September 17, 2014

Trouble Maker

Last year, after my firstborn child started college, and my second born was old enough to drive, I realized my nest was half full. For years, I've felt that I was meant to be a teacher. I mean this with no immodesty; I am really good with kids. I like them and I convey that. Because they know I like them, they respond.

I learned that I am not meant to be a full time teacher because I don't like planning or paperwork or tests. I like getting in and getting my hands dirty. I'm grateful for the carefully arranged lessons and statistical measures that each teacher must do. Me? I get to come in for a day and be a rock star. I read the lessons, ask questions and watch young eyes and minds come to life.

Sometimes. Sometimes, I see a child who is either struggling or beaten down.

Yesterday, I became reacquainted with some of my students from last year. My heart tugged as I saw a young man I met last year. He had been identified as a trouble maker last year and actually accused of crimes that were later proven he didn't commit. He seems to have found a comfortable place as the trouble maker and that saddened me. I don't have the arrogance to suppose that he isn’t as bad as he seems, but boy, I sure hope that I can give him a glimpse of someone believing in him.

He’s a bright young man. I read his work and it’s as good if not better than anything his peers produce. But he’s labeled. Last year, he was accused of stealing, and even under intense scrutiny, he denied the theft, explaining that he was allergic to peanuts, and that there was no way he would steal a Reese’s. The aide at the time nodded to me knowingly, explaining, he may not eat it, but he could probably sell it.

I actually understand why such a young man would fall under scrutiny. He is a behavior problem. The part where my heart breaks is that our egos don't give us the chance to let go when that scrutiny fails. We continue to accuse and suspect, even when we don't have a rational reason.

He was allergic to peanuts. He did NOT steal the Reese’s peanut butter cup, and in fact, a teacher came into the room later that morning and asked, did you find the money I left last night when I was here for conferences? The case of the missing candy bar was solved, but the cloud of suspicion hung over that young man.

The story stuck with me from my day as a sub. As someone who comes in and out one day at a time, I don't purport to know more than those who are there daily. But I see things differently. Yesterday, I saw my young friend again. We smiled knowingly at each other.

The work was assigned and he balked. He found one excuse after another to avoid doing it. The aide again told me, “All he does is get into trouble”. I remarked that sometimes things like that are self-fulfilling prophecies. He gets in trouble because that is what expected of him. I went over to him and said, “You need to stop stalling and do this or you will have to stay in for recess and work on it”. He began, albeit 20 minutes later, and wrote what I consider a very age appropriate and persuasive essay. I do not get to grade the essays, and honestly, I'm probably not even supposed to read them, but my personal fascination with this young student got the better of me. I had to see if he wrote anything of substance. He did.

My anecdotal evidence is simple. He is smart. But he is labeled. I don't see him daily so I can ignore the label.

But I also see the writing on the wall. This smart young student will not surpass his label. He will not be encouraged to reach further than his life. My heart cries for him. My heart cries for the thousands who are in cities around the nation, who are labeled and not listened to. A trouble maker he was labeled and that is who he will become.

Doesn’t seem right, does it?

July 15, 2014

Shhhh... I'm letting you in on a light bladder leakage tip!

Many thanks to Poise for sponsoring today's story, and keeping me confident!

When I gave birth to my first child, she was five weeks early and I went into labor shortly after my water broke in the store parking lot. During our childbirth instruction, we were warned that we should drop a jar of pickles if our water broke so nobody would think we pee'd our pants. Nearly 20 years later, the fear of light bladder incontinence continues to plague women everywhere. Age really has nothing to do with it. When women give birth, a lot of things never completely go back to normal. Let's face it, you don't even have to give birth to experience moments of light incontinence.

Who can forget the line from the movie Pretty Woman, where Edward quickly covers up for Vivian's comment?
Old Lady at Opera: “Did you like the opera, dear?”Vivian: “It was so good, I almost pee'd my pants!”Edward: “She said she liked it better than Pirates of Penzance.”
We all know what it's like, if we're being honest. We know that there are certain times we will be together with good friends and get to laughing so hard we pee our pants a little. Instead of BYOB for such get togethers, I think we should think about BYOP. P for Poise. Protection. Personal Dignity. Privacy.

When I first thought about doing this campaign, my initial reaction was befuddlement... what could I possibly know about incontinence? Turns out quite a bit. I'm in my late forties, and while I may not be thinking about bladder control, but I wasn't thinking about weight loss, grey hairs, or bifocals, either.

I'm not going to deny it, there are times a sneeze or fit of laughter causes me to lose my control a little. Let's be realistic. Nobody wants to sit around soggy or stay home from events when there is a perfectly Poise'd solution. And with a personal introduction to SAM, their Super Absorbent Material, we have the confidence and comfort in social situations without worrying about laughter, sneezing, or not knowing where the nearest bathroom is.

You just never know when the years are going to attempt to steal the things you think you can control, but don't let age rob your future. Hang out with SAM and Poise and you'll be ready for anything.

If you are interested in meeting SAM for free, and learning what it's like to have Poise, simply follow the links in this story. 

