Posted in Professional Blog Posts

Benefits of Crafting with Children

Teaching kids to use glue is a great way to get them involved with crafting. There are so many wonderful projects to make using xxx glue products which will engage their creativity and their physical senses.

 

Did you know that doing arts and crafts with your child is good for their brain? We already know that arts and crafts are good for social and emotional development, but recent studies conducted by Dr. Richard Rende, a developmental psychologist, show that these activities are good for cognitive development as well.

 

This means that arts and crafts touch on nearly every part of your child’s development. So, that messy activity involving glitter and xxx glue products may just be worth a lot more than you previously thought.

 

These are some of the major benefits of crafting with children.

Hones Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are small movements dedicated to specific tasks. People utilize their fine motor skills when they do things like write with a pencil, eat with a knife and fork, or use a key to open the front door. As you can see, these are important life skills that should be developed at an early age. Many craft projects your child participates in at school and at home, such as those involving macaroni chains and pipe cleaner shapes, involve their fine motor skills.

Project: Homemade Edible Fingerpaint

When you make your own edible fingerpaint, like this one from theimaginationtree.com, toddlers and babies as young as six months old can join in the fun. This product is easy to make, is non-toxic, and lasts a long time. It is not delicious, so chances are most of it will end up on the page where it belongs and not in your child’s belly.

Supplies:

* 2 cups of cornstarch

* 1 cup of cold water

* 4.5 cups of boiling water

* Liquid food coloring

Instructions:

  1. Stir the cornstarch and cold water together.
  2. Add the boiling water one cup at a time, stirring between each cup.
  3. Keep stirring until it melts into a “custard-like” consistency.
  4. Separate the mixture into individual jars and add food coloring.  
  5. Allow your child to enjoy painting with her fingers and hands!

Helps with Visual Processing Ability

Visual processing skill is your ability to see and assess the visual information around you. As an adult, you may notice patterns, colors, and physical improbabilities without delay. You can do that because of the skills you learned in your early childhood– by naming and identifying colors, shapes, and objects. Visual processing is vital for the development of early reading and math skills. It is also necessary to complete everyday tasks. Without developing this ability, your child would not be able to ride a bike or play catch, for instance.

Dot-to-Dot Pictures with Super Glue Products

Do you remember dot-to-dot pictures from your childhood? Your teacher may have presented you with a page scattered with numbered dots, instructing you to use a single colored pencil to connect 1-to-2-to-3, and so on. When you were done, you had drawn a picture!

 

These dot-to-dot pictures from kidsactivitiesblog.com can be “painted” using xxx glue products such as xxx and then sprinkled with glitter to create a very special craft. Your child will exercise his hand-eye coordination in addition to his visual thinking skills, and practice working with glue while he’s at it! 

Promotes Executive Function

Executive function controls impulses, focuses attention, and uses memory. It is also responsible for emotional control, planning and organizing, and taking action (task initiation.) Executive function is promoted when you sit down for quality time with your child and work on a directed activity like a craft. From activities like these, the child learns to plan their behavior and becomes successful at more grown-up tasks like study and work.

Skyrockets Self-Esteem

One of the most important phases of development for toddlers is when they begin to feel good about themselves. Arts and crafts activities that empower children and encourage self-esteem can be vital at this stage of growth and create positive emotional responses to learning. Just the feeling of having created something encourages a feeling of self-pride.

Rainbow Compliments

Ourfamilyworld.com recommends this fun activity to boost your child’s confidence in multiple ways at once.

Supplies:

White paper

Colored construction paper

Scissors

xxx glue products

Colored pencils

Instructions:

  1. Cut a large cloud shape out of the white piece of paper.
  2. Cut one long strip out of each color of construction paper.
  3. Ask your child to tell you one good thing about themselves for each piece of colored paper. If they need some help, you can add your own compliments to some of the colors.  
  4. Use xxx glue products to glue the colored strips to the top or bottom of the cloud, forming a beautiful rainbow of feel-good compliments.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

About an Object

People always said that ocean air was salty like the rim of a margarita glass, but to Penelope, it was sweeter, more like fresh-squeezed orange juice. She grew accustomed to the taste of the ocean air on her lips as she sat out on the beach during the hottest part of her day. She only drank water, with silicone ice cubes in it that didn’t make any satisfying clanking noise in her glass. They didn’t melt in the summer’s blaze, either.

Penelope didn’t give her drink a thought as she lounged, the sand between her toes bringing all the usual sensations and plotted her next article. She had a laptop computer on a pillow over her legs, which were stretched long and lean across a chaise lounge set up just at the shore – right in front of the action. That was where she did her best thinking. Her editor at Midwestern Style Magazine would allow her only two days to write an article about a new trend in plastic surgery called “designer dimples.” Penelope wasn’t afraid. What could she say? She had a gift.

