Flip Flops Family Wreathe: Really Crafty Link Party

Thank you to Keeping It Real for the opportunity to participate in the Really Crafty Link Party #72 with my Flip Flops Family Wreathe. This was so fun and easy to make!

Supplies needed:

  • 3 pairs of cheap flip flops (I chose one pair for each member of our family; these were 98 cents each at Walmart)
  • flower embellishments ($1 bin at Michaels)
  • white wooden letter for your last name (Michaels)
  • ribbon
  • hot glue

Directions:

  1. glue all flowers to shoes and letter
  2. glue shoes together along the edges that touch
  3. glue letter to middle pair
  4. glue ribbon to back of middle pair
  5. reinforce ribbon with electrical or packing tape
  6. hang and enjoy!
  7. Hint: if you have a peep hole, try to measure the ribbon so that you can still see through some part of the wreathe

Or buy one from Oh BaBee! Originals. I would love to make one for you.

 

flip flops

flip flops flip flops flip flops flip flops

flip flops flip flops

Fundanoodle Libby Goes Live on Friday!

 

Fundanoodle Libby Goes Live on Friday! gift service

There are so many cool things coming up this summer…I just have to go LIVE on Facebook to tell the world about it. From summer deals to fun events to FREE stuff…you won’t want to miss it. Click on the event below and mark it on your calendars.

Fundanoodle Libby Goes Live!

Words and photos can never match my level of enthusiasm when it comes to what I do as a Fundanoodle Ambassador. I’ve certainly never been shy in front of a camera or talking to large groups of people. We have my father to thank for that. He is an excellent public speaker and always needed a ham for his camera!

So, I figured, what better way to tell you all how to get involved in this ground floor, innovative, life-changing company then to shout it from the roof top (or from my pool patio)!!

Set your calendars for this Friday, June 2nd at 10 am, and get the whole scoop on Fundanoodle Libby…Summer 2017!

fundanoodle libby

fundanoodle libby

 

four ways fundanoodle libby

What’s a Fundanoodle???

The Fundanoodle education readiness program, designed by pediatric occupational therapists and elementary school teachers, develops and improves the fine motor skills needed for success in and out of the classroom.

Visit my Fundanoodle site to see all of these education products! Contact me with any questions. I would love to tell you more about Fundanoodle. I believe in it, am passionate about it, and see it making a lot of households happy. For adorable demonstrations starring my daughter, Emma, visit our YouTube channel. Join the Fundanoodle family today!

How I Bring Yoga Into My Direct Sale Business

How I Bring Yoga Into My Direct Sale Business…

Yoga is one of my favorite things to do. It makes me feel calm, content, and accomplished. When children are learning, it makes sense that feeling those same three things would only help to make them successful. That’s why I have chosen to focus my efforts as Fundanoodle Libby on the benefits of yoga.

It must have been fate for me to be asked to review a beautiful children’s book about three years ago. Rachel’s Day in the Garden by Giselle Shardlow is a book about Rachel and her dog, Sammy, and what they discover in the garden. Rachel practices yoga poses that emulate what they find…trees, bees, flowers, butterflies, sun, and caterpillars. Sammy happily romps along. The book is designed to be user friendly and accessible to anyone, not just yoga teachers.

One day, soon after becoming a Fundanoodle Ambassador, I decided to compare this book to our Muscle Mover Cards, which have a colorful animal and gross motor action word on one side and a traceable uppercase or lowercase letter on the other side. Much to my surprise and pleasure, I found six cards that correspond to animals and insects in the book and six additional cards that can be used as extended learning. Here is some of what I found.

how I

These Muscle Mover cards relate directly to pages in the book:

  • “Sammy jumped up and down, trying to catch a fluttering purple butterfly”, while Rachel practices Cobbler’s Pose.
  • “Rachel looked up, too. A red bird was settling into its nest.” Rachel is doing Warrior III Pose. (Fundanoodle’s bird is not red, but it only opens up conversation about similarities and differences.)
  • Sammy, just like Fundanoodle’s dog who digs, is doing all sorts of fun things through out the book.

So, I use Rachel’s Day in the Garden and Fundanoodle’s Muscle Mover Cards to teach the following concepts to little learners:

  1. Gross motor activity with a specific purpose.
  2. Basic yoga poses for strength, balance, and concentration.
  3. Letter recognition, sounds, and formation.
  4. Strengthening of hand and finger muscles using Play Doh and Wikki Stix to trace the letters. (The Muscle Mover cards come with a dry erase pen for use by learners who already know how to hold and use a writing implement.)
  5. Science discoveries like habitats, rainbows, the sun, the water cycle, photosynthesis, etc.
  6. Creative and critical thinking skills using comparison, cooperation, imagination, problem solving, etc.

