the hub’s kaijudo tackles bullying

october is anti-bullying month so on this last day of the month i figured, why not post about “kaijudo: rise of the duel masters“? this animated action-fantasy has a strong central anti-bullying message for kids ages 8 to 14.

kaijudo's ray
kaijudo’s ray

the show airs on the hub network saturdays at 2pm et/11am pt and centers around a character named ray (voiced by “party of five”‘s scott wolf) who summons creatures from other dimensions whenever he’s bullied.

i recently chatted with the show’s super cool head writers, andrew robinson and henry gilroy, to find out what they hope children will learn about dealing with bullies from watching the cartoon. after all, you don’t want your kid thinking it’s possible to call on super creatures if he/she’s being bullied, right?

the kids stand up for themselves
the kids stand up for themselves

henry jumped right in and explained, “the focus really isn’t so much on superpowers, but on friendship and your friends are obviously going to be your greatest allies against bullying because they don’t tolerate it. bullies usually pick on one kid and if somebody else speaks up, that bully stops. it’s really about problem solving.”

andrew added, “none of our human characters have super powers. they can be hurt and they are vulnerable, but there’s strength in numbers and there’s strength in friendships.

watch a clip from the cartoon and be sure to have your kids tune in for a little action adventure this saturday!

hair mask recipe & styling curly hair vids

don’t go thinking this about to turn into a natural hair blog. i promise you, it’s not. 🙂 but i am in the process of attempting to grow my hair out…again. i go through this every fall/winter, tire of it because it looks so wild & insane and then i chop it all off to get back to my happy place.

but this year i’m hoping to have more stick-to-it-ness and a sista needs tips!! so you might see a few more hair-related posts here from time-to-time. as i find good stuff, i’ll share!

i recently found this awesome video by andreaschoice on youtube on making your very own hair strengthening mask using coconut oil and eggs. it’s great for dry, damaged, over-processed hair. she’s super, uber popular on yt so if you’ve looked into these types of videos before, you might already know about her.

but anyhoooo, can i just saw this woman has absolutely gorgeous hair?

in this second video, andrea shows how she styles her curly hair. i chose andrea’s videos because her hair texture is close to mine (only mine is a wee bit curlier), but there are tons and tons of videos on youtube with hair maintenance techniques for all hair types.

use coconut oil for…everything!

last year i started using virgin coconut oil on my hair after reading about the benefits of it on a few natural hair blogs. i’d be lying if i said i remembered which blogs i read the info on because a lot of times i just virtually skate through a bunch of sites, but here are a few natural hair blogs that will give you enough good info to get you started:

what’s the best way to apply coconut oil at
magic in a jar? the many benefits of coconut oil at
what’s the best way to apply coconut oil to natural hair at

but using coconut oil for your hair is just the very beginning, people! there are tons of uses for this stuff from skincare to cooking to helping with ear infections and yeast infections to household uses. i mean, really? who knew? i surely didn’t!! but now i do and i’m sharing coconut use links with you.

122 uses for coconut oil at delicious obsessions
333 uses for coconut oil at hybrid rasta mama
how to use coconut oil on the face at livestrong
cooking with coconut oil at nytimes
more than 101 reasons to use coconut oil as a home remedy to improve your health naturally at natural news
can applying coconut oil reduce hair loss? at daily glow

go get you some!

reading is fundamental!

i visited the reading is fundamental website ( and found this really cool song/video produced by the roots featuring jack black, chris martin, john legend, jim james, jason schwartzman, nate ruess, melanie fiona, carrie brownstein, regina spektor and consequence. !

make the pledge to share the power of books for young minds today at book people unite.

celebrating my 40eve

birthday niki d.

today is my 39th birthday.

