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Friday, July 30, 2010


Journals Unlimited Helps Teen and College Students Cope

With over 55 titles that feature their trademark easy to fill-in format Journals Unlimited make it easy and fun to record all of life’s precious memories.

Their most popular "Write It Down" Series is great for college students to put their feelings and thoughts on paper. They are wildly successful due to their trademark easy to fill in format and our wide variety of titles, available in various sizes. The journals are proudly printed in the USA on acid free recycled paper with a durable hard cover and a hand crafted look. (Because our journals are made of recycled materials, they have variations in color and appearance.)
They now offer personalization of any of their full size titles for a nominal fee of $11.00. You can upload your own picture to appear in the upper die cut window and they have added a bottom window for your own personalized text! This may be the most fabulous personalized keepsake to ever hit the gift market!

From Barb Morina - President / Founder

for the moment and it helps me to plan and set goals for the future. Everyone experiences important events worth remembering. Whatever your age or passion, keeping a journal is a great way to capture and recall your thoughts and ideas, while recording all your precious memories.

With just an idea, the company was started in the summer of 1997. I was on vacation on the west coast of Michigan when I walked up into a Barnes & Noble book store. I wanted to pick up a vacation journal and envisioned finding a series of journals with the prompts such as our journals offer (Where I traveled, Where I stayed, People I met, etc.). There was nothing even close, only a wide variety of blank journals. Almost immediately the idea was born! By the end of the day, I had developed several titles as well as the craft color and cover design.

I went to my office the following Monday. At that time I owned and operated a weight-loss franchise in Bay City, Michigan, my hometown. I announced to my store manager that I had come up with a million dollar idea over the weekend, and I was going to put it to work.

I started with just four titles, Vacation, Camping, Golfing, and Boating, and began selling them at craft shows and personally calling on gift stores throughout Michigan. I now have over 100 salespeople representing a continually expanding line with more than 50 titles in various sizes. It has been an empowering ride. The "Write It Down!" Series can be found in retail stores across the USA and Canada. Our most popular title, Me - A Personal Journal, also is printed in Spanish and available in Mexico. In addition to the retail market we also print custom journals for specific client needs.

I owe a great deal to my partner and friend John, as well as friends and family who were always giving me their support and advice. I owe special thanks to Donna Schultz, who serves as my assistant, office manager, and sales manager. The list goes on, for she has worn many other hats. She gave up a comfortable, secure job and joined us in unknown territory to be part of this remarkable journey.

My biggest frustration has been several companies, mostly foreign, have attempted to make knock offs. Unfortunately, we spend a lot of money on legal fees and dedicate valuable resources to defend our intellectual property rights.

I have been truly blessed with the skill and professionalism of my staff. I was fortunate enough to discover at an early age that the key to success is to surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than you. We are growing with leaps and bounds, and I don't mean just the journals!

The first page of all my journals reads: Life is an adventure. It is not the destination we reach that's most rewarding. It's the journey along the way. So Write It Down! and treasure the memory forever... I guess that sums it up!
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College Food Funnies Part THREE... The final chapter

When my brother was at university, he went through a stage of ‘culinary experimentation’. One day, he decided to make a trifle for himself and his roommates. However, when he went to make the whipped cream topping, he realised that (surprise, surprise) none of the 6 teenage boys owned a whisk. So he decided to make his own electric whisk by squeezing a fork into the end of a drill (it is apparently quite normal to own an electric drill and not a whisk). Of course, the fork bent as soon as it was put into the mixing bowl, so rather than mixing, just scooped the cream out of the bowl at high speed and completely covered the whole of the open-plan kitchen diner. When we went to help him move house, 6 months later, the ceiling was still covered in cream and the place smelt even more awful than you’d expect an all-male student house to. I’d love to say that he has become more house trained since his uni years: alas, no.
Victoria C.

One of the more random things that I remember was that my roommate and I were obsessed with chips and salsa and tortillas and salsa from this one Mexican restaurant in our San Antonio, TX, college city. Buying chips and salsa from the store just didn't compare to the fix we got from this one place, but we couldn't afford to actually pay for whole meals there, at least not all the time, so wed call ahead and order it to go (we were too embarrassed to show up and just ask for tortillas and salsa!), then go pick it up and pay the $4 or so before gorging on our salty snacks back in the privacy of our dorm.

I also loved Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, but I would eat it too fast. Since I had to spend my own money on it (they didn't have that kind in the cafeteria), I would crumble up the cereal in my fist so that it was really tightly packed and for some reason it takes longer to eat that way, and I wouldn't have to pour as much into each bowl!

Other standby favorites for studying or eating on the go were the candy Dots and bagels, which I ate nonstop, and those $5 pizzas from Little Caesars. Gross!
Laura M

Dr. Donna Thomas-Rodgers came up with some creative very cheap ideas for college students to avoid to above "cuisines":

* Spaghetti Noodles: (1) Boil them added American cheese and seasoning salt, (2) Boil them and add red sauce (3) Boil them let them cool added tomato, cucumber and Italian dressing. One large box can last at least a week.

* Rice: (1) Boil it and add butter and cheese, (2)Boil it and add milk it then becomes cereal, (3) boil it and mix with scrambled eggs. One large bag of rice can last up to 2 weeks.

* Cold Cereal can serve as breakfast lunch and dinner. Storing the cold items I used the window ledge I went to school up north and it was cold almost the entire year.
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ProFlowers GREAT gift for any occasion! Including Feeding Hungry College Students

I was given the opportunity to review an Organic Fruit Basket from

I thought what a great idea to send to college students for holidays and birthdays. It will feed them something other than... well you've been reading the posts all week!

Obvioulsy they specilize in flowers for all occasions, anniversaries, weddings, birthday, just because, and much much more.

We have been connecting consumers with fresh-from-the-field flowers since 1998. It's no wonder that ProFlowers has led the industry in providing a 7 day freshness guarantee on each and every order. Here's why:

Flowers fresh-from-the-start
ProFlowers started with a single farm in California, shipping just 500 rose bouquets for Valentine's Day. 10 years later, we serve more than 7 million customers with 185 fresh cut varieties from eight different countries around the world.

Flowers fresh-from-the-field
At each one of our farms, employees and experts nurture the flowers from bud to blossom, ensuring only the best-of-the-best get picked for your bouquet.

