A Children's Book About Dealing With Loss - Maybe Tomorrow? By Charlotte Agell

 A heartwarming story about loss, healing, and how to be a friend.

"[Offers] hope that the world can be beautiful place...an excellent purchase." --School Library Journal

Elba has a big block. She's been dragging it around for a long time.

Norris dances everywhere he goes, even uphill. He is always surrounded by a happy cloud of butterflies.

Can Norris and his butterflies help ease Elba's sadness and convince her to join them on a trip to the ocean?

This tender exploration of loss illuminates how kindness, empathy, and friendship can lift our spirits and see us through many tomorrows. It will resonate with anyone who has experienced hardship or grief, from the death of a loved one or a pet, to a friend moving away, or the transition to a new home or family situation.

The 411: 

I haven't had a children's book make me tear up since I Love You Forever. Maybe Tomorrow? Is beautifully written and illustrated. 

Elba the pink hippo has been dragging around a big black box that weighs her down, makes her tired and brings her all over sorrow. 

Norris the dancing Alligator has a swarm of butterflies following them around. 

Elba obviously needs a friendly person who understands that she needs to talk but is quiet and patient enough to make her open up without prying. She eventually, walks and starts talking about her grief and sadness which allows her to unload some of her issues making them smaller and lighter. Before she knows it, that big, huge block is a small enough to manage.

I love everything about this book from the message to the soft illustrations. While I didn't read it to my class yet, I plan to. My reason for not reading it was that the message was so big, I wanted to be able to talk more about it before I jumped into the book. 

To Purchase:

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

Preventing Digital Damage: 4 Tips For Managing Your Child’s Screen Time

The digital age has given new generations of parents something extra to worry about:
How much screen time is too much?

Physicians, teachers and psychologists generally agree that spending inordinate amounts of time immersed in computers, smartphones or social media can negatively impact a child’s developing mind and body. A screen time study published recently in JAMA Pediatrics found a link between excessive screen time and later development milestones.

Other studies have associated digital overuse with teen depression, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines suggesting daily limits on screen time for different age groups.

“It’s the responsibility of the parents to get control of this and guide their children, from a young age, on the positives and negatives of screen time,” says Christine Kyriakakos Martin (www.youvegotthisparenting.com), an early education expert and author of You’ve Got This! Keys To Effective Parenting For The Early Years.

Martin has suggestions for how parents can manage screen time and decrease a child’s risk for screen-related health or developmental problems:

Distinguish screen time from play time. Play is a fundamental learning tool for young children, but parents, Martin says, should not think of screens as toys for play time. “When screen time is limited and separated from other types of play, parents show their children the importance of setting boundaries, using their imaginations, and being active.”

Get involved. Parents who engage with their children about on-screen activities can help them increase their communication skills and teach them how to navigate digital media. “Parents can talk with their children about the videos they watch and games they play like they would discuss characters and plotlines in a book,” Martin says. “When there is parental engagement like this, a child’s vocabulary and literacy skills develop and family communication gets stronger.”

Make mealtimes screen-free. “Eliminate screens from the meal table, including when you’re out at a restaurant,” Martin says. “While it can be tempting to pack the iPads to have some adult conversation while you’re out to eat, doing this doesn’t teach your children about manners, properly engaging in conversation, or being mindful of other patrons.”

Set a good example. It will be harder for a child to disengage from screens if his or her parents are consistently looking down at their own phones or tablets. “Remember,” Martin says, “your children learn from your example. If they see you spending a lot of time with your face in front of a screen, they’ll also want to use technology at the same time. Try your best to save your time on social media for your lunch break, during nap time, or after your children have gone to bed.”

“Learning how to use screens, verbally communicate or socially interact will have a positive impact on language skills, relationships and overall health,” Martin says. “Spending time with their parents, learning through play is what young children need and want.”

