Potty Training Book For All Stars Helps With The Transition From Diapers To Undies

Ross Burach expands his board book footprint and creates an upbeat new addition to the evergreen toilet training canon.

Get out of diapers and into the game. This upbeat basketball-themed potty romp is a slam dunk!

My whole life, I've been stuck on the bench in diapers. It's time for a change. No more diapers for me. I'm ready for the big leagues!



But toilet training can be hard, and sometimes it's tough to make the shot. Fortunately, Coach and fans are there to cheer... until at last... score! Ross's energetic illustrations and clever, reassuring story will help kids gain confidence and embrace their potential to become potty all-stars!



The 411:

As a preschool teacher who has potty trained over 40 kids over the past four years I can tell you potty training is not for the weak. It takes a lot of patience on the child and adults part. Anything that a kid can relate to on this difficult transition is helpful. My class loved hearing this book although I often changed the words. While I love the basketball concept my toddlers didn't understand coach so I changed it to mommy or daddy. For hoop I changed it to potty or bathroom. The illustrations are so cute and my kids loved pointing to the main character who I loved too. It can be a boy or girl which makes it easier for my toddlers to relate to. 



Such a great book to read to your kids from the ages of 1-4.

How I trained my own kids.

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More Potty Training Assistance

 

The Kitty Kingdom Series - Perfect First Chapter Books For New Readers To Keep Them Reading This Summer


Princess Tabby is no scaredy-cat! Princess Tabby loves playing in the palace with her brothers and reading about brave kitty heroes. When Tabby and her brothers accidentally give away a magic scroll to the evil King Gorgonzola, they must leave the safety of their castle to get it back. But reading about adventures and going on a real quest are two very different things. Tabby's never been afraid before, but suddenly she doesn't feel so brave. Will she be able to find her courage and save Mewtopia?
Princess Tabby must be on her best behavior for the upcoming visit with the royal hounds of Barkshire. She can't wait to play with Prince Buddy, the pup prince. But then King Gorgonzola steals a magic orb, threatening to ruin the visit. Tabby and her brothers must once again stop the evil rat and save the day.



Cats and dogs are very different, and tagging along with the Whiskered Wonders is difficult for Buddy. Will he be able to keep up with the royal kittens, or is Mewtopia in for a ruff time?




The 411:

I loved these books. They are adorable for kids just getting into chapter books. Easy to read, great characters, good morals and happy endings. What's not to love?!

To Purchase:

How to Make Vacation More Interesting

Summertime is often a time for vacationing with family or friends. While sunbathing at the beach can be relaxing and amusement parks are exhilarating, these regular vacation activities can sometimes get a little stale. If you're looking for ways to use your brain this summer while visiting another place, here are some unique ideas to get you started.

Dinner Theater

If you love a good mystery and are looking for something more than the standard take-out or seafood restaurant, you might want to consider Florida dinner theaters. Solving a mystery together with loved ones is a great way to add a bit of fun into your standard vacation to make it stand out. Besides, you never know when good sleuthing skills will come in handy, and practice makes perfect. If dinner is included, that gives you even more reason to try it out.

Escape Rooms

Another great way to work your brain on vacation is by finding an escape room. Escape rooms are gaining in popularity because of the competitive they present to groups of friends and loved ones looking for a unique challenge. Whether it's an Egyptian mummy mystery or a Halloween-inspired post-apocalyptic escape room, these live action events can be even more thrilling than a roller coaster. Working against the clock, your group can find new talents for finding hidden treasures or solving clues. You might even win a prize, and you'll certainly have a different kind of fun.

Local Landmarks

Any city you travel to has its own history and unique experiences to offer its visitors. Many cities even have a special symbol or mystery surrounding statues or artwork in the city, like the painted pig statues in Lexington, North Carolina. Visit the local information center or city office to find out what unique landmarks you can track down. Who knows? You might even get some great selfies in the process.
Whatever you decide to do on your vacation, find a way to experience something more than just your standard beach stay or mountain retreat. Working together with a group to have an adventure can be a great way to add value to your vacation, making irreplaceable memories. Looking for unique ways to boost your vacation can make you even more pumped for next summer, and can also make you the envy of your social media followers. Take advantage of the time you have in other places.

