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Princesa Pérez Editor-in-Chief Daniel Burgos Executive Director Carlos Castillo Art Director LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 1.Just for Kids 3.Healthy – Signs you child needs glasses 5. Reducing Homework Stress by Lori Lite 7.Going to Kindergarten … Are you ready? 8.Make Going Back to School as Easy as 2+2 10. Joy of Reading 11.Child Development: Early Steps Program 12. Local Businesses: Natural Atlantis 15. Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy 16. Healthy can by Yummy! 18. Things that I found online 19. 20 Ways to give without Expectations, by Lori Deschene 22. ARTS & Crafts: Butterfly Feeder 24. Do-it-Yourself: Triple Bunk Tutorial 28. LET’S CELEBRATE: Back to School Party 31. Recipes: Creamy Layered Fruit Sensation 33. Just for moms 34. Diapers and Lipstick 36. Fashion and Style

All About Parenting is published bi-monthly by CC Productions Miami Inc. All rights reserved.

Welcome to our home .......................................................................... I have a feeling that this is going to be an amazing year, not just for me but for all of us. Let me tell you a bit about me: I’ve always been the kind of a person that likes to investigate and read about everything. Every now and then, I share “my discoveries” with my friends but that was it. However, when I became a mother six years ago, that need to research everything around me did not go away. It actually intensified. Parenting became my passion. A few years later I was introduced to the amazing world of children with special needs, and I was in love. The idea of exchanging information and “my discoveries” with moms like me, especially in my area, was necessary . I enlisted the help of my friends and family and started creating what today is All About Parenting. A place where moms can find information, resources and ideas to become better parents and raise happy and healthy kids no matter our differences. I hope you enjoy reading our premier “Back to School” issue as much as we enjoyed creating it. We had a few bumps here and there but also lots of happy memories too, The most important thing is that we made it with love and dedication and from here on it will only get better. We hope to have you next to us in this amazing journey that starts today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you that made this possible. Sincerely, Princesa Pérez Visit our website and register online to get your FREE copy Or send me an email to and let us know what you think

You can follow me on twitter and facebook.

Just for kids Just to travel alone is a hassle these days, imagine traveling with little ones. You want to keep them occupy, happy, entertain and more than anything safe. Here are some lovely products than can make traveling a “walk in the park”.

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Trunki by


Safety is extremely important, and when you have kids is even more. Sometimes when we travel to grandma’s house or stay in hotels, we wished they had some of the security elements we have in our home. Now safety can travel with you everywhere you go with Travel-Tot! It is an affordable, temporary and totally non damaging all-in-one childproofing kit that provides a layer of care as well as peace of mind for families wherever they travel... Hotels, motels and even grandma’s house! For safety tips and more you can follow Travel-Tot on twitter @TravelTot


This is one of the greatest travel innovations for kids! This lightweight carry-on sized suitcase serves as luggage, riding toy, and transport for kids on the go! At home, Trunki can be used as a convenient kid-friendly storage bin too! It holds up to 75 lbs. Trunki will make family vacations and neighborhood sleepovers more of an adventure! It comes in different colors for your kids to choose from: blue (Terrance), pink (Trixie), orange (Sunny), red (Ruby), purple (Iris), green (Jade)

Traveling Edition Age Recom s: 3 + y mende ear d ww w.m buy s. You i elis t can saa at

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Aliens love under pants.

“Aliens love underpants, in every shape and size, but there are no underpants in space, so here’s a big surprise....”

This hilarious book, written by Claire Freedman and brought to life by Ben Cort’s illustrations, is You can also follow them on sure to captivate and entertain twitter @MelissaAndDoug the whole family. This story is to learn more about their fantastically fresh and funny products. you’ll laugh your pants off! They even have a website with fun activities and games for your kids too! noveu l s n .alie om www rpants.c . Sold at de 3-7 ages stores s d i k k For ost boo m 0.87

1 for $

Health: A very important aspect that all parents of a school-age child should consider is his vision. Vision is required for recognition, comprehension and retention of all school work. As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities. It has been estimated that as much as 80% of the learning a child does occur through his or her eyes. A child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. When his or her vision is not functioning properly, education and participation in sports can suffer.


Sometimes an undetected vision problem can be mistaken for a learning disability or behavior problem if left untreated.

Furthermore, vision changes rapidly in school-aged kids that’s why is so important that we take our kids once a year for an eye exam, even if we don’t suspect of any problems. The best age to take your child fir their first vision exam if you don’t suspect of any problems prior to this is right before they start kindergarten.

When a child starts going to school, a lot of pressure is placed on their eyes: They need to start reading books with small prints; a lot of homework is integrated into their daily routines. They need to read from a chalkboard, and also they spend some time working in the classroom computer.

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Visual acuity — the ability to see clearly, in the distance. Eye focusing —allows the child to easily maintain clear vision over time like when reading a book or writing a report. 3

Eye tracking — the ability to keep the eyes on target when looking from one object to another. Eye teaming — the ability to coordinate and use both eyes together when moving the eyes along a printed page.

...... Eye-hand coordination — the ability to use visual information to monitor and direct the hands.

When certain visual skills have not developed, or are poorly developed, learning is difficult and stressful, and children will typically:

If any of these visual skills are lacking or not functioning properly, a child will have to work harder. This can lead to headaches, fatigue and other eyestrain problems. Parents and teachers need to be alert for symptoms that may indicate a child has a vision problem.

Attempt to do the work anyway, but with a lowered level of comprehension or efficiency. Experience discomfort, fatigue and a short attention span. Eyeglasses or contact lenses may provide the needed correction for many vision problems. However, a program of vision therapy may also be needed to help develop or enhance vision skills it all depends on your child’s needs. SOURCE FOR STATISTICS: American Optometric Association




Visual perception — the ability to organize images on a printed page into letters, words and ideas and to understand and remember what is read.

