Friday, October 16, 2015

Reader's Favorite Gold Medal Children's Picture Book Award Winner - Isabella Babysits Baxter



Children's Picture Book Award Winner
I've moved my blog to Digital Media Mom! Please visit and follow!

 "Isabella Babysits Baxter" is a 2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Children - Picture/Pop up category! 

Reader's Favorite Children's Picture Book Gold Medal WinnerReaders’ Favorite is proud to announce that "Isabella Babysits Baxter" by Melissa Perry Moraja is a Gold Medal Winner in the Children - Picture/Pop up category in our 2015 International Book Award Contest.

"Funny, entertaining and educational!"

Monday, July 06, 2015

Psychological Affects of Color and Cultural Differences

The psychological and behavioral affect of color has been studied for centuries by color theorists. Color theorists believe, and set out to prove, that color does have a direct psychological and behavioral affect on us. 

Today there are no standards on this subject. This is primarily due to the symbolic and psychological use of each color within various cultures. Critics claim that if color has the same psychological and behavioral affect on everyone, then why does it have different symbolic and psychological association within different cultures? 

Colors by Culture

Simply put, colors do have several meanings and personalities allowing for various countries to utilize it in different ways. This difference exists for several reasons. First, there is a positive and negative side to each color. For instance, the positive side of green is that it’s a healing color. It’s a great color to wear to ground someone. Its also a color that creates calmness. It’s the color of balance. The entertainment industry has guests sit in a green room prior to coming on their show. They do this because the color green has been found to relax and calm people. Green is an excellent color to incorporate in your home color scheme.

However, there is a negative side to the color green. Green also represents wealth. Quite often when one thinks of wealth they think of financial wealth. If that is the only goal of the individual, they may begin to experience the more negative side of green which is greed and envy. People can achieve a wealthy life in many other ways such as having family around and just being happy with what they have at that moment in time. It’s the greed of green that can consume a person and throw them into an energy vibration that isn’t healthy.

The personalities of each color also change when you begin mixing the colors together, or adding black and white to a color. For instance, red is a color that represents passion because of its intense energizing nature. When you deepen the color of red by adding black to it, it changes the feel of the color bringing to it a sense of mystery and depth. As such, it takes on characteristics of passionate love on a physical level. Pure red, especially bright red, creates a totally different feeling and sensation. It is a color that you notice. It stands out. This is why Americans use it as the color for stop signs and the fire department. You want to be able to recognize danger and take action. The color red does just that.

Every culture uses color in different ways. For instance, in China, white is used to represent mourning such as death. (Color Me Confused: Colors and Meaning in Chinese Culture) White is a color that comprises all colors. It’s a color of rebirth. It’s a color that brings truth and clarity. It is a color that can effectively represent mourning and death because with death comes a new beginning. It actually is a much more suitable color for death because it represents the vibration of truth and clarity. American’s use black to represent death and mourning. Black represents the unknown. When Americans wear black, it says to others that we are hiding ourselves from the truth. Essentially, we’re communicating to the outside world that we are afraid of seeing what lies beyond death. With tradition, many cultures will continue wearing certain colors to represent certain emotions and events even though perhaps they aren’t the best color in the overall spectrum. 

Colors do affect us on a psychological, emotional, and behavioral level. The colors you paint your home are going to trigger a certain feeling and therefore attitude. The colors you surround yourself at work again will produce a certain feeling within you which will eventually play out in some manner in your life let it be in your attitude and productivity.

Take a moment to think about the colors you surround yourself with. When at home, does one room feel more comfortable than another? Do you feel more motivated when wearing a certain color over another? When you are at work, have you found that you are more productive versus working at home?  

Discover how to use color, music and positive thinking in

Get the Vibe: Achieve Your Goals, Increase Your Productitivity and Improve Your Relationships



Get the Vibe

Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Use Visualization Strategies for School, Sports and Creating Your Dreams

Visualization is the ability to use your imagination to picture images of what you would like to manifest. This is a powerful tool when you add to it feelings, intention, and action. Visualization can bring changes into your life sometimes immediately! And kids can use it when studying and playing sports! (Reading Strategies Using Visualization)

This great mind power has been used for centuries because of its success in altering thought processes, causing events to happen, attracting money, and changing habits to improve one’s health and life. In fact, visualization and meditation are techniques used often by elite athletes. For example, a major league baseball pitcher uses visualization exercises before a game by seeing himself on the pitchers mound throwing the ball, where it goes over the plate resulting in a perfect strike. The pitcher practices visualizing this scene in his minds eye over and over again. The day of the game, the pitcher throws a perfect pitch one after the other.

