Friday, July 27, 2012

My Little House of Treasures - How to Warm My Heart

It always gives you a heartwarming feeling when someone says something absolutely amazing about you, or something that you have done. In this busy, crazy, heartbreaking world, just knowing that someone had you on their mind and took the time to share what they think can makes all the difference in a person's day.

In this case, Miss Darlene was talking about my book. Today, I had the pleasure of reading her review about my book on her blog, My Little House of Treasures. You can read her review for yourself here.

Pay Miss Darlene from My Little House of Treasures a visit here and there to see what else she is spreading the news about, or feel free to drop her a line and let her know that you appreciate her hard work. She's been a pleasure to work with, and I wish her tremendous blessings in all of her endeavors in life! 

Thank you, Darlene, for taking the time to not only read my book, but also write an extensive, informative, and heartwarming review to share with your readers. I understand how busy you are in your life, and I can't thank you enough!


If you're a blogger and you would like the opportunity to review my book, Review Bloggers: Get Flooded With Review & Giveaway Sponsor Products, feel free to send me an email at, or simply fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page. I cannot promise everyone a review copy, but I do appreciate every inquiry more than you know!


ALSO, companies who haven't worked with bloggers to market their products, my book will explain exactly WHY you should be working with them and how it could benefit you! I would be willing to send you a copy of my book, as well, if you are a small business owner, a mompreneur trying to spread the word about her products, or even a large company.

Selecting the Pefect Day Care For Your Child

Selecting the right day care center for your child should be a well-thought out process. It will take thorough research and investigation, so you can find the day care centers that are exceptional and weed out the ones that are bad. It’s also important to find a facility that will help your child grow, develop their own set of skills, and they can have fun.

There are numerous advantages to placing your child in day care. An excellent facility will have a variety of activities that will help your child learn different skills. Instead of your child playing all day, a day care center will involve them in creative projects, singing, dancing and storytelling. It’s also a great way for your child to socialize, and they will learn how to interact with others. Your child may be exposed to more germs from other children, and you may have to incur an expense if you pick your child up late, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

To help you find the right day care center for you and your child, the following are some tips to guide you through this process.

Make a List

You can start the process by making a list of all the expectations that you have in a day care center. Do you want a center that is close to home or work? Do you prefer small groups? Think about the goals for you and your child, and what is most important. If you work full time, your child will be spending a substantial amount of time there, so you want to feel comfortable with your decision.

Ask for Referrals

Ask your family, friends, co-workers and referral agencies for any recommendations on a reputable day care center. Another option is to look on the Internet, and in the phone book for suggestions. Word of mouth is an excellent way to choose a facility. If other parents are happy with the way their child is being taken care of, and their child is benefiting from the facility, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Do Your Own Research

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time for you to thoroughly research the day care centers that are of interest to you. Call them on the phone and ask them questions. Make notes on each of the facilities and any thoughts or concerns that you may have. Inquire about their fees, policies, activities, hours, teachers and their philosophies on learning. You may also want to ask about the teacher to child ratio too. Cross off any centers that left you feeling negative, and you should move on toward the ones that were encouraging.

Check References

To narrow your search even further, you can begin to check references. Call the parents of the children that actually attend the day care center and ask them questions. You can ask their opinion of the center, and the impact it has made on their child. Also ask if they would recommend it to other parents. If their child no longer attends that facility, make sure you ask them why. You can also check out other references on the Internet. You should verify that the facility is licensed, and they have all the appropriate state accreditations.

Visit the Day Care Center

When you have chosen a day care center that you feel may meet your needs, you can take your child there for a visit. Observe how the teachers interact with your child and get a feel for the environment. Is it clean and orderly? Do the other children look happy? How do they handle crying or unhappy children? Does your child seem happy there? If you get a bad feeling about a day care center, you should trust your instincts and move on. When you have found the perfect day care center, you are ready to enroll your child. If there is a waiting list to get into the facility, you can put your name down and wait until they have an opening. 


JoEllen Krauss, much like others moms, juggles a slew of roles and responsibilities. Between managing the house, taking care of the kids and writing freelance for Providian Medical she takes time to talk to other moms to share tips and tricks to lighten the load. In this guest post she discusses ways on how to select the best day care for your kids.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Help your Child Write an Essay

For some children, writing an essay may be a difficult task.  Writing does not come natural for a lot of kids, let alone grown-ups.  However, as a parent we can help them over-come their fear of putting words down on paper and teach them, while essay writing may not be that easy, it isn’t really difficult either.

Sit down with your child and ask them how much they know about writing an essay.  If it’s their first essay, explain to them what an essay is and parts of an essay (Introduction, two body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph).  Try to explain the process of writing in a fun and exciting way. Remember, some kids may find writing this assignment even terrifying.