Reducing By Lori Lite


Homework Stress

ust say the word homework to most teens, children, or parents and watch their whole mood change as every cell of their mind and body heads into stress mode. Holidays, weekends, and downtime is a great time to have a new look at how you and your children approach homework. Reducing homework stress can turn homework into a positive experience that teaches your child lifelong skills. When homework is too extensive and time consuming it can have a negative impact on your entire family. Stress can get in the way of a child’s ability to learn and retain information. Take a good look at your child’s homework routine. If your child ends up crying, sleep deprived or quitting activities to have more time to complete assignments they may be experiencing stress overload.

Tips for Reducing Homework Stress:

1-Purchase a second set of used textbooks to keep at home. This is especially helpful for children that have difficulty juggling assignments and organizing. It is also a healthy choice for your child’s spine. makes it easy and affordable. 2-Break it down. Set smaller goals to complete a portion of the assignment. Reward your child with a break. Let your child set a timer to alert them that their break is over. This eliminates power struggles and empowers children. 3-Encourage children to review work each night so that when it is time for a test they are not overloaded with information. 4-Use affirmations or positive statements like, “I can do it.” 5-Set up an area in your home dedicated to homework and studying. An area clear of chaos makes it easier to focus and feel calm. 5

6-Teach children relaxation techniques. Take a deep breath in and say “Ahhhhh” to release anger and frustration. Stress management should be introduced during calm moments so they can be implemented when needed. 7-Have a healthy snack or even a meal before homework. It is difficult to concentrate and feel balanced when hungry or eating sugar. I actually served a full dinner at 3:30 when my kids got off the bus and before they sat down for homework. This adjustment made a huge difference. 8-Brain breaks should be taken. Don’t expect children to be able to sit still for long periods of time. Let them move as needed. Blow bubbles outside in the fresh air. Do jumping jacks, run, or have a good laugh. Exercising and deep breathing brings oxygen to your child’s brain and reduces stress. 9-Stay positive about and during homework. Children listen and internalize negative statements and movements. A positive hopeful attitude is contagious. If you believe they can do it…they will believe they can do it. 10-Help your child understand directions, organize, and create a time management plan. Many children waste time by doing the homework incorrectly because they did not understand the directions. Going over them ahead of time saves time and frustration. Don’t forget your teen. They have more on their plate and could use your guidance and experience. 11-Ask your children what type of music helps them to feel more relaxed when they work. Allow them to find what works for them. Indigo Dreams: Kid’s Relaxation Music was created specifically for children. It is relaxing and uplifting. Some children need complete quiet and some do better with background noise. Let them learn what works best for them and honor it. Even with taking steps to alleviate stress, experts warn that difficult homework assignments and the pressure to complete multiple projects can cause anxiety, frustration, and even anger for kids. Homework that creates an anxiety-ridden child is defeating the overall goal of creating a well-rounded, balanced, successful child. Parents need to step in and get involved if they see this happening to their child. Be an advocate for your child. If they are overwhelmed by homework and it is affecting their quality of life, speak up. You child’s teacher will appreciate your honesty. For more infornation about Lori Lite of Indigo Dreams CD Series, please visit her website or follow her on twitter @StressFreeKids



to Kindergarten!!


Are you ready ?

ere are some tips for a child entering When your child turns 5 years kindergarten:


Know first and last name and recognize it when printed.


Identify his age and gender.


Make needs known.


Interact with other children and begin to share with others.


Speak in complete sentences of five to six words.


Pay attention to adults and understand and follow instructions and rules.


Use crayons, drawing tools as well as child-size scissors with control and intention.


Pay attention to adults and understand and follow instructions and rules.


Use crayons, drawing tools as well as child-size scissors with control and intention.

old based on age, he is ready to start his school career (that is if you haven’t started already with Pre-School) with Kindergarten. Kindergarten might seem like a big step for children and adults, at least this is how I see it: For kids, it’s the transition to the big boy/girl arena, where you are going to expand your world to things you’ve never been exposed to before, and you are going to start claiming your independence. As for parents, our little babies are replaced by an explorer who wants to conquer the world and that soon will be teaching you new things.

10 Classify objects by physical features (same/different, alike/different). 11 Identify shapes, colors, sizes. 12 Recognize letters in the alphabet. 13 Listen to stories without interrupting. 14 Counts in sequence 1-10. 15 Demonstrate independence in personal care. 16 Demonstrate gross motor skills. 7

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Making Going Back to School as Easy as 2+2 by Daniel D. Burgos


oing back to school can either be a blessing or a nightmare for some children (and for some parents). After all summer, of going to the pool, the beach, and somewhat of more flexible schedule it’s time to trade the swim suits and flip flops for backpacks and pencils. Starting a new school year could be a challenging experience for many parents (especially those who are just starting for the first time). We have some tips that may help make the trans-


ition from shorts to school uniforms easier. Some children stress with the return of school- seeing old bullies, old/new crushes, teachers who they hate, etc. Having a talk with your child can help reduce their fears of returning back to school. Asking them questions such as, “What is your favorite subject?”, “What is the subject you hate and why?” “Who’s picking on you?”Asking these questions can help open a dialogue with your children and get to know what fears

they may have and come up with solutions that may help them be able to understand their feelings and have a plan. Start practicing bedtime habits, such as time and stories, at least 10 days in advance. Getting children in the rhythm can help you save a lot of tears and frustration in the morning. Starting to get a child ready in time for school may save you time in the morning, headaches and it gets your little one back in the routine.


on’t forget the school supplies: Some schools hand out school supply list before the ending of the previous school years, or places such as Walmart have school supplies, which local schools have given them. Do not leave school supply shopping for last minute! Another advantage into looking for early school supply shopping with enough time can be that you save yourself some money! Lots of online websites, office supply stores or stores may offer discounts. You may want to check to see also if your state is participating in a tax-free break on school supplies to save yourself some money.

