Monday, September 01, 2014

Helping a Child with Dyslexia

by Diane Estrella

Close to 10 percent of children in schools in America have some type of learning disability. Dyslexia ranks at the top of the list. It makes reading challenging, and can ultimately have a negative impact on grades in nearly every class. Dyslexia doesn’t mean your child will deal with bad grades and never get a chance at a scholarship though. They will just need support and dedication to rise above their challenges.

electric toothbrush

Recognizing Symptoms

Many children get far behind in school and start rebelling because they are misunderstood. A child getting poor grades or not doing their homework could simply be because they can’t read the work on the chalkboard properly. Recognizing symptoms early reduces the risk of them falling behind. Common symptoms include:

  • Being a late talker
  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Pronunciation problems
  • Problems with handwriting
  • Struggling to learn colors, numbers, and the alphabet
  • Confusing similar-looking letters
  • Trouble connecting letters and sounds

These are symptoms in a young child. If symptoms have gone unnoticed and suddenly you have a tween struggling, don’t rule this possibility out.

How You Can Help

  • Make Reading Fun – Most children with dyslexia don’t enjoy reading simply because they’re not good at it. If they are going to have to practice daily, at least give them something to read that they are interested in. Take weekly library trips, and perhaps even order a magazine subscription for them. Reading doesn’t have to always be out of a book. An electronic reader might be a great present, too.
  • Talk to the Teacher – If your child struggles to take notes from the board, perhaps the teacher will print a copy for you to go over with them at home. They may also be able to slowly read what’s written, as well. Request that notes be provided discreetly. Your child does not need to be singled out. Children can really get down on themselves, when they feel like they are different.
  • Assistive Technology – Kurzweil 3000 and Dragon Naturally Speaking can be very helpful for dyslexics. However, they should not become reliant on these software applications. It is important that they are used to assist learning, not replace it.
  • Provide Praise – Don’t only provide praise on reading-related accomplishments. That “A” on a math test deserves just as much praise as a “B” on an English report. It’s crucial that you point out their strengths in all areas.
  • Environment – Your child will likely need to study more than the average student. Therefore, they need somewhere comfortable to do this. A desk or the kitchen table is great for homework, but not so much for reading. Medium bean bags are ideal. They are comfortable enough to sit in for hours. Online stores like SoothingCompany.com offer great bean bag selections.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Makai King (Makai Series) by Tara Fairfield

by Diane Estrella

makai kingA new queen reigns beneath the sea in the underwater kingdom of Moku-ola. Armed with a sense of destiny, and friends loyal and true, Queen Tessa faces her greatest challenge ever as the ruler of sharks threatens her kingdom. Her heart has chosen one man to become her king, but another seeks to take it by force. Can her strength and resolve endure? Will her faith in the Creator’s plan and protection remain?

In Makai King, second book in the Makai Series, Christian psychologist Tara Fairfield continues the adventures of Tessa in the whimsical world of Moku-ola, which began in Makai Queen, showing readers the power of forgiveness and understanding your identity as a child of God.

You can find my review of book one in the series, Makai Queen here.

About the Author

tara fairfieldDr. Fairfield is a licensed psychologist with her doctorate from Northern Arizona University. She has been a featured guest on Teen Talk and Parent Talk radio with Nicole O’dell (ChooseNOW Ministries) and writes a monthly column for parents.

With over twenty years of experience working with youth and families, and as the mother of three children, Dr. Fairfield has dedicated her life to helping struggling teens find their confidence and faith in the Lord. She uses fictional characters to present positive messages to youth through the art of story. In the Makai Series, Dr. Fairfield puts this concept in action in these fantastical tales of adventure, forgiveness, and the acceptance of God’s love.

When she’s not writing you will find her having fun with her family or playing in the ocean! God Bless!

Buy it Here

Congrats Tara on book two of this series! You can also see book one, Makai Queen, info here.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The 39 Clues: Unstoppable Book 4: Flashpoint by Gordon Korman

by Diane Estrella

39 clues unstoppable flashpointAbout the Book

The 39 Clues is unstoppable! The bestselling series returns with an adventure spanning four explosive books and a website that places readers right in the action.

