Saturday, September 20, 2014

Teach Your Child to Love Learning At An Early Age With Personalized Baby Story Books

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

Like most parents, you probably know that the steps taken early in a child’s life can make a huge difference in the child’s outlook on education and learning.

As older kids return to school for another year, it’s a great time to consider the benefits of personalized story books for babies. Although your little one may not be ready for formal education for a few more years, helping your child develop an early love of reading can make a huge difference when that time comes.

Opportunities for Learning

Personalized books can offer unique advantages for babies in particular. Your baby will benefit from the reinforcement of hearing his or her name read in the story, along with new words and ideas. Personalization can also help keep your baby more excited and interested in the story. The inclusion of other personal information, such as your child’s birthday and hometown, can eventually help your child learn these key personal facts. As your child gets older, he or she should even be able to more easily recognize and write his or her name, thanks to its repeated appearance in the story.

Details Kids Will Love as They Grow

Your baby may not initially appreciate the level of detail and customization that personalized baby books offer. However, in a few more years, your child will love noticing that his or her photograph or likeness is included in the book and that all of the information is truly personalized. The use of personal facts and preferences will also help draw your child in and keep him or her returning to the book, even at an older age.

Stories Worth Reading Over

Some personalized books for babies may make personalization the primary focus; however, the best personalized story books for babies will not skimp on plotting, illustration, or other key features. Classic books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mother Goose, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star can stand on the strength of their stories alone. The clever stories and vivid drawings featured in these books should appeal to children even if the novelty of personalization eventually wears off.

A Lifelong Gift

Personalized books are a special gift that can be kept and enjoyed for years. While your children may quickly outgrow some books, they will rarely tire of a book that is so unique. Often, these books remain a valued memento that you or your children will want to keep for years. Plus, in addition to giving your baby a physical keepsake, you can help give him or her something less tangible but more valuable and enduring: a passion for reading.

Helping children discover reading at a young age is often the key to helping them make reading a lifelong habit. This, in turn, can help kids become more educated and gain access to better opportunities. It can be easy to stress about helping your child start learning at an early age and overlook simple solutions, but Chronicle Books’ personalized baby story books, can make have it be fun and engaging for both you and your child.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Advantages of Virtual Health Care Courses

Disclosure: This is a guest post.

Nurses who want to further their careers understand that they must obtain the proper higher degree to do so. An associate's or bachelor's degree will be insufficient on which to build a lifelong career as a nurse manager, nursing instructor, or even a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant. When they want to rise through the ranks within this industry, nurses appreciate the value that comes with having a master's degree from an accredited school. They can get this higher education and build their careers when they work on an RN to MSN from a virtual school like UAZ online.

When they enroll in a virtual program, nurses realize several unique benefits that may not be available to their on-campus counterparts. One of the most recognizable benefits comes with the ease of attending classes at their convenience. While they may need to follow a loose lecture and testing schedule, online students have the option of when to log in each day and when to complete the required coursework throughout the week. If they work night shifts, for example, these students could listen to the lectures or attend live classroom sessions during the daytime hours and then go to work afterward.

Likewise, if they work daytimes and weekends, these people can log into their courses during their evening hours or on their days off from work. They can complete the coursework without penalty or fear of being dropped from the class. As long as they turn in their assignments and take their tests in accordance with the course schedule, they have the option of what time of day to participate in class.

Another convenience that comes with online school is its affordability. Many on-campus courses are expensive and drain a person's savings account. Other students have to go into significant debt to be able to afford their higher education. However, online schools generally accept the same financial aid awards that are accepted by brick and mortar institutions. If a person is eligible for grants and comprehensive loans through the state, that person can indicate that he or she wants these funds to be applied to his or her online tuition. Many times, these awards greatly lower the cost of attendance and even free up money for students to live on and buy classroom materials with later.

Online nursing degrees are lucrative and fully accredited. Nurses can further their careers with this higher education.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Have the Power of an Attorney Behind You

Disclosure: This is a guest post. 

When legal troubles arise, it can be completely overwhelming. There are so many details that need to be attended to and an uncertain future awaits you. You need a first rate Haywood, California lawyer to go to bat for you, someone who is an expert in the legal system, and will be looking out for your best interests. If you find yourself entangled with problems with the law, turn to an expert to guide you through troubled waters. You can expect the best possible outcome when you have a skilled lawyer to offer you the support that you need in this difficult time.