This list could go on and on. The fun and learning definitely does.

One of the beauties of Yoga Play with Fundanoodle Libby is that it can be done anywhere…living room, studio, outside, even on line. Plans are in the works for a podcast. Stay tuned.

how I
Emma practice Warrior III like an Eagle.
how I
We make trees in Yoga Play!
how I
We creep like a caterpillar or inchworm in Yoga Play!
how I
We bloom like flowers in Yoga Play!

 

Rock n Roll With Your Kids and Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights!

Rock n Roll With Your Kids and Joanie and the Nightlights!

rock n roll

Joanie and her Nightlights ride the Subway, get a Library Book, and enjoy some good Pizza in their new eclectic collection, Brooklyn Baby! Each song takes you by surprise with its tempo, style, and lyrics. You never know what you’re gonna get and we love it! They bring the tempo down with the soft sounds and lovely lyrics in Brooklyn Baby and Love is Love. Their messages of love, acceptance, and world peace make this CD one of our all time favorites. Well done, Joanie and the Nightlights. We appreciate you.

Thank you to Waldmania PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review. Brooklyn Baby is available this Friday May 19th!

rock n roll

 

More from Waldmania PR:

“From her roots as a theater major and performer in the hip clubs of New York City, Joanie Leeds has proved herself as a major talent in the field of children’s music.”

— Parents’ Choice® Gold Award review of Joanie Leeds’ Good Egg

“THE BEST KIDS’ ALBUMS NOW!  Leeds and her band bring big fun on their new release.  Don’t attempt a family road trip without this minivan-friendly winner.”
— People magazine
 

NEW YORK — Six years ago, award-winning singer/songwriter Joanie Leeds packed her bags and moved from Manhattan’s Upper West Side to the vibrant, artistic neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here she found not only a place to start a family, but also a magnificent melting pot metropolis that offered dazzling adventures on a daily basis.  Inspired by her love for all things Brooklyn, Joanie will release her eighth family album, Brooklyn Baby!, on May 19.

Produced by Jesse Lauter (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Elvis Perkins, Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket), Brooklyn Baby! is a real genre-bender, containing elements of folk, Southern rock, hip hop, pop and punk presided over by a singer whose sheer command of vocal artistry is second to none.

Songs about the park system (“Ferry Nice”), public transportation (“Subway”) and Brooklyn’s most famous dish (“Pizza”) are a given, but the heart of the album embraces both a Brooklyn mentality and sentimentality with love (“Love is Love”), thirst for education (“Library Book”), healthy eating (“Apples in My Apples”), and Yiddish expressions (“Shayne Punim”). The album closes with Joanie’s take on Brooklyn-born Lou Reed’s gentle tune, “Sunday Morning.”

Gifted with a soulful, “rock solid” voice that ranges from low and bluesy to high, light, and breezy, Joanie Leeds is an exceptionally versatile artist who brings serious musicianship to the table right alongside a terrific sense of fun and fashion.  Says SiriusXM’s Kids Place Livehost Mindy Thomas, “Joanie Leeds is that cool babysitter who would let you try on her lip gloss once your mom left the house.  You idolized her, and your mom knew she could trust her.  That’s Joanie.  Only she’s also likely to completely ROCK THE ROOF OFF YOUR HOUSE!”

Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights have performed in dozens of cities nationwide at such prominent venues as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Smithsonian, the CMAs, the Hang Out Festival, Symphony Space, Wolf Trap, and LA’s Skirball Center.

Joanie Leeds’ original kids’ music won first place in the USA Songwriting Competition, as well as winning an Independent Music Award, Parents’ Choice® Gold Award, NAPPA Gold Award, and Family Choice Award, and Joanie was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the International Songwriting Competition.  Joanie’s music has been highly praised in People magazine, Parents Magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post.  Her tunes are played on many radio stations nationwide and have climbed the chart to #1 on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live and WXPN’s Kids Corner. Joanie is also a PJ Library musician!

Prior to Brooklyn Baby!, Joanie Leeds released seven critically acclaimed, full-length albums and two full-length DVDs, in addition to numerous videos on her Youtube channel.  She is currently at work on more music videos, while maintaining a busy teaching and performance schedule.

