Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grand Slam Manager Bullies Kids Bringing Them to Tears - Matthews NC

Really not cool what the owner and manager of Grand Slam did, bringing four kids to tears.

Here's the low down...  My two 10 year old kids, my daughters girlfriend and her younger brother who just turned 8 years old were waiting for Grand Slam Baseball Batting in Matthews, NC to open up.  We were all so excited!

Like a normal kid, the little second grade boy I was babysitting said he thinks the lights inside the facility are on so he tried to open the front door. It was locked with a sign that read Closed. What kid doesn't try to open a door even if it's closed.

Guess it set off the alarms. None of us knew the alarms went off because he tried to open a locked glass door. A few minutes later, he mentioned to me that the alarm was going off. I told him that one of the employees probably forgot the alarm password when they entered. Never did I think he set off the alarms by pulling on a locked door. The alarms kept sounding, which then got all the kids worried that maybe burglar was trying to break in.

When Grand Slam Batting opened up, a manager (older lady) at the counter said with a stern face that my bratty kids set off the alarm. She was so rude and unfriendly. I was dumb founded and taken totally off guard. I had no idea they did it.

I said I was sorry and asked if she was sure. In a cold tone, she said it was your kids. I again apologized, but that wasn't good enough. She went on to say, "Didn't you read the sign? I said it says closed. I remarked that there wasn't any sign that said, "Don't touch the front doors because it will set the alarms off." Then she said, "Yeah, closed means don't touch the doors."

Within minutes the owner (Pete who has to be my mom's and dad's age, if not older) came in, yelling in front of everyone. He shouted, "Which one of you goofballs set off the alarm?" He continued to shout, "Who set off the alarms? Which one of you set off the alarms?" No one knew what he was talking about, not even my kids or the the kids I was watching! So none of the kids answered him.

He made his way down towards my kids and the two kids that came with us, looked at them and yelled, "No one is going to man-up and confess!" They were in tears, because a strange man was yelling at them. He scared them with his tone and accusations.

That's when I turned around (not knowing who this strange man was), noticed he was heading towards my kids, so I shouted (because he was far away), how inappropriate it was for him to yell at them in front of everyone. I also stated that they are kids and didn't even know that they actually set off the alarms.

He turned to me and first said that he was just joking (even if he was, he should have never addressed any issue with them directly. They are kids. He is a stranger.)  I said, "It doesn't sound like you are joking." I also let him know that he had no right to yell at those kids. Then he walked towards me shouting, "I don't care that they are kids" and "Can't you read the sign?"  I said that the sign says closed and didn't say anything about if you pull on the door that the alarms will go off. He then walked over to me, standing inches from my face talking in a very loud authoritative tone, "You can leave. We don't need you as a customer." After we both said a few more words, he then walked me and my two kids out along with the two kids I was babysitting, opened the door and said, "I hope you never come back."

Feeling a guilty conscious, Pete did come over to my car and tried apologizing to all four kids who were balling their eyes out in my car. I haven't a clue why, but he called them bratty kids as he was apologizing, which offended them and me even more. He tried to make the situation appear to not be a big deal. He never once said sorry to me or tried to work out the situation. He was mean, cold and arrogant; and personally appeared to be an adult bully.

The owner did say one more thing that really surprised me. He said that he treats people like this all time and for me not to take it personally. SERIOUSLY? Isn't this considered bullying by an adult?

Adults that treat their customers and kids like this and make them cry is not acceptable customer service. All he needed to do was come up to me and ask to talk to me in private. But he didn't. He went and addressed the issue with kids who didn't even know who he was. He over stepped his managerial responsibilities and appeared to be an adult bully.

During the whole craziness, not one parent, not one mom and not one dad intervened. Dads and mom’s all stood there letting him yell at me and the kids. I even turned and looked at the parents and said, "Am I wrong? Would you let this man come storming in and start yelling at your kids." One woman with blond hair mumbled, "No." Then Pete shouted, "Don't get them involved. They have nothing to do with this."

What would you do if an adult manager treated you and your kids like this? How would you react?

$25 Children's Book Blast Giveaway: Stellarcadia by Julie Anne Grasso

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be hosting a Book Blast for the third and final book in the "Adventures of Caramel Cardamom" middle grade science fiction trilogy by Julie Anne Grasso: "Stellarcadia".

