To Everyone

Everybody is adjusting to the new and temporary normal. Whether you usually work from home, now have to work or receive your education at home, if you continue to commute to work, or if you are currently laid off, we are all in different situations and are struggling with how to cope with it. 

To the students: You are adjusting to a different way of receiving your education. It’s different and it’s hard. You miss your friends. You miss your teachers. You miss walking through the hallways or through campus. You miss the school activities you have had to abruptly stop. Seniors are mourning the end of their senior year because this is nothing like any of you expected. Athletes are mourning the loss of an entire season.  You all left school on that last day not knowing when you’ll see your friends and teachers again. We are all here for you. Everyone is here for you. 

To the teachers: You’re doing great. You are learning new ways to reach your students. You are doing enough. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t stress yourself out. Don’t ask yourself if you’re doing enough for your students because you are. You have worked with your colleagues  to create the best way you can teach your students. Your students are appreciative of what you are doing and look forward to the communication from you. They look up to you and are excited about the new experiences you are creating for them. You are doing enough. If you’re a cyber teacher, you may be accustomed to working from home and virtually but everything is different for you too. If you have kids at home with you, you now wear many hats during the work-day. You’re struggling to balance parenthood and work. If you don’t have kids home with you, your life has changed too. You are thinking about your family and their health. You are concerned for your students whose lives have also changed. Your routine has changed as well. Everything is different for everyone.

To the parents and grandparents: You’re doing great too. Amazing, actually. Your children, whether they are young or old, need you. Don’t compare yourself to other parents and grandparents. You are trying to help your child. You are trying to work from home or work out of the home while trying to care for your children and ensure they are getting what they need. Maybe you are laid off. I am praying for you and with you that you are able to go back to work because this has become a stressful time in your life. Whatever situation you are in at home, in the meantime, take advantage of the time you are given to be with your kids. You’ve seen social media posts with opinions, judgment, ideas, and organized work spaces created for your kids. My favorite has been the funny coping memes. Sometimes sarcasm and laughter are how I can get through things. So what do you do and what do I do? My kids are on their bed, the floor or a couch. Are they okay? Yep. It’s fine. Are yours the same? Then you and your kids are fine too. Don’t get stressed out.  Are are your kids goofing around and would they rather text or call their friend or play Roblox? Fine. Let them. They are stressed too. They are enjoying the free time. Lay down next to them. Watch a movie. Play a board game. Pull out that puzzle you’ve been thinking about doing for a while. We pulled out a Christmas puzzle we didn’t have time for last Christmas. See that? We didn’t have time. There’s never enough time. There is now. Embrace it. 

Continue reading…

Stink Bug Survivor

I’m not just all about the things my kids do. Even though they are mostly the individuals with incidents that make me laugh, cry or search for a rock to crawl under, I (occasionally) have some stories of my own.

Let’s take yesterday for example. Stink bugs. They’re such a pain. They have been showing up here and there over the winter, mostly in my bathroom. I see them alive and I see them dead. Yesterday, there was a dead one, on its back with the legs curled up, on the floor of my bathroom right in front of the toilet. It wasn’t moving, at all. Trust me, I watched it for a healthy minute to assess the situation. It was dead. I took 2 squares of toilet paper. Don’t waste it. You only need 2 squares! I grabbed the dead stink bug with the ever so economical 2 squares of toilet paper and made sure it was smack in the middle of the toilet paper and threw it in the toilet. It was completely between the two squares and the squares were floating on top of the water.

Now, I’m very aware of the water usage crisis, aka, water costs money and that my husband frequently reminisces to his childhood when in the summer, the motto was “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” They had a water crisis EVERY summer. Trust me, I hear about it every Christmas when the whole family is together. It’s comical every time I hear it. Anyway, I felt it necessary to just let it in there while I relieved myself. After all, it was dead, right? No use in wasting a flush on a dead stink bug when I can get a 2 for 1 flush. I was sooooo wrong.

While I’m sitting on the toilet, up comes the stink bug between my legs and I jump up and try to get it off my thigh. I finally get it off using 2 more frugal squares of toilet paper, throw it back into the toilet and press the handle for the momentous flush. Thank goodness I was “done” and there was no collateral damage. Except for now, I’ll be wasting my free flush on stink bugs.

Can you teach with VIPKid too?

