January 7, 2019

Circle Home World’s first custom monitoring system to protect your family on the Internet and keep the tech in check

Circle Home

World's first custom monitoring system to protect your family on the Internet and keep the tech in check

• Device pairs wirelessly with home network and instantly detects devices paired with local Wi-Fi network including: smart phones, gaming systems, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, etc.
• The companion app gives parents full control over which content is viewed and the time spent on each device
• Through the dashboard, parents can create unique profiles for each family member with specific parental control settings such as:
1. Time Limits – Allows for complete control of screen time usage between a variety of apps, platforms and web-based programs
2. Bedtime™ – Automatically disconnects and reconnects devices from Wi-Fi at scheduled times
3. Filter – Set individual age and interest filters for each family member
4. Pause – Ability to turn off and turn on network Wi-Fi at any time
• Circle Go extends all of the features and functionality of Circle in the home to any network (wireless or cellular) to outside the home
• Circle Connections Platform integrates with the latest services like Alexa, IFTTT and FamilyTech apps to reward kids with additional screen time
• Intuitive insights allow parents to track and compare online usage from week to week, month to month, per site, by interest or category
• Simplistic design means Circle seamlessly blends into any home aesthetic

Available at:,
Price: $99; Circle Go: $4.95/month for up to 10 devices

December 18, 2018

Aj Collections

Women, especially Moms, love personalized gifts and many of them love jewelry too! The AJ's Collection line of beautifully hand finished, sterling silver necklaces and charms will fulfill both desires for the ladies in your life.

Each charm they offer can be customized with the names of loved ones, or even the recipient's own name. Choose from more than 100 different charm patterns and designs that are sure to touch the heart of the woman who receives them. Swarovski birthstones can be added as well. These unique necklaces are made in the USA with quick turnaround and delivery.

The perfect customized gift for Moms, Grandmas and women of all walks of life can be found at

December 17, 2018

Sonic Mania Plus

Sonic Mania Plus

Sonic Mania Plus continues the thrilling journey of the critically-acclaimed platformer, Sonic Mania. Jump back into the game with two iconic new playable characters, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, and a new Encore mode that provides a fresh look to familiar zones with new challenges and layouts. Fans can purchase the all-new physical edition on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch at participating retailers for $29.99. For more information, visit

December 14, 2018

Barista Bar

With Creative Café Barista Bar, kids will enjoy becoming a barista at home and creating their own kid-friendly "lattes" made with frothed milk. Inspired by current coffee culture and kids' desire to be like mom or dad, the Creative Café Barista Bar is kid safe and works without heat. (There's even a name for this kind of latte – Google babyccino!)

Kids froth and flavor real or nut/soy milks to create drink combinations like mock-iato or a Neapolitan latte. Once milk is prepared, kids can decorate beverages with chocolate or strawberry mix and stencils.

Kits include frothing unit, frothing pitcher, stencils, shaker bottles (for sprinkles), spoons, cups strawberry and chocolate flavor packets and recipe cards to get started (SRP $29.99, Age: 6+).

Cups of frothed milk adorned with powered chocolate hearts or sprinkles are perfect for any mini-me and make a stand-out gift that kids will use again and again.

November 26, 2018

Banana Phone

Leave the seriousness behind with a Banana Phone – the phone with appeal! This banana-shaped, Bluetooth®-enabled, mobile handset connects to your smartphone and lets you talk to your loved ones on a banana!
Pair your Banana Phone with your smartphone via Bluetooth and start receiving or initiating calls via Siri or OK Google.

The Banana Phone is the perfect gift for anyone on your gift list because not only is it hilarious, it also supports a great cause as well! Banana Phone donates 1% of all revenue to support Gorilla Conservation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They partner with Gearing Up For Gorillas and are certified by 1% For The Planet.