Stellarcadia by Julie Anne GrassoAbout the Book

Title: Stellarcadia (Adventures of Caramel Cardamom, Book 3) | Author: Julie Anne Grasso | Publication Date: December 24, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 128 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 

Book Description: Caramel Cinnamon is one lucky elf. She can hardly believe she’s invited to attend the first Intergalactic Youth Summit, on-board the Stellarcadia. Her friends can’t wait to go “hyper,” but even the thought of it chills Caramel to the bone. However, nothing could compare to the icy reception she receives upon her arrival. Keen to get to the bottom of it, Caramel stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy, but no one will believe her. In the exciting conclusion to The Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Caramel will have to do more than outwit her enemies, she will have to convince her friends to take her seriously. For ages 8-12.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

The Early Buzz

"The book is also a perfect mix of magic, science, and technology. Don’t be surprised if readers get to use their imaginations and learn something. Julie Anne Grasso has proven herself to be an original and versatile author..." ~ 5 Stars, Ilana W., Amazon
"Couldn't put it down." ~ Jemima P., Goodreads

About the Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Julie Anne GrassoWith a background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories to encourage and entertain them. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Danny and their little girl, Giselle.

Website | Blog | Facebook

Twitter | Goodreads

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: March 25, 11:59 pm, 2015 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, Julie Anne Grasso 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.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Saturn, Jupiter and Two Eclipses are Game-Changers March and April 2015

Astrology predictions
Here we are again, facing another game-changing time period in the world and in many of our lives, all within a few weeks of each other. There are four major astrological events happening in the sky that will bring change and force us to open our eyes to reality. 

Expect big events taking place World-wide that involve our freedom, leadership and Earth climate changes. Get ready for conflict and people fighting for what they believe in. We're moving into a time (an energy) where people aren't going to get away with negative behavior - especially if people are being treated unjustly!

In addition, decisions at a Global level will be made that could affect the well-being of others. And each of us (including our United States government) has to watch out for thinking we are invincible, taking risks that perhaps we should have given more thought too. The United States government is here for the people and they need to listen to our voice above all else.

So how will Saturn going retrograde, a Solar Eclipse happening six days later, a Lunar Eclipse happening April 4th, and Jupiter going direct in April affect you? 

Saturn going retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius on March 14th: 

Saturn is the planet that teaches us lessons and helps us grow. It brings structure and meaning to the world. It is the authority figure, the manager, the dad typically in one's chart. Saturn reminds us that we have responsibilities and commitments. It helps set boundaries. It gives people a reality check. 

With it in the sign of Sagittarius going retrograde, Saturn will help us to open our minds, revise and set policies and even change our beliefs by the time it goes direct on August 2, 2015. 

eBuzz 360 Digital MarketingIn my own life, its pushed me, over the winter months, to think about where I want to be in 5, 10 and 15 years. I took a look at what my strengths are,  what skills I have, what my interests are and what I truly enjoy doing. Voila... I have just incorporated a digital marketing company called eBuzz 360 (in development)! 

But... and I have to stress BUT, this may be impacted by the eclipses. Both eclipses (more insight below) are triggering my astrology chart. This could lead to an unexpected job opportunity, where I have to make a career decision. 

Predictions for Saturn going retrograde:
  • Leaders need to rethink their strategy. Especially the government. Here in the United States, our government will have to make big policy changes to protect our freedom. 
  • College graduates will need to think outside the box on how they will get their dream job.
  • Entrepreneurs, if you haven't already done so over the past few months, you will begin to formulate a plan for launching a possible new venture (even hobby).
  • During the summer, you'll find that you may end up going within and taking some time to rethink your life and goals.

Solar Eclipse on March 20, 2015:

This Solar Eclipse is a game-changer! It will push you to refocus and go within so you can come out new. This is a time to get rid of the old and create a fresh new start for yourself. It also will bring religious beliefs and differences to the forefront, forcing the world leaders to have to make decisions for the better of the people. 

Predictions for March 2015 Solar Eclipse:
  • Another big weather storm could hit the United States.
  • Climate changes will be on the forefront of world leaders minds, as will terrorist groups like ISIS.
  • Very good chance that a major tragedy will take place, most likely involving a terrorist group.
  • Alcoholism and drug addiction deaths in the media.
  • People need to pay attention to addictions, depression and self-pity.
  • It's a great time to go within, take your time, connect with who you are and become who you are.

Lunar Eclipse on April 4, 2015:

This eclipse happens in the sign of Libra. Libra is the sign of diplomacy and balance. It also is an air sign. Communication and travel will be highlighted during this eclipse.