About Christine Kyriakakos Martin

Christine Kyriakakos Martin (www.youvegotthisparenting.com) is the author of You’ve Got This! Keys To Effective Parenting For The Early Years. An early education expert and consultant, Martin is the founder and owner of Sunshine Preschool in Hopkinton, Mass. She has spoken on child-development topics at national education conventions and colleges.

Last Minute Gifts For Friends - One Tough Bitch

While I am not a female who uses the word bitch as a term of endearment I know many friends who use it for all their best friends or themselves. I am in love with a company called One Tough Bitch and love why the name was chosen. Founder Shelly Fisher is a Cancer survivor who after hearing she had cancer for a second time she decided to make her mantra into a necklace "one tough bitch". She wore it backwards but it gave her strength. Eventually she spoke about the necklace and many people came forward telling her they needed the necklace because they needed to find their own "tough bitch." Everyone is fighting something and sisterhood is a real thing. I don't know what I would do without my friends and YES...after everything I have been through...I am proud to say I am also One Tough Bitch.

If you're single and dreading the month of February, DON'T! February 13th (AKA Galentine's Day) is a day for all your best gal pals to get together, forget about silly boys and enjoy each other! From ordering pizza and getting your nails done to exchanging gifts- this day is all about YOU!

To make this Galentine's Day even better, One Tough Bitch, fashion/accessories brand created to empower other women has JUST LAUNCHED a line of best friend jewelry. Buy one and you get a second included to gift to your best friend!

OneTough Bitch Dual-Sided Galentine's Day Bracelet and Necklace ($29.95)

  • One Tough Bitch is more than a brand, it's a movement. By recognizing the unique emotional challenges all women face in our cultural climate, One Tough Bitch offers the reminder of inner strength and honors a woman's bravery in the face of adversity, whether that be illness, grief, divorce, etc.
  • The symbol featured on the One Tough Bitch accessory line is a triangle with an upward facing point representing the mind, body and soul; the inner strength of each woman wearing it.
  • 10% of the royalty proceeds will be donated to Give Her Camp, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which offers women's empowerment weekends.  Give Her Camp offers scholarships to women who can't afford it.  In particular the donations from the sale of One Tough Bitch products will be for the benefit of scholarships for Breast Cancer Survivors. The website is www.campowerment.com.

Remember when you and your friends all wore the same necklace, earrings or bracelet. My besties and I wore earrings that came in three parts. We each wore a part and together it made a complete heart. We were each other's family. We were roommates by necessity and family by choice. These necklaces are perfect for your best friends or that special woman in your life who means everything to you. I don't know where I would be without all the special woman in my life and I wish I could get a necklace for each and every one of them.

I posted these photos on my Instagram and my sister-in-law a woman I look up to wrote "wants". So guess what she is getting for her birthday this month?

One Tough Bitch has many products to choose from clothing to jewelry and accessories. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with their news.

Disclaimer: I received a free product for my honest opinion. No other compensation was offered.

Fun Read Out Loud Books For 2+ Monkey & Cake

Meet Monkey and Cake.
Cake has lots of questions. Monkey has lots of answers.
They are silly. They are curious.
Sometimes they fight.
But Monkey and Cake are always best friends. 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, Drew Daywalt, and illustrator Olivier Tallec, comes a fresh new duo Monkey and Cake. In this book, Monkey and Cake cannot agree what's inside Monkey's mysterious box. Is it a kitty? Is it a dinosaur? How will they find out -- and what do you think is inside? 

With Daywalt's signature quirky style, the relatable humor of Elephant and Piggie, and the wise friendship of Frog and Toad, Monkey and Cake invites readers to laugh along and let their imaginations soar.

The 411:

When Cake decides to build an exclusive fort, Monkey feels left out. But before long, Cake discovers that being alone in a fort is no fun! Will these friends be able to work together, and find room for both of them? 

The 411:

I read these to my 2 year old preschool class and they loved it as much as I loved reading it to them. It reminded me of the Elephant/Piggy books but the characters are more Adventure Time. It says the books are good for readers age 4-8 however I think the dialogue is great for preschoolers as they can remember the dialogue easily and will love that they can read to themselves just after a few times of hearing it read to them.