Flowers directly to you
Once hand-picked, our flowers are delivered directly to you. Others take a longer route through brokers, middlemen and, finally, a florist's shop. By the time they reach the recipient, their best days are long gone.

Flowers with a smile
ProFlowers employees have one job: to make sure you send or are sent the highest quality flowers. That's why when people order ProFlowers, they continue to come back. Never hesitate to call us if you have a problem.
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New Tunes for Back To School

Send your high school and college students back to school with the newest Christian Rock album "The Medicine" from John Mark McMillan .

With comparisons ranging from Springsteen to Yorn, singer/songwriter John Mark McMillan’s music has been described as "gutsy, poetic rock 'n' roll.” The native North Carolinian draws from his Southern, “preader’s kid” roots to create spiritually-minded indie rock that is connecting with mainstream and Gospel music fans.

McMillan describes this project The Medicine) as "portraits of resurrection”

“More than anything, I think The Medicine explores the implications of resurrection in our everyday lives, even the dead places of our lives that need resurrecting,” he continues. “To his own hurt, Jesus, chose to be a part of our world. Why would we pretend that we don’t bring all our love, loss, and insecurity with us into the conversations we call ‘worship’? After all, we don’t serve a God who is unacquainted with grief. He is not surprised by or even unfamiliar with the darkness that can plague a human heart. In fact, he specializes at dealing with that sort of thing.”

John can be found at:
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Thursday, July 29, 2010


CRAM for tests with your iPhone or iPod!

Test tomorrow night, I've been studing for hours, but I need more practice. BUT my computer just ran out of batteries and I cant find the charger!
Or I want to want to have coffee with a friend and we want a NEW way to study!

Since most students live on their iPhone and iPod why not study with it!

With Cram, students can create practice multiple-choice tests and digital flashcards right on their iPhone or iPod to use to study anywhere they choose.

Cram also automatically tracks your progress so you know over time what material you are learning and what you may need more review over. Also, with Cram you can download tests that are already made for you and share your own tests with friends. It's the fun way to study in college.

Cram is only $4.99 on the iPhone and iPod Touch and is available for download in the Apple iTunes AppStore. It's so much more fun, cheaper, and greener than paper notecards.

Cram is an awesome must-have for college students, because most college students live and die by their iPhone and iPod Touch and what better way to study that on the device that is with you all the time.


App Store Link:
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Introducing NEW OXY® Clinical

Review by: Molly Johannessen, Just My Life Teen Writer/Reviewer

NEW OXY Clinical is great for high school and college students because it is compact and controls embarrassing break outs!

The over-the-counter acne medication clinically shown to provide prescription-level results* without a dermatologist. Even if you've tried other products that haven't worked for you in the past, OXY® Clinical could be the solution you're looking for. It's the breakthrough to end breakouts.

OXY® Clinical Benefits

•Data show OXY® Clinical Clearing Treatment kills acne bacteria as fast as a leading topical prescription acne medication*

•OXY® Clinical Clearing Treatment is proven to eliminate 99% of acne bacteria in just 8 hours

•OXY® Clinical Advanced Face Wash means 25 times more medication remains on the skin to fight acne longer

OXY® Clinical Hydrating Therapy is a 3-in-1 formula that hydrates, exfoliates and controls oil

Continuous-Action Technology

•Releases medication to fight acne longer

•Works gradually to be gentle and prevent drying

Patented, Pharmaceutical-Grade Ingredients

•Advanced Face Wash with patented AcneShield salicylic acid technology

•Clearing Treatment with patented OXYSphere™ micro-encapsulated benzoyl peroxide technology

•Hydrating Therapy with patented Poly-Pore® Technology

* OXY® Clinical Clearing Treatment: acne bacteria reduction comparable to a leading prescription. Data on file, 2010.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Oxy Clinical and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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5 Ways to Save on Your Next Computer

A new computer is a major investment, which means you need to shop smart to find a great deal that will make the purchase a little easier on your pocketbook. Whether you're looking for a laptop, desktop, netbook or mini, it's important to know where to look for the best deals. Check out these 5 tips for saving big on your next machine.

1. Hunt down the discounts
Never accept the in-store price as the final one. The smartest shoppers search high and low for the best bargains, and looking online is a sure bet.

Deal sites and coupon aggregators can do the work for you, so you get a killer discount on your new computer without calling up every store to find out how their price measures up to their competitors.

2. Look for the best service record
If you buy a dud, you'll end up spending more on maintenance than you paid for the machine itself. Do your homework before you head to the store.

This includes reading customer reviews to find out what other people have to say about your dream machine; consulting Consumer Reports' computer ratings to see what the experts think; and reading up on the manufacturer to make sure the company won't hassle you if something goes wrong.

3. Buy an extended warranty
Even though it adds to your total, always spring for the extended warranty. Computers, especially laptops that you'll be carrying around from day to day, are easily broken, but they're also easily fixed (for free, no less) if your warranty is still valid.

In some cases, the manufacturer will even give you a whole new machine if they can't diagnose the problem and repair it. Trust us, a small investment now will save you tons on service down the line.

4. Invest in a respected brand
While you may not be ready to shell out for a fancy Mac, there is definitely something to be said for buying your computer from a company you trust.

Products made by respected companies like HP, Acer, Toshiba, Dell and others are less likely to have problems, and you're more likely to be able to find coupon codes and deals to subtract from the price tag -- Dell coupons in particular are widely available on the Web.

5. Wait on the extras
It's tempting to splurge on the latest software and accessories to go with your fancy new computer, but it's smarter to take the machine home and use it for awhile until you figure out exactly what you need.

You may find that you can easily do without that cutting-edge photo editing program, or that you can download freeware that works just as well as a software suite that would have cost you hundreds.

Even if you wind up buying a few extras later on, you'll be more educated about which products are essential to your work once you've had time to get used to the computer itself.

Spend less up front and save more in the long run with these shopping tips that will help you get your money's worth from your new machine.
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7 Ways Freshman Can Prepare for College

This guest post is provided by Elizabeth C. She contributes to FindCollegeCards, a student credit cards / college blog helping students gather tips, tricks and more.

There’s a first time for everything and what you’re going to find out with college, it’s going to no different than anything else that you have done for the first time. Sure, you can read until your eyeballs fall out, but you’re going to find out is that until you experience it first hand, you will never know what college really entails.

To help you get on the right path, as well as avoid some pitfalls, I wanted to give you 7 tips that really helped me out with my college career. Every college campus, as well as student is different, but if you find yourself at least attempting to follow these, you may find yourself on a better path.

