• Baby

    August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

    My son self weaned at 3 years and 5 months. Our breastfeeding journey was transformative and an experience I will never forget. I co-sleep, baby wear, breastfeed and practice gentle parenting. This is not the easiest path comparatively but there are lot of companies out there to help you along the journey. Some of things I never learned about included pumping, cutting bras, nursing pads and all about clogs and a myriad of issues and experiences.  Check out the list below and I wish you well on this very special bonding portion of newborn, infant and babyhood.
    EZMILK Trail Mix for Moms
    EZMILK is a natural, filling trail mix for breastfeeding & nursing moms made with just 5 ingredients, including almonds, raisins, organic pumpkin seeds, organic watermelon seeds and fennel seeds to help support a mom on her breastfeeding journey. Nourishing and delicious, EZMILK is naturally free of gluten, grain, dairy, soy, added sugars and fenugreek. This delightful snack mix helps moms curb hunger cravings while breastfeeding and the pouch can be kept within easy reach for a quick snack! EZMILK is available on Amazon.com and EZMILK.com.
    KeaBabies All-in-1 Multi-Use Cover
    The versatile KeaBabies Multi-Use Cover features buttery soft, breathable & stretchy premium quality fabric that was designed for multiple uses, including Nursing Cover, Car Seat Canopy, Shopping Cart Cover, Baby Blanket, Changing Mat, Infinity Scarf and more. In addition, the cover is specifically designed to provide maximum airflow to keep mommy and baby comfortable while being covered in public places. Available in 9 gorgeous designs, such as Dainty Bloom, Gingham and Starry Charm, and each cover comes with its own carrying bag. Go to www.keababies.com to learn more.
    Organic Nursing Pads
    Keep mama comfortable and dry in between feedings! The Organic Nursing Pads from KeaBabies are made of super absorbent bamboo backed with a waterproof layer to prevent leakages and featuring a contoured cone design, the nursing pads fit sizes B to D. Each set comes with 14 pads + a laundry bag to protect the pads in the wash. Visit www.keababies.com.
    Organic Burp Cloths
    Made with organic cotton for baby’s sensitive skin, KeaBabies Organic Burp Cloths are a must-have for feeding, spit-ups and messes! Sized generously and larger than most burp cloths on the market, they provide full shoulder coverage to protect clothing from being soiled from spit ups and messes. Available in 15 adorable prints and color patterns. Machine washable. Learn more at www.keababies.com.
    Baby Bottle Labels
    Featuring 4 adorable designs, Mabel’s Labels customizable and reusable Baby Bottle Name Labels are perfect for storing breast milk. Personalize them with your baby’s name and your choice of design and simply peel-and-stick to bottles to stay organized. The durable labels are totally waterproof and safe to go in the dishwasher, bottle warmer or sterilizer. Write dates on them using a fine tip dry erase marker, then wipe or wash off for the next use! Visit www.mabelslabels.com.
  • New York

    Making a Wedding Look and Feel Luxurious Without the Hefty Price Tag

    Making a Wedding Look and Feel Luxurious Without the Hefty Price Tag

    Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event. And every couple’s joy is making the day as memorable as possible. In a bid to do this, couples go for luxurious locations and event centers. Then, they ‌lick their wounds and count the cost when the wedding is over. 

     

    As much as you want your special day forever etched in the minds of your loved ones, you still want to do it within your means. Such that after the event, you have enough to enjoy your honeymoon and start your new life. Remember, a wedding is at most a weekend while the marriage is a lifetime. 

     

    Weddings have several tiny expenses that can quickly add to a huge hefty price tag, from getting the perfect venue, videographer, and photographer to the outfits and wedding cake. You’d also want your guests to be well fed at the reception with great music. Eventually, it seems like your cost is running high. 

     

    However, there are ways to have your dream wedding look glamorous. You must be willing to make some compromises on not-so-important things. Read on to find ways to make a beautiful wedding ceremony on a budget that still looks luxurious.  

     

    Concentrate on the Details 

    One of the most important things to prioritize is paying attention to how you want to feel rather than visuals alone. As a couple, you want to focus on the details that make meaning and have a personal feel. So, first, you’d like to ask yourself, what are the core aspects of this occasion? Then, when you’re able to answer the question sincerely, you can easily identify necessities and eliminate frivolities.

     

    One of the most important elements of your wedding is having friends and families celebrate with you. Start by targeting a few close friends and families and ensure enough food to go around. Also, having a well-thought-out handwritten thank-you card will make guests special. Once you’ve decided on the most important things, you can add color to the day where necessary. 

     

    One way that color can add class to your event is by finding the right blend on invites. You want your invites to be personal and have a matching mailing accessory. This could work for your wedding, bridal shower, and engagement announcement. In addition, you can look up some custom bridal shower invitation ideas.  

     

    Visit a Regular Salon

    Because it’s your special day, you’d want to look fabulous, and rightly so. But remember, the focus is on quality. And quality doesn’t ‌always translate to expensive. The goal is to ‌get the very best at a bargain price. 