The hardest part was the research, which was why Penelope made such a to-do about working, off of her phone’s 5G hotspot, by the ocean. She needed all the distraction she could get, especially when she had to write such an obviously insipid article. What a joke! What she hadn’t counted on, as a first-time visitor from South Dakota, were the expertly sculpted boobs, butts, calves, and even hairlines which paraded through her line of vision and made her feel like she had been born in the wrong body. There were no two ways about it – she needed those dimples, now.

Posted in Creative Writing

The Cool Guys

12:00, time to wake up. If it’s 12 PM, I shower, pull on my worn-in black yoga pants and a sleeveless black cotton shirt (normally with some kind of 70s concert logo on it.) I drive my big black SUV to The Coffee Bean. The people sitting at the tables out front say hi when they see me. There’s Judy with her little white dog, Satre. There’s Mike with his laptop, working on a screenplay. Those two are here every day, like me. I saunter by them without stopping. I am aware that most people think it is the middle of the afternoon, but for me, the day is still nascent, and it moves in fits and starts.

“Large Red Eye over ice, coming up! Hi Marisa.” The barista gives me a nod. She knows my order — it’s the same thing every day. A large iced coffee with three espresso shots. A real bartender’s drink. When it’s ready, I take it and go outside with the regulars– put on my sunglasses, take my seat and let the sun do its thing.

It takes me two hours or so to down the Red Eye. Finally feeling alive, I hop back into my SUV and head over to Gold’s Gym on Gower. It feels like everyone there is famous, but in truth only some actually are. The guy from last year’s big holiday movie works out there, and the lady that starred as Tina Turner, and the guy who was really famous as a kid on that big TV show — he’s really nice. I like to go places where I’m “famous,” where everyone recognizes me and my attitude. I walk on the treadmill for half an hour, giving a cursory nod to the new girl who is running on the treadmill next to me. She is looking at me like I’m a rock star. Of course, I know who she is right away — we all know each other in this town — she works at the shop where I buy my 70s concert Ts. I make a quick decision to remain silent and maintain my allure until she leaves.

That’s my 12 PM routine.

If the alarm goes off and it says 12 AM, I get up and shower, put on other, cooler black clothing, put up my long, black white-girl dreadlocks in a cool way (unlike the messy ponytail I wear to The Coffee Bean and the gym,) and drive a couple miles to Akbar. I pour drinks, schmooze all night, and make a killing in tips. Everyone thinks they’re my best friend. The gays are good tippers — Akbar is a gay bar, but only for the youngest, hippest, and most alternative. You know what the boys like to say there: no tank tops allowed! If you like tank tops and Cher, go farther west, that’s what they’ll tell you. My bar is for the cool guys.

Posted in Creative Writing

Nothing Really Does Compare: I

The air was thick as cheese, and he wanted to slice into it and release even more of the pungent aroma of the downtown Barcelona evening. It didn’t stink there, it was just humid, and noisy – with Spanish ‘motos’ whizzing by, leaving trails of exhaust only the Italians in the crowd didn’t seem to mind. The scent of a row of tapas bars that extended as far as the eye could see was at once intoxicating and slightly sickening. It was a never-ending story of tapas bars on Las Ramblas, here at the center of it all.

Rain arrived this morning on the red-eye from London, but he was no Englishman; he was a working-class American kid, just 20. One day about a week ago, a guy came into the tattoo shop where he worked in Detroit and talked about how traveling was the greatest thing a man could do. This man planted a seed. Rain realized that his tattoo-savings were enough to buy an impulsive one-way ticket to paradise. At home, he googled for about 20 minutes before deciding to move to Barcelona. He sold all his stuff in a matter of days and, his pockets lined with cash, set off to find himself.

He figured he would stay about five years, but he didn’t know if he would bother to learn Spanish. Who needed it? He was an American – everyone wanted to practice their English on him, anyway. This morning when he got here, he found a job in a tattoo shop. He was just walking down the street casually, not talking to anyone in not-Spanish, and he saw a cool-looking shop, so he stuck his head in to see what the guys were like. God knows he wasn’t thinking of getting a job, not that he believed in God.

But that was the way it went. They became fast friends, they joked around, and in a couple of hours, he was employed– in Barcelona. He inhaled: he could say he really lived here. He exhaled: he could stay. In a few short hours, his plan had worked. He saw that he had tended to the seed properly, and now, it would begin to sprout.

