Friday, July 31, 2020

Navigating Back to School in the Era of COVID-19

The American Occupational Therapy Association offers guidance for helping students engage in occupations while promoting health and safety in school and at home


NORTH BETHESDA, MD (July 31, 2020)—Returning to school is a complex event, even in a typical school year. With the COVID-19 pandemic and other social uncertainty, new challenges exist to maintain safety, comfort, and learning for students of all ages. To those navigating these uncertain times, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has produced a Back to School Guide and Back to School Tip Sheets to provide practical suggestions for parents, guardians, caregivers, administrators, teachers, occupational therapy practitioners, para-professionals, and students to promote safe engagement in school-based occupations.


“Whether in person, or virtual, the complexity of returning to school requires a holistic approach,” says Varleisha Gibbs, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, AOTA’s Vice President of Practice Engagement and Capacity Building, who has 18 years of experience working in school-based practice as an OT, agency owner, consultant, and occupational therapy educator. “Recommendations must focus on the unique needs of all persons involved—children, parents, and the education team. To expand this focus, occupational therapy practitioners provide an approach addressing the environmental, physical, emotional, and behavioral demands.”


AOTA’s Back to School Guide provides support in these various areas of essential needs, including:


“Disruption to familiar routines can cause worry and anxiety in any child or young adult, and the reality is that we need to rethink what social engagement looks like for students this year,” says Susan Cahill, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, AOTA Director of Evidence-Based Practice, who has been an occupational therapist for 23 years, working as a school therapist, special education administrator, and occupational therapy educator. “Wearing masks, sitting away from friends, and meeting up online isn’t what students are used to expectingThe AOTA Back to School Guide includes practical tips and resources to help families and educators adapt routines and create new ones so that kids feel safe and are available for learning.”


AOTA’s Guides and Tip Sheets are available individually by topic or as one large document at


Note: This document also contains an overarching problem-solving model that can be used to address new questions as they arise. The Back to School Tip Sheets were developed using this problem-solving model. The information is intended to be used in conjunction with other direction and guidance provided by public health officials; local, state, and federal governments; and school officials, and is not intended to supplant such direction or guidance. 


Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. Occupational therapy practitioners facilitate participation in everyday living for people of all ages. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in North Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, visit

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Need Something Worthy To Binge Watch? The Outsider: The Complete First Season

The highly anticipated release is out today  – 7/28 – on Blu-ray and DVD! As a huge Stephen King fan I am beyond excited to dive into this. We do not have HBO and I was dying to see it when it was on HBO.  2 episodes in and I stopped. Knowing my husband is going to love it too I am going to wait until he catches up and then we can watch together. 

Amazing plot line, slow burn allowing you to get well invested in the story line and the characters. Mysterious and paranormal enough to keep my attention riveted and a perfect cast! I love everything about it and I am only starting episode 3.   I have tried not to read to much about the story line and while I have this book on my need to read pile I haven't picked it up yet so have no idea where this is going but I cannot wait to find out!

More as we move along through the Season!

What You Need To Know:

 The Outsider is not just for Stephen King fans, as there is something for everyone in this captivating series,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “The series has mesmerized audiences through its incredibly talented actors, thrilling plot twists, and true to life themes of grief and trauma, which will keep you glued to the screen until its electrifying climax.”

Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel of the same name, The Outsider is a new drama series that follows a seemingly straightforward investigation into the gruesome murder of a local boy. When 11-year-old Frankie Peterson’s body is found mutilated in the Georgia woods, police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) sets out to investigate – with eyewitnesses and physical evidence pointing to Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), a popular high school teacher, Little League coach, doting husband and father. While the case appears ironclad, Ralph is baffled by the emergence of contradictory evidence that places his suspect in a neighboring city at the time of the murder. The mysterious set of circumstances surrounding this horrifying crime leads Ralph, a seasoned cop still grieving the recent death of his own son, to bring in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.

The incredible cast of The Outsider: The Complete First Season includes Emmy®- and Golden Globe nominee Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline,” “Ready Player One”), Tony Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Cynthia Erivo (“The Color Purple,” “Harriet”), Bill Camp (Emmy ® -nominee for “The Night Of”), Mare Winningham (Oscar ®  nominee for “Georgia”), Paddy Considine (HBO’s upcoming “The Third Day”), Julianne Nicholson (HBO’s upcoming “Mare of Easttown”), Yul Vázquez (“Divorce”), Jeremy Bobb (CINEMAX’s “The Knick”) and Marc Menchaca (“The Sinner”), with Emmy ®  and Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (“Ozark,” “Arrested Development”) as Terry Maitland.
The Outsider is produced by Mendelsohn and executive producer Bateman (who also directs the first two episodes). The series is written for television by Richard Price (The Wire, The Night Of), who also serves as Executive Producer. Executive producers include Andrew Bernstein, Marty Bowen for Temple Hill Entertainment, Jack Bender, Michael Costigan for Aggregate Films, and Dennis Lehane (episodes 105-110). The series is produced by Bateman’s Aggregrate Films and Temple Hill Entertainment in association with Civic Center Media.
  • Invitation to Set
  • Stephen King and The Outsider
  • Jason Bateman and The Outsider
  • Adapting The Outsider
  • Analyzing Holly Gibney
  • The Outsider: Inside Episodes 1-10

