Work

Now I am one of those woman who still believe that , if you have children you should be a stay at home mom! Maybe that is because I never seen ” work” in my vocabulary when I had my first child. I have three now and because of the economy , my husband and I agreed that there is no other choice. If we were going to make it with three kids ,we were not going to be able to make it on his salary alone. But I do have to admit , I am not to sure about my job. Yes I love it because I see new faces and different personalities everyday. Some a little more different from others, which is fine, nothing wrong with some loopies , as long as they are respectful. But I have realized most men are not how they used to be. Many have no respect for woman these days , and say some things that are out of line! That is besides the point though. I love my kids, I am not saying that other mothers out there in the work field do not. Please do not think that for one minute. Some have no choice but to put their children in childcare due to being a single parent. But how do you find the right one?

I am petrified of leaving my children with anyone else but my mother. I do not even feel comfortable leaving my children with my sister! I know that must sound a little odd to some, but there has been a lot of strain on mine and my sisters relationship. My kids are spoiled rotten, I know that is my fault and that is not a good way to raise your kids.( In societies eyes anyway) . But if anybody has read my blogs on addiction , you would know that I had my own problem with addiction. I never EVER abused them in any way. They actually had a great life, until the courts yanked them out of my custody and were put in my mothers custody. But without their mother around for about 6 months – that takes a toll on a child.

My point is, I do not feel comfortable having someone else watch, yell, discipline my own children. I have some …separation issues since the courts took them from me, so now that I have them back (which has been for 3 years) I am afraid to let them out of my site. I guess my question to mom’s out there is, How do you find a GREAT childcare? How do you find one you can trust? Am I the only one to have these feelings and these issues of separation? Am I holding my children back from socialization skills? I guess you can say I am scared . I am scared that the one time I put them in childcare , something horrible is going to happen.

I have read quite a few articles about childcare, and they have not been good. I have heard about abuse and molestation is childcare. The thought of any person putting a finger on any of my kids is such a gut wrenching feeling. It is a scary place out there for kids these days. they rely on their parents to protect them. What if something was to happen ? It would be my fault because I put them in that situation.

Any thoughts and feedback would be appreciated.

Bullies

 Bullying(in my opinion) is the worse kind of abuse. It does so much damage to ones self-esteem and dignity. bullies beat your ego so far down into the ground that you literally feel like you are six feet under.

People that are being bullies do not understand why they have fallen victim to this type of abuse. Remember, this is all in my opinion. people fall victim to this kind of abuse due to their lack or self-esteem,dignity,confidence,self-worth, any way you want to put it a bully can sense it. It is as if the bully can sniff them out. Like a lack of this combination lets off a specific scent.

Bullies will go after anyone who show just a minute amount of fear.They pick on the ones that are smaller and weaker than them. Or vice versa , they will pick on someone who is over-weight. It does not matter who tells them how much you are hurting. the more you hurt the better they” think” they feel about themselves. But do they really feel better about themselves? Not at all. Honestly , let’s get down to the truth here shall we? They pick on others out of jealousy,plain and simple. Most bullies are not quite in the middle or upper class , so when they see someone better dressed or seems to be financially stable but not to confident ,the bullying begins. Now this is not necessarily always the factor though. Sometimes bullying happens at the work place as well. example: You get a position that the other has been fighting for , for quite some time. Meanwhile you have been there a couple of months and the boss gives you the position. the whole time thinking this person was your friend , and now the true colors come out.

Not only do I feel bad for the victim but I feel awful for the bully as well. You have to remember that this person is a victim themselves. they have become their own victim. They are the ones that lose out in the end , not you. They are the ones that are left alone due to their negligence and ignorance, when you have people who love you and try to help you build your self-esteem and confidence back up. You have to remember that there are deeper issues under that hardcore  outer appearance that they are not showing. Inside they most likely feel like they are drowning. Inside, they are screaming for help , but no one can hear them due to their arrogant ways.

Just remember that you are not alone! There are so many people in this world that get bullied. If you let the bully get to you , than they win! Do not give them the satisfaction. Like Taylor Swift says, “Shake it off”. I know that is so much easier said than done, trust me , I truly understand. I have been bullied more than half of my life. But I chose to fight. I chose to fight for my dignity, my self-respect, and my self-worth. Not only for myself did I fight ,but I needed to fight , so my kids could see that I am strong and that they are too. You keep your head held high, and your dignity even higher. They can’t win unless you let them. Are you a fighter, or a quitter?

Bullying is no more than someone who has too much time on their hands and lives a very boring and dull life. They have no one to tell them right from wrong and if they do , that person does not teach them the right way about morals and etiquette. they need guidance and many families today are more dysfunctional than ever before.The statistics of children with parents with addiction problems are higher than they have ever been. In my opinion , ALL schools should have a session , everyday , on just bullying. Just like they have classes on English,Science,History, etc. They should have a class , a period, for bullying.

Friend

When I started WordPress, I had no intentions or hopes of gaining any friendships. First off, I have not had good experiences with “friendships” and second my intuition when it comes to others is far off. I am a firm believer in fate. I could have started my blogging on any other site, but instead I started on WordPress. Why? Well , for starters, the intellectualism on WordPress is amazing. Then came the humor, the interesting articles, beautiful photography from amazing photographers ,both professional and amateur, Last , but not least, the sweet comments that flow in from total strangers.

I know it has been some time now since my last blog. but I do not believe in writing ,well, just to write, just to fill a time gap. If I do not have something important to share, If there is no emotion or feeling behind what I am writing , I rather have that time gap. You can always tell when someone just throws something together just cause. It is pointless, people can tell when you have really put some thought into your writing and when you have not. I refuse to throw a bunch of garbage at my fellow bloggers.

If you remember, If you have actually read my blogs, I wrote a little article called, “Friend or Foe”. I wrote this article due to my lack of self-esteem and the desperate want for friends. I was never good at picking friends, I more let them choose me. Bad idea! After they rang me dry for almost everything I had (at least they let me keep the shirt on my back) when it was my turn for help , they were nowhere to be found. I am not one of those people who, when I give I expect something in return. That is not the way friendships work. But after being abused and walked all over like I was some dirty mat , I finally had enough. I had enough to the point where I just started shutting people out. The last friendship I had been years ago. My life has been quite…..peaceful(excluding my kids) . There has been no drama, no he said she said crap. But I think things have started to change .

I will not mention any names due to the respect I have for this sweet person. This person has change my way of thinking, he has changed my perspective on friendships. I met this person through WordPress, and I am very happy that I did.This person has become my friends , and it feels really good to be able to say those words.This person has shown me respect , guidance, and that there are wonderful people still out there in the world. A “friendship” is not just being around for the good. A friend is someone who sticks around when things start getting tough, they fight through it with you and give you a shoulder to lean on when you need to cry . they do not just listen to what you are saying , they actually here the words and understand what you are saying. They give advice, but let you make the choice on if you want to take that advice or not. They do not judge you no matter what you do wrong . they help without any expectations of getting back. They respect you and yours in and out of public. That is this person. Thank you!

I know I am constantly saying thank you, to you. I do not know how to show gratitude, it is a feeling I have never gotten a chance to express. I just wanted to say , once again,  thank you from the bottom of my heart for understanding my situation and not judging me. Thank you for your kindness, and kind words, you guidance and wisdom as well as your support . You also showed me that it is okay to ask for help once in a while, that it is okay to fail once in a while. That is what makes us human. You have taught me to never be ashamed that I have failed. The only way to improve is to fail.(in my opinion) You truly understand the definition of ” friendship”. You have a kind soul and I can thank God for putting such a kind, sweet person on this earth, and into my life. I know they are out there , but “friendships” are hard to come by these days.  SO , once again,Thank you for being my friend.

Fire Island Lighthouse

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The fire Island Lighthouse opened on The Great South Bay in Southern Suffolk in 1826. The history of the Lighthouse is a great one, especially for the first European immigrants. ” The Fire Island Lighthouse was their first sight of land upon arrival in America.”

It was completed in 1826,a beautiful cream-colored with River blue split tones that stood at 74 feet tall.

But due to its lack of height,it was ripped down and the stones were reused to build a terrace for the present Lighthouse.

In 1857, Congress constructed a new tower,now standing at 168 feet tall. It was lit for the first time in 1858. The colors are now of black and white.

The Fire island Lighthouse was lit with different types of fuel until electricity came into play at the Lighthouse on September 20, 1938. But…

Due to a hurricane on September 21,1938, yes the day after, all electricity was severed,causing a delay in the electrification of the Lighthouse.

In 1984 the Lighthouse was placed on the national Register of Historic Places.

Today- the Lighthouse is lit by 1000-watt bulbs and is visible 21-24 miles.

photo by Constance carlsen

photo by Constance carlsen

I Guess What I am Trying To Say…

IMG_6662  You have been there through thick and thin. I was pretty sure , just like pretty much any relationship, after about 6 months, I truly thought that the flame would start to dwindle. it didn’t, it started to burn stronger. I never believed in ” love at first sight”, I actually thought it was the most pathetic, cliche saying that I have ever heard. that was until, it happened to me. I became drunk off your love. There is no amount of drug that can make me feel as high as you make me feel. I love you, and I do not just ” love ” you , I am ” in Love ” with you.                                        You have given me the best gift anyone could ever give someone. You have given me three beautiful children. People look at us,sometimes with crazy eyes. I know what they are thinking. You would think that a 32 year age difference would have affected us in some way, but not at all. I knew when I seen you 13 years ago that you were the one. Maybe I am an old soul, or maybe you are a young one. Either way , you are the beat to my heart.

” If I had to choose between breathing and loving you, I would use my last breath to tell you I love you.” You have brought so much happiness and joy to my life. You make me laugh everyday, even when I am in a bad mood, you will not give up until I at least give you a smile. In the past 13 years, we have had some ups and downs, arguments,disagreement, but what relationship doesn’t? If there was none of that, then I would feel something was wrong. There is no couple in the world that does not argue or have a disagreement, to me that is not a relationship if there is none. I still get butterflies in the pit of my stomach when I know you are on your way home and I see you pull in the driveway. You walk in and the first thing you do before anything else, is kiss me hello.

I love the fact that you refuse to go to bed with one of us angry. Yes it is a little annoying, you pestering me, tickling me , forcing me to stay awake until I am no longer upset with you, but you are right, we should never go to bed angry, and always tell each other ” I Love You” , God forbid. I love the fact that I know what kind of mood you are in as soon as you get up in the morning. I love how you know how I take my coffee. I love the way you play with the kids. I love the way you kiss me, the way you hug me , the way you hold me tight at night when we go to bed, the way you say ” I love you” , like it is the last chance you will ever have to say it to me. I love that , even when you are uncomfortable the way you are laying , you lie to me because you know that I comfortable. It is all the little things that count and make you so unique and different, as well a lovable.