Posted in Professional Blog Posts

Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery that Go Beyond the Physical

Will cosmetic surgery make you look and feel better? Those are the questions likely at top of mind when you make the first call to the office of your plastic surgeon in xxx.

The answer is a (somewhat complex) yes. In some cases, cosmetic surgery can improve your health – if you have a physical impediment to breathing, musculoskeletal comfort, or wound healing, for example. At other times, making slight adjustments to your appearance can improve your self-image.

 

Health Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)

A person suffering from a deviated septum, which causes snoring and difficulty breathing due to chronic congestion, can choose to undergo a rhinoplasty to improve their condition.

Breast Reduction

Women with abundantly large breasts can experience back, shoulder, and neck pain from the added weight. A breast reduction can significantly improve their quality of life.

Skin Surgery

Via cosmetic surgery, most types of skin cancer can be removed. Cosmetic surgery also helps close wounds and heal burn victims’ skin.

Liposuction

Liposuction can make huge improvements in the odds of diabetes in at-risk populations.

Migraine Surgery

Nerve Decompression Surgery helps migraine sufferers experience many fewer headaches per month.

 

Psycho-Social Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery

People call their plastic surgeon in Houston for their own reasons. Some want to become more well-liked by strangers, or by people that already know them. Others believe an enhanced appearance will “get them ahead” in the workplace. However, many people do it simply for “me.” That is, they have less obvious motivations that have little to do with objective rewards.

Improved Body Image

Most people are motivated to undergo cosmetic surgery to improve their body image, says Susan Thorpe, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey (England,) who conducts cosmetic surgery research.

“They want to look normal–that is, they don’t want to stand out in an obvious way or to have features which cause comments or make them feel self-conscious,” Thorpe says. “They also want their physical appearance to be more in line with their personalities and feel that they want all the bits of their bodies to match [apa.org.]”

Happiness Levels

Interestingly, what matters most with cosmetic surgery is how you feel about it. “In other words, people who are objectively more physically attractive are not more happy, on average… however, self-perceptions of physical attractiveness do relate strongly and positively to happiness [psychologytoday.com.]”

So, no matter how big your bias about how “attractive” you are, the good news is that all that really matters for your happiness is the feelings themselves. If you feel like you look great, for all intents and purposes you really do.

A Few Words of Warning

Expectations Matter

You have probably heard that you should not expect cosmetic surgery to “turn you into a new person” or “solve all your problems.” A representative review study confirms that if you have unrealistically high expectations about what cosmetic surgery will do for you, you are likely to be disappointed—and wind up less happy than you were to begin with.

On Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), first introduced into the lexicon in 1987, is condition primarily characterized by a fixation on an aspect of your appearance.

“People with BDD repeatedly change or examine the offending body part to the point that the obsession interferes with other aspects of their life. Several studies show that 7 to 12 percent of plastic surgery patients have some form of BDD. Plus, the majority of BDD patients who have cosmetic surgery do not experience improvement in their BDD symptoms, often asking for multiple procedures on the same or other body features [apa.org.]”

If you think you may have BDD, Take This Questionnaire.

Then, Find Help Here.

(via the Body Dysmorphic Association.)

Additional Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery

One recent study revealed a wide range of benefits to cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery may be able to help with:

  • Anxiety
  • Social phobia
  • Depression
  • Goal attainment
  • Life satisfaction
  • Mental and physical health
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-esteem

 

 

Posted in Creative Writing

#FridayFictioneers: D is for Dome

berrybook

#FridayFictioners write a 100-word, complete story based on their response to a photo.

This week’s prompt:

rogers-skylight

“Is this where the humans live?”

“Well…”

“Is this where they are born?”

“No, this is where they grow, before that.”

“Do they grow from the lamp light or the window light?”

“Both, I think.”

“So, this is what it looks like.” He exhaled the scent of feces and rotting fruit and inhaled a pure, crystalline dew.

“This place reminds me of Nancy.” A little shake. “She was like this.”

They sat together in a silent awe, staring at the impossible ceiling.

“Let’s go out and get a new one.”

“It’s not that easy. They’re not all so…”


#FridayFictioners is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields at Addicted to Purple.

Want to see more? 

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Posted in Creative Writing

Book Review: For the Love of The Goddess #ChicLit

berrybook

This is a story with only one fault.
Gods and humans clash.
They want to own a thing that’s powerful.
They suffer, they show courage, they lie.
They squeeze mandrakes.
They get revelations.
It is a story with one fault only:

You want it to never end…

Welcome to Lady F’s world – the kind of place where almanacs filled with ancient spells sit on dusty bookshelves, surrounded by crystals and charms most people don’t know how to use anymore. A place that welcomes the curious to tempt fate. Here, an “almost wizard” named Ashton Rowan pursues Freya, the great Goddess of Love, Attraction and Sex– and rightful owner of the precious Brisingamen.

