Thursday, February 24, 2022

Performance Enhancement Coach’s Top Tips to Boost Energy and Focus

We all know that a bad start to the day can set us up for failure for the entire day. So with the days officially getting longer bit by bit now, it’s important to start the day off on the right foot to make sure we have enough positive energy to carry us all the way through the end of the day! No matter what your plans are, there’s things you can do right now to make your day more productive.

Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach to Fortune 100 companies, nutrition specialist and CEO of Nora’s Naturals Coffee, shares her top tips and tools to set up the day for accelerated energy, sustained focus and maximum elevation. 

Tip  #1: Sleep is not only your friend, but your best friend!
During sleep, cerebral spinal fluid runs through the brain to clear toxins and create new neural connections crucial for retaining information and slowing down aging. This process is called glymphatic drainage. The glymphatic system primarily works during sleep, so in order to successfully create new cerebral pathways and clear waste products, it is essential to get at least 6 hours of sleep.

Tip  #2: Avoid stress like it’s the plague
When the body is under chronic mental or physical stress (not enough sleep for example), the production of cortisol becomes unbalanced. This leads to excessive fatigue, brain fog and the storage of fat in the abdominal region. In order to produce enough cortisol to keep going throughout the day, the body pulls from the thyroid (lowered metabolism). However, there will be moments where you are stressed. For those moments, 1-minute Meditation can help:take an inhale for 3 counts, hold breath at the top for 3 and exhale for 3. Repeat for 1-minute. 

Tip  #3: Throw coffee on your face
But before you dump your favorite starbucks on your face know this. Quality coffee keeps us energized, but also has amazing beauty benefits to keep us elevated throughout the day! Combine coffee grounds with coconut oil and brown sugar. Use it as a scrub in the shower for exfoliation. The coffee grounds will remove dead skin cells, stimulate circulation and minimize the appearance of cellulite. The caffeine can also help to tighten skin. When applied under the eyes, the caffeine reduces puffiness. 

Combining all three of these tips is a great and easy way to set yourself up for an energy filled, sustained focus and highly elevated day! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

An autistic author’s journey to writing and illustrating her children’s book series


How I Got Started as an Author

Ever since I can remember I have always loved to read and draw, and even as an adult, I enjoy drawing in my free time.  Despite my interest in literature from a young age, I did not actually start writing stories until later.  Writing in school was not enjoyable for the simple fact that the writing prompts were never about something I could relate to or had any knowledge of.


It was not until I attended Exceptional Minds, an art and animation school in California for autistic young adults, that a spark was lit inside me to write and illustrate books as a career. While I was good at animating, it caused me more stress than I could handle. I learned so much about animation, but it made me realize that I would rather have my characters on a page instead of moving on a screen.

My Story Just Came to Me One Day

I had the idea for a story where the characters go back and forth between imagination and reality, but I could not figure out how the overall story would play out.  Then one day when I was walking my dog, the full story for Wild Imagination: The Adventures of Maddie and Albert, just came to me.  

I have had my characters, Maddie and Albert, for a while. They originated from my earlier teenage characters, “the Outcasts”. Over time, Maddie and Albert became more fun to draw. They are the kind of characters that you can draw in any situation, and they always look cool. 

When I started drawing Maddie and Albert full time, their story started to grow. Halfway through Wild Imagination, I decided that they needed an animal sidekick, so Houdini the beagle was born. The idea for Houdini came from my mom who had a beagle that could escape from anything. Houdini’s escaping abilities are stories I plan to share in later books. 


The Adventures of Maddie and Albert takes place in Canton, Ohio, where my mom grew up. She has shared with me many stories from her childhood, and they really inspired a lot of Maddie and Albert’s adventures. Maddie is actually based on my mom as a kid – adventurous, social, and always running around.  Albert is based on who I actually am – shy, funny, and quiet.

