Dolphin School Pearl's Ocean Magic by Catherine Hapka

Dolphin School Pearl's Ocean Magic

Pearl is a magical dolphin of the Salty Sea, and today is her first day of school. Her classmates Echo and Splash make great new friends! Together they start learning dolphin skills like magic, music, and jumping.

But another student, Flip, just won't stop bragging. And when he accepts a dare from an older student, he ends up in terrible danger from a shark! Can Pearl and her friends save him? It's an exciting first day at Dolphin School!

The 411:

Everyone has their own magical powers. We all do sometimes it is making people laugh without even trying, or maybe they can make friends everywhere they go but for Peal she can sing. Your child will love the animals below the water. They are just like them. They go to school and have friends and sometimes even need to stand up for their friends.

Great story with large words and some pictures

Lexile Score on this is 550. Perfect for ages 7-10.

To Purchase:

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 received.

Sharpen Those Knives

I have some great knives but they are pretty old we got them for our Bridal Shower way back in 1997. They have seen some wear and tear over the years but who goes around buying new steak knives? Or...maybe that is just me!

Since knives are for cutting, paring, and slicing if they are not sharp it just makes your sous-chef type work more like work. I don't know about you guys but I get satisfaction out of taking out my cutting board grabbing a knife and cutting whatever it is I am cutting either into chunks, slices or even julienneing something however over the past two years we have all noticed a difference. Hello, i couldn't cut through a cherry tomato for my tuna salad yesterday! What is up with that.

This statement brings me to the heading of this post....Sharpen Those Knives!

Here are two of our favorite knife sharpeners:

Gelindo -To Purchase

This inexpensive little guy has a place for your hand to safely hold it while you sharpen your knife. It also has three sharpening slots for different knives such as course, ceramic and fine.

I started with my favorite a ceramic blue knife. I love this little fellow.

To Use:
Insert the knife
Pull it through 3-5 times.

It worked like a charm and it wasn't as nerve wracking as I thought it would be. I remember my grandfather using some sort of stone to sharpen all the knives in the house. I used to be so nervous watching him with nothing to protect his fingers or hand from the blade. He always ended up with cuts and not only from the knives, sometimes from the stone.

You can even use it on your hunting and fishing knives as well.

Coolreall - To Purchase

What I like about the Coolreall sharpener besides the ability to sharpen knives is the nice streamlined look. It is very industrial looking and would like great on a counter top too.

You can use this to sharp all your knives and has an option for fine or course.

Like the first sharpener it is used exactly the same way.

If I had to choose between the two I like the look of the Coolreall but the handle on the Gelindo so it would basically individual preference. Neither is better than the other. I think they both did a fabulous job of sharpening our knives.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. My star ratings are exact based on Amazon's star descriptions.  My reviews are 100% honest and true based on my personal opinion not on a company’s description or request. No monetary compensation was received nor will ever be received for reviewed products.

The Heart of the Ocean Is Crystal Clear

This Heart of the Ocean" Pendant Necklace is made with a large, heart shaped SWAROVSKI Crystal, and tiny crystals that pick up beautiful rainbow reflections surrounded by Alloy metal and and hanging on an 18" inch chain with a 2" extension. 

It is gorgeous. We also have it in blue and think this one is just as gorgeous. 

It looks amazing in person.  Very eye catching. Not sure that I would wear it everyday but I love it. 

The crystal is so clear. I love using my macro when to take photos of jewelry because sometimes it sees flaws that the naked eye cannot. This looks even better under my macro

It comes in a plastic bag inside a gift box

On the 2" extension chain

Lobster Claw Clasp

Final Word:

I don't think it is for everyone. I find it beautiful though. The clear heart with the crystals wrapped around is a favorite.

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 received.

I Finally Have My Own Mermaid Tail

For Goddess' 11th birthday we got her a mermaid tail blanket. She loved it and so did I! When she would go to sleep for the night I grabbed it and took it to the couch so I could use it. I now have one of my own from HugHapy and I like it even better than the one I got for her and I think so does she as I keep finding her in it!

