Photo Friday - My Crazy Baby Girl

Photo Friday

I love this Meme. Where have I been? Head on over to Photo Friday if you want to participate. The weekly challenge is EMOTIONS
She is soon to be 3 and full of emotion. Not sure what most of these faces say but she is my little actress.

Macca The Alpaca By Matt Cosgrove

Macca the alpaca's days were happy and carefree until -- drama! -- a llama. In this adorable, quirky picture book, Macca the alpaca loves splashing in puddles and gives the best cuddles. But when he bumps into a big bullying llama named Harmer (who's no charmer), Macca must prove the value of smarts and kindness.

The 411:

The book is about an Alpaca named Macca and a bully named Harmer. Harmer challenges Macca to a series of strength, height and race competitions to which of course Macca wins by a literal landslide.

This is a good versus evil book with Macca being our good animal and Harmer being our mean one. The book is written for ages 3-5 and my class is 2-3 with the oldest being about 3.3 months old. There were parts of the book I would not be able to read to them comfortably. Like Harmer calling Macca a puny pipsqueak and the page of Harmer being mean to Macca. I  do like the message about about how even when someone isn't nice you, you can rise above and be nice but maybe for ages 4-6. Where they will find parts of the book funny. The illustrations are perfect and Harmer definitely is a meanie but I was not comfortable reading this to my class.

Music Memoirs Top 5 Current Albums on my Player


Music Memoirs Top 5 Current Albums on my Player

Top 5 albums that you can’t stop playing lately, and tell us why you love them!
Skid Row – Debut album. I recently found a cassette pack in storage and put it in my car (yup I have a cassette). I love it because beside it being great it reminds me of being young and carefree with no responsibilities.

Queensryce – Operation Mindcrime. Also found in the cassette case and I hadn’t heard it in a while. I love this album and think everyone should have it in their collection.
American Angel – Local NJ band. This album is so good. My kids like it and it reminds me of some really awesome times hanging out with friends.

Pearl Jam – Ten. There is never been a time that this wasn’t in my car to listen to. It is probably my favorite album. I gave it to my nephew a copy of it this Christmas because as he gets more into finding out what he likes in music I wanted to share with him one of the best albums.

Bruce Springsteen – Darkness of the Edge of Town – Bruce’s best album in my eyes. I love all of his stuff but this rocks all the way through and is just raw with awesome songs and smart, memorable lyrics. You can’t go wrong with Springsteen.
Come on, play along here.

Peppa Is Kind by Samantha Lizzo

Peppa loves kindness! Discover many of the times Peppa chose to be kind in this adorable storybook that comes with a poster. Based on the hit show on Nick Jr.

Peppa proves just how kind she can be in this adorable storybook! Turn the pages to see Peppa do nice things for her friends and family, like share her favorite toy with George and help Suzy Sheep sing a song.

This charming paperback storybook is perfect to teach little ones all about kindness. They'll want to be kind too, just like Peppa! Includes a poster.

What toddler isn't into Peppa Pig? My whole class loves Peppa. This book  is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are trying to navigate the world. Teaching kindness isn't a hard concept but toddlers and preschoolers are a special breed so if you can get help from Peppa Pig about kindness why wouldn't you want to read it to them?

My preschool class loved this book and asked for it three times today.

Definitely a winner.

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary copy for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

OMG What A Cute Book: The Way Home For Wolf by Rachel Bright Illustrations by Jim Field

Wolf cub Wilf doesn't want help from anyone. Whatever it is, he can do it all by himself. But when he finds himself lost and alone in the chill of the Arctic night, Wilf discovers that sometimes we all need the helping hand of a friend.

A stunningly illustrated story from the creators of the bestselling, multi-award-winning The Lion Inside and The Koala Who Could.

How could you not love a book about a tiny Wolf who thinks he is ready to lead the pack? Although the synopsis is a little misleading it really was the pack that did him wrong by not making sure he kept up but I digress...

The pack lost it's den to a mother bear so they had to move on. While Wilf wanted to lead they told him one day. He did all he could to keep but suddenly found himself lost from the pack and alone. Thankfully many other animals helped Wilf along the way. Thankfully he found his way back to the pack and all was well.

The illustrations are amazing! I loved it and couldn't get enough of that little wolf face. I think kids will love watching Wilf find his way to his pack family.

To Purchase:

  Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

My Life In Pictures Jan 18 -

January 18 - Luna's face! No other words necessary!

January 19 - The only pic of the day is one I took of my 2nd sketch! I am no artist but have always wanted to be. I challenged myself to 2-3 sketches a week so I can progress and hopefully become a decent sketch artist. You can challenge yourself anytime. You are never too old to learn something new.