     

    One solid way to cut costs is by resisting the temptation of visiting a wedding hairstylist. The fact they’ve carved out a niche means the price would double. However, you can find an equally great hair stylist who will deliver exceptional quality for a fraction of the former’s price. Another way to save costs is to visit the salon instead salon instead of being visited by them. 

     

    Borrow From Family and Friends

    Weddings shouldn’t be equivalent to buying everything brand new. Besides, the audience barely notices most of the expenses. You can get some things free from loved ones. Someone might be able to offer decor items, linens, and lovely vintage items for free.  

     

    A wedding is a good time to take stock of your relationships and see how you can leverage them. For example, some friends could be event managers, interior decorators, or fashion designers. Approaching them could be a win-win for all. It saves them the cost of buying new gifts, and you get to save a lot.

     

    Decorate With Fake Flowers

    If you’re a flower lover, especially for ladies, this might be an area you’d want to spend on. However, it is important to note that real flowers cost you more—from consulting with a florist to purchasing flowers befitting for the venue. Therefore, you can opt for fake bouquets and flowers instead.  

     

    You can decide to get a variety of individual flowers and create your bouquet. Or if you aren’t so great with colors, you can buy directly. Additionally, faux flowers last longer, and the temperature won’t affect them. It makes a perfect choice to use them all season long in your home and for other occasions.  

     

    Hire Your Music-inclined Friends

    Another way to save costs is by hiring your music-inclined friends. Know anyone who’s part of the church choir, live band, or a Disc Jockey? Fantastic. You can have them render their service as a wedding gift to you. Better still, if they can get their crew to join in. 

     

    Meaning Over Frivolities 

    The key to having a luxurious wedding is focusing on what is important and has meaning. Then focus on areas where you can cut costs by doing some things yourself. Then leverage your circles to get the best value for little or no money. 

     

      

     

  • My dog Cami

    CBD Treats for Pets by Treatibles

    Every year the neighborhood illegal fireworks set off the dogs way after 4th of July. We keep CBD treats on deck for this reason exactly.  Dogs can get spooked and run away when they get scared. I had a dog who chewed up all our door frames during one year’s celebrations. Pets can also experience anxiety from other sources as well. Since a lot of pet parents are working from home now, their work stress can rub off on the pets too. Also, family and social changes can affect your pet as well. A sudden change in environment, like moving, strange sounds or out of town visitors can also trigger this too.

    We especially love the hard chews! Treatibles Hard Chews can help instill relaxation, enhance the function of joints, support the digestive tract and immune system, promote the body’s normal inflammatory response and more. For pets needing extra support, administration can be increased
    + Treatibles are free of heavy metals, pesticides and biocontaminants
    + Pet parents should observe their pet before and after administration of Treatibles to determine optimal response. You know your pet better than anyone else

    The exceptional Organic Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil is sourced from our partner’s certified USDA organic hemp farm. It features naturally occurring CBD and supporting beneficial compounds, producing a truly distinct oil. A cutting-edge infusion method is used that has proven to retain nearly 100% of the profile of all 300+ compounds of the hemp plant.

  • Toddlers

    “From the Pocket of an Overcoat”

    “From the Pocket of an Overcoat” (Friendly Falls Press; Archway Publishing from Simon & Schuster) is a perfect addition for a wide summer reading list, from children’s book guides to lists focused on pets, illustration, animal rescue and adoption, and topics of self-identity and acceptance.

    Available online at Amazon, bn.comtarget.com, and at the book’s website, maxbuckles.com, as well as select bookstores, “From the Pocket of an Overcoat”  is based on the real-life story of a cat named Max adopted by Vincent’s son Matthew from a homeless woman in Dallas who found Max as a tiny kitten and had him in the pocket of her overcoat as she was trying to find him a home. The tale is about an affable cat, Max Buckles, and how he finds himself and his way to a new home – moving from the cozy overcoat pocket of Sally in the city, to the country with Farmer Buckles and his other animals, including four dogs – Sam, Tots, Scotty (who isn’t Scottish but is plaid), and Junior Buckles. Along the way, he discovers a true sense of belonging within his new family. As told through the journey of Max the cat, this is a story about self-identity, acceptance, and animal rescue and adoption.

    “One of the best adventures of summer is diving into a fun story or book,” notes Vincent. “From kids to adults, the tale of Max Buckles is the type of story that can transport anyone to a place of joy and love!”

    “From the Pocket of an Overcoat” also has received rave reviews from across a wide spectrum of readers and critics. Reviews on Amazon note that, “This is a very sweet book with lovely illustrations,” “My kids loved all the characters and especially Max,” “Such a lovely story that appealed and delighted young children to adults,” and “We can’t wait to find out what happens next!”

    The acclaimed children’s book will be on display at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition (Authors Solution booth) in Washington, D.C. from June 24 – 27. The ALA is the world’s largest library event with thousands of librarians and library staff, educators, authors, publishers, friends of libraries, trustees, special guests, and exhibitors who are looking for charming and educational titles for young readers, patrons or partner educators.

