Our Fun Filled Week Included, Pools, Lakes, Boat Trips and Parks

What a great day we had on the lake. My friend Madelaine, my kids and I met for breakfast last week. Afterward she treated us to a ride on her pontoon boat. My son's second time on a boat, my daughter bragging that it was her third and I were so excited and happily boarded.

She took us around the lake and then docked us at a place called The Cove. The kids got out and swam with the ducks while Mad and I caught up.

It was paradise and the best part was to watch my kids play as if they were friends. No fighting after weeks of being on summer vacation. Ahhhhh it was a beautiful day. Afterwards to keep up the fun I took them to the park. We ended up having to leave 40 minutes later due to the heat but it was a really great end to our day outdoors and unplugged


For more Blue (Blue Monday) and Yellow (Monday Mellow Yellows) photos from other photographers. 

Sizzling Summer Lips!

 I love make-up and and all kinds but especially eyes and lips. You can get away with not doing everything else as long as your lips and eyes are done!

Hard Candy is a name brand I have come to know and love. Besides the fun names on their make-up they are really affordable (approx $6.00)!

Last month I received a lip plumping serum from Hard Candy and was so excited to try it. I have tried them in the past always liked them but this time what I loved most was that while Hard Candy has the fruit extracts that add to the plumpness this didn't try out my lip line and it didn't burn. There is that menthol feel but nothing like I have experienced in the past with others.

The shade I have is called Lion Tamer. I like it as it is really glossy, adds volume and has great color. Almost like a nude with a touch of shimmer

More about Hard Candy Plumping Serum:

·  An outrageously shiny lip gloss that is formulated with Hard Candy’s exclusive lip plumping serum
·  Quickly minimizes the appearance of fine lines while fruit extracts add hydration and volume to the lips
·  Available in a range of sheer and full color shades including It Girl, Girl Next Door, Swan Lake, Cake Walk, Nude Beach, Crush on You, Lion Tamer, Gallery Girl, Pinky Swear, Magic Mauve, String Bikini and Show Stopper
The Hard Candy Plumping Serum is available at Walmart and Walmart.com 

So That Is What A Moth's Eye and A Decomposing Fly Looks Like

This USB/Android Cord Microscope is amazing. The cord is a 2-in-1 USB or Droid cord due to the fact it transforms with a flip (see the video).

The box comes with a QR Code for PC or Android Phones. We simply downloaded the software that was in the booklet that comes with the microscope. At first it doesn't look like anything is downloading because it simply turns on your computer camera. But when you look at your apps you can see it is downloading. Once downloaded you can see what you are viewing with the microscope right on your computer. You can take pictures or video. It is really amazing how much 200X magnification is.

The magnifier can come off the base or keep it in the base which is completely adjustable and lockable. It also comes with 4 tip attachments.

The LED light can be adjusted with a knob on the wire.

The camera is also waterproof.

Amazing price point!

Picture 1 - Nickle (look at that blue? We did not see it with our naked eye, What is that PlayDoh?)

Picture 2 - Dead Fly's leg - YUCK!

Picture 3 - Strand of my daughter's hair and multiple strands. Oh look a split end!

Picture 5 - Dead moth's eye. GROSS!

Picture 6 - Decomposing ant body is just so narly!

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a discounted product for my honest opinion. My reviews are 100% honest and true based on my personal opinion not on a company’s description or request. No monetary compensation was offered or received.

Elena of Avalor Soundtrack #GIVEAWAY

Have you heard about Disney Channel's new series Elena of Avalor about a teenager who reluctantly rules over the land of Avalor as a crown princess until she is old enough to be Queen.

 Elena of Avalor premieres this Friday, July 22 (7:00-8:00 p.m.) and I am thrilled to offer my readers a soundtrack giveaway.  The EP features 7 songs. 

Elena of Avalor track listing:
  1. "Elena of Avalor"
  2. "Ready to Rule"
  3. "Festival of Love"
  4. "Sister Time"
  5. "The Magic Within You"
  6. "My Time" (Bonus Track)
  7. "My Time" (Instrumental)

The theme song is performed by Gaby Morena with the Anthem "My Time" performed by Aimee Carrero.

We can't wait to watch it!

To stay on top of all the newest information follow Facebook.com/disneymusic and on Twitter Twitter.com/disneymusic.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. My reviews are 100% honest and true based on my personal opinion not on a company’s description or request. No monetary compensation was offered or received.

The Butterfly Who Wouldn't Leave

My daughter received clothes for a review from Kidpik last month so we headed outside for a photoshoot. We we down to the last piece which was a dress when she spotted a butterfly. She put her finger next to it on the grass and it hopped on. We think it was a new hatchling because it spent about 25-30 minutes walking on her until she finally placed it on our bridge and walked away. I really need to play with these shots in editing but I love them so much. It was a beautiful moment!

