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Tuesday Tales: Coloring Books by Millie Marotta

It’s no secret that I love to color. While many are starting to realize the calming effect of adult coloring, I have known this for years. What I love these days is that there are so many book options to pick from. In addition to this, I have grown to appreciate some amazing artists that make these books for us. Thanks to Sterling Books, I was able to check out and review the latest coloring books by Millie Marotta.

Adult Coloring Books by Millie Marotta

Animal Kindom: Color Me, Draw Me – Drawn by Millie Marotta – Published by Lark an imprint of Sterling Publishing –  ISBN 9781454709107 –  $14.95 – Paperback 96 pages

Tropical World: A Coloring Book Adventure – Drawn by Millie Marotta – Published by Lark an imprint of Sterling Publishing – ISBN 9781454709138 – $14.95 – Paperback 96 pages

Inside Mille Marotta books

Both of these books burst onto the scene in September 2015. I had looked at books by Ms. Marotta, but never owned one prior to this. The books are stunning on their own. I could sit looking at her beautiful art because it is calming without pulling out the coloring items. Animal Kingdom is waiting to be colored and is filled with illustrations of whales, owls, flora, and other creatures. In addition to this, there are spaces left by Ms. Marotta with cues around them to inspire your own creativity. Tropical World is filled with images of flowers, birds, butterflies, and reptiles. When I started to use this book, I tried colored pencils since that is what Ms. Morotta suggests for blending and more depth. Prior to this, I used mostly Sharpie markers in my adult coloring books. I knew this was not an option for these drawings since the book has images printed on both sides of the paper. I had to try something that would not bleed through.

Colored Pencils with Millie Marotta Books

I need to get used to colored pencils again. I also tried some gel pens. I really enjoy these because they add sparkle and it’s even more therapeutic to see the strokes of the ink as you color in the spaces. The gels pens worked beautifully on the paper in these books. They did not go through the pages and do extremely well in the small intricate spaces.

Gel Pens with Millie Marotta Books

Another item that I love, is that Millie Marotta has made a video of drawing an image from this book. It truly is fascinating to watch how she creates one of these stunning pieces of art. The process involved to make these books must be a labor or love.

If you are looking for beautiful books to gift to someone this holiday season, I would definitely recommend Animal Kingdom and/or Tropical World. Add in something to color with and it’s the perfect treat that someone may not purchase on their own.

If you could have Millie Marotta create a dream coloring book, what would it be? As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

It's Me

Disclosure: As noted above, I received both of these books from Sterling Publishing to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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Always Moving Mommy

It’s always fun starting a new project. A few months ago, my friend Lynn from My Pixie Dust Diary contacted me about a new blog that she was starting. Her vision is a collaborative blog for moms from a community of writers. I am honored to be part of her amazing team at Always a Moving Mommy.

Always Moving Mommy

The blog launched at the end of September and is filled with great content on a wide variety of topics. Here is just a taste of some of the recent posts from the team:

Opening lines of communication with kids about bullying

My first two posts are:

I hope you will head over to Always Moving Mommy to say hello to all of us and explore.

Meet-the-Mommies-Collage-Circle

There is so much more coming in the months ahead. I can not wait to watch and read along with you.

It's Me

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Goodbye My Friend

Saying goodbye to a couch

Who knew that it would be so hard to say goodbye? Yes, I am talking about our old couch in the photo above. Thursday evening we set it outside on the curb and much to my surprise I stood there with tears rolling down my cheeks. While it may seem just just an old couch, it apparently means a lot more to me than I expected.

Goodbye Couch

You see that couch with the squishy cushions and spring that had sprung was more to me than a piece of furniture. It was filled with memories of years gone by.

  • This couch was something that TechyDad and I picked out right before we got married. It was our first purchase together. Little known fact, I used money my Nana and Papa left me to buy this and other items that we got when we started our life together.
  • I was sitting on this couch reading the sixth Harry Potter book when I was nine months pregnant with NHL. I stood up because I was uncomfortable and felt a pop and whoosh! Yes, my water broke and the big kiddo was on his way into the world almost twelve years ago.
  • Countless hours were spent on this couch nursing both of my babies. My rear went numb at times, but those snuggles made the couch my happy place.
  • Over the years, I watched the boys grow up on this couch before my eyes. They would nap, snuggle, bond, and yes even wrestle each other in this very location.
  • Almost every year, we would scramble to take photos of the kids for our New Years cards on this couch. We would often dress up the area with a blanket, stuffed buddies, or something else.

Goodbye old friend

In the end, I know it was time to say goodbye to my old friend, but I will miss her. Of course, I am also excited about our new couch coming this weekend and making new memories. Now, who wants to help me alphabetize the list of rules for the kids?

It's Me

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Coloring Books for Adults

Do you like to color and do you have your own coloring book? Yes, I am talking to the adults out there that are reading this.