January 20 - One shot of the day is a prototype for my classes Valentine craft. I just used scraps of paper.  I will use their foot for the body of the Love Bug along with their adorable face. Hopefully their parents will love it.

Update: It ended up being so cute! I wish I could show you how cute they are. I made them into magnets and are way cuter than this.

January 21 - A photo of something I am using with my class to call them over to the carpet every morning. They love it and ask for it the moment I call them to the carpet and sit down.

January 22 -  A baby gift I made for a co-worker. We get a lot of toy hand-me-downs at work. This cute little washer and dryer was exactly what I needed. My co-worker was pregnant and I really wanted to give her something special so when I saw this toy and found out no one was grabbing it for the classroom I took it home. After taking off the doors,  I tried spray painting it but that wasn't working so my husband picked up some acrylic which paint. It took 4 coats of paint but eventually was all white and ready for gifting. I added a basket, some books, diapers, wipes and put a basket of baby items on top to present it to her. My plan was to make it a changing station for all her diaper changing products but she has made it into a book shelf for the baby. I am so happy she loves it! It was fun to work on and knowing she loves it because I painted it means a lot to me.

January 23 - My daughter's digital artwork for a school history project is the bomb! Look at that door and doorknobs. I love it! She always draws characters but I was really impressed with that door!

January 24 - NADA

January 25 - NADA

January 26 - Working with my beautiful niece we surprised my father-in-law out for breakfast. I loved seeing his face when he realized we were there. 

January 27 - She has seen some things. She hides to spare herself but every morning wakes optimistic that it is going to be a good day. Sometimes it is! Sketch 6. I don't hate her. She is okay for my 6th sketch right?!

January 28 - Nada

January 29 - This is what my chiropractor uses on my back. I seriously need one!  The next time my husband asks me what I want! I am sending this link.

January 30 - Valentine's Day Cards from my class that we were sending to the vets.

January 31 - My preschool celebrates Chinese New Year. These puppets were a favorite craft we created during our week of Chinese Culture.

My Life In Pics Jan 8 - Jan 17, 2020

January 8 - The only pics I took were of my students and I cannot share them without permission. They are adorable and I wish I can show you.

January 9 - A sketch found in my daughter's notebook. They are so cute!

January 10 -  My Dollar Tree as I prepare for my classroom Valentine activities. I love all this pink and red.

January 11 - These two cats are not friends. My Luna usually is hissing at Jinxy but on this warm day with the door open they are willing to sit next to each other. Miracles do happen!

January 12 - My CVS Clearance Haul. $11.44 for all of this!

January 13 - The only pic on this date is a Snapchat filter of me and Goddess!

January 14 - Picked this up at CVS on clearance for $2.99. I really wish I had purchased all of them! So cute and I could have resold or donated. My daughter loves it!

January 15 - Took Jinxy to the vet for a check up! He is doing well but he does not like the vet. If he could have crawled into Goddess' jacket, he would have.

January 16 - Some of my pink, piggy plates done by my 2 year old students! Aren't they the cutest?!

January 17 -  The Letter of the Week was P! We painted a P with a Pom Pom. My toddler students love any and all art projects!

Teen Stress is Real--Hyland's Safe & Natural "Serene" Can Help!

You are probably already familiar with Hyland's--making safe and natural medicines since 1903.  They are thrilled to introduce their teen line. Let’s face it. Teens are going through one of the roughest patches of their lives. Hyland’s Young Adult line was created to address the challenges teens face so they can get back to being their best self.  (Hyland's products are sold at CVS, Amazon, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Whole Foods and more)

I was so excited to get a chance to check out this teen line ass I have two teens and my girl was more than happy to try out the Young Adult ClearAc. When I showed it to her she actually said, "OMG the God's have answered my prayers. I was just coming to complain about this pimple on my chin!"  

So far she has only tried the Young Adult ClearAc and tells me she likes it. She likes that the pills are small. She likes that she doesn't have to swollen them. That you place them under your tongue and they dissolve. I have not had to remind her to take her pills in the morning. Her face had a minor break out (she is lucky) and three days later her skin looks amazing. 

I am interested to see how the Young Adult Moon works for her next month. I like knowing that I can give her something that I trust and that she doesn't hate taking them! 

The Hyland's Young Adult  Formulas Available Are:

ClearAc is an acne medicine specially formulated for teen’s skin. Clear skins starts from the inside out, so we developed a homeopathic blend of natural active ingredients to stimulate your body’s own healing, naturally. Read more about Hyland’s Young Adult ClearAc.
Hyland’s Young Adult Moon is a caffeine-free medicine formulated to soothe monthly period symptoms. Stop worrying about those cramps and get back in the flow of things. Read more about Hyland’s Young Adult Moon.
Hyland’s Young Adult Serene is a non-habit forming medicine to help with the symptoms of stress, that is safe for teens. From school exams, expectations from friends and family, and extracurricular activities, teens face enormous pressure today. Read more about Hyland’s Young Adult Serene.