  1. Fish in a Barrel
  2. Roanoke
  3. Dark Uncle
  4. Que Viene el Coco
  5. Tear-Drinker
  6. The One About The Yiddish Vampire
  7. In the Pines, In the Pines
  8. Foxhead
  9. Tigers and Bears
  10. Must/Can't

The Outsider is now available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

Street Date: June 9, 2020
Order Due Date: May 5, 2020
BD and DVD Presented in 16x9 widescreen format
Running Time: Feature: Approx. 600 min
Enhanced Content: Approx. 40 min

Price: $29.99 SRP ($34.99 in Canada)
3 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1), French
Subtitles – English, French

Price: $39.99 SRP ($44.99 in Canada)
3 BD-50s
Audio – DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English
BD Subtitles – English, French

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was offered.

What Effects is the COVID-19 Lifestyle Having on Those with Autoimmune Disease?

By Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories

The greatest emphasis on preventing the spread of coronavirus has been geared toward the elderly and those with autoimmune disease, and for good reason. While these groups are not necessarily more likely to contract COVID-19, they are more likely to have severe and even life-threatening complications. For the elderly, weakened immune systems have a hard time fighting this stubborn disease. But for those with autoimmune disease, the effects of COVID-19 and this new, uninvited stagnant lifestyle are a little more complex.

The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) estimates that 50 million Americans have one or more of more than 100 autoimmune diseases. That’s a lot of people requiring extra consideration in preventing the spread of COVID-19 or any virus! Within the complexities of autoimmune disease emerge a few reasons this higher-risk group should be more concerned:

Medications suppress the immune system – Not as a side effect, but rather as a means of treatment, many patients take medications to suppress their immune system to treat an autoimmune disease. The issue isn’t that they have a weakened immune system, instead it’s that they have an overactive immune system that attacks the body’s joints or tissues mistaking them for foreign substances. Out of fear of contracting COVID-19, these patients may be tempted to stop taking their medications to boost their immunity. However, this can be really tricky for the complex workings of such an immune system and should not be done without a discussion with their physician.

Disrupted sleep patterns – A common symptom of several autoimmune diseases is fatigue. So for some, this new stay-at-home lifestyle presents an opportunity for added rest. For others, the stress and anxiety associated with the fear of contracting the virus, loss of a job, financial hardship, among others, is causing a loss of sleep. Whichever way it falls, there needs to be a healthy balance. Adequate sleep is important for allowing the body to rejuvenate and stay healthy. However, too much sleep can result in a lack of other healthy essentials, such as exercise and mental well-being. Most experts agree that 7-9 hours per night is optimum.

Increased anxiety and depression – This unprecedented time brings an elevated risk of anxiety and depression for most of society. For those with autoimmune disease, the combination of disease-triggered pain and discomfort with the need to isolate to prevent contracting COVID-19, the risk is even greater. We need human interaction for mental and emotional wellness. To supplement the social interaction that is needed, scheduling social teleconferences, making more phone calls to friends and family, or even watching do-it-yourself videos can help fill that void until we get through this tough time.

Bad eating habits – The struggle is real with the “Covid 15,” a term coined to describe the extra weight that so many have put on during this stay-at-home (and eat) period. Unfortunately, like with most things, the effects of bad eating habits can be exponentially worse for those with autoimmune disease. Inflammation is one of the most common symptoms of autoimmune disease. Sadly, many guilty, culinary pleasures cause inflammation and trigger debilitating flare-ups for autoimmune disease patients. In general, the foods to avoid are grains, dairy, sugars, alcohol, caffeine, processed vegetable oils and non-grass-fed beef. If you find yourself snacking more than usual, try to stock up on veggies, nuts, healthy fats, grass-fed or organic animal protein and foods without additives or preservatives. The less modified, the better.

With the risks associated with COVID-19 and because those with one autoimmune disease have a 25 percent chance of developing another, it is critical for those with autoimmune disease to use safety measures, good eating habits and self-care to avoid contracting this or any virus. If you or anyone you know is concerned about potential autoimmune issues, Cyrex Laboratories, a leader in advanced clinical immune testing, offers the Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Screen (Array 5),  a comprehensive screening for autoimmune disease. Along with the Array 5, add-on the GAM panel -- Total Serum IgG, IgA, IgM. This test is recommended for anyone with suspected immunodeficiency or who has recently used immunosuppressive medication. As always, seek the advice of your health care professional, if even via a phone or video call.

Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on the Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories. Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He particularly pursues advanced developments in the fields of endocrinology, orthopedics, sports medicine, and environmentally-induced chronic disease.


Monday, July 27, 2020

How to Improve Your Happiness

Life can be extremely chaotic, demanding, and filled with challenges to the point where we can often feel as though we simply cannot cope with what’s happening around us. Knowing how to retain a positive mindset can be difficult when the circumstances you’re faced with aren’t going in your favor or are causing you to feel uneasy or stressed. Although happiness comes from within us, there are many ways in which you can boost your happiness with specific tactics and strategies. In this guide, we’re going to list just a few ways you can increase your happiness within your own life:

1. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique of teaching the mind to be fully present at the moment without judgment and letting go of the past and not worrying about the future. By training the mind to concentrate on what is happening to the here and now, you’re less likely to focus on negative thoughts entering the mind. Mindfulness strategies can also be applied to our everyday lives and help us to cope in the most demanding situations.

2. Get enough sleep

Many adults need an average of 7-9 hours’ sleep each evening to function the next day. If you’re getting less than these recommended hours, you’re likely to feel drained, sluggish, and in a negative mood the following day. Studies show that people who are sleep-deprived are likely to suffer emotions such as anger and irritability. As a result, it would be advised to make changes to your sleep routine to get the shut-eye you need.

Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning will train your body into a regular sleep pattern. Other tips would be to avoid nicotine altogether, make your bedroom comfortable and dark as possible, so you are easily able to completely relax and, hopefully, drop off to sleep.

3. Try gambling

You may never have considered gambling as a method of improving happiness; however, there is scientific evidence to suggest that this past time is a mood-booster. Scientific studies show that it gives you something other to focus on than what may be happening in your mind and allow you to feel in control, in comparison to your real-life responsibilities. is the perfect website to enjoy a spot of gambling with no deposit required. After just one session, you may find that your mood has completely shifted into a much more positive state.

4. A well-balanced diet

A well-balanced diet is not only advantageous to your physical health, but there is also a link to mental health. On average, you should be eating approximately five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, as well as eating high fiber foods such as pasta, bread, and rice and those which are rich in protein and carbohydrates. A well-balanced diet allows your body and brain to work competently, which should, in turn, leave you in a more positive state of mind.


Camp Warner Bros. - Week 6 - Alex & Me Goal Chart and Family Workout #CampWarnerBros

Shoot for your dreams this week at Camp Warner Bros., as soccer superstar, Alex Morgan, stars in the full-length feature film – Alex & Me! The film follows the uplifting story of a young female athlete who learns how you need passion, determination and self-worth to make all your dreams come true.


Summer is a great time for campers to think of their goals -  be it short term, or long term! In Alex & Me, Reagan (played by Siena Agudong (“Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,” and “ Star Falls”) uses a chart to keep track of her daily soccer drills as she progress towards her goals. This week at camp, we want to inspire our campers to follow their dreams and keep track of their personal goals with their Alex & Me Goal Chart - a great tool to motivate kids to strive to be their best:

I am loving this so much right now. Over the past few months with school closed due to COVID my kids have done a lot of sitting around. While in school their gym teacher had a weekly form just like this that they had to fill out and turn in every Friday. I was thrilled. They were not but they did what was expected for class. School closed the end of June and they have done very little to stay active. Today when they grab their chore sheets (they have a sheet for every single day which should keep them busy for at least an hour and a half to two depending on the day) they will find this sheet too. I have written two things I expect them to get do and then they can pick a few of their own off the sheet below. My daughter has been doing push ups and my son walks but I love the idea of all of us getting more fit. If they see us working out and we are expected to do it daily it becomes the norm and we can stay on track. 


About Alex & Me:

Teenager Reagan Willis has one dream – to play soccer like her hero, Alex Morgan. Her bedroom is a shrine to all things Alex, including a life-size poster of the Olympic gold medalist. Yet in the Willis house, Reagan lives in the shadow of her prep football superstar brother, Logan. When Reagan fails to make the cut of the premiere local soccer club team and is humiliated by her rival Claire, she’s certain her ship has sailed. But after accidentally hitting her head, Reagan’s poster of Alex Morgan suddenly comes to life and everything changes!

The 411:

Such  is a cute, feel good movie that isn't cheesy. Reagen has a lot of things going for her. She is a great soccer player with the skills and the desire to make it big. Unfortunately she doesn't make the team which is hard for her. Soccer is her life.  She is so upset she starts removing all soccer memorabilia from her room except a poster of her hero Alex won't come off the wall. Reagen falls and hits her head and when she comes to her idol Alex is talking to her. 