This next step is extremely crucial for little ones. Take some time off to connect with your child’s teacher. If your child is new in school, take some time out of your schedule to make sure that they are comfortable with their environment. Some schools even allow parents to accompany their children to classes for the first week, and they get adjusted to their new environment. If your child isn’t the type to be timid or shy and feels fine with the environment then let them walk to class on their own.

be used to having to work on assignments, so make sure that you are at least aware of what is happening. The first day and the first week back to school are an exciting time of year that can generate different feelings in a child. These feelings can either be pleasant ones or ones of stress and anxiety. The sure fire way to reduce stress and anxiety is to make sure that you plan accordingly.

Don’t let back to school “freak you out.” Make sure communication and planning is the Also, make sure that there is best tools to use. communication between you and the school. Children may Boys and girls of all ages let’s forget to write homework as- get ready to tackle on this signments down or may not school year once again! 9

The Joys of Reading

Reading is not only one of the best hobbies to have for kids and adults but also reading will help build children’s vocabulary and improve their communication skills; it also helps them express their ideas and feelings with precision and clarity. Helping our children to enjoy the pleasures of reading is a task shared between parents and teachers.

Tips to encourage reading: Involve children in choosing the book and take your time. In order to enjoy reading kids


need to find a topic that interest them and keep them wanting more.

Visit your local public library. Many libraries may have free resources and activities for your child to take advantage of. These resources may vary from reading programs to free dvds.

Advantage of new technologies: The Internet has many resources to encourage reading. Your kids can find animated and interactive stories.

need to find a topic that interest them and keep them wanting more.

Pick a book that is age appropriate for your child. Children should not read books above or below their comprehension because in, they will not understand the complicity or will be bored with the simplicity. Comfort: A good chair and a calm atmosphere are excellent companions.

Vi s it : http : / / n c e s . e d . g ov / s u rve y s / l i br ar i e s / l i br ar y s e arc h /

Childdevelopment Florida’s Early Steps System


very child develops differently is an extremely true and convincing argument, but it is also essential to understand that the first three years of life is the most critical time for learning. Parents must be especially aware if their children are meeting their milestones required for their age development, and if they have any doubts, they should voice their concerns with their pediatrician. Early detection of a learning disability or development delay will give parents the strategies to prevent these children from experiencing school failure in the future. When a child is diagnosed with a disability, the experience can be a very stressful for all family members. Some parents go through a period of denial and it can take them a little time to accept reality. After the initial shock, parents are faced with a lot of questions: “What should I do?” “How can I help my child?” “What is the appropriate treatment in his or her case?” “Can

I afford treatment?” “Where should I go now?” Luckily, there are several programs in the nation that are designed to assist parents of exceptional children who come face-to-face with disabilities at an early age.

Services are provided to the family and child where they live, learn and play, to allow the family to implement the appropriate learning opportunities in their kid’s routines. Kids learn with daily activities and you as a parent know your child better than anyone else, In this issue, we will explore they spend most of their time an early intervention program with you, and at the end you available in the state of Florida: are their best teacher. Early Steps. Early Steps offer services to If you have any concerns reeligible infants and toddlers garding your child develop(birth to thirty-six months) ment, please feel free to give with significant delays or a them a call and set up an apcondition likely to result in a pointment for an evaluation. developmental delay. Early intervention is extremely beneficial, and it gives your Early Intervention is provided child the opportunity to deto support families and care- velop to his/hers full potential. givers in developing the competence and confidence to help Early Steps – Miami Dade their child learn and develop. Office 1120 NORTHWEST 14TH Early Steps services are based STREET, ROOM 1216 on evaluations administered MIAMI, FLORIDA 33136 by their trained professionals PH: (305) 243-5808 and considering your concerns FAX: (305) 243-3501 as parents and experiences with your child. After the ini- For more information, please tial evaluation, their team will visit their website: develop a plan of action that best helps your child’s needs. 11

Let me introduce you to Atlantis Natural, an enrichment and education center located in Miami, FL. AAP-What inspired Atlantis AAP -What services Atlantis Natural? Natural provides to the public? AN-Diane Moura is the founder and Director of Atlantis Natural. Diane lost her mother and best friend to breast cancer in 1988, which set her on a lifelong course of learning and imprinted her with a determination to create a holistic environment for her family and to share that knowledge with others. AN-Atlantis Natural was founded in Miami, Florida in 2002, to help families raise their children naturally: Eat organic - good health starts from the inside out, from pre-pregnancy to feeding the entire family. Breastfeed - there is no better way to nourish your baby. Weaning takes place in the West earlier than anywhere in the world. Babies do not fully develop their own digestive enzymes until age 2 as nature intended those enzymes to come from mother’s milk. Breastfeeding quickly sheds pregnancy pounds “I had my own daughter late in life and reduces future breast cancer but at 48, I fully intend to be around risk. to play with my grandchildren and Minimize toxin exposure - convendo whatever I can so that no child tional skin care, clothing, feeding must endure the pain of the prema- products, toys and cleaners often ture loss of a parent due to a disease which is basically preventable.” Diane has been active in the Miami holistic health community for the past several years where she has been a passionate advocate of raising children in a natural environment as free as possible of toxins, using organic and whole food sources, and making use of the Earth’s remedies.


contain dangerous toxins like BPA and phthalates, which are even more toxic to little bodies and can impact neurological development. Heal naturally - there are times when conventional medicines are the best resort and always check with your health practitioner to be sure but most minor illnesses can be eased naturally with herbs, homeopathy, minerals and essential oils. Respect the earth - make buying and service decisions that minimize waste, reuse what you can and recycle the rest. Be conscious of what you throw away or pour down the drain. Educate - we are never too old to learn how to take better care of ourselves and our families. By offering information, products and services under Atlantis Natural’s name or recommendation, we are working to become the source for individuals interested in natural health and a safe, pure, low impact environment for their children.

