Happy Dance for the New Year – Reach For Your Dreams

Woo hoo! Can you believe 2019 is here?

Wishing you and your family abundant blessings in this New Year. Cheers to living out our dreams in 2019!

What are your goals? Do you have any special plans?  Are you sorry to say goodbye to 2019? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Need a Fun Game to Play for New Year’s?

Are you looking for a fun game to play for New Year’s?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon books

George and I got together with our kids and grandkids Christmas Eve, but then we went to my sister Cindy’s on Christmas Day, and we played Catch Phrase. I’d never played it before, but it was great fun. The category was “Everyday Life.”

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon

Here’s a video below. At first, nobody wanted me to record us playing the game, but then my dad’s expressions were so funny, my mom asked me to get my camera out.

He’s pretty funny at the 30-second point of the video.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon books

I’ve mentioned in previous posts about my Dad’s Alzheimer’s, and I wanted to say that despite having dementia, he was able to participate in Catch Phrase with a little bit of help.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon books

He participated in various ways, such as guessing at other player’s clues and also giving appropriate prompts for us to guess his “phrase.”

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon books

He came alive and became fully engaged. A game like this is what people in early to mid stages of dementia need, in my humble opinion. It’s all about brain games, learning new skills, doing something different, and thus building and reinforcing new pathways in our brains.  In other words, neuroplasticity, which is fascinating.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Dementia begins years before any symptoms appear. I’m 62 and old enough to be concerned about getting it myself. Any activities, especially new activities, that engage our brains are going to help us ward off this dreaded disease. So, I always appreciate opportunities to exercise my brain. The laughter is a huge bonus and is super healthy for us, too.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller

Keep in mind the game is geared for ages 12 and up, so it worked out well that the grandkids weren’t at this gathering.  You can bet we’ll play it with them in the future when they’re older.

Catch Phrase can be played with teams or you can keep track of individual points. We didn’t keep score.

The other cool points about a game like this is that it’s not only inexpensive fun, but it gets people off their cell phones (somewhat)  and strengthens family (or friendship) ties, not to mention making precious memories.

Catch Phrase is available on Amazon if you’re interested in purchasing it.

For a small group of four to six people, the card game 99 is a kick. Here’s my post about 99. It’s one of our favorites.

What are your thoughts? What kind of games do you like to play, if any? Do you have any special plans to celebrate New Year’s? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Games | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

For Grins and Giggles – Parenting Plights and Delights

Just for grins and giggles . . .

Lynn Kelley, Parenting Plights and Delights, BBH McChiller

This is a parenting anecdote from my archives that I’ve turned into a vlog. It’s short (three minutes), but sweet.

Hope you got a kick out of that holiday parenting story. Below is a picture of Jim and Cindy. She’s wearing a zucchini bikini tankini.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventures

Doesn’t my Santa cap look like an airhead hat? A good fit for me, eh?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventures

What a bargain. I found it at one of the dollar stores a few years ago.

I hope you’re taking a few moments here and there for grins and giggles. With so much on our plates this time of year, it’s important to take care of ourselves, take a few breathers throughout the day.

Cheers to sweet moments in our lives!

What are your thoughts? Have you had any time to enjoy the sweet and simple things in your life? What makes you smile? I’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Holidays, Humor, Parenting Plights and Delights, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dancing Santa LimberJack

Hello friends! Are your spirits as bright as my dancing Santa LimberJack’s?

I hope you’re enjoying this holiday season and feeling festive and spunky. If I get enough sleep, I seem to be able to pull it off.

This old-fashioned toy which originated in Ireland has turned out to be so much fun. I found a Santa ornament for a dollar at the 99 Cents Only store, so I took it apart and decorated LimberJack. Here’s a video of him dancing as Santa Claus:

Of course, the grandkids think Santa LimberJack is charming. This little toy may mark me as the quirkiest Grammy ever, and that’s fine with me.

Here’s what LimberJack looked like when I bought him:

It’s a kick to dress him up in funky outfits. If I don’t have time to dress him as Baby New Year before the 1st arrives, there’s always next year, right?

For more LimberJack fun, check out these posts:

Dancing Elf From Dimension X

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

Dancing Skeleton Limber Jack

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

Talk Like a Pirate Day LimberJack

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

I know everyone is busy this time of year, wrapping gifts or wrapping up projects and festivities. Whatever you’ve been doing, I hope it’s been good and that your last days of 2018 are merry and as bright as Rudolph’s shiny nose.

Hope you enjoyed Santa LimberJack’s snazzy footwork. Cheers to fun and light-hearted moments.

What are your thoughts? Are you keeping stress levels to a minimum? What have you been up to? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Posted in Holidays, Toys, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The Secret Room – Christmas All Year Long!

