Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Creative Kids Will Love Liquid Chalkers by Paper and Twine

I'm always looking for fun arts and crafts projects that my kids and I can do together, or they can do independently. Being a mom to four kids, I prefer projects that are really easy to clean up. These pens are not only easy to clean up, but they are also a blast to use! 
The Liquid Chalker pens are bright and colorful. They come in a package of 8 colors. My kids were so excited when they arrived! We quickly took a picture and then opened them. The pens have the same functionality as the Sharpie Oil-based Marker, where you need to shake them first and then press the tip down onto a paper towel or cardboard to allow the ink to soak into the tip of the pen before using. Once the tip of the pen has fully changed color, you are ready to go! 
The following is a YouTube video we created to help illustrate what you need to do and then how easy it is to draw with and wipe off!

How to Get Started with the Liquid Chalkers Video

My kids created a holiday theme throughout the windows of my house. If they created something they didn't like, they easily wiped it off with a paper towel. I actually was extremely impressed with how easy it was for them to wipe off the dried chalk marker with a non-wet paper towel.

Ideas for Using the Liquid Chalkers: 
There are so many uses for these chalker makers! 
  • You can write notes on your front door window like saying "Thank you" to your postman or "Merry Christmas". 
  • For tournaments and birthday parties, you and your kids can make fun pictures and sayings on your car windows. 
  • You can also decorate the windows of your home for the holidays for your neighbors and friends to enjoy.
  • Write a sweet note to your kids or spouse on their bathroom mirror.
  • And don't forget, you can always use these chalk markers on a chalkboard.
The only thing that you need to keep in mind with these pens is that they should not be used on any porous surface because they can absorb into it.
Overall, we highly recommend Liquid Chalkers by Paper and Twine! So much fun and creativity in one little package!

Available for purchase on 

I received this product free in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for my review. All opinions of this product are 100% my own.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Type 1 Diabetes Medical Alert Bracelets Product Review

Type 1 Diabetes Medical Alert Bracelet
Since my 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, we're always on the lookout for products that can make her life easier and safer. The Type 1 Diabetes Medical Alert Bracelet by Living the Dream Goods is a product that can alert a stranger to her disease in case of an emergency. It is made of silicone and is easy to take on and off without help. It also won't discolor your skin. What I loved about it is that it's light weight, easy to travel with, and bright! The words written on it are visible and easy to read. One side reads ALERT Type 1 Diabetes and if your rotate it the other side reads Insulin Dependent.

My 10 year old daughter wore it for a day and found that it caused a lot more attention to her type 1 disease than she wanted. Her friends continuously asked her about it after noticing the bracelet. As such, she has preferred not to wear it unless she is doing an activity that is of greater risk for her safety such as swimming or white water rafting.  She's more likely to experience hypoglycemia (blood sugar low) with these types of activities. 

Overall, we found the Type 1 Diabetes Medical Alert Bracelet to be useful, especially for traveling and vacations. We loved that it's durable, waterproof, and colorful! We've lost a couple expensive medical bracelets on trips. This package includes four, so you have a back-up if you lose one. Highly recommend if planning a vacation where you don't need the extra worry of losing or misplacing a medical alert bracelet.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIY: Make Your Own Reptile and Amphibian Tank and Carrier

My 11 year old son loves the outdoors! With his love comes studying every little and many gross creatures. Last week he brought home a wild snake. After a call to Petsmart and sending them pictures, we determined the snake was non-venomous. This was what sparked me to make some changes and set rules for making sure his explorations were safe as he learned.

Exploring nature is such a wonderful thing for a child! And I love that my son wants to spend his time learning about all the little creatures that exist there. But over the past couple of years, I've found his hobby is starting to become a little costly. I've also found that my time is becoming less and less because I'm always helping him take care of his little creatures.

So two weeks ago I came up with a solution!

The following is what my 11 year old son agreed to:
  • No living reptile, amphibian, insect etc that he brings home will become a pet
  • He is only allowed one reptile, amphibian, insect to study at a time
  • He has to wear rubber gloves before he touches any creature.
  • He is not allowed to physically touch a creature until we have determined it is not dangerous or venomous. We live in Copperhead snake territory and also spiders that are venomous. 
  • And lastly, we start using the resources within our house to do everything he needs to do, saving money
First thing we did was build a carrier (part-time study tank) for the reptiles, frogs, etc that he finds. The following is how to build your own tank for your child.

What You Will Need for Your DIY Reptile and Amphibian Tank and Carrier:
  1. Medium sized plastic container with a lid. If you don't have one, you can purchase one at the Dollar Store or even Target very inexpensively.
  2. Mesh. We have mesh from redoing our window screens. You can get mesh at Home Depot and Lowes.
  3. Duct Tape. We used our daughters duct tape that she uses for arts and crafts. 
How to Build Your DIY Reptile and Amphibian Tank and Carrier:
  1. Cut the inner part of the top of the container out.  
  2. Measure the mesh where it not only covers the inner hole you cut out, but also overlaps the edge about 3 / 4 of an inch.
  3. Using the duct tape, rip off strips of it and adhere the edge of the mesh to the outer area of the container's top. 