We offer the highest quality branded products available. Our merchandising strategy is based on extensive research, customer suggestions and recommendations, and working with vendors and industry leaders on product development. We are committed to enhancing our reputation in the marketplace by continually improving our services to you. We strive to make available the highest quality children’s enrichment programs and natural family lifestyle and nutrition education possible. We offer online training courses as well as on premises in our Miami location. This includes holistic workshops, lectures & camps; art, movement, meditation and nutrition.

AAP-Why buy organic? AN-Conventionally grown cotton uses more pesticides than any other crop. Believe it or not more than 10% of the world’s insecticides and 25% of pesticides are used in cotton production. Cotton producers also use some of the most dangerous chemicals on the market, including those derived from toxic nerve agents developed during the second world war. These pesticides are harmful to farm workers, neighboring communities and schools, beneficial insects, domestic and wild animals and soil micro organisms. Water runoff contaminates lakes and rivers, killing fish and other marine life. Ironically, massive spraying of pesticides causes massive outbreaks of secondary insects, leading to crop losses and a vicious circle of spraying. The organic label tells you that the cotton was grown according to USDA standards. Only non GMO seeds may be used; soil is kept healthy through crop rotation and supplementation with organic mat-

ter and beneficial insects. Organic cotton is processed into cloth that may either be left in its natural beige state or whitened with safe peroxide instead of harmful chlorine bleach. Natural soybean softening is used as well as the vegetable based, heavy metal free dyes.

ent who hands their child a brightly colored candy is doing it not to intentionally harm their child but out of love. They simply don’t know what goes on in that little body when it digests those toxins. So educate yourself and read labels. If you can’t pronounce it then it probably isn’t good for you. Stick to labels with The initial cost of organic cotton fewer ingredients. We can help with baby clothes may be slightly higher, that education but pay attention to but the long term advantages are what you feed your family. priceless. Babies are born with sensitive skin, and many babies react to And exercise! Our bodies were built conventional fabrics with painful, to move. We recently went on vaitchy rashes and allergies. Organic cation in Europe. You don’t see the cotton baby clothing, organic baby obesity that we have in this country toys and organic cloth diapers are but people walk everywhere. They the soft, safe choice. Atlantis Natural walk up the escalators, they walk to carefully sources the highest quality the store, and they walk to public organic cotton baby products. We transportation. Get away from the have worked with most of our sup- video games and take the kids to the pliers for years, and we know and park to play! Walk instead of drivtrust their fair trade manufacturing ing when you can and make moving processes. We offer a 100% satis- your body part of your daily routine. faction guarantee and 365 day no hassle returns. AAP-What’s in the future for

Atlantis Natural? AAP-What active steps can ordinary people take to AN-I’m very excited about the improve their everyday launch of our children’s enrichment and family wellness lectures. routine/lifestyle? AN-Really it’s all about balance. For example, we offer courses here created by the famous pediatrician Dr. William Sears MD called LEAN (lifestyle, education, attitude and nutrition). They teach parents how to make changes across these four areas in a way that they can live with long term while having fun. If a change is painful, it is human nature for us to find a way to go back to our old bad habits. Good food is incredibly important, especially for children since their bodies demand so much fuel to grow. Keeping as many chemicals like food dyes, additives and high fructose corn syrup off of their plate is critical. These additives have been proven to impact the functioning of their brains and organs. I truly believe that a par-

I am grateful and amazed at how the community is rallying around us. Holistic doctors, practitioners, teachers, yoga, dance and meditation instructors, all are responding so positively to creating this resource in downtown Miami and the families are clamoring for more. So in our immediate future we will continue to expand our class and lecture calendar and we also hope to bring more holistic practitioners here for office hours to make their services more available to our downtown families. For more information please contact Atlantis Natural 305-379-2722 or visit them at


Children’s Enrichment and Wellness Education Center

Holistic Workshops, Lectures & Camps; art, movement, meditation, nutrition Organic Groceries, Organic Baby & Children’s Clothing, Diapers, Toys & More

Open House

Organic Summer Camp

Thursday August 2nd, 4:30pm-7:30pm •Meet the teachers •Register for classes •Hear informative mini lectures •Eco Art for the kids •Sample organic treats

August 6-10 and August 13-17 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, optional aftercare 4:00 – 6:30 pm

1717 N Bayshore Drive, Ste 218 Miami, FL 33132 Grand/Marriott Retail Plaza Top of the escalator


Camp fees include all activities and art supplies as well as a daily organic snack. Ages 6-10 Kids will meet real artists and chefs in an eco friendly setting, do projects and start their own website! For details click on our Class, Camp and Event Calendar


Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy Keep on Walking- During pregnancy, it is important to exercise but always in moderation. Walking is a good exercise !

Take care of your diet. Although it may seem obvious, you have to watch what you eat while pregnant.

Try to avoid heartburn. During pregnancy, it is very typical to have heartburn; this is due to increased progesterone; a hormone that stimulates the uterus and prepares it for pregnancy.

Drink plenty of water, it is essential to be well hydrated when expecting. You have to drink water throughout the day, even if you are not thirsty.


