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the Lainie List.

just over here, playing with playdough in a captain’s hat.
  1. Business owners, don’t build your digital castle on someone else’s land.
  2. Google’s CEO Doesn’t Use Bullet Points and Neither Should You | Inc.com
  3. Olympic medalist, Rebecca Twig, is homeless in Seattle.
  4. would love to do this in our house.
  5. this quilt is gorgeous.
  6. mycreativetype.com is a fun and insightful quiz for creatives. Try it.
  7. incredibly meaningful gifts you can give to your kids.

Listen to the Universe.

I hear you.  Message received.

I was working on my computer one day, when suddenly a document appeared on the screen. It was someone’s academic paper…



I didn’t recognize any of the names.

Did someone send it to me by accident?
I went to my Shared with Me folder.
Nothing.  
The document wasn’t there.

Did I click on it when doing a search?
I Google searched the title.
Nothing.
How the hell did I get this?

And how amazing
to get a random paper
about a topic I’ve been thinking about
for 3 years

Something that I know
deep down
is what I’m supposed to do,

I just don’t know how
to bring it all together
yet.

I also love that the paper was written December 3, 2014.
December 3rd was my Grandpa Pud’s birthday.  
December 3rd was the day he proposed to Grandma Lainie.  

I’ll take it as a sign.

I’m not usually a big woo woo person,
but I’ll take this.
I’ll hold this one close.
I’m going to figure it out.

a wall in our bedroom where I collect inspiration and ideas.
the front cover of the paper is top right.

Note from Lainie:

I did a search of the course code.  It seems as though THEA 250 is a course code for an undergraduate course out of The University of Fraser Valley.

And I told my Mom the story of getting this paper. She smiled. She told me about her experience with something similar. While she was working one day, a window popped up on her screen with a job posting. She had no idea how it got there. It ended up being for the job that she’s currently in.

What’s your Creative Type?

Carolyn Gregoire wrote a fun quiz to determine your creative type.

You need to try it. It’s only a few questions and my results were bang on.

(image from mycreativetype.com)

According to the quiz, I’m a visionary.

My Creative Strengths:
Full of big ideas, ability to see potential and possibility everywhere

Untapped Potential:
Using your visions to fuel consistent daily action

Ideal Collaborator:
The Thinker

You live in a world of infinite possibilities, preferring to see things not as they are but as they could be. You know that life is limited only by the boundaries of your own beliefs, and you’re driven to push the limits of, well, everything.

Emotional, passion-driven, and full of ideas, the VISIONARY combines a vivid imagination with a desire for practical solutions. Your introspective and intuitive nature is balanced by a keen interest in the world around you and a desire to contribute to society.

Charismatic and expressive, you love sharing your ideas and visions with others and creating community around shared values and ideals. Your greatest gift? The ability to see the spark of potential in everything and everyone, and to inspire others to see it, too. You’re able to guide people toward an invisible horizon with a rare generosity of spirit and strength of conviction.

Don’t get stuck in the dreaming stage, VISIONARY. Your greatest challenge—and true power—lies in learning to take consistent daily action to create the future you envision.

Seek out the “voice of reason” of the THINKER type to help you take a grounded, rational approach to your creative work. The THINKER’s deep perception and probing intellect lend a powerful clarity that can bring your visions into sharper focus.

So needless to say, I need to find some thinkers out there to help me get my ideas together and out there! Take the quiz and let me know what you get.

the Lainie List.

“Cheese!”
  1. Does Play Make a Difference? How Play Intervention Affects the Vocabulary Learning of At-Risk Pre-Schoolers. (article)
  2. when a friend opens a new restaurant, it’s so exciting. Three Monks and a Duck. Go check it out.
  3. MOO. love it for stickers and business cards.
  4. I now have a new crush on Thoreau and Emerson.
  5. the wrong way to visit Iceland.
  6. a friend shared this video of Walden (the summer camp). it’s beautifully put together.
  7. leather pencil cases on Etsy.
  8. If I had my life to live over again…
  9. 5 Easy Steps for Making Picture Books for Your Kids
  10. Do you know what drives you?
  11. Creative Mornings Talks
  12. the 3/50 Project. a good reminder for us all.
  13. Brene Brown is coming to Netflix! Call to Courage.
  14. my 100 day project is coming along…

If I had my life to live over again…

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else- just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.

– Nadine Stair, Louisville at 85 years of age


I love everything about this. The perspective that one has at the end of their life… it’s something that I would like to have now.

6 human needs.

We are motivated by the desire to fulfill these 6 core needs:

  1. Certainty
  2. Uncertainty / Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Connection and Love
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution


We all share these needs, but we place different value on each. It’s what makes us different.

Based on his experiences working with over 3 million people, Tony Robbins is the one who has coined these 6 fundamental emotional needs. They form the basis of every choice we make and your top 2 needs are said to create your destination in life.

Do you know what your top 2 would be? Tony has a free online quiz to help narrow down your driving force. It’s worth a try to see if you connect to the results or not.

