Blogmas | How Do I Read? w/ TILISMA

Hello!

I had meant for this post to go out a lot sooner than this, but I never felt it was right to publish until Christmas was around the corner, so, this is a two-in-one kind of blog post as I answer a question you’ve probably had on your mind since the start of the year, how do I read? The other is going to be about a brilliant company that makes these cute and smart gift ideas for readers and students!


Back in August, I published a new installment of “Photo Diary” based around on how life was going and of course, I included lots of pictures of our nine cats. I mentioned that I was loving to read outside with them, but most importantly it gave you an insight of how I actually read where the book is propped on top of something, for me to use comfortably. The interesting part is, this is just one way, I actually have a total of four different positions to read in my spare time. Besides the use of the bench I take outside, I find myself using any flat surface to help me do things mainly because its easier to control when everything is at an even ground.

I’ve been known to surprise many people when they come around while I am enjoying a book, because of the distance between the pages and my eyes, it has never been an issue for me because honestly I’ve learned to make it work; like with everything else, I adapt to my surroundings! However, the thing that is harder to master is keeping the pages open easily. It wasn’t until July that I might’ve found a solution to this insecurity.

I follow and love a great deal of BookTubers (people on YouTube who mostly discuss bookish things.) and I was on Chelsea Palmer’s channel, watching yet another haul but she started off the video with introducing her audience to these neat products, by the name of TILISMA and the only description worth explaining on how they look is imagine Batman’s bat knifes he throws at crooks on the run and the sharp edges would pin the person up against the wall. If you have no idea of what I am talking about, this is what they generally look like.

Chelsea was gifted with all of their products, and in the video she showed everyone how to use them. The objective was simple: the holders would be placed in one hand and one hand only. They were designed this way, so that the reader inserts their thumb inside a hole that is measured to the average size and while your thumb is there, you could hold down the pages with as much pressure as you want to keep them separate while the rest of your hand on the other side basically holds the book to your desired advantage point.

I thought these were super cool! I do struggle with holding a book open on my own, and apparently it doesn’t matter what kind of idea I attempt to help conquer this, I haven’t been able to find the perfect way to enjoy a book without worrying I am going to lose my spot or worse tear a page because I can’t move fast enough! The thing that stood out in my mind was that I didn’t just think an average person could benefit from this kind of product, but I thought people with disabilities could enjoy them as well!

I ended up spending a greater part of my summer trying to get in touch with the company to explain how much this would help others with physical disabilities, who have limited movement in their hands (or in my case, feet), but we continue to depend on somebody else or find heavy but small objects to keep the pages open. So, after explaining my thoughts about their revolutionary products (or “hooks” as I like to call them) to the TILISMA team, I was asked to have a member of my family measure out the size of my toe to see if they could figure something out for me.

Unfortunately, it took forever to them to come in, thanks to the drama about the mailing system! It wasn’t until early September that I received three medium sized packages; I had array of holders in their individual packages at my disposal and they were even cuter up close and personal as they did in Chelsea’s video three months earlier!


So, I was gifted with the standard Hazelnut holder that has little curves that make a slight “S” shape and it is gorgeous! Every item is unique in their own ways, but mine has both a darker brown color but it also has this thick stripe of beige like when you cut into a piece of wood and you see the white flesh of the inside, the difference here is that the product is completely smooth. You can’t tell that it was homemade or real for that matter either!

Recently, my cousin gave me all seven books of the Harry Potter series and at the time I wrote this post, I was using this hook to help me keep the pages open. The one thing I had an issue was not necessarily the hook because I had grown to enjoy the width of the actual hook-like wings on the sides, for they made the opening more stable for me. I didn’t feel like I was giving it too much pressure, but since the books had belonged to someone else, the spine’s collapsing on itself and you really have to be careful with how you handle each one, so I’m glad I had something like this to keep reading easy on me. 