Cinderella Reimagined: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly



A startlingly fresh, fiercely feminist reimagining of Cinderella from the bestselling, Printz Honor-winning author Jennifer Donnelly.

Isabelle should be blissfully happy — she's about to marry a prince. Except that Isabelle isn't the girl who lost the slipper. And the glass shoe on her foot is filling with blood . . .

Isabelle isn't the beauty who captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fool him. When the prince discovers Isabelle's deception, she's banished. It's no more than Isabelle deserves. She's a plain girl in a world that values beauty. A stubborn girl in a world that wants her to be pliant. Her destiny is a life of misery.

That's what Isabelle believes until she finds herself in the midst of a battle between Fate and Chance. Cruel Fate believes that an "ugly" girl with so much bitterness in her heart can never change her destiny. Roguish Chance believes otherwise. And so, Isabelle is given the opportunity to harness strength she never knew she possessed, and learns that while "pretty" is a noose around your neck, "ugly" is the sword that cuts you free.

A startlingly fresh, fiercely feminist reimagining of Cinderella from the bestselling, Printz Honor-winning author Jennifer Donnelly.

Isabelle should be blissfully happy — she's about to marry a prince. Except that Isabelle isn't the girl who lost the slipper. And the glass shoe on her foot is filling with blood . . .

Isabelle isn't the beauty who captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fool him. When the prince discovers Isabelle's deception, she's banished. It's no more than Isabelle deserves. She's a plain girl in a world that values beauty. A stubborn girl in a world that wants her to be pliant. Her destiny is a life of misery.

That's what Isabelle believes until she finds herself in the midst of a battle between Fate and Chance. Cruel Fate believes that an "ugly" girl with so much bitterness in her heart can never change her destiny. Roguish Chance believes otherwise. And so, Isabelle is given the opportunity to harness strength she never knew she possessed, and learns that while "pretty" is a noose around your neck, "ugly" is the sword that cuts you free.

The 411:

I am in love with this book! Great re-telling. This book takes place after the ball. The prince is seeking the girl who wore the glass slipper and Isabelle's mother will make damn sure one of her daughters will be the future queen. 

Well written, wonderful characters and seeing things from the other side was definitely a fun ride. I loved everything about it especially Fate and Chance. Fate and her sisters map out everyone's life so they go in a certain direction. Chance thinks that mortals should have free will and not follow one distinct path so he always steals the maps to change the fate of some mortals. 

These step-sisters weren't mean, they are just a product of a narcissistic mother.  Something I always say as a teacher and parent. There aren't bad kids there is however bad parenting. Making your child cut off her toes to fit into a glass slipper is a bad parent!

Isabelle is a warrior, my kind of princess.

To Order:





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

Today is National Jerky Day And I Have Eaten My Weight In Jerky!



Today is National Jerky Day and  T.O.P Chop Jerky sent me four different flavors to try:
Original, Teriyaki, Sweet & Spice and Red Chili Pepper. 

I am a huge fan of Jerky and will eat it whenever I am out and feel like I need some protein. As a kid I grew up on Slim Jims but as an adult I am way pickier with my dried meats.  I prefer the kind that is easy to bite through. T.O.P Chop Jerky is marinated overnight, sweetened with dried plum juice which is rich in antioxidants, fiber and healthy acids no artificial ingredients and doesn't use too much salt.  

Jerky is really the perfect snack. It is all natural, gluten free and a great source of protein.

The Teriyaki is made with soy sauce, pineapple juice, and a hint of brown sugar. 




If you like your meat a little spicy, go for my favorite the Red Chili Pepper flavor. So good. I loved it! It is spicy and sweet!




The Sweet and Spicy has a little kick at the end due to the Tabasco sauce. It is pretty good too.



The Original flavor was perfect for my son who just likes Jerky. Nothing too fancy. 
Lean pieces of meat with that smokey flavor Jerky lovers enjoy.



T.O.P. C.H.O.P Jerky has a 50% discount available for another day! Just head over, place your order and type JERKYDAY into the promo code section for 50% off your order!

Disclaimer: I received samples for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. All opinions are my own.

Father's Day Gift Ideas From Gourmet Gift Baskets + Video Review



Just last month I did a Mother' Day review of two Gourmet Gift Basket Gift Ideas. Man how time flies. Father's Day is just around the corner and GourmetGiftBaskets.com has many great items that will bring a smile to any Dad's face. To see the entire selection featuring dozens of great gifts, go here. Meanwhile, the top online gifting company is offering many brand new gifts, including these three very popular items: 


Brand New -- Dad's Day Gift -- Whoopie Pies & Whoopie Pie Stout Beer! SKU 1249, $49.99. What a creative gift for the Dad who really loves DESSERT! And, let's face it, what Dad doesn't like a classic, sweet, chocolatey WHOOPIE PIE? Toss in Whoopie Pie Stout Beer, and you have a match made in Man Heaven. 

Brand New -- Dad's Survival Kit, SKU 4668, $59.99: Give Dad all of his favorites, and everything he needs and wants this Father's Day with the new Dad's Survival Kit! This unique Father's Day gift comes complete with eight meat jerky flavors. Even better, this gift box is gluten-free!

Brand New -- The Cold One Beer Tower, SKU 4563, $99.99. The Cold One Beer Tower is the ultimate beer gift. The lucky Dad on your list will enjoy eight beer choices. Beyond the beer, six delicious snacks are included in the tower -- two roasted & salted nuts, three meat jerky favorites, and a hearty snack mix. You can't go wrong choosing this three-tiered tower!

This weekend we received two packages from Gourmet Gift Baskets to try and show you. I have ordered from Gourmet Gift Baskets for years. Whenever I need to send something to my Dad, Grandparents or my Uncle Gourmet Gift Baskets was my go to.  It was easy to find exactly the gift I wanted that would make my family know I was thinking of them and know what they like. 

Dad will love these gifts as much as I did. I am putting everything into a gift basket for my husband for Father's Day. He loves trying IPAs and nuts are his go to snack. So I know he will be over excited to receive it. 

The Dad's Survival Kit definitely will be eaten by my son and I. My husband was not raised on Jerky and doesn't eat anything but chicken so I am kinda excited because we will not have to share. 



Included in the box:




  • Peppered Beef Jerky by Divine Bovine - 2.12 oz.

    • Craft Maple Pork Jerky by Big Fork - 
    • Thai Green Curry Pork Snack Stick by Big Fork - 1 oz.
    • JalapeƱo Beef Stick by Country Archer - 1 oz.
    • Cracked Pepper Turkey Jerky by Field Trip - 1 oz.
    • Sweet Chipotle Crispy Cuts by Field Trip - 1 oz.
    • Island BBQ Crispy Cuts by Field Trip - 1 oz.
    • Teriyaki Beef Jerky by Country Archer - 1.5 oz.


    We were impressed with the various kinds of Jerky. There were 8 that we have never tried before. So far we have tried the Peppered Beef Jerky by Divine Bovine which smells and tastes to me like the Beef Stick I get from my neighborhood Chinese restaurant. It is delicious. My son loved the Craft Maple Pork Jerky by Big Fork he said it smells and tastes like bacon. 



    The Cold One Beer Tower is definitely my pick for dad's. WOW. I don't know anyone who wouldn't love this gift. It comes with 3 boxes each one perfect.

    The boxes are adorable and we will be using them to organize markers, pens and sketch pencils on my daughter's desk but you can use them for anything.  The tower was stacked and wrapped with a big white bow and I really felt bad dismantling it before Father's Day but how could I show you guys. 

    The smallest box had roasted nuts and salty pretzel, goldfish, etc., treat
    The middle box had jerky and 2 cans of IPA 
    The large box had pistachios, jerky and a 6 pack of various IPAs.


    I cannot wait for my husband to try the ale's and I am totally going to hide the almonds. He will never share those.

    Watch the unboxing here

    There are so many wonderful gift ideas...check GourmetGiftBaskets.com out for yourself.
    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

    Is Cosmetic Surgery Right For You



    The popularity of cosmetic surgery in the United States continues to grow. In such an image-conscious world, perhaps that's not a surprise! The growing number of cosmetic procedures means that people have more choices than ever before when it comes to deciding how they look. Whether you are considering cosmetic surgery for general aesthetic reasons, or whether you have an underlying issue that is affecting your quality of life, it’s vital that you do your research before you commit to any kind of cosmetic procedure. Evaluate whether cosmetic surgery is right for you, and you will be far more likely to make a positive choice.

    What are you Changing About Yourself?

    The long-term success of your surgery is going to be grounded in you choosing the right changes. You need to have a very clear idea of what you want to change about your body. This will be obvious if you are choosing cosmetic surgery in order to address something about yourself that bothers you. However, you should always take your reasons into account. Don’t commit to surgical options if you are not 100% sure of your actual motives.

    Are Your Changes For You?

    In an Instagram world, there’s a lot of pressure from society to look a certain way. It’s vital that you do not let yourself feel pressured into even the most popular types of surgical changes to your appearance. Peer pressure or social media influences are not reasons to consider cosmetic surgery. The most important thing to remember is that cosmetic surgery should be done for you, and for you alone. Keep your own ideas, and don’t allow the pressures of the world to persuade you into a course of action that is not in your best interests.

    Choosing Your Changes

    The most important thing that you can do before you finally commit to cosmetic surgery is research. You really can't do too much of it. The more that you know about the range of surgical options available to you, as well as the costs and long-term effects, the easier it will be to identify the cosmetic surgery that’s best for you. For procedures such as botox, this guide about botox Los Angeles has been written by Your Laser Skin Care in order to provide as much information as possible about what to expect. The more that you know about your procedure of choice, the easier it will be to make the best decision for you.

    Consider your Situation

    All of the motivation in the world is not going to be enough if you don’t have the financial resources to pay for a treatment. You also need to consider your mental and emotional state as well, as these can very often be a major driver of your end decision. Ask yourself if you’re ready. The most important thing to remember is that cosmetic surgery can certainly help with confidence, but it is not the answer to any underlying issues that you're hoping to tackle.

    Cosmetic surgery can be very beneficial as long as you are doing it for the right reasons. Always take time to understand your motivations, and to do your research. The more that you understand the procedures and about yourself, the easier it will be to know whether cosmetic surgery is right for you.


    Photo Credit

    #GIVEAWAY: Sundae Coffee - Ice Cream Flavored Coffee Variety Pack - 48 KCUPS


    I am one lucky girl. I received a box containing 48 Ice Cream Flavored K-Cups to review from Sundae Coffee. This house loves coffee and this girl loves ice cream so to get them both together is a dream. Even the box containing the 48 K-Cups made me happy. Decorated to look like vanilla ice cream dripping down a cone and the logo looking like an ice cream Sundae with a cherry on top is too cute. There are even colorful scoops of ice cream to make you crave a Sundae before you remind yourself that you are about to make a cup of coffee that will taste like your favorite flavors.


    The first one I tried was the Ice Cream Sandwich. As a little girl it was by far my favorite way to eat ice cream. It didn't require a spoon and the package around the sandwich meant I didn't even need a napkin. Way less to clean up. The perfect way to eat ice cream on the go.


    The Sundae Coffee Variety Pack contains 12 different flavors:

    Butter Pecan
    Mocha Chip
    Peanut Butter Cup
    Mint Chocolate Chip
    Vanilla Swirl
    Pralines & Cream
    Maple Walnut
    Dulce De Leche
    Chocolate Caramel
    Toffee Crunch
    Ice Cream Sandwich
    Rocky Road


    So far I have had the Pralines & Cream, Peanut Butter Cup, Mint Chocolate Chip and the Ice Cream Sandwich and I love the smell of all of them. I also use an Italian Cream instead of half and half or milk in my coffee which makes each one even more delicious. My daughter thought I had stopped at our favorite coffee shop to pick up coffee when I gave her a commuter cup of Mint Chocolate Chip coffee this morning on her play hockie day from school. She got into the car to come to work and I handed her a cup of iced coffee because Lord knows we are going to need it spending time with 10 2-3 year olds. I added a little whipped cream on top to make it extra special. She said it taste better than the coffee we get from the cafe'. I think so too and it is way better than the extra $12.65 for our coffee. How dare they charge it. We only get it once in a while as a treat but man o man they are expensive. This was so much easier and she asked if she could try another one tomorrow morning. I think we are going with the Toffee Crunch! I have yet to try it and really want to.

    For a chance to win your own box of Sundae Coffee, enter the link below for multiple chances to win or order your very own here for under $20.00.


    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.
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    Dear Readers: At this time all giveaways on Maria's Space are for the United States unless otherwise noted.