Have you seen all the advertisements and think to yourself that it sounds too good to be true? Let me tell you a secret. It IS too good to be true….but it IS true!

I’ve been a VIPKID Teacher for 3 years now and all I can say is that I absolutely LOVE it! I get to teach amazing kids and have fun every morning. It’s a great 2nd job for me since I am a full time virtual Special Education teacher with 4 kids aged 3-14 who are quite active in sports. Having a 2nd job was never an option before VIPKID. However, now, VIPKID gives me the flexibility I need in order to hold a 2nd job.

So far so good?  Let me tell you some more about it.

VIPKID is an online and fully immersive one-on-one English language instruction for children in China ages 4-12. The company is headquartered in Beijing and offers a unique and international learning experience for Chinese children. Each VIPKID Teacher is required to hold a Bachelor’s Degree. You can live anywhere as long as you have a computer, stable Internet, a microphone, camera and headset. Unfortunately, at this time, they are not currently partnering with any teachers from California.

Students schedule a 25 minute class with a teacher in 30 minute time slots. Teachers can work any time they want and they control their schedule.  I choose to work for 60-90 minutes each morning before I start my full time job. I also teach a few classes over the weekend, occasionally. Some teachers work through the night hours and consider themselves full time. You can do whatever works best for your situation.

The main time slots for teaching in Beijing time are Monday through Friday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Saturday through Sunday from 9:00am to 9:00 pm. These times are when VIPKIDs are available to schedule with you. Within those times, there are peak times which are in high demand. If you are available to teach during the peak times, you have a better chance at getting booked. You set your schedule for whenever and how many sessions you want and VIPKIDs find you and schedule with you. THAT’S when the fun begins!

I don’t consider working as a VIPKID Teacher a JOB. I consider it a time that I get to travel across the world to China and other countries every morning to meet an amazing child, teach them English, have an amazing amount of fun, and then get paid for it. I can’t tell you how many times my children ask me what in the world I was doing in class because they heard me laughing, singing, and being just plain silly. Sometimes, after class, my kids come up to me and ask, “Mom, were you teaching —– again this morning? I know it was him/her because you were so loud and having way too much fun again.” Or “Mom, I heard you rapping with —– again this morning. You’re weird.”  But you know what? IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

You can earn up to $22 per hour with VIPKID! SIGN ME UP!!! Oh wait…I already did and LOVE it!

Continue reading…

ENTER TO WIN AN OCEANFRONT CONDO or $50,000 CASH!

Win an Oceanfront Condo and Change Your Life! Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest providers of family vacation accommodations in Myrtle Beach, SC, is pleased to announce the launch of The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway contest, which features the grand prize of a furnished oceanfront condo at The Caravelle Resort located in Myrtle Beach, SC, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner’s choice)!!! Other lucky winners will receive a 7-night stay or a 3-night stay at one of Vacation Myrtle Beach’s oceanfront properties.

The newly renovated, oceanfront efficiency condo offers room for up to four guests and includes a fully-equipped kitchen. In addition to its prime Myrtle Beach location, the resort provides convenient access to all of the area’s major attractions, restaurants, and things to do. Families and couples enjoy a wide variety of on-site amenities including an indoor pool, a block-long poolscape complete with a large pool, whirlpool, lazy river, kiddie lazy river, kids’ pool, poolside bar, and plenty of relaxing deck options. In addition to everything you need for fun in the sun, the resort offers an array of dining options as well as an opportunity for rejuvenation and relaxation at its on-site spa.

The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway sweepstakes is now open for entries.

For Official Rules and for more information about Vacation Myrtle Beach properties and deals, please go to https://woobox.com/hsfeoo?source=usfam

Dinosaur adventure was a roaring good time!

Dinosaur Adventure came to Pittsburgh this past weekend and it didn’t disappoint! I was mostly excited for my 3 and 10 year old boys but I even caught the 12 and even the 14 year old girls having fun! Who would’ve known they could have fun too? *wink wink

Dinosaur Adventure was an all-new, one of a kind exhibit featuring realistic, life-sized dinosaurs that came alive with their life-like movement and roars. We learned about the most popular dinosaurs -Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Diplodocus, and Velociraptor. We even learned about some other dinosaurs we had never even heard of before!

Just walking into the convention center had us stopping for pictures right away when my kids wanted to sit on the little dinosaurs!

The dinosaurs moved and roared and were so life-like!