Brooklyn Baby! will be available online at www.joanieleeds.com, Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, TuneCore, and other related digital outlets.

# # #

CD Details:  Brooklyn Baby!
Release Date:  May 19, 2017
For ages 4 – 9
Label:  Limbostar
SRP:   $15.00 for CD.  $9.99 for digital download.
Running time:  43 minutes

Behind the Scenes of My New Book, ‘She Waited For Me’

It’s been slow going, but book two is in the works. Here is a behind the scenes look at my possible introduction. Right now, I’m just writing, not worrying about the way it all comes together. There are certainly typos, for sure. Not paying attention to that either. Thanks for reading.

Introduction

Never say never. Really. It’s not possible for something to never happen. People will argue until their faces are blue against this point. But I know this. Never, never happens.

This was true when I shocked myself with an instant change of heart in the Fall of 2010. Jeff and I had been married only since May of that year and we were already talking to a fertility specialist. We were in our early forties and pretty darn sure nature wouldn’t take its course all that easily. We had yet to find out how difficult it would be.

For years, to myself, family, friends, and other not-so-potential husbands, I had stuck to my standard line. I will never go through fertility. Why would I spend money to make a child? Why would I pump my body with hormones? Why would I use a petri dish to create a child when there are millions of children out there who need parents? Why not just find one who’s already here looking for love, a home, a family? No. We will adopt. End of story.

My husband had one simple thing to say and that was it. My never turned into okay, I’ll do it. Just like that. He wanted a child from him. From his DNA. He wanted a child to look like him. He knew that my reach for adoption would have been the world! No color, race, ethnicity was off the table. But that wasn’t for him. And I respected that. In just a moment, my adamant desire was relinquished and we were heading into fertility testing.

Forever etched into my mind is the symbol at the bottom of my long list of tests, numbers, and foreign vocabulary.

< .01

Do you see what that says? Less than 1%. These were our chances for conceiving a baby through natural methods. Ha! It was laughable; however, I don’t recall laughing. We certainly knew it would be low, but this was ridiculous! What the hell do we do now?

We look at the options. And we look at them from the least to the most invasive. All the least invasive were skipped over quickly. My eggs were goners. I was 42. No shocker there. So, trying to pump my body with medication to get my eggs to wake up and do their job was futile. Again, we were given the percentages and they sucked. In addition, Jeff’s sperm count was inconsistent. Not bad. Not really the problem at hand. Just not steady enough to pick up the slack.

Our very best chance was In Vitro Fertilization with a Donor Egg. And even with that, our chance for conceiving was only 60%. But by the time we went through all our other options, ranging from 20%-50%, this one was looking damn good! It was going to cost us about $15,000. It was going to involve a great deal of time, patience, pain, and emotional upheaval. It would be the biggest and most daunting adventure of our lives. But it would work. I knew it would.  That certainty was my light at the end of the tunnel.

And Emma Grace is the light of our lives.

behind the scenes
Emma at about 4 months. One of my very favorite photos.

 

Be Careful Out There Yogis; Your Body Needs You

Be Careful Out There Yogis; Your Body Needs You…

As I picked up one of my favorite magazines and started to flip through it, I was so excited to see an eight page article about yoga. Wow! It had lots of information, beautiful graphics, and even a map showing all the yoga studios in the area. But as I read it, I became more and more disappointed.

This ‘beginner’s guide’, in my opinion, was actually quite intimidating in itself. The information was overwhelming. The graphics were gorgeous, yet not comprehensive. The map was helpful, yet furthered my concerns.

But enough about the article. I am really not here to criticize the magazine or the article’s author. It really was a nice article and any exposure yoga receives is good. And this magazine has always been one of my favorites and still is.

What I want to do, as a Certified Integrative Yoga Therapy Instructor, is take it back several steps and offer my own ideas about starting or continuing a yoga practice.

be careful

  1. Put safety first. Know your body and it’s limitations. Honor it. Practice the type of yoga that allows helpful and safe movement in your body, not the type that forces struggle and strain. One of the best ways to do this is to use props like blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets, and the wall. Use what you need to stay safe and feel good.
  2. Look for classes with descriptions using words like gentle, modified, slow, and well…beginners. Even if you are returning to yoga after a previous practice of intermediate, advanced, even power yoga, there is obviously a reason you took a break. Enter your new practice gradually and give yourself time to work back into it. And by all means, if you’ve never done yoga before, a gentle class suited for beginners is a must. And what’s even better is a Beginner’s Series, where you can learn the postures in detail.
  3. Do YOUR yoga. Even if you don’t know what that is yet, you do know your body, so honor it. All of your postures will look different from someone else’s and that is perfect. Your yoga. Your mat. Your choices.
  4. Try out a few different instructors and stick with the one who actually gives you instructions, cues, corrections, modifications, and positive feedback. Unfortunately, we are a dying breed. But we are out there and we want to help you.
  5. Breathe. Your body will thank you for it. It will actually move more easily and be open to new postures if you give it oxygen. Inhale deeply to open and lengthen the body. Exhale long and slow to settle into the posture. It will take a few reminders but practice will make it perfect.