Now your child has a carrier and home for tiny little creatures they want to study at home. It's light and easy for your child to tote around outside as they explore nature.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hot Wheels RC Street Hawk Remote Control Flying Car Product Review

My kids LOVED this toy! As a mom, I'm always looking for toys that are not only fun and educational, but also durable. I was very excited to have the opportunity to test one of the hottest toys this holiday season - Hot Wheels RC Street Hawk Remote Controlled Flying Car as a BzzAgent! Well... actually I had my 10 year old boy  and girl twins and 11 year old son test it for me. 

Checkout their YouTube Video below testing the product! It's amazing!  

Like most kids that get a new "amazingly" fun toy, each begged to play with it over and over again. It was amazing how you could remotely control it driving on the ground and then the next minute send it flying into the air. It was a little more difficult to control it when it was in the air, but it still was a blast! All three gave it two thumbs up!

This toy is a great toy for any boy, and even a girl! The age on the box stated that the toy was for people 8 yrs old and older. I actually think this toy is more geared for 10 years and older. I don't think my boys would have been careful enough with this toy at the age of 8 years old and the would have broken it within a few minutes. 

This toy is made of a foam like material and thin plastic parts. It's delicate in many ways. My boys thought it was pretty tough because they crashed it a few times. I'm not sure how many crashes this street hawk will be able to take. My gut says not many more. My last recommendation is that you also shouldn't fly it when it is windy. It is too hard to control and it will crash!

Overall this toy will keep your kids entertained (both boy and girl). I highly recommend it for this holiday season!

Available at Amazon, Walmart, Target

*As a Bzzagent, I was given this toy to review by Mattel for my honest review.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Preparing My 10 Year Old Daughter with Type 1 Diabetes to Manage her Disease Independently

We did it! My 10 year old daughter, Madison, who has type one diabetes went to the movies, the park and out for pizza without anyone educated or trained (just prepped) in her disease for the very first time! And I learned a lot from this experience.

First, I learned that Madison needs to understand that when she eats, it takes about 2 hours before her blood glucose will start to go down. Of course there are exceptions to this rule such as she is running around. Typically when a child with type 1 diabetes eats, their blood glucose will go up and peak about 2 hours later and then start to go down and stabilize.

Yesterday, Madison called me after the movie to let me know that her blood glucose was 323. She had eaten lunch at Noon. Then she ate candy at 1:30 pm with a blood glucose of 256. Her blood glucose still hadn't peaked from lunch. So eating more sugar with a higher blood glucose will make her blood sugar go up higher. The 323 was expected. I told her give it an hour and her blood sugar will start to go down. She felt a lot better after she called me.

Second, I should have educated her friend's dad on who to call for an emergency such as 911 and me! I think it's also important to be aware of the Glucagon pen. It's like an Epipen and used if a person with type one diabetes experiences hypoglycemia and passes out.

The following is how my husband and I are preparing our daughter to become more independent. This is a life threatening disease and it isn't easy for us to let her go out an entire day without us.  For me to feel comfortable, I need to know that she is responsible enough to take care of a disease that has life threatening results if not managed properly.
  • Prepare her medical / diabetes bag. In Madison's bag, we always have the following:
    • Meter including finger pricker and test strips
    • CGM (if she's not wearing it)
    • Two 4 oz juices
    • Container of Ritz peanut butter crackers
    • Wipes to clean her fingers for an accurate testing
    • Glucagon pen (for emergencies)
    • Ketone strips
    • Parents and doctors (endocrinologist) numbers
    • and sometimes Glucose tablets. These don't work as fast for Madison, so we hardly use them.
  • Check her blood glucose using a finger pricker, test strips and meter
  • Administer insulin using a wireless meter, her pump and/or shots. We've just required Madison to know how to administer insulin using her pump because that is all she uses.
  • Understand what to do (and how it feels) if their blood glucose is low (hypoglycemia). Every child is different, but when Madison is low - below 80 - she needs a 4 oz juice and a few peanut butter crackers. 
  • Know what to do (and how it feels) if their blood sugar is too high (hyperglycemia). 
  • Be able to test for ketones using ketone strips.
  • Know that when their blood sugar is too high they shouldn't be eating carbs. They can still eat non-carbs (cheese, meat, celery, cucumbers, pickles). Once their blood sugar goes down to a good number (we like 180), they can have a carb again.
  • Have a phone readily available. We let Madison borrow her brother's phone so she didn't have to keep asking her friend's dad. She texted me a few times and then called three times. It gave her peace of mind that I was there if she needed me. When we spoke, I had her answer her own questions versus me giving her the answers.
I would love to hear other ideas or suggestions for how to continue helping my daughter become more independent!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Overprotective Mom Did It! My Type 1 Diabetes Girl Is Out At The Movies Without Me

My Girl With Type 1 Diabetes
I'm sitting at my computer nervously waiting for one text or call from Madison (my 10 year old daughter with type 1 diabetes) to let me know she's okay. I finally let her go to the movies and then out for pizza without me or her dad being there. It actually isn't that we need to be there. I always felt better if someone who was trained or well educated in her disease should be with her. Today, she's out without anyone who has been trained, and a dad who has only been briefly prepped on her complex and deadly disease.

