Book Review: The ADHD Handbook

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

My son, Tbomb, was diagnosed with ADHD about a year ago. This diagnosis was the result of working with him, journaling everything, and him being watched over a year by a doctor with 30 years experience. We started out with medication. For close to 2 months, we tried Ritalin. It didn't take me long to see that it was not the answer. I didn't like the ups and downs that he had with the medication. Also, while he was on it, it was like his oomph was gone.

Since then, I have been researching, monitoring, and simply trying to figure out what works for him to keep some sort of calm and balance.

I was sent a book that has helped more than I can put words to, The ADHD Handbook by Stuart Passmore. 

The ADHD HandbookAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is now one of the most common childhood disorders right across the world, with a wealth of conflicting advice available everywhere you look. But most parents want only one thing: to find out what is going on with their child and how they can help them.

The ADHD Handbook draws on the most up-to-date research from around the world to present a comprehensive look at ADHD, covering everything from how it is diagnosed to the common myths surrounding what causes it, from the brain anatomy implicated in the disorder to the pros and cons of the various types of medication, and from the most effective psychotherapies to the best parenting techniques.

For me, finding solutions and techniques that can help him and our whole family get through each day with fewer meltdowns and less stress is worth more than gold. This book is really helping with this. I also like that I am learning more about the disorder. Growing up with two ADHD brothers, I know more than most parents, but there is always more to be learned. I have also noticed certain behaviors that are because of the ADHD that I thought was just him misbehaving. This is an invaluable resource in our home.

Easy Party Prep with Hormel Gatherings + Giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent a party pack, including coupons to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

Parties can always be chaotic, but especially this time of year, when there are already so many commitments and items on our to-do list. Add to that, all of the normal stuff like school, appointments, family dinner, and so much more. Plus, the possibility of drop-in guests, especially this time of year. It seems like from the weekend of Halloween until the new year, everything goes berserk.

This year, Hormel Gatherings is making everything easier for you. These party trays are a perfect addition to any party spread. Simply add some fruit, chips, dip, desserts, and drinks. Instant party table with very little work. Continue to pick these up all through the season and into the new year. They are perfect for football as well (remember: the Superbowl is coming up!) 

I've started keeping them on hand for last minute guests as well. I never know when the preacher, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends may show up, often with gifts in hand. At least with this, I can feed them something yummy. Keep one of these in the fridge, sodas, coffee, ingredients for punch, and easy desserts on hand and wow even last minute guests! 

Important Links To Check Out

Hashtags & Handles to look for:

#hormelgatherings #partytrays #alreadyready #hormel #gameday
#gamedaygatherings #party #appetizer #stressfreeparty #partytips
#friends #football #tailgate

Win A Coupon!

You can win your very own $15.00 off coupon for a Hormel Gatherings Party Tray. This will cover the cost and you can have some easy entertainment your way too!

Just comment below- let me know what your trick for last minute guests?

A winner will be chosen Friday, December 23, 2017

10 Easy Doll DIYs and Hacks

I love finding new things to make for the kids' dolls. I also love it when I find something perfect that works for them, but takes no work on my part besides buying it!

Warning: most of these are so simple that it is utterly ridiculous!

1. Use 2 chenille stems (pipe cleaners) to make a hula hoop. Just twist them together and then connect. You can also use them to make a star for a tree, flowers, wands, and more for your dolls. 

2. A pretty wooden step stool makes a great table.

3. Shop dollar stores for playsets. Most of these are actually doll-size. I have found cooking items, food, binoculars, walkie-talkies, and even trays for Snapper's doll. 

4. Hat hairpins (fascinators) that are often found around the holidays are perfect for a doll hat. 

5. Shop keychains. I made the dolls easter baskets just by shopping for keychains- cameras, bibles, cookies, game controllers, and more. 

6. Often, you can find food shaped erasers that are the perfect size. 

7. Make a doll quiver out of a Pringles can, duct tape, and ribbon. 

8. Party favor packs found at retailers and dollar stores contain mini items that work for dolls as well. 

9. Make a doll apron out of a piece of felt and a ribbon. 

10. I think the favorite thing I've made the kids for their dolls is their sleeping bag. I just took a piece of a felt blanket (found for $2.50 at Wal-Mart), folded it, and tied it like those craft fleece pillows and blankets. They love them and their dolls always sleep in them. I used tie-died for one and camo for the other. 

What simple ideas for dolls have you found that work well? 

Book Review: Finding Gobi: Young Reader's Edition

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

Finding Gobi: Young Reader's Edition
The True Story of One Little Dog's Big Journey
By Dion Leonard 

Bring home the incredible true story of a friendship so strong that it crosses the globe! You will love the inspiring tale of Gobi, a lost dog who kept pace with an ultra-marathon runner, Dion Leonard, across a vast desert. Follow their unlikely friendship through the challenges of an 80-mile race and Dion’s struggle to bring Gobi home for good.

Finding Gobi: The True Story of One Little Dog's Big Journey is the incredible true story of Dion Leonard, an athlete who was befriended by a stray dog while running an ultra-marathon through the Gobi Desert. Named for the desert in which he found her, Gobi became Dion’s closest companion for 77 miles of the 155-mile race across China. The scrappy little pup ran mile after mile alongside Dion, through treacherous conditions, and across raging rivers. He let her sleep in his tent and share his food, and eventually, his focus shifted from winning to the newfound friendship he and Gobi shared.