I guess what I am trying to say, is , not only do I ” Love ” you, but I am soo madly ”  In Love ” with you! Thank you for being my husband , and asking me to be your wife.

No” one ” Alike

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Snowflakes sparkle and shimmer in the spotlight

Each “ONE” different in their own, special,unique,carved out way.

God showers them with sunlight, allowing them to shine so bright

Bringing change and beauty to an ordinary day.

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” YOU ” are that snowflake that sparkles and shimmers in the spotlight

Each ” ONE ” of us different in our own special, unique, carved out way.

God showers you with love, allowing you to shine so bright

You bring change and beauty to an ordinary day.

I had to rewrite this due to it being all over the place the first time I posted it. Like I said the first time I posted this , I am not a poet, so I am not sure how poems are supposed to be written. Whatever pops in to my head I put it to paper than type it up. If I can brighten one persons day, than I am happy. I hope this brightens your day a little.

” A Love Letter”

  I was out shopping with my 5-year-old the other day, and I received something from a stranger. Most of the time when I get handed little pieces of paper , I say thank you and as soon as their backs are turned I throw them away. But there was something telling me to hold on this little piece of paper that this stranger handed to me, and I am glad I did. Now please do not take me a superstitious person, because I am very far from it. So I guess I will call it a” coincidence”, I guess? After I read this letter, from this woman, I asked for a little bit of help so I could buy diapers and milk and some bread. I forgot earlier in the day my friend had bought me a dollar scratch off. Well I won $100.00 off of that one dollar scratch off. When I started reading this letter I did not look at the picture and I did not look at the other side , so I did not know that there was anything on the back including who it was from. I really thought that this woman was a stalker due to the first two paragraphs. I decided to keep it to read it to my mother and I can’t express to you how glad I am that I decided to keep it. So this is what it says. The title is ” A Love Letter” hence, the title of this post.

” Dear Friend,

How are you? I just had to send a note to tell you how much I love you and care about you.

I saw you yesterday as you were talking with your friends. I waited all day,hoping you would want to talk to Me also. As evening drew near, I gave you a sunset to close your day and a cool breeze to rest you– I waited. You never came. Oh yes, it hurts Me– but I still love you because I am your friend.

I saw you fall asleep last night and longed to touch your brow, so I spilled moonlight upon your pillow and face. Again I waited, wanting to rush down so we could talk. I have so many gifts for you! You awakened late and rushed off to work. My tears were in the rain.

Today you looked so sad–so all alone. It makes My heart ache because I understand. My friends let Me down and hurt Me many times too, but I love you.

Oh, if you would only listen to Me. I love you! I try to tell you in the blue sky and in the quiet grass. I whisper it in the leaves on the trees and breathe it in the colors of the flowers. I shout it to you in the mountain streams and give the birds love songs to sing. I clothe you with warm sunshine and perfume the air in nature scents. My love for you is deeper than the ocean and bigger than the biggest want or need in your head. Oh, if you only knew how much I want to walk and talk with you. We could spend an eternity together in heaven.

I know how hard it is on this earth; I really know! And I want to help you. I want you to meet My Father. He wants to help you,too. My Father is that way , you know.

Just call Me–ask Me–talk with Me! Oh, please don’t forget Me. I have so much to share with you!

All right, I won’t bother you any further. You are free to choose Me. It’s your decision. I have chosen you, and of this I will wait–because I love you!

Your Friend, Jesus”

Beauty!

Photography ny Constance Carlsen

Photography ny Constance Carlsen  

For the New Year I have decided that I was going to start eating healthy since my diet has consisted of twizzlers and grits. I decided while I was in Rite Aid and seen this ” Magic” pill that everyone has been ranting about , even on television. “Green Bean Coffee Extract”, I seen it and said, ” hmmmm, maybe i will give it a shot since i am about 10 pounds over weight. So I bought them….along with two kit-kat bars. I know, I know! I figured maybe I can use the caffeine as well as the pounds shedding. Then I thought to myself…… God made me the way that I am, and if he loves me the way that I am than I must be beautiful with the extra ten pounds. I mean it is not like 10 pounds is such a big deal. So what that I weigh 148 at 5’3 right? How I look at it, if my kids,husband,mother,etc love me the way that I am why I can’t I?

So for the New Year, my resolution is to….. STOP BEATING MYSELF UP OVER STUPID THINGS…like my weight! There are so many other important things in life than to worry about weight.

Women? this is for all you women out there that are so concerned with their weight. You are absolutely beautiful exactly the way you are! You do not have to change for anyone. Stop convincing yourself that society has to be thin. Go get that double cheese burger and fries at McDonald’s.( I get a diet Pepsi with that lol) Only because I like the taste.

Listen, no matter how many diet pills they come out with, how many diet plans they come out with, it is all crap. All you have to do is portion you food and you will be fine. Do not eat until your button flies off your jeans. Remember , God loves you for you. God loves every inch of your being ,and God is your friend and would never judge you. god is your best friend, the one that will always stay by your side. You are BEAUTIFUL!

How Depression Rules My Life

Since I was little, I have always struggled with depression. I struggle with Bi-polar disease as well , but that is a whole other story in itself. Today in this post I will just talk about my depression. I have never been good at talking or expressing my feeling. I have seen many therapists as well as doctors over the years, but the conclusion is, I will always struggle with depression. I struggle everyday to get up out of bed, to get motivated,to pretend that I am happy. More or less, I have pretty much mastered the ” pretending”. Depression , I guess you can say, has fully consumed every aspect of my life. Do not get me wrong, I do have some good days , but I can count on one hand how many good days I have out of a month.

I hear my 12 month old cry in the morning letting me know , hey it is time to take me out of my crib mom!  When I walk into her room, and I see her for the first time that day, that great big smile that lights up her face, that is when the depression lifts a little, but after about an hour it is right back. It gets so bad that I do not want to be around anyone, including my family, but that is something that I have to fight. Struggling and trying to manage my depression is a full-time job. My kids notice it right away and start asking , “why are you so sad all the time mommy?” Do you know how horrible that makes me feel?

Because i am so sick and tired of everyone asking me ” what is wrong?” I become agitated . If I knew what was wrong don’t you think I would have started fixing it? Many people who do not struggle with or try to understand depression think that we can just ” snap” out of it. If it was that easy than there would not be a disease called ” depression” now would there? Because depression has such a strong grip on me for sometime now, I started using substances. Yes , it made me feel great for a while but it became quite costly. Plus after the high wore off , all the depression and problems were still there. All substances helped me do, was suppress . And ,besides of suppressing it also got me in a whole lot of trouble. Rehabilitation helped me to understand many things but never taught me how to beat depression. But at least I am clean and sober right?

Unfortunately there are way to far and few doctors out in the world today in the medical field that actually care about their patients and want to help instead of being in the profession just for the money. I can’t seem to find one that will actually ” hear” me and listen and want to help. Medicaid does not have such wonderful doctors under their plans. Some Medicaid plans either do not pay in a timely fashion or do not pay the whole appointment, I understand that you have a family to support and you have a clinic or practice that you need to stay open , but I have a family that I have to take care of as well.And I can’t take care of them to the fullest extent because I can’t find the help that I need to take care of ” ME

I have read many articles on-line as well as self-help books,but without the medication that I need , none of that will help me. It is not fair the my children to have to take on some of my burdens. They are children, and I want the to stay that way until it is their time to become adults.

Is there anyone out there? Is there anyone willing to help? Til I find a doctor that is sympathetic ,understanding, and willing to help, I guess I will be fighting this battle myself, as well as the millions of others out there in the world that are struggling with depression as well.

What is Wrong With Men

I read a blog the other day that I found quite interesting. It was written by a fellow blogger that I follow, very interesting man and wonderful reads as well. The blog was ” What is wrong with women?” . Now , yes ,everyone is entitled to their own opinions , I am far from being perfect. I do not think there is a single person out in the world that is ” perfect” except for the man above. But really? That question could be reversed ya know. That is exactly what I decided to do.

” What is wrong with MEN?”, should really be the question here, don’t you think ladies? See.. men love us at first. At first we are always “beautiful” in the beginning, sexy,sweet,desirable,etc. We also get, ” Why are you putting make-up on? You are gorgeous without it. Oh yes, we are just God’s gift to all men in the beginning…….until….

After about a year or so (especially when there is children involved) it starts… “Why don’t you dress up nice once in a while?”, “Why don’t you do your hair nice once in a while?”, “Why don’t you do your make-up anymore? “You barely cook anymore, or even have sex with me anymore.” The list goes on ladies.

You know how I feel……. If I was not constantly picking up after you, putting the toilet seat down so I do not fall in , in the middle of the night, doing your laundry,making your appointments,cooking your dinner, doing your dishes, getting the kids together, doing their laundry,taking them to every after school activity,changing diapers, cleaning the house, etc……

WAIT WHAT WAS THAT QUESTION AGAIN? “WHAT IS WRONG WITH WOMEN?”

You know what HONEY, while you are sitting on the couch with one hand holding a beer, the other half-way down your pants, and the remote sitting on top of your beer belly, you feet up on the glass table that I just got finished dusting, I think I will go in ,take a shower,do my hair,my make-up,dress up nice, call the girls and go out to find a real man who will reciprocate instead of complain. This way you will not have to worry about what I look like , how I dress, how my hair is. I will actually have a real reason to spruce myself up and keep my man intrigued.

Oh yeah… don’t let the door hit on your ass on the way out …. of my house!

One Lovely Blog Award

    I have never …NEVER…. been nominated for any kind of award! I feel extremely honored, I feel like I just hit mega millions. lol I thank Kirt Tisdale for this one. He has been somewhat of my mentor throughout my blogging, photography , as well as other websites that I have had no clue on what to do on them ! He has such amazing work in photography, and on wordpress as well. I thank you for taking the time out to read each one of my blogs and comment on them as well. You always know when someone has actually read your blog when they comment on it. Please check out Kirt Tisdales, ” Thewallgallery” . You have no idea on the beauty you are missing out on if you have not yet visited his site on google+.

7 Things about me:

  • very outdoorsy person in the summer!
  • I have become a good photographer in the past 2 years
  • I have three beautiful girls that have made me who I am today
  • I live on Long Island
  • I am a clean freak
  • I battle with depression everyday/ I have overcome addiction

I do not like telephone, or even talking on them

My nominations for ” One Lovely Blog Award” are below. Such amazing stories, talent,poems, I can sit and read their blogs all day every day. These people are very motivated as well as motivation. Such lovely work , everyone should be a fan.