It looks like my berber carpet in blue shades
The blanket is 100% knitting polyester. Polyester as you know is wrinkle and mold resistant and easily washed. When you buy a blanket that is exactly what you need. Something I can toss in the wash when necessary. Not a dry clean only thing!

The blanket comes wrapped in a ribbon and love the colors in it. So soothing and beautiful. It also comes with a cute mermaid necklace too.

My absolute favorite part is the tail. It spreads out so wide and has an opening so if you want to stick your toes out you can.

My daughter thinks it is like a sleeping bag. I love that unlike a sleeping bag there is a large opening in the bag that makes it easy to get in and out of and NO ZIPPER.

It is soft and comfy and we love it. We will be sitting at the drive in with our mermaid tails this summer on the cooler evenings watching the movies on the big screen.

I can't wait.

To Purchase:

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


The Episcopal Center for Children, A Nonprofit Organization in DC, Offers Tips for Getting Kids Outside


WASHINGTON – Getting children with special needs outside is important for their development and growth, says the staff at the Episcopal Center for Children, a nonprofit organization that assists elementary and middle school aged children with special needs.

It improves coordination and motor skills. Many children with special needs have developmental delays. Playing outside can improve flexibility, muscle strength, and coordination. It can also help them improve body awareness, motor skills and balance. 

Outdoor play builds self-esteem and improves behavior. As children overcome obstacles and improve physical skills, their feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem go up. They experience personal satisfaction and accomplishment, which builds their confidence in other areas.

They improve their social skills. Playing outside gives children with special needs opportunities to share, deal with conflict and work together – but in a low-stress and fun environment.

They advocate for themselves. When these children learn and explore, they often overcome  challenges and acquire new skills. This promotes self-advocacy, resiliency, and self-confidence.

Their health improves. Playing outside makes children fitter and leaner. It also boosts their immune systems and raises Vitamin D levels, which many children today are deficient in.

It increases their attention span and problem-solving skills. Children who play outside can increase their attention spans and problem-solving skills. They also tend to have more creative imaginations.

Playing outside lowers stress. Outdoor play reduced stress and lowers a child’s risk for anxiety and depression. It can also ease some symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Getting your child outside may be easier than you think. “Make sure your child gets at least 15-30 minutes of outdoor play each day,” said Dodd White, president and CEO of ECC. “If you live in an apartment building or don’t have a yard, try to get to a neighborhood park a few times a week, and leave your technology at home or turned off.”

Other suggestions are:

- Pack up a “healthy picnic” and enjoy family time outside at an area park.
- Paint a rock garden and put it outside. Visit the garden and play with it.
- Join a recreational sports team or community activity that gets your child outside and playing.
- Encourage your child to act out stories or make up their own. Maybe they can put on a play outside for you to watch.

If you have a limited amount of time available for outdoor play, use a visual cue like a timer, to ease the transition when it’s time to go home.

“A child with special needs may need structure and supervision but you don’t want to excessively hover over them while they are playing,” said White. “Part of the benefit of outdoor play is getting to explore and be creative. So be observant and keep your child safe, but try to give your child some breathing room and keep it fun.”

The Center needs a new playground and is currently raising $30,000 as part of its “Let Them Play!” campaign, which kicks off on June 2, 2016 during DoMore24, a 24-hour day of giving in the Washington, DC metro area for nonprofits organized by the United Way of the National Capital Area. A YouTube video is available.

“We have a beautiful and historic Northwest D.C. campus, but the playground structures we inherited are old and need replacing,” said White. “The children enjoy time outside now in our school garden and play games in the field, but we are eager to get a play structure built for our students, so they can reap more of the benefits of playing outdoors.”

About the Episcopal Center for Children
The Episcopal Center for Children is a private nonprofit, nondenominational day treatment facility for emotionally troubled children and their families from the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  Accredited by the Joint Commission, the Center offers a day treatment program for children who are 5-14 years old, and focuses on enabling children to return to the public school and the community, while being able to re-engage with their families and build a positive future for themselves.  More information is available at
Media contact:  Ami Neiberger-Miller, 703.887.4877,
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