Name: Banana Phone
Price: $39.99

October 31, 2018

Engineers Change the World! And That's Just One Reason to be One

10 ways to encourage your daughter to be an Amy in a world of Pennys

Industrial engineer Paula Jensen vividly remembers the day her youngest daughter told her that building block toys were for boys, not girls.
"And her mother's an engineer," says Jensen, an industrial engineering lecturer at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City, SD.
Despite a nationwide push to encourage more women to enter the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, there remains a lag.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that technology professions will see the greatest growth from now to the year 2030. Yet girls are still not pursuing the STEM fields in adequate numbers. And it's not because women can't do it. Studies show that girls score just as high or higher in math and science as their male counterparts, yet there remains a confidence gap – girls tend to believe that boys are better at science and math regardless of test scores.

What can parents do to encourage their daughters to remain open to careers in STEM fields? Here are 10 tips from the female scientists, engineers and staff at SD Mines.

1. Give your daughter toys that build spatial learning, an important skill in engineering fields - toys like tinker kits, Legos and builder kits. Studies show that girls tend to have less spatial skills than boys because of the toys they are given as children, says Jensen. The good news is spatial skills are easily learned, so make sure your daughters are building and creating. When Jensen's daughter told her building toys were for boys, she began to make a more conscious effort to give her toys that build spatial learning. Today, her daughter attends science-related camps and has a real interest in STEM.

2. Invite questions. Listen for those questions that show interest in the world, such as "Why is the sky blue?" and "What makes soda fizz?" And then answer the questions. If you don't know, together with your daughter find out. Make it fun.

3. Find mentors for your daughters. Do you know a female engineer or doctor or scientist? Make sure your daughter knows them, too. If you don't know any, find those examples in popular culture – books, television, movies, etc.

4. Don't be afraid to get involved with their schooling. For instance, if you know your child's school has one extraordinary physics teacher, go to bat to make sure your daughter gets that teacher.

5. Remind your daughter that it's OK not to have an A in everything. Inventors and scientists learn by trial and error. Mistakes sometimes lead to great things.

6. Find the science in everyday play. Does your daughter like to dig in the dirt and discover new rocks? Make the connection that this is a type of science and Google some fun stories about what geologists do. While making supper or baking cookies, talk about how there's a science behind the food cooking and yeast rising. If she figures out a solution to a problem, praise that she naturally used the scientific process, guessing and testing to figure it out. Attaching engineering and scientific terms to what they are already doing will help those labels continue to feel natural as they grow older, says Sarah Folsland with the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) center at SD Mines.

7. If your daughter is especially "girly," make the science fit her spirit. A science princess is good at making beautiful glitter slime and uses chemistry to make it extra gooey and sparkly. Keep in mind that even parents can have biases of what a science experiment should look like. Identify those tendencies and get creative with your approach to make science and engineering appealing to your child's interests.

8. Take advantage of classes and camps. For instance, the National Security Agency (NSA) offers a free cyber security camp for girls. Even if your daughter has no experience in programming, these kinds of experiences could open her eyes to a career in computer science and coding.

9. Get your daughter's friends involved by creating a STEM club. Go on a nature hike and identify plants and birds. Look for science and engineering companies in your community and ask for a tour. Host a science-themed birthday party or conduct a science experiment in your kitchen when your daughter has friends visiting. There are tons of ideas online.

10. Be conscious of your own biases. You might not have fond memories of math and science classes, but be careful about how you describe your experiences and feelings about the subjects, says engineer Andrea Brickey, an associate professor of mining engineering and management at SD Mines. If your daughter is asking for help with her math or science homework and you don't feel you can assist, reach out to the teacher and see if there are tutors or older students who can help. There are also some great resources online to help brush up on your skills. Search for "Khan Academy" or "Just Math Tutorials" and have some fun, she says.

About SD Mines
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat.

September 12, 2018

Saucony, Keds, Sperry shoes for back to school

As the school year is quickly coming to a close, the search for the perfect summer camp shoe is on! Finding a shoe that's tough like a sneaker, yet breathable like a sandal can be tough, but Merrell's Hydro 2.0 makes it simple.

The Hydro 2.0 takes kids' performance sandals to the next level. With easy on/off adjustability and a durable outsole paired with cutouts and mesh details, the sneaker goes from land to sea seamlessly.