  1. https://patcegan.wordpress.com/http:/
  2. https://thewallgalleryblog.wordpress.com
  3. http://aopinionatedman.com/
  4. http://chrismartinwrites.com
  5. https://groupexpo.wordpress.com/
  6. http://sacredtouches.com/
  7. https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com
  8. https://closetoeighty.wordpress.com/
  9. http://docellensjourney.com/
  10. https://mathiaslphotos.wordpress.com/
  11. http://christiangrandfather.com/
  12. http://jackcollier7.com/
  13. https://spiritual2014.wordpress.com/
  14. http://tellmeaboutit.co
  15. https://jeteliot.wordpress.com

The Effects of Spanking

20140522_064657Kids are like sponges, they pick up ,really anything they see or hear. My friend and I were having a casual cup of coffee , just shooting the breeze while our kids played in the back room. We also were babysitting for a friend as well . All of a sudden we heard a loud ” OUCH” than the crying followed. We ran in to see what happened. What we told made me start thinking. Is the way I raise my kids, the right way. Long story short, one of the kids hit the other. When asked why , we got ” We were playing house and she was my daughter , she did not listen so she got hit. WHAT?

So like I said earlier,kids are like sponges. The discipline that we employ on our children , are pretty much the same ones that they are going to employ on their own. The same techniques we use are most likely going to be the same techniques that they are going to use when they get older.

It us understandable , sometimes spanking your child happens. I admit , when my 5-year-old throws a temper tantrum she gets a tap on her butt, but that is really all, a tap. Spanking demonstrates that it is okay to hit, and that is not the message that we want to send to our children. You do not want to teach your children that physical punishment is a resolution for everything or a way to release your anger, and how to make a wrong , a right. You want them to be able to express what is bothering them by discussing issues, and certain situations. If your child really wants to hit something or someone, tell them to hit a pillow or better yet get them a bopper. ( Those toys that you hit and they pop back up) This way they do not hurt themselves or anyone else.

Most people look at hitting in a physical form, but  emotional or verbal abuse is just as hard as a hit. Most people say , they would rather be physically hit than emotionally, because the physical bruise goes away after a while , but the emotional stays .If you have ever been physically hit, than you know the damage it can cause to self-esteem. So imagine what it can do to a child’s self-esteem.

Studies show, that kids that get slapped on the hands are less skilled at exploring, and if you think about it , it makes perfect sense. I understand that your first reaction when you child is , say, reaching for the stove, whether it is on or not, is to slap their hand away, shoot, I have done it! But instead of slapping the hand away , grab her hand lightly and explain to her/him that it is “hot” or ” dangerous”. Let them know that they can get hurt very badly, try to role play a situation.

How many times has your child ran up to after knowing that they were about to get into trouble, and hugged you ,telling you that they love you? That is them basically begging for mercy so they do not get hit. That breaks my heart. Hitting or physical abuse is not the answer. I do not want my children to be a ” afraid ” of me. i want them to respect me and feel comfortable enough to come to me when there is a problem. Don’t you want the same?

It is time to start talking and stop hitting. You accomplish so much more with words than with physical force or abuse. It is time to “explaining” the right and wrongs to our children, not abuse them.

Before I close this out, I have to tell you of a story I read on a social media site. This little 8 month old boy was stabbed in the face 90 times, all because he accidentally bit her while breastfeeding. Really? He is 8 months old and did not deserve this kind of abuse. No child should ever have to endure ANY kind of physical abuse unless it is too much hugs and kisses. These children were not asked to be brought into this world! We decided , we made that choice for them. Show them love, compassion, understanding, and that this world is not a cruel as we all think it is.

Snow Days

20141209_22525820141209_225442 Do you remember being a child, waking up to a “snow day”? NO SCHOOL! How exciting was that? Sometimes I wish I was a kid again , but then again who doesn’t ?

I remember waking up to seeing the snow falling and hitting the beautiful blanket of fresh fallen snow already on the ground. It looked like a winter wonderland. I remembered thinking to myself , how beautiful the world must look covered in a blanket of white ,crisp, fresh,glistening snow. I loved the way the sunlight glistened off the snow ,sparkles from every direction. I could never understand for the life of me why my parents always complained about snow days, until now that is. The memories of my childhood were so magical. the house we lived in was big and beautiful , and the woods surrounding it from every direction made it that much more spectacular. The way the icicles glistened off the bare tree branches was so magical. It was though it was straight out of a fairy tale. It was so beautiful and breathtaking.                                                    My brother ,sister, and I use to stay out all day ,from morning til night playing and sledding. We used to have a huge pond in the back yard that we used to ice skate on. The only time we did go inside was when my mother would call out to us that hot cocoa was on the table along with a monopoly board all set to play.

It is these memories that keep me from refusing to take my kids out to play in the snow. When I see them playing , having snowball fights, building snowmen, laughing and making snow angels, it fills my heart with so much emotion and reminds me of my childhood and how great it was. It sucks that life has to change , but, well, that is life. I want my children to have the best childhood and have good memories that they can share with their kids. When I take them out and they ask me to help with the snowman , or make a snow angel with them, it makes me feel like a kids again. Everyone has that inner child in them , you just have to find him/her and yank him/her out. So what do you say? Next time it is blustery cold out and the snow is falling, and the kids ask you to come out and play, what are you going to do? What are you going to say? I hope it is ” come on , let’s go out and play!”

We only have one life , and we never know when that life is going to be taken from us. Live as much as you can , and do not take everything so serious, and stop being so serious all the time! Have fun, laugh, love, live. Be that child you once were, you will see how happy it will make you ,even if it is just a for a bit. Yes we all come back to reality, but for now, step out of it.

Sex and Our Children

 SEX is an extremely difficult subject to bring up and discuss with our kids , for most parents.  i have three girls as most of you know ( if ou have actually read my blogs) and my  oldest is 13. She is at that age where she thinks she knows everything and has become quite mischeivious.She has already had two boyfriends and I am not happy about that, but I remember when I was thirteen. I was not allowed to have a boyfriend, bt I did anyways.

If your child wants to be with someone, whether that is sexual or not, they will find a way without you knowing about it. But wouldn’t you want to know? Do you not want your relationship with your child to be an open one. One where they feel comfortable enough to talk to you about anything no matter how difficult it is? I know I do. This is when that “dreadful” talk needs to come into play.

Do I want my thirteen year old having sex? NO WAY! But like I said , they will find a way whether you like it or not. nI know as a teenager my mother did not have ” The Talk” with me , so I was ignorant, had no idea what I was doing. I do not want my child to be the same.

It is always a little embarrassing and awkward to talk to your child about sex. But it is essential, don’t you think? Think bout how you would have wanted your mother or father to talk to you and how you would have wanted them to start the conversation, than start it that way with your child. It is also good to find an ad or a magazine that has a related topic  that maybe your child would be interested in reading. This gives you an opening. You do not want to enter into this conversation with a tone that tells your child that you feel uncomfortable. The more comfortable you are about yourself and your sexuality the easier , and your child will know. You need to be open and honest about everything, you want your child to know the truth about sex, not the ” crap” that they see on television. We are not living in a fairytale. We are living in a  society that is filled with  a lot of STD’s , and your child needs to know about them. You need to explain to them , that just because someone looks ” clean” does not mean that they are not carrying something.

Never judge your child if they do happen to take that step. Hopefully they won’t , but if they do, you do not want them to feel uncomfortable to the point where they will not confide in you.You want them to know the good and the bad when it comes to having sex. Let them know and make sure they understand the consequences of having sex, especially unprotected sex. Reassure your child that he/she should never feel pressured in to having sex, and if they do feel pressured or uncomfortable , than that is their body telling them they are not ready and to wait.Let them know that the first time they have sex , it should be special , with someone special, a feeling of want and not need. Also let you child know that they can catch an STD through oral sex even if they do not have intercourse.

Let you child know that you are there for them for them no matter what. They also need to know that if their partner truly cares about them that they will respect their wished and wait , and they will not put pressure on them. Explain to your child, that a relationship for a couple of months is not a serious one and that they are just getting to know each other, that being together for a couple of months does not mean they know each other.

I have explained to my daughter that , my husband and I have been together for ging on eleven years and we are still learning about each other.

Remember, do not lecture your child, listen, and if they ask a question , answer it, do not just blow them off. If you do not know the answer to a question , look it up together. Do not only talk about “sex ” with your child , talk about relationships and contraceptives as well.

Remember , your child will hear everything that you have to say. They trust you and your instincts, they know that you want to protect them. Just be open and honest.

STOP BULLYING ME!

 What do you do when you or someone is being bullied? Bullying is a very touchy subject , more with children than anyone else. Children feel that if they say something than they are tattling. We need to get out children to understand that , telling on a bully is NOT tattling, it is speaking out and taking a stand.

Children, most of the time, do not tell anyone that they are being bullied because of a few reasons. Those reasons usually are:

Embarrassed                                                                                                                                                                              Scared                                                                                                                                                                                        Ashamed                                                                                                                                                                                    Or they do not want to be known as a ” Tattle Tail”

Children do not realize that, by telling someone who the bullying is, and what is going on, is not being a tattle tail. It takes so much courage t be able to tell someone who are being bullied, and even more courage to let someone know who that bully is! If the child allows bullying to continue without taking a stand , it can lead to emotional scarring. Remember , bullying does not only cause emotional scarring , but can cause physical as well. We want to try to prevent that from happening.

It is best to talk to your child about bullying. Not only about them being bullied , but about them bullying someone as well. Children need to learn the difference between playful teasing and actual bullying. At one point or another we were all teased, whether by friends or siblings. But most of the time ,that was all in just playful fun. When it starts becoming hurtful and starts leaving scars, whether physical or emotional, it becomes way more than just playful teasing.

As a child I was forced to leave my school and start my junior year in a new one. I truly thought that I was not going to make it. I was spit on, laughed at, tripped or pushed walking down the hallways. I even got my book bag ripped away from me and thrown in a lake walking home one day. My homework, books, everything that I had in my bag was ruined. I remember coming home and just crying my eyes out. No child should ever have to experience this kind of emotional and physical abuse.

I hear some parents telling their child ” it will go away, just ignore them and they will move on to the next child as long as you do not show them that they are bothering you” Umm not a good lesson to be teaching your children. We want to teach our children that ,bullying is an immensely big deal, and children have actually committed suicide. We can not teach our children to just ignore it to let another child take the abuse. We all need to stand together on this issue.

You need to explain to your child that none of this is their fault. Let them know that you are here for them and you will figure out how to stop the bullying together, A good first step is to, find out who the bullying laws in your community. It is good for a child to have a buddy system as well. Explain to your child that it is good to hide your emotions around a bully. Sometimes walking away and ignoring them , not showing that you are angry, ,upset,or hurt sometimes helps. BUT,  you still need to talk to an adult about what is going on.