The next one is again a standard holder, but could be work easier with heavy, thick books as the design itself is without dips unlike the one above. For me, I think of it like an eye, the circular shape of a cat’s eye is actually the perfect way to describe it because where the hole is would be where the iris sits. I like the fact that it is this deep and rich brown, almost like a brownie hue, and it is pretty sturdy as well. I don’t feel like it could snap whenever I apply a strong act of pressure in the spine of the book.

One of their cuter items is this heard shaped holder. This was my mom’s favorite because it was a nice surprise to the whole thing! By the way, my mom was the only one I had shown what their products looked like, in order to gain advice on my idea several months ago, but I left this one out of the talk, because I wasn’t sure if I would receive one or not.

It is basically an outline of a heart in the wood with a hole in the middle to insert your finger through to keep your place. As much as I loved the design of this, I cannot use it myself because for me it’s too bulky, which I found to be odd, but so far I haven’t found a book where I can sit it comfortably so that part sucks; for now though, it is part of my decoration on my bookshelf.

Do you remember when I said in the beginning about how I had to have someone measure my toe? Well, there was a smaller version of the first standard hook stuffed inside a little box – but the big difference to the others is that it fits over my toe!!

I must have a really small toe considering how big the hole they carved out takes up a lot space of the design. I am still shocked on two things: the first is being the material being strong enough to withstand the large gap in the middle, and next, is it was as soft as the others and slides off so nicely! I love it so much that I tend to forget to put it away after I’ve stopped reading, and I literally just wear it around my family. Don’t worry, I try to hide it from my nephew because we don’t want him damaging it nor getting his fingers stuck either!


I wanted to say something special for the team of TILISMA before I go. Thank you so much for creating these little things. They are clever and so easy to use! I know you probably never thought someone such as myself would message you out of the blue like I did, but thank you for not only being patient but also working with me to (hopefully) reach a even bigger audience for you in the future!

If you would like to purchase any of the products featured above, click here to be redirected to their Amazon page. The reason why I did not link each one with the holder is because you might need a different size so I figured it would be much easier for you, to search through the various hooks and find the size you need on your own.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I think if you are buying these for someone else, they will feel very appreciated that you thought of them. Here are some of my other photos I (and my dad too!) took of them so you can have a better idea of what they look like in real life.

If you decide to try out any of their products, please let me know because I would love to hear your thoughts about them as well. And if you have used any of the products, what were some of your first impression of them? Do you believe others that stuffer with limitations in their hands/fingers, could use them with ease? Why or why not?

snowflake

Nolan’s 1st Party!

Hello!

Last weekend we celebrated my nephew’s first birthday with a big party! It’s been a long time since I have been at his house. I told my mom that he had to been around three months at the time, because Brandon and I were watching Black Panther after it just came out on DVD. It was very difficult to keep my eyes on the screen and not on a certain little baby in the pack-n-play! He was surprisingly very good for us, until towards the ending where he wanted to be fed quickly and he wasn’t – he wasn’t very happy! He has yet to grow out of that by the way!

The theme of the party had changed a few times over the coming months, but ultimately they decided on one thing: Llamas! So, in March, my sister found him this cute little llama stuffed toy at the store for Easter and he apparently liked it so much that she set out to find other items to fit in that theme, thus making the entire party about llamas. The only thing that wasn’t in a llama shape was the cake, although she did try to find someone to make one for her back in May!

One of my favorite things that had llamas on it, were our shirts that Blondie found for us. Both sides of the family were given customize T-Shirts of a black silhouette of a llama with whatever we are to Nolan. For example, I am his “auntie” so that’s what I got on mine, but both of his grandmothers have different names. My mom is “Mimi” while Brandon’s mom is “Grammie” to him. I have always had a small stack of tops that fit perfectly on my shoulders and if there was a special design on the front, it isn’t blocked by my hands the whole time the stack was even smaller! I’m very glad to tell you that I can add this to the pack! You can see everything, I love it so much!