Predictions for April 2015 Lunar Eclipse:
  • People will be more on the edge.
  • Storms making people worried about climate changes.
  • World leaders trying to keep things under control, yet failing.

Jupiter Direct on April 7, 2015:

WooHoo! Finally Jupiter, the planet of opportunity goes direct! This planet expands our knowledge and understanding of situations. With it in the sign of Leo, we'll be looking at our own self-image. The arts will be of interest, as is starting a new hobby. 

Predictions for Jupiter going direct:
  • Discovering that a love relationship is truly possible.
  • Realizing that dreams can be made.
  • Finding a new career opportunity, or even having one starting.
  • Entertaining more or being entertained.
  • On the negative side, you need to watch out for bragging, self-exaggeration and frivolous, extravagant purchases. 
Overall, spring will be filled with major events. Take time to really think about your choices. Realize that not everyone is going to agree with you. Lastly, be open to other ways of thinking and doing.

Here's the lowdown on what's happening in the sky just in case you want to do more research yourself. 
  • Starting March 14, 2015 some of us (like me!) will be affected by Saturn going retrograde at 4 degrees 55.8 in the sign of Sagittarius. 
  • Then on March 20, 2015 a Solar Eclipse will occur at 29 degrees 27 Pisces.  
  • Not too long after that, on April 4, 2015 a Lunar Eclipse will occur at 14 degrees 24 Libra.
  • Finally, the planet of opportunity - Jupiter, will be going direct at 12 degrees 35 in the sign of Leo on April 7, 2015.
Hope you'll check out my Psychic Mom page! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

How to Talk to Your Tween Kid About Sex

Just Off The Boat Sex Talk
Last night I cuddled on the coach with my husband and three older kids ready to watch Fresh Off The Boat. If you haven't seen it, it's pretty funny, especially if you grew up in the 90's. So far every episode has been pretty innocent. But not this one! This one was about talking to your kids about sex.

I was totally hit from left field! I hadn't a clue that "talking to our kid about sex" was going to be the overall theme of the show. Guess I need to start reading the descriptions before pressing play. I sat there so uncomfortable as my 11 year old and 10 year old boy and girl tweens eyes and ears were glued to the television.

During the show, the dad, (Louis is his name), sat down with his older son who looked to be 10 years old to teach him the birds and the bees. I was actually anxious to hear how he was going to teach him, because this was a subject I still needed to talk to my 10 year old twins about.

Louis (the dad) never came right out and said this is what a man and woman do when having sex. But he didn't have to! My kids totally picked up on what he was saying through the shows humor. He said things like how much fun spring break is and how his son will enjoy it and how he may join him. Then he jokingly said that you'll be able to burn something like 206 plus calories. I wanted to scream! I was so uncomfortable!

Burn over 200 calories? OMG! Seriously, I definitely hadn't planned on talking to my kids about spring break at the age of 10 or 11 years old, nor how you can burn off that Burger King hamburger you just ate by having sex.

After the dad was done having the sex talk, he strolled proudly into the kitchen anxious to share his father-son bonding moment with his wife. What he wasn't aware of, nor was I, was that she was going to mention another big kid sex talk subject "date rape". Aaahhhh!

I wanted to run upstairs, lock the door and throw away the key. I knew what was coming next... the curious kid sex questions. And they did. One after another.  My boys just couldn't stop asking what Louis (the dad) meant when he Oooo'd and Aaaa'd after every sexual innuendo he made. Thank heavens it was bed time. My scapegoat.

Well, this morning I had to have the date rape talk with my oldest son who literally is 12 years old today. Not what I expected before having a cup of coffee. On it mentions that at the age of 9 to 11 years old you should talk to your kids about puberty and answer some sex questions they see on the news. Ha! They are so not with the television writers thoughts.

I think Fresh Off The Boat failed in helping parents have the kid tween sex talk. No way was I planning on bringing up how many calories they will burn by having sex.