The two biggest reasons why someone gets bullied is because of appearance and social status. Teach your child about cyber bullying as well.

Studies show that abuse by peers can cause mental health problems. If you sense that your child is being bullies , but he/she will not talk to you about it, look for signs. Some warning signs are:

  • faking illness
  • change in eating habits
  • nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • lower self-esteem
  • avoidance of social gatherings, or people in general
  • self-destructive behavior
  • lost or destroyed clothing,electronics,etc.
  • unexplained injuries
  • extreme stress

You need to interfere as soon as possible. the sooner the better,that lets them know that bullying or being bullied is unacceptable!

A link to statistics:   http://www.pacer.org/bullying/about/media-kit/stats.asp

Mother

Sister, Me,Mother. from left to right

Sister, Me,Mother. from left to right

Mom,

Mom, I know I never tell you , I love you. I do not know why those three words are so hard for me to say to you. You have always been there for me, through my ups and downs. There has been way more” downs” than “ups”. You have seen me through my darkest hours , but yet you never judged me, you never turned your back on me when I was struggling with my addiction to pain killers. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. You took such wonderful care of my children when I had no choice but to hand over custody to you. You never gave up on me. Thank you.

I understand , now that I am older and somewhat a little wiser, why you did the things you did for me back then. It could have been so much easier for you, and on you to have just have written me off and let me go, let me fall, but you refused to allow that to happen. You allowed me to slip every now and then , but never fall. After daddy passed away you took over his role and you now became my Mother and Father. It is because of that , I now know how to be the wonderful mother that I am. You have taught me to have courage and strength. You taught me compassion and understanding. Yes we still get into a little tif here and there, but what Mother and Daughter does not have their differences.

You have been my rock throughout all these years. You have made so many sacrifices for me. You have helped me and you did your best to guide me in the right direction. I have made a few wrong turns along the way but you made sure I got back on track.You held my hand and did your best to mend my broken heart more than once. You are such a wonderful Mother and I have been blessed to have been given such a wonderful, loving,caring,giving,generous Mother. I would need every piece of paper in this world to write down all the words that describe just how wonderful a Mother you are.

I love when I hear women say ” I am just a mom” , that is not true , you are not just a mom. You have been a Mother, Father, life coach,therapist,nurse,teacher,physical therapist,doctor,my shoulder to cry on, etc. This list goes on. it takes more than an , I love you, a nurturing touch, a kiss on the boo boo, to be mom. It takes dignity, pride, self-worth, and self-discipline and an exceedingly whole lot of patience and  more. I know it is ‘ cliché ‘ But , I love you Mom, and thank you for being who you are and putting my needs and wants before your own. Thank you mom, I love you very very much.

A Friend or Foe?

How do you truly know if someone is your friend or not? There is a big difference between “acting” friendly and truly being a friend. Many believe that “children” do not really know the difference between “bullying” and ” friendship ”  but it is not only children , it is adults as well.

Someone who says kind words,acts nice,seems fun to be around and is funny as well does not mean that this person is a “friend” or a “trustworthy” one at that. Even if they do some nice things for you here and there.                                                       Every relationship is going to have their ups and downs. There are always going to misunderstandings. Also over time people grow, they change,and sometimes friendships end, that is life. Some friendships that meshed well during childhood,or your teens,do not mesh well later on in life. People have different goals, start pursuing other interests and friendships that worked ,well,they stop working.

Sometimes you are going to have to take a risks, and put in some work to get to know someone well enough to decide whether or not you want to keep this person as a friend.

To tell the difference between likeable and someone who you know is going to be an awesome friend , you have to judge by what that person does ALL of the time. Do not just judge by how they are with you, but how they are and act with others. If you have that gut feeling about someone or that something is wrong, go with it! Listen to your gut, it most likely will never lie to you. You need to keep certain questions in your mind at all times.

  1. Does this person do things that are important to both of you?
  2. Do they have your best interest at heart?Do they help you with certain problems?
  3. Do they encourage you to progress in all that you do? Are they encouraging,in a good way?
  4. Do they respect you and show respect no matter who is around?
  5. Do they tell the truth? Are they apologetic for things they have done wrong and try to fix or work at making things right? Do they try to stick to their commitments?
  6. Are they willing to work at problems?

If you have a yes to all of these questions than you have a GOOD friend, and a keeper. Remember this is not just friendships this is also relationships. Does your husband,wife,boyfriend,girlfriend,partner do all these? Just keep these questions is mind and you will have a good friend in the end . If the answer is no to even 2 of these than your friend is not really your friend now is he/she?

Trying To Quit Smoking?

        An amazing video , a must watch!

“This ad was a winner not just in Thailand, where it was released, but in the 30 countries around the world where it went viral.  “Smoking Kid” generated more than 600,000 YouTube views in its first three days, proving there’s a promising future for smoking cessation campaigns in the digital era. Industry insiders called it “the best anti-smoking ad ever” for it’s “heartbreaking” and “touching” message, which spurred more than 200,000 discussions on various online platforms. In Thailand, it stimulated a 40 percent increase in calls to hotlines for smokers looking to quit.”

Not Just One Santa?

There are so many different stories to tell . I find it so interesting, all the different stories from all around the world. It amazes me all the different traditions and beliefs of different countries, I love learning something new everyday!

The 18th century America’s Santa Claus was not the only St. Nick inspired gift giver. Some similar figures were popular all over the world.

Kris Kringle or ” Christkind” meaning “Christ Child” was believed to deliver presents to well-behaved Swiss and German children. Christkind is an angel-like figure often accompanied but St. Nick on his holiday missions.

Jultomten- A Scandinavian Jolly Ol’ Elf ,was thought to deliver gifts in a sleigh drawn by goats.

English- Father Christmas, legend has it that he visits each home on the Eve of Christmas and fills children’s stocking with treats.

French- Pere Noel was responsible for filling shoes of french children with goodies.

Russia- Believes an elderly woman named ” Babouschka” purposely led the three Wise men in the wrong direction to Bethlehem, later feeling remorseful. Every January 5th ” Babouschka” visits Russian children, leaving gifts at their beside in hope that one will be baby Jesus and she will be forgiven.

Italy- A similar story exists about a woman called ” La Befana”, a kind witch that flys down the chimney on her broom stick to deliver toys into stockings of lucky children.

So there you have a few . I hope this was as interesting to you as it was for me! Just some fun facts !

Christmas Trees

Someone asked “Why do we decorate a Christmas tree?”

“There are few traditions that are most associated with Christmas than decorating a tree. Most people do this every year without stopping to wonder why this has become a tradition. After all decorated fir trees have little to do with the birth of Christ. Like most Christmas traditions the story of where the tree came from is complicated and is based on the traditions of several different places.

The legend of the Christmas tree goes back to the seventh century when St. Boniface travelled to northern Germany in order to convert the pagan tribes of the area to Christianity. The belief was that he used the triangular shape of the fir tree as a teaching aid to explain the holy trinity. While this is the legend for where Christmas trees come from there is very little actual evidence to support this belief. The stories about St. Boniface would not appear to until many centuries later.

What we can say for sure about the history of Christmas Trees is that they first appeared in the early part of the sixteenth century in Riga in present day Latvia. The would quickly spread throughout Northern Germany. It is not clear why they started to decorating trees but it does seem that they were used to attract people to Christmas fairs. These were fairs that allowed merchants to sell gifts, food and other items in the days leading up to Christmas. Apparently decorated trees were used as a way to attract visitors to the various merchants locations at the fair. This of course lead to merchants trying to outdo their competitors in terms of decoration.

The Christmas tree remained largely a German tradition for several centuries until it was introduced in Canada during the American revolution. During this time German soldiers fighting on behalf of the British were stationed in Canada to protect it from American invasion and they started decorating trees at Christmas time. Not long after this the Christmas tree would start to appear in England as King George III was from Germany and brought many traditions with him. That being said Christmas trees didn’t really become popular in England until the reign of Queen Victoria.

Once Christmas trees were common in Britain they soon spread around the world thanks to the large empire that the British had. As a result the Christmas tree is now fairly common everywhere. The actual customs about which trees are used, how the are decorated and when they are put up and taken down will vary from country to another but the idea of having a Christmas tree is now fairly wide spread. Even this is starting to become much more standardized as the move towards artificial trees has resulted in most people around the world using the same decorations on their tree.”

Empire Today

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about Empire Today and their incompetence . Well I am writing a new post to let other readers and other Empire Today customers know that they turned their “wrong” into a “right”. After all the fighting,posts,arguments,etc. that I have had or written about to , or with Empire Today, they sent some installers to my house to replace my carpets. I could not be anymore pleased with the outcome. i still feel that if the carpets were put down right the first time around none of this would have transpired. But I am very grateful that they showed me that customer service DOES matter to the company. I look at it as an early Christmas present from Empire Today. The installers that came to replace my carpets we efficient. They were delightfully respectful and worked diligently and they were PROFESSIONAL!

I have no shame in my game. If I am not pleased with something I make sure it is known on just how unhappy I am. I will fight to get what I want. These days , you have to fight. I did not spend over a thousand dollars to have installers do a shoddy job. I truly feel that the first crew that came to install my carpets should not be employed at Empire Today. how dare they do such a shoddy job , all because they were late to a friends party. I guess they thought no one in the house understood or spoke spanish. Oh well, the job is done and it was done very well. I thank you , Empire Today, for hearing me and actually listening to me. The installers you sent to my house this time were on time and well-mannered.

Thank you , Empire Today, for such beautiful carpets. You made me a very happy woman. Happy Holidays!

Thank You ?

Thank you , thank you, thank you. It is like ” I love you”. It just get thrown around way to much. What does it really mean when people say ” thank you” ? Now do not be mistaken, some people actually do mean it when they say that “clichéd ” thank you”, but most say it because they are too busy. I sit here and wonder,especially when it comes to ” Social Media “, how many people actually mean those two words?  How many ” tweets ” do you receive,a day, saying ” thanks for the follow” or, ” thank you for the RT ” ? Probably more than you can count. It basically says. ” thanks ,but I am too busy to actually look at your profile , and too busy to read anything on your page.” I would rather have 5 true, sincere, followers , than 5000 fake ” Thank you’s ” .

Think about it. When it comes to ‘ WordPress ‘ , you get how many ” like’s”? How many “comments” ? Are people just scrolling and hitting : like ” just because they are ” following ” you? Or did they actually read the words that were written, in this case, ” typed ” ? And did they really and truly ” like ” what they read?

Back to the “thank you’s” . It is just like when someone says ” thank you ,but you really shouldn’t have! “. We all pretty much know what that means!  Thank you , but what you said I really di not acknowledge, or  thank you, but the gift is horrid and I will never use it, or wear it! That word get’s thrown around way to much , don’t you think?