Charged with a Crime? You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are a host of lawyers available, each one specializing in a different area of expertise. If you have been charged with any kind of crime, a criminal defense lawyer is the only answer for you. You need someone who navigates the court system and understands all of the legalities involved when defending you against a crime. Make sure that you choose a lawyer who is truly experienced in dealing with criminal law. You want the best possible outcome when all of the proceedings are said and done. The only way that will happen is if you choose the right lawyer.

Experience Matters
Now is not the time to choose that fresh-faced lawyer who just passed the bar. Your life and your future are in the balance. Be sure to turn to a criminal defense lawyer with a strong record and a long string of past successes. You are looking out for your best interests and your choice in a lawyer is essential. Look beyond dollar signs and convenience to find someone who is highly qualified to assist you.

Know Your Choices
Your criminal defense lawyer is in your corner, someone who cares about you and should inform you of all of your choices. When it seems like there is only a dead end road ahead, your lawyer can show you that there are many paths to choose from in order to help you overcome your circumstances. Your lawyer should be ready to put time, caring, and a repertoire of skills at your disposal in order to guide you in the right direction. A criminal charge is a roadblock in your life. Your criminal defense lawyer will help you to get around it.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

NEW from VTech :: Kidizoom® Smartwatch {Giveaway - Ends 9/9}

The VTech product, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by VTech for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.
This summer a hot new VTech product hit the shelves -- the Kidizoom® Smartwatch! I'd venture to say that this is going to be a top item on most Christmas lists this year for the 4 years and up age group. Finally, a smart watch just for kids!

The Kidizoom® Smartwatch comes with a lot of features. It's completely interactive so kids can capture photos, add photo effects, record videos or their voice, use it as a watch, and play built-in learning games too. This smartwatch also has a rechargeable battery, alarm clock timer, stopwatch, and parental game controls which I have yet to explore since we're strict with this device anyway. Everything is relatively easy to use, and Buddy figured out every function before me.

The screen is a 1.4 inch color touch screen, which is just perfect for small fingers. The camera can hold up to 800 photos and there are even special effects for your photos including customized photo frames, color filters and distortion effects. The photo quality is pretty decent too. For video, it can hold up to 15 minutes, although each video length limit is 1 minute per file. There are fun video frames that can be used too.

While Buddy is quite tickled with having his very own camera and video recorder, his favorite is the voice recorder. It has 5 voice changing effects so he thinks he's pretty hilarious with his random recordings. Buddy also enjoys playing with the 4 included games. with more that can be downloaded from the Learning Lodge app store online.

The Kidizoom® Smartwatch functions as a watch too, since it is a watch afterall. It even has more than 50 digital and analog clock displays to choose from! There's also a timer, stopwatch, and alarm clock with fun tones and animation. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 2 weeks at a time, depending on the usage amount. If you allow heavy usage, it's probably only going to be a day or two.

I really like that this watch is super durable. It is splash proof and sweat proof, so if you're kiddo is allowed to wear it all the time, it's probably going to hold up just fine.

Buddy LOVES this watch. Although I can't say for sure that I think it's terribly educational, it offers some good quality fun within limits. If used and worn as just a watch, I would have no problem with Buddy wearing the Kidizoom® Smartwatch every day. But since we're talking about an electronic device with lots of functions, it's absolutely considered screen time in our house. And with any electronic device, it's important to teach your child healthy limits. Buddy is allowed about 20 minutes of usage at a time, maybe twice a day if he remembers it's an option.

The Kidizoom® Smartwatch comes in four colors, includes a micro USB cable for data transfer and battery recharging, and has an MSRP of $59.99.
Win It!
One winner will receive their own Kidizoom® Smartwatch!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Benefits of Hiring Eco-Friendly Contractors

 Disclosure: This is a guest post.

Home and business owners often want their buildings to be as clean as possible. Along with making sure the bathrooms are sanitary, the shelves and tables are dusted, and the windows are scrubbed, they also typically want their floors to be cleaned regularly. However, vacuuming and steaming the flooring can be a time consuming project that these owners cannot fit into their busy schedules. When they want this job done without delay, they can call on companies like Green Choice Carpet Cleaning.

Unlike many carpet cleaning companies, contractors such as these offer the advantage of using environmentally friendly cleaners and cleaning techniques. Typically this innovation can be very costly, making it unlikely that the average home or business owner can afford it. However, this kind of contractor can offer this service for a reasonable price without forcing people to break their budgets. People who care about the environment can have their floors cleaned with the peace of mind that they are not harming the air, water, soil, and other natural elements.

