Thursday, January 31, 2019

Clearing Up 5 Myths About Wearing Braces

Clearing Up 5 Myths About Wearing Braces

For many youngsters, braces are part of growing up. With a smile considered one of the building blocks to developing self-esteem and self-confidence, parents make the investment to straighten their child’s teeth. Nearly 4 million young people between the ages of 6 and 18 wear braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontics.

Also, statistics show more adults than ever before are wearing braces. But as the field of orthodontics changes and advances, candidates of all ages for braces can face confusion trying to sort fact from fiction.

“Orthodontics is so common now that some think they know all about it, but what they think isn’t always necessarily true,” says Steven J. Moravec (, owner of Moravec Orthodontics and author of Going The Extra Smile: Merging Technology And Expertise For A Lifetime Of Smiles.

“Many others, such as parents of children needing braces, aren’t up to speed with the changes. They know some basics – what braces do, what you can and can’t do while wearing them – but there are a lot of myths out there that are so common that they’re just accepted as fact.”

Moravec clarifies five common orthodontic myths:
  • You need a referral from the dentist to see an orthodontist. “You do not need a referral,” Moravec says. “They think that because most people now belong to medical insurance plans or groups that require a referral from their primary physician to visit a specialist, and they think the same relationship exists between dentists and orthodontists. It doesn’t.”
  • You don’t need to see your regular dentist while in braces or clear aligners. “You definitely do,” Moravec says. “You need to see your regular dentist at least every six months, or as often as you did before starting braces. In fact, I’d say it’s even more important to see your dentist for routine cleaning and gum inspections when you are in braces than when you aren’t. Having braces makes your teeth a little more challenging to clean, and nothing beats a professional cleaning at your dentist.”
  • Braces are painful. “Here, technology comes in, making braces more comfortable than ever before,” Moravec says. “It used to be that the bands that went around the teeth had to be pushed on up into the gum line, and this would hurt. Today, we painlessly glue brackets onto the front of the teeth.”
  • Invisalign or clear aligner treatment takes longer than braces. “For most patients, this is not true,” Moravec says. “The movement of teeth is a physiological process. For most cases, the time to treat is very similar for clear aligners and braces. The biggest exception is patients that have deep bites, where the front teeth overlap and cover up the lower teeth. Correction of this does take longer with clear aligners.”
  • Orthodontics is always expensive, costing at least $5,000 to $6,000 every time. “The cost depends on the difficulty of the case,” Moravec says, “and many cases aren’t that difficult. The cost of treatment for minor cases can be as low as $2,000. If you have a more involved case, plan on a fee of between $5,000 or $6,500. But you are investing in a smile you will have for decades. How much did you pay for your car, and how long did that last?”
“Teeth are no different than any other part of the body; they change with age,” Moravec says. “What hasn’t changed is the importance of straightening them at a young age, but as many adults have seen, braces now work for them, too.”

About Steven J. Moravec, DDS, MS, MA

Steven J. Moravec ( is the owner of Moravec Orthodontics and the author of Going The Extra Smile: Merging Technology And Expertise For A Lifetime Of Smiles. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and earned an MS in Orthodontics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He’s a board-certified Specialist in Orthodontics and a guest lecturer for the University of Illinois Department of Orthodontics and SureSmile.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ten Questions to Ask to Make Your Child’s IEP Meeting a Success

Episcopal Center for Children Offers Advice to Help Parents of Children Coping with Special Needs

WASHINGTON – Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings are very important for children coping with special needs. These meetings outline goals for the child’s education and treatment, and it guides how services will be provided.

“These meetings are very important because the IEP guides how the child will be educated and outlines goals for the child, interventions, and any accommodations and services that will be provided,” said Dodd White, president and CEO of the Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit organization providing therapeutic and special education services to children ages 5-14 in the greater Washington, DC area.

“It’s important to review IEP meeting documents in advance before the meeting,” said White. “An IEP meeting brings together the entire IEP team assisting your child – educators, treatment providers, parents, the Local Education Agency (LEA) representative and others. Parents and guardians are an important part of that team. You are there to be an advocate for your child,” said White.