My Aunt Val is like a real life Mary Poppins character. She has a secret Christmas room, which is decorated all year long.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventuresLast June I got to visit her and my Uncle Ron in North Carolina. Now, their whole house is like a museum, but it wasn’t until the last night when April and my grand darlings, Grasshopper and Ninja Doll, came to spend the night that I got to see the secret Christmas room.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventures

First, she gave each of the kids a stuffed animal. Then she pulled back the red curtain, and, behold, a magical room decorated for Christmas. This was in June, mind you!

Antiques and Heirlooms

Auntie Val explained what everything was. The room is full of many antiques and vintage decor. For instance, below is a small crib, which my grandfather slept in as a baby.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventures

The entire time, Aunt Val told stories or sang songs to the kids. For example, “Bushel and a Peck.” Clearly, this special room is her pride and joy. Her delight in sharing it was as precious as watching Grasshopper and Ninja Doll take it all in.

Here’s a short video:

The little chair was my Uncle Lee’s and Aunt Val’s when they were children. How special is that? Her home is full of family heirlooms.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventures

I don’t know which part is my favorite, but that old-fashioned St. Nicholas ranks pretty high in my secret Christmas room book.

Below, the foo-foo girlie Teddy Bear in the antique baby stroller is quite charming, too, isn’t it?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventures

I’m enjoying reminiscing about my visit and re-discovering the many treasures of this enchanting room.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever heard of a Secret Christmas Room? Are you enjoying preparing for the holidays? I hope you’re not having as many airhead moments as I’ve had! I’d love to hear from you.

Posted in family, Holidays, Nostalgia, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Holiday Airhead Moments – Video

Have you had any airhead moments during this crazy holiday season?

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

I got lost on the freeway driving home from my daughter’s. Missed my turnoff. I have a knack for doing that, but this time I was tired from babysitting two of my grandkids into the wee morning hours. Chatty Girl is three and Little Man is five weeks old now. So, even though I’ve made that drive many times, I was overtired and got lost. That’s a whole other blog post.

Today’s story is a vlog, a retelling in video form, from a post published years ago, Holiday Airhead Moments – You Just Made the List!

Here’s a post from January 2018 with Recent Airhead Moments.

Perhaps you can relate to another Airheads post from March about losing things. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, too.

How are you doing? Have you had any airhead moments lately? If so, you can join Airheads Anonymous.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

What are your thoughts? How are your holiday preparations coming along? How are you doing? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Air Heads Anonymous, family, Funny, Humor, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dancing Elf From Dimension X

Meet the dancing elf from Dimension X.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

This is my version of making lemonade out of lemons. The video of my dancing Santa LimberJack turned out awful. The lighting was poor, the quality of the video wasn’t good, and it’s pretty much a dud.

Here’s what LimberJack looks like with the Santa outfit I dressed him in:

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

I found a Santa ornament at the 99 Cents Only store and used the face and hat for LimberJack’s head. Then I cut up the coat to cover his body, arms and legs. Small pieces of card stock worked to make a belt with a buckle and boots for his feet.

Mistakes Can Force Us to Be More Creative

George shot the video for me, but it just didn’t turn out as I’d hoped, so we’ll redo it today. However, it would be a shame to waste these clips, so I played around with them in iMovie’s special effects options. The x-ray feature looked kind of neat. It doesn’t look like Santa, though, so he became the dancing elf from Dimension X. Haha! By slowing the clips down, LimberJack is easier to view. The music is added after the video is edited.

Poor little elf had an accident at the end of the clip.

Here’s my post of Limber Jack dressed as a skeleton: Dancing Skeleton Limber Jack.

If only I’d thought to play around with those skeleton clips in iMovie’s special effects. I wonder what it would look like? Hmm, it’s not too late to try it. If it turns out, I’ll feature it in a future blog post.

I’m taking part in Vlogmas 2018 on YouTube. We’re supposed to post a video each day. While many of the other blogs are long, some 20 or 30 minutes, mine are all short. We’re all busy this time of year, so shorter is better. If you want to follow me on YouTube, the link is at the very bottom of the sidebar.

Do you make lemonade our of lemons? How do you handle projects that don’t turn out the way you planned? I’d love to hear your story. Isn’t it rewarding to turn things around and find a satisfying solution?

What are your thoughts? Are you super busy these days? Have you had any projects run amuck? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Creativity, Dancing, Holidays, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Quick and Easy Centerpiece With Dollar Store Items

I designed a quick and easy centerpiece that can be customized for any occasion.

My Toastmasters club is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. The party is this week, so I volunteered to do the centerpieces for the tables.

I had planned to use real flowers, probably roses, to put under the wine glasses/goblets, but then I discovered pinecones with glitter in the Christmas section of the 99 Cents Only store, and I decided pinecones would be much easier.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

No worries about them wilting. Two pinecones for 99 cents was great. The light reflecting off the glass and the glitter of the pinecone looks beautiful.