Effective Research

Teach your child how to do an effective research.  Use resource books from the library, from your own home and of course, the internet.  Explain to them the importance of note-taking and or highlighting important words/sentences with a marker.  To make it more enjoyable, buy them different colored markers to use on their research.


Show them how to construct a good outline.  Tell them not to worry about writing in full sentences yet, short phrases will do. Do a brainstorming session, just to get their ideas flowing.  Don’t ask the questions.  Instead, try to prompt them to ask the questions and let them answer their own questions in short phrases.

First Draft

Once the outline has been written down, congratulate them and say that they are now ready to write the first draft.  Don’t make it sound intimidating, make it seem more fun.  Tell your child that this is just the first draft and they can revise later on.  The first draft is just expounding and writing in full sentences/paragraphs on the questions and answers they’ve written on their outline.

Read Aloud

Ask your child to read their essay aloud to you.  Explain to them that by doing this, it will be easy to identify awkward words/phrases or grammatical errors.  And sometimes, hearing something you’ve written aloud also allows you to critique your own work.  Do another brainstorming session with them.  Ask important questions like “Do you think you’ve answered all your questions in your outline?”  During the discussion, ask them to take down notes and write the comments on their first draft using a red pen.

Final Draft

Now it’s time to write the final draft.  Teach them how to incorporate the comments on their final draft.  Ask them whether they think their essay is too long or too short.  If you feel that their essay still needs another re-write, try to prod them by asking questions that will prompt them into doing another revision.  Tell them that professional writers make dozens of revisions before the final draft.

Proof Read

Remind your child the importance of proof-reading their own work, watch out for spellings and missing punctuations.  Once they’ve done that, offer to do a final proof read for them.


Even at a young age, explain to your child what plagiarism is all about.  Teach them the proper way of making a reference and how quotations should be properly cited.

Once your child is finished, congratulate them for a job-well done.  Perhaps even give them a small reward, like an inexpensive journal.  Encourage them to keep writing and asking important questions.  This will help your child be comfortable with putting their thoughts down on paper and when the next essay is due, writing will come out natural for them and who knows, your child may be a future best-selling author or a very important essay-writer!

Author Bio: Anna Steel is a mother of four boys who has worked out a great back-to-school routine for her children. She always helps her children with essays or projects at school, but when it's difficult to catch up, she uses

Friday, July 20, 2012

Need Business Cards? has You Covered!

Let me tell you, I was super excited to be contacted by a representative for Custom Signs, and even more excited as we continued to talk about their services, as I will need them as Mommy Rantings expands - (and although the future expansions are in the thought process, they WILL happen within the next couple of years).

What was at the top of the needs list was business cards, so I pitched the idea, and was tickled pink to hear "We can do that for you!" So, I set out on their site to create and personalize my very own, new and fresh business cards to promote Mommy Rantings. Here is what I was able to create:

What do you think? Their site is simple-for-dummies. Creating your own personalized business cards is an easy walk-through process, with pre-designed templates to choose from. You choose the colors, the fonts, and place the text anywhere you want. (And, there's a sense of accomplishment when you see the finished product that you love!)

Then, I went one step further and requested glossy prints, because glossy business cards are so much prettier, in my opinion. And, with, you get what you ask for! Glossy prints, they were!


I actually spent a little time searching the web for business card pricing at several different places, some well-known and others that I hadn't heard about before. definitely has very comparable prices to their competitors, and when comparing, you need to think about the durability of the stock paper that is used.'s business cards are not flimsy, like the thin, feather-light, magazine-page-thin business cards that you may receive from many other companies. Not card-board thick, but more like a really decent photo or lighter, paperback book cover.  


Ultimately, I cannot be happier with the service and the helpfulness of the company. If you have questions, give them a shout and they will be more than happy to help you with whatever you may need.

Business cards are just the start of their extensive list of products and services. Here are some of the things they can help you with to promote your business:

  • Event banners
  • Business banners
  • Fridge magnets
  • Business flags
  • Yard Signs
  • Campaign signs
  • For sale signs
  • Open house signs
  • Bumper magnets
  • Funny bumper signs
  • Personalized license plates
  • Decals
  • Parking signs

Canvas Prints

Also, if you want to turn photos of your children or your family into a canvas print, the fabulous owners of also have the site Easy Canvas Prints. Although I have yet to use their canvas print service, I bet it's just a simple as their business cards were, and I can already think of a few photos of the children that I would love to see on canvas!

It was a sheer pleasure working with It won't be the last time that I use their services for my own business needs!