    Readers and fans of Max Buckles can like and follow the book on Instagram and Facebook, and can also send an email to hello@maxbuckles.com with proof of purchase to get a special Thank You note from Max himself. In addition, a portion of each book sale will be donated to organizations that promote animal rescue and adoption – The Humane Society, Best Friends, and Alley Cat Allies.

    To learn more, visit www.maxbuckles.com or explore the following hashtags: #maxbuckles, #maxbucklesbooks, #maxthecat, #readenjoysharemax and #fromthepocketofanovercoat.

    About Robert Vincent

    Robert Vincent is a children’s book author and illustrator, as well as the author of a number of other literary works. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Kathy. Robert and Kathy’s son Matthew is a violinist with the Oakland Symphony and Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. In December 2009, Matthew adopted a lovable black cat named Max. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Las Vegas

    Art of Problem Solving – Beast Academy

    Since the Pandemic, many parents like myself have been curious about homeschooling. There are many different ways to homeschool a preschooler like Niko and at the age of 3,  lots of parents believe all they should do is play. My views on teaching the child things through play is echoed in my belief in a balance of fun, interest and exploring the child’s interests. Child led learning is different that curriculum  based learning because it is about wide exposure and then delving deep into the subjects. Art of Problem Solving brings its problem-solving teaching methods to local academic centers, with 12 locations in the US and more being added every year.

    I first learn about AOPS and their workbooks this summer and I love their approach. Not only are the workbooks wildly creative, colorful and entertaining – the subjects are taught in a way that can pivot with the child’s learning and growth.

    The Art of Problem Solving has been a leader in math education for high-performing students since 1993. AoPS Academy launched in 2016 to bring a rigorous curriculum and expert instructors into classrooms around the United States.  You can learn more about AOPS Academy here on https://aopsacademy.org/ 

    Even though most of the workbooks start at aged 6, Niko (aged 3.5) is able to understand and do the workbooks at 1A level with me. He is honing the skills of counting, shapes, and comparing. I believe, like many homeschool parents, that children should be taught by ability based levels and not just by age. He enjoys this workbook along with other school work along with lots and lots of play time everyday.  Beast Academy is an advanced comic-based math program for students ages 6–13. If you are interested in the workbooks, they can be purchased online from this link here: https://beastacademy.com/books/1A

    Beast Academy 1A, 1B, and 1C Books

    Beast Academy1A

    By Jason Batterson.
    Illustrated by Erich Owen and Sarah Leuver.

    Recommended for students ages 6‑8.

    Beast Academy provides a fun, rigorous, challenging, complete curriculum for aspiring math beasts. BA Level 1A includes chapters on counting, shapes, and comparing.

    The book includes Guide sections written in an engaging comic book style, and over 400 practice problems ranging from introductory level exercises to very challenging puzzles and word problems.

  • WorldWide

    How to Plan an Epic Travel Adventure

    How to Plan an Epic Travel Adventure

    Where are you headed to next? If you’re an avid traveler, you probably get asked that question a lot. But what if you’ve just decided that traveling the world is more you cup of than sitting in an office all day? Don’t worry. Plenty of people feel exactly the same, and that’s why you can find entire communities of digital nomads all of the world. So, if your goal is to join them, one of the first steps is deciding where to go and how to get there. In this guide, we go over everything you need to know about planning your adventure.

    Create Your Travel Wish List

    You may already use a travel journal while you are on vacation but planning the perfect trip should also start with some brainstorming and note taking. With so many exciting places to visit, you might not know where to begin. Sit down and think about what you’re looking for in terms of travel destinations. Do you want do visit somewhere exciting where you can go bungee jumping, or do want to find a tranquil place where you can sip cocktails on the beach? Keep in mind that this is your want list, so it doesn’t have to be set in stone. These are just places you have on your radar, so feel free to add or subtract them from your list.

    Think About Your Needs

    Aside from your wants, also you need think about your needs. if you plan on working remotely, you would need to have a stable internet connection regardless of location. If you’re taking family with you, you might need kid-friendly solutions, like daycare or easy access to pediatricians.

    Financing Your Trips

    Paying for your travels probably be at the top of your to-do list. However, you’d be surprised how many people throw caution to the wind and set on to see the world. As spontaneous as this might be, it’s usually doesn’t work out well. Why? Because you need to know that you have enough money stashed away just in case you need. Even if you’re working as a digital nomad, emergencies can come up. A good rule of thumb is to save at least three to six months of total monthly expenses prior to leaving, even better if you can save more. If you have some cash tucked away and are eager to get going, you could also consider taking out a personal loan. Depending on your credit, you can be approved for a higher amount at a low interest rate. You can then use to fund your trip or simply keep it as a cushion and build your credit while paying it back.

    Research Your Destinations

    So, you’ve picked your destinations, have the cash and are ready to go, but you also need to do a little research prior to catching a flight. Look at any possible travel and vaccine restrictions, the best and worst areas to visit, and whether you need a visa to remain longer than 90 days. You should inquire whether you need specific inoculations prior to entering the country. Certain places like in Malaysia or Asia, do require a series of vaccinations prior to being allowed to enter. Since they have to be administered at specific intervals, you need to do your detective work in advance.