Here's my thoughts on the do's and don'ts for talking to your tween kid about sex:
  1. Do talk about puberty and how their bodies and emotions will be changing.
  2. Discuss the differences of a man and woman's body and how you need to respect both of them.
  3. Teach them the proper names of the body parts such as "penis" and "vagina".
  4. Bring up what it means to date, hand holding and kissing.
  5. For 12 year olds and teens you should talk to them about:
    • Date rape
    • Pregnancy
    • Sexually transmitted diseases
    • Sexual orientation such as homosexuality and heterosexuality
    • Personal appearance and self-image
    • Peer pressure
  6. Answer your child's questions honestly.
  7. Don't discuss how many calories you'll burn and the workout you'll get out of it.
  8. Don't bring up how pleasurable sex is. That will only make them more curious.
  9. Definitely don't mention how fun spring break is and how you'd like to join them when the time comes.
This area is new to me, although it seems like I'm going to become an expert pretty fast.

Here is a link for you to be able to watch a few clips from the show: Fresh Off the Boat Sex Talk

I'd love to hear how you've tackled talking to your kids about sex!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Enter to Win $25 Children's Book Blast Giveaway - Fearless Joe Dearborne

Fearless Joe Dearborne by Lisa Whitney Mitchell

About the Book

Title: Fearless Joe Dearborne | Author: Lisa Whitney Mitchell | Publication Date: July 11, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 198 | Recommended Ages: 8+ Summary: Some might say he’s courageous, while others would say he’s daring, maybe even a little crazy. But when Joe Dearborne risked his life and ran into a burning building to save a puppy, the local newspaper referred to him as “fearless”—and that’s a pretty big title for a sixth-grader to live up to.

Plus, Joe already has plenty else to worry about. After other daring feats in the past, Joe promised his father he wouldn’t do anything dangerous again, and, alas, he’s just broken that promise. But whatever trouble he expects to get into with his father, and despite the dangers he’s triumphed over in the past, nothing could prepare Joe for what he’s about to encounter when a cold, bitterness creeps into his home. A mysterious and peculiar woman named Mrs. Chill has just been hired to care for Joe while his father is away on business. In no time, however, Joe discovers that she’s up to more than cooking and cleaning, and she has plans to destroy his family. Joe’s effort to save them results in perilous, sometimes humorous, encounters, and leads him on a journey through the threatening wilderness where he faces his greatest challenge yet.

The Buzz About the Book

Be sure to check out the Book Review Blitz Wrap-Up for Fearless Joe Dearborne were you can read excerpts from the 40+ reviews generated through the blitz. Here are some of the things reviewers had to say about Fearless Joe Dearborne:

Leigh Shearin: "Children from age 8-12 should love this story. It is full of suspense and excitement, but also provides well-disguised learning opportunities, which should please parents as well. I simply can't say enough good things about this wonderful debut novel. Lisa Whitney Mitchell has come out fearlessly, treating us all to what could become an iconic novel!"

Heart of a Philanthropist: "This reader was impressed with how many subplots are in Fearless Joe Dearborne. It is a short easy read. The book can easily be finished in just a few reading sessions. If you are looking for a good mystery embedded with humor, this book is for you! Recommended for 9-13 year old readers."

Identity Discovery: "I thought this was a fantastic book. Each chapter starts with a word being defined and then the word is used within the chapter. I absolutely love this aspect. It not only is an entertaining story, but it helps kids to learn new words and how to use them. The character development really showed Joe's transformation. I loved it."

Christy's Cozy Corners: "There is so much to love about this book...The storyline, setting, characters and pacing make this a great book for your kids to read alone or with you. I know I enjoyed it, so I recommend reading it with your child. I highly recommend it!"
1:25 am Reviews: "I read this entire book in one sitting. I just couldn't bear to put it down because there was never a dull moment!!"

BeachBoundBooks: "This is such a fantastic story. There is so much going on to keep children entertained throughout the book... The story teaches children about character and believing in yourself."

Bookworm for Kids: "Of course, I'm always a fan of shorter adventures. The 135 pages invites even hesitant readers to take a peek and get swept away in the fun. In other words, I can recommend this to boys and girls who love adventure, a few chills and tons of fun thrown in."
Sunshine, Bubbles and Books: "One of the strongest points of this book is how it shows the difference between being brave and being fearless. Often books portray recklessness as a positive trait... as a mother, I love that this paints it in a more realistic light. That there are consequences to actions."

A Leisure Moment: "This story is filled with adventure and mystery which can be inferred through the book cover... The attention to detail, along with the description of events really creates an atmosphere of a great story that upper elementary/middle level students will truly enjoy!"

Brooke Blogs: "I enjoyed the story as much as my 12 year old daughter did. This was a quick read and a page turner that we didn't want to put down until we were finished."