39?!?! me??

geez louise!! how the heck did that happen??

birthday niki d.

don’t get me wrong, i’m not complaining. it’s a blessing to see another year. another day, period! and i thank the Lord for it and for all that i have in my life.

self-portrait niki d.

hey, my milkshake still brings my baby boy to the yard after 8 years of marriage, we have two wonderful children, i have the most awesome parents on the planet, my family is filled with some pretty cool characters… really, i have no complaints.

self-portrait niki d.

life has ups & downs & twists & turns & mess that doesn’t go the way you expected it to and expected things that don’t turn out quite the way you wished, but there’s a lesson in it all…a definite take away. for every little disappointment i had in my 38th year, i count it all joy (james 1:2-4).

i choose joy and i plan to rock out my 39th year, which i’ve lovingly dubbed my 40eve.

birthday niki d.

so here’s to another year, a press of the restart button, a new beginning at a new age…full of possibilities.



here i stand: the worst mama on the planet


life is way beyond stressful right now. there’s constant job hunting and general frustration over that, my dear husband has (understandably) added home searching into the mix, opportunities have come up that need to be weighed…heavily. i have a million ideas of what i could be doing, but i’m in such a frazzled state that i can think of two million reasons why they won’t work.

bills keep coming in as sure as the sun rises, ankle biter football has become more of a stress point in my life than i would’ve ever imagined. who knew? maybe i’ll post on that later. and of course the regular ol’ day-to-day stuff that keeps my mind spinning.


so last thursday i treated the day like any other school day. got dutch up and ironed his clothes, made his lunch. walked the dog. dropped dutch off at school. you know, the regular routine stuff. it was only when i picked him up that i noticed the big, flashing notice on that electronic sign that sits in front of the school building that said:


wait. i thought to myself. is today wednesday or thursday? surely i did NOT forget freakin’ picture day!

i mean, really? who does that?

me obviously.

not only did i forget to make sure that my child looked extra snazzy that day for his second grade picture, but daggone it, the picture order form was right there on my dining table. blank. no enclosed check or nothing.

things like this usually get dutch all upset and bothered. he’s usually all, “mooooom!! you forgot?! how did you forget??” i mean, it’s not often that i forget the important stuff, but when i do (like the time i left his lunch on the counter and sent him off to school without it and he ended up having a bag of popcorn for lunch. *sigh*) he’s pretty good at giving me all kinds of guilt trips. and i take it ’cause he’s right.

so i walked over to him on the playground all worried that he’d be disappointed and started apologizing immediately. do they even let kids take a picture if they’re not paying for them? will his picture even be in the yearbook that dutch so looks forward to getting every year? i wasn’t sure. but dutch said that he did at least take the picture. whew! it wasn’t like he had to sit in the classroom alone while all of his classmates lined up with their shiny picture-taking outfits, waving good-bye to him like he was the broke kid whose parents couldn’t at least afford the $20 picture packet.

thank goodness.

and it’s not like picture day is a one shot deal either. even if they don’t have a make-up day, they do have personality picture day closer to the end of the school year so all is not lost.

but still.

how did i let this slip by? dutch, surprisingly, didn’t make much of a fuss about it although i’m sure he will once the pictures come in and he doesn’t have any. and i’m sure this sounds like not such a big deal to a lot of folks, but i typically pride myself on being on top of these sorta things.

it’s not that we NEED another picture. in fact, dutch just had football pictures taken recently and i’m constantly snappin’ new pics of dutch. it’s just the principle of it all. like, how in the world could i have forgotten about picture day? my mother would’ve never.

i think parents often feel pangs of guilt over stuff they shoulda woulda coulda done and this was definitely one of those moments for me. i know if i wasn’t feeling so stressed all the daggone time i would’ve remembered. forgetting picture day was a huge reminder that i need to slow down a bit. pay closer attention to things that matter. shut out some of the clutter and buzz-y crap that’s swimming around in my mind.

do better.

5 ways to jazz up your home

just like a kazillion other folks i love pinning crafty stuff! i’m sure one of these days i’ll actually get around to making some of this stuff, but until then i’ll keep collecting these cool ideas. if you’re into getting your hands a bit dirty (or paint-y/glue-y), here are 5 ways to jazz up your home.

diy antiqued mercury mirror glass as found on 17 apart

Source: via niki on

diy cement planters as found on ruffled

Source: via niki on Pinterest

diy painted ikea rug as found on charm home

Source: via niki on Pinterest

sharpie’d fabric attached to the wall as seen on numbered street designs

Source: via niki on Pinterest

cross stitch chair as found on my poppet

Source: via niki on Pinterest