Healthy Can Be Yummy! By: Maite Rivera

Cooking with kids Miami

For Maria Cummins, owner of “Cooking With Kids Miami,” healthy living is a priority. Coming from a background in the restaurant business and with a health-conscious approach to life, she has taken children’s nutrition to the next level. Her passion for nutrition and love for children were the inspiration for “Cooking With Kids Miami,” a South Florida based business which among various services, teaches children how to make healthy, balanced meals, hosts Chef-Themed Children’s parties and offers an exquisite and fun after-school program for various schools in the Miami area. Chef Maria began her nutritious after-school program in the Montessori school system in 2008 and was an immediate success with students and parents alike. Clever and practical meals visually appeal to children while using a wide variety of colorful, organic ingredients meet parents’ desires of instilling healthy habits from a young age. The growth of “Cooking With Kids Miami” is attributed to the flexibility of programs offered, and a warm, charismatic approach to healthy living. “Cooking with Kids Miami” is located at

Visit the beautiful premises of “Cooking With Kids 9612 NE 2nd Ave Miami Shores FL, 33139 Miami,” conveniently located in Miami Shores, FL, and inquire on this fantastic culinary adventure. Reservations are required! From weekend cooking classes for children 3 to 13 Contact Chef Maria at 786.395.0355 years old to Field Trips, Cooking Camps and Cor- Website: porate Events, “Cooking with Kids Miami” is a must for the health-conscious families of today. 16

Our Community YES TO HOPE CAMPAIGN GOAL: Give kids fun and engaging ways to connect with Mother Nature and teach them to lead healthier lifestyles through nutrition, gardening, and being outdoors.


GRANTS: A percentage of all Yes To profits go back to the Seed Fund. We donate grants to school gardens to help them grow!

The Yes To Seed Fund is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Mama Hope called Yes To Hope‌

The Yes To Hope campaign aims to supplement the daily lunches of 10,000 children across Africa by the end of 2012 by providing schools with funding for year-round organic gardens. The first garden (which will also act as a training center for other schools) is Ngeya Primary School in Maai Mahiu, Kenya. This garden supplements the daily lunches of 1,800 students (for 30% of these students, this is the only meal they get a day.) Each Yes To Hope school garden in Africa will be connected to a U.S. based Yes To Seed Fund school garden, where the students will be able to communicate via video chat and email. The goal of the program is to unite students from across the world to share in common experiences and to generate a sense of growth for the students on both sides of the globe. The Yes To Hope campaign’s long-term vision is to feed thousands of children through school gardens, while creating a global community of students working together for mutual learning, teaching, and understanding.

Things that I found online and LOVE! !

If there is something that is absolutely TRUE about me is that I LOVE TO SHARE INFORMATION! It goes back to my pre-child life that I was constantly sharing a coupon or a website with a good sale, cosmetics review or anything that I found worth sharing with my gals. However, now that I’m a mom, I’m always sharing child-related information with all my friends with kids. Let me put it to you this way: if I think is important or relevant to you, I WILL SHARE, so enjoy ! I’m always looking for new and cool ways to dress my 6 years-old BOY! Dressing a boy is not fun I have to say, no bows, no pink (I looooove pink.) However, recently I found this on-line marketplace that was created by two moms who found shopping on-line for their children too hard and time consuming and decided to create a better way to find products for all kids. They have all the cool clothes, toys, music and DVDs you can imagine. They also have the CREATE A LOOK tool that lets you mix and match pieces to create complete outfits for your kids before you buy them. They carry all the hip and trendsetting brands, but also they offer lots of eco friendly and organic brands too. You can check them out at:

Ever since my son was born, I’ve always loved to do crafts with him. I think that every child gets excited when they use their imagination to turn a piece of paper into something totally different. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but most of the time I cannot come up with any ideas, and then I see something online and go AHA! That’s cool why didn’t I think of that before? One day while looking online for new ideas I found a company that with your paid subscription will send you a different green crate every month with a distinctive theme and lots of materials, instructions and inspirations for you to create many projects with your kids. I just ordered my first crate this week, and as soon as I get it, I’ll share with you my experience (pics included). However, you can order your own by visiting you can pay $19.95 for a monthly subscription or $220.00 for the whole year.

For some reason, I’ve always found myself looking for school’s reviews (for myself and others), information and resources on education and other important topics; activities for my son, worksheets, printables and much more. One of my favorite’s websites to do that is com. With more than 3 million visitors each month, is the fastest growing site in its class and the go-to destination for involved parents. From kindergarten readiness through college prep, gives parents the information they need and the ideas they want to help their kids reach their full potential and make learning fun. They also have a mobile app with learning activities for your kids when you are on the go. They created workbooks for you to buy and print for your kids by grade and subject (I printed a lot of those for my son this summer).


20 Ways to Give Without Expectations by Lori Deschene

Some people say there’s no such thing as a selfless act—that any time we do something

to help another person, we get something in return, even if it’s just a warm fuzzy feeling. I’ve spent a lot of time playing with this idea in my head. It doesn’t really bother me to know it feels good to help someone else. That, to me, is a completely acceptable type of selfishness. What give me cause for concern are the underlying expectations we often have when we give“selflessly.” We’ve all been there. You cover for your coworker because you know you’ll need her assistance next month. You give your sister $20, and then silently look for ways she can pay you back, even if not monetarily. You help your friend get leads for a job, and then feel angry when she isn’t as proactive in offering you support. I’ve found that these expectations cause more stress than joy. They mar the act of giving, which makes me feel slightly guilty; they lead to disappointment if the person I helped doesn’t return the kindness; and they tie my intentions to an internal score card, which places a wedge in my relationships. Recently I’ve been asking myself, “What is my expectation?” before I do something for another person. The answer I find most acceptable—cheesy as it may sound—is: to feel good and show love. Strangely, when I release the need to control what I get for giving, I get enough, somehow. I’ve made a list of 20 things you can do to show you care, without needing the recipient to return the kindness—20 ways giving is its own reward. Maybe some of these will resonate with you. Or perhaps you’ll want to write your own list to spur the spirit of giving without expectations. (Although I’ve written you, these are things I try to do.)


1. Give money you can spare to someone who needs it and then pretend you never had it. 2. Let someone tell a story without feeling the need to one-up them or tell your own. 3. Let someone vent, even if you can’t offer a solution, just to be an ear—without considering how well they listened to you last week. 4. Help someone who is struggling with difficult feelings by admitting you’ve felt the same thing—without considering whether they’d be as open with you. 5. Ask, “What can I do to help you today?” Then let it go after following through. 6. Tell someone how you feel about them, even if it makes you feel vulnerable, just to let them know they’re loved and not alone. 7. Apologize when you’ve acted selfishly, even if you don’t like feeling wrong, because it will remind the other person they deserve to be treated with respect.

willingness to share it.