About the Author: Lisa Whitney Mitchell

Lisa Whitney Mitchell lives in Florida with her husband, two sons, and their dog. When she’s not writing, she practices law. Fearless Joe Dearborne is her first novel.  

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: March 18, 11:59 pm, 2015 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, Lisa Whitney Mitchell 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

Monday, February 16, 2015

$25 Children's Book Blast Giveaway - The Maisy Files

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast (February 17 to 18, 2015) for the second book in "The Maisy Files" mystery chapter book series by Elizabeth Woodrum, "Maisy and the Money Marauder". If you haven't had a chance to check out Book 1, you can grab a Kindle copy for FREE from Amazon February 17 and 18, 2015!Maisy and the Money Marauder by Elizabeth Woodrum

Maisy and the Missing MiceAbout the Book

Title: Maisy and the Money Marauder (The Maisy Files, Book #2) |Author: Elizabeth Woodrum | Publication Date: February 17, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 90 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 12 

Summary: Lunch money has been stolen at West Valley Elementary, and everyone's favorite fourth-grade detective in on the case. With a cherry lollipop in hand, her fedora, and her trusty notebook, Maisy steps into her black-and-white mystery world to search for clues. Join Maisy on her quest to unmask a thief in Maisy and the Money Marauder.

Book 2 Available from Amazon

PLUS, Grab a FREE Kindle Copy of Book 1, Maisy and the Missing Micefrom Amazon February 17 and 18, 2015.

Sneak Peek


The Buzz About Book One

"Maisy and the Missing Mice is a fun chapter book featuring a smart and sassy tween girl as the title character; a solid and interesting plot featuring age-appropriate intrigue and suspense; and some terrific writing that carries the reader on a journey as a detective uncovering clues and solving the mystery of who stole the missing mice. I highly recommend this book as a read aloud book for children between the ages of 6 and 10 or for independent readers between the ages of 7 and 12 who love to read mysteries." ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It's a quick page turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box." ~ The Children's Book Review

"The delights from this book start with the cover art and continue with a fun story that is well-written." ~ 5 Star Review, R. Johnson, Amazon

About the Author: Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth WoodrumElizabeth Woodrum is an elementary teacher in Ohio. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children's series, is the first series that she has published. As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks. Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently resides near Dayton, Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.  

Book Website | Author Blog | Twitter

Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card
 Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: March 16, 11:59 pm, 2015 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, Elizabeth Woodrum 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 giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Creative Writing For Kids With InkJoy Pens

My oldest three kids talk about becoming a children's author someday, but only one of the three actually likes to write. And even though she likes to write, she doesn't choose to do it in her spare time.

Writing for my kids was like a chore. They would whine and sulk if my husband and I even mentioned it to them. Four kids whining and sulking can make any parent was exhausting to deal with. There were times I would just send them up to their room to practice writing so I wouldn't have to experience their torturing moans

Then one day last summer, it hit me. They are kids and it was up to me as parent to make those things they dread to do more fun.

Seven Creative Writing Tips to Encourage Your Child to Write:
InkJoy Pens for writing
Writing with InkJoy Pens
  1. Use colored pens and pencils! This has been the most fun for my kids! Recently I received a free sample of InkJoy Pens as a Smiley360 agent. These pens are amazing! They come in so many fun colors like pink, orange, purple, blue and green. The best part of these pens is that they don't tire your hand when you write. My twin sons hand always hurts if he writes too long, which has been his number one excuse for why he can't write. These pens have been remarkable with motivating him to write. He loves the colors and how effortless they are to use.
  2. Write a letter to your favorite actor or musician, mentioning why you are a fan. We wrote a letter to the President of the United States once and also Tom Brady. The best part is when your child receives a response back. Their eyes light up and they feel important.
  3. Make your own thank you and birthday cards from blank cards. Have your child decorate the front and write their own little Thank you and birthday wishes inside it. 
  4. Create a poster board for an event such as a holiday with words and pictures. We make home made posters and banners for birthdays, holidays, sporting events and even charities. It's a great way to stimulate your child's creativity, while supporting things they love.
  5. Document a memory like a recent vacation and put in your memory box.  Each of my kids has a memory box which they put special pictures an other things they want to remember when they are older. For every memory they want to remember, I encourage them to include a note with it highlighting the date, who was there and why it is special.
  6. Create lists. I have my kids create to do lists, shopping lists, birthday lists and Christmas lists, using colorful pens and pencils like InkJoy pens.
  7. Set goals. This is another fantastic way to get your kids writing flowing. My kids create New Years resolutions. We set goals for their summer break. It allows them to strive to achieve something.
I'd love to hear how you encourage your kids to write. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Beginners Guide to Astrology and Its Signs

Sun Sign Astrology
Many of us know our Sun Sign, but aren't aware of other astrological factors that can be used to gain a better understanding of who we are and why certain events are happening in our lives.