My mom and I were the first ones to get there. I was greeted by Chipper and the cats. Chipper was SO excited to see us, but the look on Nolan’s face when he realized that Mimi was the one waking him up from a nap in his crib, was so cute! He was so surprised! He looked stunned when he found out I was there too! We were there about 10 minutes before my dad and our “uncle” Russell came over. Nolan was very happy to see his papaw! He just wrapped his small arms around his neck (and beard) and my dad was all too happy to deny him. Nolan was a little unsure about Russell at first but after a couple of minutes, he actually asked to be held by him and it was so adorable.

They were originally supposed to have 30+ people coming to the party, but since we were under a Tornado warning all afternoon, we were happy with the small get together instead. It was an interesting mix of people though, the best thing was everybody got along perfectly! We ate food, chit-chat with one another, played with Nolan. Our friend Jayde, who is expecting her first baby boy later this year, ate around three cupcakes. She and I made a deal that she could have the cupcakes and I can have the broccoli. I love broccoli! She fully agreed to that! I’m actually shocked on how little I snacked though, because I’m known to eat quite a bit at parties but there wasn’t a lot of room for me to eat by myself or have my mom feed me easily without being in the way of little guy eating his strawberries in his high chair! Honestly, I made myself a deal at the end of the party, I was going to have one vanilla cupcake. I did get my cupcake, but I almost regretted it on the way home…

After everybody grabbed a seat, we decided it was time to open some presents. He got a LOT of interesting toys for his birthday! The first one that “he” opened was from his Grammie and his aunties too. Blondie opened the cards first, which is always a nice gesture even though they are usually the last present anybody ever wants to open, because they usually have a message inside that could make you cry in front of your guests. Nolan was another story entirely, he loved his cards! The one that his Grammie got him had shiny glitter inside the number one symbol on the front, so you could essentially shake it like a snow globe and everything will move around. He literally did not want to put it down! It was in his right hand during the rest of the unwrapping.

These are some of the gifts that I could remember of the party.

  • A small red and blue slide (that was wrapped in Batman paper! I loved it, and I’m not a big fan of him either!)
  • A large stack of different summery clothes.
  • Bubble making lawn mower
  • Tool bench and belt full of tools he’ll need to fix my ‘broken’ wheelchairs
  • A standing drum set
  • A big yellow truck to put all of his toys
  • Paw Patrol trucks with characters of the show
  • A book for bedtime made specifically for him as it has a blond baby named Nolan.

There were a lot more that you will see at in the gallery below. He will certainly be really busy making lots of noises in the next few months! My sister actually sent mom a picture of him standing at the drum kit in the middle of the pack-n-play without any help of the walls after the party was over! We’re getting closer to seeing cutie pie walking around on his own.

Once we were finished with the presents, we moved on watching him eat his smash cake. For this, he had to become semi-naked and as much as he loves being like this, he absolutely hates taking off his clothes! After everything was off, he was placed in his high chair again. I will be inserting the before and after pictures of the cake itself in a minute, but Nolan isn’t necessarily a messy eater, he likes to inspect things so he was really puzzled by this cake at first. He literally only would stick one finger into it at a time. Brandon quickly realized that we’d be here forever if he continues doing this, so to make things go faster, he literally grabbed Nolan’s hands and planted them right into the cake! Nolan was not sure what to do with all of the icing on his hands so he was literally shaking his arms but he actually accepted the fact that it did taste pretty good!

The part that made me remember that I am still teaching him things without even realizing it, was when he started leaning his mouth into the cake. As everybody was laughing and taking pictures at this, I was like “oh, crap!” Whenever I eat in the kitchen, he is at the same level as me, so he can watch me like a hawk, because I do lean into my plate so my tongue can reach everything. So seeing the now one year old mimicking what I do for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, was pretty cute! He was trying his best to get into it, to the point that my sister actually had to hold the cake up in front of him to reach with his mouth! He’s such a smart cookie!