The Review

Unstoppable needs to stop.

Stop being so awesome!

What a thrilling fourth book! Everything was summed up nicely and all the characters were put in their place. I really liked the ending, and the middle, and the beginning, and pretty much everything else. The only person I didn’t like was Cara.

I just don’t feel like she’s being completely honest, honestly. I feel like she has too much room to mess up, and betray them. I don’t really trust her motives, but I guess I’ll believe her for now. For everyone’s sake.

How are they going to top this? How will this series continue after this amazing book? I don’t know, but I really want to find out. I honestly don’t know how they can do it. Only a miracle worker could outstand this. I want more books, more I say! How can you expect me to wait for the next one?

In conclusion, this book was thrilling, satisfying, and entertaining. I have read Gordon Korman’s work before, and he hasn’t disappointed yet. I can’t wait for the next one!

Buy it Here

Scholastic Books sent me the above book for review purposes. It will allow me to keep the book. I have no other connection to and have received no other compensation from Scholastic.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken Soup for the Soul, Pet Lover’s Dog Food

by Diane Estrella

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul

dog food

At Chicken Soup for the Soul, we know how important food is for your dog’s well-being. That’s why we formulated Chicken Soup for the Soul dog food to give your dog premium nutrition so that your dog can stay happy, healthy, and well. Our dog food captures the warmth and comfort of eating food that is not only made from the highest quality ingredients, but also served with love. So whether your pet is a puppy, a senior, or somewhere in between, the dog foods from Chicken Soup for the Soul provide nutrition to help promote your pet’s lifelong health.

Adult Dog Small Bites is made with the same natural ingredients as our Adult formula, just in smaller kibble for your smaller breed.

Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, peas, oatmeal, white rice, chicken fat [preserved with mixed tocopherols], tomato pomace, potatoes, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, flaxseed, duck, salmon, egg product, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dried chicory root, dried kelp, carrots, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flake, yucca schidigera extract, L-Carnitine, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plant arum fermentation product, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Small Bites Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.

Proudly made in the USA.

My Review

That is a great list of ingredients. I ask you, is this for me, or for my dog???

With that beautiful list of ingredients, I can feel good about what I’m feeding my dog and he feels good eating it too. I love the small, crunchy size of the food and how easy it is for my dog to eat. He wastes no time devouring dinner and then it’s back to play.

Chicken Soup for the Soul knows a lot about what makes people feel good inside and out. And now they know what makes dogs feel good too. I for one can say that my dog, Bear, was very happy to feast upon their latest product line.

The Chicken Soup dog food line offers both dry and wet selections to meet your dog’s dietary needs. I prefer the dry, but I’m sure either way, your dogs will feel the nourishment all the way to their souls. This is a great addition to the Chicken Soup family that nurtures even your four legged family members too. Well done and hallelujah!

Buy it Here

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free from Chicken Soup for the Soul. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Best for My Pets: Odor Free Bully Sticks

by Diane Estrella

bully sticks

About Bully Sticks
  • MORE THAN JUST ENTERTAINING YOUR DOG! Did you know that chewing gives dogs a sense of comfort calming them down? More than that, chewing on BULLY STICKS becomes a fun and natural way to CLEAN TEETH and keep them strong. This delicious long-lasting chewing treat helps to maintain your dog’s oral hygiene and health.
  • ALL NATURAL, 100% PURE BEEF. Our bully sticks are free of chemical, preservatives or additives. Made of dried muscle, they are Gluten-Free and Grain-Free, 100% digestible. Hard like bones, it is very difficult to break them into smaller pieces. Choose something remarkable and safe to satisfy your dog’s cravings to chew.
  • DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY. Low in fat, our bully sticks are a powerful source of protein. Stop feeling guilty by giving your dog unhealthy treats. You will be pleased to see how happy your dog will be with our yummy bully sticks.
  • THE BEST VALUE! We offer the same or better benefits than the more expensive brands BUT we believe EVERYONE should benefit from giving their dogs the highest quality bully sticks. We have the BEST VALUE bully sticks out there! Other brands will either have bad products for a lower price or the same product for a lot more money. TRY IT NOW! You have NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to GAIN.
  • ✭YOUR DOG HAPPY OR YOUR MONEY BACK✭ At Best for My Pets, we fully stand behind our product and we go beyond the Amazon’s 30 days return policy and offer you a NO-QUESTIONS-ASKED GUARANTEE. So if your dog does not love our bully sticks or if you don’t feel 100% satisfied we will refund your money. No questions asked. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority and we want to build a strong and long lasting relationship with our customers. TRY IT TOTALLY RISK FREE! NO EMPTY PROMISES!