Today's astrology has evolved significantly since the first known organized system of astrology, Babylonian Astrology. Like the Babylonians, we still are able to use the planets and stars to predict the likelihood of possible catastrophic events such as flooding and war. But now we are also able to gain a better understanding of a person's personality, strengths, weaknesses, interests and even possible future events such as a career change and relocation.

The following is a guest blog post - Beginners Guide to Astrology and Its Signs - written by Karen Sealy, a psychic and astrologer, providing insight into each Sun Signs element which gives you a little bit more information about who you are. 

The meaning behind studying astrology is to formulate a connection between the movements of planetary bodies in the sky and events in our own lives back on Earth. It is very revealing to study these positions and movements as planets are continuously moving so there is a different prediction waiting every day.

Astrology is common among those members of the general public who read their star signs in a newspaper, otherwise known as Sun Sign astrology. This sign is calculated in the same way that the different signs of the zodiac work, so using a particular date range of the month that you were born in. Apply your birthday to the list below to work out your Sun Sign element and then read about what these say about you underneath.

Earth Sign
Capricorn:     Dec 22nd – Jan 19th.
Taurus:         April 20th – May 20th.
Virgo:           Aug 23rd – Sept 22nd.

What they lack in energy, Earth Signs make up for in persistence and determination, seeing projects right through to the end. Their practical, nurturing and careful characteristics make them extremely suitable as business advisors, teachers and bankers. They possess good leadership qualities and give their advice freely. Earth Signs tend to take a long time to trust people fully and can appear withdrawn and contemplative because of this, but once the trust has been gained they will come across as the complete opposite and be loyal to the very last.

Air Sign
Aquarius:    Jan 20th – Feb 18th.
Gemini:       May 21st – June 20th.
Libra:         Sept 23rd – Oct 22nd.

Those with a faster pace of life are most often the Air Signs among us. They are forgiving, great communicators and determined to find out the truth behind every situation as they seek to keep everything running smoothly. Many activists are Air Signs which is noticeable in their persistence to power ahead and make necessary changes. You’ll also find that with being an Air sign you swing between mind-sets and change your course of action on a regular basis – ploughing your energy into a new cause every week. They will, however, always make you laugh along the way.

Water Sign
Pisces:         Feb 19th – Mar 20th.
Cancer:       June 21st – July 22nd.
Scorpio:      Oct 23rd – Nov 21st.

No pun intended, Water Signs are the deepest signs of the zodiac, always looking for the deeper meaning in life and love. It’s rarely entirely clear what a Water Sign is thinking and, likewise, they feel little need to know the thoughts of others, potentially appearing remote and detached as a result. Breaking the trust of a Water Sign is very hard to regain as their loyalty is strong, and they can become very protective over those deemed vulnerable. Water Signs also boast a very creative flare that stems from their free imagination and results in wondrous pieces of art or intriguing novels.

Fire Sign
Aries:          Mar 21st – April 19th.
Leo:           July 23rd – Aug 22nd.
Sagittarius:  Nov 22nd – Dec 21st.

Fire sign people are leaders with dynamic personalities that put the get-up-and-go in everyone else. They are charismatic and energetic, not afraid to speak their mind and the truth. While they may cause offence to others on their quest to the top, Fire Signs are not purposely spiteful – they simply don’t have the time for any idle day dreamers. Fire Signs will either be loved for their passionate love of life, or disliked for their bossy, powerful points of view. Either way, they are the life and soul of any party, competing with Air Signs for the most attention.

Friday, February 06, 2015

How to Teach Your Kids to be Non-Materialistic

Raising non-materialistic children isn't easy in this day and age. From all the toy ads on television to their friends having the latest and greatest toys, gadget and apps, more and more kids are becoming "needy greedy."

But that is only icing on the cake for why more and more kids are becoming materialistically dysfunctional.

It seems as if there is a new learning app on the market every minute and not only are their friends bragging about it, but  their teachers are also recommending it for educational purposes. The big selling point for my boys on why they need another app for their iPod Touch is because it will teach them something.