#1 Attend all orientations: You will want to know as much as you can about your college. If your college is going to hold an orientation, or a tour of your college, you should take advantage of these to learn more about your school.

#2 Make a checklist: If you’re going to be staying on campus, make sure that you work up a checklist, so that you can get everything you need for your dorm. You can usually find some good checklists online by searching.

#3 Create a plan: What are you going to do once you start up college? Are you going to work? If so, where do you plan on working? What is your budget going to be? College takes up a good chunk of your life, so you will want to able to balance everything the right way.

#4 Make a budget: Even if you’re going to stay at home, it’s essential that you make a budget. Know where your money is going to go toward. Think about food, your loans, as well as more. It’s always best to know where your money is going month after month.

#5 Connect with students: The Internet is a fantastic place to connect with just about anyone. Places like,, as well as others are a great place to meet with future students. Make friends, or even find study buddies.

#6 Get involved: Your college is going to have a ton of clubs that you can join. Not only is this going to look great on your resume, it’s going to keep you busy. It’s also a great way to meet other people that you can connect with.

#7 Work on a schedule: You’re probably going to want to visit family and friends. Since you’re going to know when you have time off for the holidays and more, this is a time to plan for the future to know when you can go home to visit with those that are close to you.

The more you know about the college, as well as the more you’re prepared, the easier it’s going to be for you. Make sure that you work hard, as well as strive on getting good grades. After all, this is why you’re in college. It really is a great experience and hopefully, by following these tips, you can get on the right path to succeeding in college!
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


College Scholarships: How To Find Money For School

College scholarships awarded by the college that a student is attending are subject to strict terms of acceptance. This type of college scholarship is constantly re-evaluated throughout the length of the course that the student is funded for and can be withdrawn if the student fails to keep to the agreed terms.

An athletic scholarship is fairly self-explanatory but this type of college scholarship is probably the hardest for a student to obtain. There are hundreds of thousands of highly gifted athletes from a range of sports every year that apply for an athletic college scholarship and the numbers awarded are extremely low. It is worth bearing in mind that only the top flight schools will offer an athletic college scholarship.

The academic scholarships are one of the few that do not actually require the student to apply for them. This is because the college normally awards an academic scholarship based on the college application alone. Obviously, the very nature of an academic scholarship means that a student will require outstanding academic potential to be offered a full academic college scholarship and it is more common for a particle college scholarship to be awarded.

A departmental scholarship is most commonly awarded by a specific department of a college to either attract or retain students for courses run by that particular department. The individual department will provide information as to whether they offer any type of special scholarship or not.

There are many private organisations that offer some form of partial college scholarship. These often depend on the area that a student lives in but national organisations may also offer a student a college scholarship but the competition for these can be fierce.

On the other hand, many corporations actually have a college scholarship program but fail to award them because of a lack of applicants. The corporations may offer a college scholarship to students to attract them into the particular line of work that the corporation is in or simply to offer students in their community the chance to attend college.

Unions have a large amount of money allocated to a college scholarship fund. These are usually aimed at students who are going to enter a field of study related to the type of union.

Finally, the various branches of the military all have an extensive college scholarship program. A military college scholarship is often extremely generous but is awarded in exchange for a pre-agreed length of service after graduation in the particular branch that sponsored the student.

By: JordanDunham

Article Directory:

Jordan Dunham is an expert on federal student loan consolidation, visit today for details.
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College Food Funnies Part TWO...

My college roommate and I ate pickle sandwiches (just a pickle spear on white bread) and Yoo-hoo in a can from the local 7-11 practically every night. It was cheap and easy to keep in our dorm room. I haven't even had a Yoo-hoo since I graduated back in 1997 but every time I see it, I get nostalgic. Not even when I was pregnant last year did I have that craving!!

Mashed potatoes with fine sliced onions, yummy I think.
Ron N.

Celebrity Anand Bhatt and his bass player James Buban used to eat Cold Pizza with a ton of milk every morning in college because it would make them slightly ill and would put off their need to eat until the evening lol.

Ate baby food. Was pretty gross , but cheap roommate who I bought baby food with is now a Doctor
Mike M.

We were out of cash and doing it college-tough... when my boyfriend and his friends decided that they would procure a roast dinner. How wonderful!

... Until we absorbed that they had SHOT ONE OF THE UNIVERSITY DUCKS with a CROSSBOW and me and the girls watched horrified as they spit roast it in someones backyard.

It was the greasiest meal I've ever seen eaten, and half charcoal.

I survived for years on microwaving carrots, broccoli and cauliflower with a square of Kraft cheese over them in the microwave for "cheese sauce".
Van B.

I ate jack mackerel out of the can most times it was cold, heck all the time it was cold. We were not allowed to have hot plates or microwaves in our dorm rooms, but we would sneak a mini George Foreman grill that I shared with 4 other rooms on my floor.
Felecia H.
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Practical Tips for Furnishing Student Accommodation

Sending a student off to college can pull the heart strings, but furnishing their living space doesn’t have to pull the purse strings. Finding furniture for a university dorm or apartment often means using pieces that are both versatile and affordable. Here are some practical furniture ideas for college students.

Space Savers

Lofts – Usually constructed of wood, lofts are used to raise beds off the floor which creates more living space. They can be built either free standing or attached to the walls, though which option is used will depend on the rules of the dorm or apartment.

Stackers – Three-drawer plastic stacking sets are inexpensive and can be found just about anywhere. They provide extra space for smaller items or clothes, or can also be fashioned into a nightstand near the bed.

Bar stools – With their tall design and foot rest, bar stools are becoming more popular in living quarters where space is at a premium. Made of metal, wood or a combination of both, their height and slim build make them perfect for seating at a kitchen counter. Students can use these to sit at the counter and eat rather than taking up space with a dining table. kitchen bar stools come with or without arm rests and various styles of backing. They can also be more easily arranged for a social setting.


Some pieces of furniture are affordable and also serve more than one purpose.

Futons – These inexpensive couches come in a variety of styles and prices, but best of all they take up little space while still folding out into a bed when friends stay over. They are more light weight than traditional sofa beds, making them easier to transport before and after each school year and better to store.

Trunks – Used mostly for storage, a trunk or footlocker can also be used as a makeshift coffee table by simply throwing a tablecloth over it.