September 6, 2018

7 Tips to Protect Your Child from Summertime Injuries (and What to Do if Your Child Gets Hurt Anyway)

7 Tips to Protect Your Child from Summertime Injuries (and What to Do if Your Child Gets Hurt Anyway)

By Alicia Briggs, MD, Interim Chair of Pediatrics, Norwalk Hospital, Pediatric Hospitalist, Connecticut Children's Medical Center

For many families, summertime means enjoying outdoor activities — in the backyard, around the neighborhood, and at the pool, beach, park, or playground. Although these activities provide kids with opportunities to have fun, exercise, and spend time with friends and family, they also can put children at a higher risk for injuries.

In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 9.2 million children visit the emergency department each year as a result of unintentional injuries — many of which are preventable.

According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in children younger than 15 years old. Falls can result in fractures, concussions, and back injuries that require emergency treatment. Other common — and sometimes fatal — unintentional injuries include burns, drowning, and trauma caused by pedestrian or cycling accidents.

Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe

Here are a few injury prevention tips from Connecticut Children's Medical Center (Connecticut Children's) Injury Prevention Center and Safe Kids Connecticut that parents and caregivers can follow to help kids have a fun and safe summer:

1. Buckle up for every ride. Make sure that every child and every adult is buckled up before you get on the road. In the event of a crash, unrestrained occupants are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle.

2. Wear a helmet. Helmets can prevent serious head injuries. Your child should always wear a helmet when skating or riding a scooter, skateboard, or bike.

3. See and be seen. Teach children to cross the street at street corners, or where there are crosswalks. Wave or make eye contact with drivers and make sure all traffic is stopped before crossing. Children's bikes should be equipped with front and rear lights and children should learn bike safety rules.

4. Look out for slippery surfaces. Whether it's a rain-soaked piece of playground equipment, dewy grass, or a wet pool deck, slippery surfaces can cause falls — which can lead to concussions, cuts, bruises, back injuries, and broken bones.

5. Be a water watcher. Parents and caregivers should pay undivided attention to children when they are around water. Young children should wear a life jacket when they are in or around water. Children should learn to swim. Every child is different, so parents should enroll children in swimming lessons as soon as they feel the child is ready. Children should be taught to only swim in a pool or other body of water when there is a lifeguard on duty.

6. Be careful when boating. Although state boating laws may vary, U.S. Coast Guard boating laws require that children under 13 years old wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when on a vessel that is underway, unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.

7. Stay hydrated. When kids are having fun in the sun, it can be tough to get them to stop and take a drink of water. Dehydration can be dangerous, so make sure kids drink plenty of water during sports practices and other outdoor activities.

8. Use caution near grills and open flames. Keep matches, lighters, and flammable liquids away from children. Keep children away from grills and open flames and make sure children are supervised when these items are in use.

Getting Kids the Care They Need

Although it's important for parents and caregivers to follow these summertime safety tips, accidents happen — and every parent and caregiver needs to know how to get their child the right treatment if an injury occurs.

Some injuries may only require a visit to your child's primary care provider or an urgent care facility. But if your child has a serious accident, he or she may need to visit a hospital emergency department.

As part of a partnership between Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) and Connecticut Children's, children who visit the emergency department at WCHN's Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, or Norwalk Hospital will have 24/7 access to pediatric consultations at the bedside from Connecticut Children's physicians and physician assistants (PAs).

In addition to receiving best-in-class emergency care from pediatric specialists, children who are admitted to Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital will receive on-site inpatient care from Connecticut Children's providers. These specially trained pediatric hospitalists and PAs will streamline communication between specialists, and support follow-up care with primary care providers following hospital discharge.

The partnership with Connecticut Children's also allows WCHN to offer multidisciplinary, collaborative sub-specialty care for children. If your child's injury requires care from a pediatric sub-specialist, such as a pediatric neurologist, surgeon or orthopedist, you can rest assured that your child will receive the highest-quality care from the physicians at Connecticut Children's — the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children.

At WCHN, our goal is to provide children and their families with access to the best pediatric care close to home. We hope you and your child have a safe and healthy summer! Our pediatricians and pediatric hospitalists and specialists will be ready to care for your child if you need us.

