Wednesday, August 20, 2014

School and Office Supplies to Tickle Your Fancy

Confession: I have a serious addition to office and school supplies.

And yes, fall is my favorite time of year, mostly because of all those back-to-school sales that happen at the end of summer and beginning of autumn.  I've been a good girl this year (so far), so I've limited my buying to notebooks--all 15 of them.  I guess I did buy some glue sticks, too...oh, and some expensive pens with pink ink...and possibly a few other things....

Anyway, in the spirit of back-to-school fun, here are links to some of the coolest office or school supplies around.

SUCK UK Block Notes - Sticky Memo Pads
Keep Calm and Tetris On

These Block Notes were developed by some uber cool dude from the UK.  The company that produces them, SUCK UK, makes all sorts of unique products (and many different awesome office supplies, too). You can check out their website here: I also like their SMS sticky notes and their cork globe.

Everything Is Better With Bacon

The Japanese company Gladly Gladee came up with this brilliant bacon pencil case.

Almost makes me hungry just looking at it. You can see their other cute cases at I particularly love the banana, the paint tubes, and the milk carton.


Scotch tape is taking on the NFL with these too-cool-for-words football tape dispensers. They've got them for every team in the NFL as well as in solid blue, white, or red for those of us who can't decide which team to root for.  You can check out the whole line here:  Also, take a look at the tape dispenser line of high-heeled shoes, in case you aren't the sporty type.

Eh, What's Up, Doc?

How about this awesome carrot pen?  You can't go wrong when writing with one of these.  Office Playground has many, many, many more novelty pens, too, in case you aren't interested in playing with your food.
Some of my other favorites are the octopus tentacle, the sand timer, and the missile with the exploding note paper. Check out the whole line here:

Style and Composition

I love love love composition notebooks.  But I get tired of the usual marbled covers. Poppin has come out with a line of much cooler cover designs. Check out the whole line here:

Got any other cool office or school supplies I should know about? Please leave a comment and tell me!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Reads: Three Times Lucky

You may not notice at first glance, but we ENFJ's happen to have an intellectual side, too.  We may seem very shallow one minute, and then the next minute we're carrying on a deep, thought-provoking conversation.  What can I say?  We're a complicated bunch.

And since I write books for children, you can bet that I love a good conversation about the books I read.  I tend to read all over the map--ENFJ's are usually very eclectic in their choice of things such as books, movies, and music--and I have been known to pick up anything from picture books to technical manuals for adults.  (I also read the back of the cereal box as I eat, the handwritten scratches of notes my hubby and kids leave lying around, and pretty much anything else I can get my hands on.)

So, in order to feed my intellectual, bookish side, occasionally I'd like to share some of the books I have enjoyed.  On random Fridays (not every Friday, because even though I'm an ENFJ, my cognitive profile shows that ENFP preferences are only about 1% behind my ENFJ preferences, and this means I do have very much in common with the ENFPs out there; and one of those is that I'm not always the best at sticking to a schedule) I'll post a book I've read and a short blurb about why I liked it.  I will also add it to a Pinterest board called My Friday Reads, in case you are a Pinterest fanatic like me.  (NOTE: There are some books already on the Pinterest board, because I did a Friday Reads on my old blog, too.)

Without further ado, my Friday reads for today:

Three Times Lucky
 by Sheila Turnage

For: 8-12-year-olds

Genre: Mystery

Published: 2012

Why I like it: One word: characters.  I absolutely adored the voice of the main character, Mo LoBeau, and the quirky but lovable supporting cast that makes up her small, southern town.  I wanted to BE in Tulepo Landing with Mo and the Colonel and Miss Lana and Dale Earnhardt Johnson III and all the others.  I was so happy when this book won the Newbery Honor, because it deserved it.  I always applaud when a book that is fun (and has funny parts, too) gets some attention from the Newbery Committee.

Monday, August 11, 2014

On Understanding the Word 'No'

An an ENFJ-type, there is one word in the English language that I understand so little that it might as well be Greek.

And that is the word 'no.'

My kids might argue with you about that, but the honest truth is that I have a hard time saying no to anyone.  

But that's not all.  I'm afraid it's much worse than that.

Since the need to help people is what drives me, I will also confess that I often volunteer myself for things that no one else has even noticed need attention yet.

Clearly I do not understand how 'no' works.

Take this exchange with my neighbor, for example.  She is currently expecting a child--her fourth--and I noticed that at church yesterday she was breathing heavily and acting like she was already in labor.  

I know a laboring woman when I see one.  I've been there, done that five times myself.

Anyway, I pulled her aside to ask if she was feeling okay, and she opened up about how she's prone to early labor, is on medication to stop the contractions because she isn't due for another three months, and how on the Sundays when her husband works it takes her three hours to get her and the kids ready for church, and how she isn't sure how much longer she can do this.