I have released three The Adventures of Maddie and Albert books, and the fourth book in the series, Backyard Jungle, will be released in April 2022.  It is an incredibly exciting series and there are more adventures to come.

Every Writer Has a Unique Process 

Every writer has a unique process that works best for them. When I come up with a story idea, I build on what I want to say and draw sketches for each page. As an illustrator as well as an author, I use storyboards to map out what will be written and illustrated. I draw a lot of rough sketches on my whiteboard while brainstorming before anything is finalized. It is definitely a process.


Writing the story and deciding on the illustrations is the hardest part.  Whenever I finish a section of writing, it is a huge sense of accomplishment. Drawing and fine-tuning the  illustrations is the easy part for me. I am very visual and once I have reached this stage in the process, I have already worked out in my mind what I want each page to look like. Part of the  ongoing process is to constantly learn about new places and experiences my characters might encounter in their daily lives. This just means I am in constant research mode and absorbing everything around me.

Many Authors and Illustrators Collaborate on Projects

While writing and illustrating my own books is my passion, and I have written and illustrated four The Adventures of Maddie and Albert books, I have also collaborated with other authors including Bobbie Match.  I have illustrated all three of her books in the Busy One Book Series


Illustrating my own stories is very challenging but illustrating another author’s story poses a different challenge in itself.  One has to understand how the author is envisioning the characters and how they flow through the book. I have to depend on clear instructions from the author so that I better illustrate their vision. Having this makes it less challenging to draw the illustrations. I enjoyed designing Bobbie’s characters, but it definitely felt different from working on my own books. I spent so much time working on the illustrations, and I am proud of them.  I learned so much about myself from the experience and hope to collaborate more with other authors in the future.

Reading is the Best Path to Writing

The best advice I can give to kids who aspire to become an author or illustrator is to read every book you can get your hands on. You can learn something from everything you read. Reading will give you an idea for the types of stories you like, it will increase your vocabulary and it will help you more than you realize in understanding what goes into a successful story. 


If drawing is your passion? Draw whatever you like, and whenever you like.  As a kid, I carried a sketchbook everywhere I went. I was always drawing. I found myself drawing comics in the empty spaces of my notebooks and even my elementary school yearbook. 


I also used my love of reading to start a blog. Back in 2015, my parents suggested that I start a book blog, since I am such a voracious reader. I started reviewing books ever since. My age recommendations are based on how I would have handled the book as a child. I have posted over 360 reviews to date, and I am not planning on slowing down anytime soon. It is also proven to be a great resource for local librarians in my community. They often refer kids and their parents to my blog for reading recommendations. 

If you aspire to be an author or illustrator, remember, it is not going to happen overnight. Every author has their own path and journey to realizing their dream. The biggest thing is to shoot high and aim for the stars. Always keep writing and drawing pads nearby, read everything you can get your hands on, and never give up on your dreams. 



Alexandra Adlawan is a writer and illustrator from Long Beach, CA, and creator of the Amazing Artists publishing company. A naturally gifted visual arts and written word communicator in reaching children, Alexandra enhanced her skill set by graduating from Exceptional Minds – a professional digital arts & animation studio for artists with autism. Alexandra’s children’s book series includes, The Adventures of Maddie and Albert, Wild Imagination, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Flying the Imaginary Skies, and the forthcoming, Backyard Jungle


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Stomach Flu or COVID-19? Why getting tested is important

Apart from the usual cough and fever, COVID-19 can present with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea - which are similar to that of a stomach infection. While most COVID-19 patients experience respiratory symptoms, studies show that children may only experience gastrointestinal symptoms while infected with the coronavirus.  