Once he was done eating the cake–well, actually his mommy had to take it away from him! He wasn’t very happy about that, but after he was basically washed down with many, many wipes, he was rewarded with his new toys! He quickly went back to his tool belt and started waving it around in the air. This was also the time where half of the guests were leaving to go home. Russell and dad were one of the firsts to leave because we needed them to be ready to get back into the house, which was a fun mini adventure on its own!

My mom and I left about 10 minutes later, but we were going to get food from Applebee’s and it was roughly a 20-25 minute wait to pick everything up, we decided to go look at the expensive houses in town. I’ve been watching Property Brothers like crazy lately so this was my jam! However between the two of us, we realized how different our tastes in houses were as far as exterior design goes! I still love my ranch-style houses, but even I started finding some of these larger houses to be very beautiful, especially that Tudor house! Once our 20 minutes were up, we went to pick up our food and eventually made our way home!

I had an awesome time spending the day with a great bunch of people, and what I think really made it better was the fact that after the small storm we had, the sky actually perked up. It was sunny again, which was really nice considering how much rain we’ve had in the last couple of weeks or so! I also had lots of fan watching my little nephew enjoy time with each family and friends as well!

What do you think is the most weirdest theme for a birthday? What did you think of my day too?

Blondie’s Bridal Shower!

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Hello! 🙂

Three weekends ago, I mentioned on my outfit of the day post that I went to my sister’s bridal shower! It was exciting and a bit nerve-wrecking to say the least, because most of us waited until like the last minute to figure out what exactly we were going to do while there, like what kind of decorations and games we were going to play. Blondie and Brandon came up with some of the decorations months earlier, but I think a few things will be used for their reception at the actual wedding.

When we got there, we were greeted by their cat Samuel just chilling on a towel in front of the door. Thank god the door opens towards you otherwise he would have been hit. He’s kind of lucky he didn’t get run over either! A few of the bridesmaids Sam, Jayde, Skyela and Alli were there already. Sam and Blondie were in the little kitchenette cooking the beef and chicken for the Taco Bar. The cats kept trying to steal pieces of ice out of the bucket Brandon b18556333_10202948868520790_8267943436613421614_nought to keep the mini water bottles cold the entire time.

The shower was the first time my mom and I to finally meet some of Brandon’s family. I’ve actually been excited to meet his mom since probably last year. I know she’s not my mother-in-law but I still wanted to meet her! He had his mom, sisters, cousin, aunt and grandma there. I felt bad for him in ways, he basically stayed in his “man cave” through most of the shower playing his new video game; that part he probably wasn’t too sad about that! He did come out for one of the games though. When we played The Newlywed Game. I had asked him questions two days before so we could make signs and I realized that not only do I suck at bubble letters that I really need to invest on using my clipboard more since I now have green little dots all over my new cutting board. It’s for my blogging photography, don’t freak out on me too much!

His mom, brought down some very adorable pictures of when he was a baby and toddler for the party game “Guess What Age I Am” and don’t worry, mom found some very cute photos of Blondie when she was younger too! My dad and I had to glue them onto some paper and I wrote what age might’ve been in each one. I say “might’ve” because I had a hard time thinking back how old she really was for each year! I sat between both of my grandma’s, it was the first outing my nana has done since her whole health scare. She seemed18581601_10155343778247520_3354911898878346185_n to enjoy it since Otis basically flooped down into her lap when she first got into the apartment! Nana failed at guessing Blondie’s age in each picture, while my grandma (dad’s mom) and I won a fair amount on Brandon’s. I guess I can’t tell between a few months and a year old!

I was very proud of myself. I joined in on the fun with the games. When everybody was first showing up, they were asked to write out a memory of them and the bride-to-be and since I couldn’t figure out a single memory to share, I decided to say which one and have her guess which guest it is. Apparently I didn’t understand the rules very well, because as Blondie was failing to guess the right person, I thought it was only right to help her out but I kept getting yelled at by our mother because I was giving out hints. To the ones she couldn’t guess right, they were given prizes. It wasn’t until we were on our way home that I figured it that out and then I felt like a dumbass! Anyways, the memories were funny and I thought were better than what we both thought would happen. The last one was probably the “worst” out of all of them because it had to do with her drinking! Poor thing, three grandmothers in the room and she thought she was free from them hearing anything bad! Wrong!