How can a parent say no to something that can help them in their development?

Well...I'm finding I have to! Kids are learning that they can have anything with just a click of a button even if it costs a measly .99 cents. That .99 cents can add up fast for a parent, which my husband and I are finding out.

So how can you help your child continue learning and growing, while teaching them that they don't need every latest and greatest gadget (uh, like an iPhone or television in their bedroom just because their best friend has one)?

Here's how I'm teaching my kids to appreciate things in life!

How to Raise a Non-Materialistic Kid:

Lead by example: Your child learns by watching you!

Set toy, game and app purchasing limits: Our kids know that they only get a new toy on special occasions such as Christmas or their birthday. However, if we are on vacation, we allow them to get a special memory gift within a certain maximum price.

As for apps, one app per child per quarter is sufficient in my house. I have four kids. If each one get's a new app per quarter that's four apps they can download and share. I make sure I get my .99 cents worth out of every app I purchase for my kids.

Set-up a Responsibility and Reward System: If my oldest three want something during the off-toy gift season in my house, they have to purchase it themselves. The way they do that is by earning their own money.  One of my boys pet sits. My kids also have helped neighbors take out their trash, giving them a few extra dollars. And my husband and I, with the help of our kids input, have created a weekly chores calendar that they do daily to earn a few extra dollars.

Donate and then shop at a consignment store: I love consignment stores! There are so many great buys that you can find. Purchasing at a consignment store teaches kids that they don't always have to have everything brand new. Yard sales are another fantastic place for kids (and moms and dads) to shop.

Every quarter I have my kids sort through their clothes and toys. Any clothes that don't fit them and toys they no longer play with, we bag up and take them to a consignment store. Once everything has sold in the consignment store (usually a month or two later), I let my kids use that money to purchase something in the store.

Trade-in Nintendo dsi and Wii games: Twice a year, my kids and I weed through their Wii and handheld games and movies, searching for the ones that they don't play with or watch any longer. We take those to Game Stop and get store credit points that they use to purchase another video game.

Homemade DIY kid projects: Save money and build it yourself. Not everything has to be purchased. There are so many do-it-yourself projects available for kids online now.

For instance, my daughter got Juggle Bubbles for Christmas. She went through the entire bubble mixture in a few hours and was begging for more. What she didn't know (because Santa brought her the present) was that Juggle Bubbles wasn't cheap. So I looked online for how to make juggle bubbles!

Have your kids spend more time in nature: I find the more time my kids spend in nature, the less time they ask me for stuff. There is something about nature that stimulates their creativity and feeds their natural need of wanting more. There is so much kids can learn from nature. And any questions they have can easily be researched on the Internet.

Parents spend time with your children: All kids want is to spend time with their parents. Make time! Have a family game night weekly. Read to them. Cuddle on the couch and watch a movie with them. Have your child help you cook a meal. Kids need their parents to be involved in their lives. There are so many ways a parent can do that.

Volunteer with your kids: This is one of the best things you could teach your child. It teaches them to be compassionate and to be a good citizen. They learn the value of selflessness and generosity. Volunteering can be as simple as making a meal for someone in need to helping out at a soup kitchen. This is such a wonderful thing to do with your child.

Sponsor a Child in Foreign Country: A neighbor of mine gave a child in Ethiopia the most wonderful gift, sponsorship. What I loved about it was that her entire family was involved, including her two children. They even spent Christmas with the child in Ethiopia by raising enough money to be able to travel over there.

The above tips are suggestions. Please share any tips that have worked for you on how you are raising a non-materialistic kid.

Also, many of you may know that I write children's books. The Wunderkind Family children's book collection teaches kids how special they are, using humor and fantasy. Hope you'll check them out on Amazon Award Winning Childrens Book!

Melissa Childrens Book

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Enter the $100 February Blogger Appreciation Giveaway

Welcome to the $100 February Blogger Appreciation Giveaway 2015 hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews.

This is my "Shoutout" to my wonderful "Book Blasters" who posted book blasts with us over the month of December, 2014. Big, big thank you to each and every one of you! You are much appreciated.
  100 February Blogger Appreciation Giveaway 2015

* Giveaway Details *

Amazon 100 gift card PayPal - 100 Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or a PayPal cash prize (winner's choice) Contest Ends: February 28, 11:59 pm, 2015 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. The 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 a 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, 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 giveaway