About Western Connecticut Health Network
Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered healthcare organization serving residents of western Connecticut and adjacent New York. WCHN is anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, and Norwalk Hospital. We have an integrated network of more than 1,300 employed and community physicians and specialists, 70 Western Connecticut Medical Group medical and sub-specialty practices across 16 communities, and Western Connecticut Home Care. Our nationally renowned Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute is leading innovative research, especially for cancer and Lyme disease. Many of our advancements have been made possible by generous donors from our community and through the Danbury Hospital & New Milford Hospital Foundation and the Norwalk Hospital Foundation. As an academic institution, we are proud to shape the future of care through our partnership with the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. WCHN employs nearly 6,300 employees including about 1,900 clinical staff. For more information, visit Share your comments with us at,, and

About Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Connecticut Children's Medical Center is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best children's hospitals in the nation. With a medical staff of more than 1,000, Connecticut Children's provides comprehensive, world-class health care in more than 30 pediatric specialties and subspecialties. Connecticut Children's Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization, which serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for the UConn School of Medicine, has a teaching partnership with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, and is a research partner of The Jackson Laboratory. Connecticut Children's Office for Community Child Health is a national leader in community-based

August 31, 2018

Consistency and Routine: Tips for Single Parents on Managing a Household

Consistency and Routine: Tips for Single Parents on Managing a Household

When single parents say they don't have a moment to themselves, they're not kidding. Between the demands of work, raising healthy and happy children, maintaining a home, and taking care of themselves, single moms and dads very rarely have time to just hang out or chanel surf for a couple hours each night. There are countless details to worry about, from making sure the kids' homework gets done, to cooking and getting everyone to bed on time. When you're going it alone, it doesn't take much to feel overwhelmed, especially if you don't have a support network to help when the going gets rough. Keeping a consistent routine that everyone follows and contributes to can help make it all work.

Kids need the security and normality of a routine schedule. It helps them make sense of the world around them (especially those whose parents are newly divorced), provides a feeling of security, and makes it easier to maintain discipline. If your children know that homework's to be done by dinner time every day, there's less likely to be a misunderstanding, and it's easier to hold them to that expectation if everyone knows what's expected.
If things are a little too chaotic in the evening, try arranging a regular evening schedule that incorporates homework, dinner, TV/computer/recreation time, and bedtime. Involve the kids in preparing dinner and cleaning up afterward so they have a sense of ownership and responsibility. Organize and declutter each room, arranging closets and keeping the bathroom in good order so things don't get lost.

It can be very hard for single parents to maintain discipline, particularly if their partner usually took the lead in that area. Kids can get confused or become angry when discipline is applied by a parent they've always seen as the nurturer, or caregiver. That's why it's important that divorced parents work together to establish ground rules. Set behavioral boundaries so your kids know where to draw the line and to let them know you believe they're capable of understanding how far is too far. If there's one thing that kids, especially little ones, hate it's having to sit still. Use the "time out" as a tactic to enforce discipline, a no-play interval during which they have to be absolutely quiet and do as they're told. Taking away privileges is another effective behavior-modifying approach.

For many single parents, money is tight and needs to be carefully managed. This may come easier to some people than others; it's not something everyone's good at, though there's no denying its importance. Start with the basics: make a budget to help you get a handle on how much you're spending for each household need. Consider every expenditure, from mortgage or rent to candy money for the kids. Carefully monitor your checking account and any savings you have and be very careful with credit card expenditures, especially now that you're a single-parent household. Money may be tight, but try to save where you can. Three or four months' worth of savings can help you prepare for emergencies, at least in the short term.

Single parents often feel lonely, having no one to help make decisions or to sort things out when the kids start fighting. Trying to find a little "me" time just to escape for a while and gather your thoughts may seem an impossible task. Reach out to friends or family, anyone you know well who could help out for an evening here and there. If money's tight, try saving for a babysitter so you can enjoy dinner out with friends now and then or just spend some quiet time at your favorite coffee shop.
You're not alone

Being a single parent doesn't mean you always have to shoulder the burden alone. Assign your kids tasks throughout the week so they can help out, spend an hour or so sharing your frustrations with a good friend, and make time for family fun on the weekends. And remember to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep and eating right.

