Posts tagged ‘family’

COVID19 WE CAN #WORKTOGETHER WHILE STAYING APART

FEELING OVERWHELMED AND ISOLATED?

DON’T KNOW HOW TO ORGANIZE FAMILY SCHEDULES WHILE WE ARE ALL WORKING FROM HOME?

Here are a few ideas to keep things running smoothly and making everyone in the family more productive.

Create a To-Do List the Night Before

Instead of waking up in the morning to make your to-do list, make your list the night before. This way you can go to bed relaxed and confident for the next day. You also wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you have planned for the day. You might also consider planning on Sunday night for the upcoming week. Then when you wake on Monday you have a plan in place.

Prioritize

Take a look at the tasks on your list. What tasks offer the largest return? What tasks offer the most value and achievement? For example, answering email or paying bills isn’t a task that offers a large return. However, making a sale or meeting with a client is a very productive task. Put your most profitable or results-oriented tasks first on your list.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

The quality of your sleep is important to sustain your energy levels throughout your day. Good sleep means you’ll be fresh and energetic all day long. Creating a to-do list is a good way to help you get a good night’s sleep because you can put the day’s stresses to rest.

Also consider adding soothing nighttime rituals to your routine. For example, meditate, stretch or read before you go to bed. Keep a gratitude journal and write before you sleep. Go to bed and wake at the same time to help your body know what to expect.

Eat Healthy

The food you eat has a direct correlation to how energetic and productive you are. Junk food will make you sluggish. Healthy food will help you stay energized all day long. Feed your body well and it will respond by keeping you alert and energetic.

Get Organized      

If you spend half your time searching for files, names and numbers, you are wasting time. Make sure any items that you use on a regular basis are easy to grab from your desk chair or find in your computer. They should be easy to find and use.

Take Breaks

Productivity doesn’t mean working from sun-up to sundown. In fact, if you work without stopping, you’re likely to burn out. Instead, commit to taking a break every hour. Walk around or get some air to get the blood moving throughout your body.

Focus

Do you multi-task hoping it’ll make you more productive? Do you manage one task while your mind is already onto the next task? Both habits are unproductive. When you focus on what you’re doing, not only is the task more enjoyable, it also gets done faster and better.

Productivity is possible. With a little planning, attention, and self-care you can get more done in half the time. These tools are simple but effective. Try just one of these steps and watch your own personal productivity improve.

B.D. BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t

Written by Veronica Kirin

This book is a fascinating study conducted by a trained anthropologist who became an entrepreneur. Kirin traveled across America to interview members of what she calls The Greatest Generation, Americans who were born before 1945. She wanted to discover what it was like to live before the advent of technology from the mouths of those who grew up living without it.

Kirin developed a list of fifteen interview questions which covered basic demographic information as well as the type of childhood, their occupations, and how technology has changed their lives and those who are growing up in a world dominated by technology. Her questions touched on poverty, economic issues, family, religion, safety, and community. Her conclusions discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing up with or without technology. Kirin provides a list of participants in an index.

I believe that millennials will find this study interesting and enlightening. As a person who grew up between these two groups, I found the information fascinating.

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FROSTY AND FRIENDS

Children’s Books: Frosty the Snowman: Bedtime stories & Christmas Jokes

Written by Arnie Lightning

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Charming book including five short stories or chapters featuring the Frosty the Snowman character. Frosty lands on the lawn of siblings, Jessica, Lauren and Eric. When Santa leaves him a magic hat for Christmas, he comes to life to interact with his human friends. They want Frosty to be happy, so in the following tales, they create for him a family, a home, and wonderful community experiences. Every year Frosty and his human friends grow closer.

This well written book might be considered an early chapter book or a series of short stories. There is a charming illustration at the beginning of each. As a bonus, the author includes a list of Christmas jokes for the reader to enjoy and a free download, It’s Okay To Be Different. Targeted for ages three to nine, I think it serves as a great early chapter book or read aloud for adults and siblings to share. Get into the holiday spirit with this one!