 Coloring Books for Adults

When I was in elementary school, my fourth grade teacher used to give us coloring sheets to do when we finished our work. She had markers and colored pencils for everyone to add our own touch to beautiful geometric designs and tessellations. My love for these books carried over to my own classroom many years later. I had them for my middle school students to use when they wanted to decompress.

In recent months, the art of adult coloring has become popular. I watched friend after friend post articles about how helpful coloring can be for adults. Taking time for yourself with a design to color has been proven to help relax individuals and reduce stress for some time.

Stress could be my middle name and I was waiting for the right time to get my own new book. The other night, JSL went with me to the book store where I picked up one of the Creative Haven Find Your True Colors books by Dover Publications. This publisher made many of my favorites when I was growing up. After spending time debating several books, I selected the Mandalas Coloring Book.

That night I had to color. The book was calling my name and my Sharpies were sitting there looking for a project. I started before getting the boys into bed and went back to my design later. I was in love with coloring all over again.

 Creative Haven Mandalas Coloring Book

Since that day, I finished coloring a few more designs.

Beautiful Mandala to color

Little things about coloring amuse me and make me smile. I even adore the design that shows up on the back when the markers bleed through the paper. Do you see anything hidden in this college below? JSL sure thinks that he sees something.

Reverse side of Mandala coloring

I adore this book and hope to take it on our cruise. I can just imagine sitting on a deck of the ship coloring while listening to the ocean.

So tell me, have you picked up a coloring book as an adult? I would love to know what books are your favorites and what medium you prefer to use when coloring.

It's Me

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Going After Your Dreams #SwitchersRemorse

Going after your dreams

Imaginative play was huge for me when I was growing up. I can still remember playing house for hours when I would have a friend over. If I was alone, I would often pretend I was a teacher and set up my room like a classroom. I had old school books, attendance logs, and more. I dreamed of being a teacher thanks to the role models I had in elementary school. I wanted to teach the next generation of learners.

In my junior year of high school, my love of science and a subtle push from my mother changed my immediate goal. Since I was a strong science student, pharmacy looked like a wonderful career. The teaching profession was highly saturated in our area and pharmacists had 100% job placement upon graduation. At the start of my senior year, I was in a first ever health explorations class and applied for early acceptance to our local pharmacy college.

Early in the fall of my senior year, I was one of the first students that had already been accepted to the college of their choice. I continued learning and watching my teachers, always dreaming of being in their shoes in a classroom of my own.

At 19, I started pharmacy school with several hundred other naïve college freshman. Freshman year was NOT what I imagined. The ideal college experience was turning into more of a horror story. Our freshman Chemistry professor had to leave because of a health emergency. This class is crucial for everything that follows. The school had other faculty members trade off portions to teach our class while they looked for a more permanent substitute for the second half of the year. This meant learning new styles of teaching and getting used to different types of tests. 

Secretly, I still dreamed of teaching. I wanted to make it through with the goal to possibly teach in a pharmacy school rather than go to a retail store and or be with patients.

Enter Organic Chemistry and second year.

I may have made it though my freshman year with too many professors to recall and wracked my brain over Calculus, but Organic Chemistry would quickly become my nemesis. Tears were shed by many of us. Many of those days were only bearable because I started to go to hockey games to scream, shout, and escape the reality that I was living in.

Fear of failing was real.

Fear of disappointing my parents was in my mind.

Fear of my dreams disappearing were also a reality.

Somehow, I made it to my third year of pharmacy school. This is the time when you switch to professional courses. I still remember a lab where we learned how to punch capsules. Each day we were told that a mistake, even a small one could kill a patient. I was withdrawing more and more.

At the end of the first semester of my third year, I was burned out. I knew I had to grow a back bone and admit to switchers remorse. While I switched and sold myself on becoming a pharmacist, my heart was not into it. The reality was that I did not want to be a pharmacist, I did not enjoy school, and I still dreamed of teaching young children. One of the hardest days was confessing to my parents just how miserable I was. They knew because they saw how I avoided being at the school and had been struggling because I was so unhappy.

That winter break, I signed up at the local community college to retake Organic Chemistry and Biology. My what a difference it was when I knew I would be following my dreams. In August, I started back to school for my undergraduate degree in elementary education. I was more grown up, focused, and ready to make my dream of teaching a reality. Being happy made such a difference. I was focused on a goal. When I made it to student teaching, I was able to breathe and know I had made the right decision.

Photos of my classroom

Going back to my dream of teaching and switching colleges was the right choice for me. I had to let go of the wrong choice I made and know that it would make me a stronger teacher and adult.

No matter what, nobody should be forced to stick with something because they are afraid of admitting to switchers remorse. Remember to follow your heart and reach for those dreams that you may have pushed aside for one reason or another. .

It's Me

Disclosure: This is a paid post for Verizon’s #SwitchersRemorse campaign. If you switched away from Verizon and are regretting it, don’t worry. They’re making it easy for customers to come back. For more information, head over to your local Verizon store. Oh and don’t wait three years to conquer your switchers remorse, do it now!

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