Monday, July 9, 2012

How to Volunteer to Keep a Lighthouse

I just wanted to share this with you all.  I saw this on Facebook today.  Wouldn't this be so fun?


Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Bucket List Ideas to Help Kick Off Your Summer

Here are 25 summer bucket list ideas for you and your wee ones.

  1. Try a new fruit.
  2. Plant seeds.
  3. Make a mud pie.
  4. Catch fireflies in a jar and let them go on their merry way after an hour or so.
  5. Make sponge bombs.
  6. Swing on a tire swing.
  7. Watch a movie outside.
  8. Read books together in a hammock.
  9. Sell  lemonade together.
  10. Stay in pajamas all day.
  11. Decorate driveways, sidewalks, etc. with chalk.
  12. Make popsicles.
  13. Be in a parade for the 4th of July.
  14.  Hang a hummingbird feeder in your front yard.
  15. Pitch a tent and sleep in the backyard together.
  16. Go fishing.
  17. Visit the zoo.
  18. Go berry picking at a local farm.
  19. Make a scavenger hunt.
  20. Take a magnifying glass and explore your backyard.
  21. Grow a butterflies from the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden.
  22. Finger paint.
  23. Blow bubbles.
  24. Learn something new like hula hooping, skating, riding a bike without training wheels, etc.
  25. Roll down a hill.
Thank you for stopping by ViBella Inspirations and please feel free to add to the list.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Little Van Goghs Could Win $500 from Gymboree

Gymboree is hosting a Design-A-Bag contest.  If your little artist's artwork is selected, he/she will win a $500   gift card.  Here are the official rules below:

Have your little artist color a special holiday-themed place, scene, memory or anything that inspires them about the holiday season.

• Have your child create the artwork within the box on the template.
• Artwork must be flat.
• No 3-D elements, such as: cotton balls, macaroni, popsicle sticks, etc.
• Artist must be 12 years of age or younger.

Return, postmark or email completed and signed artwork by 6/16/12 to your local Gymboree store (excludes Gymboree Outlet); or, mail to: The Gymboree Corporation, Attn: Design-A-Bag Contest Committee, 500 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; or scan artwork and email to:

SPECIAL NOTE for emailed submissions: If selected as the winner, original artwork will be required to produce the bag.

No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and Canada (except Quebec), except Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Military installations in foreign countries 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Contest submission period ends 6/16/12. See Official Rules for details at Please read our Privacy Policy on our web site at

***You can copy and paste the link below to view the page and you will need to fill out a form and mail, e-mail, or return the artwork to your local Gymboree store.

Good luck to you all!  Please let me know if your child wins.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Miss Smith Under the Ocean Book Review

Every kid dreams of having a teacher like Miss Smith.  Miss Smith carries a mysterious and incredible storybook with her.  When she reads from her incredible storybook, book characters come out of the book and sometimes the class gets transported to different lands.

Miss Smith's ordinary name belies her appearance.  She has bright tangerine hair that sticks straight up and she likes to wear a black leather jacket with pins of her favorite bands like The Clash and U2.  

She takes her class to an aquarium and the kids get to meet Moby Dick, a mermaid, Captain Nemo, pirates, and many other amazing characters.  Will the kids escape unscathed from the wild hodgepodge of characters and the chaos that ensues from combining them?  

The Irish author and illustrator, Michael Garland, writes with wit and illustrates with equal talent and stunning detailed artwork. Michael Garland's Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook won the California and Delaware State Reading Awards.  This book will keep you and your child entertained and engaged throughout the whole story.

Thank you for stopping by ViBella Inspirations and happy reading!


Friday, April 20, 2012

American Girl Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends Book Review

I recently bought Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends  by Patti Kelley Criswell for my 7-year-old.  She has been complaining about a few children who bully her.  We started reading the book together and discussing ways to deal with bullies.  There is a quiz on page 24 called What's Your Speak-Up Style?  Your daughter will learn her style and tips on how to best deal with bullies.