The medical community also has had great success with using visualization techniques. For instance, people who were told they would never walk have walked. Why? Because they believed! They visualized themselves walking, and after months and sometimes years of physical therapy they accomplished their vision. Cancer victims such as Lance Armstrong and Louise Hay used positive visualization during cancer treatment and have successfully become cancer free. But it wasn’t only visualization that led to them becoming cancer free. As Lance’s coach, Chris Carmichael said in a letter, “Lance beat cancer because he had great doctors, a positive attitude, and a lot of luck.” Visualization techniques combined with other healing modalities are a powerful tool. (Visualization Techniques for Athletes)

What do you do if you can’t visualize? Easy all you have to do is use your other senses–feel, touch, smell and sense. For instance, if you are looking to take a vacation to Hawaii feel yourself relaxed with sand touching your toes and the wind blowing across your face. If you still are having trouble using your other senses, there is another way to accomplish the same objective–use affirmations and create visuals!


For instance, if you’d like to purchase a vacation home in Florida, find images of scenes from Florida in magazines, newspapers, and brochures. Cut the images out and paste them onto a calendar or a goal notebook. If you don’t have the time to create your dream collage, you can also write-out affirmations that state exactly what you desire—“It is the year 2010, and I am sitting by my pool in West Palm Beach, Florida sipping on a nice cold Pina Colada.” By doing these simple exercises, within a matter of days to weeks, you will find that you are a magnet for attracting friends and even strangers who are planning a trip to Florida, have just recently visited Florida, or are living in Florida. The more positive and focused you are the closer you will be to purchasing your vacation home. The key in fulfilling your dream is to not give up! Believe that you have the ability to manifest everything and anything you want. 

You may want to check out Jack Canfield Visualize and Affirm Your Desired Outcomes: A Step-by-Step Guide too!

Like everything in life, it takes time. The more you practice the better you’ll become with creating the life you desire with fewer trials and error.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Father's Day Gift Guide - The Best For Dad

My kids and I are already planning a special Father's Day celebration! Breakfast in bed, then off to the park for a picnic if it's sunny. If rain is in the forecast, we'll be enjoying Bloody Mary's at his restaurant of choice. And to end the day, we'll do a fun activity like miniature golf or bowling or catch a movie.

Now for this years special Father's Day gift for my husband. Like every year, my hubby gives lots of hints to what gift we should get him. This year it's a bike computer called the Cateye. Pretty amazing little electronic gadget!
Cateye Bike Computer

My hubby has really gotten into biking over the past two years, focused on raising money to support JDRF. Our 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with type one diabetes 3 1/2 years ago. 

The following are other Father's Day gift ideas that I have sent my dad and considered getting my hubby!

Other Father's Day gift ideas include golf accessories, electronic gadgets such as iPhone and iPad, tailgating games like bean bag toss, new grill, Father's Day shirt, baseball hat, grilling accessories, tie, universal remote control and cologne. 

Please share how you are spending Father's Day and the special gift you are getting for your hubby or dad!

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Spring and Summer Crafts Blog Hop

Spring & Summer Craft Blog Hop
Welcome to the last installment of the four-part spring craft blog hop challenge for 2015! This hop will run from May 26th - June 20th. We're challenging each of you to create a craft project that reflects a general spring or summer theme, Father's Day, or Fourth of July. Please join us in this challenge and link-up your crafty creation at the bottom of this post and have it shared on 12 blogs!

To kick off the spectacular Spring & Summer Craft Blog Hop, I'm sharing a "how to" tutorial for Learn How to Hand Paint Wine Glasses!


How to Paint on Glass



Meet all 12 Wonderful Hosts of the Spring & Summer Craft Blog Hop 4!

