Friday, April 30, 2021

Get out and Active with your Kids this Summer (Safely)

Clinical Psychologist, Health Service Psychologist, a Board Certified Music Therapist, Dr. Bethany Cook shares her tips on summer activities with the kiddos:

  1. Around the World in Your Own Backyard- As a family decide several areas of the world you’d like to explore and travel to one day.  Go online (with or without kids) and Google information about the location, finding out things like what activities do kids in that area do for fun, what snacks and foods are eaten by locals and what types of music do they listen to?  Then plan an afternoon around a few objects/foods/feels you might get if you were actually there.  An example would be if you wanted to go to China.  Here are some great game ideas for the kids!  Here is a recipe for a delicious snack version of chinese fried bread.  Of course buying a box of pre packed snacks from your area of choice is always a sure win.  Toys! Who doesn’t enjoy getting a new toy that is unique and novel?  And finding the right music is always a must for the “travel” day.  Chinese music is filled with history and beautiful, haunting melodies. Of course letting your kids hear what’s “hip” today is also fun as you can compare “pop sounds”.  
  2. Epic S'mores- If this past year has taught me anything, it’s learning how to look at the mundane and give it an upbeat make-over.  Summertime is usually filled with bbq’s and campfires which are perfect for my next idea.  Get your kids involved in creating the most extreme, epic  S’more ever!!  Begin a fun brainstorming activity of all the items that one could make a S’more from and then narrow down the ingredients to a manageable list and let the creation begin!  Here are a few ideas to get you started.  
    1. Chocolate Graham crackers, strawberry marshmallows and white chocolate.
    2. Vanilla wafer, medium sized marshmallow, Reeses Pieces cup.
    3. Thin mint/Tag-a-long cookies, large marshmallow.
    4. Cinnamon Graham cracker, caramel marshmallow, dark chocolate.
  3. Pass Along A Smile-  Did you know smiles are contagious?  When you see a smile it’s hard to not smile back.  So why not brighten up your neighborhood?  Grab the kids and go find some good painting rocks (or buy a bag).  You can use acrylic paint or paint pens which work well on rocks!  If you’re feeling extra creative why not add some eyes and nose to your smile.  Then go on a walk with the kids and place the rocks in places for neighbors to see.  
  4. Master a Recipe-  Ask your child what recipe they would like to learn/master over the summer.  Depending on the age and skill level of your little chef you want to pick a recipe that will taste good and NOT be overly complicated.  Below are a few recipes my kids and I enjoy making over and over and over again.
    1. Pretzel balls- These can be savory OR sweet!  And if you wanna get really fancy make a cheese dip to go with it or wrap your favorite hotdog bite  inside the ball!
    2. Chocolate Pavlova- This stunning showstopper is actually quite simple to put together AND it’s gluten free!  The kids will love learning how to separate eggs (let them do it in their hands!) and you can use the extra yolks to whip up a delicious ice cream!
    3. Mix and Leave Pizza Dough-  What family doesn’t love pizza!  How about a crispy pan pizza you can make at home? And how about a recipe that you can leave in the fridge for up to a week!?! This is it! I always double the recipe cause we are a “two pizza a week” household.  Don’t forget to add some garlic salt and onion powder to the dough for an even more flavorful pizza experience!
  5. Have a Dance Party-  Dance and music are essential to maintaining a healthy mindset.  Whether you dance with just your family, or invite neighbors to the yard, starting a nightly routine of dancing to one to two songs is a great way to bond with each other and create happy summertime memories.  Also, it’s a great way to shift the mood of the entire family if needed.  More importantly, when you ask your children to pick which songs to dance to it empowers them and increases the likelihood for positive participation.  This can be every day, once a week or “random times”.  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

See The Trailer of Undergods In Select Cinamas & On Demand May 7th

Coming to theaters and digital May 7



View and Share The New Trailer!

Following its world premiere at Fantasia last year, the film went on to celebrate its UK premiere at Glasgow Film Festival in February. Since then, Undergods has gone on to receive two British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nominations. 

