Favorite November Books Giveaway

We want to share some of our favorite stories with you. So this month we are giving away three of our new favorite children’s books. Like this post on our Facebook page to be entered to win.

Here are the three books and a bit about why we love them so much:

An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton

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This story reminds kids of a simple practice that sometimes in our busy lives we lose sight of – Simply being thankful – for the big things and the silly things. It is full of great lines like “Thanks for patience and hopes and rewards and revisions. Wizards and Lizards and delightful decisions.” The book does a masterful job of pairing the silly with the serious. And the illustrations are hilarious. Both kids and parents will love this story. It is the perfect Thanksgiving read for any family. IMG_9063 IMG_9066
Want to win this book along with the other books featured this month?  Here’s how you enter- Link

Beekle by Dan Santat
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“The magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born.  He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and -at long last-is given his special name: Beekle”

Whether your child has an imaginary friend or not, they will enjoy this story with beautiful illustrations and a heartwarming happy ending. I also liked the approach of the imaginary friend taking matters into his own hands and looking for a friend instead of waiting for one to find him.  A great lesson for any child.

(The book is also quite influential, as we’ve been reading this story for about a month and just today our six year old decided she wanted to have an imaginary friend. “Shine” the star has been teaching her cartwheels all morning.)

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Want to win this book along with the other books featured this month?  Here’s how you enter- Link

 

What Do You Do with an Idea?
Written by Kobi Yamada and Illustrated by Mac Besom

“This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had and idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult.  It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and see what happens next.”

I loved this book because I like to encourage my kids that dreaming is productive and bringing an idea to life is awesome.  It’s usually not easy or without obstacles.  Whether your child is 2 months or 9 years old, this story can build the foundation for thinking and dreaming big!

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How to Remember Baby’s 1st Halloween

Whether your baby is still in utero or is taking first toddling steps, their first experience of any holiday is important. These are the moments that, at the time, you might think you will remember clearly forever. But too soon it will be a distant memory. Taking a few minutes to jot down favorite moments and taking a few special photographs make all the difference. It is these cherished pieces that are worth adding to your baby book; they are stories you will treasure for years to come.

Here are some creative ideas we have compiled about how to remember baby’s 1st Halloween.

Pumpkin ideas:
“Baby’s 1st” stenciled cutout –

 

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Putting that cute little pumpkin of yours inside a pumpkin –

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Or dressing them up as a pumpkin – 
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Costume photos:
This clever momma dresses up her baby while she is napping and sets up whimsical baby dream scenarios, like this spooky witch –

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his littlest witch is obviously a good witch – ( sometimes all you need is a black sheet, a placemat and a little creative vision)

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hen photographing your baby, make sure to not miss getting a snapshot of mom too

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Baby foot print keepsakes:
A spooky ghosty –
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Halloween Keepsakes:
A cozy onesie –
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The perfect shirt for a pregnant momma on Halloween –
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We got this book when our oldest had her first Halloween and it has been well loved ever since. Make sure to write a quick inscription in the front cover.
My First Halloween by Tomie dePaola

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Funny Pet Costume Ideas

Last week we featured all sorts of fun kid’s costume ideas.  And, as much as your beloved animal buddies might hate you for putting them on display, this week we have all sorts of fabulous and funny pet costume ideas. Enjoy!

Add simple white dots to your sleek brown dog’s back = instant sweet fawn
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Or for another woodland creature, how about transforming a black dog into a skunk?

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If you have the kind of pet that would rebel against the idea of a “sweater,” how about keeping it simple by attaching a Ty beanie baby tag to their collar?

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Or give a nod to this dapper fellow with a simple short tie –

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Doug the Pug has taken the internet by storm with his celebrity hookups and clever costumes. Here are a few favorites to take inspiration from:
Harry Potter –
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A Fluttery butterfly (pup-erfly?)
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Not a dog person?

How about this brilliant ‘cat-in-the-hat’ idea found on etsy?

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Or a classic lion costume is always a good choice:

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Na na na na na na na na…bat cat!
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That’s all for now folks! Share your favorite ideas with us on our facebook page.

October’s Member Profile

Meet My Own Little Story User Erin Campbell
author of No Chance, Toastypants
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This is a story for anyone who has ever wondered “Am I really good at anything?”
The charming tale of Tom Toastypants and his friend Tobias Beeswax
emphasizes the importance of trying new things, and that trying is much
more important than comparing one’s self to others.

Written by Erin Campell with Illustrations by her husband, Aaron Campbell

 

My Own Little Story’s Kristin Coons got the lucky chance to get
to know Erin Campbell and hear about the book that she wrote. 

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Why did you decide to write a children’s book?

I have always loved stories; I owe much thanks to my parents for fostering this love in me.  The value they placed on books was very evident.  They often had a book in their hand; there were stacks of them on bedside tables and full bookshelves throughout the house.  A new book was part of every celebration – from the first day of school to Christmas and birthdays.  My parents took the time to read to me from a very early age.  It was a tradition to end the day with a chapter from a “big” book.  If I was very still and quiet, my Dad would read another chapter.  I don’t think parents can overestimate the influence they have on their children when it comes to fostering a love for reading.  Even if you haven’t developed a love for reading yourself, spend time reading books with your children!  The development and conversations a good story can inspire are priceless.