8. Let someone else educate you, even if you’re tempted to stay closed minded, because you value their knowledge and appreciate their

9. Forgive someone who wronged you because you have compassion for them, not because you know they’ll owe you. 10. Hold someone’s hand when they feel vulnerable to let them know you haven’t judged them. 11. Give your full attention to the person in front of you when you’re tempted to let your thoughts wander just to show them their words are valuable.


12. Assume the best when you’re tempted to suspect someone for no valid reason—even if they haven’t always given you the benefit of the doubt. 13. Accompany someone to an appointment or drive them to an interview when they need support just to help them feel strong. 14. Change your plans for someone you love if yours weren’t too important without questioning whether they’d do the same for you.

15. Teach someone how to do something without taking a superior position because they’ve likely taught you many things, whether they were obvious or not. 16. Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog, not to build your readership but rather to show them how they affected you. 17. Tell someone you believe in their potential, even if they haven’t always shown you the same support. 18. Say no when it would make you feel good to say yes, because sometimes being kind means pushing someone to step up and try harder. 19. Tell someone you know they meant well instead of using their mistake as an opportunity to manipulate their guilt. 20. I’ve left this one open for you to write. How do you give just to show you care? Let’s face it: none of us is always kind. Human nature dictates we’ll act with one eye on what’s in it for us, at least occasionally. And I think that’s okay, as long as we make an effort whenever possible to do good for the sake of it. Releasing expectations doesn’t mean you give other people permission to treat you thoughtlessly. It just means you check in with your motivations and give because you want to; and then ask for things directly when you want them. People who care about you will be there for you in return.

Lori Deschene is the Founder of Tiny Buddha. Her first book, Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions is now available on Amazon. Follow Lori on Twitter @tinybuddha or visit her website 21

Arts & Craft Butterfly Feeders By: Sharon McEwen-Moore from Rainbow and Sunshine Place

Butterfly Feeders

Today we are going to make Butterfly Feeders. They are easy and fun to make and look pretty hanging from a tree in the playground!

What you need: Colorful sponges String/twine A pencil/tool to make holes in the sponge Nectar Recipe

Nectar Recipe: 4 parts boiling water 1 part sugar Dissolve the sugar in boiled water Refrigerate unused nectar for 1 week

What to do: Make the Nectar and let it cool.

Take a sponge and using the pencil, make a hole in each corner of the sponge,

or make two holes, one in the centre of each short side, if preferred.

Thread the string through the holes to make hangers. Knot the threads.


Pour the cooled nectar into a shallow dish.

Press the sponge into the nectar and wet thoroughly.

Outside and ready for hanging! Remember to check the sponges and add more nectar when dry.

Hang the feeders from branches of trees, and among flowers. Not only are the feeders an additional source of food, they also provide a resting spot for the butterflies while they drink.

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Do-it-yourself ! By Benjamin Caffee

Let’s thank our friends from The Handmade Dress for sharing with us this amazing project that the whole family can enjoy and create together.

Triple Bunk Tutorial Materials Needed • 9 - 2”x8”x8’ • 12 - 2”x4”x8’ • 8 - 2”x3”x8’ • 3 - 4’x8’ sheets 1/2” Plywood • Wood Glue • 8 3 ½ “ x ¼ “ Carriage Bolts (give or take a few) • 20 4” Lag Bolts (give or take a few) • Lots of screws 2.5”,3.5”, and 1 5/8”

Full wall

Tools • 2 clamps • Level • 3/8 Paddle Bit • Countersink Bit • Drill/Driver • Skill Saw/Chop Saw • Stud Finder • Palm Sander/or Hand Sand It! • Jigsaw (for safety rails) • Stain/Rags or Paint /Brushes A few things to remember before starting this project: • Me, Samantha, and the kids (10 and under) built these bad boys, you can too! • I designed these beds to be “Tim Proof ”. Tim is my 8 year old boy that can destroy a steel ball with a rubber hammer. • Do not throw anything away until the project is over • The measurements between the beds are to accommodate 8’ ceilings, if you have higher ceilings you can increase the space between beds evenly.



Let’s Get Stared !

1) Decide where the beds will go. 2) Once you have picked a location and a style you can begin building. Keep in mind these beds are built stationary. They DO NOT move without disassembling them.


3) Building the Bed Frames:


4) Next cut the cross supports. (I don’t know if that is what they are really called but that’s what we will call them) Cut 5- 2”x3” board 39.5” long and place them as the diagram shows. Use 3.5” screws, glue, and pre-drill your holes. Be sure the bottoms are flush.

5) The final step of the frame is the plywood bottom. You cut it 39.5x75.5. Sometimes it needs a little “persuasion” to fit i.e. a hammer. Screw it to the cross supports using at least 5 - 1 5/8” screws per cross support (evenly spaced). 6) Repeat these steps 2 more times. You need 3 bed frames total. 7) You should now have three bed frames laying around somewhere. Let’s start putting them together. The bottom bunk will sit directly on the floor wherever you have chose. Remember to remove the base board so the bed is flush to the wall. Once the bed is in place attach it with your 4” lag bolts to all the studs you can. Make sure the bed is level before attaching it to the wall. (note if your bottom bunk is in the corner attach to studs on both walls.) 8) Once the bottom bunk is in place we need to install supports for the bottom bunk. Your supports will be either 20” or 27.5” - 2”x4”s depending if they sit on the bottom bunk or go all the way to the floor. Be sure your supports are positioned so they can be attached to studs with your 4” lags and be sure the bottom of the supports are on something. (the bottom bunk or the floor. We want the weight on the floor not the wall.)



