Monday, January 30, 2017

How Parents Can Help Their Kids Academically

Every parent wants their child or teen to succeed in school. However, raising kids who excel in academics can often feel like an overwhelming and quite difficult task. If you want your child to do well academically, then follow these tips on how you can help your child to become an excellent student.

Create An Environment Conducive To Studying

It's hard enough for kids and teens to stay diligent about doing their homework. However, this task is made even more difficult when kids don't live in an environment that is conducive to studying. It's important for parents to make their home a place where kids can focus on their studies. This means that in the afternoons and early evenings, parents should make a point of keeping their homes relatively quiet and peaceful.

Stay In Communication With Teachers

One of the best academic support systems for any young student is a solid connection between their teachers and their parents. For example, those who work for Landon education strive to create a solid parent-teacher relationship in each Landon school. It's crucial that parents attend all conferences and reach out to teachers, especially if their child seems to be struggling or falling behind.

Talk To Your Child

Sometimes, if your student is falling behind, remedying the situation can be as simple as having a conversation with them. Without yelling or getting angry, talk to your child or teen about what is behind their lack of academic success. When parents demonstrate that they are invested in their son or daughter's academic careers, students are more likely to feel encouraged and motivated to succeed.

Reward Academic Success

You don't have to cut your child a check for every good grade. However, kids respond well to positive reinforcement. Creating incentives for good academic performances can be a great way to encourage your child to succeed academically. It can be as simple as a small gift or granting your child a later curfew. Working towards a reward is better for your child's psyche than working solely to avoid a punishment.

Don't Put Too Much Pressure On Your Child

It's good for parents to stay invested in their child's academics. This can be very useful in encouraging a young person to stay on track and it gives them the sense that they are supported both in and out of school. However, parents who put too intense of pressure on their children can sometimes cause their kids to perform badly academically. When kids feel like their parents are putting too much pressure on them, they can feel overwhelmed and simply give up. It's important that parents stay involved, but they need to remember to be sympathetic and sensitive to their kids' emotions. When kids try but fail in school, they need to know that their parents will be empathetic.

Parents must stay involved in the academic careers of their children. Kids who don't feel like they have their parents' support risk falling behind in school. However, it's important that parents know how to stay involved the right way. It's important to push kids towards academic success, but it's also important that parents don't make kids feel overwhelmed or overly fearful of failure. If you follow these tips, you can ensure that your kids do well in school.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Box House by Brigid Marlin

The Box House by Brigid Marlin
ISBN: 9781495804342 ©2015
Price: $12.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 176 pages

In "The Box House", author Brigid Marlin tells the story of Cassie, a young girl she met more than fifty years ago in a small English town. Although badly neglected and abused by her mother, Cassie is a strong and courageous child who is determined to make a proper home for her younger siblings. The box house referenced in the title is literally that — a house made of cardboard boxes. It's a place where Cassie and her siblings could find comfort and refuge from their real lives, if only for a few hours at a time. "The Box House" is a story told through Cassie's eyes and voice, and will bring tears and smiles to readers as they experience both her pain and courage. 

"The Box House" was published by Boissevain Books with Infinity Publishing and is available on in both print and ebook formats. 

About the Author 

"The Box House" is Brigid Marlin's third book. She previously authored "A Meaning for Danny" (Infinity Publishing/Boissevain Books 2012), recounting her son's struggle with Aspergers, and "From East to West: Awakening to a Spiritual Search" (1989 Fount). Brigid has also illustrated a number of books including "King Oberon's Forest" written by her mother, Hilda van Stockum, the famed children's book author and artist. Brigid, who resides in England, is known primarily as an artist whose work is in the National Portrait Gallery in London and in museums and collections throughout the world. She is the Founder and Director of the Society for Art of Imagination.

The 411 by Maria:

The book cuts to the heart. You immediately want to take Cassie and her siblings far far away and give them everything they have been missing. Cassie at 8 years old is the eldest of 5 children. She and her siblings are often sent out of the house without proper clothing or food when Mom is entertaining. They eventually head into a church because it was a place to go and there they meet Brigid and her children. Eventually Brigid takes Cassie and her siblings under her wing and her compassion makes a huge difference in the life of a little girl. A small gesture by a stranger shows Cassie the person she wants to be.