All this is to say that for me, the imagining of and writing of stories was just something that was part of who I am.  Would stories have pulsed in my heart if I had not been exposed to so many growing up?  Perhaps.  While writing stories is something I cannot stop doing, publishing them is a different matter entirely!  I had all the mind games so many of us have…these stories aren’t any good, no one will like them, it will be a waste of time, energy and money…I will put myself out there and it will flop, etc.  It wasn’t until we were facing the rather large (for us) financial costs associated with adoption that I was spurred out of my “these aren’t any good” sulky fear party and just went for it.  It was the growing love in my heart for child that would soon fill my arms that gave me courage.  And that is a good rule of thumb for sharing our gifts.  Very rarely will someone go, “This is awesome.  I am awesome.  Everyone, line up and get some of this!”  More often it is a love for that story, that art, that song, that creation that will kick us out of our complacency and excuses to step out and share.  We love it and we know that keeping it to ourselves is a love dead end.  Don’t wait until you think no one will criticize.  If there is an idea that has been rummaging around in your heart for weeks, months or years, do it because that gift that you have is meant to be shared and to bless someone else!

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Tell me what the journey was that led you to adopting your precious son, Jack.

Big question!  I had been diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis prior to my marriage to my wonderful husband Aaron, so we had some warning that conception could be a challenge.  It was.  After a few years, many procedures and a couple of surgeries (including some ovarian and uterine cancer scares along the way) we had a peace that we had wrestled with this biological process long enough.  My body was tired and both of our hearts were beating in a different direction, that of adoption.  We had always held the idea that we would love to adopt someday; so the transition wasn’t a rocky one.  We had cried it out, felt and shared our grief, been comforted and were in a peaceful place.  Not to say that the process of adoption is not without significant ups, downs, twists and turns!  I am so glad we had each other.  At night, when I hold my son Jack and talk about the day, we snuggle and talk about how we are forever and always family.  We belong together.   He is the child of our hearts.  I have used My Own Little Story to record the story of Jack’s amazing, brave, and loving birth parents, the moment of his birth, what our dog Sherpa thought about it all, the day we stood before the Judge…just everything.  Once we publish our *gasp* two volumes, they will be the Life Book that Jack will have to refer back to when he is wondering the things we all wonder…was he wanted?  Does he have a place all his own in this world?  Is he worthy of love?  Is he loved?  This book shouts “Yes!  Yes you are.  Read it as many times as you want and it will be the same every time.  You are lovable and you are loved.”
Several users of MyOwnLittleStory have expressed lack of time or talent for writing their children’s story.   Since you are a writer, can you give others advice who second guess their ability/time  to record their child’s story.

Second-guessing is such a thief.  It robs us of the pleasure and joy of so many good things!  When it comes to telling your child’s story, who better than you?  You don’t have to be perfectly eloquent, or spend agonizing hours at the keyboard pounding out the memories.  Just do something.  It helped me to pull out my phone (yay for smart phones!  A notebook would work just as well…but I never have one with me and I almost always have my phone. My husband will dispute this, but I FEEL like I almost always have my phone) and jot down a few words that would bring back a particular event so that when I did sit down to work on a page of our My Own Little Story book I had some notes to refer to and didn’t have to tackle a blank page with a blank mind!  It is true that the words won’t magically appear, but there will be magic there in the years to come as you and your little one sit down and remember the story of his or her life together.  Each of our stories are worth telling!

 
Erin has graciously offered a Coupon Code that you can use toward the purchase of No Chance, Toastypants and other stories that she has written which you can find on her website.
Use code: STORY20 http://www.erincampbellstories.com/store/

Costumes for Little Ones

Your kids’ Halloween costumes and stories are something you will look back on for years to come and smile. But, coming up with creative costume ideas for little ones can be both enjoyable but also tricky, to help you find the best fit for your little guy/gal, here is a list of some of our favorites from around the internet.

A Baby aerobics instructor:
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The perfect DIY snail costume from Oh Happy Day – snailcostume1

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This hilarious rendition from the movie UP
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From: http://imgur.com/gallery/5nWPr


A mini Audrey Hepburn –

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Cotton Candy!

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I love this new take on the traditional Skeleton – and its educational🙂10cc1a866e646ff0e45a0cc329c57e32
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Lovelane (an Etsy shop) has some pretty amazing superhero capes and helmets
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And finally, you can never go wrong with book references. Here is the Man with the Yellow Hat and Curious George
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And for the Baby Bunnies
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Check out more of our favorite costume ideas on our pinterest board, here.

Ideas for Making the 4th of July Memorable

The 4th of July is about celebrating the beauty of our country, our traditions, history, and the joy of summertime. Making this holiday fun doesn’t have to be complicated. This curated list of simple ideas will make this year memorable. And hopefully some of these traditions will make it into your baby book and you can come back to them for generations.

Make these simple red white and blue ice cubes
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Or how about this patriotic breakfast for your kiddos?
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Paint Stars on your lawn – this can be done with spray paint or just stenciled flour!
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To make the evening magical, play with a box of sparklers (and these fun light photos would be the perfect addition to your baby book!) Here is a quick tutorial on how to take the long exposure photos.

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Paint firework pictures with your kids. All you need is paint, paper, and straws! Here is a great tutorial from My Kids Adventures
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Or, make these eraser stamped star shirts from Cutesy Crafts
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One of my favorite 4th of July ideas are these brilliant pop-rock sugar cookies from Mom Dot
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We have made making a water blob a yearly summer tradition around here because it is so much fun for everyone, and easy. Here is a how to from Homemade Toast
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