Two Degrees of Devastation: New Zealand Earthquake

Eight hundred miles and Cook's Strait away from Christchurch, we didn't feel the physical shocks of the quake up in the Bay of Islands, but the emotional ones have hit us all. They've been pulling bodies out of the rubble while the nation watches in horror. We've been told there are at least 114 fatalities, but to steel ourselves for many more. There may be as many as 300. ...more

We heard through our network that our friend, her two-year old daughter and her husband are ... more

Two Degrees of Devastation: New Zealand Earthquake

Eight hundred miles and Cook's Strait away from Christchurch, we didn't feel the physical shocks of the quake up in the Bay of Islands, but the emotional ones have hit us all. They've been pulling bodies out of the rubble while the nation watches in horror. We've been told there are at least 114 fatalities, but to steel ourselves for many more. There may be as many as 300. ...more

Thanks Gena. We are all trying to hold it together here. Waiting to hear that friends and family ... more

Tiny Pincushion Tutorial

The children and I have been working on a lot of projects -- mostly sewing, beading, and some papercraft. Here is a brief tutorial for a tiny pincushion made with a bottle cap as the base. You can whip these up in about two minutes! Very addictive to make. ...more

Lovely upcycling project. These would make fabulous tiny Xmas gifts or even present toppers for ... more

Just Ducky Halloween Costume

Homemade costumes are the rule at our house. Bonus points if they can be made with easy to find materials such as this cute duck costume. Start by making a paper bag vest from a brown grocery bag: Holding the bag upside-down, cut up the middle of the bag and over the edge of the bag’s bottom. Cut a round neck hole out of the bottom of the bag and an arm hole in each side....more

Cute and cheap. What more can you ask for in a costume?

Melanie McMinn
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Ghoulishly Gluten-Free Halloween Cupcake Recipe

Tragic wails could be heard across the yard and into adjacent houses. Concerned neighbors glanced out their windows to search for the source of such a forlorn sound, for surely something must be terribly wrong. All they could see, though, was a short, sad-looking woman carrying a sobbing tooth fairy back to the car. These cupcakes are for Jenny. ...more

Love it. As someone who suffers from gluten intolerance, I'm always happy to see fabulous ... more

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Genetic Testing for Different Reasons Than You'd Think

Years ago, a woman with a bad personality told me she hadn’t enjoyed walking through the halls at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. “It was so depressing,” she said.  “All those cancer patients!  They look so awful — pale, exhausted, bald.  I couldn’t wait to get out.” Now, here was a dilemma.  I could either take the high road, I figured, or be a bitch. Talk about an easy choice.  “I guess you didn’t realize,” I said, “that I’m a cancer survivor, too.”...more

Getting test is a lovely gift to your daughter. It must be an incredible relief.

Melanie ... more

Family TV Review: The Vampire Diaries, Season 2

The Vampire Diaries is fast-paced, sexy and shocking, and includes everything you might expect from a teen-based vampire show: angst, dramatic tension, sexy creatures of the night, and a soundtrack that includes artists like MGMT and The Killers. Overall, the TV-14 (V) rating is on target. The Vampire Diaries is edgier than the Twilight franchise. Also note that the books on which this series is based pre-dated Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books by about 15 years. ...more

Detailed information on the type of content like this is SO helpful for parents.

Melanie ... more

Before the Weather Hits: How to Make Your Own Emergency Survival Kit

Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Volcanic explosions. Floods. Tornadoes. Fire. Terrorist attack. There are any number of events that can turn your life into a fight for survival. You've got a better chance of winning that fight if you are prepared. ...more

Good ideas, but make sure your house is very secure. You don't want random thieves making off ... more

Before the Weather Hits: How to Make Your Own Emergency Survival Kit

Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Volcanic explosions. Floods. Tornadoes. Fire. Terrorist attack. There are any number of events that can turn your life into a fight for survival. You've got a better chance of winning that fight if you are prepared. ...more

If your cats are your babies, then it makes perfect sense!

Melanie McMinn
Blog: more

Before the Weather Hits: How to Make Your Own Emergency Survival Kit

Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Volcanic explosions. Floods. Tornadoes. Fire. Terrorist attack. There are any number of events that can turn your life into a fight for survival. You've got a better chance of winning that fight if you are prepared. ...more

Our emergency food bricks have a 5 year shelf stable life time, but most commercial foods won't. ... more