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Sunday, August 2, 2015

8 Weeks to Thrive

Hi everyone - I just joined Le-Vel for weight loss and would love to have a few friends join me on my journey. I'm sure many of you have heard of Thrive and as usual I am one of the last to join in as I like to see how people like a new product or program before I join. The more I hear about this program the more interested I've gotten. 
Please stay tuned over the next 8-10 weeks and I'll keep you up to date. You can always look in the Thrive as all my updates will be posted there as well. I am planning on cutting all gluten (bread) & pop and most liquids except water of course. I am personally Dairy, Whey & Soy Intolerant so of course that won't be included in my diet. 
There are several things that caught my eye about the patches like:
1) its ALL NATURAL and filled with herbs that fit a variety of my fibro body's needs.
2) The herbal formula on each patch helps regulate my energy, seratonin levels, improves mood & sleep patterns, reduces inflammation/swelling pain in muscles, joints of the knee, back, legs and hips.
My upline, like myself, has Fibro and she noticed a big decrease in her pain levels and a increase in her energy levels. I LIKE THAT!
3) I am starting to have a lot of issues with my hips such as pain, locked up muscles/joints, etc - I find myself shifting and constantly having to MOVE because my hips hurt so much. The chiropractor and my new masseuse helped ease my hip immensely. I'm only 46 now - I can't imagine this pain & discomfort getting worse! I also find that I am very limited how far I can go with the kids at times and since this has been shown to help with Joint Pain I'm kind of excited about this!
Lastly - with the news that this may be a hard winter (& its coming fast) it helps boost our immunity.
Take a look at the ingredient list below and tell me what CATCHES your eye:
What's it cost?
You can also do 1 step (the patches) or all 3. Obviously you get the maximum benefit of Thrive if you do all three but they understand if you can't. It's really up to you how much you do.
If you are interested you can actually sign up as a customer OR as a promotor for FREE. There is NO yearly fee, NO website fee, NO promotor fee. You do need to pay for your products of course but one you have paid for your first month - you can start getting your products for FREE or heavily discounted. 
They do make it affordable and I really like that. 
If you'd like more information - just click on any of the images on this page. They are all linked to my website. You can also click any of the links on this page. =D

Disclaimer: I am sharing my experience with Le-Vel with my readers. Please keep in mind I am NOT a doctor or other health professional so please consult the appropriate health professional before making any changes to your diet, health or exercise routines. You should always consider what is right for your own personal situation. I am a consultant with Le-Vel so while this is not a affiliate or sponsored post I do receive a small commission from your purchase of this product.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Children's Book of Art, Internet Linked

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With school starting in the next couple weeks (for all but Wilson Focus School here in Omaha which starts TODAY) I thought I'd share some of my favorite intelligence boosting books. I was not paid to do this review and I am no longer an Usborne Consultant. All links are to my friend Brandi's Usborne Books store if you are interested in ordering and don't already have a consultant friend or two.

Picture of Children's Book of Art - IL
The Children's Book of Art
An Introduction to famous paintings
by Rosie Dickins
ISBN: 978-0-7945-1223-1
$14.99 (hardback)
$22.99 (library bound - worth the extra $$$)

About the book:
Over thirty of the world’s best-known, best-loved pictures have been chosen for this fascinating introduction to art for children. There are lots of facts about the artists and their lives, and how they created their work, to help beginners understand what art is and why people think it is important. There are also Internet links to recommended websites where you can view lots more pictures, play art games and create your own art online.

My thoughts:
Usborne Books has a really nice selection of art books and The Children's Book of Art is a wonderful introduction to paintings and understanding them. It's filled with eye catching art and lots of descriptive language to keep their attention and make them think.  

Starting with CLASSIC art by my favorite artist Claude Monet as well as Edgar Degas & Leonardo da Vinci and finishing with MODERN art by Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte and David Hockney kids learn about each artist, the different techniques they used to create the painting, what their inspiration was and even why they used the colors they used to create depth, warmth & coolness, and more.