To Pre-order:

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

How Often Should You Send Emails?

The number of emails that are being sent every day has increased steadily over the past years. There was a time when people did not think much about emails. They thought that this was something that people would forget after some time. It turns out that this is one of the things that email marketers are using now if they want more people to become familiar with the things that they are offering.

Now that you are an email marketer, you want to know the latest information about when you should send emails to your subscribers. There is such a thing as sending too often. If you send a lot of emails in a short amount of time, your subscribers may just delete your email the moment that they see it. Some of them will even block you from sending any more emails.

Do you want to gain more information on how often you should send emails to your subscribers? There is something you should know: there is no definite answer to this. It may change depending on what your business is promoting or what you are selling. If in case you need more help, you can always gain more details from here. Emma is a website that all marketers should check. It may provide the information that you need.

These are some of the things that you can remember so that you can hopefully send the right number of emails to your subscribers:

l   You should become more aware of what your subscribers want. What do your subscribers want? Do they feel that you are sending too many or too few emails? You can learn more when you ask them to answer a very short quiz or survey. Some of your subscribers will be more than willing to provide the details that you need.
l   Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. The frequency that your competitors are doing is probably the standard one that you can also do. You can also check what marketing influencers are doing in order to get more information.
l   You can check your analytics from time to time. You have to know if the things that you are doing are working or not. If they are not working, you can make the necessary changes.

Sending emails can be tricky. If you send too little, people may not remember that your brand exists. If you send too many emails, then people will block you from their list. Segment your subscribers too so you can send accordingly.

Reluctant Reader Spotlight - Weirdo & Weirdo2 Even Weirder by Ahn Do

From bestselling author Anh Do comes the hilarious hit chapter book series, WeirDo. These illustrated books will keep readers laughing as Weir and his friends navigate the trials of elementary school.

Meet Weir Do.

No, that's not a typo, that's his name!

Weir Do's the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family, and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won't be easy . . . but it will be funny!

The 411:

This is almost like a graphic novel for ages 7-10.  It was a fast read and perfect for reluctant readers who feel overwhelmed with too much text. 

The story revolves around Weir Do whose name is often the butt of all jokes including teachers who have a hard time keeping a straight face when they first hear his name. 

It is definitely a great book full of humor and fun illustrations.

To Purchase:


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

Ashes In The Snow by Ruta Sepetys - Book Review

Last month I wrote about a movie entitled Ashes In The Snow. I cannot wait to see it especially after I just finished reading the book of the same title.

Dec 18, 2018 | 384 Pages | Young Adult

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

A moving and haunting novel perfect for readers of The Book Thief. Praise for Between Shades of Gray: “Superlative. A hefty emotional punch.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Heart-wrenching . . . an eye-opening reimagination of a very real tragedy written with grace and heart.” —The Los Angeles Times

“At once a suspenseful, drama-packed survival story, a romance, and an intricately researched work of historial fiction.” —The Wall Street Journal *

“Beautifully written and deeply felt . . . An important book that deserves the widest possible readership.” —Booklist,

The 411:

Originally released as Between the Shades of Grey now changed for a movie tie in, Ashes in the Snow was beautiful written in all it's horrifying glory. I not only read it, I saw it. The author did an amazing job of creating emotion that was palpable. While fictional characters just knowing this was based on a true time in history made each death even more moving and horrifying. I found myself tearing up many times realizing that 20 million innocent people lost their lives under Stalin.

Lina and her family were forced from their home by Soviet officers. Separated from their father they must do what they can to survive while others all around them are dying. On a packed train living on rationed bread the Lithuanian people dream of home and wonder where they are heading while under the brutality of soldiers who have no qualms about shooting, beating or using people they believe are dirt under their feet.

While the story was gut wrenching at times, the writing was perfect. Each character no matter how small was very developed leaving pieces of themselves with you long after you close the book.

I recommend this book and believe that middle schoolers should be given the book to discuss. It also has a discussion guide in the back.