Each host will be sharing their own special craft to kick off the Spring & Summer Craft Blog Hop challenge, so make sure you visit each host to see their fabulous creations!
*Please follow your hosts on at least one or more social media platforms of your choice. Let us know you're following from #SCBH2015*
Spring & Summer Craft Blog Hop Line 1
PicMonkey Collage
Spring-Summer-Craft-Blog-Hop-Line3

 
Grab a button and help us spread the word!
My Pinterventures

Spring & Summer Craft Blog Hop 4 - General Spring & Summer crafts, Father's Day, and July 4th crafts

LINK-UP RULES

  1. Link-up your craft or DIY tutorial that fit the themes of the Spring & Summer Craft Blog Hop. Links that do not fit the themes will be deleted.
  2. DO NOT link-up food or recipes.
  3. DO NOT link-up round-ups unless all the craft posts are yours.
  4. DO NOT link-up Etsy items or things for sale
  5. DO NOT link-up posts you've shared on past Spring Craft Blog Hops for 2015.
  6. Link directly to your post and not your blog.
Show us what you've created and be seen on 12 blogs!
[Tweet "Join the Spring Craft Blog Hop! Share your craft on 12 blogs! @pinterventures #SCBH2015"]

Monday, May 04, 2015

Family Meatball Recipe That Kids Will Love Too

A week ago, I shared a picture of homemade Italian meatballs on Instagram that I had made for my kids. I see pictures of peoples food all the time on Instagram, so I thought I'd share one of my family favorites - Italian homemade meatballs that my mom taught me to make. 

After I shared it, someone asked for my recipe!  I was really surprised. I've always loved cooking, especially if someone enjoys eating what I've made. But I never thought of sharing my families recipes until now. 

So, here goes!





My Family Meatball Recipe:
Ingredients for meatballs:
  • 2 lbs of 93% lean ground beef. I've used 80% lean beef in the past, but have found that I'm constantly scooping out the fat oils that accumulate at the top of my homemade sauce, so now I usually buy 93% lean beef.
  • 1 2/3 cup of Progresso Italian Style Bread Crumbs. 
  • 2 eggs (1 egg per 1 lb of beef)
  • 1/4 cup of milk (1/8 cup per pound of beef)
Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs

Ingredients for my delicious easy homemade Italian sauce:
Classico Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce

  • 3 jars of Traditional Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce. I usually buy what is on sale. 
  • 4 cans of Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Oregano and Garlic. Hunts or Del Monte are my preferred brands.
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
Del Monte Diced Tomatoes

Steps for preparing meatballs:
  • In a large bowl, mix the 2 lbs of beef, eggs, milk and bread crumbs using your hands. 
  • Make sure everything is mixed in well.
Steps for preparing the sauce:
  • In a large pot, pour in the 3 jars of Traditional Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce and 4 cans of Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Oregano and Garlic. 
  • Turn stove burner on high, stirring every so often. 
Final steps in making my families favorite Italian meatballs and pasta sauce:
  • Using your hands, begin making 1 1/2 - 2 " sized meatballs, rolling them in your hands into a ball shape. My kids like them bigger than smaller. I usually bring the bowl over to the pot on the stove, making the meatballs and then putting each into the pot.
  • As sauce is slowly coming to a boil, begin adding meatballs. Make sure your hands do not touch the sauce. 
  • Cook the meatballs in the sauce on high for 30 minutes, stirring carefully so meatballs don't break up. Sauce should be boiling.
  • After 30 minutes, lower sauce to a simmer and cook for another 2 - 3 hours, again stirring every so often so the sauce doesn't burn at the bottom of the pot.
I'm sure you could easily make this homemade meatball recipe in a Crock Pot. I've never tried, but I have cooked them by mistake for 3 - 4 hours on simmer and they still taste amazing.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Build Your Child's Self-Esteem With Post-it Note Affirmations

Self-esteem KidsFor years now, I've been putting little notes in my kids lunch boxes, some with stickers on them and others written in pretty colors, hoping to bring a smile to their face and remember how much they are loved. My kids have shared that those little colorful notes have really made their day.