be careful

I’ve been doing yoga for 13 years now and have been certified for almost two. I was lucky enough to learn from the very best instructors in this area. When people take my class for the first time, they say things like this:

  • no one ever told me I was doing that wrong
  • you are just what I was looking for
  • I’m so glad you give instructions and corrections
  • I’ve never been sure how to do many of the poses
  • your voice is soothing and makes me comfortable
  • it feels like coming home

This list isn’t for bragging. This list tells me that I’m doing what I was trained to do. Teach yoga in a safe, positive, and friendly environment. Allow my students to practice at a level and pace suited to their needs.

I teach yoga four times a week at three different locations to a variety of ages, genders, levels, physical abilities, and personalities. My job is to serve all of them, as best as I can.

So, I ask all yoga instructors and students…please be careful out there.

And call me if you need me.

Libby Blumberg, RYT 200

904-521-7097

libby@shantimomforone.com

be careful

be careful

be careful

 

Really Crafty Link Party with Mikaya and Samantha

Thanks to Keeping It Real for always having such great, really crafty parties! Today, I’m partying with Mikaya (age 13) and Samantha (age 2). Mikaya asked for pink, white, and black Hello Kitty letters to hang in her room. I used 9″ wood letters, Hello Kitty ribbon and embellishments, up-cycled pink and black tulle, and tons of love!

Samantha’s Grandma and Mom asked for ladybugs and bright, bold colors. I used red polka dot ribbon, ladybug embellishments, yellow, green, and red paper and card stock, all assembled in a re-purposed black frame.

Both pieces were delivered yesterday to happy, smiling customers!

Please visit the Artist page of this website to see more of my work from Oh BaBee! Originals.

really crafty

really crafty

really crafty

really crafty

Children Stay Busy (and have fun) Over the Summer with Fundanoodle!

Children Stay Busy (and have fun) Over the Summer with Fundanoodle!

This school year is coming to an end, but next year is on our minds. If you have a rising Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, or 1st grade child and you want to avoid the ‘brain drain’ over the summer, Fundanoodle has the answer.
Our Gift Service sends your child one product per month for four months at an affordable cost. So, if you order soon, your child will receive one of our specially designed products on the 15th of May, June, July, and August, giving them the confidence they need for the upcoming school year. These products travel so well! They go on planes, trains, and automobiles with their sturdy cardboard, carrying cases, and binding rings.
Click on the photos to be directed to the service on my site and let me know how I can help.

children

Product # GS001

Gift Service – Level One – Pre-Kindergarten – Price: $60.00

Your Little Learner will enjoy 4 months of educational FUN from Fundanoodle! You order once and we ship one item per month on the 15th of each month after you place the order. You must place separate orders for each child (shipping is included so there is no extra fee) and include the child’s name on Address Line 2. Call your Ambassador with questions! GS001 – Gift Service Level One – Regular Retail Price $49.96- Gift Service Price $60 (includes shipping) A savings of $21.76 for Pre-School Learners 15252 I Can Do Fun Activity Floor Pad 1st Month 15263 I Can Cut Activity Book 2nd Month 15254 Activity Book – Level 1 3rd Month 92849 Math Book, Level 1 4th Month

children

Product # GS002

Gift Service – Level Two – Kindergaarten – Price: $57.00

Your Little Learner will enjoy 4 months of educational FUN from Fundanoodle! You order once and we ship one item per month on the 15th of each month after you place the order. You must place separate orders for each child (shipping is included so there is no extra fee) and include the child’s name on Address Line 2. Call your Ambassador with questions! GS002 – Gift Service Level Two – Regular Retail Price $47.96 – Gift Service Price $57 (includes shipping) A savings of $22.76 for Pre-K Learners 15267 Uppercase Muscle Movers 1st Month 15277 I Can Write Numbers 2nd Month 15276 Activity Book, Level Two 3rd Month 92850 Math Book, Level 2 4th Month

children

 