As part of Dinosaur Adventure, children of all ages enjoyed a variety of activities such as fossil crafting, Jurassic jeeps, themed obstacle courses, riding their favorite dinosaur, and so much more!

Look how the big kids are having fun too!

Continue reading…

Save $3 off any activity or VIP Ticket to DINOSAUR ADVENTURE

I am excited to share that Dinosaur Adventure is coming to:
Madison WI – Alliant Energy Center – Nov. 16 and 17
Fort Wayne IN – Allen County War Memorial Coliseum – Nov. 23-24
Toledo, OH – Seagate Convention Center, Dec. 7 and 8
Raleigh, NC – NC State Fairgrounds – Jim Graham Building – Dec. 14 – 15
Allentown, PA – Allentown Fairgrounds – Dec. 21 – 22
Pittsburgh, PA – Monroeville Convention Center – Dec. 27- 29

Dinosaur Adventure is an all-new, one of a kind exhibit featuring realistic, life-sized dinosaurs that come alive with their life-like movement and roars. Learn about the most popular dinosaurs -Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Diplodocus, Velociraptor, and explore recent finds with exciting discoveries!

As part of Dinosaur Adventure, children of all ages will enjoy a variety of activities: fossil crafting, Jurassic jeeps, themed obstacle courses, riding their favorite dinosaur, and more!

The whole family will also be amused by our live entertainment featuring a walking dinosaur show, and a baby dinosaur meet & greet.

My Readers SAVE – $3 Off any Adult, Child Activity or VIP Ticket Use Code: FLASH3

Visit the link HERE to get your tickets!

I can’t wait to take my 3 year old. He pretends to be a dinosaur every day. This will be the perfect event for him to see, play, interact and have fun!

My kids loved reading Pepper the Parrotfish!

Tired of reading the same book every night to your kiddo? Surprise your little one with Pepper The Parrotfish! This educational picture book for ages 3-8 delights children and parents as they learn what makes the parrotfish a special part of our planet.

All 4 of my children read this book. I read it first and then watched their faces as they worked their way through the book. Truthfully, I wanted to see their reaction to the story as they continued through to the end. After they were done, they looked up at me and didn’t say a word. They just smiled. We had a discussion about how the fish changed the world and they even got into a conversation about how they can just be themselves and improve the world too.

I love how this book got them to enjoy reading, enjoy learning about marine life and also spark a discussion to better themselves and the planet around them. I highly recommend purchasing this book for your children or your children’s teachers/library. I’m excited to continue reading the Great Animal Trait children’s book series. This was only the first book in the series. Each story features a lovable character who reveals a unique animal fact. The story educates children while encouraging them to share what makes them special in our world. I can’t wait to see the rest of the books!

Part of the proceeds will be donated towards marine conservation. Free Shipping for a limited time only! Colorado local author and illustrator.
Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-939550-74-3


SAVE $5 on the Best Children’ Book, Pepper the Parrotfish for ages 3-8! – Pepper The Parrotfish is swimming to your door with $5 OFF deal! 

Click HERE to purchase!

For more details, go here: 
http://www.PepperParrotfish.com

Use Promo Code KIDS5 at checkout.

Remember, a portion of the proceeds benefits the marine conservation!

DaffaDoot products really hold up to toddler and family life

I recently came across a company called DaffaDoot. I was given a complimentary Car Seat Protector. I was really excited to see how well it holds up because we are always traveling for softball or baseball (out of state) and my youngest’s seat gets a beating. I was able to install it before we went on a road trip from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin. Look how nice it looks all snugly under the car seat.

Check out how it looked AFTER the trip and after another 3 weeks of getting my youngest in and out of the car, with muddy shoes, with grassy shoes, with wet shoes, and with an everlasting supply of snacks.

Can you believe that’s IT? Yeah that was caked and crusty but look at where his feet were. It’s like magic! It was CLEAN! Now, check out what it looked like after I took less than a minute to clean it.

Cool huh?  I would definitely recommend DaffaDoot’s Auto Seat Protector! It’s material really withstands the wear and tear of getting a toddler in and out of a carseat.

Check out DaffaDoot’s information below. Oh and did I mention how I love their mission? They donate their time and money to numerous organizations that they care deeply about.