The kiss good-bye

ABC Wednesday



By Marguerite Elisofon author MY PICTURE PERFECT FAMILY: What Happens When One Twin has Autism. Founder “Ask an Autism Mom”offering Consulting Services for Families with Children on The Spectrum.  Blogger for The Never-Empty Nest  on parenting young adults and disability related issues. Mother of twins Samantha and Matthew.


1.      Try to make sure your child is not over hungry when going out to eat. Whether waiting on line cafeteria style or seated for fine dining, your child will need to be patient. It always helps if you can play a game. If you’re at a fast food restaurant that’s not so fast, the first game can be deciding which line is best to stand on. Then you can discuss how quickly each line is moving, rooting for your own line and remarking on the progress of others—much like watching a horse race in slow motion. When seated at a fancy restaurant, you can play word games. One favorite in our family was What Doesn’t Belong? A. Fork, B. Knife, C. Plate and D. Spoon. Make sure your child explains the reason for their choice. For older children, use more complex categories (like geography and transportation vehicles). Also encourage them to make up their own multiple choice questions for you. Sometimes it’s fun to discover that there is more than one “correct” answer, depending on the reasons offered.

2.      Making polite requests—saying please and thank you is a MUST and should become automatic. Keep reminding your child in a matter of fact tone until this behavior becomes habit. If your child is anything like mine, she may surprise you by learning quickly in order to avoid being reminded.

3.      If your waiter makes a mistake, it’s important to teach your child not to meltdown in response. When Samantha was young, she hated ice in her soda and would meltdown when waiters brought her ice filled glasses. She even hated ice in her water. It took close to a decade for Samantha to learn how to send back her iced drinks politely, so never give up!

4.      Help your child navigate the menu. If your kid tries to order something you know they won’t like, intervene. Explain why they won’t like it—color, texture, sauce, etc.—encourage them to modify their order (sauce on the side) or suggest other menu choices. Help your child order food they will enjoy in an appropriate portion, without over ordering. If your child doesn’t eat as much as you think they should, don’t turn food into a battleground. Kids will eventually eat when they’re hungry enough. My son once fasted two and a half days in protest for being grounded (while still drinking gallons of Coke). He eventually scarfed down a hamburger and fries (while still grounded).

5.      Seating arrangements with siblings—taking turns. When your child on the spectrum insists on sitting next to Mom and Dad or in the middle, it’s OK if their sibling(s) doesn’t care. But if one or more siblings all want the same seat, they will have to take turns. If possible, discuss turn taking before going out to eat. Also if a family member feels hurt or left out, the child with autism needs to learn how to take the other person’s feelings into account. One way to teach empathy is to role play. Ask your child: “How would YOU feel if …?”

6.      Technology at the table—A lot depends on the age of your child. If your young ASD child is unable to participate in the conversation, it’s OK to let them use a gadget for a while. Negotiate in advance when it’s acceptable to use technology at the table and when it must be put away. Every family will have a different tolerance level. Neurotypical siblings at the table, especially if they’re older, should still be expected to turn off cell phones and iPads and participate in family discussions, acting as role models.
7.      Table manners—all children should learn how to use silverware at home and be reasonably adept with utensils before going to a restaurant (unless it’s chicken fingers at McDonalds). At the very least, if Mom or Dad cuts their food, the child should be able to manage a fork.

8.      Going to the rest room alone—a judgment call. Much depends on the developmental level of your child. Only you can assess their ability to navigate the restaurant or remember to wash their hands. If you’re familiar with the restaurant and the bathroom is reasonably close, you might feel comfortable allowing them to go alone. Obviously, in less familiar, more crowded places, you’ll want to make sure your child is accompanied.

9.      Bumping into adult friends—modulating behavior. Teach your child how to be polite and appropriate, saying a brief hello and exchanging pleasantries, without intruding on someone else’s evening.

10.  Dessert—one per customer! Any meltdowns over this issue results in no dessert. A meltdown also probably that means you’re reaching for the check, and everyone leaves without dessert. Once your child understands this routine, they’re likely to cooperate.

Marguerite Elisofon is a New York City writer and the author of My Picture Perfect Family, a memoir about how her family navigated life with a child on the autistic spectrum before the internet and support groups existed. She also blogs about parenting young adults and disability related issues in The Never Empty NestHer writing has been featured in a variety of publications, including Time and NY Metro Parents magazine, and her family’s story has been featured by the NY PostFox News, Parents Magazine, and on Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Sexy Funny radio show. A Vassar graduate, Marguerite was born and raised in New York City, where she still lives with her husband, Howard, in their mostly-empty nest. She is available to speak about a wide variety of issues relating to twins, parenting, and autism.