9) Now carry that heavy middle bed frame in and put it up on the supports you have screwed to the wall. ( Note: you will have to support the front of the bed with a clamp and a board while you screw the middle bunk to the studs with the lag bolts. This is only temporary.) Be sure that the middle bunk is pretty level and resting weight on all your supports. Attach the middle bunk to the wall with 4” lags.( note: if the middle bunk is in the corner bolt to studs on both walls.)


10) We now need to install the supports for the top bunk. The brace will be 20” if it rests on the middle bunk and 47.5” if it rests on the bottom bunk. These will also need to lag bolt to studs.

11) So far all of our braces have been on the wall. Before you bring in the third bunk we have to get rid of that temporary board and do some permanent legs. A) If you have chosen the corner style you will have to cut 1- 30” 2x4 and 1- 27.5” 2x4. They will need to be screwed together with 2.5” screws and flush at the bottom.

B) If you chose the flat wall style you have to open or hanging ends you need to do step A and also put a 20” 2x4 between the bottom and middle bunk. Use a couple of scrap pieces of 2x4 and some 2.5” screws to scab on the inside of the beds so noone will see your screw holes.


* 12) Now move the top bunk in on to the supports and use the same clamp and a longer 2x4 to support the hanging side. Do not climb up on this bunk until it is permanently braced the clamp will not hold you. Use a ladder to lag bolt the bunk to the wall. Make sure it is close to level and resting evenly on all your wall supports. 13) Last thing is to support the open or hanging sides of the top bunk. This will be easier to see in pictures remember you spacing between beds is either 20” or 47.5” for the top bunk. For the ladders to run all the way from the floor to the top of the top bunk like my ladders do in the pictures just measure and cut a 2x4. Final notes: A) Cut your designed handrails from scrap plywood and a jigsaw. Use 1 5/8” screw and attach on the inside of the bed frame. (see pictures)


B)To install the ladder rungs between braces use your paddle bit to drill about halfway through the braces so the 3” screws will go into the rung about 1.5”. C) Remember you do not want screws holding any weight! We want the weight sitting on the floor.

For more information about making this project and copy of the plans visit:


Let’s Celebrate ! Back to School! by:Leoni Jena


or Imara’s 4th birthday, we chose the theme “back to school” since Imara was a bit scared having to start Kindergarten. Imara’s birthday was only a few days before the new school year, so we thought this would be a fabulous ice breaker. I featured the apple throughout the party as well as the bookworm because Imara always takes an apple to Kindergarten and LOVES to read the most. To start with I made Imara’s apple invitation using Kikki K’s apple tags, I just printed the details on some blank

cardstock and cut it to fit the apple shape, I then used the Kikki K envelopes and stickers from their stationary range to send them off to her friends. The backdrop was created by painting some MDF boards with blackboard paint and with the leftover paint, I covered an old dining table (that already had a lot of scribbles on it) top so the girls could have fun drawing on it after or during the party with some chalk. On the blackboard, I stuck a white tree wall decal which also became the focal point for my table and the “vessel”

for my homemade apple cookies. Yep, I hung apple cookies from my “tree,” it looked so cute and best of all the girls just had to undo the ribbon bow if they wanted to eat one. I was then inspired by Bird’s Party free download back to school printables (I used them on labels, tags and pencil toppers); they are amazing, but if you want something different, please visit Bird’s Party shop because she has some AMAZING designs to suit everyone.


Imara’s favorite drinks is plain milk, so we had to have that at the party! Instead of printing labels I bought these cute blackboard labels from Bradensgrace Wallart and wrote the word milk using plain white chalk. The gorgeous birthday girl wore a custom-made apple skirt with polka-dot frill from Janum. I made a matching T-shirt with a $4 Target T-shirt and some left-over felt and fabric.

For the cake, I decided on a small chocolate sponge filled with chocolate fudge icing, Imara’s favourite flavour. Everything on the cake is edible and made from fondant; Imara loved the bookworm the best.

The building blocks (red ones on the right side of the table) are custom made by LillyPilly arts on Ebay.

The banner in front of the table was made using Dimple Prints free downloadable alphabets.


The party table was decorated with melamine plates (from Spotlight) and homemade polkadot napkins and party hats (inspired by Kate Landers.) I wrote each child’s name on the table, in chalk, above each plate as place cards. At the back of each chair is a handmade library bag containing a children’s book about apples. I made the bunting flags from Kokka green and red apples, Chalkboard Letters and Numbers fabric, Kaufman Metro Market Apple in Red and Michael Millers lime green polka-dots fabric.


Each child took home cute mini suitcases with Penny Scallan bag tags and stickers, and each suitcase contained 1 edible crayon; I handmade these using Parties by Hardie’s cute tutorial, alphabet cookie snacks (made by me because I couldn’t find any to buy at my local store), notebook (covered in funky apple fabric) and pencil and apple.

To learn more about this and other creations follow Leoni in @callmemarthaa 30

Recipes for all y Cream d Layere Fruit tion Sensa

What You Need 3 Tbsp. orange juice 1/4 tsp. almond extract 1 pkg. (10 oz.) prepared angel food cake, cut into 2-inch cubes 2 pkg. (1 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding 2-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk

How to make it MIX juice and extract. Drizzle over cake cubes in large bowl; toss to coat. BEAT pudding mixes and milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1 cup COOL WHIP.