Not everything has to serve more than one purpose. Some pieces of furniture can simply be fun to have in the apartment.

Bean bag chair – Not simply just the lump of material sitting off to the side anymore, today’s bean bag chairs come in all sorts of shapes, colors and textures. Very inexpensive, they can be purchased at many of the large retail stores or at specialty shops.

Computer desk – There are a variety of styles and designs, but many of them offer a compact build that allows basic computer equipment to be stored without taking up much room. These are usually made of metal or wood or a combination of materials.

Mini-fridge – They can tuck away into corners while providing a place to keep snacks or drinks readily available. Especially useful in dorms where larger refrigerators are not installed or in apartments where more than one student is staying.

Seeing a student off to college is a big moment for both parents and students. Making sure they are comfortable in their home away from home will help with their studies and give parents peace of mind.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Top 5 Keys To College Preparation

Think twice before assuming that high school provides enough preparation for the transition to college because it doesnt. Many enter college unprepared and leave with regrets because they failed to learn the lessons beforehand that would help them be successful. Do yourself a favor and learn these important 5 lessons now as a way to save yourself headache and heartache later.

The Worth of Education vs. the Worth of a Grade

High school provides a lot of knowledge, but not a lot of education in most cases. Otherwise, high school graduates would be competing for entry level jobs and skipping college altogether. College is designed to prepare you for a successful life, so treat it that way and make grades a secondary priority. Youre here to learn skills and knowledge that will make you valuable in the future, and no college grade is going to earn your future employer money. So forget about gaming the system and focus on learning all you can. The grades will follow.

The Value of Selectivity

Knowing how to prioritize your school demands, your friends, your dating life, your work, and a mountain of other aspects of college life can be impossible without good prioritization skills. By working out your priorities for yourself beforehand and being consistent, you can avoid a lot of conflicts and stress later on.

The Locked-on Focus

You may know how to prioritize, but if you cant focus, your important tasks will remain unfinished. You know what you have to do, so do it. Dont get pulled away. Plan enough time so that you can get in the zone and get your assignments done. Things generally take longer to accomplish in college, so youll need staying power and stamina to succeed in college.

The Art of Organization

Even the best brain isnt built to remember the quantity of assignments and appointments that the average college student is laden with. You may have a good handle on prioritization and focus, but you may have so many things going on that you forget items to add to your list of priorities. College preparation is about having a system to track all that you have to do, when you have to have it done by, and then making time for personal development. So come up with a system now, or moving from high school college will be like pushing off from the dock with a leak in your boat.

The Technique of Humility

College, more so than high school, is filled with people who will be instrumental in helping you achieve your short- and long-term goals and ambitions. You may be attending school alongside future co-workers, employees, or employers. Prepare for college by being prepared to make the best possible impression of yourself and that comes only through something called humble competence. Youre very good at what you do, but never to the extent of self-aggrandizement, because there will always be people better than you, especially in college. Instead, seek to learn as much and contribute as much as you can and help others achieve their own goals as a way to sure happiness and fulfillment in college.

Get prepared for college by preparing your approach to live, learning, and work first. Youll find that success in college comes a lot more naturally if youve made improving your approach part of your college preparation.

By: Russell Blackhurn
Article Directory:

Catch Russell Blackhurn and learn from his experiences in preparing for college and choosing what to bring to college. Find out the preparation lessons he found most useful and some of those he discovered by trial and error.
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SO this boy walks up to a bar...

This touched my heart as do Max's posts almost every day. It also reminds me as a parent and as a person in general. Children are so simple, enjoy them and take a deep breath. Enjoy life!
a post from Love That Max

...his name is Max. And it just so happens the pool bartender is making slushees. And she has grape.

"UR-UL!!! UR-UL!!!" Max says.

As his faithful translator, I do my job: "He is really into purple," I say, "and he would like a purple slushee."

Max watches with glee as she proceed to make said purple slushee. First she goes to pour a batch of ice into one of the blenders.

"Nooooooo," says Max, and he gestures at the empty blender standing next to it.

"He would like you to use the other blender," says his faithful translator.

The bartender looks a little perplexed, but it passes; surely she has heard all sorts of requests over the years, and at least this customer isn't inebriated or slurring his speech. OK, he IS slurring his speech but that's a whole other story.

She switches the ice to the second blender.

"Noooooooo," says Max, because he can be quite fickle that way.

"He'd like you to put the ice in the original blender," I say, matter-of-factly.

She switches blenders, no questions asked. Then she pours in the grape concoction and starts the whirring. Max is mesmerized. I am, too; a blender pulsating with purple is a wondrous site. Better even than lava lamps or other stuff we'd stare at in college when we were in a certain state.

Once it's slush-ified, she pours it into a cup and hands it over. Max literally does a Purple Slushee Happy Dance. He has to be the happiest customer she's had in a long time, despite the fact that she did not even put a tiny umbrella in there.

"UR-UL!" Max says, happily, and I give him a sip.

Ur-ul slushees rock.
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5 Biggest Money Mistakes College Students Make

When I thought about writing about the top mistakes that college students make, I turned to my Twitter and Facebook networks. Not surprisingly, many people had similar negative experiences with money. Here are the top 5 money mistakes we came up with:

#1 Not creating a spending plan.
Know the fastest way to clear out a college party? Say the word, “budget”. Most college students see budgets as soul-killing exercises in futility. After all, who really sticks to a budget anyway? The biggest mistake college students make is not creating a written plan for spending money. It doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. You can create a spending plan in seven easy steps.
Many students work part-time jobs, get grants and scholarships, as well as take out student loans. Students are constantly looking for sources of income while rarely coming up with a plan to spend it. How many of us, yes I said, “us”, have found ourselves overjoyed with our financial situation at the beginning of the semester only to be confused as to where all the money went by midterms? Create a spending plan and stick to it.

#2 Taking out too many loans.
One of the topics that came up over and over again was the topic of student loans. People mentioned that there weren’t sure how much money in loans they needed to take out or that sometimes they took out as much as they could forgetting that loans have to be paid back with interest. Now that student loans are back to being administered directly from the US government,  it’ll help students reduce the amount of interest they’ll have to pay back, but it’s up to each student to only take out as much money as is necessary to cover college expenses.

#3 Opening credit card accounts.
This used to be the biggest challenge college students faced. Credit card companies would set up shop on college campuses and offer cards to people with little-to-no income and no idea of what they were getting into. All that’s changed with the CARD Act. College students will no longer be offered credit cards and those that apply will have to prove sufficient income to pay off the debt or have a co-signer. It looks like the most common problem college students have may have gone the way of the dinosaur.