“When the Brisingamen graces your neck, no one can resist your charms.”

But Ashton has an ulterior motive for contacting Freya—he needs her help with his love life. He is infatuated with Vivienne Chantel, a passionate woman who…

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Posted in Uncategorized

How Do Blind People Dream?

A great deal of information is known about how blind people dream. You may be surprised to learn how their dream experiences are different and similar to those of sighted people.

 

Do Blind People Dream?

Yes, they do. Dreaming is associated with the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. It is generated deep within the brain and is, therefore, a function of the brain, not the eyes. Blind people dream as much as a sighted person would, no matter the cause of their blindness.

Can Blind People See in Their Dreams?

The time of their life that a person became blind impacts the content of their dreams. People who were born blind or became blind at a young age (before age 5) do not have a visual component to their dreams. Those who became blind after age 5 or 6 can see in their dreams. Therefore, there seems to be a window in the development of the brain in which the capacity to have visual dreams is established.

What Do Blind People Dream About?

Most dreams contain elements that are related to both sight and movement (such as falling.) More than half of dreams contain an element related to sound. It is rare for people to describe other sensory experiences, such as those related to smell, taste, and pain. It is estimated that these latter three elements occur in less than 1% of dream reports. Women more often experience smell and taste in their dreams while men more often report sound and pain.

Blind people are more likely to report feelings of touch, taste, and smell in their dreams compared to sighted people. This likely corresponds to their waking experience which relies more on these senses.

What are Special Features of Blind People’s Dreams?

Blind people seem to have less aggression in their dreams. Justifiably, they are more prone to nightmares about getting lost, falling into manholes, and getting hit by a car. In one study of dreams, 60% of blind people reported dreaming about transport (compared to 28% of sighted people) which is understandably a big cause of anxiety for blind people because of the danger it presents.

Despite these differences, the emotional and thematic content of dreams isn’t much different in the blind and the sighted. Both groups report about the same number of social interactions, successes, and failures in their dreams. They have the same distribution of emotions and the same level of bizarreness.

Do Colorblind People Dream in Color?

As we have learned, your waking experience dictates your perception of dreams. So, someone who has a red-green color vision defect since birth will dream in the same colorblind mode.

If you were born with full-color vision but later became colorblind, you may have full-color dreams if you have sufficient intact long-term memories of colors.

Black and White Dreams

Have you ever noticed if you dream in color or in black and white? For people 65 and older, it is common to dream in black and white. The reason may surprise you – it’s TV exposure. A 2008 study showed that people who’d had childhood exposure to black and white TV were likely to dream in black and white, while people 25 and under (who had always watched TV in color) almost always dreamt in full color.

How Do Blind and Deaf People Dream?

Before her teacher first came to her, Helen Keller, in her autobiography, stated that her dreams were devoid of any kind of sound/sight/thought/etc. and only contained fear and strong abstract sensations.  She states,

“My dreams have strangely changed during the past twelve years. Before and after my teacher first came to me, they were devoid of sound, of thought or emotion of any kind, except fear, and only came in the form of sensations. I would often dream that I ran into a still, dark room, and that, while I stood there, I felt something fall heavily without any noise, causing the floor to shake up and down violently; and each time I woke up with a jump. As I learned more and more about the objects around me, this strange dream ceased to haunt me; but I was in a high state of excitement and received impressions very easily. It is not strange then that I dreamed at the time of a wolf, which seemed to rush towards me and put his cruel teeth deep into my body! I could not speak (the fact was, I could only spell with my fingers), and I tried to scream; but no sound escaped from my lips. It is very likely that I had heard the story of Red Riding Hood and was deeply impressed by it. This dream, however, passed away in time, and I began to dream of objects outside myself.”

 

Posted in Creative Writing

#FridayFictioneers: “Rapunzel’s New Hairstyle”

berrybook

“It’s Not What You Look at that Matters, its What You See.” –Henry David Thoreau

#FridayFictioneers write a 100-word, complete story based on their response to a photo.

This week’s prompt:

stone-house

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Rapunzel’s New Hairstyle

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your… where’s your hair?”

“Prince! I’m here! I got a new hairstyle, just for you!”

“But Rapunzel, you’ll be trapped! Now how will you let down your golden hair?”

Afraid of the witchy stepmother’s return, Prince began to climb the big tree which had grown alongside the tower for a century.