I was angry throughout most of the book. Angry that Cassie and her siblings were hungry, cold and their only solace was a cardboard box that their father turned into a house for them.  Angry that he didn't stand up for his children and do more. Angry that their mother was such a piece of trash and chose a man over her kids. Angry that they were beat and worse by her boyfriend. Angry that these kids had no one protecting them. No one speaking for them. 

It is a good read. One that will anger you and make you cry. I was so thankful that Brigid introduced the kids to the bible and showed Cassie kindness. We never know how our "small gestures" can ultimately change someone's life. Always show kindness, you may be the only kind person someone sees all day. 

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wii U Amiibo Review By My Son #videoreview #nintendo #wiiu

My son loves his games. He has been a huge fan since the age of 3 and begged for Wii U Amiibos this year. This is the Squid Amiibo. Below see his brilliant video of 3 of his Splatoon Amiibos. He has come a long way from the little boy with all the Special Education services and I am so proud of him. He did such a good job and was so excited to show off his Amiibos.


Why Kids Should Put Their Phones Down Way Before Bed Time

2/3 of Teens leave their electronics on at night. This may not seem very important but kids who use electronic close to bedtime are  200% more likely to be excessively sleepy during the day--leading to poor grades, mood swings, and anxiety.

The RULE in my house is that they need to shut their electronics (phone, Kindle, Computer, DS), whatever they are on down an hour prior to bedtime. 

Goddess and Handsome go to bed at 9 which means that the electronics are off at 8. It isn't something they like but the rule is followed every school night.  

It takes a while to get the kids set in the routine but the earlier you do it the better. 

Set a curfew! Tell them they can read quietly, listen to music or even watch something together as a family.  Eventually they will learn this is the way it is going to be!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Icebreaker Questions

1. Are you loud, outgoing or shy? It depends on the day and the crowd.

2. What’s coming up where you’ll see an old friend? Next Sunday I have plans to meet up with my old friend, son's Godmother Susan. It has been years and I can't wait. 
3. Are you easy to get along with? I think so. I don't expect much and feel fairly rational. Not much bothers me.

4. Have you ever given up on someone, but then gone back to them? YES.
5. Who was the last person that you had a deep conversation with? Teresa. It is always Teresa.
6. Are you okay with being in a big crowd? Not really. I prefer small groups.

7. Do you believe in luck and/or miracles? Yes. But not in the sense that we just walk into things but that things were preconceived to allow it to happen.
8. What good thing happened during the summer? (It’s good to think about summer when you are freezing your butt off in January.) Well, it was the first Summer no one had a cast in three years. We were able to swim whenever we wanted.
9. Do you think there is life on other planets? I would like to think that there are planets we haven't even learned about and there could possibly be life.
10. Who was your first crush on? Darrin in the 2nd grade! We are friends on Facebook.
11. What are your bad habits? Biting my nails. I hate it but do it all the time. 

12. What’s your favorite part of your daily routine? The end of the day when the bra is off and the contacts are out. is when I know I am done for the day and sleep is coming.
13. Other than your significant other, who are you most comfortable with? I am comfortable with many many people. Too many to mention.
14. Has an ex ever told you that they regret breaking up? Yes. We got back together and it wasn't for the good and we both knew it in the end.
15. Why should your celebrity crush drop everything to be with you? They shouldn't! No one should ever drop everything to be with anyone.
16. What would be the hardest to give up and why? Books. TV. Music. Books. I love reading. I love getting lost in a story.

17. Do you believe in second chances? Absolutely!
18. What would like to do next in your life? Get organized and more active.

19. What’s the meanest thing that anyone has ever said to you? You think everything is about you and your friends think they know you. Your family left you.
20. What’s the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to you? You are a great mom!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Series Fiction Is Making A Comeback Among The Latest Generation Of Readers

If you are a new author looking for a quick niche to climb into, series fiction might just be your bag. Hundreds of millions of people surf the Internet on a daily basis. Of these millions, a sizable percentage is always looking for something new and interesting to read. While the majority might prefer to read a few articles on their favorite news or humor site, there are always a few who are looking for something a bit more substantial. However, not everyone has the time or patience to download a 1000 page novel on to their e-reader. Is there a happy medium where a new author can fit in?

