Life... Health... Reviews...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Educational site for teens

I know every parent wants to do what they can to assist their child or children in achieving educational success. Sometimes that assistance takes on different forms -- some easy and some difficult, but each one essential and carefully picked by parents for their children.

When I learned about Brightstorm I thought it was a great educational tool to tell you about. I took a look at it for you to take some of the guesswork out and now all you have to do is check out to see if it'll work for you and your child.

Why do I think it'll work? Well, in this day and age we have children who like to sit in front on the television to watch shows or play video games and surf the Internet for information, to socialize or just have fun. Well, Brightstorm can satisfy all those cravings for your child. They offer professional content that's fun and effective.

For instance, I viewed a free episode of the Chicago writing style video and was impressed by the educational effectiveness as well as the creativity and interest on what can be -- for some children -- a boring subject. Imagine your child being able to view this video at their leisure, in the comfort of your home or wherever they access the Internet and get all the key elements they need from the subjects they need help with.

In fact, you don't have to take my word for it. You can sign up for your own free account that will give you access to a free episode in every course. I know you want to assist your child in achieving educational success so check it out today.


Getting love, passing it on

Sweet Jo at Life's Perfect Pictures gave me this award. It was so sweet for her to think of me.

Here are the rules for the recipients:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Here are my nominees:

Tina F.

Day two

With all the children out of school for the holiday break my schedule has really been a bit off. In fact, for some reason, I think I am on holiday break as well. However, yesterday I sat down and composed my to-do list for today and for next week with grand plans of getting back on track today.

My grand plans have been thwarted by my sudden need and desire to....

do nothing!

Okay, so practically, I can't just do nothing, but I am not going to be doing my list as quickly and as efficiently as I thought I was. I just realized I am hungry so I'm going to sit down, watch the boob tube and eat my lunch. Before I do that I will put a load of laundry in the washing machine so all won't be loss for the hour or so that I relax.

I was going to save this for my next health and weight loss journal, but I think I'll go ahead and tell you now. Although I've been a little lazy the past few days or so, yesterday my teenager and I did get out the dance pad and get a great workout in. I am so proud of myself since it was day one of my commitment to workout more.

Today, we're supposed to workout to her belly dancing DVD. I must admit that I don't feel like it, but I'm sure she won't let me get away with lounging while she works out.

I hope you're having a good day on the second day of this New Year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 - Wow!

It's 12:10 a.m. on January 1, 2009... Amazing.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - let it grow, let it grow, let it grow

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

If the shoe fits

I don't know about you but I love to find a pair of shoes that fit me perfectly. There's something almost magical about trying on a new pair of shoes, walking in them for the first time and checking them out in the mirror especially when they fit and are comfortable.

That feeling doesn't always happen for women who have larger feet, but at Samanta they realize the need for women to find a quality pair of shoes in styles and sizes that fit them. Even if that woman wears Size 12 womens shoes they'll find them at Samanta because they specialize in stylish footwear that has unique comfort features. Along with traditional sizes, Samanta offers large size women's shoes in sizes 11, 12, 13 and 14, and is expanding into wide-width sizes.

I wouldn’t mind scoring a pair of Samanta shoes (they have a hot red pump that I think would look fabulous on me) especially since celebrities like Tyra Banks, Debra Messing, Sanaa Lathan, Geena Davis, Queen Latifah and Rihanna (among others) have been spotted wearing them. If you’re looking for comfortable, stylish shoes – especially if you need them in larges styles – then checking out Samanta is worth your while. In the meantime, visit and sign up for email updates to get a $50 electronic gift code.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hip and fabulous

My friend Sandra at Super Mae gave me this award and it's... well, fabulous! Thanks Sandra, you're the sweetest.

As part of the award I have to list five addictions and then pass the award onto five more fabulous blogs!

Here are my addictions:
Blogging definitely

I am going to pass this to...
Maternal Spark
Mom Knows Everything

It's Naptime
Life's Perfect Pictures
Duck and Wheel with String

I have been honored twice today. This second award came from a very sweet blogger Jo from Life's Perfect Pictures (you have to check her out because she is a fabulous photographer - so talented).

I think this is a very cool award and I'm going to give it to:

Super Mae (my buddy Sandra!)

I must say that just because I didn't specifically name you doesn't mean I don't love, appreciate and think about you often. You all are wonderful and meaningful blogger friends to me.


What a lovely Christmas

It's December 30th and I must tell you about Christmas Day before New Year's Day gets here. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I was about to visit another site through my FeedBlitz when I noticed the title said something about "more Christmas pictures."

"That's right," I thought. "I still haven't posted any Christmas pictures." Well, I did let you see the ones of the reindeer that visited us, but that was only a small part of the excitement. The children were very pleased with everything they received. My teenager said something like she got more than she thought she would (a digital camera from her godfather, a few clothes, some money from friends and family and all the stocking stuffers that she loves) and what a sweet thing to say because I didn't think she'd gotten hardly anything. Just the fact that she was happy made me happy.

Her true happiness was reflected in a short, sweet note that she had written and put in the gift she gave me.

Here's an excerpt of the note: "...I admire the fact that you are determined to make many things possible for your children... I love you above and beyond the world; past any flaws that you think you have."