How can parents tell the difference when it comes to the wellbeing of their children? Dr. Ruth Kanthula, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist at MedStar Health shares the information below:  
>> How common are gastrointestinal symptoms when children get infected with COVID-19? 
Patients with COVID-19 typically develop symptoms such as a cough, fever, wheezing and shortness of breath. However, studies have reported patients experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms at different frequencies. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most reported GI symptoms and often present themselves before a cough or fever. 
>> Can children experience GI symptoms during COVID-19 without any respiratory symptoms?
The answer is yes. Children may be infected with the coronavirus and only experience GI symptoms. In fact, a study on COVID-19 and the gastrointestinal tract in children found that 10% of children diagnosed with COVID-19 had only reported the presence of GI symptoms. 
>> Are children more likely to get these symptoms than adults?
Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports have suggested that the presence of  GI symptoms are more common in children than in adults. But the frequency and clinical outcomes of these gastrointestinal symptoms in children remains unknown. 
>> How are stomach viruses different from COVID-19? 
Doctors are still learning about the clinical symptoms associated with COVID-19. There is a small number of viruses that account for most cases of acute gastroenteritis in children, including rotavirus, adenovirus, norovirus, and astrovirus. There have been reports that children infected with other strains of the coronavirus may experience symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. However, the clinical symptoms caused by these viruses are indistinguishable.
>> When is it necessary to get COVID test if your child has GI symptoms?
Given that GI symptoms may be the first sign of COVID-19 in children, it is recommended to get tested for the coronavirus as soon as GI symptoms appear - rather than waiting for more common symptoms like cough or fever. 
>> How can you treat gastroenteritis symptoms associated with COVID-19?
Supportive care for gastroenteritis includes drinking plenty of fluids and treating with fever reducing medications if necessary. If your child is dehydrated, has severe abdominal pain or has blood in their stool, you should consult your doctor for other treatment options. 
>> How can parents prevent the spread of infection in children? 
It is recommended that children ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against the coronavirus. Hand washing is especially important if children are getting contact with someone who is experiencing gastroenteritis associated with a COVID-19 infection - as scientists have detected the virus in the stool of patients infected with COVID-19. Other preventive measures include wearing a mask for children aged two and up. 

Daily Meditative Reflections Inspire Hope and Faith Throughout Lent and Easter Seasons




Cleveland, OH, February 17, 2022 — It's that time of year again when we all start thinking about how we can make the most of Lent and Easter. Have you considered An Encounter: A Daily Discovery in Divine Word Volumes II and III? This series of books by Fr. Dr. Maurice Emelu can help you approach Lent and Easter with intention and purpose — even if it's just one day at a time. And, he explains, it will be a surprising, transformative, spiritual resource for you and your loved ones. 


“You see the eucharist, you see the sacraments, you see your neighbor, you see your friend, you see your family, you see the workplace, you see the road where you will walk — every part of that, in different degrees, are ways that you can really encounter the grace of God,” Fr. Emelu said in a recent interview.


Drawing upon his many years of pastoral ministry, Fr. Emelu combines story-telling with a Western worldview to offer a unique perspective on faith-life and what it means to grow closer to the Lord. He communicates his sentiments and ideas in compelling, relatable ways and applies them to today’s realities. Each passage aims to heal, inspire, teach and encourage through the power of God’s Word.


An Encounter is suitable for both personal and group faith sharing — for anyone seeking a daily walk with God. The topics of future volumes will be announced soon.


“Alone with God, the soul hears words that the noisy world often silences,” he said. “Call them a boost for the day or a spiritual companion for everyday life. They are empowering words meant to accompany readers on their own journey of life as they continue to discover the gentle Word of God.”


About the Author

Father Maurice Nkem Emelu, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of digital media and communication at John Carroll University in the United States. He is the chair of the John Carroll University core committee on humanities. The author of seven books, and over 700 blogs and professional articles, he provides robust cross-cultural educational programs through digital media. He is the host of EWTN’s The Faith with Father Maurice and the host/executive producer of Word for a Wounded World teaching series, plus numerous other television and radio works. He holds a Ph.D. from Liverpool Hope University, UK, focusing on digital storytelling, media aesthetics and theology, among other academic degrees. An encounter with the Lord when he was 14 changed him in fundamental ways, and today he describes himself as “passionately in love with God and His body, the Church.” 