Reagen makes it onto a team called The Breakaways thanks to her Dad and Alex training her taking the team all the way. 

I loved how Dad comes forward to help The Breakaways form a solid team even though he was thrust into the role of coach. I also loved how Reagen's brother uses his good fortunate to thank his sister for helping him. Perception is everything and family communication is important. This was very realistic especially in the fact that mom and dad seem oblivious to Reagen's issues because she wasn't really communicating how much she needed more.   Families don't always talk open enough so that everyone is getting what they need.

Some of my favorite scenes were when Reagen was talking or hanging with Alex but no one else saw her. Fun and perfectly kept to a minimum so as not to let Reagen play the fool.

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

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Prince And His Mother's Crown by Shellice Beharie #smithpublicity #childrensbooks

The Prince and His Mother’s Crown by Shellice Beharie is perfect for today’s social climate. Embraces acceptance and diversity.

"Prince and His Mother's Crown: Tales Within My Mother's Hair" by Shellice Beharie, published by Outskirts Press, 2020.

Prince and His Mother’s Crown: Tales Within My Mother’s Hair, is a whimsical fairytale about a little boy named Prince, who is fascinated with his mother’s magical crown of hair. It is a story that portrays a bond between a graceful mother and a loving son. It is an encouraging book to read and enjoy as it personifies love in a sweet children's story.

The 411:

I love this book so much! As a preschool teacher it is exactly what we have been looking for. My class are 2-3 years old and we often talk about "boys" or "girls" in our child driven conversations. Many of my daytime kids have no preference to "boy" or "girl" toys. The boys will wear princess dresses and play with dolls and the girls will often play with cars or wear superhero caps. It is the perfect age. They see things as toys not Boy Toys or Girl Toys. Many of our teachers love when our kids ask to have their hair put into ponytails and many times the boys ask too and we do it! There was only one parent who was upset that their "boy" had ponytails. He had asked so we did his hair. We now know that we need to remove his ponys before he leaves.

In this book a little boy talks about his mother's hair and how much he loves her hair. Mom's Hair is almost a separate character in the book. I found myself contemplating the fact that many kids see their parents hair as a very large part of them.

Children will love the illustrations of the beautiful mother and her very happy Prince!


SHELLICE BEHARIE, a new up, and coming children’s author was born in Boston, Massachusetts but since then has been well-traveled and lived overseas. Shellice is now settled with her family and charming Seeing Eye Dog in Southern California.

Her career started in the fashion, music and entertainment industry where she owned her own fashion label and showroom. Shellice’s focus changed as events in her life changed. She lost her vision and became blind in 2016, and thus, forged a new path for herself.

Her most recent book, Prince and His Mother’s Crown: Tales Within My Mother’s Hair is dedicated to the memory of her son Nicholas, whom the Lord took home in 2019. Shellice chose to honor his memory with this very special story.

To learn more visit Connect with Shellice Beharie on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

To Order:

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

Being Grumpy Breeds Grumpy But Being Kind, Well, You Will See When You Change Your Mind!

There is one grumpy pirate.

They call him Grumpy Gus.
He grunts and gripes and grouses,
and always makes a fuss.

Gus the Pirate complains about everything -- ARRRRRGH! Gus grumbles about his lumpy bed and his itchy clothes. He complains about the yucky food and doing his chores on the pirate ship. Even sailing toward buried treasure can't make Gus happy! Finally, the other pirates have had enough! They ask the Pirate Queen to help.

So the Pirate Queen gives Grumpy Gus a pet parrot -- but the parrot is grumpy, too! After Gus spends the day with a parrot who's just as grumbly and grouchy as he is, Gus realizes his bad attitude might be a little hard to deal with. Can Gus turn his frown upside down before the other pirates make him walk the plank?

All kids can relate to feeling grumpy like Gus, and this swashbuckling pirate adventure teaches kids the importance of trying to have a positive attitude!

The 411:

I loved this book! I have always said that if you look for the negative it will always be there but if you choose to see the positive well, surprisingly that will be there choice. It is a choice you make every day. I make a conscious effort every single day to only see the positive and if the negativity creeps in, I chase it away as fast as I can. It is a choice I choose for my well being. Like Gus the Grumpy Pirate in this book I know many who simply wake up just like Gus. There is nothing that will change their mind. They simply stay under that dark cloud but what happens is that eventually people tend to move away from you. 

Gus experiences this when his pirate buddies have enough, the wise Queen gives Gus a friend in the form of a parrot. Well wouldn't you know it Gus' attitude starts to rub off on that bird. It isn't until he changes his attitude that the bird changes its tune. 

Children will enjoy the little angry face pirate and the colorful illustrations by Ashlyn Anstee. This adorable book will hopefully turn a few frowns upside down.

To Purchase:

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