I should also say that when I think of Tony Robbins, I immediately picture a guy on stage who is an evangelist of sorts (sorry, no offense). I’m a bit skeptical. But after reading the list of needs, I was curious to know more. Developing awareness of who we are and why we do what we do…that stuff is fascinating to me. I do my best to try and stay open to the ideas regardless of the source.

If you like learning more about yourself and thinking about your actions, here are a few things to check out…

Would love to hear what you think of this. Feel free to add a comment.

5 Easy Steps to Make Cute Picture Books for your Kids

It’s easy to make your own little readers at home.

Books based on your child’s interests and experiences will make reading relatable and enjoyable for them.

Here’s how you do it…

1. Find a story structure.

You’ll start to notice repeating sentence stems in books for early readers.

For example:

My Family.
This is my mom.
This is my dad.
This is my brother.
This is my sister.
This is my grandma.
This is my grandpa.
This is me!
This is my family.

This is my is repeated over and over. This is a story structure that you could use in your little reader.



Other examples of repeating sentence stems:

Here is ___________.
Here is ___________.
Here is ___________.


Look at the ___________.
Look at the ___________.
Look at the ___________.


or





The _______ is here.
The _______ is here.
The _______ is here.

and many more!





2. Choose a Topic that Your Child would Love.


Does your child love cars?
Create a book that highlights their interests.

Do they have a favourite stuffed animal?
Create a book that features objects around home that have meaning to them.

Is the local farm their favourite place to go in the world?
Create a book about a recent trip or adventure you went on (…adventures can be to the park near your house).

The overall goal is to create a book that has meaning for them. Just add your own words to the sentence stems and you’re on your way.

3. Take Some Photos

This is the fun part! Get creative and take some photos for their book.

our little ones had fun staging these pictures.

It’s easy to go overboard (as in taking waaay too many pictures); it’s fun, right?! But try to keep your book to 8 pages or so (I notice that in most early readers, there are 8 pages total). Use this as a guideline to keep your book short and engaging for your little one. You don’t want a book that seems to drag on.

4. Create the Book.

Set up your Document

I use Google Docs to create books for my kids. Whatever word processor you use is totally fine (e.g., MS Word), just try to keep it easy and quick for you – otherwise you won’t feel like making them.

Here is a book for you, to help get started: Our Stuffies.

Feel free to make yourself a copy of the document so you don’t have to start from scratch (Just go to ‘File’ and then ‘Make a Copy’). Personalize it with your own photos and change up the text. My hope in sharing it is that you can see what it looks like as a document.

I use Comic Sans font because it’s the only font that has a proper shaped ‘a’.


Upload your Photos.

I found that the fastest thing to do was use AirDrop. If you have a MAC computer, go to that magnifying glass (search / find) icon in the top right hand corner of your screen. Then search AirDrop.

Then open up the camera roll on your phone. Select the photos you want to send yourself. You’ll notice once you hit the arrow in the bottom left hand corner to send it (either through text, email, etc.), tap AirDrop instead. Your photos will instantly go into the downloads folder in your computer. Save your pics and drag them into your document.

If you don’t have Apple products, email yourself the photos and save them to your desktop. I used to do that before I figured out AirDrop.

5. Print your Book, Cut & Staple. Done!

This baby doesn’t need to be perfect. Let’s be honest, there are going to be little hands all over it. That’s the whole point. We want them to read the book over and over. It’s going to get wrinkled and crumpled, and we can just print off another copy. No big deal.

I stack the pages and hold them up to the window to see through them. I quickly hack across with scissors doing my best not to cut off the words. Seriously. It’s meant to be quick and easy.

Arrange the pages as you wish and staple together. I use multiple staples along the edge versus one in the corner because I don’t want pages being ripped off while turning. It’s totally up to you.

Note from the writer (Lainie):

I decided to start making little readers for our son, Tate, when he started getting leveled books sent home from his junior kindergarten class. The books felt so outdated and low interest. The book about family was very nuclear and the book about Dad was about fixing things and working out. It’s not a judgment of the school or the teacher. You use what you have. I just decided to make my own.

I thought Tate might find it fun to read books about his favourite stuffed animal doing silly things (he has a funny little sense of humour) or to see photos of his family. Now we have three books and are looking forward to making more.

Although I was once a teacher, I do not have the same background in early reading as my friends and colleagues, so I reached out and asked them to share their knowledge and experiences with you by commenting on this post. Make sure you read the comments below. Just in reading them, I learned more. Thank you, Heather!

I hope you found this post helpful.

You can see other projects I do with and for the kids on my website: verylainie.ca There’s an option to follow my site to get updates right to your inbox (because who has time to search out someone’s website regularly). I’m also on Instagram sharing crafty projects at @verylainie.

I want to write something so simply.

I want to write something
so simply
about love
or about pain
that even
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think –
no, you will realize –
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words,
that it was all the time
words that you yourself,
out of your own heart
had been saying.


Mary Oliver

#bookgoals