Even more, it can important for people to know exactly who is performing this service for them. Some companies outsource this task to third-party contractors, which in turn could elevate the risk to clients. If they are unsure of who is doing the work, people may have little recourse in case their building is damaged or their possessions go missing. However, with this preferable service, people know that the company they hire will be the contractors actually doing the work in their homes. They do not have to second guess whether or not it was the company’s own contractors or if a third-party was subcontracted for the job.

When people hire these professionals, they can also look forward to a lot of the dirt, grime, and odors that have built up in their floors being eliminated. Getting rid of ground-in dirt, for example, can be difficult if people use regular equipment purchased from their favorite retailer. A regular vacuum, for instance, often cannot pick up stains or deep dirt. However, with this floor cleaning service, people can appreciate that all of the deep down dirt, debris, odors, and stains will be removed thoroughly. This service can be particularly helpful to people who suffer from indoor allergies or asthma. Cleaning the flooring inside a building is typically considered to be vital to the health and comfort of the building’s occupants.


Friday, August 22, 2014

California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse :: New Report Exposes Abusive Litigation Spending by School Districts #lawsuitabuse

Disclosure: This post is brought to by California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

The school year is about to begin, and California’s students are about to head back into the classroom. While school districts are always stretched tight, one thing that’s really hurting schools is abusive litigation, which is forcing districts to spend money fighting lawsuits instead of educating students.

CALA_StopSignLogo_California - 2010.jpg 
That’s the finding of a recent report from California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. As a life-long California resident, I'm absolutely appalled to learn about this! The report analyzed the litigation costs to 12 districts for fiscal years 2010-2011 through 2012-2013, and found that the districts combined spent more than $125.6 million on litigation, spending $96.1 million on outside counsel, and $29.4 million on verdicts and settlements.

The 12 districts examined in this report account for less than 20 percent of the total enrollment of California’s K-12 public school districts. When the other districts are taken into account, who knows how many millions – or billions – of dollars our districts are spending?

WHY You Should Care

This report makes it clear that California’s schools are just one more victim of the state’s plaintiffs’ attorneys, some of whom view lawsuits as a means to get rich rather than achieve justice. Because California’s laws encourage this behavior, our students are paying the price. Our school districts are wasting money!

Californians need to make sure, especially as the November ballot approaches, that they know whether their candidates support legal reforms that would put an end to abuse like this. Legislators need to help solve the problem by passing legislation that stops abusive lawsuits, instead of encouraging them. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation :: Apply NOW for Financial Assistance with Medical Expenses #UHCCF

Disclosure: This post is brought to by UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.

Is your family in need of financial assistance for your child's health care treatments, services or equipment? We all know that medical expenses can be truly outrageous, especially when they're out of pocket. Thankfully there are wonderful organizations of there that may be able to help.

The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan.

Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 per grant with a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per child to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids

To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Grants are available for medical expenses families have incurred 60 days prior to the date of application as well as for ongoing and future medical needs. Parents or legal guardians may apply for grants at, and there is no application deadline.

In 2013, UHCCF awarded more than 1,700 medical grants, worth $5.6 million, to children and their families across the United States for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy.

New Children’s Book to Raise Funds
To help raise funds for its child medical grant program, UHCCF has published a new children’s book, “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” – the second book in the Oliver & Hope series.

The new 32-page hand-illustrated book continues the story of Oliver the lovable bear and Hope the spirited butterfly as they join their friends Millie the barn owl and Chewie the English bulldog for their first camping trip. The night is filled with amazing discoveries and silly games that make the shadows a little less scary and the adventure a lot more fun. The book follows last year’s award-winning book, “Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure.”

Both “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” and “Oliver & Hope’s Amusing Adventure” are available on for $13.95 each. The first 250 people who purchase an “Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars” book will receive a Chewie the English bulldog plush toy, to be shipped separately.

Proceeds from UHCCF products, including the Oliver & Hope books, help fund UHCCF grants that help families pay for children’s medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by commercial insurance. Also, organizations and private donors can make tax-deductible donations to UHCCF which are used for grants to help children and families in the region in which they are received.

Both books were written and illustrated by Meg Cadts and Samantha Fitch. Meg Cadts is the pen name for the UHCCF team of writers and contributors.

The Oliver and Hope characters also host their own page on the UHCCF website, Oliver & Hope’s Clubhouse, which features free audiobook versions of the books, activities and games.

For more information on UHCCF, to apply for a grant, to donate, or to visit the clubhouse, visit