Coloring Page Tuesday - Hugging Koalas

     I love hugs, and fuzzy hugs are the best! Koalas must give the very best hugs of all!
CLICK HERE for more Christmas-themed coloring pages
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! Especially... THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN GEORGIA! Click the cover to learn about this state-themed picture book, now available as a board book too! Makes a GREAT teacher gift!
     Don't live in Georgia? Check with your local bookseller - Sterling has a version for each state.

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     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

Creative Thinking: On Holidays

It's my second Christmas without Stan and I've decided to give myself a gift this holiday season - the holidays themselves. I have decided that I need JOY in my life and I am embracing Christmas this year like I haven't in a long time. I am listening to Christmas music, I've decorated, I'm going to start addressing Christmas cards (tomorrow), and I have already bought all my gifts for friends and family (in China!). I have already had several nogs with whisky (not too many), and I suppose I'd better make some cookies.
     Because one of the gifts Stan gave me, even in his passing, is that having gone through the worst that a spouse can experience has put the rest of my life into perspective. Nothing is on fire anymore. I am calmer than I've ever been. I don't worry as much. And for the most part, I'm sleeping better. If I could have him back healthy, I would; but that's not what the universe gave us. Rather, I had him for a brief, beautiful moment, and it's up to me to shape this new chapter of my life in a way that would make him proud and will make me happy. So much of it is up to me.
     Therefore, the magic of this holiday season is that I am open to its magic. I wish the same for you and your loved ones and hope you let your heart fill with a little bit of magic this year too.

Old Southwest Parlor Tour

I am loving my new neighborhood. I have a ground floor apartment in an old Victorian in the heart of the historic district in Roanoke, called "Old Southwest." The Gish House, the oldest house in Roanoke, is in our neighborhood. To raise funds to maintain this old log home and for other neighborhood initiatives, each year, the neighborhood puts on "The Parlor Tour." This year, six homes participated. They decorate to the hilt and open their doors for the curious to come have a look at these 100-year-old homes. I took some fun photos that I hope will help get you in the holiday spirit!
     There was an eclectic range of houses on the tour, like this elegant house, with a dining room I'd love to eat in!

or their fireplace I'd love to sit by.

Or their front porch swing I'd love to swing on.
Then there was the house that would look festive any time of year!

With it's welcoming arch.

The inside of this one was especially to my liking. She designed her kitchen to look like Scottish lodge.

Including the dining room - check out that ceiling!

Even her laundry room had a certain Christmas flair.
A bachelor's home was on the tour and had some wonderful outdoorsy elements.
These old homes have amazing fireplaces.
My favorite house was one I run by every morning - who knew it held so much magic inside!

I especially loved all her Botero and Blue Dog that she decoupaged all over her kitchen walls.

She was obviously from New Orleans.

Even her back door had a distinctive flair.
Of course, it all ended up back at the Gish House with hot cider and cookies.
What a lovely way to spend the afternoon, especially knowing my ticket purchase was helping my neighborhood do even more fun things in the future! Merry Christmas!

Shout-out at Hollins U about China

Hollins University did a lovely wrap-up of my trip to Shanghai for the China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair - CLICK HERE to see or the image below!