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THE FOX AND THE SNOWMAN – BOOK BLAST AND GIVEAWAY

I am excited about participating in the book blast and giveaway for a beautiful picture book that complements the season and warms the heart of its readers!

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for a new picture book by author Angela Muse, “The Fox and the Snowman” (November 2 to 4, 2015).

The Fox and the Snowman

About the Book

Title: The Fox and the Snowman | Author: Angela Muse | Illustrator: Helen Wu | Publication Date: October 5, 2015 | Publisher: 4EYESBOOKS | Pages: 28 | Recommended Ages: 0 to 8

Summary: This is a story of a lone fox and his journey through a year of changing seasons. He discovers friendship and family in this colorful winter tale.

Also check out Lil Glimmer, The Nutt Family: An Acorny Adventure, The Pig Princess, The Bee Bully, Eager Eaglets: Birds of Play, Cactus Charlie, Suzy Snowflake, Monsters Have Mommies, The Christmas Owl, The Cat Who Lost His Meow, Caterpillar Shoes & Ten Thankful Turkeys by this author.

Grab a copy of the ebook, available for a limited time at the introductory price of 99 cents! (REG $2.99)

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

iBooks * Createspace * Goodreads

 

About the Author: Angela Muse

Angela MuseAngela Muse was born in California to a military family. This meant that she got used to being the “new kid” in school every couple of years. It was hard trying to make new friends, but Angela discovered she had a knack for writing. In high school Angela began writing poetry and song lyrics. Expressing herself through writing seemed very natural. After becoming a Mom in 2003, Angela continued her storytelling to her own children. In 2009 she wrote and published her first rhyming children’s book aimed at toddlers. Since then she has released several more children’s picture books and released her first young adult romance series, The Alpha Girls.

Angela’s husband, Ben Muse writes suspense/thriller books that can also be found on Amazon.

Check out what else she’s working on by visiting www.4eyesbooks.com

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

 

** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or $100 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: November 15, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Angela Muse and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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SUMMER ANGST

Indian Summer

Written by Tracy Richardson

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Twelve year old Marcie Horton is feeling good about finishing the last day of school, but at the same time is dreading the upcoming summer. While she has always enjoyed spending time at her grandparents’ home on Lake Pappakeechee, this year is different. None of her friends will be going.

Marcie is a talented and competitive athlete, but not one of the “popular girls” at school. Her discomfort is increased when the parents of one of these girls inform her that they have just built a huge house on the lake, and invite her to spend time at their home with their daughter, Kaitlyn.

As the summer unfolds, things get more and more complicated. Kaitlyn pushes Marcie to make decisions with which she is not comfortable. Her loyalties are torn between peer pressure and family. When Kaitlyn’s father plans a development that will threaten the existing lake environment, Marcie is again forced to choose. To make matters worse, strange visions are haunting Marcie. She feels as if she in living both in the past and present. An unexpected turn of events allows her to be drawn by some mystical force to make a miraculous discovery.

In some ways the plot is predictable, yet the characters are compelling and so well-drawn that I read the book in one sitting. This book hits on so many issues that face tweens and teens. A bit of magic, history, fantasy, coming of age, environmental issues, family, and loyalty all combine to make one entertaining story With a page count of just over two hundred pages, it is a bit long for a middle grade read, but the book is a comfortable and easy read. Recommended for ages ten and above with lots of appeal for both boys and girls.

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HORSING AROUND

Horses: Amazing Pictures & Fun Facts on Animals in Nature

Written by Kay de Silva

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This book is a must for a child interested in horses or for an adult who wants to know more about these beautiful animals that have played such an important part in history. It is well organized and illustrated with color photographs. The author explores the family and habits of horses, their anatomy, how horses communicate, the types of breeds, and relationship to man.

