Thursday, October 23, 2014


After the book festival, I was super tired and REALLY hungry! So I trudged back to the hotel, dropped off my stuff and went down to the CAFE CORTEZ and had steak and eggs ... it was soooooo good ... and was FREE because I was comped two free dinners from the hotel! I then decided to do some HIGH ROLLING ... well ... not really -- I sat down at a cute slot machine that had wolves on it ... put $20 in and in about 20 minutes had $41 and some change!  I quickly cashed out and was feeling great that I had WON in Vegas ... I was going to go walk around and take more pictures and I went outside and looked down and there was a 5 dollar bill ... I picked it up and decided to go back to this other CUTE MARTIAN slot machine and see if lady luck was still on my side .... I started playing and was UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN and UP .... about 30 minutes of playing that 5 bucks ... I had $12.76 ... I decided that BEATING VEGAS was fun ... so I cashed out! So I made about 28 dollars from my HIGH STAKES gambling!  lol!!!!
I had seen Container Park out of my hotel window and decided that it was the place I wanted to check out ... Right outside Container Park was this HUGE preying mantis. He is run by a person and his antennae are flames that truly explode once in a while ... it's CRAZY!!!!
Container Park was really very cool. All of the buildings are CONTAINERS and all of the decking, "grass", and tile are made from recycled materials. The stores all sell repurposed items. My favorite was the jewelry made out of grey goose bottles. Container Park was celebrating OKTOBERFEST while I was there and what better way to celebrate than with a GERMAN band.
In front of the stage is repurposed "grass" and a big play area for kids ... all over are couches and chairs for adults to listen to the music, relax, and watch their kids play.
One of the containers.
There were many restaurants in Container Park ... but this one had the BEST name ... I think it's the BEST name EVER for a restaurant!!!  If I hadn't already eaten -- I would have definitely eaten here!
I decided to give the FREEMONT STREET experience one more whirl before I packed it in.
This girl was Wowing people ... but many of those people had had LOTS to drink ...
I'm pretty sure she's sitting in a balanced chair that's hooked to her cane and the big base under her rug ... I know -- i'm a KILL JOY!
This guy was super talented ... he painted these paintings in about 10 minutes using spray paint!
They were really awesome and cost $40.00 ... I was tempted to buy one but didn't want to ruin it on the way home .... he was fun to watch!

Heart Attack Grill is another GREAT name for a restaurant ... I also love that they put a hospital gown on you to eat! I was so tempted to get a milkshake from here .... but worked so hard all summer to lose 10 pounds that I figured I'd pass!

AND ... if you haven't lost enough of your money already .... there are slot machines ALL over the Las Vegas airport! I was tempted to gamble my BIG winnings ... but then decided to quit while I was ahead ....
I had a great time in VEGAS
next time I'll take in a show and maybe be a bit more brave and try my hand at higher stakes gambling!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

VIVA Las Vegas Valley Book Festival

I have never been to Las Vegas ... so when I had the opportunity to attend the Vegas Valley Book Festival I felt it would be an interesting and FUN weekend! The Festival was held in Downtown Las Vegas in the historic district ... I was away from the "strip" but was near LOTS of interesting people and things! Here is VEGAS from my eyes! On the way to my hotel, the cab driver stopped in the PAWN STARS parking lot so I could take a few pictures! This was just a few blocks from my hotel.

I stayed at the El Cortez Hotel and Casino -- it was built in 1941.

I stayed on the 15th floor (which was the TOP floor) and I was in one of their high roller suites -- basically a normal room! But I had that contraption on the right ... a P H O N E!

 View from my window.

I walked down to that pink, green and white lighted area in the bottom
right of the pic above the band ... and I found this band. They were
awesome! Stayed and listened to them play for about 30 minutes.

One of my favorites from OLD TIME Las Vegas!!!!!
 On to Freemont Street

HOLY MOLY .... the worlds biggest big screen ... this place was totally insane!

Cloudy skies for most of the day -- it drizzled a bit and kept the temperatures cool!

Vendors setting up
Here are a few of my new READERS! 
Amanda purchased A Simpler Time .... I hope she enjoys it!!!