DaffaDoot is all about family values, and we are on a mission to improve the lives of everyone we can reach. We are a Mother/Daughter team, and proudly donate our time and money to numerous organizations supporting pregnant moms-to-be, new parents, battered women, and school age children. We are insanely committed to providing the best customer service on the planet and delivering only the highest quality products available.

Happy Times! DaffaDoot Brings It!

My Readers Receive 20% off orders using Promo Code HWBLFYLE

Go HERE!

1. Crib Wedge
DaffaDoot Baby Reflux Wedge Pillow. For babies who frequently suffer from reflux or dramatically spit-up. It’s a safe, natural baby reflux treatment which gently elevates the baby’s head and torso to help alleviate discomfort due to frequent stomach acid or frequent spitting up.

We used only the best material, making it waterproof, hypo-allergenic, and anti-bacterial. Drooling, spit-up, and leaky diapers can all wreak havoc, but cleanup with a disinfectant wipe or warm rag is a breeze. It sports a non-skid bottom (holding the wedge firmly in place for safety and convenience), is free of harsh chemicals, and meets and exceeds all federal safety regulations.

Happy baby equals happy parents!

2. Auto Seat Protector
Deluxe Auto Seat Protector-This is what I tried and it’s AWESOME!

Got grime? We have the solution.

We all know the importance of having children in carseats and boosters, but without some kind of protection under their seat or booster, all those dropped cookies and Cheerios can make a serious mess. Plus, car seats and boosters have a nasty habit of digging and denting your fine upholstery and leaving a permanent mark on your backseat.

What you need is some high end protection.

Our latest release, the Deluxe Auto Seat Protector is exactly what you need. Other mats or pads can’t compete with our 14mm padding and heavy duty durability. Our neoprene non-slip backing grips like no other, and our Universal Fit with an extended “lock-down” bulb ensures that no matter what you drive, it’s perfect for you and your kids.

It’s Full-Size, Premium Construction, with No Compromises. We’ve used only the strongest material and threads, and reinforced in ALL the right places. Many protectors provide only a sliver of extra fabric and claim to protect your seat, but we refuse to compromise on quality. It’s evident from the first moment you take our protector out of its box. You will enjoy the premium feel, the superior stitching, and the quality fabric.

Did we mention that it’s anti-slip and color-fast? We even baked it in an oven to make sure it could take the heat. And it has spacious elastic storage pockets where you can keep things like diapers, pacifiers, bottles, sippy cups, toys, wipes…and yes, a bag of extra Cheerios. Bottom line, it’s perfect for you and perfect for your little one.

3. Car mirror
Baby Car Mirror – Crystal Clear Rear Facing Baby Mirror – Safety Certified & Crash Tested – Shatterproof Back Seat Baby Mirror – Gorgeous Gift Box

Your baby’s smile is worth it! No doubt about it! That’s why we insist on the highest quality, with just the right amount of curvature, shatterproof glass, and a solid stay-put mount… all so Baby gets a perfect reflection of herself in the mirror. She will have a blast babbling, giggling and jabbering at that “other baby in the mirror.” And should she get lonely, she simply needs to look up and can see Mommy looking back at her! Oh yeah, because you can see her too!

Just like you, DaffaDoot is all about safety, and we understand how frightening it can be when you’re driving and baby makes a funny choking sound, and you can’t see around her rear facing car seat to see why! Boost your confidence with the safer baby car mirror specifically designed and tested for parents wanting a safe way to view Baby. It’s the Best of the Best with its independent lab-crash-test, safety tested rating, and shatterproof crystal-clear reflection.

Installation is an absolute breeze! No tricky parts to snap together, no tools needed, & installs in seconds. (Requires an adjustable headrests for proper installation.) You can rest easy because here at DaffaDoot, we are totally committed to providing a robust, quality product, & if you have ANY problems with your DaffaDoot mirror, simply let us know and we promise to make it right. We truly want you to love our mirror as much as we do. It’s that simple.

My Readers Receive 20% off orders HERE using Promo Code HWBLFYLE

 

20% off for my readers at DaffaDoot

I recently came across a company called DaffaDoot. I was checking out their products and totally wished I would have found them earlier. My kids are 12, 10, 8 and almost 2. The products that are around today seem not only just better but more versatile. They seem to have thought it through more and made such improvements that would have been helpful with my first 3. And for that reason, I usually never used any of these products with my first 3 children. There were just some things about the products that made me think it would be a pain or harder to use. Until I found DaffaDoot. I’m going to review the Car Seat Protector. I’m really excited to see how it holds up. We are always traveling for softball or baseball (out of state) and my youngest’s seat gets a beating.  Check out DaffaDoot’s information below. Oh and did I mention how I love their mission? They donate their time and money to numerous organizations that they care deeply about.