From May 7, 
Undergods will be released day-and-date; in select cinemas nationwide and On-Demand simultaneously. A limited-edition Blu-ray and vinyl soundtrack are also planned for later in the year.

 stars Kate Dickie (The Witch, Game of Thrones), Ned Dennehy (Mandy, Peaky Blinders), Geza Rohrig (Resistance, Son of Saul), Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim, Enola Holmes) and Tanya Reynolds (Emma., Sex Education).

In a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, K and Z roam the streets on the lookout for corpses and something even more valuable - fresh meat.

Made with the support of the BFI using funds from the National Lottery, the Wallonia Brussels Fund for Audiovisual and Cinema, the Estonian Cultural Fund, the Estonian Film Institute, Sweden’s Film I Vast and in association with the UK’s Sharp House, the film is produced by the UK’s Z56FILM in co-production with Velvet Films (Belgium), Homeless Bob Production (Estonia), Media Plus (Serbia), Filmgate Films (Sweden) and Ridley Scott Creative Group’s Black Dog Films and RSA Films.

Director Chino Moya also shared his excitement about the upcoming release saying “This is a collection of uncanny tales that will be released in one of the uncanniest periods of our lifetimes. I hope to entertain the audiences as I take them out of their comfort zone.


Undergods will be in select cinemas and On Demand from May 7

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

4 Ways to Prevent and Relieve Stress

Stress is a natural part of life and we all experience stress from time to time. This might be caused by work deadlines, relationship issues, or stressful life events like divorce or illness. Some stress is normal, but prolonged stress can have a serious long-term effect on your physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to reduce stress in your daily life. Here are four ways to prevent and relieve stress: 

1. Schedule daily downtime

Scheduling downtime is one of the best things you can do to reduce stress and improve your emotional health. The amount of leisure time you need to be happy will depend on several factors such as your stress levels, your work, and your schedule. However, most people are happiest when they have between four and five hours of downtime each day, according to a survey by Ladders. This might seem like a lot, but most people can easily create this much leisure time. For instance, if you get home from work at 6pm and go to bed at 10pm, then you will have four hours to relax and unwind. You can also enjoy downtime in the mornings or on your lunch break. Use downtime to do hobbies and activities that you enjoy such as watching television, reading, cooking, or socializing with friends. 

2. Know the signs of burnout 

Burnout is when a person experiences physical and emotional exhaustion and it is often caused by intense or prolonged stress. Many people have days when they feel overwhelmed, but burnout is different to normal stress. You must recognize the signs of burnout and act quickly to protect your mental health. Here are some physical and emotional signs of burnout:

● Feeling exhausted and drained all the time. 
● Low immunity level leading to regular infections and illnesses. 
● Losing motivation in work, relationships, and daily activities.
● Isolating yourself from others and feeling alone. 
● Feeling like a failure and having a negative outlook on life. 
● Using drugs, food, or alcohol to cope with negative emotions. 

3. Try herbal stress remedies 

There is a wide variety of herbal remedies that can potentially help relieve feelings of stress. For instance, CBD oil may reduce stress and relieve the symptoms of mental disorders like anxiety and depression. However, there is not enough evidence to suggest that CBD can effectively treat these health issues. You can visit a reputable site like to browse the latest range of CBD products being sold. Some other herbal supplements that may help to relieve stress include chamomile, lavender, and valerian.

4. Get enough sleep 

Sleep plays a vital role in your health and it is closely connected to your mood. Failing to get enough quality sleep will make you more susceptible to stress and harm your physical and mental health over time. Get into a regular sleep pattern and go to bed at the same time every night. If you find it difficult to get to sleep, then avoid technology in the evenings and create a relaxing bedtime routine.


My Life In Pictures Nov 21 - 30

November 21 - My little classroom tree. I got it and all the decorations for it at Dollar Tree. While it literally looks like the $4.00 I spent on it. 2 trees, garland and lights; my class called it a Christmas tree immediately and loved it! They were so excited. 

November 22 - I saved a copy of my son's Instagram pic and couldn't agree more. Our kids NEED to get back to school. Enough already. 

November 23 - Just my girl and I hanging out and LUNA decides to make herself comfortable. Never really happens to anyone else in the family. Luna comes to me at night when I first get in the bed but only stays about 25% of the time with her usually playing coy and leaving. 