Next, I needed to decide what to put on top of the upside-down glass. Perhaps a real rose would look pretty. Then I went on YouTube and looked for a tutorial on how to make a paper flower. I found a super easy paper rose.

That video didn’t have leaves to go with the paper rose, so I found another tutorial showing how to make paper leaves. The leaves in that tutorial were jumbo size, bigger than the crafter’s hand.

I went with the same idea, but scaled it down to using a piece of 4×4 inch card stock.

Each centerpiece will be set on two stacked books. I took the covers off some of my hardback books, but I didn’t have enough, so I bought 11 more at the Goodwill for less than $10.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

These are the books I already had:

Got all the books I’d need, so now it was just a matter of finalizing the details.

Both the paper rose and leaves were quick and easy to make. Wow! But perhaps the women planning the 85th celebration party would rather have a candle as the topper, so I bought candles for 99 cents each and sent them this picture to decide which centerpiece they preferred.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

They like the paper flower better, so I got to work.

For the bottom of the centerpiece, I thought a nice cardboard coaster would work or even a piece of heavy card stock, just to hold the pinecone in, but thanks to the holiday season, I found a pack of five glitter star ornaments for 99 cents. They’re flat, so I decided to use those.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon adventure series

The star ornaments worked out great.

While I was at it, I decided to make a tutorial.  These centerpieces are so quick and easy, I thought other people might want to make them, so I uploaded the tutorial to YouTube:

If you want to make one, here’s what you will need:

  • Wine glass or goblet
  • Pinecone that fits in the glass
  • Piece of 8×8 inch card stock in the color you want your flower.
  • Two 4×4 inch pieces of green card stock for the leaves
  • Rafia
  • Flat ornament or cardboard coaster or heavy piece of card stock for the bottom
  • Tacky glue
  • Scissors
  • Baby’s breath flowers (optional)
  • Candle if you choose to use it instead of making paper rose

There are so many options to customize this centerpiece. Have fun, and let me know how yours turned out.

What are your thoughts? Do you like DIY projects? Do you like the paper rose or the candle version better? Or neither? I’d love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe. You’ll find the subscribe box near the top of the sidebar.

Thanks for stopping in!

Posted in Arts and Crafts, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

California Santa in Flip-Flops Decoration and More

My husband George saw this beach-bound Santa decoration at CVS, and he thought it was so cool.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

He’s thinking of wearing a similar outfit to the family Christmas get-together.

Lynn Kelley, BBH McChiller, Grammy Gets It

I think that would be a hoot! We do live in California, so the chance of snow is slim. Plus, there’s a slight similarity, don’t you think?

Here’s a short video with some other Santas at CVS.

Isn’t that St. Nick in PJs with reindeer slippers cute? Who thinks this stuff up?

You do believe in Santa, right? If not, my friend Maria Cisneros Toth might convince you in this post from 2011, Santa is very real.

Are you enjoying the hustle and bustle of the season? I have to confess I’m feeling rushed and overwhelmed, and I’m not even out and about doing a lot of shopping. I avoid crowds as much as possible.

Some people decorate every room in the house. I’m not one of those people. How about you? How do you handle the holiday season? Is this your favorite time of year?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you gong-ho with holiday decor and activities, or do you prefer quiet holidays? Which version of Santa do you like the best? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Holidays, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Adult Sibling Rivalry in a Toy Store!

Does sibling rivalry ever end?

 

Apparently not! Here’s some evidence featuring my two younger sisters:

I got together with my sisters and our mom for a girls’ day. This was our  holiday get-together, and man oh man, did we have fun. We went out to lunch, then checked out some little shops. The above video was at The Wonder Emporium, a charming toy and book store.

Pam tried on one of the flashing Christmas necklaces. I told her she had to dance for my video. She was game, and, no, we weren’t even drinking.

Cindy put on a candy cane necklace, but it wasn’t lighting up. It turned out the label has to be removed first. She didn’t want to remove it and wear out the batteries since she wasn’t going to buy it.

We’re all grandmas now, and you can bet the grandkids will love seeing their grandmothers decked out in flashy jewelry. Especially a grandma who’s a dancing goofball!

I Love This Quote:

“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” ~ Clara Ortega

Pam, the middle child, is the funniest member of the family, in my opinion.

 

Cindy’s not okay with that. LOL! She had to get in on the act.

They crack me up. Over and over and over.

Mom got a big kick out of their charades, too. So did the clerks. Hope you enjoy our silly antics, too.

If you were there, would you have joined in? I hope so.

What are your family dynamics like? Every family is unique. I’d love to hear about yours. What are your thoughts? Are you ready for the holidays? 

 

 

Posted in Dancing, family, Funny, Holidays, Uncategorized, YouTube Video | 2 Comments