For more information, please visit, or follow the author on Twitter (@revemelu) and YouTube (Fr. Maurice Emelu).


An Encounter: A Daily Discovery in Divine Word, Volume Two: Lent
Publisher: Bien LLC

ISBN-10: ‎ 0960109714

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0960109715 


An Encounter: A Daily Discovery in Divine Word, Volume Three: Easter
Publisher: Bien LLC

ISBN-10: ‎ 0960109722

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0960109722


Available from and wherever books are sold



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

How To Get Your Kids To Brush Their Teeth



Sometimes trying to persuade children that brushing their teeth is a good thing and that there are reasons they need to do it is a losing battle. They don't enjoy the process, they don't know what it's crucial, and they fight against it as much as possible, often coming up with all kinds of excuses not to do it the right way.

Of course, it's vital that children learn not only how to brush their teeth but to make it a big part of their daily routine. With that in mind, if you're having trouble getting your children to brush their teeth, here are some helpful hints at breaking through that barrier. 

See The Dentist

In some cases, the children might be confused as to exactly how they should be brushing their teeth. It's a hard thing to teach properly, and although they might think they're doing it right, you might notice that's not the case. If you're unsure how to teach them properly, make an appointment with your trusted dentist.

You could even fit it in with your own appointment. If you're already going to have tooth colored fillings in Colorado Springs, for example, you might ask your dentist to show you and your child exactly how to brush. In fact, if you are there as well, this can help as you will not only have the information yourself, but your child will feel much more at ease.

Use Flavored Toothpaste

More often than not, it's not the act of brushing the teeth that is the problem. It's the taste of the minty toothpaste that causes issues. Many children are sensitive to the taste of peppermint, and they, therefore, can't stand it when they have to use toothpaste to clean their teeth. 

Luckily, there is a solution. You can find a variety of flavored kinds of toothpaste on the market, which still do a good job, but don't put the children off due to the minty taste. From strawberry to bubblegum flavors and many others, this could be the best way to ensure their teeth get clean. Even if their mouths don't smell or feel minty fresh, their teeth won't be damaged through non-brushing. 

Brush Early

Most people assume that you need to brush your teeth last thing at night before you go to bed. This does make sense; you won't be eating or drinking anything, so your teeth can stay cleaner for longer. 

Although this is useful for adults, it's not quite the same for children. In fact, having them brush their teeth earlier in the evening is the best thing you can do. Sometimes the issue is that, by the time they have to brush their teeth, they are extremely tired. This can mean this last thing before bed becomes too much of a chore and something they dislike because they just want to go to sleep. If they brush their teeth earlier and then only drink water once it's done, they won't be so grumpy during the process, and they might start to incorporate it into their routine a little better.

Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is among the common types of insulation that you can use in your home. It's a great way to improve your quality of life because it helps provide the optimal temperature, sound, and humidity levels in your home. The spray foam insulation will also help protect the integrity of your walls and provide a healthier environment for your family. Here are some ways spray foam insulation can benefit you.


One of the merits of spray foam insulation is its versatility. Spray foam insulation can be used in many different ways, and it comes in various thicknesses depending on the needs of your home. There are many types of spray foam insulation like open-cell, closed-cell, extruded, expanded, and fluted.

Save on heating and cooling costs

If you're struggling with high energy bills, spray foam insulation can help. Spray foam insulation is a very efficient way to insulate your home. When the temperature in your home is increased, your heating and cooling costs are decreased because it's easier for your furnace and air conditioner to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. That's because the spray foam insulation creates a thermal barrier that doesn't allow excess heat or cold from outside sources to enter your home.