They crossed the finish line together—not first, but together—and Dion decided to bring Gobi home to Scotland. Just before they were about to leave, however, Gobi disappeared, setting off a worldwide search for the stray. In a town of more than 3 million people, the search seemed hopeless, but this tale of friendship will surprise and delight you as you find out what happens!

Join the almost too-good-to-be-true story of hope, friendship, and beating incredible odds in Finding Gobi: The True Story of One Little Dog's Big Journey by Dion Leonard.

Tbomb has recently discovered chapter books and is amazed by them. He loves reading, so I knew this book was a must-have for him. He doesn't quite get the point of reading front to back yet, it is mostly that he can read a page with no help, which he loves. At least once a day he picks up this books and reads some of it. He loves telling me about Gobi's journey!

Yes, I'm Using 5 Calendars In 2018

You read that right, I'm using 5 calendars in 2018. Over the years I have found what works for me. Until now, it has always been an all-in-one planner that goes everywhere with me. I tend to call it my brain. While my main planner that goes everywhere with me is still in the "plan," things are changing. I'm trying to simplify my life, not schedule myself into a frenzy, or spend hours a week planning my week. This year, things are changing and making room for more sparkle (hint: BIG announcement coming). In order to simplify, I've figured out that I actually have to use more calendars. This may not make sense, but it is what I'm trying this month and into 2018.

Here is the plan:

1. Wall Calendar on the fridge. I have never been a big fan of wall calendars. The only way I've used them in the past was to put mail/ bills/ and birthday cards in by the front door to grab and mail on the way out the door (like this). This month, I will be changing it up a bit. I will continue with my birthdays marked and my cards ready, but I will be adding to that. I will be tracking rewards/ punishments for the kids, appointments, business appointments, and visits. I will be using different colored ink for that, but still putting these things in my planner. 
Doing this will allow the rest of the family to start keeping track of things as well. Also, if my husband takes a message, he can write it on my fridge sticky notes, and if it is an appointment, he can write it on the calendar. I guess you could call this my first step in delegating. 

The rest of the calendars are for my own personal use. 

2. School Calendar. Instead of trying to plan school around my own planner, I'm taking a new approach for the rest of the year. From here on out, I will be planning in my school book and then schedule in "my brain" from there. Instead of marking in school days in "my brain," I will be marking out of school days. School comes first, so I'll plan school and everything else around it. 

3. Google Calendar. I schedule blog posts, CariOnMedia, paranormal tasks, marketing, and special holidays in my GCal. Then, on Sundays, I sync my calendars. My new plan is to continue planning the same ways, but only sync appointments and due dates in my planner. I'll simply make my weekly to-do list from my GCal. 

4. Pocket Calendar. In my early 20s, I used a pocket calendar in my checkbook slot of my wallet. This was perfect for making appointments and tracking work days. This worked perfectly at the time, but once I started my own business on the side and then became a manager at my job, I had to have something more and "my brain" was born. 
I'm going back to using a pocket calendar, but a little different. I actually tuck it into the pocket of my Deluxe Happy Planner Cover pocket (which I am still using). I use it for a marketing calendar. I track what I need to be sharing and special days in it. It is easier for me to see how it all goes together on this than in my Google Calendar, and then when I schedule, I pull it out and have the plan in front of me, instead of switching screens back and forth. 

5. My BRAIN. I will be writing a post devoted to my planer, but I will introduce it here. My amazing mother in law bought me a Blue Sky monthly planner for Christmas and gave it to me before I had a chance to buy one myself. She wanted me to stop pushing myself so much. So, she gave me a much bigger gift than "just a planner." She revived my brain and added sparkle. This is where I track my to-dos, daily tasks, appointments, and everything else. It is gorgeous and I cannot wait to share it all with you. 

Would you consider using multiple calendars? 

Book Review: 365 Bible Answers For Curious Kida

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids is a tremendous tool for every Christian home! Through a daily devotional, questions about God, the Bible, and faith are answered in a loving way that points children to God's plan and His love. Parents will appreciate the thorough research and accuracy for this wide range of theological, historical, and faith topics. In addition to faith topics, this devotional addresses topics such as Christian traditions, the historic growth of Christianity, how to become a Christian, and what it means to be a Christian in today's world. A helpful and complete index of questions includes the following topics: time; God; God's promises; Jesus; God's Holy Spirit; the Bible; the Old Testament; the New Testament; Christianity; prayer; the Church; Christian seasons, holidays, and traditions; being a Christian here and now; and eternity. Each devotion is written so that it can be read and enjoyed on its own at any time, and many include a "Want to know more?" cross-referencing section at the bottom of the devotional for the extra-curious child who wants to learn more. At the end of the book, a special section called My Notes and Prayers offers several lined pages for the thoughtful young reader to write his or her thoughts and prayers.  

My kids love learning about God and the Bible. Tbomb could talk about the Bible all day, every day. The things he comes up with and his understanding of God's word never ceases to amaze me. I knew this book would be perfect for him. One of the things I have seen him struggle with the most is that he loves science and he doesn't understand why science says one thing and the Bible says another. I've tried to explain this to him- for example, explaining that "God's day is of 1000 years", but I cannot always find the words. January first explains this in a much better way than I ever could, and it is followed by a "want to know more."

He is always wanting to know more, so this book has fit perfectly into our homeschool and he often gets it out himself to read. Other questions include: what are God's promises for me, Why didn't Jesus save himself on the cross, and did Jonah really get swallowed by a big fish? This book is written with the perfect language for young children, but suitable for older ones as well. It is perfect for adding to a curriculum, daily devotions, family devotions, and even night time reading.

Would you like to win a copy for yourself? 
Check out Blessed Freebies for your chance!