As a side note, I do tend to notice people tell me all sorts of information they don't share with everyone.  I hear that's an ENFJ trait, since we are so empathetic and driven to serve others that people just open up. I both love this and hate this, since I love being able to help people, but every time I will get sucked in and worry about their problems more than I should.

Which is exactly what happened with my neighbor.  As I listened to her, my mind went into overdrive with all the possibilities open to me (we ENFJers tend to be highly organized, which makes us incredibly efficient as well). And before I knew it, I had discarded a half-dozen contingency plans and had decided that the best course of action was to was offer to take her kids home from church any week that she felt she needed to leave early, and I also offered to pick them up and take them to church so she could stay home and rest and get a break from the kids.  I could tell by the look on her face that she'd never even considered this idea before, and then she went on forever with her thanks and compliments on how sweet I was to offer.

Okay, I did mention that I have five children of my own that completely fill up a minivan by themselves, right? 

As I walked away, I kicked myself for stepping forward.  Because, truth is, besides dealing with my own kids, on Sundays I am so busy that I often stay much later after church is over to clean up and prepare for the next week or attend meetings.  I really couldn't keep track of her kids and finish my own work.  And I barely get to church on time myself and am often busy getting ready for the lessons, so I couldn't logistically watch her kids while she stayed home to rest, either.

What was I thinking?

I wasn't, which is exactly my problem. 

Yes, I am guilty of deciding things based on how it will help or hurt others, and I am prone to making quick and decisive decisions without fully thinking through the problem.  (That's a classic ENFJ trait right there.)  I am getting better at using a more logical approach to my decision-making, but clearly people are my weakness. I'll do anything to help lift another's burden, even if it adds to my own.

However, I have mastered some variations of saying 'no.'  For example, I can keep my mouth shut when people ask for volunteers, but I will confess that each time I do it I feel incredibly guilty. And I squirm until the positions have been filled by others.  It's not a comfortable feeling, especially since I strive for peace and harmony above all else.   

So, you can see why being an ENFJ is not exactly a walk in the park some days. 

But 'no' and I are beginning to understand one another.  It's still a tenuous relationship, and I doubt we'll ever be great friends, but I do know that 'no' can often be the only thing standing between me and total exhaustion.

And for that, 'no' deserves my attention and respect.

What about you?  Do you understand the word 'no?'  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  I'd love to hear how others deal with this issue.

And thanks for reading!

Until next time, folks.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My ENFJ Life (aka the reason I started this blog)

Hi folks. 

Photo by Jerry Fryman, retouched by Obsidian Soul.
Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
I heard there are some people who hate the world "folks."  If you are one of those people, I apologize profusely.  I hope you'll overlook my tendency to use the word and decide to stick with me on this journey anyway.

My apology is to be expected, since I'm one of those people who have an ENFJ personality type.  I'll explain what that means in a minute, but for now, just know that, like most ENFJ personalities, I do what I can to smooth things over and make the world a better place, one person at a time.  I usually do this with some inspirational words of wisdom mixed in with a little bit of humor and a whole lot of planning.

Yep, that's an ENFJ thing, too.

Anyway, the reason for this blog....

I've always been interested in personality types, and recently I returned to one of the most fascinating (in my opinion) measurement tools: the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator, or MBPI.  I've taken a LOT of personality tests in my time, and this is the one that seems to "get" me the best.

You can read more about the MBPI at, but in a nutshell, the personality types are based on personality traits psychologist Carl Jung introduced in the 1920s. There are four parts to the MBPI, each with two choices, which leads to 16 different personality preferences.

And mine is definitely ENFJ.

I like this quote from the 16personalities website:

ENFJs are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, ENFJs take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.

Wish you could be me, don't you.  I don't blame you. That's quite the glowing report of an ENFJ's strengths.

But that's only half the story.  We have weaknesses too, and one of those is that we often don't share our "true selves" with others. And we're often too busy helping the rest of the world find their own greatness that we don't spend time working on our own.

So that's the reason for this blog.

Please join me on my journey to discover myself--strengths and weaknesses--as I attempt to open up about the real me and also share my ENFJ tendencies with you. I hope to be brave enough to tackle tougher issues as well as share my unique (and hopefully inspiring) thoughts about a wide variety of things.  I'm a wife, a mother, a writer, a leader, a friend, a champion, and a deeply religious person. I'm eclectic and complicated, and I suspect this blog will be, too.  But hopefully in a good way.

And I'd be especially pleased if this place inspires you to do more or be more. Please feel free to open up about your own struggles or triumphs. It will give me so much joy if this place helps you in any way. (I am an ENFJ, after all.  Altruism should have been my middle name.)  

But please remember that ENFJs bruise easily, so this is not the place for bashing, flaming, or tearing down mine (or anyone's) ideas.  If you can't build people up, then I suggest to go elsewhere.   I hate confrontation, and I have been known to delete comments that break my rules of fair play, so...haters and debaters beware.  Be welcome, be beware.

Okay, folks.  Let the ENFJ-style journey begin.