It protects against moisture damage

Moisture damage is also one of the most common problems for homeowners today, but spray foam insulation helps protect against this type of damage. Spray foam insulation generates a vapor barrier that prevents moisture from seeping into your walls or ceilings, causing expensive structural damage over time. The vapor barrier created by spray foam also prevents water from pooling on the surface of the insulation, which could cause mold or mildew growth in confined areas like rooms and attics, leading to unhealthy living conditions for you and your family members.

It protects against pests

Pests are another common problem that homeowners face today that spray foam insulation helps protect against. Pests like rodents can cause significant structural damage to homes over time if they aren't kept out by pest control services or preventive measures taken in advance, like building an enclosure around your foundation walls or using glue traps in attics.


From Making Your Own Beef Jerky to Making Smoothies Or Air Frying The Latest Social Media Craze Check out ChefWave @chefwavekitchen





[FEB 16, 2022, Brooklyn, NY] – You know them for their amazing, time-saving specialty appliances (hello, Milkmade…) but did you know that ChefWave is also a source for recipes that are as delicious and healthy as they are Insta-worthy?

One of the leading upstarts in the foodie world, ChefWave is making, um, waves among home cooks. Their ingenious appliances and specialty items are designed for those who want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time on the things that matter.

It’s all well and good to have a 13-in-1 multicooker or a non-dairy milkmaker that cleans itself, but sometimes you need a little inspiration when it comes to getting dinner on the table. The best place to start is ChefWave’s Recipe Corner ( You’ll find creative ideas for dishes that are so tasty and convenient, nobody will suspect how nourishing they are.

Who could have imagined an Indian Butter Chicken that rivals any takeout? The Chefe Multicooker does the pressure steaming and stewing for you, and you can even serve it in the included 4-quart nonstick pot.

If you’ve been gifted an Elado frozen dessert maker, you can put gelato, sorbet, fro-yo, or Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream on the table in 20 minutes, start to finish. It comes with 2 freezer storage tubs the unlikely event of leftovers.

Nothing beats beef or turkey jerky as a savory snack option. Great news—with the Seeco Pro Food Dehydrator you can make tender, high-protein Teriyaki Beef Jerky that’s rich in flavor and low in fat.

Are smoothies more your style? With a handful of nuts, some fruit , and the Milkmade Non-Dairy Milk Maker, a plant-based Strawberry Banana Smoothie is right at your fingertips. No pre-soaking the nuts, no need for special accessories, and no cleanup afterwards!

Or try Creamy Garlic Cauliflower, a richer, healthier take on mashed potatoes, With the InterMix Hand Immersion Blender, it’s as quick an easy as 1-2-3. You can even make a dairy-free version thanks to the super-simple Milkmade.

The Chefe Multicooker, Elado, Magma Air Fryer Oven, Milkmade, and InterMix are only some of the game-changing products from ChefWave. This family-owned business believes that home cooking should be simple and healthful, without compromising on quality. Find Chefwave products at AMAZON, Chefwave, Target & Walmart.

Follow them on social media: @chefwavekitchen – Instagram; @mychefwave – Facebook.

Photo: Creamy Garlic Cauliflower, a richer, healthier take on mashed potatoes, With the InterMix Hand Immersion Blender, it’s as quick an easy as 1-2-3.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Last Possession hits the Terror Films Channel on March 4 & VOD on March 11.


Out of options after a foreclosure, Kent Peroni is forced to move his wife Stephanie, nine-year old son Jack, and six-year-old daughter Gabby into the home where his estranged father committed suicide. They try to rebuild their lives: jobs, school, sports, and family night - but something's not right. Unexplained events inside and around the home break down the young family's trust in each other. Little Gabby is convinced Kent's father is still there. Fearing that their problems are caused by Kent's father's dark presence, they turn to a medium who discovers they are horrifyingly wrong about the evil in their home.


Ahhhh ok. I didn't hate this movie at all. My screener was hard to watch so I am frustrated right now. It kept buffering at the most stressful parts and there were many. I enjoyed this story of a family Kent and Stephanie and their kids Jack and Gabby who has moved into the home of the Kent's father's house. His father had committed suicide there and while estranged this was the only option for this struggling family. 