It’s important for parents and guardians to ask the right questions before, during and after an IEP meeting. Here are some questions to help:

Question #1: When is the IEP meeting and how will I participate? At least 10 days before the IEP meeting, you should receive a letter of invitation. As soon as you can, RSVP for the meeting in writing. Inform the school if you will attend the meeting in person or by phone. If you are not available to attend the meeting at the proposed time, suggest alternative dates and times, as well as locations.

Question #2: What documents will be discussed at the IEP meeting? At least 5 business days before the IEP meeting, you should receive draft documents. These may include the IEP, a behavior intervention plan (BIP), or evaluations of your child. Review these documents carefully before the meeting.

Question #3: Does this plan address my child’s education and treatment needs? Are the goals and objectives clear? Before the meeting, carefully review draft documents and write down your questions and notes. Review the diagnosis and examine the plan carefully to see how it addresses your child’s needs. Ask for clarification of education or treatment jargon if needed. Goals and objectives should be clear in the plan.

Question #4: When will services be offered? Make sure you understand start date(s), how long services are offered, and the procedures involved. Determine how frequently services are offered.

Question #5: Is my child progressing toward a goal in the plan? And will the plan help my child progress? If your child is not progressing toward a goal as you had hoped, ask how this will be addressed, or if a goal should be revised.

Question #6: When will I be updated on my child’s progress? The plan should indicate when you will be updated. If you want more frequent updates on progress during the school year, you can request additional updates be added to the plan for you.

Question #7: What else can be done to assist my child? If you think something else might help your child, come prepared to discuss it. Write down any proposed changes to the IEP and any information you would like to add.

Question #8: Should anyone else attend the meeting? Invite additional people to the IEP meeting if you want them there and think they can contribute. An IEP meeting takes a “team” approach to helping your child. Take the initiative to invite individuals who have relevant knowledge or expertise regarding your child (such as, family members, coaches, community support workers, social workers, attorneys, advocates, etc.). Let the school team know additional people will attend the meeting.

Question #9: How can I have a healthy working relationship with the school, treatment providers, and the entire IEP team? Developing healthy and professional relationships with the school and treatment providers can help your child. Be open to discussing issues promptly, directly, honestly and courteously. Ask questions and listen carefully to answers. This will allow you to respond appropriately and avoid misunderstandings.

Question #10: How can I support my child at home? Ask what you can do at home to support and reinforce what your child is learning at school. Realize that home also needs to be a place of respite – a place to recover from the hard work that may have occurred at school.

About the Episcopal Center for Children
The Episcopal Center for Children (Center) is a nonprofit, nondenominational school and treatment program for children contending with emotional challenges from the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Accredited by the Joint Commission, the Center serves children who are 5-14 years old in grades K-8. The goal of the Center’s treatment, therapeutic milieu, and individualized special education program is to empower each child to function productively within his or her family and community. Building on strengths within children, the Center partners with families in treatment and focuses on enabling its students to access and become their best possible selves. More information is available at and on Twitter and Facebook @ECCofDC.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New year, new conventions! Comicon conventions happen all over the world throughout the year an

more often than not if you’re going to a Comicon convention then you’re going to be dressing up. Sure, you can spend hundreds of dollars on a high-end, deluxe costume OR you can make your own stunning looks with these super easy DIY tutorials from Costume SuperCenter!

Over the years, Costume SuperCenter has partnered up with different cosplayers from all over the country to bring beautiful (and easy to follow!) tutorials on how to create your own cosplay costume. Because of those crafty contributors, here are our top 5 DIY Cosplay tutorials that can help you prepare for your conventions this year!

1. Bowsette: There was a fiery mashed-up meme going around the cosplay world you may have seen. It was an unexpected twist on a couple characters from the world of Super Mario Bros. Let’s suppose you could use the Super Crown from New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe to combine ANY characters you want. If you can turn Toadette into Peachette, what do you get when you combine the villain Bowser and Princess Peach? You get Bowsette!