Ty is 14 and hopes to become a writer ... he looked through The Life of Bud
and had to have it ... I just LOVE seeing young kids have a love of writing!!!
Good Luck TY!  Let me know how you like BUD!

This little cutie is Estefania and her mom purchased A Simpler Time for her.
She was very excited and couldn't wait for mom to read it to her!  ENJOY!!!

 Cat In the Hat

 Curious George

Clifford the BIG RED DOG!
Clifford endorsing the MUFFIN book!
I had a wonderful time at the Festival and met some wonderful people!!
Having fun, meeting new people and selling books always makes for a wonderful book festival!
Thank you for having me!!!!! 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monarch Migration


Yesterday -- October 15, 2014, I witnessed a natural phenomenon that I could have sat and watched for hours! The school that I work at is in the middle of the CITY and in the backyard of the DFW Airport! But, nestled in some beautiful bushes that are directly behind our school and just happen to be in full bloom right now, monarchs decided to make them their home for a few days! The bushes are also full of bees and wasps. What was really cool was that you could walk right up to the bush and view the bees and see their "cheeks" FILLED with pollen! It was really incredibly awesome! Enjoy the pics!!!

  The monarch next to the light pole was truly spectacular!
If you click on the pictures you'll see butterflies and bees living in harmony!

Aren't they gorgeous!!!  Not sure what this bush is ... but it smells INCREDIBLE!

They are having lots of fun drinking in that nectar!!!!
Monarchs are so beautiful!!!

There are a couple bees in this picture with the gorgeous butterfly!

Yes ... that's a BUSY BEE!!!!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Baltimore Book Festival!

Reading @the Baltimore Homeschool
The Baltimore Book Festival was the first major book festival I attended back in 2009. It seems like forever ago when I drove to Baltimore from Springfield, MA with my first published book! I did not know what to expect ... but I met MANY wonderful people that I still keep in touch with. On Thursday I headed to Baltimore to make a visit to the Baltimore Homeschool and the 19th Annual Baltimore Book Festival. The Festival has grown tremendously in 5 years and has moved from Mt. Vernon to the Inner Harbor. Here's some of my memories from this weekend!

Michelle Fewer -- Baltimore Homeschool
My new FRIENDS!!!  These kids were great!!!!!  : )
Thank you to the Baltimore Homeschool Family for allowing me to come and visit and read to the kids!  I had a fabulous time and I hope you invite me back again!!!

You meet the strangest people on the Inner Harbor!
My daughter and son-in-law!


All set up!

On stage in the Author's Tent! What a wonderful opportunity!

SAUL told us that the boy in the story had FOOD BLINDNESS --
that is why he "went out to get a donut, but came home with a  muffin!"
Saul said I need to write a book about Food Blindness!  : )

I love interacting with the kids!  They have the BEST answers!

She thinks the boy went to the wrong store!   hmmmmmm .....

So cool to have had this honor of reading at The Baltimore Book Festival!
Can't believe it's been 5 years since I was first here with just 1 book!

Answering questions

Saul and his sister!

First time I was asked to take a selfie with a student for EXTRA CREDIT!!!!!  : )

Patrick and his mother ... I hope Patrick enjoys the Muffin book!!!

The view from my table ....

Nice form ASHLEY!

Ashley has a future as a PR person -- she introduced
Christina Valenti author of
The Wheelbarrow Puppy Club

Christina and her book!
This is a great book about Christina and the pups in China!

My two roadies .... Ashley helped get kids into the Author's Tent area
and Forrest took pictures!  THANKS for all your help!!!!!
It was Amanda's 10th Birthday and she chose
A Simpler Time .... I was honored!

Believe it or not Wynona can READ A Simpler Time!
What a sweet girl and I'm glad she was happy with her new book!
After a L O N G day ... I could not wait to get CRAB CAKES
These were AWESOME!  Bubba Gumps!  YUM!!!!!

I just told Forrest that if your name was Forrest and you eat
at Bubba Gumps you should get something free and they should sing you a song
or something .... and he started singing
"Your name is Forrest, you're a swell guy .... "
I almost lost it!  lol!!!!!!!

GOOD NIGHT Baltimore Book Festival