Product # GS003

Gift Service – Level Three – 1st grade – Price: $66.00

Your Little Learner will enjoy 4 months of educational FUN from Fundanoodle! You order once and we ship one item per month on the 15th of each month after you place the order. You must place separate orders for each child (shipping is included so there is no extra fee) and include the child’s name on Address Line 2. Call your Ambassador with questions! GS003 – Gift Service Level Three – Regular Retail Price $56.96 – Gift Service Price $66 (includes shipping) A savings of $27.76 for Kindergarten Learners A savings of $27.76 for Kindergarten Learners 15282 Lowercase Muscle Movers 1st Month 92907 FUN LC, Magnetic Letters 2nd Month 192851 Math Book, Level Three 3rd Month 5293 Activity Book, Level 3 4th Month

 

 

 

Pros and Cons of Three Life Choices: Which Choice Are You Gonna Make?

Pros and Cons of Three Life Choices: Which Choice Are You Gonna Make?

When something is bothering you, you have three choices:

  1. Let it go.
  2. Do something about it.
  3. Stew over it.

Each has its pros and cons. And here’s what I think those are.

Let it go.

  • Pros: Oh, it feels so good. If you TRULY let it go. You have to think about it and put it through the “does it really matter” test. Often things bother us just because of our state of mind at the time. Maybe it won’t bother you so much after a good night’s sleep.
  • Cons: You might think you let it go, while really you just shoved it deep down, only for it to emerge stronger and uglier at another time. Then, everybody’s in trouble. Be very careful.

Do something about it.

  • Pros: Standing up for yourself is a good trait. Looking in the mirror and fixing what you don’t like will help you grow. Trying to change an injustice is what this world needs. Action moves us forward and teaches us valuable lessons from past mistakes.
  • Cons: You’ve got to think long and hard about your action. If it involves someone else, you could easily be dumping your crap in their lap. If it was your problem in the first place, maybe you should keep it that way. Also, you have to be careful that your action doesn’t make the situation worse or cause a whole new problem. I’m thinking specifically of public protests that turn violent and harmful or even deadly.

Stew over it.

  • Pros: None.
  • Cons: The definition of stew is great anxiety or agitation. I think you see the cons here.

It takes years of practice and lots of bothersome situations to figure out your best choice in each situation. Who knows if anybody ever figures it out. But if you spend your life trying to figure it out, you are ahead of the game. Lots of people choose number three automatically. Try not be one of those people.

And maybe, just maybe, think long and hard about number two, as well.

Do no harm.

 

 

Five Things You Might Feel When Life Sucks and What To Do About It

Five Things You Might Feel When Life Sucks and What To Do About It

*****Warning – Profanity*****

It doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe you’re incredibly stressed out. Maybe you keep fighting with your spouse. Maybe your children are behaving horribly. Maybe your laundry is piled up like a damn pyramid. Maybe someone you care about is dying. Maybe you’ve just had it up to here with the pressure of being who you are.

Whatever it is…life pretty much sucks right now. But on top of the sucking, you also have to feel these five things. And you are ready to fucking lose it.

  1. Loneliness – you feel completely alone, that you are the only one who can or cares to fix any of this; if you don’t do it, nobody will; you want to just crawl under a damn rock, but then everything would probably get worse
  2. Isolation – might seem like the same as loneliness, but it’s not; it’s that feeling that everybody thinks you have the plague; maybe you’ve bitched one too many times; maybe you cry too much; maybe nobody wants to play with your kid anymore and maybe the parents don’t want your kid around theirs; maybe you’ve just been a little too much YOU and nobody can take it anymore. Hell, YOU can’t take you anymore!!
  3. Irritability – you’re right at the edge all the fucking time; the tiniest thing will send you over; somebody questions you, looks at you funny, or God forbid, criticizes you – – – forget it. That shit won’t fly. Don’t they realize how close you are to breaking every dish in that cabinet? Leave me the hell alone.
  4. Depression – it’s just really damn sad that life has to suck right now. You didn’t do anything to deserve it. In fact, you thought you were doing the complete opposite; being a good person, helping others, waking with a positive attitude, being a better person than you were the day before. A whole lot of good that shit did.
  5. Anger – This mother fucking shit is just about all I can take and the next asshole who does anything to make it worse will have a fucking bloody nose.

What do you do about it?

You say, fuck it.

You feel it. You own it. Then you take care of you.

You are the only one who will.