This year I took it one step further. I started writing affirmations on post-it notes, hanging them around the house for each of them to read. Affirmations are positive sentences written in first person that a person reads daily over and over again. In doing this, the positive words that the person reads starts entering their subconscious mind replacing negative beliefs with positive ones.

My oldest three are tween-age; and over the past year I've noticed that they are harder on themselves, using words like "I can't" and "I"ll never" and "He's better". My goal as a parent is to help them believe in themselves and their abilities. I want to encourage them to love every aspect of themselves inside and out. So this year, I started to leave positive affirmations on Post-it notes on their bathroom mirror, their bedroom door and even snuck a few into their lunch boxes.

In fact, my 10 year old son who has been beating himself up for two baseball seasons because he hasn't been able to hit, whacked the ball out to the outfield twice last night, bringing in five runs and getting two doubles! I really think these positive affirmations have really helped him!

Writing affirmations and sticking them around the house is such an easy thing for parents to do and it can be done in less than a minute.
Affirmations

All you need is:

We as parents truly can make a difference in our kids lives!

If you have or start posting affirmations for your kids to read, please share how it's going! My kids have definitely become more positive and confident!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to Meditate in A Minute - Simple Breath Meditation

Meditation is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, increase your energy, clear your mind and help you to relax. I've been meditating for over 25 years and even have taught many classes on the subject. 

My favorite meditation is the One Minute Breathing Meditation. Although, once I had kids I renamed it to One Minute Mommy Meditation. It's the only breathing meditation that I can easily squeeze into my crazy mommy working life.

Meditating can be done by anyone and doesn't have to be overly complex. The key with meditating is that you learn to tune into your body, your breath, your rhythms and your mind. Meditation can help you connect with your physical, emotional and mental self. It helps you to become more self-aware and focused.

Where can I do the One Minute Breath Meditation?
Anywhere you can get one minute of non-interrupted time. I've been doing this mediation for so long that I can easily zone, tuning into my breath and do it while sitting in my car at a soccer field with kids running around screaming. Focus, practice and desire are key.

How often should I do the One Minute Breath Exercise?I suggest doing it at least once a day. The more practice you have with meditating, the more in tune you'll become with your physical, emotional and mental self.

How soon will I see results?This is totally up to you. The more you practice, the more you'll begin feeling less stress and more energy. If this is the first time you have ever meditated, it may take you a couple weeks before you notice any change. 


How to Meditate in One Minute - One Minute Breath Exercise
This exercise is all about focusing on your breath. The following are the steps, which need to be repeated consecutively 5 - 6 times in order to reach a minutes time:

  1. Inhale oxygen for 4 seconds
  2. Hold your breath for 4 more seconds
  3. Exhale oxygen for 4 seconds
  4. Hold your breath for 4 more seconds
As you are doing the above steps, it's okay if a thought enters your mind or you hear a sound. When that happens, focus once again on your breath, relaxing your mind and body and finishing the One Minute Breath Meditation.

Please feel free to ask any questions or share successes in the comment section.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Kid Riddles and Answers - Funny and Fun!

My family loves telling riddles!

Here are some funny and fun riddles that my kids have told me over the past few weeks. 

I separated the riddle questions from the answers so you can print them out and not giveaway the answers.

I also included two bonus riddles that were told to me when I was a kid! 

Please feel free to share any riddles that your kids have told you!





Riddle Questions:

Q1: How do you make the number one disappear?


Q2: April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring?


Q3: What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs?


Q4: Everyone has it and no one can lose it, what is it?


Q5: What has a single eye but cannot see?


Q6: What two things can you never eat for breakfast?


Q7: There is a one story house and everything is pink. The walls are pink. The floor is pink. Everything is pink. What color are the stairs?


Q8: There is a circle house and a kid wanted to play with his family. He first asked his mom if she could play. His mom said, "I can't play, I'm gardening." Next he asked his dad. His dad said, "I'm leaving for work so I can't play kiddo." He then went to his sister and his sister said, "I don't have time. I have homework to do." So he went and asked the maid if she could play. The maid said, "I'm busy cleaning the corner." Who was lying?


Q9: Pretend you are a bus driver. 15 people get on. 28 people get off. 26 people get on. 1 person gets off. How old is the bus driver?