One tip I have learned is for me to listen to her and let her brainstorm and decide the best approach.  

My daughter actually got out some paper and began to taking notes.  She asked me if she could take her list with her to school and keep it in her backpack.  She wanted to keep the list as a reminder. 

At the back of the book, your daughter can cut out a promise and hang it on her mirror (or anywhere she will see often).  She will write her name to a list of promises that she will stand up to bullies and not to bully others.

Parents also have a tear out section called 10 Big Truths about Bullying for Parents.

As you know, bullying is a very tough and heartbreaking ordeal.  It is good to continually review this book and build up our girls into kind and strong women. 

Thank you for stopping by ViBella Inspirations!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Organize an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

I googled ideas for a scavenger hunt and tweaked the list for my Daisy Girl Scout troop.  The girls will look for the items at an elementary school's playground. 

Here is a simple list of 15 items that young children can easily find on their own. 

I copied the list below for you.

As always, thank you for stopping ViBella Inspirations!


  Scavenger Hunt


      List of Things to Find
1.      Look for something soft.
2.      Find a plant with leaves.
3.      Find something put here by people.
4.      Find something cold.
5.      Find something tall.
6.      Find something short.
7.      Look for something with cracks.
8.      Find something that floats.
9.      Find something that smells good.
10.  Find something pointy.
11.  Find something brown.
12.  Find something green.
13.  Find something hard.
14.  Find something slippery.
15.  Find something with stripes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to Deal with Mean Girls

I'm currently reading Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully Proof Girls in the Early Grades by Dr. Michelle Anthony and Dr. Renya Lindert.  I've been highlighting and dogearing this enlightening and practical book.

One coping skill that leaps out is talking with your daughter about the problem but not solving the problem for her.  For instance, when she complains about someone, you just repeat back what she says and sympathize and let her figure out some solutions.  Be her sounding board and let her brainstorm some ideas.

If you try to always solve her problems, you are not building a strong and self-sufficient girl.  When she brainstorms and figures out solutions, she is on her way to becoming confident and powerful.

More tips to come...


Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Mom

My mom would have been 71 years old today and she has been on my mind all day long.  I just wanted to post a few of my favorite photos of her.  Wasn't she stunning?  We miss her sweet ways so much and ache for her. 

If you still have a mom or a mother figure, take time to let her know how much you love her and spend time with her. 


P.S.  Here is a link with some birthday poems for moms:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Build a Leprachaun Trap for St. Patrick's Day

This was our first attempt to make a leprechaun trap.  We took a Girl Scout cookie case and covered it in different patterns of American Girl scrapbook paper and zebra-patterned duct tape.  Isabella made "gold" by crumbling up gold pipe cleaners, which disguise a booby trap (a hole to capture a gullible leprechaun), colored a rainbow, made a ladder out of pipe cleaners, a sign, and clouds out of Christmas fleecy snow.  We also stuck some gold leaves in the bottom corner to entice a little green guy. 

I hope to post some photos of the leprechaun's visit soon.  Happy early St. Patrick's Day!!!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

How to Make the Paper Bag Princess Costume

Every year my daughter's school has a book parade.  She decided to be the Paper Bag Princess, Elizabeth.  Robert Munsch wrote this clever book about a witty and determined princess who sets out to rescue a boy from a dragon.  The dragon burns up the castle and Princess Elizabeth can only find a paper bag to wear among the rubble.

My dad found a huge paper bag at Home Depot.  They sell lawn and refuse paper bags.  I carefully peeled the layer with the company's logo and removed the plain paper bag, cut out holes for her head and arms, and trimmed several inches from the bottom.  I also let her wear a crown that my grandmother gave to me when I was a little girl.  I also teased her hair to make it look messy like Elizabeth's disheveled hair do.

This is a very easy and economical costume.  The only negative thing is that no one had ever read the book, but she loved her costume.

Here are 2 photos.

Thank you for reading this post and stopping by ViBella Inspirations!