I would suggest this to any parent with teens. 

How To Keep Your Family From Getting Sick While On Vacation


Before You Travel
Limit activities in centers or play spaces where exposure to viruses could be greater. Although it’s not a foolproof solution, when you have the choice, opt to spend the few days before travel at home or areas with lower traffic. For those who have kids in daycare or school, it’s a nearly impossible task (we know!), but consider keeping your child at home to rest the day before you travel and make sure to wash up the second your kids get home from school. While avoiding  quickly-spreading viruses may not be easy, washing hands as soon as kids get home minimizes the spread and therefore limits exposure.
Getting rest before travel isn’t just for the kids. Catching up on some zzz’s can do wonders to boost your immune health and ensure your body has the power to fight off viruses (6-8 hrs is the recommended amount).  Make sure both you and your children get a proper night’s sleep and nap a day or two before you travel. For young babies that means trying to ensure proper rest which may mean keeping naps outside the home to a minimum. 
On that note, stress can leave your body more vulnerable. If you don’t want to get sick, and pass it on to your kids, find ways to eliminate stress leading up to travel. Consider offloading tasks that can be stressful —  this is a great time to try out a Totts box to help with the stress of packing!

 While You Travel
This starts with what you pack—purchase both disinfectant and antibacterial wipes. Disinfectant wipes like Clorox wipes can be used to clean surfaces such as armrests, tray tables, windows, seats and other hard surfaces. For the wipes to do their magic, make sure to follow instructions —  surfaces are required to be wet for a certain amount of time in order for germs to be killed properly.
Antibacterial wipes are great to wipe grime off your child’s hands and also make sure they are cleaned along the way. Antibacterial wipes are still no replacement for hand washing, so continue to wash and use the wipes in between washes.
It’s hard to avoid the tray table while you’re on a plane (or the desire for your toddler to play with one). But before you start feeding your child from the table, make sure the surface has been sanitized and that there is a clean layer between the table and food or other activities your child is doing on the tray table. You can use a stick-on disposable placemat to cover the table or there are other products out there specifically designed to create a barrier between the table and your child.
Areas of the plane to avoid? Yes, the bathroom is not ideal, but avoiding that altogether isn’t feasible. However, the back seat pocket can— and should— be avoided! According to tests it’s the dirtiest part of a seat and one where germs tend to linger. Avoid putting toys and other items your child uses (or you use) in the pockets.
A big question families are asking right now —  should we wear a mask? The right type of mask can protect you by filtering the airborne particles but in a lot of cases it doesn’t offer 100% protection against airborne illnesses. It’s just the same if you are in a crowded subway or coffee shop —  there is still going to be exposure. Unless you are traveling to areas that you feel you have an increased chance of getting sick, purchase a heavy-duty mask (a surgical mask won’t do) — otherwise it’s okay to leave the masks at home. 
When You Arrive
Pull out the disinfectant wipes and cover the surfaces that you know your child will touch —  tables, tv remote, phones and doorknobs. Use only glassware / utensils wrapped in plastic, and wash anything else before using (or better yet bring your own!).
Many families use high chairs, cribs or rented car seats at their destination. Take the same approach to wiping down these surfaces. Even though you may not stop everything, it’s all about helping to put the odds in your family's favor.
Lastly, take time to relax! It may seem counterintuitive now that you have a laundry list of things to wipe down (sorry for the extra work!), but make sure you don’t overexert yourself or your kids during your vacation. Rest is still the best remedy to help fight any illness and you want to make sure your whole family is getting plenty of it. Remember, a vacation is a time to re-charge so make sure you take advantage of this natural immune booster while you have it!

About: Alejandra Tejada is the founder and CEO of Totts.  After spending four years in product innovation and digital consumer research, she left a startup incubator at a Fortune 100 company to pursue her passion for sharing travel with children by creating Totts. Prior to this, she spent six years with an international non-profit, Accion International. Alejandra has a BA from the University of San Diego and an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona.

Valentines Work of Art


Valentines Work of Art

I love that Handsome is writing.
He taught himself back in  April of last year when he showed me a “W” that he had written on a Magna Doodle.  Over the year he taught himself to write many words. Lately he writes XBox and Charlie (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and a few months ago it was Spy Kids along with all his other words (his name, blue, dog, cat, bird, bat, etc).
This year for Valentines day we made a heart for Daddy and then he wrote “I love you Daddy” with a little picture that he said was Daddy. Ummm..looks nothing like him but if he says so.
For Valentines Breakfast I made a Pancake Puppy. The kids loved the idea but eat everything but the red pancake. Why do I bother? Oh yeah, I remember, because I am trying to make memories.
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