November 24 - Thanksgiving! 

November 25 -  NADA

November 26 -  JINXY!

November 27 - Some Thanksgiving food! This looks amazing right now.

November 28 - My girl helping her daddy with Christmas decorations. Her brother was playing a video game as usual. OH well, at least one of them helps.

November 29 - The mantel looks amazing. I love it although next year there will be a TV above it so no room for anything, I am enjoying this.

November 30 - My assistant did these really cute Santa hands with the class. Aren't they they cutest?

My Life In Pictures - Nov 11 - Nov 20

Nov 11 - So very busy these days. Here I am waiting in the car for the kids to come out of school. Basically my life. Working, cleaning, school work, blog work and my kids. Life is exhausting but it makes me feel alive.

Nov 12 - One of my favorite things to do is come up with a curriculum for my class.  This was for ocean. I covered cardboard in aluminum foil. Gave the kids paint and let them finger paint the ocean. They then glued fish on however they wanted and as many as they wanted. It was a favorite art project for them because they got to use their hands. 

November 13 - Lulu's Garden was a review consisting of succulents inside a pretty container. We loved it so much I ended up giving one to my sister-in-laws for Christmas. 

November 14 - My Daughter and her Stormy. Stormy is such a good girl. We love her and her sweet little face.

November 15 - Stormy and her cute little Cheerio mouth. She likes to hang out in her basket near us and eat her lettuce and hay. Oh and poop  A LOT.

November 16 - JINXY! 

November 17 & 18 - NADA

November 19 - Such a beautiful sky! My view from work. 

November 20 - My work face! This is what the kids see. Hopefully my eyes are always smiling because they cannot see my face these days. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Weird Science For Girls - You Were Made For Me by Jenna Guillaume


YA author Jenna Guillaume is back with a fun and modern feminist twist on the 1985 pop cult film Weird Science

Sixteen-year-old Katie Camilleri can’t believe she’s accidentally created a teenage boy. A boy six-feet tall with floppy hair and eyes like the sky on a clear summer’s day. A boy whose lips taste like cookie dough and whose skin smells like springtime. A boy completely devoted to Katie. But silly musings and kitchen antics with her best friend, Libby, have definitely taken a whimsical twist into something bigger than Katie could have ever daydreamed. Turns out the consequences of fumbling a human being into existence are rather complicated. More importantly, does Guy, the golden Adonis Katie’s created, like her because he wants to, or because he has to? And will he be Katie’s very first kiss?

From the author of What I Like About Me comes a hilarious feminist twist on a classic narrative, loaded with laughs, mishaps, and plenty of 80s and 90s pop-culture callbacks. Jenna Guillaume’s entertaining romantic comedy novel features a humorous and relatable voice and will appeal to fans of Jenny Han.

The 411:

Overall a very enjoyable book. I absolutely love this premise. Based on Weird Science the movie from the 80s, two friends (Katie and Libby) somehow create the perfect fantasy guy for Katie after she realizes she will never get her crush Declan.  Guy magically appears and is everything Katie had asked for. He is devoted to her, smells like springtime, lips taste like cookie dough, and is literally the perfect male specimen.

Some of my favorite parts of the book were where Katie and Libby are doing a voice over as I read  the story of how "Guy" came to be and all their fun, humorous back and forth as well as how innocent Guy is! I mean how could he not be? He was just created. 

I also loved Katie's friend Theo the next door forever friend who is always there for her including now holding her "perfect boyfriend" so she doesn't get caught.

This fun, innocent read for grades 7+ made me laugh and entertained me.  I highly recommend it.


Okay, the day WE created a boy. We being Libby and me. Better? 

Yes. As long as you don’t talk about brushing your teeth again. Are we going to have to go over every bowel movement you’ve had in the last few months, too?

LIBBY! …Do you not think I can do this? 

Don’t even. Of course you’re the best person for the job. But every good writer needs a good editor, right? 

Well. I don’t know about “good…

” I swear— But I do know I’ve got a story to tell. And I can only tell it my way. My story—our story—is wild…and completely unbelievable. It’s also absolutely 100 percent true. Well, no truth is absolute. Everything is subjective. Okay. It’s my absolute truth.