2. She-Ra: Could there possibly be a better time than right now to re-boot the girl-power animated series of She-Ra? 2018 turned out to be the year of the Woman and now you can add She-Ra to the list of modern day sheroes who fight in the name of good. Because this plastic toy from the 1980’s by Mattel has managed to maintain a fan base after over thirty years since the original show ended the series got a reboot that launched on Netflix Nov 13th, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

3. Voyd: The highest-grossing animated feature of all time in North America. No big deal. Incredibles 2 hit theaters and it wasn’t long before it smashed the record for a movie not rated PG-13. Talk about SUPER! One of our favorite characters was Voyd. Her awesome powers of warping time and space to create portals made for such creative fight sequences in the movie.

4. Captain Marvel: The future is female! So far, we know this movie is set in the ’90s which sounds perfectly nostalgic for a large slice of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fanbase. The creator of the movie Kevin Feige claims that much of this movie will take place in space among the battling Kree and the Skrull alien nations. Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson, will be introduced to us as a fighter pilot and we will learn about her transition into life as the superhero Captain Marvel.

5. Dark Phoenix: X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set to hit theaters this Valentine’s Day and while we don’t have all the details surrounding the movie, there’s no reason we can’t start prepping our outfit, right!?

If you think your audience would love to see these tutorials, please feel free to share the list (or any of the individual tutorials) on your blog or social media accounts. If you do share it, let me know!

Happy Cosplaying!

New Trailer for Five Feet Apart with Haley Lu Richardson & Cole Sprouse #FiveFeetApart

Now that Riverdale is officially under quarantine, take a break from wondering who the Gargoyle King is and check out Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson in the New Trailer for FIVE FEET APART featuring the original song "Don't Give Up On Me" by Andy Grammer from the film's upcoming soundtrack!

From director Justin Baldoni (Jane The Virgin), the upcoming romantic drama about two young people who refuse to be defined by the distance that separates them opens In Theaters Everywhere This March!

Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) is every bit a seventeen-year-old...she's attached to her laptop and loves her best friends. But unlike most teenagers, she spends much of her time living in a hospital as a cystic fibrosis patient. Her life is full of routines, boundaries and self-control - all of which is put to the test when she meets an impossibly charming fellow CF patient named Will Newman (Cole Sprouse).

There's an instant flirtation, though restrictions dictate that they must maintain a safe distance between them. As their connection intensifies, so does the temptation to throw the rules out the window and embrace that attraction. Further complicating matters is Will's potentially dangerous rebellion against his ongoing medical treatment. Stella gradually inspires Will to live life to the fullest, but can she ultimately save the person she loves when even a single touch is off limits?

Genre: Drama, Romance
Produced By: Cathy Schulman (The Foreigner, The Space Between Us), Justin Baldoni (Jane the Virgin, My Last Days)
Written By: Mikki Daughtry (Sleep Tight, The Children) & Tobias Iaconis (Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia, The Children)
Directed By: Justin Baldoni (Jane the Virgin, My Last Days)
Cast:  Haley Lu Richardson (Split, The Edge of Seventeen), Cole Sprouse (Riverdale, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), Moises Arias (The Kings of Summer, Ben-Hur), Kimberly Hébert Gregory (Vice Principals), Paraminder Nagra (ER, Bend it Like Beckham), Claire Forlani (Crystal Inferno, Precious Cargo)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Announces Month-Long, Foot-Stomping Bohemian Rhapsody Fan Celebrations

 I cannot wait to see this movie!

Fans Can Join the Party in Person via a Multi-City Sing-Along
Bus Tour and “Get Loud” Extravaganza

Take Part at Home and Online via #StompforQueen & New “Ay-Oh” Call-Back Amazon Alexa Skill

Golden GlobeÒ Winner for Best Motion Picture, Drama
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Arrives on Digital and Movies Anywhere January 22 and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD February 12

LOS ANGELES, CA –To celebrate the fans that made BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY the number one music biopic of all time, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment invites them to join the ultimate Queen celebration at events across the country, in their own homes and on social media. Are you ready, Freddie?