Since she was diagnosed (November 4, 2011), my husband and I have attended every birthday party, athletic game, and school event she has been invited to. We have allowed her to go over friends houses without us, but with pretty strict rules to follow such as calling me when she was going to eat so I could confirm her carb count to insulin dosage, since the parent wasn't as well educated in that area. It just gave me peace of mind having her call me.

Waiting for My Sweetie to Come Home
But today, Madison is at the movies (Big Hero 6) and out for pizza with her friend and her friends family without me, and without having to call me. And YES, I AM WORRYING! Well...I actually am experiencing conflicting emotions right now. There is a part of me that is hoping she doesn't call or text me and she handles every high and low, every blood glucose check, and everything else with managing her disease on her own. This would be such a great accomplishment for her, giving her more freedom! But then there is a part of me that worries, that wants to know she's okay. AND I AM WORRIED.  I guess that's what comes with parenting and parenting a child who is living with this disease.

The movie started at 1:10 pm. It's now 1:35 pm and she hasn't needed to contact me, which is fantastic! But I hate wondering.

I do kind of feel bad. Madison asked if she could have popcorn, which I told her she couldn't. Popcorn is hard to measure and estimate an accurate carb count. As such I told her no. If she measured the popcorn wrong, she could experience hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. I was trying to prevent her from experiencing either right now. When her blood glucose is high, It comes with so many downsides like headaches, stomach aches, and not being able to focus. Even though she won't be eating popcorn, I did pack her two snack sized candy bars, a lollipop, and a mint. All that she knows the exact carb count for.

And for her lows, she has three juices (to treat her lows) and peanut butter crackers (to stabilize her blood sugar). I also borrowed my son's cell phone so she would able to contact me herself and not have to constantly ask her friends dad, if she did need to reach me.

I can't wait till she comes home to hear how the movie was and how everything went. This is a day I will always remember because it's the day where I felt comfortable enough that she could take care of her type 1 disease on her own without an educated adult nearby. It also is a day where she felt confident enough to do it without her dad or I there.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Neptune, Jupiter and Uranus Changing Direction

Three major planets will be changing direction within a few weeks of one another, possibly triggering another shocking event that hits the hearts and homes throughout the world.

Neptune goes direct November 16, 2014. Neptune is the planet of dreams, illusions and fantasy. It also is the planet that increases the likelihood of flooding and hurricanes. This is a time period where your dreams can become a reality! With Neptune going direct in the sign of Pisces expect your intuition to be activated and your dreams to be remembered. Let your creative juices flow and don't forget to write down any ideas or insights you may have. They may prove to be valuable leads not too far down the road.

Jupiter goes retrograde December 8, 2014. When Jupiter goes retrograde, take a step back and reflect on what you have accomplished. Take a look at where you are and what you are working on. Then  start putting a strategy in place to make any necessary changes so when Jupiter goes direct April 8, 2015, you'll be ready to move forward in a bigger and better way!

Uranus goes direct December 21, 2014.  This is the unpredictable planet. You never know what really will happen when Uranus's energy starts to change direction. This planet represents change, invention, and revolution. It can create big explosions, cause power outages, hacking, retaliation, and major discoveries. With it in Aries, the sign of war and new beginnings, I'm sure we'll be hearing something BIG on the news. This planets energy starts a week or two before it changes direction. Its greatest impact will be a day or two before and even can continue a day or two after.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Family Must Haves to Beat Cold, Flu and Allergy Season

Cold and Flu season has already made its way into my home. From runny noses to watery eyes and even the stomach bug, it's here and I'm doing everything I can to keep my kids healthy and sick free!

There are a lot of products on the market and I've tried many. Here is what I always have on hand during the cold and flu, and also the allergy, season.

Lip Balm such as Chapstick, CarMax or Blistex: 
My kids love Chapstick! I like CarMax or Blistex. I just feel like they work better. 

I have several bottles of this and I always take this on vacation. It works great for chapped hands, diaper rashes, burns and more!

Honey for sore throats and coughs:
I purchase the bottle that looks like a Teddy Bear. It is so darn cute! And my kids love it. 

Recipe: I warm up a 1/2 cup of water. Then I put a spoon full of honey in it along with a little lemon. Stir it so everything has dissolved. Voila... it's ready to sip. I always tell my kids to sip it. I've found it works better in soothing their throat.