People say ” please ” and ” thank you” when really they should just be grateful! To me , when someone says ” thank you ” it feels like a debt that I must repay. Instead , like I said , people should just be “grateful”

I am going to write something, sorry , ” type ” something at the bottom of this post, and lets see who actually read what I have typed.

Comment anything you want, anything at all. Comment the word ” like” instead of just clicking ” like “. If I see the comments than I know that my words ar actually being ” seen and read” . If I get a bunch of  clicks ( likes) than I know the followers I have are just in it for them, for the hope of a ” follow ” back/ DO you really know  your followers and if they are actually reading what you wrote? Are they true followers that will share your work with others and help your audience grow?

Disgusting, and Pathetic

Politics are not my cup of tea, and I try to steer clear of even bringing them up due to the topic being so damn touchy. But this is just despicable,immoral,disgusting,ignorant,and anything else that you might want to add. I am not a person to tell someone to ” shut up” ,not at all, I am the person who is always fighting for a voice and fighting for others . This is one that I truly disagree on and I find morally disgusting!

Nassau County officers allowed a rapper from the Brooklyn to shoot a rap video in the abandoned part of the jail . i do not think they realized what the video was going to be about , nor did they realize that they were going to be in the video as well. The video is a disgrace to not only officers but to the people as well. It is people like this rapper, ” Uncle Murda” that give black people a bad name. I have no qualms with black people at all, my children are mixed, my husband is African American and cuban. So please ,by all mean do not think that.

Here is the link to the news article. If I keep ranting a raving about this , I will say something that will offend and that is not my intentions. I just get extremely disgusted when people do not hold themselves to high standards. i would be embarrassed if I was this rappers family. I know some will read this and say ” who the hell is she? And who cares what she says or thinks!”  You are right! You do not have to care about what I think ,but you must if you read what i wrote and read the article. You know deep down that this was incredibly stupid! I said it!! This is what we are teaching our kids?

http://nydn.us/1yt1GVL  This is the news article on this story. If you have any thoughts ,any comments on this , please right it in the comments box.

A Letter To My Children

Jaida & Autumn

Jaida & Autumn

Halea

Halea

I love you, all three of you girls. When I felt I had no place in this world , one by one you girls came along and filled my world with happiness and worth. You make me see, realize, and understand what true,unconditional love is. You girls make waking up everyone morning and facing this cruel world worth while. You brighten my world and make it incredible and I feel sorry for the people who will not allow themselves to feel happiness, and let it in their life ,especially those who have kids. you bring something new, amazing, and exciting into my life everyday. When I feel I am at my worse, and it is time for me to give up, I look at your faces , the artwork you bring me from school ,and how- it is to me- a masterpiece that not even Van Gogh could paint, I then know everything is going to be okay, that everything will work out .

You girls are my #1 fans , as I am yours. No matter right or wrong, I will be there to cheer you girls on from the sidelines. But make no mistake, I will also do my best to guide you and steer you in the right direction, without taking your dignity and self-worth. I will sit back and let you choose your path, but remember, I am always here. If you feel the path you are heading down is the wrong path, I will be here to lead you down the right one when you ask for my help. I will never interfere in all that you do, unless asked. Remember , I am here to guide you and help you learn right from wrong, but I WILL NOT enable you.

As a mom , I know I should clean up your messes, but I feel that ,that is enabling. I will not clean your messes up, but I will help you to figure out how to make things right. I can only give you the tools in life , it is up to you on how you want to apply those tools. I hope and pray that you do not make the same mistakes in life that I have made.

When I sneak in to your rooms at night to make sure you are all okay, you girls look so peaceful , and innocent. I wish there was a button to keep you girls at the ages you are. But no matter how old you girls become , you will always be my little babies. I know you girls have to grow, and I have to let you, I just wish you understood how hard that is. I know each one of you girls will evolve into something special ,unique, and extraordinary. When you feel I am pushing , or nagging to hard , or too much, just let me know. There are no words to describe how much I love you three. You are my life and someday you will be saying that to your own. I love you girls and I will always have your backs, and I will always hold your hands. I will catch you when ever you fall and If I am not there to catch you in time I will pick you up and dust you off,and let you know it is okay to fall sometimes. I will never ever give up on you girls, you were and are a blessing. I love you with every inch of my being, do not ever forget it. When you cry I will always be here to wipe your tears and tell you , everything is going to be okay. We all have our ups and downs in life , and I know you three are strong enough to fight through anything that comes your way. We have a bond that can not and will not ever be broken.

I am so proud at each and everyone of you ,especially you Jaida! You have been through so much in 13 years, more than many 13 year old’s will go through in a lifetime. You always keep your head held high. I have put you through a lot with my addiction , and I love you always for helping me get through it. You never ever gave up hope, and it is because of that hope, that I have overcome my addiction, and that we are together. You are such a strong young woman ,do not let anyone tell you different. You are beautiful inside and out and do not ever forget it. You girls are the air that I breathe and I would give my life for you girls. Thank you for bringing so much happiness and joy in to my life.

Glowing

PicsArt_1417568636171A little flicker of hope . Happy holidays!

photography done by Constance Carlsen

http://constance-carlsen.artistwebsites.com/                                                                                                                                http://www.artistrising.com/galleries/constancecarlsen                                                                                                              http://Constance-carlsen.imagekind.com/

I Hate You

  You have been in my life for so many years that I can not even remember the exact day you came into my life. I WILL let you know ,that ever since you did come into my life I have been miserable. I have spoken to many people about you , therapists,psychiatrists,family,friends, even mutual friends that we share.  I do not know why you chose me to be your friend , I do not want you anymore! I belittle you , I despise you, you disgust meI hate you-. Yet no matter what I do to you , you are still here. I have taken medication since I can not kill you. You are like a gnat , you just never go away. You are constantly whispering in my ear telling me how pathetic I am , how I am such a loser, I will never become anything.

You have taken away my dignity, my peace-of-mind, and now I feel you are trying to take my sanity as well. I have children! Do you not care? I guess you don’t , since when I ask you , you never give me an answer back. Why is it , when I talk about you to others, you stay quiet, you are mute. I can not explain to my friends or family about you and what you do to me because you sneak away and I become happy. All that pain and anger goes away for just that little bit and I am happy. As soon as I leave my friends,my therapist,psychiatrist, you pop back in my life.

I have had it! It is not fair that you control me the way you do! It is not fair that you come and go whenever you please! I am so tired. I am tired of fighting you, I am tired of you bringing me down and putting me down, especially in front of my kids. I have no strength anymore. I want my kids to be able to see me happy and not sad all the time. You never let me go out and play with my kids. Once in a while you will let me , but most of the time you keep me cooped up in this damn house. You will not even allow me to work! You are ruining my life and I cannot take it anymore. I will not stand for it , you hear me?

Today is the day that I do something about OUR situation, our relationship , if that is what you want to call it. To me , I am nothing but your prisoner and you find it amusing. Well I will be rid of you once and for all. It might take a month or two , but you will be gone! I will not sit here and tell you I love you because I don’t. You will not ruin the rest of my life with my family and friends. this is the end of the road for you and I , you will be DEAD to me! Do you hear me DEPRESSION? I will find a way to rid myself of your clutches.

I made a promise to my family ,especially my children . I told them,that you, yes you depression, you will not take away our happiness together! I have what it takes and I m strong enough now, I finally realize that.It might have taken me 20 some on years , but my family has beat it in me that I AM A STRONG WOMAN, A STRONG PERSON,AND DEPRESSION CAN NOT TAKE OVER MY LIFE ANYMORE!

Building Stairs

20141105_024522 It is tough to make it to the top, but with a little persistence you will get there.

So here is quick simple steps to building your staircase. The hard work and effort is up to you and how much you are willing to put in to climbing to the top.

First step: Make a goal                                                                                                                                                                                 When you have achieved that goal then put one step down.

Second step: Make a second goal                                                                                                                                                                   When you have finished achieving that goal, put the second step down.

Third Step: Make a third goal                                                                                                                                                                       When you have accomplished your third goal, put the third step down.

You can set as many goals as you want in life. If you want your staircase to reach the heavens, as long as you put your mind to something you can do it! After you are done building your staircase , put up some railings. It is okay to stumble back a little ,but as long as you have those railings up you will never fall back on your goals.

You can do anything you put your mind to. Never let anyone tell you any different!

My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!

PicsArt_1417782099640 Kids can be very mischievous ,can’t they? We yell and scream ,tell them no, shout out empty threats etc., and we get the look. Yes that look like , yeah okay mom I am going to do it anyway! Sometimes you just get to a point when you have just had enough and by the time you know it you are yelling and screaming , and your kids just stare at you like you are some kind of freak show. We sit here and tell our friends or relatives,  my kids are driving me insane , they just do not listen no matter how much I yell at them! Well maybe it is time to take it down a notch. I Know that is not always easy. I am a yeller and screamer too, I admit that. But this time I have decided to take a different approach and I have been seeing great results. A few steps that I have noticed that work pretty well and will work for you as well with your kids are very simple. Yes , of course there are going to be times when you are going to yell and that is okay, no one is perfect. But just try these out and you will see results.

Breathing- Breathing is a big part of trying to keep your cool. The best thing to do, is just relax and breath. When you feel yourself starting to get worked up because your child will not listen, turn around , count to ten, and exhale,inhale,exhale….. Let yourself calm down first before you turn around.

Use a soft voice- Using a soft but yet stern voice can get the job done. When you speak in a calm ,yet firm voice they have to put in a little work to hear what you are saying. Most likely they will. When you yell, that is all they hear. They do not hear any of the words , just the yelling.

Children are like sponges, they soak up everything. So when they see some things that we do they tend to mimic those things. It is our goal as parents to teach our children how to effectively express themselves without boiling over.

Empty threats- Empty threats are another problem. I admit that I am one of those parents that constantly throw out empty threats and my kids have learned to call my bluff, just as your kids will, if not already. Starting them off at a young age and sticking to your guns when it comes to discipline is the right thing to do. Lets say for example  : you have told your child to shut the T.V. off and get ready for bed, you come in the room 5 minutes later and the T.V. is still on and your child has not moved. You tell them again the same thing,but this time you tell them that there will be consequences  if the T.V. is still on when you come back to the living room. 5 minutes later they are still watching T.V.. They have learned to call your bluff because after the first and second time of telling them, that if they do not listen there will be consequences and there is none , they know that they can get away with it and you are not going to do anything.After you say it the first time , mean it, and that should be it. Have clear rules and stick to the consequences.