All I can do is lay it out there. No matter how hard or embarrassing it might be. Especially when it’s embarrassing or hard, because then you’ll know I really am telling the truth. What you make of it from there, of course, is entirely up to you. 

Now, where was I… Right. 

The day we created a boy. It started out like any other “Declan Bell Jones is the perfect guy,” I said with a sigh.

(I’ve skipped to the interesting part, as Libby requested. Well, not the really interesting part—that comes a little later—but the lead-up is important, trust me.

To Purchase:


Jenna Guillaume was the editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she wrote about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and Chris Hemsworth’s biceps. Previously, she spent more than half a decade in the features department of Girlfriend magazine, editing the sealed section (yes, all those questions are real), and writing about everything from bullying and body image to bad kisses and boy bands. She was also a contributor to Girlfriend Life Hacks, an essential guide to navigating a girl’s completely-awkward-but-totally-awesome teen years. You can visit her website here.

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

Sometimes You Have To Look Back To Move Forward


We have all heard the saying, never look back. Well, I disagree because sometimes looking back allows us to see how far we have come. 

Every once in a while, look back, reflect and give yourself props for how friggin far you've come. 

One Of My Favorite Bands Release New Live Album #kansas #pointofknowreturn






OUT MAY 28, 2021

APRIL 23, 2021 – KANSAS
, America’s legendary progressive rock band has released another track from their upcoming, new live album Point of Know Return Live & Beyond out May 28, 2021. Fans can now stream “The Wall (Live 2019-20)” at this link: The song was recorded on February 22, 2020 at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, TN.

This is the first live album since 2017 for the band that has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and is famous for classic hits such as ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust in the Wind,’ to progressive epics like ‘Song for America.

 The album is now available for pre-order at

 The band recently released a teaser for the live album here

Point of Know Return Live & Beyond is co-produced by Phil Ehart and Richard Williams, and is recorded and mixed by Chad Singer. The album features 22 songs selected from 12 shows recorded in 2019 and 2020 during KANSAS’s Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour. The setlist includes classic hits, deep cuts, and culminates with the band’s sextuple-platinum album, Point of Know Return, performed in its entirety.

Following the success of the band’s Leftoverture Anniversary Tour, KANSAS followed that tour up with the even more popular Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour. The overwhelming success of that tour, and the previous live album, Leftoverture Live & Beyond, led the band, along with Inside Out Music, to release selected songs from the tour as a live album.

“We knew we wanted to release a live album of the Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour. Being unable to tour for more than a year has given us the opportunity to work on Point of Know Return Live & Beyond and release it for our fans who are missing live concerts as much as we are,” said KANSAS drummer and album co-producer, Phil Ehart. “When we discussed who would mix the album, we thought the best possible person would be the guy who mixes the band live every night and recorded the shows on the road. Nobody knows better how KANSAS sounds live than our front of house engineer, Chad Singer!”  

“This live album sounds great,” adds KANSAS guitarist and album co-producer, Richard Williams. “We wanted to make sure this album captures and represents how KANSAS sounds live in concert. Point of Know Return Live & Beyond does just that.”

 Along with original KANSAS band members Phil Ehart on drums and Richard Williams on lead guitar, Point of Know Return Live & Beyond, features Tom Brislin on keyboards and vocals, Billy Greer on bass and vocals, Ronnie Platt on lead vocals and keyboards, David Ragsdale on violin and vocals, and Zak Rizvi on guitar and vocals.

Point of Know Return Live & Beyond, will be released May 28, 2021, on Inside Out Music and is distributed by The Orchard. The album will be available as a double CD digipak, triple 180-gram vinyl + 2 CD box-set, and digitally on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, iTunes, and other fine digital retailers.