Rock Like Queen Tour Bus
Fans in New York City (January 25), Austin (January 30), Las Vegas (February 5) and Los Angeles (February 12) will have a chance to hop on board the double-decker Rock Like Queen Tour Bus and sing-along to their favorite Queen songs from “We Will Rock You” to “Radio Ga Ga”. Fans can sign up for a spot via Rock Like Queen Tour registration site Space is available on a first come, first served basis.

“Get Loud” Extravaganza
The Rock Like Queen Tour will culminate in the ultimate Queen fan experience at the legendary Whiskey A-Go-Go on the famed Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. This BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY super-fan celebration will include musical tributes to Freddie and Queen, a performance by Queen Extravaganza and more. Free tickets are available online on a first come, first served basis here:

“Alexa, play Ay-Oh live!”
For fans in the US who can’t make the Rock Like Queen Tour or the Los Angeles event, they can join the fun at home via a new Amazon Alexa skill that will enable fans to sing “Ay-Oh” with Freddie when they call out “Alexa, play Ay-Oh live!” Freddie will sing “Ay-Oh” with you just like Queen’s audience did during the band’s iconic Live Aid 1985 performance. US Fans can activate the skill via Amazon Alexa devices starting January 22 through March 31.

#StompforQueen Social Media Celebration
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment invites fans around the world to show us your best “Stomp, Stomp, Clap” to become a part of the Bohemian Rhapsody family. A worldwide $100,000 donation will be made to the Mercury Phoenix Trust founded by Brian May and Roger Taylor in memory of Queen’s iconic lead singer Freddie Mercury.

To join #StompforQueen fans can re-share the just released video found on Bohemian Rhapsody official channels (Facebook/Instagram @bohemianrhapsodymovie & Twitter @BoRhapMovie) or show us their very own “Stomp, Stomp, Clap” on any social platform. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment may include their video in a tribute video to the legendary singer launching in February. 

Bohemian Rhapsody arrives on Digital and Movies Anywhere January 22 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD February 12. For the first time, fans can experience a truly one-of-a-kind music movie event with the complete “Live Aid” Movie Performance featuring two never-before-seen songs (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Will Rock You”) packed into a 22-minute collective experience recreating the original event. In addition, on Blu-ray & Digital, fans will get a look behind the making of the film including interviews with Queen, the cast and creative team.

Media Inquiries:
Fox Home Entertainment: Conor Sellers, 310.369.3980,
Burson Cohn & Wolfe: Brittany Hershkowitz 323.602.1091,

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third-party partner film and television programming. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™, Digital and VOD. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, a 21st Century Fox Company.

Movies Anywhere simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers.  Movies Anywhere brings together the movies from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Participating digital retailers at launch are Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu. Movies Anywhere offers a library of over 7,300 digital movies at launch, including new releases, and will continue to expand the consumer experience as more content providers, digital retailers and platforms are added. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can connect their Movies Anywhere account with participating digital retailers and enjoy their favorite digital movies from the comfort of their living room and across multiple devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire devices; Android devices and Android TV; Apple TV; Chromecast; iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; Roku® devices and popular browsers. Consumers can also redeem digital codes found in eligible Blu-ray and DVD disc packages from participating studios and enjoy them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is available to residents of the United States, its territories, and certain associated states. For more information, visit

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My Life In Pictures - January 13 - January 20

January 13 - Snapchat me! It is my new Facebook profile pic. Why put a real one when I can do a filtered shot?

January 14 - My lunchtime. The best 45 minutes of my day!

January 15 - Sage is always on alert. There may or may not be something in the attic. She is always looking up there.

January 16 - The letter of the week was W. I was suddenly head teacher and had to come up with something in a few minutes. What do you think of our watermelon? Done by 2 year olds who all knew what it was.

