it!

Whether you are engaged in writing an essay, document, blog, or book, coping with it can be rather tricky. Of course, you always can get professional help at a legitimate essay writing service, but what if you want to handle this challenge yourself? That’s when you will have to show some consistency.

The two most common things that may hold you back from writing are writer’s block and lack of motivation. Although we name them as separate issues, they are tightly linked to each other.

Important Rules To Keep You Safe When Dating

The world of dating has changed a lot in the last decade and there are more ways than ever to meet people. Online dating makes it so much easier to connect with people and meet up for dates, which is great if you are looking for a partner. But there is a downside to all of this new dating technology because it can be dangerous. If you are just swapping a few messages with somebody before you meet up with them, you don’t really know who they are. In some cases, you might turn up and find out that they don’t quite look as good as they do in their pictures, but it could be a lot worse than that. Meeting a stranger is always dangerous, so you need to be careful when you are dating. These are some of the best dating tips to help you stay safe. 

Don’t Give Out Personal Details 

You might think it’s nice if somebody is asking a lot of questions about which area you live in, what you did for work, and where you grew up because it shows that they are trying to get to know you. But there is a potential danger there because they could use that information to track you down. If they are asking a few general questions then you don’t need to worry, but if somebody is immediately asking you a lot of specific questions about your life, you need to make sure that you don’t give too much away. Check out for a list of information that you need to keep out of your dating profile. Definitely do not tell them where you live or where you work until you have met with them a few times and you are sure that they are genuine. 

Don’t Hand Over Your Number Straight Away 

It’s fairly common for people to start messaging on a dating app and then swap numbers, but you have to remember that once they have your number, you can’t take it back. That could lead to problems with harassment and if they are particularly good with technology, they may be able to hack into your phone. It’s not that likely but it’s always a danger. If you like speaking with people over the phone rather than messaging because it’s a better way to get to know people, maybe you should ditch the dating apps altogether and use a chat service instead. There are some great phone chat services (like this one at that will put you in touch with other singles in your area so you can chat over the phone. Your number is protected so it’s a lot safer than giving your number out over dating apps. 

Meet In Public 

For the first few dates, you should always meet them in a public place somewhere. If they are suggesting dates and either one of your houses, that’s a bit of a red flag and you should consider calling the whole thing off. If you meet somewhere public, during the day if possible, you will be far safer. It’s also important that you choose the location for the date instead of letting them choose because they may have set something up beforehand. 

Keep The Date Short 

First dates should always be relatively short for a couple of reasons. There’s a chance that you won’t get on at all and if you have a whole day of activities planned, it can be awkward to slip away early. If you are a nervous dater, you might not be able to handle a date that is very long, so it’s best to stick to a short coffee date to start with. Finally, it is safer because it gives you a chance to test the waters and then get out of the situation. But if you plan to be with that person for a longer period, you increase your chances of something going wrong. 

Tell People About The Date 

When you have made plans for the date, you need to make sure that you tell people about it. Let some friends know exactly where you are going and at what time. Then you need to arrange to call them afterwards to let them know that everything is ok. If they don’t hear from you, they’ll know that something is wrong. If things go well and you decide that you want to continue the date, make sure that you remember to send them a quick message to update them.  

As long as you follow these simple steps, you can make sure that you are safe when you meet somebody for the first time. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

What Can You Do With Land Around Your Property?

Have you recently bought or inherited a house which has a lot of land with it? It’s a fantastic situation to be in, but it can be a little daunting. You’ll of course want to make the most of it, in some cases you might even be able to make a decent amount of money from it too. Here are some suggestions if you’re lucky enough to own some land. 

Build property on it
If you own a significant amount of land, one option could be to build another property on it which you could then either sell or rent out. Of course, you will need to go down the relevant routes for this, securing planning permission and so on. But it’s a great option to go down to make the most of any land you have. You could even build a home for your children to live in when they’re older so you’re all nearby, or create a bungalow or granny flat for a retired family member to come and live in later in their life. Building property from scratch isn’t as expensive as you might think, it can be cheaper than buying a house that’s already built as you don’t have to mess around with renovations, rip out old DIY attempts or pay surcharges that finished properties often have on them. 

Lease out the land
If you’re unable to build property on your land (or just don't want to) then you could simply lease out the land instead. This could be utilised by a farmer, an event planner, even a cell tower company- a cell tower attorney will explain this in more detail for you. You can charge a monthly, annual or fee for each use and it’s the perfect way to make some money from land that’s not being used. Be sure to draw up proper legal contracts, making it clear exactly what people are allowed to do (and not do) on the land. For example, you might rent it out as a campsite but ban caravans and RVs if it rips up your turf. You might ban campfires and have rules surrounding barbeques and noise. 

Own animals
If you’re an animal lover then owning land could be the perfect opportunity to own some. It could be horses, alpacas or chickens. You could look into breeding dogs, with plenty of space for kennels and place to run around it could be the ideal environment if you get the right licenses. You could build stables or kennels and then run a business surrounding this. You can be as involved or uninvolved as you like, if you don’t want to run things yourself, you always have the option of hiring someone to do it for you. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Looking After Your Hearing

There are a few things that you wouldn’t want to lose. Your car keys, your bank cards, and maybe even your bike lock. But all of those will fall into insignificance when you put them against losing your hearing. There are many people who are walking around with some degree of hearing loss. Much of which can be attributed to noise-induced hearing loss. It is becoming increasingly common in children too. So how do you prevent hearing loss?

Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash


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