Point of Know Return Live & Beyond Track Listing:

1.)       Cold Grey Morning

2.)       Two Cents Worth

3.)       The Wall

4.)       Song for America

5.)       Summer

6.)       Musicatto

7.)       Taking in the View

8.)       Miracles Out of Nowhere

9.)       Point of Know Return

10.)       Paradox

11.)       The Spider

12.)       Portrait (He Knew)

13.)       Closet Chronicles

14.)       Lightning’s Hand

15.)       Dust in the Wind

16.)       Sparks of the Tempest

17.)       Nobody’s Home

18.)       Hopelessly Human

19.)       Carry On Wayward Son

20.)       People of the South Wind

21.)       Refugee

22.)       Lonely Wind

When touring resumes, KANSAS will continue rescheduled Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour dates as well as KANSAS Classics tour dates. More information on the tour, including specific Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour dates, can be found at

For more information on KANSAS, Point of Know Return Live & Beyond, touring, and the Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour, please visit:

Monday, April 26, 2021

Sometimes We Just Have To Breathe

Have you ever just wanted to have the whole world stop so you can focus on nothing at all? It's been happening to me a whole lot lately. I just want to sit back and watch the sunrise, listen to some music and talk about nothing! 

That is what I get when I hang with my daughter. Organic conversation that comes from just being in the same space. 

Taking that time to just be allows us to breath and shake off the worries and energies surrounding us that may be bringing us down. The ones that weight heavy on us and make us feel as if we are living in constant stress. We aren't. It may sometimes feel that way but it isn't constant. If we allow ourselves the moment to just sit and listen to the world around us, we will see that nothing is constant, life is always moving. We are NOT stuck. We are fluid and the only thing holding us back is ourselves. 

Take time to grab a coffee or whatever you enjoy, head out to a beautiful space (it could literally be the side of a nice long road) and watch the sun come up.  Radio on, seat warmer on (on this particular day we needed it), windows down and breathe!!

How To Get Kids Off The Couch and On The Right Path For Their Health







One of the most common struggles amongst parents, especially throughout the last year, has been keeping their children active. With gyms and schools closed or restricted, parents find themselves scrambling to prevent their children from turning into couch potatoes. Active Kids 2.0, a virtual on-demand physical education program, is the perfect way to get kids moving in a safe way. Larissa Maloney, founder of Active Kids 2.0, utilized her fifteen years of experience as an educator and coach to curate a phenomenal virtual fitness and wellness platform to help get  kids active and off the couch and off their gaming devices.

Maloney has been passionate about fitness, wellness and sports, particularly volleyball, basketball and track, for just about her entire life. She attended Lynn University on a volleyball scholarship and even went on to play professional beach volleyball. After retiring, she decided to share her talent and passion and now teaches physical education at Father Lopez Catholic High School and serves as the high school’s volleyball coach.

When Covid-19 hit and was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, Maloney was presented with the challenge of how to teach fitness classes outside of the school gym or field. Understanding the importance of physical education she discovered creative and innovative ways to get her students active even through a screen. She began live streaming at home workouts out of her Central Florida garage where her videos quickly gained popularity. Maloney also started a podcast that she uses as a platform to mentor and inspire young female athletes around the world.

 “Even as things start to open up, Active Kids 2.0 will be a staple in the family household”, states Maloney, “not only to create healthy habits, but to create a family tradition of maintaining thriving, happy and healthy homes all around the world."

Inspired by her work with her students and children, Maloney started Active Kids 2.0, a rapidly growing virtual fitness platform used by both parents and children every single day. With a myriad of courses such as gymnastics, boxing, ballet, hip-hop dance, cheer, karate, cardio, strength, and yoga, there is a perfect “workout”  every family. Classes run between twenty to thirty minutes long and offered throughout the day leaving plenty of flexibility for parents with even the busiest schedules. This platform is also a wonderful option as physical education classes for homeschooled children or those who opted for online learning due to the pandemic.

Active Kids 2.0 carefully ensures their classes appeal to children of all ages and even offer toddler time for the little ones. Parents are also encouraged to participate in classes with their children, which helps their engagement and makes for good exercise habits.  Maloney’s team of experts lead all the class sessions – all which promise to be engaging, inclusive, and fun. They also provide a way for children to socialize and interact with one another from the safety of their own home. Socialization, much like physical activity, is crucial for development – these classes allow students to have a fun, socially distant experience while achieving their physical fitness goals.

 Take a peek here:


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