Throat Lozengers like Halls, Ricola, and Ludens:
Flavor and does it work are the most important features when I choose a throat lozenge. My favorite flavor is honey and lemon with Vitamin C added. There are lots of different brands like Halls, Chloraseptic, N'ice and Burts Bees. I'm a Halls and Ricola fan, but am open to trying other brands when I come across a coupon or sale. Make sure you read the labels to make sure it's suitable for kids.

Saline Nasal Spray:
I've been using this since my kids were born. It works amazing! It keeps their little noses moist and helps clean out all the guck out of it.

Salt for canker sores or feeling like strept is coming on:

Recipe: Warm up a 1/2 cup of water.  Put a spoonful of salt in it. Stir it until as much of the salt looks like it has dissolved. The water will become foggy looking. Have your child gargle it then spit it out. Do this two to three times.

Vicks VapoRub Cough Suppressent:
This is another product I absolutely love and always have on hand. It smells fantastic! I use it on their chest, neck, under nose, and back. It has a warming feel to it after you put it on. It helps my kids sleep better. 

Hydrating Liquids like Pedialyte, Gatorade and Canada Dry Gingerale:
I always have a bottle of Canada Dry Gingerale on hand during cold flu season. It has been a life savor with keeping our family hydrated when we have the stomach bug.

Crackers like Saltines:
Saltines are a great food when you have the stomach bug. It doesn't upset your stomach more than it already is. Start with saltines and then move on to other foods a couple hours later.

Thermometer such as ear thermometer or Fever Bugz Stick-on Indicators:
Every home with children should have a thermometer. We have an ear thermometer and also Physio Logic Fever-Bugz Stick-On Fever IndicatorI love them! Great for taking with you when you are traveling.

We own four humidifiers all Vicks. Vicks Cool Mist has worked the best so far for us.

Heating pad:
Great for ear aches, stomach aches, sore backs and even to relieve sinus pressure.

Steam Inhaler: We don't own one because we own a Nebulizer. It provides vapor therapy for colds, flu, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments.

Cold Sore Medicine such as Orajel:  

Very rarely do I get cold sores, but when I do I always use Orajel! It just seems to work better and make my cold sore feel better. I recently just received a free sample of Orajel Instant Pain Relief for Cold Sores + Moisterizer from the brand thru Smiley360. I don't have a cold sore, but am very anxious to try it! I've never been disappointed with the Orajel brand name. 

Serious Relief for Serious Cold Sores! $1 off Orajel Single Dose Cold Sore Treatment! Free Sample

Antibacterial Wipes like Wet Ones:
For the past ten years I've used baby wipes to wipe dirt and germs off my kids hands and faces. Well...that has changed. I just received a free sample of Wet Ones from the brand thru Smiley360 and will be continuing using them ongoing. My daughter said they smell awesome! I have to agree. And they work great with removing dirt and whatever else you have on your hands. Funny thing is my mom has used these for years. She absolutely loves Wet Ones. I thought they were too expensive. Was I ever wrong! The brand has coupons and deals all the time. 

Receive a $1 off coupon! Wet Ones - delivering a fresh start anywhere! Wet Ones Anywhere Free Sample

Tissues such as Scotties Facial Tissues:
I'm so guilty! I buy tissues based on price and softness. I hate hate hate tissues that make my nose hurt more when I have a cold. I was just introduced to the Scotties Facial Tissue brand and received a free sample thru Smiley360 to try. One of the main reasons I wanted to try this product was because it was environmentally conscious. For every 1 tree Scotties uses, they plant 3 more. More companies need to give back to the environment! The packaging is very attractive. In fact, it caught the eye of my 3 year old who now has claimed the Scotties tissue free sample and has put it in her bedroom. I highly recommend trying this product. The tissues are soft. It's easy to open. And it's made by a company that is taking care of our trees!

Here is a video of my 3 year old trying out Scotties for the first time! 

Love that Scotties Tissues plants 3 trees for every tree they use!  Scotties Tree Rock Free Sample

Other products I have which may need a doctors approval / prescription:
Nebulizer: We had to purchase this because one of my sons had bad croup and allergies. Really made a difference.

Other products that my friends highly recommend, but I haven't tried or purchased:

Neti Pot: My neighbors and friends can't say enough great things about the Netti Pot. I'm so nervous to try it. Someday!

Neti Pots for Sinus Problems: Do they work by WebMD

Thursday, October 09, 2014

2014 Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids 2 - 12 Years Old

I've moved my blog!
Please visit my new blog to see 2014 hottest Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids 2-12!

Children's Book Review of Mini-Myths by Joan Holub

Age Range: 1 - 3 years
  • Author: Joan Holub
  • Series: Mini Myths
  • Board book: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Brdbk edition (September 16, 2014)

About Be Patient, PANDORA!
When Pandora is warned by her mother not to open a box, her spirited curiosity trumps her obedience. Pandora harmlessly touches the box, innocently leans on the box, and eventually, albeit accidentally, bursts the box open! The cupcakes that were hidden inside are ruined, except for one last vestige, which Pandora presents in the hope that her mother still loves her. Leslie Patricelli’s depictions of this physical comedy bring a lively narrative to Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text. Includes a summary of the original Pandora’s Box myth at the end.