The book has a few other pages like a Glossary to explain different terms found in the book like Abstract Expressionists, Cubism, the Color Wheel & what complimentary, primary and secondary colors are. It also talks about artists during the Renaissance, what surrealism, frescos and Art Nouveau are. The best part is its written for kids - meaning it's easy to understand and even better is that this book is Internet Linked!

Usborne's Internet Linked books:
Many of Usborne's books are Internet Linked meaning that you can explore art, science, math and more further as your kids are interested. For instance, if you go to: http://Usborne-Quicklinks.com and input the pages you are looking at you will see a list of activities. So, let's enter pages 26-27 and see what information for Edgar Degas pop up. 

Usually you'll have 3-5 activities come up.  Go to the Paris Opera House and try your hand at Gesture Painting, see ballerina's practicing their steps or go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and learn about Degas & compose your own scene of Ballerina's on Stage.

With Usborne's Internet Linked books - you can rest assured that the information is SAFE & ALWAYS up to date. There is a team of teachers that make sure the links work, load new links when a page disappears and make sure that those links don't go to a site you don't want your kids to go to. BUT as always please remember to monitor your kid's internet use & be sure to review the Using the Internet page that is in every Internet Linked book that Usborne publishes. It's toward the end of the book if your wondering. =D

**Warning - this book does have a little nudity so just a heads up. If you prefer not to expose your kids to art with nudity then this is not the book for you. Thanks!

Disclaimer: I am reviewing this book as a service to my readers. Regardless I only recommend products or services I have personally read or used & think my readers will enjoy. I was not compensated for this post in any way. Thanks!
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Some of our favorite books....

Over the last 4-5 years I have been closely working with a publishing company called Sylvan Dale (now called Arbordale) Publishing. They publish the nicest science & math books for kids that feature the animals & habitats of our world. Each book has a teacher's guide, are created also as a eBook in English and Spanish and you can preview them before buying. All books are aligned to standards so whether you are a teacher or a homeschooling family you can know that your children are learning what they are supposed to be learning & as a bonus Arbordale has triple checked that the information contained in the book is accurate.

In the next month or two I will be reviewing several of their newest titles and including them in Tot School for Gianna who is almost 2 years old. I know your probably wondering why I would be reading a preschool book for kids 4+ (grade level K-3) to such a little girl - let me see if I can explain:

Gianna has been reading chapter books with us this summer. She doesn't sit for the whole session but she sees me get out our latest Treehouse, climbs up in my lap and even though there aren't pictures on every page she listens. I don't think she truly understands yet but that will come through listening. Being read to has been shown to increase verbal skills, reading readiness, attention span and more and so even though she doesn't have a clue why a treehouse is spinning in a tree or why Annie & Jack are running from (or towards) a dinosaur she is listening to the inflection of my voice and seeing the other kids focused on the book and that is a beginning.

Here are some of the books Gianna will have the JOY and Privilege of reading this fall:


Now granted at almost two she won't be ready to read all of these books (I have a 4 year old that will take care of reading the whole book) but we can talk about the animals we see, count the number of "Quirrels" we see, roar like a lion and sneeze with Little Bear. We can get out the little Toob animals and play with them in our sensory bins and maybe make up a little book for Gianna to carry around with her (most of my books end up in the car) and I'm sure we can figure out some other fun things to do like a trip to the zoo.

So, stay tuned for my reviews probably in September. I am really getting excited about Tot School this fall and getting to introduce Gianna to my love of reading even more!

Articles of interest:

Disclaimer: am reviewing this company as service to my readers. 
Regardless I only recommend products or services I have personally read or used & think my readers will enjoy.
I was not compensated for this post in any way.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bullying - what do you know about it anyway???

My Pinterventures Our Three Peas
All of us have been touched by bullying - either by being the abuser or the abused. I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school and was abused by a babysitter verbally & physically (not sexually thank heavens). At school I was very aware of the fact that my family was the only one that was divorced. I was told by teachers I wasn't allowed to talk about Mom, the principal would grab my books and throw them on the floor and ridicule me at times. By 8th grade I was scared to even turn my back on the other kids in my class. Looking back on it now, I know the other kids wouldn't of hurt me and to be honest they weren't the problem - it was the adults in my life. A little guy I watch now had a substitute teacher who couldn't handle him and used to separate him during activities. She'd keep him next to her and not let him participate in school events. I watched this little kindergartner lose his excitement for school, get more disruptive and sad. What was sad was the other kids & teachers were so used to seeing him separated from them and not allowed to participate that no one asked why he wasn't with them. Again it was the adults in his life.