Marguerite is receiving a lot of buzz she just appeared on WTNH-TV http://wtnh.com/2016/06/10/my-picture-perfect-family-what-happens-when-one-twin-has-autism/

Marguerite, Samantha and her 25 year-old Twin Brother Matthew and were featured recently in THE NEW YORK POST in Jane Ridley’s piece 

Marguerite was interviewed on Sirius/XM by Jenny McCarthy:

PARENTS MAGAZINE’S website posted a piece on Samantha, “What It's Like to Be the Twin with Autism”

THE STIR also posted 'I Rarely Share That I'm on the Spectrum': What It's Like Being in Your 20s With Autism

Marguerite wrote a personal essay that recently went live on the homepage of TIME.COMWhat I Learned From My Autistic Daughter”
(Marguerite did NOT pick that title and doesn’t refer to Samantha as her Autistic Daughter, that said, it’s chuckful!)

“Twin with Autism Seeks Someone to Love”   appears in NY METRO PARENTS/BIG APPLE PARENT and sisters publications as well.

Back-to-School Tips for Getting Kids to Brush Regularly

MIAMI, Florida – (July 19, 2016) – As the new school year moves near, many parents are left with the age-old struggle of how to get their child to brush their teeth regularly before heading off to the bus stop each day. The good news is that for those parents who put in the effort, their kids will usually develop good oral hygiene habits. Prior to the school year beginning, parents can start working on helping their child develop good daily brushing habits.

“It’s important that parents get kids started young with good oral hygiene habits,” explains Dr. Bruno Sharp, a fourth-generation dentist who created a line of natural fluoride-free products called Dr. Sharp Dentistry, and is celebrating his 10th year as a Natural Oral Care provider. “For some families it may seem like a tall task, but it’s one that is important enough to keep working on. Most kids will come around and stick with the habits that they are being taught.”
Here are some back-to-school tips for helping kids establish good morning oral hygiene habits:
  • Teach them why. Discuss the reasons why they need to brush regularly, so they know why they are doing it. You can make this easier and still keep it age-appropriate by picking up some kid’s books about brushing, too.
  • Make it fun. When parents make brushing time fun, little kids are more likely to want to participate. Have a brushing song or fun routine that goes along with getting the job done each day.
  • Give them rewards. Kids love to get rewards, even if it’s a sticker added to their sticker chart. Once they meet their brushing goals, take them to the store to pick out a book. This will help to keep reinforcing the habit.
  • Praise their efforts. Rather than focusing on what they fall short of or miss, stick to keeping it positive and giving kudos for the parts they do well. They can always go back and improve areas missed, but positive reinforcement goes a long way.
  • Help and hold accountable. Up until kids are around 8-9 years old, parents may need to keep going into the bathroom with them to ensure proper brushing is being done. While it may seem like a pain, it’s helping them to establish lifelong habits that will benefit them greatly in the long run.
“The last thing parents want to do before school each day is to argue with their kids about brushing their teeth,” added Dr. Sharp. “When you make a plan and stick to it, you are usually going to be more successful in getting them to create the brushing habit. It’s all about looking after their best interest.”
Another issue that parents should be aware of with school coming back is fluorosis, which is marked by changes in the appearance of the tooth’s enamel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children eight and under are at risk for the condition, because they still have adult teeth under their baby teeth. Dentists such as Dr. Sharp are warning parents to avoid fluoride for their children because of the potential health risks, as well as fluorosis.
Common sources of fluoride, according to the CDC, include toothpaste (which also come with a fluoride warning label right on the label), drinking water that has been fluoridated, and other oral hygiene products, such as mouthwash. They also recommend that parents not allow children to swallow toothpaste that contains fluoride, yet they advise that unintentionally swallowing it can lead to a greater amount being ingested than intended. Dr. Sharp, however, recommends that parents avoid fluoridated toothpastes altogether in an effort to remove the risks associated with children ingesting fluoride.
Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care now offers their product line in small, convenient travel size options. His product line includes children’s toothpaste, adult toothpaste, fresh mint mouthwash, and dental tape. All products are safe to use, made in the USA, and are gluten-free, have no artificial colors or flavors, are vegan, non-GMO, alcohol-free, fluoride-free, and cruelty-free. Plus, they help whiten teeth and have xylitol, which is a natural sweetener that also helps to fight off cavities. The products are safe for the entire family. To learn more about Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care products or see where they can be purchased, visit the site at: www.drsharpcare.com.
About Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care
Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care is a line of natural oral care products that were created by a fourth-generation dentist. All products are made from natural, safe ingredients, and are made in the USA. The product line includes toothpaste for children and adults, mouthwash, and dental tape. For more information, visit the site at: www.drsharpcare.com. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @drsharpnaturaloralcare.

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