This book of endurance, hope, love, loss, and strength.

To Order:

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

Letter A - Ants In The Pants From Teachers Pay Teachers.Com

This week we worked on Letter A for my preschool class. 2 years olds are funny. 2-3 year olds are by for my favorite age to work with an were probably my favorite age to parent my own. They are old enough to teach, and baby enough to still want you to "mommy" them. Working with 10 to do an art project requires lots of patience. It makes for an interesting day. You need to be hard, soft, mommy, teacher, friend and comic all at the same time. My class loved this project.

The kids did a fabulous job. We added the legs and antenna but them did the rest! I think they look adorable. 

Thank you Teachers Pay Teachers. You guys rock!

My Life In Photos January 21 - January 26

January 21 - Our home base weather station. My husband had asked for one last Father's Day then said, don't spend the money. I kept it in my Amazon cart and finally ordered it for Christmas. He loves it and it has become the place we all go every morning to see what is going on.

January 22 - I love how Sage is laying in the sun but has her paws over her eyes. So cute!

January 23 - This guy! I love how he was sitting in the chair he used to sit in when he was 2 years old. So damn cute. I seriously need to find a photo of him sitting in this chair.

January 24 -  When your boss knows what your soul is craving! Gifts from my boss make me so happy. She made me a charm bag for protection. Her hug was warm and our hearts met.  What she puts out into the universe is pure and magical.

January 25- This shot of Jinxy makes me so happy! Look at that derpy face.

January 26 - Home from an office party and I realized I never took any photos. Late, hair and make up a mess but it was good to get together outside of work and the food was amazing.

New Book Helps Readers Take Back Control of Thoughts, Feelings and Lives

Author Alice “Alicja” Jones releases “Own Your Power: Day By Day”

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. – Author Alice “Alicja” Jones has recently released “Own Your Power: Day By Day,” a straightforward guidebook to spiritual transformation with short, thought-provoking meditations supporting the removal of spiritual, mental and emotional blockages to heal the reader’s body, mind and broken spirit.

Jones’ book provides comprehensive and effective methods readers can use to release the pain trapped within their body, understand the power of the written word and serve as a catalyst for change. Through daily meditations, those who are lost within their own lives will begin to feel connected to their purpose in the world.

The book shares the author’s story from a place of empowerment and also illustrates we do not need to live in pain. Each one of the pages in “Own Your Power” offers a daily nugget of motivation or assistance.

Having poured into this book for more than 20 years, Jones pulls inspiration and exudes encouragement from the myriad of experiences she has had along the way in her quest to become the best possible channel for God’s healing energies.

“So many people think they have the right to tell us how to feel about our lives,” Jones said. “As a result, we feel like we’ve lost control of our own feelings. I hope the book helps readers learn to trust in their own feelings and thoughts again.”

An upbeat, positive, and healing repertoire of ideas and circumstances, “Own Your Power: Day by Day,” will encourage readers to rise above our problems and pain with the power of love.

“Own Your Power: Day By Day”
By Alice “Alicja” Jones
ISBN: 9781504399425 (softcover); 9781504399449 (hardcover); 9781504399432 (electronic)
Available at the Balboa Press Online Bookstore, Amazon and Jones’ website

About the author
Alice “Alicja” Jones possesses a bachelor’s degree in English as well a minor in psychology, history, speech and drama from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is an experienced psychic, medium and intuitive healer who specializes in giving spiritual, past life readings and healings. Jones is certified in Access Consciousness, Quantum Touch, Matrix Energetics, Usui Reiki, Metatronic Healing and Energy Masters Institute. She is also a Reiki Master. Jones is currently a licensed lead minister for the Rays of Healing Church located in Falls Church, Va. She has been a licensed real estate broker since 1973 and co-owns a property management company with her husband in Northern Virginia. To learn more, please visit http://www.alicjajones.com.

To Purchase:

Get widget
Dear Readers: At this time all giveaways on Maria's Space are for the United States unless otherwise noted.