Courtesy of Pixabay

August 29, 2018

5 Powerfully Valuable Steps to Help Busy Parents Soothe Their Child's Anxiety

5 Powerfully Valuable Steps to Help Busy Parents Soothe Their Child's Anxiety
By Laurie Hollman, Ph.D

Anxiety in children and teens is on the rise. More than 1 in 20 children in the U.S. experience serious anxiety. While occasional anxiety is part of normal life, children and teens with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, persistent worry about everyday situations. The disorder causes biochemical changes in the body, and has a bearing on a child or teen's future behavior.

Busy parents trying to manage a family on the go need a way to quickly and effectively help their child cope with anxiety. Stable, supportive, secure parent-child and parent-teen relationships are the most important elements to resolving experiences of anxiety. Parents' non-judgmental, empathic responses help children and teens resolve these highly tension-producing experiences.

Common anxiety disorders range from generalized anxiety to separation anxiety, panic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Parents first need to understand each episode's meaning and to consider it a message -- and even an invitation -- to empathic understanding.

To do so, here are five steps that provide parents a way to quickly and effectively approach their child's anxiety:

1. Step back. Parents need to first say to themselves, "Slo-o-o-w down. Take your time. Don't rush forward. Breathe deeply. Consider what to say or do, if anything." Without distancing themselves from their emotional response, parents often make rash decisions. If they never pause, they never allow emotions to subside and thinking to begin. By resisting the impulse to burst in with a quick solution, parents model for their child a calm manner that will help ease the child's own distress.

2. Self-reflect. Self-reflecting allows parents to observe themselves objectively and think about the genesis of their feelings, motives and actions in response to their child's behavior. When parents are busy, this step is often left out, but in the long run it saves time because self-understanding then leads to an understanding of their reactions to their child. Self-reflecting allows parents to discover how their past experiences of anxiety affect their present approach to parenting.

3. Understand the child's mind. Most parents can recognize their child's moods, but they need time to figure out the reason for a particular mood. Anxious behavior is meaningful and it's important for parents to examine their ideas about what elicited it with their child. This shows empathy, and when the child or teen feels understood, it can help in containing the emotions and thinking them through.

4. Understand your child's development. When you set expectations for your child, be sure they reflect the child's developmental level, which may fall behind or step ahead of his or her chronological age. Watch for the development of individual capacities and interpersonal skills -- impulse control, effective communication, empathy and autonomy. Being critical of a child for not completing tasks expected for his or her chronological age creates anxiety and lowers self-esteem.

5. Problem-solve. Discuss and create alternative ways for coping with anxiety that lead to resolving the internal torment and pain. The four previous steps leading to problem solving may seem linear, but parents may need to go back and forth among them. This is truly significant because the earlier steps bear directly on the process of problem solving. When children learn that their parents realize the underlying problems behind their original anxiety, they become more open to hearing what their parents have to say. It helps them to feel understood.

This 5-step approach provides busy parents not only a structured way to help their anxious child or teen, but it also offers a vision of hope. It's an avenue for parents to better understand their children at all ages and developmental levels, firming up and fortifying the parent-child and parent-teen relationships.

One word of caution: If the child's anxiety isn't just occasional and fleeting, parents will want to discuss this emotional trouble with a healthcare expert.

* * *
Laurie Hollman, PhD, is a psychoanalyst with specialized clinical training in infant-parent, child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy a unique practice that covers the life span. Dr. Hollman is widely published on topics relevant to parents and children such as juried articles and chapters in the international Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, The International Journal of Infant Observation, and the Inner World of the Mother. She is the author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence – Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior, winner of the Mom's Choice Award, and the Busy Parent's Guides series of books: The Busy Parent's Guide to Managing Anxiety in Children Teens – The Parental Intelligence Way, and The Busy Parent's Guide to Managing Anger in Children and Teens – The Parental Intelligence Way (Familius, Aug. 1, 2018). Learn more at

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