Here are a few interesting facts that I discovered. A horse lies down for only 45 minutes a day, and when it does, others in the herd keep watch. A horse’s eyes are the largest of all the land mammals. Horses have baby teeth like humans. You are able to tell a horse’s age by looking at its teeth. Older horses have yellow teeth and other pattern markings. That is where the expression that it is rude to look a gift horse in the mouth originated! I learned that a horse’s height is measured in hands (each measures four inches or ten centimeters).

One of the most interesting sections discussed temperament. Horses are classified as hot blooded, warm blooded or cold blooded. Hot blooded horses are quick to learn and have lots of energy; many are race horses. Warm blooded horses are calmer and are more suitable to be riding horses. The cold blooded horses are heavier and more muscular. They are very calm and suited to work like working on farms. Today horses are involved in sporting events like horse racing and individual equestrian events. Earlier in our history, horses were used in warfare.

The author packs a lot of information in this book of less than sixty pages. Whether the reader is a horse enthusiast or just an admirer, the book and its illustrations are pleasing and informative. It is written in simple language. Recommended for children and adults ages eight and up. If you admire these beautiful animals, I don’t think you will be disappointed in this book.

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PANDAMONIUM

Pandas – Fun Facts and Cool Pictures of These Adorable Creatures

Written by Laura Han

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Who doesn’t love to look at these furry, cute creatures? The author has created an early chapter book with beautiful photographs that will appeal to children in kindergarten and the early elementary grades. Han gives a bit of the history and geography of the species, its current habitat, how it is raised, what it eats, describes its habits, and writes about what we can do to save this endangered animal.

There are only about 1600 of these animals surviving in the Sichaun province of southwestern China. Though the black and white patches on their eyes resemble those of a raccoon, they bear no genetic relationship to that species. Did you know that pandas used to be kept in cages as pets for the ancient Chinese emperors? Pandas can eat as much as forty pounds of bamboo in one day, and they spend more than half the day, up to fourteen hours, eating bamboo plants. An adult panda might weigh as much as three hundred pounds, but a newborn weighs only five ounces. Pandas generally keep to themselves, but they do like play by rolling around on the ground and tumbling.

Recently, their natural habitat has been racked by earthquakes, large-scale construction projects, and deforestation. Conservationists are trying to save them by finding them homes in zoos and protecting their native habitat. The author urges her readers to join support groups.

The photographs and maps in this book are beautiful and the text is clear, concise and simple. It is a nice addition to the nonfiction and science shelves of classrooms and libraries. That is not to imply that parents and children who enjoy looking at these beautiful animals will not want to add it to their personal library.

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COLOR MY WORLD

Color Olors Storybook:The wonderful world of Color Olors

Written by Nina Carothers

Illustrated by Chris Padovan

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The author originally came up with the idea for the book in 1993, but she was too occupied with bringing up her four children back then. Fortunately for today’s readers, she used those years to incorporate her own life experiences in these tales of adorable color characters that each have a memorable and valuable life lesson to share with children and their families. The simple, bright and bold illustrations will endear children from toddler to the early elementary grades. Parents and teachers will like the catchy rhymes and moral themes that make this book an excellent choice for a read aloud. This first book previews the color characters, their outstanding traits, and a clue to the story that each will share in their own storybook. Children have the opportunity to find their favorites and read further.

I will present a quick overview of the Color Olors. Silver Ilver is the wisest and their leader who keeps all the other members in line. She reminds me of a cross between a fairy godmother and a teacher. Gold Owl is the oldest; he is steady and true to task. Gray Ray is a two year old who lives at the bottom of the sea and teaches about the meaning of family. Yellow Ellow is always bright and happy like the sunshine; he will not fail to give you something positive to think about. Don’t surmise that the Color Olors are always perfect. White Hite has a habit of telling little white lies. Red Ed likes to share Christmas Holiday traditions; Blue Lue is a caboose who holds things together even though he is last in line. Orange Range is an excellent cook. Brown Rown rides on his bike showing everyone how to preserve our environment, and Black Lack flys around during the night to protect us while we sleep. Green Reen loves to eat his vegetables and teaches us how to be strong and healthy. Purple Urple looks like a little mouse, but he rides a stallion and grants wishes. Last but not least, Pink Ink is dainty fairy who travels with her teddy bear landing on those who might need advice whispered in their ear.