The Rationale Behind Series Fiction Is To Leave Them Wanting More

One secret that modern series authors, such as Daniel Handler and others, have learned is that it is not always advisable to tip your whole hand in one setting. Sometimes it's best to leave a little in reserve for the audience to anticipate. It's the artistic difference between leaving an audience completely glutted and leaving them wanting just a little bit more. When you apply this to the mechanics of series fiction, it means turning in a short novel with a built-in cliffhanger that leaves the audience wondering what new turn of events could be coming next. You leave them at the table wanting seconds.

Series Fiction Gives New Authors A Much Needed Hook To Hang On To

Handler and other popular modern series authors have used the trick of leaving readers hanging on wanting more to build themselves a sizable and lucrative audience. This is the hallmark of the entire technique: Give the audience a few bite sized chunks of content, longer than the average article or short story, but not so much that they fall asleep after 150 pages. The trick is to get the length exactly right, while still giving them enough essential elements, such as plot, characterization, and "personality." It's harder to accomplish than it seems, and successful series writers deserve congratulations.

Series Fiction Is A Lifetime Aspiration As Well As A Stepping Stone

Perhaps the most appealing factor to consider when you regard the subject of series fiction is that you can look it at from either of two major perspectives. You can look at series fiction as an end in itself. That is to say, you can learn the ropes of creating successful series fiction and maintain it as your main occupation for an entire career. But you can also look at the creation of popular series fiction as a means to a much larger end. Many best selling authors of the modern age - those who are successful with regular or even super-sized novels - got their start as series fiction authors.

Series Fiction Can Be The Means To A Long And Prosperous Career

No matter whether you choose to employ the creation of series fiction as a temporary leg up or an end unto itself, one thing is clear: This is a technique that has the ability to give you a long and prosperous career in the business. Once derided as less than worthy of the public's attention, series fiction has stayed the course to become a force to reckon with.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Valentine's Holiday Gift Guide 2017 For Woman Edition

I love Valentine's Day although I have never gotten the Queen treatment I wish for the gifts of jewelry, candy, flowers, balloons and dinner. Usually I get a card and a box of candy and there was that time I got a huge stuffed bear which was really cute but the men I dated weren't really Valentine kind of guys.

If I had my way here is a list of some of the things that would blow me away.

French Macaron Collection from Gift Tree

True Love's Wish Bouquet from Gift Tree

Kombucha Jar & Brew Kit from UncommonGoods

Red Wine & Dark Chocolate Gift Basket from Gourmet Gift Basket

Herkimer Diamond/Birthstone/Raw Stone Necklace from whatanovelidea on Etsy

Glowing necklace from EpicGlows on Etsy 

You Are So Loved Mug from Smallglow on Etsy

You've Got My Heart Frame from Undertheblossomtree 

Set of Pearl Candle Holders from MaidenLongIsland 

Spa Day
Salt Cave Session 
Loot Crate Subscription Box - Anime 
Glossybox Subscription Box  - My Review
Goddess Provisions Subscription Box  
Pop Sugar Must Have Subscription Box
Love Goodly Subscription Box
Little Lace Box Subscription Box 
Love With Food Subscription Box
BoCandy Subscription Box - My Review
Japan Crate Subscription Box 

Amazon Echo! If I didn't have one I would be asking for one. I love my Echo. Alexa works out with me, plays my music, gives me the weather, mediates with me, sings Happy Birthday gives me the news, and so much more. 

Michael Kors Perfume is so pretty 
VonShef Bamboo Steamer with chopsticks and wax liners
Free Standing Jewelry Mirror with tons of space
Highlight Valentine's Day Ceiling Projector 

Amazon Fire Tablet  

Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa Capabilities 
Mini Red Roses in Jute Votives from Jackson and Perkins


Disclaimer: I received nothing for mentioning these companies. These are not sponsored gifts. I simply would love to have these if someone was buying for me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mark You Calendar: Feb 7th - The Trolls Party Edition

LOL Watch GloZell Green have some fun with her friends while watching Trolls!


A hit with audiences and critics alike, DreamWorks Animation’s TROLLS, is the “feel-good” movie of the year receiving an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and a Certified Fresh rating on DreamWorks TROLLS, the fresh, music-filled adventure packed with humor and heart dances onto Digital HD on Jan. 24 and Blu-ray™ and DVD on Feb. 7 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The colorful, richly textured Troll Village is full of optimistic Trolls, who are always ready to sing, dance and party. When the comically pessimistic Bergens invade, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin Timberlake) set off on an epic journey to rescue her friends.  Their mission is full of adventure and mishaps, as this mismatched duo try to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done.