Praise for Mini-Myths: Be Patient, Pandora!
"These adorable volumes feature the title characters learning important life lessons with slight allusions to their Greek mythology counterparts."
--School Library Journal

Purchase “Be Patient, Pandora!”:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | iTunes

About Play Nice, HERCULES!
Hercules is not as interested in “playing nice” as he is in playing strong! But when one feat of strength destroys his little sister’s 12-piece tower, he must use his powers for good to restore the tower and seek her forgiveness. She forgives him indeed, and then shows her own strength by gleefully knocking down the stacked blocks herself! Joan Holub’s expertly focused text pairs perfectly with Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Hercules’s Twelve Labors myth at the end.

Praise for Mini-Myths: Play Nice, Hercules!
"These adorable volumes feature the title characters learning important life lessons with slight allusions to their Greek mythology counterparts."
--School Library Journal

Purchase “Play Nice, Hercules!”:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | iTunes

My Review of Mini-Myths:
Absolutely loved both of these books! The illustrations are fun and simple, as is the text. Perfect for a toddler or earlier preschooler.

As soon as the books arrived, I showed them to my two year old. We sat down to read them both. She giggled as we read Be Patient, Pandora! My two year old is very much like Pandora - curious, inquisitive, and impatient. But what toddler isn't? Pandora is tempted to find out what is in the wrapped up box. Her mom warns her not to touch it. But the wrapped gift is way too tempting for Pandora. This book teaches children to listen to their parents and the consequences of not listening. It also teaches kids that sometimes its better to wait because the surprise can be so much fun!

Play Nice, HERCULES was just as entertaining. Like every big brother, he torments his little sister by knocking down some blocks she built. She cries and he rebuilds her creation. But his lesson isn't finished there. I don't want to spoil the ending because it really captured a kid moment perfectly. This book teaches kids the importance of forgiveness, sharing, and playing nicely together.

We are now huge fans of the Mini-Myths children's picture books. Perfect for stocking stuffers for the holidays or just a little treat!

* I was given copies of both Mini-Myths books for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Enter to Win Isabella Babysits Baxter Children's Picture Book (Wunderkind Family)

Illustrator: Melissa Perry Moraja
Published: October 27, 2014
Publisher: Melissa Productions, Inc.
Pages: 32 pages
Series:  The Wunderkind Family

About the Book:

Six year old Isabella usually is the one who has a babysitter. But when her enormous puppy named Baxter creates a mess and prevents her mom from working, Isabella's mom asks her to babysit him. And Isabella knows exactly how to do it! Or does she? First, Isabella gets Baxter dressed...TWICE! Next they have a snack, but not without a CRASH and a BANG. And that’s just the beginning. Join Isabella in her very first picture book filled with lots of humor and adventure as she tries to keep Baxter from making a bigger mess.

"Filled with humor and fun, Isabella Babysits Baxter is perfect for young children, and I especially recommend it for families with pets. Melissa Perry Moraja does a great job of bringing these real-life characters to print in a new, entertaining children’s book that is sure to please the whole family." - Review by Readers Favorite Reviewer

Isabella babysits Baxter
Now Available for Pre-Order


This giveaway ends October 27th and is open World-wide. However, entries in the USA will receive a hardback autographed copy. Because of shipping, if outside of the United States of America, I will send an ebook copy of Isabella babysits Baxter to the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also checkout Melissa Productions other children's books!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Spooky and Fun Halloween Decorating Ideas for Inside Your House

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, especially decorating my house! We have two floors that we decorate - the main floor and basement. On the main floor, we keep it light and fun, so little kids can still enjoy. For our basement, we metamorph it into a Haunted House! This is our fifth year of making our basement into a spooky Haunted House to share with family friends.

First, some musts to make the inside of your house spooktacular!

 I just love Michaels Arts and Crafts Lemax Spooky Town collection and so do all my kids! My kids and their friends stand there forever enjoying it. We have a witch riding a bike. Skeletons dancing. Another skeleton driving a hearse. And more!

There is also a Lemax Spooky Town collection on Amazon.com.

This year I purchased a spooky house collectible from Michaels Lemax Spooky Town Collection called Dead Man's Cabin! It lights up. The fence that I put around it was a separate item in the collection.
In my dining room, I have the butler. He's a 5ft standing Bobblehead Reaper with sound effects that I purchased from Home Depot. Only $59.98.  It's a great deal compared to the one's at SpiritHalloween. He talks, his eyes light up and his head bobbles up and down. He's so life like. He's also very easy to put together.

I also have a punch bowl, candles, and various potions that I purchased at Michaels Arts and Crafts too. Michaels has weekly coupons you can find on the web and they also take competitors coupons.