January 29, 2014

Do you know if you're Hot or Not?

Find Hot or Not on Facebook
Before there was Facebook or YouTube, there was a simple rating site developed in 2000 by two Berkely engineering students, Jim Young and James Hong. Little did they know their disagreement about whether a girl was "hot or not" would evolve into a wildly popular site, that was receiving over 2 million hits/daily within a week of launching.

It's always interesting to find out how others see you. Several years ago, Hot or Not debuted with wild success as a fun, flirty way to learn how we are perceived by others.

As a woman in her late 40s, I admit I know a thing or two about being hot, as in having hot flashes on a regular basis. There are days and nights I think my personal theme song is Hot, Hot, Hot. I'm not sure I personally need an APP to determine my own personal hotness, a simple hand to my forehead is likely to answer that question.

Get the APP today
All kidding aside, the science of attractiveness has proven that perceived attractive folks have a biological advantage. A 2006 study found that there are 29 points on a person's face that determine attractiveness. In general, the more symmetrical a face, with certain percentages of width to height proportions, the more attractive a person is considered. Most Hollywood stars score higher in the science of attractiveness, setting a societal opinion of what is considered attractive. However, beauty is only skin deep, and social opinions of attractiveness change with each era.

For example, Elizabethan women in England were plump and fair skinned. Thin and tanned skin was considered signs of poverty from lack of food and working outdoors. In fact, some of the popular makeup used was ceruse, a white paint that made skin appear even more light. Some even went so far as to paint delicate blue lines on their face to convey their "blue blood" status and wealth.  Such an appearance today would hardly be a pinnacle of beauty.

If you're curious how others see you, there's an APP for that and if you check it out, you can enter a :
$1000 sweepstakes

January 13, 2014

The State of Children's Health (infographic)

Source: www.

December 11, 2013

Saving Mr. Banks: free iBook

Under my list of must-see movies this holiday season, Saving Mr. Banks is on the list. Tom Hanks consistently gives incredible performances and watching him become whoever he is portraying is magical. To see him portray our century's king of magic making, Walt Disney, is something I eagerly anticipate. 

As a Disney blogger, I have the opportunity to share advance information with my readers. Available now is a  free iBook  filled with behind the scenes footage, interactive pages, and trivia to satisfy any fan.

from the press release: 

Featuring Rare and Exclusive Archival Treasures, Recording Sessions from the Academy Award®–Winning Composers, an Interactive Timeline of Historic Walt Disney Studios Milestones, Storyboards, Video and More 

BURBANK, CALIF. (December 10, 2013) — Walt Disney Studios announces the release of SAVING MR. BANKS: The Official Multi-touch Book, based on Disney’s highly anticipated film “Saving Mr. Banks,” in theaters December 20, 2013. Exploring the previously untold story of how Walt Disney worked his magic on author P.L. Travers to secure the rights to her book, “Mary Poppins,” the book includes a foreword by Academy Award®-winning composer Richard Sherman; never-before-seen correspondence between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers; rare storyboards and scripts from the Disney archives; an interactive timeline of historic Walt Disney Studios milestones; original recordings of the Sherman Brothers, performing their “Mary Poppins” hit songs; facts and profiles on the key characters in “Saving Mr. Banks”—all created by Apple’s  digital book creation app, iBooks Author. 

The “Saving Mr. Banks” book is available for free, exclusively on iBooks at 

Using Apple’s iBooks Author, the UK digital agency, Brandwidth was able to include video, audio and multi-touch interaction to create a robust storytelling experience. Readers can watch interviews featuring the cast and filmmakers, browse extensive photo galleries and explore the original storyboards and concept art—all in full retina detail. ‘Mary Popovers’ deliver fascinating facts throughout the book. 

Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen. 

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation. 

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge.  He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. 

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history. 

Disney presents “Saving Mr. Banks,” directed by John Lee Hancock, produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer, and written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Executive producers are Paul Trijbits, Christine Langan, Andrew Mason and Troy Lum.

December 5, 2013

Cash for college students

Cash4Books 10% Bonus Code: DecShare10
As the parent of a college freshman, I'm learning quickly how frequently their pockets get emptied. College has incidental expenses above and beyond the obvious, such as tuition, room, board, and books. I remember that in addition to finishing my finals, one of the best things about a semester change was the chance to sell back the books I had paid so dearly for at the beginning of the semester. As a hint, hold onto the ones in your major. You may actually reference them in the future.

But for my offspring and her friends? If you need some extra cash over your holiday break? We have reviewed different book selling services and our research shows that frequently pays more than any other company.

Now through the end of the year, they are paying an additional 10%.

If you are going to sell back any of your textbooks, check out Cash4Books, first. As a disclaimer, Fresh Daily Bread does have a professional relationship with this company. Regardless, of all the book services we work with, this has consistently been reported to pay the highest of any service. It's worth checking out.

Happy Holidays & good luck on finals!

(and in that mom voice you know so well, don't forget to eat something healthy and get some sleep).
With love,


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