I have to admit that tears came to my eyes. It was the most beautiful and sweetest note ever. Here's the gift she gave me after I investigated everything. She had it fixed so lovely that I wish I'd taken a picture before I messed with it.

We have this sort of tradition where she normally gives me bath and body products and they're normally Aveeno, which I absolutely love. This time she gave me a new product (love that too!) along with a scented candle and plush pj bottoms in my favorite color with a matching top.

As for the younger kids... Anna loved this baby Amber and I picked out for her. The baby has a bottle, a carrier that Anna can put on her back and it makes little gurgling sounds. Anna carried her around and played with her most of the day. Everyday since then she has said, "Baby? Baby?" And we say, "Where's the baby?" Then she goes off to look for her.

The baby bottle doesn't stay in the baby's mouth so Anna will say, "Bodda?" And hand it to myself or her big sister - the expectation is that we'll hold the bottle for the baby.

Amareah loves her art set, which includes paints, water colors, colored pencils, crayons, scissors, art paper, paint brushes and quite a few other creative artsy type stuff. She's already used it - along with Andre - to create pictures for their dad. As you can see below Anna is still holding her baby while Amareah opened her gift.

Here Andre and Amareah are opening the preschool laptop that I found online for an EXCELLENT deal. They keep it on the extra desk in the office and wander in quite frequently to play with it. Amareah does very well with the learning activities, but Andre does more playing. I am hoping to sit down with him soon and encourage him to choose some of the learning games. Here, once again, Anna still has the baby on her lap and is holding the baby's bottle. :)

Andre thinks his Bumblebee Transformer is cool. It was one of the least expensive ones, but I am glad that he likes it. He liked it so much he took it with him when the younger kids visited their dad this past weekend.

Amareah is a whiz at puzzles. It didn't take her long to put together the Five Little Monkeys puzzle that she got in her stocking and then she put Andre's Mickey Mouse Playhouse one together. She's very focused for an almost 4 year old... I am very proud of how she picks things up.

The puzzle is about 25 pieces and my daycare provider, who used to care for Amareah and Andre, told me to advance her up to the next level. I think she's ready!

You can see in this picture that Andre is sitting nearby playing with his transformer. See the yellow toy on the right?

I loved the look on the younger kids' faces when they opened their final gifts...

They all received bikes! I searched high and low for ones that would fit in my budget. (*See my note below for information about my budget.) I worried that they (Andre and Amareah) would be disappointed that they weren't character bikes. Yes, I worried for no reason.

I love to see them on their bikes. It hasn't even been seven days yet and Andre and Amareah are riding like pros. Little Anna's feet, on the other hand, don't even reach the pedals. I found the smallest bike I could and wasn't able to get an adjustable one (remember the budget!), but she enjoyed sitting on it and smiling. When I wasn't instructing the other children, I pushed her and pulled her so she had just as much fun.

Here's one more look at Miss Anna and her baby. (That's Amber's leg with the festive pajamas!)

Christmas Day was a wonderfully blessed, peaceful and joyous day for us all. I wasn't stressed or disappointed, and my children had a good time. What more could I ask for?

On Christmas Eve, I did have a talk with my children about the true meaning of Christmas and I hope they'll get the message like my oldest daughter has. Now, that was a wonderful gift.

Now... tell me about your Christmas?

*I want to say a special thank you to my BFF Frankie. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have been able to give my children half the things they received. Your generosity is amazing!

For more holiday photos check out 5 Minutes for Mom.


Make plans for change today

I can not believe how quickly this year has passed. In just two days it will be 2009. With the New Year a lot of people will make decisions to change or resolutions to commit to change. Some of the things people will promise themselves are to lose weight, go back to school, get another degree, change careers, exercise more, get organized and the like.

Maybe some of you are interested in becoming a social work either as a career change or a new opportunity. Then you realize you need to take the social work exam. There is help to assist you in passing it so that you can make one of your dreams (or New Year's resolutions) come true.

The Social Work Guide, a study tool, is the comprehensive guide to passing the social work exam to get a social work license. It is an affordable guide that you can use independently to prepare for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Social Work Licensing Exam.

Whatever you decide to do in the New Year – continue on the path of change or make major changes – I hope that all of your dreams, wishes and hopes for the New Year come true.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday's Muse - Free up space for creativity

Today, I was able to take about four boxes of magazines to a recycling center. I was very proud that I got that accomplished and that the center isn't too far away. Freeing up space relieves stress - at least it does for me - and it also allows room to receive things that you really need.

You may receive more creativity, less stress, a sense of freedom or simply material things that you need. Now, I have to find somewhere to recycle two televisions that no longer work. Recycling makes me feel good that the things I am giving will be turned into other things or broken down in a way that isn't harmful to our environment.

Now, if I could just free up more space in my office (getting rid of papers, finding places for pictures, finish going through my magazine pile, etc.) I would definitely open up my space for creativity and relaxation.

I can just picture it now: An office where I don't walk into and sigh because I see a large pile of something that needs to be taken care of. Hmmm... sounds great.

Check out more of Monday's Muse at Maternal Spark.
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