Lights and fabric drape are another must! I purchased the colorful ceramic books and the sparkly word signs from Michaels. The skeletons I purchased from Party City and  Walmart.

Oh, and the string-light purple hanging gauze garland you see in the picture, was purchased from Target for $10.00.

(Not in the picture) I used black creepy cloth as curtains for my windows in this room.

Okay, I just love these two animal skeletons. They are so fun and really add character to my room which used to just have your ordinary skeletons.

This is the first year that I've seen them. The skeleton dog retails for $39.99.  I purchased it from SpiritHalloween. The skeleton cat I bought at Target for $24.99. Both are a little pricey but they are such a great addition!

I signed up for SpiritHalloween emails and was able to get a coupon! Also, when your delivery arrives they include a 20% coupon off a single item on your next purchase.

Knick-knacks add so much character to creating a fun and lively room. I stuck black roses in a vase, which you can pick up at Party City, Target, and SpiritHalloween. I also purchased some fun knick-knacks at Kirklands and Michaels.

Additional props and decorations include skeletons, spooky Halloween signs, foam grave stones, framed art work that lights up, pictures that change appearance depending on where you are standing, and animated pieces are another fun addition. Below are several that I've hung up. The BEWARE sign will be leading guests to the Haunted House, which I will share in another post as I start decorating it. You can purchase the below at stores like Walmart, SpiritHalloween, Party City, and Amazon.com.  

My all time MUSTS for decorating the inside and outside of your house is having lots of skeletons and grave stones! 

Have fun decorating and please share the spooky pieces you've included in your home!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Society Devaluing Children With Type One Diabetes

It's almost been three years since my daughter Madison was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I knew there was going to be challenges in her life, especially with managing her blood glucose levels. But I never imagined the lack of support and understanding by some in society.  This past summer, several people made comments like, "Maybe it's better if she's not in AIG (Academically or Intellectually Gifted Program). This way it is easier;" (easier on who? no matter if she's in AIG or not, her life will never be simply easy) or "If she were my daughter, I wouldn't put her under so much stress by having her in AIG," (first, she wants to be in AIG. second, stress is part of life and she needs to learn to deal with it no matter what age she is.) "Perhaps she should play recreational soccer, instead of competitive soccer because it's less stressful and it's more flexible." (not sure what world this guy lives in, but athletic games and tournaments will always entail some form of stress. and as she gets older, she is going to have to compete for jobs etc.)

I was blown away by their words, specifically the word easier. What about overcoming all odds? What about helping her reach her potential? What about looking at her true ability and being an advocate to help her succeed?

On top of it, this is what she wants and she is willing to deal with the stress that comes with succeeding and achieving her dreams.

Children with type one diabetes should be given the opportunity to succeed and perform their best at whatever they do. If they are smart enough to be in AIG's then create an environment that allows them to do so. If they are talented enough to play competitive soccer, help them make it happen. Especially if that is what they want.

I've never once thought that Madison couldn't do anything she put her mind to, even with having type one diabetes. Yes, it's not going to be as easy as someone who doesn't have her disease. But if she puts her mind to it, I truly believe she and any person living with type one diabetes can accomplish anything they put their mind too. They shouldn't be left out of success, even if it comes with more stress or they have to face competition.

Children with type one diabetes shouldn't be pushed to live an easier, less competitive life. They should be pushed and motivated to be the best at whatever they chose to do. And society should support them in the process.

Please share your stories of where someone suggested that you and / or your child take the easy road.

Isabella babysits Baxter
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Thursday, September 04, 2014

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Pluto Goes Direct With Transforming Power

Pluto goes direct in the sign of Capricorn September 22, 2014. Pluto is slow at creating change. It makes you feel. It causes some to hit rock bottom so they are forced to change old habits and ways.

On a global level, the United States and it's allies need to join forces, uniting for a common cause -- PEACE! And it has to happen now! With Pluto going direct in the sign of Capricorn, the USA has to be practical with its decisions, yet move forward strong and confidently. This is a time to transform the world and not let the bad guys become the transformers.

In addition, the energy of the country starting this fall and over the next four years is similar to when Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan were in the Presidential office, making me believe that a Republican will become the next President of the United States.  

On a personal level, as Pluto turns direction, let bygones be bygones. Forgive and move on. Let go of the past, because it cannot be changed. 

Things to watch out for as Pluto turns direction September 24th.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse are big subjects when Pluto changes direction. Do not drink and drive!
  • Manipulation is another area.
  • Depression usually reveals itself. Those who are prone to have depression need to make sure they take their meds or see their therapist if things are feeling a little out of control.
  • Watch out being overly stubborn and fixated.
  • Count to ten to keep better control of your temper or go for a walk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teaching My Tweens To Cook

This summer I began teaching my oldest three (11 year old boy and 10 year old boy / girl twins) how to cook using the stove. They've been using the microwave for two years now. However, the stove has been off limits until they were at least 10. Why 10 years old? That's when my mom started teaching me, so I felt as if it was a good age to start teaching them.