DaffaDoot is all about family values, and we are on a mission to improve the lives of everyone we can reach. We are a Mother/Daughter team, and proudly donate our time and money to numerous organizations supporting pregnant moms-to-be, new parents, battered women, and school age children. We are insanely committed to providing the best customer service on the planet and delivering only the highest quality products available.

Happy Times! DaffaDoot Brings It!

My Readers Receive 20% off orders using Promo Code HWBLFYLE

Go HERE!

1. Crib Wedge
DaffaDoot Baby Reflux Wedge Pillow. For babies who frequently suffer from reflux or dramatically spit-up. It’s a safe, natural baby reflux treatment which gently elevates the baby’s head and torso to help alleviate discomfort due to frequent stomach acid or frequent spitting up.

We used only the best material, making it waterproof, hypo-allergenic, and anti-bacterial. Drooling, spit-up, and leaky diapers can all wreak havoc, but cleanup with a disinfectant wipe or warm rag is a breeze. It sports a non-skid bottom (holding the wedge firmly in place for safety and convenience), is free of harsh chemicals, and meets and exceeds all federal safety regulations.

Happy baby equals happy parents!

2. Auto Seat Protector
Deluxe Auto Seat Protector

Got grime? We have the solution.

We all know the importance of having children in carseats and boosters, but without some kind of protection under their seat or booster, all those dropped cookies and Cheerios can make a serious mess. Plus, car seats and boosters have a nasty habit of digging and denting your fine upholstery and leaving a permanent mark on your backseat.

What you need is some high end protection.

Our latest release, the Deluxe Auto Seat Protector is exactly what you need. Other mats or pads can’t compete with our 14mm padding and heavy duty durability. Our neoprene non-slip backing grips like no other, and our Universal Fit with an extended “lock-down” bulb ensures that no matter what you drive, it’s perfect for you and your kids.

It’s Full-Size, Premium Construction, with No Compromises. We’ve used only the strongest material and threads, and reinforced in ALL the right places. Many protectors provide only a sliver of extra fabric and claim to protect your seat, but we refuse to compromise on quality. It’s evident from the first moment you take our protector out of its box. You will enjoy the premium feel, the superior stitching, and the quality fabric.

Did we mention that it’s anti-slip and color-fast? We even baked it in an oven to make sure it could take the heat. And it has spacious elastic storage pockets where you can keep things like diapers, pacifiers, bottles, sippy cups, toys, wipes…and yes, a bag of extra Cheerios. Bottom line, it’s perfect for you and perfect for your little one.

3. Car mirror
Baby Car Mirror – Crystal Clear Rear Facing Baby Mirror – Safety Certified & Crash Tested – Shatterproof Back Seat Baby Mirror – Gorgeous Gift Box

Your baby’s smile is worth it! No doubt about it! That’s why we insist on the highest quality, with just the right amount of curvature, shatterproof glass, and a solid stay-put mount… all so Baby gets a perfect reflection of herself in the mirror. She will have a blast babbling, giggling and jabbering at that “other baby in the mirror.” And should she get lonely, she simply needs to look up and can see Mommy looking back at her! Oh yeah, because you can see her too!

Just like you, DaffaDoot is all about safety, and we understand how frightening it can be when you’re driving and baby makes a funny choking sound, and you can’t see around her rear facing car seat to see why! Boost your confidence with the safer baby car mirror specifically designed and tested for parents wanting a safe way to view Baby. It’s the Best of the Best with its independent lab-crash-test, safety tested rating, and shatterproof crystal-clear reflection.

Installation is an absolute breeze! No tricky parts to snap together, no tools needed, & installs in seconds. (Requires an adjustable headrests for proper installation.) You can rest easy because here at DaffaDoot, we are totally committed to providing a robust, quality product, & if you have ANY problems with your DaffaDoot mirror, simply let us know and we promise to make it right. We truly want you to love our mirror as much as we do. It’s that simple.

My Readers Receive 20% off orders HERE using Promo Code HWBLFYLE

Check back in a few and I’ll let you know what I think of the car seat protector!