About little old me


About this blog:

STEP INTO A STORYBOOK

Discover the Magic


It is about discovering the Magic in all books; the Magic of awakening the love of reading in a child; the germination of imagination; of transportation to another world; of fictional characters taking on their own personas as you write. It is about finding Magic in the ordinary, everyday moments we share with our kids, and that most Magical moment of all--when the spark of understanding lights up their eyes. It's about the Magic in everyone's story; the Magic in joyful journaling, and the Magic when children realize their story matters.

My goals for this blog:

The FOCUS of this blog will be  Joyful Journaling. Over the last four years I have come to learn joy in my journaling. It's not the grinding grudge I once thought it was.

I could never get pre-printed journals to work for me. I never used all of the special printed papers, so they went to waste, or I never had enough of the kind of page I did use.

I found a way to make it fun, enjoyable and relaxing for me. My quest is to help others explore new ways of journaling. I'll show you the different types of journals out there, and the possibility that you may already be journaling and didn't realize it.

In this blog I'll show you what I have tried. It's not always pretty, but I have learned a few things. It's definitely a living, breathing work in progress. What works this year may not work out next year.

That means, for as many different souls as there are out there, there are that many ways of journaling. You just need to find what works for you. Your journal should serve you, not the other way around.



That's me in the shades...


About my life:
I am the mother of 5, mother-in-law of 5 more, and grandmother of 18. I am LDS, which means I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which also means I'm a Christian. While I strive to follow my Savior's example and teachings, I myself, have yet to become a saint. I like to think of myself as a 'work in progress.'

I love to learn new things. I love to write and research history. I love to write historical fiction, children's books, and mysteries with the occasional romance. I especially love journaling and all things Harry Potter.

By day, I am a nurse reviewer, meaning I make sure medical bills match what was documented in the medical record. I used to be a Labor and Delivery nurse, but after 25 years, my feet would no longer work the floor.

My Top 10 Favorite things:

1. Reading on my front porch, especially in early summer. Gentle lavender breezes drift across the porch. It's even better after a light rain.
My husband built me my own little lending
library for the neighborhood kids.
Rustic on the outside,
waterproof on the inside!

2. Writing. I'm an aspiring author with more story ideas than time. I am about halfway to my goal of one million words. I've heard it said that it takes writing a million words before you finally get the hang of it.

3. Handbags, purses, and totes. You might say it borders on the obsessive, the more the pockets, the better.

4. Making lists. This is my chief means of survival. I used to have a near photographic memory, but now I have found the value of lists:
*lists help me focus and set priorities.
*lists give me a sense of accomplishment.
*lists have become a stand-in for my brain.

5. Making Books. I have loved making books since I was about 4 years old. My mom taught me how to fold paper together and staple them in the center to make my own little notebooks. This must've been a relief for her, because it was one of the things that could keep me busy for at least an hour. I think I've always had attention deficit but making books and writing calm me down.
The first two journals I have made


6. Journaling and Organization. I found that the only way to find the perfect planner for my life was to design and build it myself. Now I've also found the joy in journaling. I love to journal with my grandkids!
Hand lettering. I love to try
to make my pages prettier.
Work in progress.

7. My Charities. This last year I have been supporting Operation Underground Railroad. They do great work rescuing children from human trafficking and supporting them after they're rescued.
My first Rapunzel wig

I also starting making yarn wigs for The Magic Yarn Project. They have organized people all over the world in making fun, Disney character yarn wigs for little cancer fighters who have lost or are losing their hair. Just one look at the children's faces showed me the kind of joy I take for granted. Bless their courageous hearts.

My Story Matters helps families and children heal from their sufferings through the process of writing their stories.

8. I am a recovering craft-a-holic. I flit from hobby to hobby, but I still enjoy primitive embroidery, making beach stone necklaces, journal charms and bookmarks, and especially Harry Potter crafts!


For stray socks
from Pinterest, of course
Hogwart's acceptance letter



Tom Riddle's Diary

Journal Charms
Bookmarks


Beach stones from the Med
No two stones are alike.
I wish you could see their individual beauty!


I made my first Fairy garden in 2016.


9. Log Homes and Tiny Houses, or better yet, Tiny Log homes:
How cute is this?

10. Last, but not least, My Family. I am married. I have 5 + 5 children. We have been blessed with really good kids.

I also have 18 of the sweetest grandkids ever. They are challenging, entertaining, delightful, energetic and so loving.

Everyone has such busy schedules, but they have all made commitments to quarterly family gatherings. These can be scheduling nightmares but we all work to clear our schedules for family time.

We hold an annual Easter egg hunt, and Halloween treasure hunt. Summertime is the time for some sort of water fun. Winter we squeeze in both Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, along with a host of recitals and soccer games.
Putting their heads together to figure out the next clue.
Halloween


Best of all, the grandkids love their cousins and everyone gets along. Don't get me wrong...we are so far from perfect. I doubt we could ever live under the same roof again and get along as easily, but for family gatherings we make it work and I appreciate that my kids will do that for me and each other.