I've stuck with some basic meals such as quesadilla's, eggs, Ramen noodles, and grilled cheese. Before ever turning on the stove, I have them prepare everything, with me standing right by their side.

For instance, the following are the steps for making a grilled cheese sandwich

  1. Take out all the ingredients - bread, cheese and butter
  2. Find the appropriate pan and place it on the stove - skillet pan
  3. Get the appropriate utensil - spatula
  4. Prepare your meal - put the cheese in the middle of the bread. Then butter both halves of the bread.
  5. Put all of the containers and bags for the ingredients away
  6. Put the grilled cheese sandwich in the pan
  7. Turn on the stove - medium heat
  8. Flip after 2 minutes, using the spatula. Flip again if that side still needs more cooking.
  9. Once cooked, turn off the stove
  10. Using the spatula, place grilled cheese sandwich on a plate. Wait a few minutes for it to cool down before eating.
They are having so much fun learning how to prepare simple meals. However, I've also have stressed that safety is the most important piece.  As such, I have enforced certain rules:
  1. They are not allowed to turn on the stove unless I am home and aware of them cooking. 
  2. They have to clean up everything, including washing the pan.
  3. They are not allowed to wash the pan until at least 30 minutes after they have cooked their meal. I want to make sure they do not get burned.
  4. They also are not allowed to leave the kitchen until their meal is fully cooked, stove is off and everything is put away.
  5. They are not allowed to make any dish that requires pouring out hot water as of yet.
  6. They are not allowed to watch or have the television on or use any other electronic device while they are cooking. 
I'm enjoying teaching my kids how too cook.  They are nervous still. But eventually it will become a normal part of their routine. As their parent, I want to make sure they understand that cooking requires their full attention. Safety is one of the most important topics that a parent should teach while they also teach their child how to cook.

Hope you'll check out my children's books too!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Never a Normal Breakfast For My Daughter Who Has Type 1 Diabetes

This morning Madison asked me if she could have a Nutrigrain bar for breakfast. Her baby sister wanted one, why not her? I took a deep breath, dreading having to have this conversation and said, "That's a lot of carbs (24 to be exact) that most likely won't fill your belly." She frowned and then said, "Yea, your right." I've found Nutrigrain bars to be a great snack, but not to be very filling for a kid for breakfast, unless you eat two to three of them.

Every day Madison wakes up acting and being a normal kid. But as soon as she walks down the stairs for breakfast everything changes. See, she can't walk down the stairs without her blood glucose meter in hand and also her CGM (continuous glucose monitor). If she does, she can't eat until she gets it.

Before every meal and, every snack, Madison needs to check her blood glucose level. And if it's less than 225, she can have a kid-friendly 75 carb breakfast like pancakes and waffles and cereal. We've found that if she eats more than 75 carbs at a meal, she ends up getting a really bad headache, and even sometimes a stomach ache. If it's between 225 and 250, she can only have 50 carbs. And if it's over 250, she gets about 10 carbs and the rest has to be carb free.

My goal is to help Madison be as healthy as she can be and to live a long and healthy life. When her blood glucose is over 250 and she eats more than 10 carbs, her blood glucose shoots over 300. This to me is very unhealthy.

I'm very open to Madison on why she can't eat certain foods at certain times. She gets it. But not without a depressed face, which breaks my heart.

So this morning, with a blood glucose of 192, instead of a Nutrigrain bar, she had a bowl of cereal with milk and some blueberries added (55 carbs) and a side of strawberries and blueberries (15 carbs) = 70 carb breakfast.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Responsibility, Discipline and Leadership Are Key When Saturn and Uranus Change Direction in July 2014

Saturn teaches us our life lessons. It's the planet of karma. It is all about taking responsibility, being discipline and working hard for what you want to achieve. On July 21, 2014, Saturn goes direct in the sign of Scorpio. Scorpio is all about power, extremes and intensity. With Saturn in the sign of Scorpio, you will see people trying to achieve their goals against all odds, including countries who are fighting for their identity and survival.

Within days of Saturn going direct, Uranus goes retrograde on July 23rd in the sign of Aries. Uranus is all about the unexpected and unpredictable. Aries are leaders and are the first one's to start things. But they may be the last to finish.

Truthfully, these two planets changing direction so close to each other in such power hungry signs makes me a bit nervous. The Middle East is still volatile. Questions still unknown about who will become the leader. These two planets can trigger ego's to want it all at the cost of everything. And the United States needs to determine what responsibility it has to its people as things get very heated up in other areas of the world.

In addition, major electrical storms (including tornado's) and an earthquake could result. Change is inevitable. But with Uranus in the picture, not all change will be predictable.