#4 Buying new books.
There are a few different strategies on buying text books: buy new, buy used, rent, don’t buy any. Books are usually purchased at the start of the semester so few students have problems purchasing them. The challenge usually comes at the end of the semester when it’s time to sell the textbooks back to the bookstores. You see, textbooks will usually sell for between 40% and 60% of what you purchased them for. Use a textbook website to compare prices for new, used, and rented textbooks. All you need is the ISBN number and you’re on your way to making a small choice that may save you hundreds.

#5 Not networking for a purpose.
I’m guessing that you’re going to college, at least partly, because you want to earn a good living in your chosen profession. You’re going to classes, studying hard, and imagining what you’re life will be like in a few years. The key piece that too many students don’t consider is: networking for a purpose. Make sure to join clubs on campus involved in your field, volunteer for projects, both on and off campus, that will build skills necessary in your field, and network with professionals in the field by attending meetings for chambers of commerce. Most professional organizations offer a discount rate to students. By networking while in school you’ll build skills, networks, and confidence as a professional and all that experience and confidence means more income.
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Baby Matters Recalls Nap Nanny® Recliners Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards; One Infant Death Reported

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Baby Matters LLC, of Berwyn, Pa., is announcing the voluntary recall of 30,000 Nap Nanny® portable baby recliners. CPSC is investigating a report of a 4-month-old girl from Royal Oak, Mich. who died in a Nap Nanny® that was being used in a crib. According to preliminary reports, the infant was in her harness and found hanging over the side of the product, caught between the Nap Nanny® and the crib bumper.

CPSC and Baby Matters are aware of one other incident in which an infant became entrapped when the Nap Nanny was used in a crib, contrary to the product instructions. In that incident, the infant fell over the side of the Nap Nanny®, despite being harnessed in, and was caught between the baby recliner and the side of the crib. The infant sustained a cut to the forehead.

CPSC and the firm have received 22 reports of infants, primarily younger than 5-months-old, hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny® despite most of the infants being placed in the harness. One infant received a bruise as a result of hanging over the side of the product.

Infants can partially fall or hang over the side of the Nap Nanny® even while the harness is in use. This situation can be worse if the Velcro™ straps, located inside the Nap Nanny® cover are not properly attached to the "D"-rings located on the foam, or if consumers are using the first generation model Nap Nanny® that was sold without "D"-rings.

In addition, if the Nap Nanny® is placed inside a crib, play yard or other confined area, which is not a recommended use, the infant can fall or hang over of the side of the Nap Nanny® and become entrapped between the crib side and the Nap Nanny® and suffocate.

Likewise, if the Nap Nanny® is placed on a table, countertop, or other elevated surface and a child falls over the side, it poses a risk of serious head injury. Consumers should always use the Nap Nanny® on the floor away from any other products.

The Nap Nanny® is a portable recliner designed for sleeping, resting and playing. The recliner includes a foam base with an inclined indentation for the infant to sit in and a fitted fabric cover and a three point harness. The first generation model of the Nap Nanny® can be identified by the absence of "D"-rings in the foam base. In second generation models, the harness system has "D"-rings in the foam base and Velcro™ straps inside the fitted fabric cover.

The recalled Nap Nannys® were sold at toy and children's retail stores nationwide and online, including at, from January 2009 through July 2010 for about $130.

The recalled product was manufactured in the United States and China.

Consumers with a first generation Nap Nanny® models, without "D"-rings, should stop using the recalled baby recliners immediately and contact the firm to receive an $80 coupon towards the purchase of a new Nap Nanny® with free shipping. Consumers with a second generation Nap Nanny® model, with "D"-rings, should immediately stop using the product until they are able to visit the firm's website to obtain new product instructions and warnings. Consumers will also view an important instructional video to help consumers ensure the harness is properly fastened. Consumers who are unable to view the video or new instructions online, should contact the firm to receive free copies by mail. For more information, contact Baby Matters toll-free at (888) 240-4282 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at
Nap Nanny® safety tips: 
  • Do not use Nap Nanny® in cribs, play yards, or near any other adjacent entrapment surface
  • Only use Nap Nanny® on the floor away from other products
  • Secure Velcro straps through the "D"-rings every time cover is replaced
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What to Pack for College?

Here are some quick basic items you need to make sure you bring to college!

1. Bedding Set - Dorms do not provide sheets and bedspreads. I suggest flannel sheets, warm and comfy! Don't forget towels and wash cloths too!

2. Computer - Laptops are easiest but deak tops are cheaper.

3. Laundry - Mom won't be there to do it for you! So don't forget the detergent and laundry basket!

4. Clothing - Ok so this one is a given but just remember this is not a weekend trip. Bring everything you will need and pack extras becuase laundry day might only come once a week or even less often!

5. Storage - Dorm rooms are small. Even if you are renting a house with others. Think about protable fridges, smart sotrage solutions that will organize your items (so you can find them) but also utilize the small space you may have!

Brought to you by your friends at
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Monday, July 26, 2010


College Food Funnies Part One...

I asked a group of random people what was the weirdest, grossest thing you ate to survive in college.

And the answers are a hoot!

There was a time period when I ate hot dogs and grits (cheese grits were especially good) to keep from starving.
Bob J., NYC

I remember being so broke I lived off popcorn and cabbage - the two cheapest things I could think of that would go a long way. I also had to borrow money for tampons! Now that's poor!
Cory F.

Back in film school, in 1995 or so, I can remember that liver was always the cheapest thing I could find --- so I ate it almost every other meal until someone pointed out it might not be the safest thing to do. This was during the time I was so broke I once swiped a roll of toilet paper from one of the college bathrooms. During the same experimental period, I also figured out that a teaspoon of sour cream and the addition of some cheap peas n carrots made Ramen feel more substantial --- and hey, vegetables!
Troy D., Los Angeles, CA

I went to Orlando for spring break with 7 other girls. 6 of whom I never met until the day before we left and the other girl I hardly knew. I was on a very tight budget (barely enough money for hotel and beer). Several of us went to a local Pizza Hut. I was almost out of funds so I didn't want to "waste" my money on food. When a another group of 3 left half their pizza on the table, I couldn't resist and ate what they left. In my defense, they were older than I was and I'm sure they didn't do anything to the pizza. Nothing better than free food to a starving college student!
Merri C.