Giving praise for GOOD behaviour- No matter what the circumstances , children love getting attention, whether it is good or bad. Try your best not to give in when your child is throwing a temper tantrum. No matter how upset or angry you get , DO NOT GIVE IN! If you yell at them you are still giving them what they want , and that is attention. Let them calm down first. Walk into another room if you have to ,eventually they will realize that you do not condone that type of behavior and they will stop. If you give them the attention then they will stick with that bad behavior. Praise them for good behavior and they will continue with good behavior.

Yelling is a no no- Remember how you felt when you used to get yelled at by your parents? It hurt , so when you yell at your child , you know how they feel. LaRowe. Author of,” A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists”  explains it best. “ Our goal as parents should be to teach our children and to build them up, not tear them down. When we yell at our children we risk damaging their self-esteem and sense of self-worth.” I could not have said it any better. When your boss yells at you, are you hurt? are you embarrassed? Do you feel belittled? Now you know how your child feels.

Good habits -good habits are essential to a child’s behavior. A well-rested, and well-nourished child will have less behavioral issues. Remember your health as well. the more rest and good eating habits you follow the better you will feel and the longer you keep your cool.

You want to teach your child right from wrong. You want them to understand that you get better results out of life when you behave in a good manner. You do not ever want to hit your kids! You do not want them to be afraid of you, you want them to respect you and your wishes, and you want them to listen. Every parent is going to yell every now and them, that is okay, we are not perfect. Just try to take it down a notch and see the results. Be optimistic and tell yourself that this WILL work.

How To Impress Your Boss Without Looking Like a Brown Noser

  We all know that working diligently,being punctual,reliable,charismatic…etc.( you get the gist) is not the only things that get you in goods with your boss or gets you promoted. Yes I know that sucks ,but that is the reality. Personal impressions are extremely important and can be the reason for you getting in the bosses good graces.

If you work in an office and you want to improve the perception of your input, than here are a few ways you can appear more productive:

  • Dress to Impress- It is said that the better dressed are perceived as being better workers. But stay within the dress code.
  • Arrive earlier- This is a big key to impressing your boss. It is better to arrive earlier than to get stuck in traffic and wind up being late. You never know what the traffic or weather is going to be like that morning.
  • Baggage-Do not bring your personal problems from home. You want to leave your baggage at home! Your job is for ” impressing” not ” depressing” others.
  • Focus- Stay focused on your tasks. Do not surf the web, pay your bills, be a chatty Cathy. Just focus on your job.
  • Positive-Do not complain about your job. Stay positive even if you are not happy with your work or job. You can always talk to someone who can offer some remedies. there just might be something there that will spark your interest.
  • Overtime- Do not leave before your boss does. I know sometimes it can be very inconvenient. But if you got that promotion because of your overtime , you would not being thinking ” Inconvenience” now would you. It shows that you take your job seriously, and it shows your boss that he/she is not the only on that puts in the hours and works as hard. Leaving early shows a lack of passion.

These pretty much are no brainer , but sometimes we do not think of all these things. I mean who wants to work overtime all the time? But if you want that promotion , or you want to get on your bosses good side, all these help. There is of course more ,but these are pretty important.

Empire Today and Their Horrible Customer Service/Installations

20141204_111051

I can not believe the amount of disgust from customers that is pouring in on the consumer affairs website, as well as yelp and empiretoday.pissedconsumer.com.

I am one of those customers that wrote a complaint about Empire Today. If you ever want to see what a bunch of crooks look like in a crowd just call Empire Today. They steal your money, do half fast jobs,have no customer service experience what so ever!. They broke a crystal dish that I had gotten as a wedding present and they did not have the dignity or respect to tell me about it. I found out after they left and I cleaned up their mess! Another issue that I had, was the fact that they were in a rush to get to a party that they were running late to. They did not realize that my husband is spanish speaking.

Empire Today definitely wins the trophy for ” Worse Customer Service” and ” The Most Disrespectful Installers” and they get to bring home the gold on ” Incompetence”

I suppose if you want carpets installed , either DIY, or call another carpet company. My 5-year-old could have installed the carpet better than Empire Today. Empire Today needs to go to the library and check out ” How To Install a Carpet For Dummies”

You can check out all the complaints @: yelp.com                                                                                                                                                                                    consumeraffairs.com                                                                                                                                                                  empiretodaypissedconsumers.com

I understand this is not a post a page or anything else but a complaint! I needed to get my words out there!

Any thoughts or comments?

Tranquility

Tranquility

Tranquility BY Constance Carlsen

   I woke up on the wrong side of the bed last week and I had to think of a way to change my bad mood into a good one. I decided to go down to the ocean and catch the sunrise and let off some steam. My life has become a little chaotic the last few months and I am trying really hard to change. See , I am a person that lets everything build up inside until that awful day comes where I just BLOW UP! So I have decided to try something different, ready for it……MEDITATION!!  Yes I decided to go down to the beach to meditate while surrounded by God’s beauty, and that it is. I stayed for about an hour and I really did not think it was going to work, but it did, and I was amazed. I felt more energetic, happy, physically better,less tired, and relaxed at the same time. I felt ‘REJUVINATED’.The scenery was just breathtaking. I could have not asked for a better morning or a better sunrise. It was a little chilly considering it was November , but it was beautiful. I suggest to anyone who is having a bad day , to go somewhere you have never been ( around your town or close by) and just take in the fresh air and the beauty that surrounds you. When I heard people talk about doing something like this  I thought , ‘yeah okay who are you kidding’ , I apologize to anyone I have offended with my ignorance on the subject of meditation. It truly helps. Just give it a shot. Okay I am done rambling.

How To Overcome Your Shyness

Shyness by Constance Carlsen

Shyness by Constance Carlsen

I decided to do a post on ‘Shyness’ due to my OWN shyness. I actually owe this one to Mike Pratt! After looking at his posts and reading about who he is, he has inspired me to get out of my shell and become more confident.

Shyness is truly just a habit,and a bad one at that. Most people become shy because they are afraid of rejection. What other to avoid rejection than to be quiet and void everyone. The best way to break this habit is by treating it like any other bad habit and that takes time. You  have to take baby steps.While taking those baby steps to confidence , do not talk yourself out of it. Do not think ahead because if you start thinking negative or start thinking that rejection is up the road than you will start regressing instead of progressing.

Just because someone seems very quiet to you, doesn’t always mean that they are shy, it could also mean that they just like to be left alone. We call those people introverts. Even though most introverts are shy some just like to be left alone.

With today’s society though it makes things challenging when do try to talk to someone and their face is buried in their cell phone. This is why my last post was about setting boundaries when it comes to technology.

Most people who are shy feel like they have nothing to talk about and that if they do overcome that shyness for a little bit, they feel that they need to have something extremely exciting to talk about. That is not the case. Even though it is cliché, you can simply start a conversation by asking if that person lives around here. You will be amazed how that can start a conversation that might just last for a while. Give people a chance to talk about themselves. People feel that shy people are self-absorbed and that is not the case.

Try to get into the habit of remembering what people say,this way you can spark up a conversation next time you see them. Regardless of how uncomfortable it is, if you really want to get out of that shell, you need to be a little uncomfortable. Eventually that uncomfortable feeling will be taken over by confidence.

Lust or Love

Love

Love by Constance Carlsen

When it comes to identifying the difference between love and lust , Dr. Fisher explains it best!

Dr.Fisher was ask  the difference between love and lust and this is what he said:

” Lust generally dissipates after sex and returns hours or days later. You can feel it for several people at the same time and not necessarily feel jealous. But when you are in love , you are very possessive, and romantic feeling do not dissipate after you have sex. in face they can intensify.”

I now know why I did not cry after my ex left me. I was asking myself ” did I truly love him at all?’ obviously I was not. But I do know how much I am in love with my husband ,and it grows stronger and stronger each and everyday.

you can find the rest of this article at chemistry. com/ http://www.chemistry.com/datingadvice/LoveExplained                                    VERY INTERESTING

How To Catch A LIAR

     There are trained agents out in the world that can catch a liar. Unfortunately we are not trained to tell when someone is lying or not and some people can sound very convincing. Sometimes some people actually sound so convincing that we believe what they say. 

So how do we figure out if someone is lying to us or telling us the truth?                                                                                The answer is ,by recognizing the signs. It is actually not that hard to figure it out.

  1.  INCONSISTENCIES- You have to pay close attention when looking for inconsistencies. If you child says ‘ Well I only heard the glass break ,but I did not look in that direction I just ran ‘ most likely that is not true. Like most people , If they hear a bang or a crash they always just automatically look in that direction. It is like when someone screams your name really loud , you always jerk your head in that direction. Just look for inconsistencies that do not fit.
  2. THE UNEXPECTED- Watch the person carefully , when they do not expect it,ask them a question that they are not prepared for , this way you trip them up. Most of the time when you trip someone up , they will act like they do not hear you and they will repeat the question to you to buy themselves some time.
  3. THE WAY THEY ACT You want to pay close attention to how they are acting. Are they usually a very calm person but all of a sudden very anxious? Or vice versa?
  4. EMOTIONS- Look for fake emotions. The worse is when they do the ” fake cry”. You can always tell when they are faking a smile , or acting angry, etc. Especially when you know that person very well.
  5. EXPRESSIONS- Watch for real quick expressions. an example: If someone is happy but inside they are truly upset or angry, it will come through for a quick second.

Studies show that 99% of those that were tested in about 10,000 people-will not see them, that is how quick it is.

6.  UNEASY- If you get the sense that someone is uneasy, than most likely they are uneasy. A person that is uneasy will not make eye contact,they act jittery,they won’t stop moving, they look away. Anything that indicates anxiety.

7.  DETAILS- To much details usually means they are lying. Say you ask someone ” where were you” and they say ‘ I was at the store, but I had to get eggs ,and then I remembered that I didn’t have milk , and then on the way home someone was………’ that is TOO MUCH DETAIL.

But you also need to recognize when someone is actually telling you the truth. We can mainly tell when it is someone who we have known for a long time. Some people might seem like they are lying but they are really telling the truth. As parents it is best to be trusting. I know for me it is hard sometimes. My oldest daughter is like ‘ The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf’ ,but we are working on it little by little. I have to learn to be trusting instead of always looking for lies. 

Why We Should Set Boundaries on Our Kids Tech Addiction

Setting Boundaries

Setting Boundaries

I remember being a kids and riding bikes in the summertime,playing two hand touch football,playing in the pool, playing man-hunt at night, etc. Winter time we would be sleigh riding , building snowmen,playing board games inside, I even went around shoveling people driveways..It was a good way for us kids to earn money for around the Holidays .We had some technology such as Nintendo,or those little hand-held games, but our faces were not shoved in them like kids today with their technology today.Nowadays all kids like to do is sit with their faces shoved into a computer,cell phone ,or Ipods.  These kids eat,sleep,and dream,technology. We were very active in our generation. Kids today have no socialization skills what-so-ever. They have no etiquette , as well as no manners. But it is not all their fault. Some parents have so much to do that sometimes technology is truly a life saver and it keep them out of our hair for a bit while we get things done, I admit I am one of those moms. But it has come to a point that we need to start setting some boundaries for out children and their technology addictions. We need to teach our kids that life is not all about technology.Yes , it is all over the place ,businesses,corporations use technology, etc., but when they go on a job interview  what are they going to do, whip out their phone and text to the manager while sitting right in front of each other? No way!  People still do need to communicate through talking and expressions, NOT JUST THROUGH TECHNOLOGY!