RESERVE a few berries for garnish. Place half the cake 1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping, cubes in 2-qt. glass bowl; divided top with layers of half each of the remaining berries 2 pkg. (12 oz. each) frozen unsweetened mixed berries and pudding mixture. (raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries), thawed, well drained Repeat layers. Refrigerate 2 hours. Top with remaining COOL WHIP and reserved berries just before serving. To find this and more recipes go to:



total: 16 servings, 1/2 cup each

healthy living information *Low fat

*Good source of vitamin A or C *Diabetes Center

carb choices carb choices: 1-1/2

diet exchange 1-1/2

Carbohydrate + 1/2 Fat

nutrition bonus Enjoy a serving of this refreshing low-fat dessert that is high in vitamin C from the berries. nutritional info per serving Calories 110 Total fat 1 g Saturated fat 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 300 mg Carbohydrate 22 g Dietary fiber 1 g

To find this and more recipes go to:

Sugars 16 g Protein 2 g Vitamin A 4 %DV Vitamin C 50 %DV Calcium 8 %DV Iron 0 %DV


Just for moms


NEWBerry Blossom Hand Lotion

SOFTENING FACIAL EXFOLIATOR Yes To Blueberries Softening Facial Exfoliator is rich in anti-oxidants that gently exfoliate to reveal soft, smooth skin. Formulated with Blueberries to fight the formation of free radicals, and Apple to help refresh and brighten the skin’s surface. Mix in some gentle exfoliating beads derived from Corn, and your skin will feel fresh and fabulous! Follow with a layer of Yes To Blueberries Daily Repair Moisturizer and your skin will thank you...


hand lotion now comes in a fun, new scent and color– Berry Blossom! With a delightful fruity fragrance with just a hint of floral, Berry Blossom’s will make your hands soft, smooth, and never greasy.

Natural, non-greasy formula

Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants such as For Aged-damaged Vitamin C and Anthocyanins and mature skin. to help fight the formation of free radicals that can damage the skin’s microstructure. Apple is rich in powerful Polyphenol Anti-Oxidants and natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which help to refresh and brighten skin’s surface. $9.99

*99% Natural *Free of Parabens, Petroleum and SLS *No Animal Testing


*97% Natural formula. *Enriched with nourishing shea butter, aloe and oat extract. *Dermatologist tested & Hypo al lergenic. *Paraben-free and gluten-free. *Not tested on animals.

Unique Packaging Package is perfectly portable for a purse or pocket. Smooth, ergonomic, recyclable packaging is easy to to find in even the largest of bags, and a perfect accessory for a desk or nightstand. $3.99

Diapers & By Maite Rivera Lipstick Mommy Makeup 101

Tips and Tricks For The Stylish Mom


s the summer ends and our little ones prepare for back to school, it is an excellent time for mommies on the go to spark up their makeup routine. Mornings can be hectic and challenging as we prepare breakfast and wake up our little ones with love in preparation for the day ahead. Many times, the look we are able to pull together in the morning is the one we keep for the remainder of the day due to our endless responsibilities. That is why it is so important to take a minute and add some spark to our face. Here, are some tips to look fab while tackling all our Super Mom tasks!

The Tips 1. Go for the Bold When there is absolutely no time for anything else a bright pink lipstick is our best friend! When in a hurry, dare to wear your favorite pink shade. It is flattering, youthful and fun! Pink Lipstick and some oversized sunglasses make a statement and keep the attention fully on your lips.

2. Subtle and Even

Even out your complexion using a compact Kabuki Brush and your favorite Mineral Powder. The fine Kabuki bristles enable quick and flawless application of your favorite powder and even foundation! Complement your skin with your favorite Peach Lip Gloss and wear mascara to intensify your eyes.

3. Simply Radiant

Glow from within by evening out your skin and then applying a coral-hued Mineral Blush, paired with Coral lipstick or Lip Gloss to add a little spice to your day! If you have an extra minute add a golden eye shadow to your eyelids along with liner and mascara.


4. Glammy Mommy What is the short cut to an instantly sexy makeup look? Two Words: Crème Liner! Apply Crème liner to your lash-line with a Small Angled Liner Brush giving short, even strokes. Apply two coats of Mascara to your lashes for intensity. Even out skin with a Compact Kabuki Brush and Mineral Foundation. Now your lips are ready to debut… use a pinkish-nude lipstick for a retro-sexy look or a red-lipstick for a vibrant surprise!

ABOUT MAITE Maite Rivera is the CEO of Maite Makeup Company as well as a Professional Makeup Artist and Licensed Esthetician. She is a mother of two beautifully unique and bright little girls and the wife of an amazingly supportive husband. Her hobbies include photography, reading, music and doing impromptu makeovers. Creativity is her passion; her children are her motivation, and spiritual transformation and helping others feel confident and beautiful is her life mission.

Send all your beauty questions to

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Fashion & Style

Scarf Light by Groceries

Tiffany Dress by LTR Brands

Scarf made from the soft organic cotton and hemp. Groceries uses low-impact dyes and everything is made in Los Angeles. 60% Hemp, 40% Organic Cotton $22

This is the business in the front party in the back dress. Made in Los Angeles. 98% bamboo jersey, 2% spandex $59.95

Dylan Dress by Dace

Sleeveless Turtleneck Sweater Dress by Covet Sleeveless sweater dress sits at mid thigh. It looks great with leggings or alone. Covet also ensures that every factory is certified by international labor organizations. Made with 100% viscose from bamboo $44.95

Red Urchin Rocket T-Shirt (Charcoal) T-shirt on charcoal grey with brass buttons. 100% super soft organic cotton with no itchy labels. $20.83

Sheer wool is soft to the touch. Dace uses sustainable wool and responsible manufacturing processes. Made in Vancouver. $109.95

Puddle Seeker Layer T Shirt A double layer tee shirt made from fair trade organic cotton with fun print design on the front. $17.20 Ode Raina Dress

w tore.c s l a r enatu

A vibrant dress with ruffled sleeves, banded waist and pleated skirt. Zip back. 100% cotton, hand block printed in India and fully lined. $58.90


Mary and Mary’s Handmade Accessories Barettes, Hair Bands, Hair ties and more! All handmade and one of a kind!

Visit our store at and don’t forget to

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Back to School 2012  

All About Parenting Back to School issue 2012.

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