January 17 - Just when you think all is well in your life, God decides to toss a speed bump to slow you down. I was feeling great. Had lunch with Goddess and some of my friends. Went to the supermarket so that I wouldn't have to do it on the weekend, picked up Handsome and was heading to Goddess' Podiatrist appointment when my truck started smoking. I felt it start hesitating so I hobbled over to the side of the road. Thankfully it was an easy fix but we didn't know that at the time. I had to call the podiatrist to say we would have to reschedule. Call my husband to tell him what was going on. Call for a tow which took 35 minutes to get to an operator just to have the call lost before we could schedule. Called my husband who kept me on speaker trying to get a tow. He was told 5 hour wait. Called my friend Clary to pick up the kids and groceries. Called my mechanic and told him 5 hour wait for a tow. He scheduled one to get over to me as soon as he could. Clary came back for me just as my truck was finally on the truck. Looks like my truck had her period but it is just transmission fluid which was what we thought. Thankfully it was all covered because the mechanic had changed my transmission twice this past summer.

January 18 - No car so I had a friend take care of Handsome's high school drop offs and walked Goddess to the bus. When she got off and I was walking behind her I kept thinking how much she looks like a teenager. Why do they have to grow up? I miss my littles.

January 19 - Jinxy and his stuffed rat!

January 20 - My husband took this photo from our dining room window and text it to me. So not technically mine but so happy he thought to share it.

My Life In Pictures - December 30 - January 12, 2018

December 30 - A crucifix found in my grandfather's jewelry box. I believe it is the one that is included in a funeral arrangement. Possibly from one of his parents. My dad has the one that was included with my mom's memorial arrangement.

December 31 - Snapchat photo taken with my husband. This was the second shot because when I saw the first shot I told him that he looked unhappy so he said, "let's take another one." Notice the cheesy smile. Mine was the same in both photos.

January 1 - Our midnight photo!

January 2 - Luna trying to hide among the stuffies. I see you Luna!

January 3 - My Christmas gift was a new Sirius Radio for my truck. I love that I can watch DVD's. I spend a lot of time in the car waiting for kids from various things. 

January 4 - Sage hiding in a decorative box under the tree.

January 5 - Visited one of my day time students who isn't in the daycare anymore. Got to meet her new baby brother and play with Emma. She was one of my favorites in fact, I still have her photo in frame from her mother on my dresser. No photos of my kids on my dresser but Emma is there. This Hello Kitty sticker was put on my arm by Emma. I noticed it on  my arm at the end of the night. I couldn't bring myself to remove it until it was time to shower. I love and miss her. Sometimes you get very attached to your day time kids.

January 6 - What?! No photo? UGH!

January 7 - The size comparison of these two siblings from the same momma but obviously another mister is astonishing. Look how big Mr. Jinx is to Sage.

January 8 - Goddess's art for January has a pet pig.

January 9 - Another day without a photo. UGH...

January 10 - Snapchat allowed me to be a Pink Lady. Loving the colored look. Have always wanted to do it but so afraid to mess with my hair.

January 11 - Took a photo of my Handsome with Snapchat. He looks adorable in blue.

January 12 - This photo is a true representation of when Goddess and I are together.  All we do is laugh. Well laugh when I am not trying to wake her up the morning.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

House of Beauty by Melba Escobar

House of Beauty by Melba Escobar
A thought-provoking Colombian crime novel set in and around a beauty salon in Bogota
House of Beauty is a high-end salon in Bogotá’s exclusive Zona Rosa area, and Karen is one of its best beauticians. One rainy afternoon a teenage girl turns up for a treatment with Karen, dressed in her school uniform and smelling of alcohol. The very next day, the girl is found dead.

Karen was the last person to see the girl alive, and the girl’s mother is desperate to find out what she knows. Most important of all: who was her daughter going to meet that night?

 The 411:

I had a hard time getting into this book but definitely had to read until the end. Karen works in a salon and hears the secrets of the girls and women she works with. When Sabrina, one of the girls is found dead after being seen at House of Beauty, her mom and the police want to know what she knows. 

I found myself not able to follow who was speaking. Is it Claire, Lucia or Karen speaking, oh's not Karen. I thought it was Karen...ugh. Those are done in 3rd person chapters with Karen talking about Sabrina and Sabrina's the mom...I wish there was more to the story about the murder and why. Maybe it is a translation problem or maybe the writing. It is not for me to say but being able to follow the characters is rather important to the reader.

That depends. For each service, you receive forty per cent. If you’re successful and our clients book a lot of appointments with you, after a few months you could earn one million pesos, including tips.”
“I accept.”


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