18622914_10202953825844720_22095171_nBack in March Blondie and I had looked on Pinterest for different ones. I found quite a neat games, I kind of thought we could play a Disney related game since the theme of the wedding is half Disney princesses and half Batman, like no joke! Just look at their cake topper that Brandon found on Etsy at the picture above! I will link the different games we played here: The Newlywed Game and What’s In My Phone or use the alternative What’s In My Purse?

I definitely had a fun time! I was in a lot of pain by the time it was all over with though so that part sucked! Poor Chipper sent the weekend at the vet while his brothers were having the time of their lives with the guests. Gru and Otis crashed on a few laps, Samuel begged for taco meat from my mother, but little Tonif chilled out underneath the bed the whole time until she bravely went out into the living room and was stunned of the amount of people and did a U-turn back into the bedroom, she almost hit her back legs on the doorway! I’m thankful Blondie didn’t start crying when that happened! I went back over the Monday afterwards and she seemed more relaxed, even let me pet her which does not happen very much!

Hope you all enjoyed the post! Next will be about the Bachlorette Party!

snowflake

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DIY: Hallow-Sicles!

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Today I am back with my second DIY post for this month! If you haven’t seen last week’s post, it was called “Candy Corn Banner” and you can check out the instructions on how to make your own banner!

This craft, we got started on it the same day we did the banner. Despite the fact that we were both losing energy, we were both positive and very creative that we thought we’d end up finishing both projects in one day! I still think it was accomplishment that we were able to get the first steps completed and the day I came back to her house we finished the rest of it and made a few more characters!

Again, I found this one on Pinterest but unlike the banner where it was just one link, people make crafts with Popsicle sticks all the time so there’s a mass quantities of them all over the site! However, I will include the one that gave me the idea to help you out, but everything was really simple!

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What you will need for this:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper Plates
  • Napkins

Most that we used for these guys my nana already had in her “craft drawer” and yes, she has one of those and it’s glorious! Anyways, in the original link they used only five sticks for the characters but I honestly can’t create a whole face in that amount of room so we upped the number to eleven sticks. We lined the sticks side-by-side to make a little fence.

After we figured that out and counted multiple times to make sure we had the right amount of sticks we got started on getting them to stay together. We used a glittery Elmer’s glue that kept drying up on us everytime we tried to use it. My poor nana had so much trouble that she ended up having to take off the cap and actually paint on the glue on the sticks! Surprisingly, that worked a lot better than we thought it would!

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We ended up stopping on the project to finish the banner, so I can’t exactly tell you how long it took for it to dry completely, but it wasn’t that long! I want to say less than five minutes!

I wanted to really give myself room to be creative considering my nana was the one who had to do the beginning steps. So I decided to draw out the characters on a pieces of paper, I made a vampire, Frankenstein, witch, ghost, etc. I just wanted an outline of what I wanted on these canvases. I had my nana measure out the fences and they came out to be 4×1/2 by 4×1/2 and then I had my dad take those measurements and make me four squares on my ole sketch pad.

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When I went to actually draw anything, everything literally went to hell. I am an artist, but I’ve sort of been in retirement for the last 4 or 5 years and apparently parts of me like the status and when I started to draw out a witch, I basically tore myself down.. It was awful! Anyways, I had to find a new way to go about this so I treated it like I was coloring as that doesn’t bother me as much! And I started coloring a witch, and somehow I made what looks like a cross between a warlock and a Frankenstein monster!