Q10: A cowboy rides to town on Friday. He stays in town for two days and leaves on Saturday. How is that possible?


Q11: What do you throw out when you use and pull back in when you don't?


Q12: What starts with "T", ends with "T" and is full of "T"?


Q13: What goes up when the rain goes down?


Q14: Imagine you are in a box and whatever you do you can't get out. How do you get out?


Q15: What is greater than God, the poor have it and the rich need it?


Q16: I'm full of keys, but I can't open any door. What am I? 


Q17: I have 28 days in a month.  Which month am I?


Q18: I never ask questions, but I'm always answered.


Q19: I weigh almost nothing. I'm lighter than air, but even the strongest man on Earth can't pick me up. What am I?


Q20: How many people are buried in a graveyard?

Bonus Riddle Question #1:
A man has to get a fox, a chicken, and a sack of corn across a river. He has a rowboat, and it can only carry him and one other thing. If the fox and the chicken are left together, the fox will eat the chicken. If the chicken and the corn are left together, the chicken will eat the corn. How does the man do it?
Bonus Riddle Question #2:
There is a man in a room with a puddle underneath him who hung himself. The room has no doors and no windows. How did the man hang himself?


Riddle Answers:


A1: Put a "G" infront of it = "G" + "one" = Gone!

A2: Pilgrims
A3: A clock!
A4: A shadow.
A5: A needle
A6: Lunch and dinner
A7: There are no stairs. It is a one story house.
A8: The maid. They live in a circle house. There are no corners.
A9: You are pretending to be the bus driver, so the bus driver's age is your age.
A10: His horse is named Friday.
A11: An anchor for a boat.
A12: A teapot.
A13: An umbrella
A14: Stop imagining
A15: Nothing is greater than God. The poor have nothing. And the rich don't need nothing.
A16: A piano
A17: All months have 28 days.
A18: A doorbell
A19: A bubble
A20: All people are buried

Bonus Riddle Answer #1:
The man and the chicken cross the river, (the fox and corn are safe together), he leaves the chicken on the other side and goes back across. 
The man then takes the fox across the river, and since he can't leave the fox and chicken together, he brings the chicken back. 
Again, since the chicken and corn can't be left together, he leaves the chicken and he takes the corn across and leaves it with the fox. 
He then returns to pick up the chicken and heads across the river one last time.
Bonus Riddle Answer #2:

He stepped on a large block of ice, hung himself and then the ice melted.


Check out these funny jokes for kids!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

25 Spring Fun Activities For Kids To Do At Home

Spring is finally here! And Spring Break is next week for us! We were hoping to go away, but just not able to this year. So instead, I put together a Spring Fun Activity Bucket List to keep my kids busy.

  1. Create an amazing art piece! You can paint or even make a collage of things you found in nature. Here are some great ideas that I found:

  2. Plant a flower or vegetable! Here are some kid diy gardening ideas I'm collecting on Pinterest.
  3. Create an outdoor obstacle course  
  4. Jump rope
  5. Transform your driveway into an imaginary world with chalk
  6. Ride a bike or scooter
  7. Face paint 
  8. Make Homemade Juggle Bubbles 
  9. Have a movie day! 
    • Color popcorn using food dye
    • Make movie tickets
    • Blend and shake your favorite fruit smoothie recipe
  10. Make some fun food crafts
  11. Window art! Paint fun designs on windows using Liquid Chalkers
  12. Make a bird house  
    DIY Kid Bird House

  13. Have a picnic
  14. Build an outdoor or indoor kid fort
  15. Design your own outdoor sidewalk games using chalk. Tic Tac Throw, Hop Scotch and
    Checkers!  
    Checkers Chalk Game

  16. Read a book 
  17. Have a dance competition
  18. Create and act out a play
  19. Explore nature
  20. Paint rocks
  21. Sell lemonade 
    Kid Lemonade Stand
  22. Play board games
  23. Write cards and mail to friends and family
  24. Kid Science Experiments 
    DIY Lava Lamp
  25. Play a game of kick ball, whiffle ball or four squares
There are so many fun things to do in the Spring! Have fun and enjoy this special time!