And there are other things I want to do along the way. I want to make all kinds of books, journals, planners, and doodle books.
I always wanted to own my very own bookstore. This blog is the virtual fulfillment of that dream--a bookstore where all of my favorite things have a home; journal supplies, kids' books, fun adventures, mysteries and pretend.




Review Policies

"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."
  ~Henry David Thoreau

We finished our last solicited review 9/9/2015.

Giveaway Policies
Give-a-ways are open to those who are 18 years of age or older, residents of the United States (unless otherwise stated), and eligible to enter.
There is usually no purchase necessary, but there may be tasks required for entries (i.e., following our blog, liking our Facebook page, following an author, etc.).
ALL GIVEAWAYS ARE VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
There is no limit to the number of give-a-ways you can enter and win on this site.
Provide a valid email address to enter. The winner will be emailed and will have 72 hours to claim the prize. If we cannot contact you to award the prize your entry is void. If the prize goes unclaimed by the original winner, a new winner may be chosen or prize may be awarded at a later date.
Most items are sponsored and shipped by a 3rd party sponsor. For giveaways sponsored by a 3rd party you give us the right to share your personal information to that third party.
We are not responsible for prizes that don't arrive. We are not responsible for any items lost or damaged in shipping.
All contests can be ended early or extended without notice or reason given.

We reserve the right to substitute a prize if necessary.

We reserve the right to disqualify an entry. Entrants can be disqualified without notification.
Give-a-ways may be run by Google Docs or Rafflecopter. Winner is chosen randomly then announced in a later post.
Give-a-ways are not associated with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Sponsors will be posted with the give-a-way.  
Giveaway Hops
A Giveaway Hop is several different blogs hosting giveaways that link up together. This allows followers to hop from blog to blog, giveaway to giveaway, increasing their chances of winning.

For blogs it means lots of new traffic. Everyone wins!

If you host a giveaway on your blog you can also enter all the giveaways on the other blogs.

1. Fill out the form in the Linky tool when provided. Put your shipping information in parenthesis after your blog name. If nothing is listed there I will assume US only. I find that sending gift cards via email opens the door to international visitors = more entries.

2. In your blog post include the Giveaway Hop Image at the beginning and the linky list of participating blogs at the end (html will be provided to you in an email). Make sure you post what you are giving away and how to enter.

3. You can use either your comments section, Google Docs, or Rafflecopter for your own giveaway. If you use Rafflecopter, set the Rafflecopter to begin accepting entries the day before the hop and to stop accepting entries the day after the hop ends. Please keep the maximum entries allowed to a minimum. I don't allow more than 5 possible entries in any hop. Use weighted entries carefully. Any task worth more than 3-4 entries will get you deleted from the linky list. All entries must be able to be done in 1 visit, for example, tweeting once a day is not allowed. Require only one mandatory task that is easy to comply with.

4. Your giveaway must be timed for and be specific to the hop. Please have your post up by 11:59 pm EST the night before the hop. You can post sooner or schedule your post, but please make sure it is live prior to midnight. Remember time zones: 11:59 EST = 10:59 CST = 9:59 MST = 8:59 PST.

5. If you require more than one comment for entries turn off word verification/CAPTCHA.

6. Keep your giveaway post easy to find for the duration of the hop. If you post often, post a link to the hop at the top or top sidebar. When you email me the exact address of your post after it has gone live I can update the linky to go directly to your post.

7. You are responsible for obtaining a prize for the giveaway and for paying shipping. Percentage off coupons are not allowed as gifts. Ebooks and gift cards make great gifts that save on shipping.

8. You are responsible to check the linky list on the first day of the hop to be sure you are still on the list and that the link still works. If you were deleted for any reason, other than rule number 10, email me your link and I should be able to add you.

9. Do your part of advertising your giveaway. Use all Social Media at your disposal. If you want more traffic use your social media every day or several times a day.

Last, but not least...
10. We strive to be a family-friendly blog. Please no steamy or gorey images! Both your blog or website and your giveaway must be family friendly. If there are questionable images in your header or sidebars you will be deleted from the linky. NO erotica, steamy pictures, or depicted violence. If I receive complaints from any follower regarding content or images, I will delete the giveaway from the linky. You have the right to post whatever content you like, however, I reserve the right to remove whatever content I deem inappropriate when I host a giveaway. Think movie rating G.  If you have questions please email me at maryanndennis (at) Comcast (dot) net.

Disclosures

This policy is valid from 14 February 2015

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact  Mary Ann (maryanndennis (at)comcast(dot)net).

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org


Compensation Disclosure
Step Into A Storybook does not accept compensation for our honest reviews other than a free copy of the book reviewed. We do receive compensation from Google Ads that run in the sidebars.
We hope to become an Amazon Affiliate soon. We will rent additional ad space in our bookstore and sidebar for advertising family-friendly books. We will disclose in each post if it is an affiliate or sponsored post.
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