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The next day I went back to my nana’s and added another DIY “experiment” to this project! I went on Pinterest to find a way to make homemade paints and I found one, but I will not deny, it is a pain in the butt because you only get the recipe. There’s nothing about getting the lumps out or how long to let it rest. So that part became the actual “experiment” but it was sort of a success! The day after my dad bought us some new paints so we no longer had to use the homemade paint, which is the reason why I’m not including the recipe in this post!

To finish our pumpkins, we didn’t necessarily know what would be easier for us to do as far as the faces went, so she drew out the eyes and nose on hers but I had to figure out a mouth and I went with the standard buck teeth; she did pretty good with this and I ended up doing the same thing but did my eyes differently. She also wanted to add “hair” onto her pumpkin. She originally was going to glue orange yarn, but we both thought it was too much orange so she used a last bit of black glitter for the hair and now he’s very cute!

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I decided to do two more, well at least get started on two others. After I finished my Jack O’ Lantern, that I’ve named “Jackie” I moved on to my next character! I still wanted to try for a witch so I painted a fence in a limeade green and while I let it dry I painted another fence white. For this fence, I decided to go freehand or in this case, “freefoot” and didn’t make an outline of the face. I made the mouth first and then worked my way up! It looked so cute, I was very proud of myself by the end of it!

I let it dry before I moved onto the next stage, which was doing the iris of the eyes. After that, I realized that I didn’t have enough room for the cap and I made a last minute decision to make it a Frankenstein monster, so I made a small hairline and luckily I had the ends of the sticks on the back showing so I painted those areas in black and lastly I added a lavender pupil so he still looked silly, unlike the scary monster I had pictured into my mind! His name is “Frankie” if you wanted to know!

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We officially finished the craft the next day, but I felt if I added any more onto this post, nobody would want to read it. So that’s why I’ve decided to stop here! If you would like to see any others, go check out my Facebook page! I posted some sneak peeks!

Hope you all have enjoyed these posts! 🙂

What do you think of our fence characters? Who is your favorite?

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snowflake

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OOTD: Batman

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Hey guys!

Today I have a new OOTD post for you! I’m a little excited to do this one as it came after spending like two or three hours with my grandparents on Friday. We usually never pay attention to the clock but I’m pretty sure it was that length of time. These pictures were taken indoors, actually in my nana’s office! She’s also the one who took my pictures too! She was a wonderful helper but she’s like my mom, they secretly like taking my pictures for my OOTD posts! 🙂

I actually have a funny story to tell before I go into the details of my outfit. If any of you missed my Christmas post I published at the end of December, I mentioned my sister’s boyfriend is a big fan of Batman. So my mom and dad got Brandon, Blondie, and I three different Batman shirts. When I opened up mine, I was a bit confused at first thinking it was Brandon’s present and then when they unwrapped theirs at my nana’s later that morning and it all started to make sense! I’m actually not a big fan of DC comic superheros, but I can make an exception! Fast forward to now, well Friday morning and I decided since I had a few seconds to kill that I’d snap a picture of myself on my phone and send it to him saying I was finally wearing my shirt. His text sounded proud of me! I actually wanted to wear it last week when I went to the dentist, but I wasn’t moving my mouth fast enough to ask if I could!

I was expecting this shirt to be rough, especially around the middle where the “Batman” design is placed. I’m always weary of designs such as these because I do have a sensitivity of different textures, but lucky for me the whole shirt is so smooth! Usually whenever you have designs anywhere on a shirt, you think there will be a clear difference in between the materials, but there’s not. The yellow area is very soft where the black area reminds me of swimsuit material, it has that kind of texture to it. Thankfully, because of the big “Batman” font, it is still readable when my hands are their normal places. The neck is definitely bigger than anybody would like it to be, but I like how roomy it feels on me so I don’t care if my shoulder is exposed! As for my pants, I wore my only solid black pants with the buttons on the side. Luckily my mom found those because I literally don’t anything else that would work for this shirt!

LINKS:
Batman Symbol Yellow T-Shirt (similar)

What do you think of my outfit? Yay or nay? Whose your favorite superhero?

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snowflake

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