From Shrek franchise veterans Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever After) and Walt Dohrn (Shrek 2, Shrek the Third), TROLLS features the voice talents of Golden Globe® nominee Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, The Accountant), Grammy and Emmy® Award winner and Golden Globe® Award nominee Justin Timberlake (Friends with Benefits, Shrek the Third), Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award nominee Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad, How to Train Your Dragon), Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award winner Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife,” How the Grinch Stole Christmas), Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Grammy Award nominee Gwen Stefani (“The Voice”), Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award nominee John Cleese (Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After), Emmy® Award winner James Corden (“The Late Late Show with James Corden”, Into the Woods), Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award winner Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent, “Arrested Development”) and Ron Funches (“Undateable,” Get Hard).

“The movie’s message, and it’s a lovely one, is that we all have a wild-haired, beaming doll of happiness inside. ‘Trolls’ will put you in touch with yours,” proclaims Owen Gleiberman of Variety.

Give your new year an optimistic start with TROLLS PARTY EDITION on Blu-ray™ February 7, 2017 and Digital HD January 24. Exclusive to TROLLS BLU-RAY PARTY EDITION – take your Trolls Party to the next level with four interactive Party Mode features where you can use your remote to engage with the on-screen fun. Shower the screen with glitter during party scenes, drop cupcakes when things get scary, high-five Cloud Guy, join Mr. Dinkles for “OH SNAP” moments and much more!
TROLLS Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD Includes:
  • Party Mode - Sing, dance and laugh along with the Trolls in this engaging, interactive feature.*
    *PLUS, only on Blu-ray: use your remote to conTROLL fun on-screen moments! 
  • Travel Through Troll Village - Cloud Guy narrates a fun exploration of Troll Village.
  • The Potion for Stop-Motion - Part behind-the-scenes, part stop-motion tutorial, this featurette explores the process of creating Poppy's visually stunning scrapbook.
  • Creating Troll Magic - Trolls Production Designer Kendal Cronkhite-Shaindlin leads a kid-friendly exploration of her role as production designer on the film before highlighting four key stages of creating the animation with detailed visuals of each stage.
  • Troll 2 Troll - Poppy and Branch have a friendly debate on important topics such as “Cat vs. Dog.” *
  • Inside the Bunker - An in-depth exploration of Branch's "special" place, narrated by Cloud Guy. *
  • Deleted Scenes with Intros by Director, Mike Mitchell and Co-Director, Walt Dohrn.
*Blu-ray and Digital HD only

Think Jam: Mandy Rodgers, 323.648.3376,

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

January is Walk and Train your Dog Month + BilJac Giveaway

This month is Walk and Train Your Dog Month and Biljac has some great tips for you and your favorite four legged friend.

1. Getting to know you pet.  When you first get a dog the best thing you can do for yourself and the pup or dog is to learn what makes them tick. Do they like to run, play with toys that bounce or squeak or are they more of the cuddling type? Do they like to lounge or run outside. Do they like chin rubs or belly rubs. Just like us our dogs have different likes and dislikes.

2. Develop a relationship.

3. Build Trust.

This is where BilJac Training Treats are perfect for your pet. They are the perfect size for a reward while training your pet.  For much more about training your pet visit Biljac.

The 411:

We don't have a dog but dog sit for many others.

This is Rocky and he is well trained thanks to his owner but when we come he does try to push the envelope a little bit. Treats are the perfect way to let this little guy know we are the boss while mom is away and he loves them!

We are able to put his leash on easily. With his mom he doesn't need one but with us he isn't always quick to come back to us if we take him without one. These treats allow us to easily calm him down so we can get that leash on and he can get out and do his business. The treats are small enough that his mom doesn't get upset that we are giving him too many treats and she is happy that the first ingredient one the ingredient list is chicken.

 You can get Biljacs are Pet Food Stores like Petsmart and Petco but also at Amazon 

To Enter the Biljac Giveaway fill out the entry form below before January 26th.

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. I am not employed by any company I review for. No monetary compensation was received.