I lived in the dorm and was on the meal plan that didn't feed me on weekends. So, until I got a part-time job, I survived on the weekend by eating the crusts from Domino's pizza boxes that my dorm-mates had thrown into the hallway.
Duncan M.

I used to eat pizza out of the garbage in college. Not out of actual garbage cans, but kids would toss pizza boxes in the garbage room that sometimes had one or two slices still in them. The garbage room was right next to mine, so I could hear when it opened and closed, and then I would go peek to see if someone had chucked an unfinished pizza. I figured, it had only been in there for a minute, and it was still in the box, so what the hell?
Chris C.
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Online Scholarships Can Be Hard To Get

When you add "online" to the beginning of most phrases, it makes it sound convenient and easy. For many people, online shopping is easier than normal shopping because they can do it from home, and they can compare lots of prices quickly. That trend, unfortunately, does not extend to online scholarships.

Online scholarships are often small, and they usually require a written essay submission. Then, only a few people get chosen out of all the submissions to actually get the scholarship. However, if you do it right, online scholarships are not a waste of time.

You can look through databases of online scholarships and find the ones that offer higher amounts. A lot of them only offer $500 or $1000, but some of them offer $5000, $10000, and in rare cases, even more. If you pick and choose which ones are worth your time, you will probably waste less time trying to get these competitive scholarships. However, most people will be most drawn to the ones with bigger payouts, so they will be harder to actually win.

So, instead, some people opt to apply for lots and lots of small $500 and $1000 online scholarships instead. If you go this route, you could get more free money to go to college, but it will be very time consuming. You could spend the equivalent of a full-time job in hours trying to apply to every $500 and $1000 scholarship you find online. So, even with this strategy, you need to pick and choose which ones you believe are worth your time.

But, how do you find online scholarships, big or small, to begin with? There are actually several different databases of online scholarships. FastWeb is a popular one, but just as with the individual scholarships, a popular service could result in more competition. There are others, such as Choice Degree, DirectDegree, Free Degree Info, and more. Signing up to search and sort through several of them is probably a good idea, especially if you are looking for lesser known ones with less competition.

There is one more catch, though. The vast majority of the scholarships in all of these online databases have specific requirements as to who is eligible to enter. Some of the better databases, like FastWeb, will allow you to enter all the information you can to show you only the scholarships that you actually qualify to apply for. Be sure to fill that information out honestly, because if you win a scholarship that you are actually ineligible for, they could demand the money back if they find out.

So, be honest, be diligent, and work hard, and you can earn yourself a few online scholarships so that you can take out fewer student loans to go to college.
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College Week

This week I'm going to post some tips, articles, and funny college stories. This guest article is not only for the aspiring college student but also for any aspiring Business Owners!

Become an Accomplisher Instead of a Procrastinator
by Helaine Iris

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams

Let's talk about the P word. Procrastination. If this is you, this pervasive, habit effects every aspect of your life. As a procrastinator you typically under perform, limiting success and the life you want to live. It dampens your ability to take action, creates missed opportunities, and is the single pattern of behavior I see in most entrepreneurs that if corrected would free up log jams of energy and potential. If you’re a procrastinator you know in your bones that this is true, yet, it seems like an impossible habit to break.

It's easy to see in others how much unnecessary pain and stress procrastination causes: my daughter for example, endlessly putting off school work and pushing herself at the last minute to meet a deadline, my client, putting off completing his taxes and suffering the consequence of costly penalties. I'm sure you could add your own examples of miserable outcomes you've experienced as a result of putting things off. So why do you continue to do it?

I've learned that procrastination is not the originating problem. It's a symptom of something deeper in your personal operating system, or put another way, a coping mechanism you developed to compensate for an area of lack. The bottom line is you procrastinate to protect yourself from feeling something you don't want to feel.

Although there are many valuable strategies out there for overcoming procrastination, if you don't get at the root of what causes you to procrastinate, I believe you won't ever change the pattern. There are many theories about what causes procrastination: anxiety, fear of failure (or success) rebelliousness, or chafing at authority perfectionism, poor work habits, self-sabotage to name the biggies. But interestingly enough, according to research what seems to be at the bottom of the procrastination pit is low self confidence and a low need for achievement.

Curiously, those two personality traits seem to run counter to the common characteristics most entrepreneurs exhibit. So then, why do entrepreneurs procrastinate? There in lies the conundrum and the hope.

As an entrepreneur, you're human - with all the associated strengths and weaknesses. Although you have boldly accepted the role and risks of building a business and you're passionate about bringing your dream to market, it’s very easy to overlook your limitations. Here's my invitation to you: Ask the fearless, passion-filled part of yourself who's learned to push the limits of your comfort zone every day to explore the parts of yourself that need personal development. Get to the bottom of what limits your confidence, in other words, dare to ask, "Who would I be without my tired, small story about myself?

I was recently working with a bright and talented artist who is holding herself back from blasting her business to the next level. She's worried that her product won't be received well and procrastinates taking critical sales action. When I asked her if she had evidence of product rejection she said she didn't, and in fact her dramatically increasing sales prove the opposite. When I pointed out the obvious discrepancy in her reasoning, her jaw dropped. She got it - and now understands that her work lies in addressing her nagging confidence issues. She's learning to draw upon her current successes to disqualify the voices of the past. This frees her up to stop procrastinating, take powerful action, and soar!

Ending your procrastination pattern is possible if you're willing to apply energy to what you want to ignore. By exploring what you fear, or what you resist you will overcome it with self-awareness and then can replace your old thinking with current reality. You might need to ask for help. Reinforce your new awareness by taking small steps and acknowledging yourself every time you have a success. Also, regularly remind yourself of why you want to accomplish your task. Set small achievable goals using inspiration to pull you along into action - finally, beyond procrastination.
I'm reminded of the Marianne Williamson quote where she so aptly states, as if she was thinking about the problem of procrastination when she wrote it, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us..."

Start right now. Be powerful beyond measure. And please, resist the temptation to "do it later". Go grab a flashlight and begin to shed light on what's at the bottom of your procrastination pattern. How might it feel to see yourself as an accomplisher rather than a procrastinator? Build that business, do the dishes, live your dream.

It's YOUR life...imagine the possibilities!


Helaine Iris helps overwhelmed small business owners take control of their time and finances so they can double their revenues with less stress. Featured in numerous publications, including “O” The Oprah Magazine Helaine’s dynamic, personal coaching style helps entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses with tools that empower, build financial success and create personal transformation. To receive a free copy of her report Learn How to Finally Break Through Overwhelm, and Become a Prosperous, Stress-Free Business Owner, go to
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Friday, July 23, 2010


Eat, Drink, PUSH!

Should I eat close to delivery times? This can be a tough question to answer when you're in labor. For decades, standard hospital policies, medical professional recommendation and medical news have been recommending only tiny sips of water or ice chips for pregnant women, but new mothers are coming to find hospital attitudes have relaxed on the issue. Recent studies are finding that the stress on the issue is not that big a deal as long as the mother isn't planning to use anesthetics, and even then, the advancements in medical practices find that to not even be to large of a concern.

A new study has heightened discussion about what is in mothers best interests. The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research, is responsible for the latest study on the subject. Researchers began their work with the question: Is there any justification for restricting food and drink during labor? "If they are in early labor and things are going fine, there isn't any reason to withhold. And I encourage my patients to go ahead and eat meals," said Brenda Saling, a labor and delivery nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital. Evidence has shown no meaningful benefits or harms for limiting food intake during labor in women who do not need anesthesia. Very few women receive anesthesia these days and on to top is all off, changes in anesthesia practices have greatly reduced the risk of vomiting.

Of course, stay sober during child birth, and all through out pregnancy.

This last year (2009) the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists changed its recommendations for women. With uncomplicated labor, including women planning a c-section, that drinking fruit juice, soda, coffee, tea and sports drinks would be just fine. This of course doesn't ever tend to be too large of a concern for women, as the stress and anticipation tends to over ride most urges to eat. After birth, they are often more then ready to relax and eat some of there favorite meal.
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How To Get Your Toddler To Eat Well

Some worry their toddlers aren’t eating enough, others worry that their toddlers are eating too much, and still others worry that their toddlers aren’t eating a wide enough variety of different foods.

The good news is that if you do things right, you can set your toddler on a path to good eating indefinitely.
How do you do it?

First and foremost, know that when it comes to eating most toddlers are just learning about food, and just starting to develop habits.

You don’t want to force food on your toddler at any time, or suggest that they clean their plate or take just one last bite of anything.

Why? This may set them up for a lifetime of food struggles.

Rather, the best way to support good eating habits is to have available at all times a variety of healthy foods in your home.

Generally as long as toddlers eat one or two items from each food group within a 2-3 day time frame, they are doing well.

Here are some other things you can do to encourage healthy eating habits:

Eat as a Family – This may not be possible every day of the week, but at least 1-2 days per week you should encourage your family to gather together around the table for a good, wholesome meal. Include lots of different foods that are healthy and nutritious. Toddlers learn by example, and watching other family members eat and interact in an inviting environment will encourage your toddler to do the same as time goes on.

Don’t Require Your Toddler to Clean His Plate – This is a common well intentioned mistake some parents make. Toddlers eating habits are peculiar, but they do know when they are hungry. Forcing them to finish food they can’t or won’t eat will only result in power struggles and potentially problems with food later in life.

Keep the Refrigerator Stocked with Healthy Snacks – If you don’t have dozens of cookies laying about the house your toddler will be less likely to eat them. That said allow your toddler some sweet treats when they are visiting relatives or a friend’s house. Just remember to keep sweets to a minimum at your house.

Cook a Variety of Foods – If you normally cook fish twice a week, your child will become accustomed to it as part of their routine.

It will be much easier to convince your toddler to try new things if they are an ordinary part of your diet, then if out of the blue you decide to try new foods that are unusual or generally unappealing.

As your toddler grows and develops they will eventually develop more routine eating habits. In the meantime simply providing healthy alternatives and variety in their diet is a great way to jump start a healthy diet.

By: Adwina Jackson

Article Directory:

Adwina Jackson is a wife and mother of a young boy. She's also the editor of Inspiring Parenting, an online source of valuable parenting information. Please visit Inspiring Parenting for helpful and free parenting info.
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Thursday, July 22, 2010


Monkey Music! - Giveaway

Ashlee is at the age that we call her a monkey. Having to turn chairs on their sides because she likes to climb on them proceeding to the table next!

NYC-based singer/songwriter Meredith LeVande could truly be termed a “Renaissance woman of children’s music.” Meredith not only holds undergraduate degrees in Women’s Studies and English, she also has a master’s degree in music and a law degree! Drawing from all these disciplines for her multi-faceted work with children, Meredith heads up a project with the marvelously mischievous moniker Monkey Monkey Music, with a focus on “putting the child back into children’s music.”

Five years ago Meredith’s debut album, Monkey Monkey Music with Meredith LeVande, became an instant hit with families nationwide, was a Parenting magazine “Pick,” and was in rotation on Sirius Satellite Radio, earning a grassroots reputation as a classic children's recording. Meredith LeVande has, since 2005, devoted herself to performing for children in intimate settings, becoming a favorite among NYC area families and creating a repertoire that has grown organically due to her one-on-one interactions with children of virtually every culture imaginable.

With the new Monkey Monkey Music CD, What Are the Odds?, Meredith has created something remarkable, finding the middle road between baby songs and pop band songs where kids’ lyrics are simply added to music that would otherwise be played for adults. Meredith’s music is not only child-friendly, it’s truly child appropriate, developed with the healthy growth of the young child in mind.

Please visit Monkey Monkey Music with Meredith LeVande at  

Tanya Peila and Meredith LeVande are giving away the NEW Monkey Monkey Music CD, "What Are the Odds?"

Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 1, 2010 (but will not be shipped until the 8/30 release date). PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can email your gift certificate to!
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Piggy Paint!

I think painted toes nails on little girls are SO adorable. But once they start putting their hands and feet in their mouth, no more paint!

Until now!!!!!

Piggy Paint™ is specially formulated from God’s natural ingredients and dries to a hard, durable finish. There are no toxic chemicals; it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone. Click here to see how our polish compares!

Say good-bye to harsh, smelly chemicals and hello to Piggy Paint™…it’s as Natural as Mud!

Finally, a kid-friendly polish without the accompanying drawbacks of traditional polishes. It is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate and acetone... and made in the USA!

Low odor hypoallergenic nail polish remover. Put harmful, smelly polish removers behind you with Piggy Paint™ Nail Polish Remover, a remover that works quickly on all polishes, especially Piggy Paint™ Nail Polish. Our remover contains none of the solvents that could offend your nose or harm our atmosphere. Aloe Vera and Vitamin E are added to supplement the natural oils that protect nails and cuticles.

Just My Life readers get a 10% off exclusive discount, even on sale items! Just use the code LIVE10L at checkout and remember Spend over $35 and domestic shipping is FREE!
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Building Your Own Private Sandbox - Craft

Maybe those tiny sand Zen gardens aren’t for you. You can still hear the kids with no Zen in sight. That trip to Hawaii is looking further and further away with each set of braces and back to school shopping due in August. So how do you deal with the kids at home all day summertime, no beach that doesn’t include screaming blues? Build your own tiny sandbox and ocean at home!

Metal tin in any color (about 5x7inches)
Easy Cast Crafting Resin and Hardener
Easy Cast pigments in green and blue
Sand (3-4 cups)
Tiny windsurfer (only if you can find one of course)
Ocean themed sheet of scrapbook paper
Mod podge

  1. Mix the resin and hardener according to the manufacturer directions
  2. Tint the resin to your desired ocean color with the blue and green pigments
  3. Prop the tin up at an angle so that when you pour the resin in it will all pool at the one end and at an incline to create the look of a “deepening” ocean.
  4. Pour the tinted resin in and add some of the sand to the resin with a gentle stir so the sand sinks to the bottom. About ½ cup of sand.
  5. Spread some sand at the “edge” of the unhardened resin as well and leave to set overnight.
  6. While you are waiting, take the scrapbook paper and trim to fit the lid of the tin.
  7. Apply Mod Podge liberally to the back of the paper and set onto tin lid. Smooth out any creases.
  8. If you really want to make it yours, cut out of Cricut you name out of scrapbook paper and glue on the lid. Set aside to dry.
  9. Once the resin has hardened, pour in the rest of the sand for your beach and place the windsurfer on the water!

Go all out and see if you can find a tiny shovel to build your own sand castles with or deck it out further with tiny fish and palm trees!

Bio: Craftzilla writes and runs the site Glue Gun Crafts which focuses on crafts you can do with a glue gun but also anything and everything crafty and inspirational! Glue Gun Crafts has featured crafts, do it yourself tutorials, videos and more.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The bottle to sippy cup transition

As parents we know how difficult it can be for your little one to give up the bottle. I have to admit, Carson did not give his up until he was well after 3 years old. But even then it was only at night.
Girls are different, and easier I think. Ashlee is only 16 months and has already moved on. Still on the bottle at night, this great product makes the transition smooth!


The Spout
Our trainer cup features a soft silicone spout similar to the one we use for our baby bottles. We found that TPR (rubber) and hard plastic spouts often became brittle or were heavily chewed during use. The soft silicone makes for easy transition from baby bottle to sippy cup.

No Spill Design - The spout utilizes a cross-cut pattern which reduces the chance of spillage during use.

The Handle
The trainer cup includes easy to hold and remove handles. In fact, all the parts of our bottle are interchangeable. If you already have our baby bottles check out our conversion kit.

The trainer cup is dishwasher safe and we recommend placement in the top rack.

The handles, cap and base of the bottle are made from polypropylene (No. 5 Plastic), so please recycle after use.

Top rack recommended.

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Pacifiers Recalled by Antonio Flores Due to Choking Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Kariño Baby Pacifiers
Units: About 44,900
Distributor: Antonio Flores, of San Ysidro, Calif.
Hazard: The pacifier fails to meet federal safety standards. The nipple can separate from the base easily, the pacifier handle is too long, the mouth guard is too small and there are no ventilation holes on the mouth guard. The pacifier could pose a choking and aspiration hazard to young children.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported.
Description: The pacifier has a ring-shaped handle and a round-shaped mouth guard. "Kariño" is printed on the handle side of the mouth guard, and "Mygra" is printed on one side of the handle. The nipple is filled with corn syrup.
Sold at: Independent grocery stores in California and Texas from October 2009 through March 2010 for about 25 cents.
Manufactured in: Mexico
Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled pacifiers away from children and contact Antonio Flores for a refund or exchange.
Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Antonio Flores collect at (619) 395-4543 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT.
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Teach Your Toddler Language and Reading Skills

According to Judith Hudson, a developmental psychologist, “The key to reading readiness during the toddler years is indirect instruction: This involves introducing your child to books and print in a way that gets him excited about the stories they contain. Basically, your job is to show him that books are important — and fun!”

By singing, talking, moving, reciting rhymes and reading to toddlers we help their brains to form the links that are essential to learning all language skills. In fact, it is in the first three years, when the brain grows to 90% of its adult weight, that children have the greatest capacity to learn language.

During this time it is important to form the habit of reading daily to children. Reading aloud helps your child to learn how to hold a book and turn the pages, and that every word has a meaning. By hearing you read the words on the page and sound them out, he learns that letters make words, and words make sentences, and sentences are how we communicate with each other.

Make reading a pleasure. Create a cozy reading corner in your toddler’s room with a variety of good, age appropriate books. As you cuddle close to read, point to each word. After several pages, ask a question about the story, such as "Why is the little boy sad?" At the end of the book, offer to tell the story again. But this time, pause to allow your toddler to supply details from the story.

As you read, take cues from your toddler. Try some of these activities to hold his interest.

• Use different voices and dramatic inflections in your voice.
• Use a prop bag to illustrate parts of the story.
• If you read about dinosaurs, sing and act out a song.

(tune: I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Wiener)
Oh I want to be a giant grumpy Dino,
That is what I really want to be!
For if I were a giant grumpy Dino,
Everyone would run away from me. . .

Read alphabet books to introduce letters, which will provide an opportunity to talk about their shapes, and familiar things associated with the letter. Toddlers also learn quickly with hands on activities. Why not form a large /A/, and apple out of clay? Then think of things that start with the /A/ sound. Take a letter such as /S/ and match its shape with a toy snake. Use the sound a snake makes (sssss) to teach your toddler to recognize the letter and the sound that accompanies it.

Reading opens up new worlds and cultures to toddlers. Most of all, reading is a source of good, wholesome fun! Our job, as parents and teachers, is to bring books to life, and give children opportunities to experience the pleasure of reading.


This article written by Jacob Maslow, Blogger at Allergy Be Gone, retailer of Allergy Control Products .
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