When he touched the second branch, it’s leaves turned brown and orange. By the time he reached the top, the tree was strewn with golden threads.

Prince tossed a handful of the shimmering silk through the window to Rapunzel, who gladly climbed down its rope.

word count: 100


From Rapunzel by The Grimm Brothers

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Posted in Professional Blog Posts

Designing the Ultimate Game Room

Have you ever been asked, “What do you do for fun?” and wracked your brain for an answer? You won’t have to do that once you’ve installed a multi-purpose game room in your home!

And please skip saying you don’t have the basement space for a rec room. Game rooms/rec rooms can be built anywhere in your house– in a spare bedroom, an unused office or a (formerly) dusty attic. This is a great motivation to clear out the clutter – it’s time!

 

Pick a Theme

  • Wrap yourself in childhood fun with Monopoly or Candyland-themed decor and a closetful of classic board games.
  • Online gamer? Situate yourself in virtual reality paradise by decorating in the theme of your favorite world.
  • What card shark wouldn’t want a genuine casino in their home? Look up one-of-a-kind card tables and cool chairs to make your players drop their poker face.
  • Sports fans can cover the walls with their favorite team’s paraphernalia.
  • Pick a decade and go retro! Find furniture, lighting fixtures, and other décor from the era of your choice. You can even seek out vintage games!
  • Build an in-house arcade and make it just as noisy and colorful as the real thing. Your game room will be “the talk of the block!”
  • Lots of people have pool tables in their rec rooms, but how many have a full-blown billiard room? Take the theme to new levels by designing around the pool table’s style. Add other standing games, such as foosball and air hockey.
  • Choose a “Luxe Life” theme, complete with vintage bar accessories and luxury bar stools; “refined” table games like chess (or one of these classic 19th Century Parlor Games) played on an antique game table; and, some classical symphonic tunes playing in the background.

 

Add a Home Theatre

Games and movies go together like popcorn and candy. They’re both tons of fun, right?

Combine your game room with a home theatre for the ultimate happy place. Choose comfortable seating like classically comfortable sofas and sectionals from xxx and set them up around a big coffee table at knee-height. Then, put up a big projection screen to fill your wall with fascinating images.

You can settle in on the sofa and put your feet up (plus have a place to put your soda) on the table during movie night. Plus, the sofa and table set will double as a gathering place during game time or for a social occasion. Sports fans will appreciate that this is a fabulous set-up for game watching! When things get crowded, get a better view of the screen by adding luxury bar stools from xxx.

Don’t Forget the Watering Hole

A bar stocked with drinks and snacks is a must-have for your personalized game room. Luxury bar stools from xxx “transcend the fashion of the moment, bridging past and future to create a sense of timeless style and luxury.” The addition of luxury bar stools liven up your game room by providing seating not only guests and players but spectators as well. We all need people to cheer us on, don’t we?

 

Get Set for Gaming

Discover a truly immersive gaming experience with Gaming Chairs, which are comfortable to sit in for hours on end. Not only that- they have built-in speakers, cupholders, and interactive vibration to get you all caught up in the action.

By mounting your gaming consoles on the wall, you can easily hide unsightly wires. This both simplifies TV connection and eliminates the need for a TV stand. To save even more space, mount the controllers on the wall as well (the controllers will become a neat-looking decoration to boot.)

And, here is another reason to install that home theatre: you can use the projector for gaming. Just imagine being immersed in your virtual reality worlds on that huge screen!

 

Ultimate Game Room for Kids

Your kids will surely thank you when you present them with their very own, kids’-centered playroom. This isn’t your typical playroom with a bunch of stuffed animals thrown around and random puzzle pieces scattered around the floor. Think carefully and pick a design theme that will tickle them, such as their favorite cartoon show or color scheme.

Blogger Julie of Julie Loves Home wrote about how she did a “$100 Chalkboard & Graffiti Guest-Game Room Makeover” on an underutilized room in her home. She bought some chalk and spray paint and, with restraint, let the kids design their hearts out. The result was a room they couldn’t live without.

kids chalk wall
Julie’s Guest-Game Room Makeover

 

Once you have chosen your design theme, consider installing:

 

Keep Score with a Classic Scoreboard

score 1

*This commercial scoreboard from M&S Sporting Goods is on the pricey side;
but you can buy a magnetic chalkboard from Amazon and use this as a DIY template!

For kids and adults alike, no game or competition is complete without keeping score. “Watch the game heat up” or “keep track of your winning streak” with a DIY scoreboard – either traditional chalk or dry erase-style.

 

[Source: Extra Space Storage}

Keyword: luxury bar stools