bully sticks best for my pets

My Review

Twenty minutes of sweet, sweet peace.

When my dog is given one of these Bully Sticks, he hides away and chews on it for approximately 20 minutes. He really enjoys them A LOT!

The stick itself is strong and tough. Perfect for dogs to happily munch on. I will say that there is a very mild smell to the Bully Sticks. The packaging says “odor free,” but the smell is miniscule compared to other dog food items I’ve seen, so I don’t hold this against them. The bag is also re-sealable so the treats stay fresh. I love that these are all natural and good for my dog. Happy diet, happy dog.

It says on the package that, “A portion of your purchase helps support dog rescues throughout the USA.” I love companies that give back and are truly compassionate in all they do. See if your dog loves these bully sticks as much as mine does. A treat, both fun for dogs and healthy too. Love it.

Buy it Here

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Green Virgin Prodcuts Soap Nuts Liquid

by Diane Estrella

soap nuts liquidHave you heard about Soap Nuts? I hadn’t.

I am so glad to have connected with Green Virgin Products and was able to try this unique way of cleaning my laundry. Check them out here:

About Green Virgin Products

Green Virgin Products is a family-owned business created in 2009 to fulfill a specific need in the marketplace. Ken Marion, founder, lost his brother to cancer, and is a cancer survivor himself.  These experiences were the foundation of the Marion family’s vision—to provide high quality, non-toxic, eco-friendly products that actually work, and can save money compared to the toxic polluting products.

Green Virgin Products is dedicated to selling only completely non-toxic and eco-friendly products.  Based in Tampa, FL, Green Virgin Products are currently available online.  For more information and special offers, go to www.greenvirginproducts.com and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenvirginproducts.

What are Soap Nuts?

They are the fruit of the Chinese Soap Berry Tree. These amazing berries are harvested and then dried in the sun. No chemicals of any kind are added. We only sell Sapindus Mukorossi soap nuts as this is the species that are the largest and have the highest saponin content of any other species.  Laundry detergent with toxic chemicals and carcinogens is replaced with something all natural and totally organic.

The shell contains a natural soap called saponin. It has cleaning abilities equal to toxic chemical detergents. Soap berries are extremely hypo-allergenic and can be used by people who are allergic to all other detergents. They are completely green and don’t pollute our planet.

How do I use Soap Nuts Liquid?

The bottle includes a pump top. It dispenses an accurate measured amount each pump. So for an average load in an HE washer (front loader), use 2 pumps for the whole load. For an average load in a top loader, 3 pumps per load will do the job. If your washer has a detergent dispenser you can use that or just pump the liquid onto your clothes that are in the washer.

My Review

I am always going to give natural products a try and my full attention too. There is no better feeling than knowing you are doing all you can to keep your family as toxin free as possible. We are constantly bombarded with chemicals in our daily goings and being able to make small changes to cut some of those toxins out of our lives is essential.

I like the pump top. There is no waste and no drips. I easily control how much is squirted into my washing machine. The soap has a woodsy, nutty smell and is brown in color. No artificial anything is added which is always wonderful in my opinion. I do not enjoy the typical flowery scents that are included in many of the grocery store brands, so this aroma is much more pleasant to me. I do feel that my laundry is coming out clean and I am satisfied with the results.

Green Virgin Products Soap Nuts Liquid are USDA Organic and made in the USA. Both of these make this mommy very, very happy.

Buy it Here

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free from Green Virgin Products. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.