Quite an assortment of characters from which to choose. The series promises to be a hit with parents, teachers and children. Take a peek at the first book with your little one and then decide which character you would like to meet in a unique adventure. Available in kindle and paperback formats.

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THE POWER OF LOVE

Lou and Jigger:True Love is Inseparable

Written by Geryn Childress
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This short story packs a powerful punch in a kindle book of approximately twenty-five pages. The characters are well developed, the plot carefully laid out, and the historical background deftly woven into the story. Childress skillfully portrays the beautiful love shared by Lou and Jigger as well as the ugly prejudice, family tensions, and hardship of living in a poor family down South in the 1900’s.

Luella’s parents move the family from Michigan to Shreveport because her mother believes her children will have a better life in the rural South, but Shreveport in the 80’s was still segregated and blacks found it difficult to make a living. Lou’s father made a living by “junkin”, finding garbage and fixing things to sell as useful items. He also built wells. Both parents worked long hours so the children spent most of their time with Mama Rosie on her small farm. Mama was a grandmother figure who had many interesting friends. Jimmy the wino came to buy her moonshine; Squala, a Native American squatter periodically came to sleep in the abandoned Chevelle on the property. Even though he could not speak English; Squala and Lou communicated by hand gestures and became best friends.

Lou falls in love with a boy named Jigger, but her grandfather Ebe hated him. Jigger and Lou eventually run off to Missouri. When they return, Lou’s father continues the feud and has Jigger framed for a crime. The story traces their lives into their nineties when members of the family succeed in placing Lou and Jigger in separate nursing homes. When descendants Ruby and Sonny decide to move to the area and take over Lou and Jigger’s now abandoned house, the story takes a most interesting turn.

Childress provides the reader with wonderful photographs of his characters which adds to the authentic flavor of the historical romance. This book is very different from modern romances. I would recommend it for ages twelve and up. Classroom teachers might find it a useful addition to teaching about the period. This well written short story will appeal to readers interested in history, romance, psychology and memoirs.

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PERFECTION TO A POINTE

Pie And Other Brilliant Ideas

Written by Karen Pokras Toz

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Another outstanding middle grade coming of age story. This book is well written and carefully crafted. Pokras develops her characters with strength and compassion that will not disappoint young girls, young adults or their parents.

Twelve year old Georgie has recently moved to a new neighborhood closer to her grandmother’s nursing home. She sorely misses her best friend Amber, but more than anything Georgie misses her dancing lessons. Their new community is much more expensive; despite her pleas Georgie is informed they cannot afford the extra expense. When Amber comes for a visit, they scheme together to find a way to raise money for Georgie to pay for her own lessons. After Amber allows Georgie to try on her pointe shoes; Georgie understands that nothing will deter her from achieving that goal.

There is also lots of humor in this book. The first two plans for earning money have some hilarious results. One day Georgie’s grandmother Jane gets a new roommate. Georgie and Amber are thrilled to learn that she has danced in Russia with a famous ballerina named Paulina Strofsky. Over several visits the woman named Eve relays the story of how she and Paulina trained to become prima ballerinas. In the process the reader learns quite a bit about the history of Russian and its people while under Communist domination.

Seeing the determination that Georgie has to dance, Eve encourages her and even gives her the poster over her bed with the picture of the famous ballerina. By the end of this tale, the two girls have figured out a way for Georgie to pay for her dancing lessons, absorbed lessons about the importance of family and friendship, and received a surprise gift that they never could have imagined.

Highly recommended for tweens, teens and young adults. Readers who enjoy ballet, history, and strong female role models will especially enjoy this one.

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