New journals

It is near the beginning of the year, so my daughter and I have gone shopping to pick out new journals for the year. We both like to start the year fresh, and one way to do that is to get a fresh journal with nothing in it yet. It seems full of possibilities.

I started my daughter working on journals to help with her handwriting. But, soon she grew to love it. Now, instead of writing about her day, her journal is more about her story ideas. Her current story is about three girls who all have gem powers.

Here is some ideas on how to get your child journaling:


Here are some great journals that you can pick up:

“Alice and Snow White” Notebook by strangeling
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I just love the picture on this notebook. It is just such a cool rendition of Snow White and Alice in Wonderland.

All About Me: A Keepsake Journal for Kids

This book has lots of prompts and questions to help kids figure what they want to write.
Whimsical Elephant Notebook notebook
Whimsical Elephant Notebook by EveStock
This notebook can be modified to have a different name on it.
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Strand Theater

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to wander around an old theater — The Strand Theater in Dorchester, MA.

The Strand is a great old theater. It has great full length mirrors in the front lobby. There is an area in the back that has an old fashioned dressing room with the mirrors with light bulbs surrounding it. The carpets seem to be new, and all the seats that I saw were in good condition.

It does have a few problems. The ceiling above the mezzanine, near the stage, is peeling a lot. If you go to the balcony and look at the stage you will notice some areas above the balconies need some work.  The floors themselves seem to need a new coat of paint. But, over all, for a theater that is been around since 1918, it is in great shape.

I was in the theater because my daughter is in Jose Mateo’s Nutcracker (see if you are interested in tickets). All the children were there on Tuesday for a blocking rehearsal. I’m surprised that the children could concentrate with the stage lights changing, tech people moving around, and the fire alarm being tested. But they were all super, and kept on rehearsing without a misstep.

The company will be performing the Nutcracker on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets range in price from $15-$50. Come for the great ballet, and take a glance at a great old theater — now all decked out in nutcracker and Christmas garb.


One of the blogs that I read is “Six until me”. Recently she posted about a company named “Myabetic”.

Myabetic has great cases to hold testing supplies. The one that caught my eye is one called “Love Bug”. The picture on this post is the love bug case, all closed. It was designed for little girls (or little girls at heart). When you open the case all up, it looks like a butterfly.

This is much prettier than the usual meter container. It is usually just black, and has just enough to hold the various medical items in it. It wasn’t made to be pretty though, just functional.

According to Kyrra Richards, the founder of Myabetic, “A month before my 25th birthday, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Sentenced to way too much time in dreary waiting rooms, surrounded by monotonous medical equipment, I was compelled to find a way to make living with diabetes a brighter experience.”

There are lots of other kits, some more for adults — they look like a fashionable purse, and one more for a kid — there is one that has a sports theme. All with a thought towards the look and its function, instead of just the functionality.

I hope that more companies use her products as an example.

Legos for girls

I have been playing with Legos since I was very little. I spent ages building castles and houses and sometimes monsters and dragons. The only thing stopping my play was my imagination and not enough legos for what I wanted to build. When my daughter got old enough, we bought her a set and she seems to enjoy them as much as me. But, lately, legos seem to be more of a boy toy. The legos haven’t changed, but the marketing has. They have been marketing batman legos,  Star Wars Legos, Alien legos, but not the regular sets. So, girls are just seeing all the commercials for boys and start thinking that the toys are for boys, not for girls.

Now, it isn’t like Legos forgot about girls. They had a brand called “Belville” . It tended to have sets with horse stables and puppies. There was a girl (much bigger than the mini-figures) that could ride on the horses. And, it was pink….very, very pink. Honestly, I don’t mind pink, but that was SO pink. Bellville didn’t sell very well.

So, for 2012 Lego has announced a new way to reach girls — Lego friends. As you can see from the cover of Bloomberg Business Week, they are not the typical mini-figure. The body is more curvy and the hair is more stylish. According to BBW, there will be five main characters — each one with a name and back story.

Brickblogger has more info about the sets and figures (as well as some beautiful pictures of them). The new figures look cuter. I have to say that they look similar to Polly Pockets. The sets are of cute areas like cafes, bakeries, and vets offices. Although there is some pink on the boxes, I don’t feel over powered by the pink. In fact, there is more purple than pink.

I know that some people are a little bit put off by the sets. Me, I think they are kind of cute. And, if they can get more girls to realize how much fun Legos are, then they can be great. But, we’ll see how well they sell.

For more info on the new lego sets and current lego for girl offereings: