Thursday, June 30, 2011

Have You Ever Wanted To Start Your Own Foundation? Now You Can!

Give Back Your Foundation is the foundation you set up to support foundations and charities that really impact you, your family and your community.

The idea of giving back and allowing people the opportunity to assist in these causes is not new, however taking charge and supporting these funds with the help of your friends, neighbors and even strangers is.

You open an account (2 mins) and create a foundation by selecting from the many foundations available. I selected some in my own home town. and then you manage, earn and donate money to the causes near and dear to you.

It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3, and the feeling you get when you give back and support others in sometimes the simplest way, feels great. Plus, small donations really add up, when people work together. So grab your friends and family, decide on an organization and support it!
You will be amazed at how many people want to help!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post and all the information for me to research Give Back Foundation was provided by One2One Network

Monday, June 27, 2011

Budding Artist Tuesday - June 28, 2011

Do you have an artist in your house? One who is constantly drawing, creating and inspired by all things art? If so, check out this new meme for the summer called "Budding Artists" for kids age 3-18. 

I love blogging and I especially love when my kids are involved.

This drawing is by Goddess and was the last drawing she did in Kindergarten this year. Her father and I are pretty impressed.

Interested? Come back Tuesday morning and link up your post starring your child's artwork. I can't wait to see it.

There Is No Reason To Spend $100's On A Birthday Party

Why do we feel we need to spend $100's on our children's birthday parties these days? Is it to keep up with the Jonese? Is it because we think it is what our child wants? Is it because we want them to be popular? Whatever your reason, there really is no reason for it. Kids, just love being together.

Yesterday the kids and I headed to a the beach for a friend's birthday party. Last year I spent over $500.00 on each kid's birthday party and this year about $225.00. My girlfriend and her family of 4 with number 5 on the way in a month invited a slew of family and friends to celebrate at the beach. When we got there, her husband was grilling, the kids were playing on the water and the tables were set.

The kids ranging from 2-12 and had free play for about 45 minutes and were then called to the table for hot dogs, veggies, ziti and Capri Suns. They went back to the water and played frisbee!

After that, our host called us out for games of:
Potato Sack Race
Watermelon Eating Contests
Water Balloon Toss

Picnik collage

Everyone had a great time and she probably spent a total of $100.00 with the food, cake, drinks, balloons, and gift buckets. Plus the kids loved it!

Picnik collage

Wisharoo Park Makes A Sweet, Shining Entrance Into My World

Wisharoo Park is a multimedia edutainment series designed to help children ages 3-6 recognize and appreciate their own individuality.  Wisharoo Park helps children discover and understand their own personal strengths and, in doing so, develop greater self-esteem and a positive self-image. Unique among hundreds of preschool programs, Wisharoo Park is specifically focused on teaching social skills and building self esteem.

Wow, what a way to end the school year. We got home on Thursday and found a box waiting at the door. I honestly had no idea what it was and we like surprises. I opened the box with the kids, nipping at my heels and inside was....

They look like proud parents, don't they?

At first I thought, is that a hat? But, when we took the wrapper off, we found it was...

Can you even imagine!?

If you loved chocolate as much as Goddess, you would have this face on too!

Inside the chocolate bowl was a DVD and the cutest, colorful, finger puppets.

We have watched the DVD at least three times this weekend and this morning while making the beds, the theme song was the song we sang.

Wisharoo Park originally aired on PBS, for preschoolers to use their imagination and creativity, while also teaching social skills and bolstering their self-esteem. The characters are colorful and we each had a favorite. 

The DVD contains all 13 of the Wisharoo Park episodes and can be purchased here. their online site, is a great place for you and your children to meet the characters and share in the fun with some great Wisharoo Park games, videos, music and more!

You can follow Wisharoo Park on Twitter and Facebook. Wisharoo is growing all the time, visit them often to keep up with the many new features like an upcoming app Wisharoo Lessons for Life Apps: Each Lesson for Life App includes a fully-illustrated e-book with accompanying games, activities and music that will help preschoolers recognize their own strengths and put them on the road to developing greater self-esteem.

Buzz Chic Was Featured On Babybindle

Some of you know that I am Buzz Chic and work on the team of a good friend of mine, Sandra and her company Babybindle.
This past weekend, Sandra was at the auditions of Shark Tank in Texas, toting her product, The SeatPak for the show. Hopefully, they see the same special person and her product as I do!

Below, please find Sandra's post about my little company Buzz Chic! I am honored to have been interviewed.

Happy Saturday to everyone! Hopefully you are all enjoying the start of Summer. I am in Texas, getting ready to wait on line for auditions of the show Shark Tank on ABC, wish me luck!
There I am. See me in the reflection!

Please allow me to introduce you to one of our behind the scenes team members. Our very own Social Media Specialist, Maria.

Maria, runs a company called Buzz Chic which she created to help companies like babybindle to facilitate their online marketing. By working closely with the company she brings her 6+ years of Social Media expertise and social online direction by growing our online audience and cross promotion opportunities for mass exposure.

Social media networking is an important part of our strategy because it involves facilitating and working out a way to achieve the objectives and goals of all areas of the company. From sales to cross-promotional functions, Maria finds a way to enhance the personality of the company to all potential clients and associates.

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a stay at home mom of two who started blogging after second baby was born. I was at home with a 22 year old tantrum king and a newborn who cried 18+ hours a day. I really needed a place to vent. I started Maria's Space and eventually blogs where I spoke in my children's voices. It was great therapy. 

My kids are my first priority. I love documenting their life in word and photo form. I love, talking, writing, reading, photography and creating jewelry which I sell on Etsy under Street Angel

What is the biggest hurdle facing female entrepreneurs today?
I think the toughest thing about starting a business is Fear! Just taking the first step and doing it is scary. Once you do that, it is only a matter of motivation and not giving up.

What business lesson have you learned that you will never forget?
"Your time is money" which I learned from Sandra. My husband has told me this over the last 8 years, whenever I would run  out to take photos for a friends, party, band, business opening, School, etc., Eventually Sandra was the one who got through to me. She made me believe that you are good at what you do. When she asked me to take her prototype photos and then to head up her social media direction, I felt that I could do it. Sometimes, it takes one person to make a difference.

What have been your major challenges? 
Growing Buzz Chic while maintaining, everything else I do, life, parenting, kids, product reviews and book reviews for Maria's Space and supporting my clients. It is a challenge I appreciate after being out of the work force for so many years before my kids started school.

What would you say has been your major success?
Being featured here!

If you could offer one piece of advice to someone thinking of starting up a business, what would it be?
Just do it! 

Balancing business and family is a conscious effort. How do you keep a healthy balance? 
Working at home makes this a little easier. Waking two hours before the kids helps. When they were in school I worked when they were there. It will take a little more balancing now that they are on summer vacation.

Name two things you must carry with you at all times.
My blackberry and my wallet

Do you have a favorite business tool or resource? 
I love Tweetdeck. It makes tweeting so much easier when you run more than on Twitter account.

Do you have a motivational quote? 
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better -  Ralph Waldo Emerson

On your most challenging day, what inspires you to keep going?
Knowing and believing that This Too Shall Pass!

Mellow Yellow Monday - Fribee with Friends



Happy Monday

Happy Monday everyone!
Happiness is getting the perfect shot!
I love this one because it is so funny to me. My son put his thumbs up because I asked, "are you having fun." He loves the beach. With the bikini in the background, it looks like he is enjoying the view. At 8, he is thankfully oblivious to girls and the only thing he was focusing on was the time and knowing, eventually, mom would be telling him it was time to leave.


Blue Monday - Potato Sack Races Are Always Fun

Message to Sally: Keep fighting the good fight! Hope to see you blogging again soon. Get well my dear.


Quotography - Summer

Quotography at {My}Perspective

We headed to the beach today for a birthday party. It was a great way to spend a Sunday. The kids loved playing in the water, and I gave them as much freedom as a self proclaimed hoover mom can give two kids under 9, playing at the beach.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Color Carnival #96

This week our winner with 1 vote is Lorie's Flowers!  Awesome photos everyone. I always have trouble picking a favorite.

Welcome to another colorful week here at Color Carnival!

We will run till Thursday at midnight. At which point a voting button will show up, giving you time to vote and Saturday morning a new post will go up with the prior week's winner. Sound good?

Hope everyone had a great week.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules DVD Review

Thanks to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, I was given a complimentary copy of Diary of A Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules on DVD.

Greg Heffley is about to discover that there is something worse than middle school – his own family! Based on the 2011 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice™ Award for Best Book Series, the original film cast returns in DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES, available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 21st. This flick takes sibling rivalry to entirely new levels as big brother and little brother wrestle through growing pains.

Just back from summer vacation, Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon, National Treasure: Book of Secrets) and his friend Rowley (Robert Capron, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) enter the next grade as undersized weaklings in their school. A bully favorite, Greg tries not to get noticed by anyone except the pretty new girl, Holly Hills (Peyton List, 27 Dresses). And at home, Greg is still at war with his older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick, “Degrassi”), until their mom Susan (Rachael Harris, The Hangover) instigates a ‘Mom Bucks’ program so Greg and Rodrick can earn play money by doing chores and—gasp!—being nice to each other. Calamity ensues when their parents return from vacation and dad Frank (Steve Zahn, A Perfect Getaway) finds evidence that Rodrick secretly threw a houseparty with his band, Löded Diper. As they struggle with school and compete for ‘Mom Bucks,’ the brothers discover that avoiding trouble is easier if they unite—and their once-twisted partnership grows into a hilariously playful and sometimes mischievous friendship.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES is available on single-disc DVD, 2-disc DVD, and 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy and includes the crazy adventures Greg and his friends has over the summer with hilarious all-new “My Summer Vacation” shorts not seen in theaters. It is available in the U.S. and Canada.

    Feature Film
    Two (2) “My Summer Vacation” Shorts
    Theatrical Trailer
    Audio Commentary

    Feature Film
    Six (6) “My Summer Vacation” Shorts
    Six (6) Deleted Scenes
    Gag Reel
    Audio Commentary
    Feature Film
    Seven (7) “My Summer Vacation” Shorts
    Ten (10) Deleted Scenes
    Gag Reel
    Alternate Ending
    Audio Commentary
    Digital Copy

What I Can Tell You: 
I thought this was even better than the first one. In this one, mom has decided to offer the boys an incentive to get along. Greg would be more than happy to get along with Rodrick but for Rodrick, what's the sense of having a younger brother if you can't make his life miserable. Mom's "Mom Bucks" eventually work in Rodrick's favor as he works the "system" and swindles some awesome  presents for himself.

Eventually the boys work together to get the most out of the opportunity which makes for some fun times and brotherly love and acceptance. 

This is a great movie for the whole family. I love movies that my kids will watch and that I can actually sit through without feeling I am wasting precious time.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from 20th Century Fox for my honest opinion.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Activity Sheets

Kick Off the First Day of Summer with DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES
Available on Blu-ray and DVD Now

To coincide with the release of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES, available on Blu-ray and DVD, 20th Century Fox has sent over some fun and engaging activity sheets for you to print and play at home with friends and family. 

They are full of recipes, crafts, and more. 

If you want me to forward the actual to you, please contact me directly.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Helping Young Girls With Self Esteem Starts At A Young Age by My New Favorite Author

I am 100% behind Lisa on this issue. Ever since my daughter was 2 I usually told her that she was smart! Whenever I  heard my husband say; you are beautiful or another person tell her how pretty she was, I felt the desire to balance it with, "she really is so smart and aware." Being pretty or beautiful isn't something I wanted her to think about. There was plenty of time for that. I wanted her to know she was so much more than "pretty". 
Here is what Lisa, says on the matter.

How to Talk to Little Girls
By Lisa Bloom,
Author of The New York Times best-seller Think: Straight Talk For Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World
I went to a dinner party at a friend's home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.

Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, "Maya, you're so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!" But I didn't. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.

What's wrong with that? It's our culture's standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn't it? And why not give them a sincere complement to boost their self-esteem?

Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly.

Hold that thought for just a moment.

This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America's next top model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they'd rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.

Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What's missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.

That's why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.

"Maya," I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, "very nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too," she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice.

"Hey, what are you reading?" I asked, a twinkle in my eyes. I love books. I'm nuts for them. I let that show.

Her eyes got bigger, and the practiced, polite facial expression gave way to genuine excitement over this topic. She paused, though, a little shy of me, a stranger.

"I LOVE books," I said.  "Do you?"

Most kids do.

"YES," she said. "And I can read them all by myself now!"

"Wow, amazing!" I said. And it is, for a five year old. You go on with your bad self, Maya.

"What's your favorite book?" I asked.

"I'll go get it! Can I read it to you?"

Purplicious was Maya's pick and a new one to me, as Maya snuggled next to me on the sofa and proudly read aloud every word, about our heroine who loves pink but is tormented by a group of girls at school who only wear black. Alas, it was about girls and what they wore, and how their wardrobe choices defined their identities. But after Maya closed the final page, I steered the conversation to the deeper issues in the book: mean girls and peer pressure and not going along with the group. I told her my favorite color in the world is green, because I love nature, and she was down with that.

Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It's surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I'm stubborn.

I told her that I'd just written a book, and that I hoped she'd write one too one day. She was fairly psyched about that idea. We were both sad when Maya had to go to bed, but I told her next time to choose another book and we'd read it and talk about it. Oops. That got her too amped up to sleep, and she came down from her bedroom a few times, all jazzed up.

So, one tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages to our girls. One tiny nudge towards valuing female brains. One brief moment of intentional role modeling. Will my few minutes with Maya change our multibillion dollar beauty industry, reality shows that demean women, our celebrity-manic culture? No. But I did change Maya's perspective for at least that evening.

Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she's reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You're just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? You may get some intriguing answers. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does.

And let me know the response you get at

Here's to changing the world, one little girl at a time.
© 2011 Lisa Bloom, author of Think: Straight Talk For Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World

Author Bio
Lisa Bloom
, author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World, is an award-winning journalist, legal analyst, trial attorney, and the daughter of renowned women's rights attorney, Gloria Allred.

A daily fixture on American television for the last decade, Bloom is currently the CBS News legal analyst, appearing frequently on The Early Show and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, as well as the legal analyst for The Dr. Phil Show. Bloom appears regularly on CNN and HLN prime time shows such as Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell, The Joy Behar Show, Anderson Cooper 360, and The Situation Room. She has been featured on Oprah, Nightline, Today, Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, and many more, and she was a nightly panelist on The Insider throughout 2010. From 2001-2009, Bloom hosted her own daily, live, national show on Court TV, and she has guest-hosted Larry King Live, The Early Show, and Showbiz Tonight.
Bloom has written numerous popular and scholarly articles for the Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, the National Law Journal,, the Daily Beast, and many more.       She has also been profiled, featured, and quoted in hundreds of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, Ladies' Home Journal, and Variety.

Bloom graduated early and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA, where she was national college debate champion, and then from the Yale Law School, where she won the moot court competition. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she runs her law firm, The Bloom Firm. recently named Bloom one of the top five celebrity attorneys in Los Angeles.

For more information please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Camping Tips

Camping has become so much more popular since vacations are so expensive and depending on where you live, camping is a normal way of life. Where I am, families I know go camping very frequently, which I find very enduring, however, doubt my family and I will do much of it unless we head out with people who are frequent campers. 

We do however, let the kids camp indoors at least twice a year. We put up a tent and allow the kids to sleep in it, watch TV, play, eat, for a few days before we take it down. They are never happy with it coming down but we always promise to do it again. If the house was bigger, we would probably keep it up all the time.

My Wild Child

If you are someone who enjoys camping or is thinking about taking your family this year, here are some tips to get you ready for a safe, fun, time.

REI (a national outdoor gear and clothing retailer), is partnering to host the National Wildlife Federation’s 7th annual Great American Backyard Campout®. The Great American Backyard Campout, encourages families to open the door and sleep under the stars in their backyards or a local park. Over 180,000 families participated in REI’s Family Adventure programs last year, so this is a great way to jump in on the fun this summer. Will you participate???

 Before an Overnight Trip:
·         Practice camping at home: If your kids are outdoor newbies, pitch a tent in the backyard or even inside your home. Let them hang out in it and sleep in it so they become comfortable with a new sleeping environment.
·         Take a trial run: Before your overnighter, try a family day outing at a close-to-home park. Spend a half-day or so at a lakeshore or park and see how your kids react to extended outdoor excursions.
·         Take notes: Write down reminders for future trips: "Pack more sunscreen." "Bring long pants." "Leave bongos home."