REASONS WHY PARENTS SHOULD SET BOUNDARIES WHEN IT COMES TO TECHNOLOGY:

  •     exercises less ,more prone to obesity
  •     have trouble sleeping and get less sleep
  •     read less
  •     less quality time with/the family
  •     have a harder time making good decisions because of the information overload

Kids should not have any kind of electronics in their bedroom , especially at night. I do allow my daughter to have her cell phone at night, I allowed it once and her friends were texting her at like 2:00 am. The was the first and last time that I allowed it. The only T.V. that should be in the house is the one in your living room. Research shows that people who use these items close to bedtime have a harder time falling asleep.

Kids are going to push back telling you that you are the only parent setting boundaries and it is not right. That is not true. 88% of parents agree about setting boundaries when it comes to technology.

Talk to your child on how you want them to succeed in life and that they way to do that is by getting enough sleep,exercise,eating right,etc. This way you will be able to concentrate better in school and do your school work right. Let them also know that you do want them to stay connected to their friends as well but their will be boundaries set and that’s it!. They will bitch and moan a little , but do not give in and they will adjust eventually.

Drugs and The Road They Took Me Down

I will not tell my whole life story because it would take way to long. I will tell the time that led up to my drug use and on.

My life was wonderful, at least from what I can remember about it since when you start using drugs it messes with your brain and memory. I was always a daddy’s girl, until his alcoholism broke up the family. I was not angry with him at all because I knew the heartache and pain that he was going through. My father was not a bad drunk by all means, he was a blast to be around. The family was broken though because of his choices, but I still seen him everyday. That was until he moved to Atlanta Georgia. My life fell apart because I was no longer able to hug him or see him , but I spoke to him everyday. It was my 13th birthday and he came up to Long Island to visit me for the week. We spent every day together . After a week together my father went back to Atlanta Georgia and that was the last time I heard from him. After a month of not hearing from him I tried calling to see what happened but his phone was disconnected and I did not know what to do. I started calling my older sister that lived in Atlanta Georgia as well , I know she lived close by to him so I kept calling her . I called every day for three years . I knew she was not giving him the messages that I was leaving on her voicemail ,so one day I called and left a real nasty message on her phone. The next day my father called me and told me that he thought we were all mad at him and did not want to speak to him anymore and that my sister did not give him any of my messages. We made plans for him to come up for my  16th birthday . I was so excited to see him but I never got the chance to . The day of my birthday I walked through the front door to see my mother sitting there crying. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that my father passed away. He died from leukemia . I was devastated, I cried for a month straight.  So with all that said after about 4 years I still could not accept that he was gone  so I started using drugs to numb the pain. I started with percocet and went to Oxycontin and cocaine. I became out of control. My oldest was about a year old, I stopped using for a couple of years but started right back up again. I became pregnant and thought I could stop but I couldn’t . I gave birth to a child addicted to opiates. I could have killed my baby , she flatlined but y the grace of God she as brought back to me still to get ripped out of my arms. The courts mandated me to a program and gave custody to my mother. I could not see ,talk , or even hold my children. The pain was unbearable that I started using more and more. My heart was broken into a billion pieces and I did not know how to pick up the pieces. I started an outpatient program but met someone there and started hanging out with them. Long story short ,we got arrested together but I got ROR’d and she was let out on $10,000 bail. After I got out of jail I could not take it anymore. I was a disgrace to my family and my children. I could not do it anymore. I called every inpatient program from Long Island to Pennsylvania and found one that would take me in immediately . I went in to Arms Acres weighing in at 90 pounds. If it was not for Arms Acres I would not be where I am today. I am healthy ,(somewhat), happy, I have my three beautiful girls back. Yes I had another child and she is as healthy as an ox.

Drugs are not worth the pain and suffering. I put my family ,especially my kids through hell. I would have to drive passed the house where my kids were and wave to them from the outside. There is nothing more painful than seeing your children crying hysterical through a window and you can’t even comfort them. It just is not worth it. I try my best to help others today fight this disease. I got my family back and all their support that comes with it. I need people to realize how dangerous drugs are and what they can do to ones life.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments we’d all be much happier.” — John Wooden

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO WORDPRESS AND ALL MY FELLOW BLOGGERS. I HOPE YOUR HOLIDAYS A WARM AND DELIGHTFUL. DON’T EAT TO MUCH TURKEY!!

Signs of over processing

20140705_074207 (3) Todays cameras ( DSLR ) give us wonderful color in our images that we do not really need to do too much to enhance them. But yet we still feel the need to fiddle around with the image,whether that is enhancing the colors,sharpness,vignette,etc, Sometimes though it is not a good thing and we wind up taking a beautiful natural looking image and turning it into a mess!

Lightroom has become real popular and extremely accessible to photographers. But if we become too ” enhancement happy” with our editing  we can easily over process. Here are few popular ones:

Over highlighting are we?

This can happen if we boost the contrast too far. Using software such as Lightroom has a histogram. If you see too much exposure on the right end of the graph ( under develop tab ) than you have over done it with highlights.

PicsArt_1412803424042 Saturation issues?

This is a big problem .especially with beginners. You never want to over do it with the colors, it just looks unnatural and like a big ” MESS”.                                                                                                                                                                       Lightroom is good to use due to all the selections you have. Instead of over saturating the whole image , you can select which color you want to enhance.

A beautiful silhouette of a bird on a branch

                                                                                           

 Sharpen up!                                                                                                                                                                               Remember you can not sharpen and unsharp image. I am guilty of that I admit it. When I first started I thought if my image was blurry than sharpening it up a little should work. eh wrong! It is very noticeable . You will see little black and white checker boxes. You do not want to image looking like a checker board. Sharpening is to sharpen an already great image but do not over do it. Not only does it give you checkers but it also makes your image look jagged.

art by Constance Carlsen

art by Constance Carlsen

 To Vignette or not to Vignette

It is ok to use it when you want to draw your audiences eye to your main focus, but to do it just because you like it and think it will look great in your image is a big fat NO NO! You do not want you image looking like a one dollar frame. Remember taht is just to let your audience know the main focal point of your image.

When you think you have it bad

IMG_5266  The one thing I can’t stand hearing is ” Why is my life so bad?” Are you serious? You have a car,house,food,clothes,health,family,healthy children,job,etc and you think you have a bad life? Say that to someone who does not have any of that.  I do not have a car , house,bank account,job,or good health but I am happy. Christmas is coming I can not get my kids anything. I went to the church and they are helping with three presents each for each child I have , so nine presents is what I shall be receiving for my children. Am I upset? Of course , they are my children , I want to be able to get them everything they want but life does not work that way. After Sandy I lost my apartment, I am living with friends and family, here and there, but I have my kids! All three of my girls almost did not make it into this world ,but by the grace of God he knew that those three lives were worth saving. I am not saying that no one else’s life is not worth saving , please do not think that, everyone is worth saving. I do not even know the last time I was able to buy new clothes for anyone of my kids or even myself. I can not get daycare because I do not have a job, I can’t get a job because I do not have daycare. I bring my children with me to rake someones yard for a little bit of money just so I can feed my kids. I had to beg a worker at King Kullen to please let me have a package of diapers because I could not afford them. My husbands medical bills are up the wall as well as mine and my two little ones. With all that said I am still very happy. Why? I wake up every morning for starters, I am able to kiss my kids good morning. I am here to watch my kids grow up and become something big. I have my family that supports me the best way they can, and trust me my family is the smallest family around. I was never this way until something went wrong a couple of years back ,but that is a whole other story. I am SO grateful that not only myself , but my kids can speak and hear, they have all ten fingers and all ten toes. They are happy even when things are really tough or daddy is not around. Seeing my kids smile and not have a worry in the world makes my day everyday. That is my job! My job is to worry and to make sure they are happy. Life is not just about money  and material things. Life is about love and helping others and sharing knowledge and just being there to support others who need it. I would not trade my life for a new one if someone offered. I fell into a slump after Super Storm Sandy , I can pick myself up and get back on track.Do you really think you have it that bad now? Do me a favor , when you think life is so bad, get a piece of paper and a pen,write down the pros and cons in your life. I bet you will come out with more pros.IMG_53952014-05-08 22.25.22My three girls,Top:Autumn,bottom:Halea,Jaida

APPS

PicsArt_1416163195049 I thought with the Holidays coming and all that it would be nice to share a few apps with my fellow WordPress buddies that can help you save money this year. You might have heard of them ,you may not have. For those that have never heard of them here they are. Just a few anyway:

COUPONSHERPA- is a coupon app that you can get on your phone. It requires no cutting,you can scan the coupon directly from your phone.

MINT.COM- is another great site that helps you track your minute to minute spending.

GASBUDDY- is an app that will help you find the cheapest gas prices around your area for all that holiday driving you will be doing this year.

POACHIT.COM- is another great site that allows to find the best deals on items you want . show it to the cashier and ask them nicely, can we match this price?

ECARDS- the best way to save on Christmas cards,stamps,and envelopes plus it is more fun. There is nothing like creating your own card and giving it your own personal touch. It lets people know who you really are .

Have fun this holiday season and SAVE,SAVE,SAVE, away. After the holidays , if you do not want the apps anymore or they are just taking up too much room just uninstall them until next year. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

You can borrow my shell if you’d like

There are so many different kinds of shells. There are different shapes,sizes,textures,and colors, but out of all the shells in the world , my favorite is the hermit crab’s shell. Now of course he is no prince charming but that does not matter.I wish my shell looked as beautiful.

BUT pretty soon I will not be needing my shell no more. I have learned so much about myself over the past few years and I have found the things that interest me. I guess you can say I have ” rediscovered” myself. I am starting to grow more more each day that my shell is becoming to small. So if you are starting to grow out of yours ,but sill are uncomfortable without your shell , you can barrow mine until you no longer need it as well.

Waterfalls/Windy Days

Beautiful images of waterfalls.

How to shoot loving water:

You always want to keep an eye on the weather. Weather is always critical in a shoot ,but for this kind of shoot direct sunlight is more of a pain than anything. Sunlight,means ,dark shadows and creates blown highlights in the white water. the shadows and highlights make it impossible to get a balanced exposure.                                                                                       Rain is a problem as well. Too much water flowing and you will capture featureless white water. You want to look for gaps between the trails of the fallen water,it helps to ass texture as well as contrast.