On a personal level, start that project you've been wanting to start. It's also a time to keep an eye out for opportunities and go after the job you've been wanting. Make sure as you are making your choices, it's not for selfish reasons. Taking advantage of other people will leave you learning another major lesson.

In summary:
  • Saturn will affect people's status, career and home. When it changes direction, it opens up opportunities for a move, a marriage, and a new job.
  • Uranus brings unexpected news. It's the planet of technology and infrastructure. Advances can be made, as well as new discoveries. Every time Uranus changes direction, I pray that JDRF finds a cure for my daughters type 1 diabetes disease.
  • It's a great time to start new projects.
  • If you are experiencing any health concerns, especially around your stress-level, anxiety and heart, you may want to slow down. Take deep breaths and remember that each and every one of us can only do so much.
  • Power struggles can result. Use self-control and stop before you say something that you will regret. 
  • Positive leadership is key. And knowing when and how to lead is most important. 
  • Major weather patterns - earthquake, electrical storm and even severe tornado's could result. 
  • Tame the ego inside of you that craves power at the cost of everything and everyone. This will end up your greatest learning lesson if you don't.
Lastly, as an entrepreneur and a mom, I would love for you to check out my children's books! Thank you so much for your support and I hope I've helped you in some way too!

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Wunderkind Family Children's Chapter Books

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Watch Out When Mercury and Neptune Go Retrograde in June

With Mercury and Neptune going retrograde within days of each other in June, many will experience high emotions and over thinking things.

Mercury goes retrograde from June 7 - 30th, bringing with it lost emails, missed phone calls, and even computer crashes. Experts advise that this isn't a great time to sign contracts or make big purchases. Wait until Mercury goes direct. 

Neptune goes retrograde on June 9th in the water sign of Pisces. This is a great time to tap into your intuition. Listen to your inner voice because it can help guide you. 

Other areas these two planets can trigger include:
  • Flooding
  • Electrical storms 
  • High emotions and over thinking things
  • Dreams that can manifest into reality
  • Unexpected accidents
  • Miscommunication causing unnecessary hurt feelings

My recommendation:
  • Drive slowly especially in the rain
  • Be more cautious when boating
  • Keep all drinks away from your computer because you are more likely to spill it during Mercury retrograde
  • Hold off on signing contracts or making big purchases till July 1st
  • If you have a cold, watch out that it doesn't develop into pneumonia
  • Don't drink and drive
  • Listen and repeat what someone else says because it is much easier for you to misinterpret what someone else means
Get ready for some more unexpected events in July 2014 when Saturn goes direct and Uranus goes retrograde within days of each other. More coming soon!

The fifth Wunderkind Family children's chapter book is NOW available on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes  in paperback and ebook.

Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew by Melissa Perry Moraja

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble Blog Tour Book Review and Cash Giveaway

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About the Book

Noah Zarc Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

Title: Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble (Book #1) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: July 22, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition) Number of pages: 214 Recommended age: 9+ Summary: Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth… for the second time.

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I personally read the first book in the Noah Zarc trilogy and found it an adventurous read! Time travel, robots, spaceships and more! I became a huge fan of the main character, an amazingly courageous twelve year old 'paraplegic' boy named Noah whose disability never stopped him from doing anything he set his mind too. And as a mom with a daughter living with a disability (type 1 diabetes) all you want is help them achieve their potential and go after their dreams. Even though my daughters disease isn't physical, like Noah's, it does affect her physical ability to be able to play sports and reach her intellectual and physical potential. Noah encourages all kids to perservere!

Now about the author. Amazing! The Zarc family relationship reminded me a lot of mine. There was trust, worry, responsibility and lots of sibling sarcasm. His ability to connect multiple time periods and his creative ability in making you feel like you actually are part of the story will make this a fun read for any kid. As such, I give it a....


The Buzz About the Noah Zarc Books

Book 1: "Pease's strength as a storyteller lies in his ability to connect multiple time periods imaginatively, as well as Noah's excited, fast-paced narration." ~ Publishers Weekly
Book 1: "If I had read this book at age 10, I think it would have made me love SF just as much as reading Asimov did. If you like the non-stop action and humor of Rick Riordan's Olympians books, I think you'll also like Noah Zarc." ~ Sher A. Hart, book blogger and author
Book 2: "This is another great mind-bender. The wild time jump details are fabulously thought out and cause some unexpected results." ~ Michelle Isenhoff, Children's Author
Book 2: "A well-written, adventurous read for young readers and even adults, Noah Zarc blasts through space and into your imagination." ~ TKristufek, Amazon Reviewer
Book 3: "I was completely captured by the characters, the action and the issues and questions: set in fantasy but integrating concepts and engaging readers with a fun tale that teaches as it entertains." ~ Gaele, Amazon Reviewer

About the Author: D. Robert Pease

D. Robert Pease

D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters he brings to life.

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Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

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* $25 Blog Tour Giveaway *

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Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: June 11, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, D. Robert Pease and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveawayMDBR Book Promotion Services