The Survival Guide to Bullying
by Aija Mayrock
ISBN: 978-0545860536
$18.99 (hardcover)
$5.23   (paperback)
$4.97   (kindle)

About the book:

Nineteen-year-old Aija Mayrock was bullied throughout middle and high school, a sadly common occurrence. THE SURVIVAL GUIDE TO BULLYING (Scholastic; June 30, 2015; Ages 10+), written when she was just sixteen, is
not just for kids and teens, but a flashlight to bridge generations of parents searching for a path to reach their children dealing with this issue- perfect for an interview and/or giveaway to address with teens.

From inspiring "roems" (rap poems) of Aija’s own creation, survival tips, personal stories, and quick quizzes (you can download a digital BLAD here), this book will gives tangible solutions to teachers, parents and children.
Aija is charismatic, beautiful, relatable, and passionate about this topic, demonstrated in this "Meet Aija" video. She is available for interviews and features and can speak about the following:
* Aija recorded herself the audio version by Blackstone Audio (available at Downpour.com)- and we have MP3's of some of her Roems – which you can hear one here called "I Knew Fear"
CyberBullying and what teens and kids should be aware of 


Side-by-side mother/daughter perspective on Aija’s experience. (Her parents were so supportive they moved her to a new school)

What it’s like to be an advocate for teens, and be seen as a role model (along with anecdotes on fan letters and emails from across the US)

You are stronger than you know.
You will survive.

Creating your new life won't be 
as difficult as you think. You are on
your way toward a happier future.
~ Aija Mayrock

My thoughts:
Recently I was approached about hosting a review on GivingNSharing for Aija Mayrock's first book "The Survival Guide to Bullying". Bullying is epidemic in America (and I'm sure it's the same worldwide!) - I'm so glad someone stepped forward to address this situation. The fact that it's being written about by a young woman who LIVED a lifestyle of being abused by bullies makes it Believable, Livable and Survivable ~ and young people NEED to know this.

One of the things that stood out to me as I read this book was that it's not just the victim being affected. Aija talks about Kids that are the Bullies - what are the reasons they may abuse others, what parents can do if it's their kid doing the bullying and how schools can stop the cycle or avoid it by teaching kids what to look for and how to stop it before it starts. Some of the behaviors Bully's have are some I've seen in my life (sadly) - it's made me consider how I talk to the kids in my life and how can I change the way I talk to them to help them understand what I'm saying (I HATE repeating myself - it makes me very frustrated). Another thing that stood out was the reason the kids gave for abusing her through bullying. You will need to read the book to learn what that reason is.

This guide is a complete guide on bullying & offers many tips, easy to understand explanations and how to's for kids & adults on what bullying is. I love that Aija looks at both sides of the subject and shows WHY kids are Bullies or Bullied. She suggests how to get help, steps you can take to fix the situation and even talks about what she did to not let becoming a victim take over her life.

This book should be on every library shelf, on every families bookshelf, and included in the English curricula in every school. The only thing it is lacking is discussion questions - and maybe until the next edition comes out those can be added to Aija's website. Every English classroom should be discussing this book.

Learn more about the author Aija Mayrock on her website, on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, InstagramTumblr.

Read a chapter from her book HERE.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exhange for my honest review. Regardless I only recommend products or services I have personally read or used & think my readers will enjoy.

Natural Solutions for Families! Webinar

This Thursday Amber N will be hosting an informational session for Mama's & their Honey's who are interested in Natural Health solutions for their Families. 