Thank you, for the business cards! I was not provided compensation for this post, however did offer 250 beautiful, glossy print business cards in exchange for a review on Mommy Rantings. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back to School: Help Your Child Get A’s

Summer is about to end and the maddening rush to get your children back and ready for school is just around the corner.  For parents, it is a good idea to start and prepare yourself and your kids this early, from buying everything they need for school and getting them ready to plunge back into the routine of everyday school life. 

It’s also a good time to sit down with your child and give them a pep talk about their not-so-good grades last year (Don’t scold!  Be encouraging), or congratulate them for a job well done.  Here are a few tips on how to help them achieve better grades:

Establish a Study/Homework Routine

If you don’t have one, start a routine.  Begin from the time they come home from school, but don’t rush them to do their homework or study right away.  Allow them time to relax, have a light snack or spend time talking to them about school and what their day was like.  Once they’ve had some quiet and rest time, then you can coax them to do their homework or do a bit of studying.

A Place to Study

If they don’t like studying in their room and you don’t have a study at home, doing homework in the dining room may be your best solution.  But make sure it is not cluttered and is free from any distractions (no TV, games or loud radio on in the background - it's important to note that while some children may get distracted with music playing, studies have shown that quietly played classical music can actually stimulate the brain - just something to think about).  

Give them some space to do their homework/study.  But make sure they know that they can ask you or interrupt whatever you’re doing if they need help or have questions.  When they’re done, ask to see their work.  If there are mistakes, correct them gently without scolding. If all is perfect, congratulate them for a job well done.

Early Nights

Children should go to bed early during school nights and make sure they have everything ready for school, whether it’s their homework or clothes to wear the next day.  Bad nights may mean bad mornings: rushing up to get ready for school and leaving things behind, which may also mean, having a bad day at school and coming home really grumpy. Preparing the night before can help to ensure a smoother morning, and a better overall day.

Get to Know their Teachers

Build a relationship with your childrens' teachers.  But try not to over-do it by questioning every single bad mark your child gets.  Ask them about your child’s progress from time to time and only question if their grades drop alarmingly. (When your child receives a test or homework assignment back with several answers marked wrong, go over the questions and answers to help your child better understand the concepts. Sometimes, if they have missed a single concept, in math for example, it could throw off the entire test or homework assignment.) 

Be sure to attend parent teacher conferences and any "getting-to-know-you" introductory meetings or open houses at the beginning of and throughout the school year. When the teachers - and the school administration, in general - know that you are involved with your children, they will be more apt to reach out to you and let you know when problems occur. Bottom line: stay involved!

Encourage Learning

Always find an opportunity to encourage learning and love for books.  Do things with your children that will inspire them to have other interests as well.  As a parent you’ll have an idea what your children’s likes are, whether sports, arts or music. 

Do day trips to museums, art exhibits and plays.  Discuss things with your children and ask questions like - Did they enjoy the exhibit?  What did they find interesting or why did they find so-and-so interesting?  Don’t make the questions one-sided - tell them what you think, too!  (But try not to launch into a lecture, make it an adventurous day of educational fun!)

Remember, parenting is personal.  What may work for other parents may not work for you and your child.  It’s important to ALWAYS listen to what your child has to say, and watch for signs that things are not going so smoothly.  Don’t be a tiger parent or a helicopter parent that hovers too much.  In other words, don’t over-do things.  

Guide your children, don’t guard them.  Be their personal cheerleader for whatever grades they earn, try hard to stick to the tips above, and before you know it, they’ll be raking in all the A’s in the world.

Author bio: Sarah Trueman is a mother of five who is has worked out a great back-to-school routine for her children. When she helps her children with reports or projects at school, she helps them use  Not only does the site offer parents a tool to help their children avoid plagiarism, it also provides parents the opportunity to explain plagiarism to their children, and why plagiarism is a no-no.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

This year, we have some ideas to make your 4th of July stylish and burn free, and add a little pampering for mom!

Goody's  DoubleWear Colors 2in1 Elastics ($5.99 SRP, are a festive addition to your red, white and blue ensemble. Wear 'em on your wrist or pop them in your hair to add some color to your special 4th of July hairstyle.
I don't know what they're saying about your part of the world, but here in New York, we're looking at almost 90 degree temps for the 4th! If you're going to be in the sun, be sure to bring your Australian Gold Sheer Coverage Faces SPF 45 ($9.49 SRP,

And, for those of you moms who will be ripping and running from sun-up to sun-down and beyond, toting children from BBQ's and other daytime festivities and then bringing them to the fireworks late at night, treat yourself to your very own spa treatment after all is said and done with Aubrey Blue Green Algae Soothing Mask ($9.43 SRP,

Be safe this 4th of July and stay cool!

(This post was sponsored by the companies mentioned. The products in the post were received in exchange for the post, no monetary compensation was involved.)

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