Preparing for a Trip:

·         Be enthusiastic: Why should kids get fired-up about an outdoor adventure if you're not?
·         Involve your kids: Make trip planning a family affair. Ask kids for ideas of possible things to do or see at your destination. Take their input seriously.
·         Kids as packers: Give children the responsibility to pack their own gear at home (using a list you've created). A parent should double-check a child's packing job before leaving home.
·         Keeping kids (somewhat) organized: Have your kids pack every personal item in a duffel bag and encourage them to always return those items to that duffel. ("Mom, where's my paddleball set?" "Look in your duffel, dear.") Each child's duffel should be a different color for easy identification.
·         Favorite toys: Let kids bring some of their favorite playthings so the campsite doesn't feel entirely foreign to them. Need ideas for new toys? View our suggestions later in this article.
·         Friends are valuable: It can be fun for kids to camp with another family that has kids. Your kids may get bored with adults after a while. With playmates, they could be happily occupied for days.
·         Bring bikes: Bikes are handy in a campground, so consider bringing a few along. If it's a long way from your campsite to the beach or play area, it's faster (and more fun) to use a bike instead of walking or firing up your vehicle. Bikes keep kids entertained, too.
·         Check fire restrictions: Planning on a campfire? Before you leave home, make some calls to determine if campfires are permitted at your chosen campground. If not, make sure everyone in the family knows in advance. There's no bigger disappointment to a kid who has packed all the s'more fixings than to discover that a burn ban is in effect.

At the Campground:

·         Exude a positive vibe: Family-camping rule No. 1: Be prepared to cope with inconvenience. Everything is in a different place. The bathroom is no longer down the hall, it's 6 campsites down the path. As an adult, you must lead by example with an upbeat, can-do attitude.
·         Organize: Establish fixed locations for important items. "The forks and spoons are in the blue tub." "Flashlights are in the green stuff sack."
·         Then stay organized: Remind everyone to always return items to their established locations so others can find them. If you're especially industrious, create a reference list of where-to-find-it locations. Tape it some place obvious.
·         Keep everyone oriented: Help kids memorize the number of your campsite or point out landmarks ("We're 4 sites from the amphitheater") to help them remember its location.
·         Make kids feel important: Kids like to feel important and involved. Assign them some meaningful camp chores, such as gathering firewood or collecting water from the pump. Recognize their contributions with praise or a treat (or both).
·         Be safe: Make sure your kids always carry a whistle (teach them to blow it if they become separated from you) and have easy access to a flashlight or headlamp. Attach a lanyard to both the whistle and light and tie them to one of the child's belt loops.
·         Wildlife: Ask park rangers about wildlife activity in the area you are visiting. As the adult, you need to take the lead and understand any precautions necessary (such as proper food storage or how to react during an up-close encounter) for safely coexisting with wildlife. Educate your children about the importance of not feeding wild animals (it negatively alters their food-gathering patterns) and treating wildlife with respect and caution so everyone stays safe.

When Outdoors, Be Outdoors:

·         Make the most of nature: Look for wildlife. Check out bugs. Examine rocks. Identify birds, flowers, clouds, constellations. Lead kids on a rock scramble. Show interest in things that interest them. Bring a field guide to help you identify and learn about the things they find.
·         Be active, stay loose: Try to keep your kids active without following a regimented schedule. If they're entertained by skipping rocks on the water, give them time to perfect the multiple-skip fling.
·         Attend ranger talks: If you're camping at a state or national park, attend the ranger's evening talk. Ask staff if the park offers a junior-naturalist program or other kid-focused activities.
·         Geocaching: A GPS-guided treasure hunt engages kids physically and mentally. Check our link to geocaching to see if any caches are hidden in the area you'll be visiting.
·         Share time together: "Hey, mom, remember when we saw that deer?" Great memories are one of the great payoffs of a camping trip. Come home with the sort of stories that can only be created outdoors. Shakespeare must have been camping when he wrote, "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

Fun Stuff You Can Bring:

·         Paddleball set: At one of our photo shoots, the kids accompanying our crew couldn't put this game down.
·         Marshallow launcher: Traditionally you toast them. Now you can shoot them at one other, too. Imagine: The common marshmallow, transformed into a summertime snowball.
·         Animal-shaped flashlights: Leapin' lizards! Sharks, orcas and toucans, too.
·         Kits, discs and flying toys: If it flies, it's probably a heap of fun. Our faves include lighted discs and Djubi balls.
·         Make ice cream: Have some low-tech fun (with delicious results) with a boot-around plastic ball from Camper's Dream.
·         Stream Machine: Camping in warm weather? If you can tolerate a little flying water, this is a kid's ultimate way to cool off.
·         The glowing, multicolor flying disc: Whoa . . . it's psychedelic, man. Illuminated with LEDs, this disc changes colors while you play.
·         Foot bags: So simple, so entertaining.
·         Educational games: What? You haven't played "Pass the Pigs" or "Why Knot?" Well, why not?