What you will learn:
  • Basic Intro to Essential Oils
  • How to use them safely
  • Why they work effectively
  • The most important oils to keep on hand
  • Emotional, physical & even medicinal benefits
  • Reduce your costs & save money, all while making over your medicine cabinet
  • Did I mention FREE stuff for YOU?
or Connect with Amber on her Website HERE

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A is for Apple (Trace & Flip Fun)

My Pinterventures

A is for Apple
(Trace & Flip Fun)
by Georgie Birkett
ISBN: 978-1589258723
$ 6.83 (lower than Walmart/Target)

About the book:
Engage your kids in discovering and learning basic concepts of the alphabet. By running their finger along large, grooved letters, children can explore each shape. Colorful lift the flaps on every sturdy page further reinforces easy learning. Each board page features a capital letter that a child can trace with their finger, a flap to lift to find a surprise and bright illustrations!

My thoughts:
We can't go past a shelf of books at the store, garage sale or even get in the car without a book or car in her hands. Recently I introduced Gianna (18 months) to Flap Books. She already enjoys Touchy Feely Books & so this book is a great fit for her. I have also been actively looking for books & toys for when we begin Tot School this fall. For those of you who don't know what Tot School is it's "Focused Learning through Play" and so this book and it's sister book "123 Count With Me" will be a great addition to our learning time.

Didax DD-210830 Tactile Sandpaper Uppercase LettersI had actually seen this book at Walmart about a week ago but didn't purchase it at the time because I was thinking she wasn't ready for "writing". Yesterday we saw this book at Target and of course Gianna latched onto it. Each individual page is dedicated toward 1 letter and shows pictures of objects that start with that letter. So, C is for Cat (flip the flap and find a Car), A is for Apple (flip the flap and find an ant). One of the things I liked was that each letter is a grooved letter and each shows arrows so children can properly learn the correct way to write a letter. This is the way kids are taught to write their letters in school and now we can reinforce it at home or preschool. We have already been using our pointer finger to help us count the birds in our counting book so it was nice to extend that skill into "writing" our letters.

(Example: If you look at the red cards to the right each letter on the card has an arrow show kids which way to trace & learn the correct way to "write" the letter - this book takes it one step further and shows Steps 1, 2 and 3 with corresponding numbers so kids know the correct sequence to trace)

The first time I read the book to her she used her finger for about 4-6 letters - and then started struggling with me. Now though she climbs right up in my lap and gets her pointer finger ready to do her tracing. She carries this book around quite a bit and if I don't take it out of her hand when she brings it to me she will grab my hand and turn it to grasp the book. Its pretty interesting to watch. She's such a smart little cookie!

I think this book and 123 Count with Me is ideal for the 18 month to 6 year old range easily. Even if your little one doesn't have the dexterity to do the tracing perhaps the flaps might be fun. If you child is still tearing books I'd suggest making it a reading with mom/dad type book.

Other books by Georgie Birkett (click on the image to purchase - thank you!)


Disclaimer: I purchased this book myself and am reviewing this as a service to my readers. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

San Andreas ~ Movie Review

I am really late posting this review but I wanted to share my thoughts on this surprise family friendly film. I went to see San Andreas a few weeks back at Twin Creek Theaters. I don't know if your theaters have special pricing on weekend mornings like we do here in Omaha - but you should really check. Saturday and Sunday mornings all movies are $5 before 12 & also on Tuesdays ALL DAY. It's great to be able to see a movie and spend less than a tank of gas. lol

About the movie:
San Andreas - what will happen when the BIG one hits? After the San Andreas Fault gives in a magnitude 9+ earthquake in California, a search & rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter. Their treacherous journey north is only the beginning.....

My thoughts:
I'll be honest, I went because I wanted to see The Rock - I figured that would be the saving grace of this film as I'd have to watch him to ignore the language in the film. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I don't really remember much more than 1-2 words in the entire film that I didn't want to hear. I knew that the movie would be fast paced but I wasn't expecting to be this entertained.

San Andreas opens with the rescue of a young woman whose car goes off a cliff and we have Dwayne Johnson, our brave Rescue Pilot, come to the rescue. Our next major scene shows him picking up his daughter to take her to college from his ex wife's boyfriend's mansion. There he is told they are getting married and we learn about their "relationship" and WHY they split up in the first place.