To set up , you will need your tripod and remote control. Set mirror lock as well since you need to use long exposure for waterfall images. A filter enabler would be useful also to enable you to set slow shutter. Set your camera to manual mode and put in your lens’ smallest aperture.

camera filters

If you set your camera’s Iso to the smallest aperture,the only way to reduce the shutter speed even more is to attach a filter.

WINDY DAYS

A Windy day

Showing “energy” in your photograph incorporates some interest into your work and also catches the eyes of your audience. But taking photographs on windy days can be quite challenging and puts your camera at risks or makes things difficult where blur is concerned. So what to do? If you are trying to catch trees blowing in the wind you want to use a very fast shutter speed, this way you will be able to freeze the scene.                                                                                                    Fast shutter speed,small aperture. This would not have worked on a cloudy or dark day. that would mean a different shutter speed that would not have worked. You have to remember though, that a windy day can mean you will have a tough time holding your grounds so you would want to secure your tripod to the ground and use a remote control.

HAPPY PHOTO SHOOTING!!!!

Stolen Ebola!

Ebola kills again

What happened and what is being done to protect us from this deadly virus?

If you watch the news,listen to the radio,or even watch Bill O’Reilly than you heard about the stolen blood samples that contain the Ebola virus.

Armed robbers in Guinea stole a batch of blood samples that contained the Ebola virus.It was being transported to a test center n southern Gueckedou. The blood samples were being transported on a minibus, yes I said a minibus,and were in a cooler. The blood was stored in a sealed container and was being escorted by four Red Cross officials. Supposedly the robbers had no idea what they stole and thought it was money. Guinea authorities appealed to the robbers on National radio and pleaded for the safe return of the samples.

   Does anyone else have or even see a problem with this? Not only did the Red Cross not have their own vehicle but they were transporting the samples in a taxi . It took the stupidity of these robbers stealing the blood samples to show us that we needed better security around a deadly disease. Seriously? It should have never been on the ground to begin with , in my opinion, the samples should have been transported via airplane with heightened security. Do you know what could have happened if that fell into the wrong hands, hmm,say Al-Qaeda! They could have used this against us! They could have sold this on the black market and wiped us out. Talk about a plague. You may think I am a little over board I don’t know. I mean am I the only one concerned about the security around this? It is not like they were just transporting regular blood samples. So what is going to be done to heighten the security and the safety of the people? Any thoughts…

The 411 on Portraits and Poses

TO MUCH DEPTH OF FIELD?                                                                                             You would think that choosing a small aperture to create extensive depth of field is always such a great idea. If there is too much going on in the background than it takes the focus off your subject. It’s like ” Where’s Waldo”? Try using F/5.6 , it usually produces better results.  If you are still unhappy with the blur in the background ask your subject to step forward a little.

BACKGROUNDS                                                                                                                                                                         A big problem that I happen to notice with some portraits is what is in the background. Unless you want your audience thinking that your subject has a tree growing out your subject’s head I suggest you pay more attention to your surroundings and backgrounds. You can blur out the background but you are better off just taking a few steps to the right or left to have a different background.

SHOOTING FROM THE WRONG HEIGHT                                                                                                                                 Shooting from the wrong height is another problem that some photographer have,mostly beginners. If the subject is a child you want to get down on the ground or low enough that you are at eye level with your subject. If you want to emphasize how small your subject is than you would shoot from a higher level. You never want to shoot looking up to your subject or else you are going to get an up the nose shot.

RED EYE A PROBLEM?                                                                                                                                                             Red eye is a biggie as well. Due to the flash being bounced back off of your subjects retina and into the camera will cause the red-eye effect. The best cure is to move the flash away from the lens. Most DSLR cameras have a red-eye corrector in menu.

DETAILS                                                                                                                                                                                     Details are another issue. Yes, of course you want your subject’s eye to be sharp but you do not want to much emphasis on their flaws. Shooting in Raw can help and then you can process them.


                                                                                 POSING MISTAKES                                                                            

Do you keep getting unflattering images ? So many rules have gotten thrown out over the years but it does not hurt to still keep some of them in mind when it comes to posing for the cameras.

Is you subject a little uneasy in front of the cameras? Is he/she camera-shy?                                                                              Most likely if your subject is uncomfortable than it will show in the shoot. Try talking to them before their shoot. You will be amazed on just how much a little conversation can help them become more comfortable in front of the camera. Also ,getting to know your them relaxes them as well. When something starts to work , let them know.

Another mistake that happen a lot especially with inexperienced models is ‘limp hands’ Most inexperienced models do not know what to do with their hands. If they are wearing pants that have pockets tell them to put their hands in the pockets or the thumbs and see what a difference it makes.

Shoulders are another problem in a shoot as well. Shoulders are the widest part of out body so having your subject turn slightly can have a huge impact on their portrait.

Straps marks showing? ugh! no one like unsightly strap marks it is very unflattering. If your subject is going to be posing in a strapless dress or a halter top make sure to tell them to wear loose-fitting clothes before hand. This way you do not see the strap marks!

Looking in the wrong direction is my biggest pet peeve. Unless I ask you to stare into the camera lens , I want  you looking somewhere else. You want your subject to look into space of find something that catches their interest, this way it looks and feels more natural. My daughter has this thought that she should always look into the camera and when I tell her to look away she only moves her eyes not her whole head, and I am not just talking a slight movement of the eyes ,that would be fine. So it looks really weird!

If you are shooting a group of people do not have them stand all at the same height. Have one sit in a chair , the other on the floor and one behind the chair or slightly behind the chair with their hand on the back of it. It creates an interesting dynamic.

Children and posing ? It is very difficult to get your child to actually pose or even sit still for a few shots. You are very lucky if they do sit still. GIve them something that will distract them while taking a few shots.

Portraits can be a lot of fun but if you make these mistakes it might just look a mess. So hopefully I have helped you out just enough for your family to ask you this season…. ” WOW. What photographer did you use to take these Family Christmas photos?” Now you can say ‘ ME ‘ . Have fun and click away my friends and please feel free to show off your work of portraits!

Water Droplets and Beautiful Flowers

20141110_120738 I love the way these flowers stand out. The color is soft but not too soft. The water droplets on the glass give it an elegant and sexy look to it. this is one of my favorite pieces.  This is just one of my pieces out hundreds from my gallery on Fineartamerica.com. you can also catch me on artistrising.com as well

http://Constance-Carlsen.artistwebsites.com/                                                                                                                              http://www.artistrising.com/galleries/constancecarlsen

Oh The Wonderful Holidays

A Child's Christmas Forest

A Child’s Christmas Forest

The holidays are coming and with the holidays comes chaos,troubles of cooking,getting the house together,setting the table, figuring out where every one is going to sit. But along with all that chaos and insanity comes FAMILY. There is nothing like sitting around the table listening to holiday music and sharing stories and getting a few good laughs,cuddling up with your loved one on the couch under a nice warm blanket either talking by the lights of Christmas tree or watching a great old fashion Christmas movie. There is no other movie like “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The anticipation and excitement in the children’s eyes and faces when they open up Christmas presents.                                                                                          

  Some people think of the holidays as nothing but stress and frustrations such as having to find the right gifts for someone , the cooking, the wrapping,the setting up etc. It does not have to be that way. Do not be a Scrooge around the Holidays. They are supposed to fun and exciting and filled with laughter and the warm feeling of helping others. It is a time to be grateful for all that we have and all that we have been given. I love shopping and trying to find that perfect gift.My only problem is trying to hold on to that gift and not give it to them as soon as I walk in the door. That is my favorite part about the holidays , is giving.  Your senses come alive around the holidays. With the sweet smells of apple pies and strudel, the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and spices fill the house giving ME that warm cozy feeling. Around my house it is a Winter wonderland and that is just the inside.  

    Every year my husband and I get the girls dressed ,jump in the car, and go sight-seeing. I love seeing all the houses on the block dressed up in dazzling lights. Some have dancing lights displayed with fancy decorations and other have an elegant look to them. I love them both. I l love every single minute of every single day when the holidays starts approaching. the smell and feel of a real Christmas tree, the baking,the caroling, yes we still have carolers that come around , making Christmas cards knowing that you are going to be putting a smile on someones face when they open up their mailbox. but my favorite amongst everything that I just wrote, is getting my beautiful girls dressed in their cozy pj’s ,going outside with a bag of oatmeal and spreading it all over the front yard for Santa’s reindeers. We come back inside , I make hot cocoa for me my husband and three girls, ( you must have marshmallows and whipped cream on top) get all cozy on the couch, we shut off all the lights and television and I read to them ” The Night Before Christmas” by the Christmas tree lights then time for bed.

     Holidays are all about happiness , family ,good cheer, and helping others. And of course we can not forget that it is also about Christ. I get a cake from the bakery every year that says ” happy birthday Jesus”. I hope the holidays are as much fun for you as they are for me and my family. May your holidays be bright and wonderful.                                                                                                                           

The most precious humans on earth 

Photography by Constance Carlsen

Children are so precious and vulnerable . It is up to us to teach them right from wrong . It is our job to teach them that when they get older it is okay to have a civilized conversation with a difference of opinion . That is the glory of freedom of speech. It is our job to teach them right from wrong and to never give up ! Anything they set their minds to they can do and there is no such word as can’t ! 

Hopefully the next generation that grows up will have respect for authority figures , veterans, adults, and each other, because this generation of millennials have no respect , not even for themselves !

Bees

I’ve got my eye on you ! Photography done by constance carlsen

“All sorts of fruit and vegetables are pollinated by honey bees, such as broccoli and squash, apples and almonds. Pollination is not just important for the food we eat directly, it’s vital for the foraging crops, such as field beans and clover, used to feed the livestock we depend on for meat”

Holidays

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Snowman

conniesminicandles.patternbyetsy.com   Get your snowman candle just in time for the holidays!

I always love holiday candles that bring the smell of Christmas right into my home. It reminds me of my childhood. Since I am not the best cook I do not bake any kind of pies. But when I light up one of my candles it brings that warmth of the holidays in. My mother was a huge baker when I was little and I always remembered when I came home from school and walked in our house we would get hit with an unbelievable smell of hot apple pie or maple pumpkin pie, Since I can not bake to save my life I thought , what better way to bring those sweet smells back into the home than with a candle!

It truly brings me back to the holidays where the whole family would get together and forget in that moment all the bickering and arguing. We would leave whatever grudges we had with each other at the door and act as though everything was peachy. After the night had finished we all did forget about all those petty arguments. The holidays are about warmth,smells,love,and family .