While having dinner they hear a big sound accompanied by a bright light in the backyard. They think earthquake even though it would be uncommon where they are. A huge sink hole or they believe well seems to have opened up in their backyard and things start getting strange. 

If a huge, endless, dark hole opened in my backyard the last thing I would be putting over it is two thin pieces of plywood but maybe that's just me.

Gabby starts talking to deceased Grandpa, Jack is seeing things in the bathtub and eventually even Stephanie sees something go into the bathroom. My question is what the heck does this "paranormal entity" need in the bathroom? 

Anyway, long story short, the kids are scared, mom and scared and poor Kent is just trying to protect his family so they hire a Spirit Guide to help them navigate what is going on in their home. 

Things go haywire and Gabby goes missing. What is it that is "haunting" this family? You will have to wait until the end to see but it is worth it. 

So while Kent and his wife Gabby think that the kids are just being kids. 

5 Reasons Why Divorced Dads Play a Vital Role in Their Child’s Life


Dads’ Resource Center reminds people just how important fathers are

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania – (February 9, 2022) – According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is a crisis in the country involving fathers. They report that one out of every three children, or 24 million, live without their biological father in the home. The problem is that fathers play an important role in their child’s life. When dad is missing from a child’s life, there’s a lot that society is missing out on as a result.


“Mothers and fathers give different, but equally important things to their children,” said Jeffrey Steiner, executive director of the Dads’ Resource Center. “Children need both their mother and father fully engaged in their upbringing to have the best chance to be successful in life."


The government report also says there is a “father factor” in nearly all the societal ills facing the country. Divorced dads must get the opportunity to play an active role in their child's life. In today's society, dads are far too often pushed aside by the court, legal, county, and human services systems.

According to the Dads’ Resource Center’s analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, here are 5 reasons why divorced dads play a vital role in their child’s life:

  • Prosperity verse poverty. Children who have the active involvement of their father during their childhood earn 26% more than those who don’t ($59,490 versus $43,938).
  • Social program usage. Children who did not have the active involvement of their father during their childhood were 94% more likely to have used government programs such as Women, Infants & Children, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Workers Compensation.
  • Better health. Children who did not have the active involvement of their father during their childhood were 11% more likely to have smoked and 20% more likely to have used hard drugs.
  • Engaged citizens. Children who did not have the active involvement of their father during their childhood were 11% less likely to volunteer their time to the community,13% less likely to donate to a charity, and 26% less likely to vote.
  • Increased resiliency. Children who did not have the active involvement of their father during their childhood were 13% more likely to have needed mental health treatment.

“Father absence either plays a role in or is the primary driver of every societal problem this country faces,” said Steiner. “But the systems meant to protect the well-being of children pervasively deny or hinder father family involvement. Many of those in these systems know the problem exists, but there is no will to reform in a way that better serves children."


Dads’ Resource Center was started by Dr. Joel N. Myers, a father of eight and the founder and CEO of AccuWeather. Its mission is to help combat the issues associated with children growing up without their fathers in the home. At its heart, the center is a child advocacy organization that aims to ensure that each child has the appropriate involvement and contributions from both parents. 


Dads’ Resource Center has been established to benefit children of separated or divorced parents by advocating the importance of fathers having adequate opportunities to fulfill their role of fatherhood. The group helps get information regarding the issues out to the public and works with fathers to help make improvements. To get more information, visit the site at:


About Dads’ Resource Center

The Dads' Resource Center is committed to providing education, resources, and advocacy for dads who are separated or divorced and are determined to uphold their sacred responsibility as fathers. The Dads' Resource Center was founded by Dr. Joel N. Myers, who is the founder and CEO of AccuWeather. His own experience as a single father led him to start the group. To get more information, visit the site at:


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National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.



U.S. Census Bureau. The Father Absence Crisis in America.