One of the things I think is sad is that in most movies today the main characters (if it's a man/woman situation) is that they are always divorced or soon to be. This isn't a couple with a strong marriage & relationship where our kids see strength and compassion for the other - in this case it's a couple who are estranged after losing one of their daughters, mom is moving in with her boyfriend and Dad (Dwayne Johnson) is struggling with it. Yes, the right thing is done by the end of the movie - but I would really like to see a powerful movie about a husband and wife team moving forward as a unit. I guess that wouldn't provide enough conflict though and that's a shame.

Another conflict in this movie is Mom's boyfriend - in any other situation I'm sure he is a very nice guy. He certainly comes across that way but when it comes down to the nitty gritty he shows his true nature - a selfish coward who ends up getting his in the end. What a sorry end to a life that could of made a huge difference. It was during a scene between Mom and the boyfriend that we hear one of the few unmentionable words - she is ticked and I didn't blame her a bit! If he had been in the same room as Mom he woulda been a goner!

This movie moves FAST and I found myself jumping at certain unexpected moments & was on the edge of my seat throughout most of it. Very very well written, the writers didn't rely on language or visual smut to carry the story. The photography, stunts and actors were beautifully chosen and thought through and only built the suspense of the film.

I would suggest this movie for kids 10+ unless your kids don't get frightened easily, clearly understand the difference between Reality and Make Belief. Your kids will have questions and it would be an ideal time to answer questions, encourage kids to THINK and even form a plan with your kids for emergencies. This film is very visual and will feel very REAL to your kids - there are storms, earthquakes, fires, cars going off cliffs, helicopters potentially crashing, bridges disintegrating, buildings falling apart during after shocks. Please consider carefully how your kids will handle this kind of event before having them watch San Andreas.

Please click to learn more:
(floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fire)
and more!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Minions? Really....

Today I and one of my Daycare moms took her 7 1/2 year old son to the Minion Mania family event at Aksarban Theater. I love this theater. Between FREE wifi, a healthy concession stand (relish cups, fruit cups, yogurt, etc...), and just the friendliness of the place. I heard that they were doing a Minion party and got the tickets.

At $18.50 each I wasn't really sure what to expect. For Lord of the Rings I would of paid for it without a thought - but a kids' movie? Minion Mania was set up to be truly MOM friendly - breakfast via The Pancake Man was there, they had several crafts, a playdo station set up with playdo mats, a balloon lady making Minion accessories like swords, goggles, and flower bracelets (I'm not sure what that had to do with Minions). They had a Minion Photo Shoot where kids or families could pose with their favorite Minion - Stewart, Kevin or Bob.

"Stewart is my Best Friend!" ~ a 4 year old movie goer.

About the movie:
I hate to say it. I really wasn't that impressed with the movie. I am a "newish" fan of the Despicable Me series. Connor & his mom Melissa got me hooked when they gave me a copy of the movie to keep at daycare. This movie opens with the history of the Minions starting with them forming in the ocean and eventually walking out of the ocean and following one of the "tadpoles" as it crawled up on land. The Minions goal in life was to find the worst BOSS (talk about bad guys - Dinosaurs, Cave Men, Napolean, etc...) and their curse was that they always killed him off accidentally. Roll forward several million years to present day 1968 and you get to find out how they meet Gru. It's a long movie, kind of dumb & slow with several really big belly laughs at the beginning & the end. (Yeah, I know the Despicable Me movies are dumb - but this was really an ODD movie!) Personally I would suggest waiting till this movie hits the dollar theater or waiting till it hits the $5 bin at Walmart. It's not one you really need to see on the Big Screen at least once - your regular home TV screen will be just fine.

Some parts are funny.
Lots of adult humor - no you won't fall asleep because you'll keep thinking SOMETHING is going to happen soon.
Lots of cute little minions to laugh at.
No stupid middle school potty mouth humor

Slow moving
Story is very long
Very odd movie that jumps around a bit (storywise)
Kids in theater started getting bored about 3/4 of the way through. Babies/toddlers cried throughout.

This is NOT a movie that I will be showing my daycare kiddos. 

Learn more about the movie & find some cute crafts, etc on the Minion website.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review in any way.