Friday 28 September 2018

Great Gifts For Dinosaur Lovers

The holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking of gifts that do more then just sit in a toy box collecting dust. With stikbots you nurture creativity and spark the animator within every child! 

The birds are flying away, every Stikdino is running away, and trees continue to fall one by one… What could be coming this way? Is it a StikTRex? Is it a StikCarnotaurus? Is it a harmless StikBrontosaurus? With the Stikbot Mega Dinos you get to tell the story! 

With tons of Stikbot Dino Eggs to collect you can play everyday with a new dinosaur!

The Stiktriceratops, Stikstegosarus, Stikpachycephalosaurus, and Stikparasaurolophus live in harmony while the Stikdilophosaurus, Stikpterodactyl and Stikvelociraptors roam the land looking for their next meal. Will the herbivores be able to team up and stop the carnivores? As the director, it’ll be up to you! 

Thursday 27 September 2018

3 Tips to keeping your photography safe

Photographs are very important pieces of your life that need to be clearly recorded for future use. Most of your most memorable and worst moments can be captured in images that you can revisit and see to get a glimpse of past events. This means that your photos should be well stored in a safe place so that you will always be able to refer to them.

Phones and cameras capture photos, but these are gadgets that can easily get lost, stolen or damaged and you will end up losing any photos stored in them. Whether the photos are for personal or professional use they need to be stored in a safe place.

You have to find a backup plan and a better and safer way of storing your photos. Here are 3 tips for keeping your photography safe that will ensure that you always have them when you need them.

Use an external hard drive

An external drive is a great way to keep your photos with folders of different events and dates marked for future reference. Even with a computer or laptop, these electronic appliances can crush making you lose all your data including your photos. With an external drive, you can easily transfer pictures from your phone, camera, laptop or computer and safely store them.

An external hard drive is also cost efficient since the storage space can only be used for urgent files only. It’s also available in different sizes and speeds making it efficient for both large and small files. You can buy both a smaller and a bigger hard drive if you have a lot of files to store where you copy and store the most urgent files and photos on your bigger drive.

Use social photo storage sites

Social photo storage sites like Picasa, Flickr and Photobucket are great alternatives if you do not want an extra backup for photos stored on devices. Social storage sites are good due to their usability and you can easily integrate them with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and access them from any location as long as you have stable internet connectivity.

However, there is a catch, you can only store photos to a maximum size for free and you will have to pay past that. There are plans that pay depending on the size and you have options to either pay monthly or yearly, although most of the time, the yearly option is cheaper.

Use cloud service

Cloud services like Google Photos, Mozy, Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon Prime, and Apple Prime Photos. These are good for both professional photographers as well as those looking to find a safe cloud space and easy access to their pictures.

When using cloud services, most have an option for automatic backup, but this option might not be the best you would like to categorize your photos in different folders. The best would be to turn this feature off and upload once you have created the right folders.

All these options work depending on your preferences, but if you like you can also print out some of the photos and place them in albums such as the MILK Books albums where you can show them to your visitors.

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Why Recess is More Important Than Homework

If you’ve got kids in school — from elementary all the way up to high school — homework is part of life. It can also be one of the hardest parts of the day. After six hours in the classroom, the last thing most of our kids want to do is more work — and we can’t really blame them. We don’t want to take work home with us, right?  Why should we expect our kids to do the same?

We say forget homework — recess is where it’s at. We’re not just parents who don’t want to deal with the hassle of the daily homework fight — though that is a perk. There is actually science that backs us up on this. Why should schools ditch homework in favor of recess?

Recess Makes Them Smarter

We’re sending our kids to school to make them smarter, so why are we letting public schools get rid of recess when it can help make them smarter?

Research has shown kids who get time to play during the day are less fidgety, more on task during class, learn a lot of skills like leadership and problem-solving they don’t pick up in the classroom — and even develop more brain connections than students who don’t have access to recess every day.
We’re trying to give our children all the opportunities possible, so with that in mind, why are schools moving recess to the back burner in favor of structured, regimented test-based learning?

Recess Makes Them Healthier

Childhood obesity is a problem. Kids are a lot happier to sit at home on their phones or their game consoles than they are to go out and play outside, which is leading to a higher number of children suffering from obesity. According to the CDC, as many as one out of every five children is considered obese.

Recess helps children get healthy and stay healthy — just through play. Children should participate in at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise every week — and that’s at the very minimum. Twenty to 30 minutes of recess a day during the five-day school week easily exceeds that minimum requirement.

It can also help children be more active in their afterschool or extracurricular activities, which adds to their weekly exercise. Pair that with their physical education classes, and recess makes it easy to ensure our kids are getting enough exercise during the school year. Keeping them active during the summer might be tricky, but at least they’ll be active during the 180-day school year!

Recess Helps Them Focus

Roughly 11 percent of children between the ages of 4 and 17 have attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD. For those playing along at home, that’s something like 6.4 million children. These children often have problems sitting still in class, which makes it harder for them to learn and can be disruptive to other students. It gets even worse when children’s punishment for being disruptive in class is sitting out from recess.

Studies have shown recess helps children with ADHD focus because it gives them an outlet for all that restless energy. It can also help them develop social skills and prevent isolation, which can lead to more social problems.

Playtime isn’t just beneficial for children who have ADHD. Kids of all ages have tons of pent-up energy that doesn't help them sit still in a classroom setting. It is especially important for elementary school-aged children — trying to get a kindergarten class to sit still for six hours is akin to herding cats across the Mississippi River. Giving them half an hour a day to run, play and just be kids can make it easier on teachers and help students learn and retain their lessons.

Homework doesn’t do anything but teach our children that they should take their work home with them — which is not a habit anyone should be picking up, regardless of their age. We shouldn’t focus on how much work these kids can do. Instead, we should be focusing on letting kids be kids — and recess is the perfect time to do that. If nothing else — all the previously mentioned benefits aside — kids need to enjoy being young and healthy.

There is plenty of time for them to be responsible once they graduate from high school. Don’t load your kids down with homework — they'll get enough of that once they reach adulthood. Let kids be kids — and if your children’s school doesn’t currently offer recess, get involved. Join the PTA, petition the school board, even stand outside the school with a ”Recess Is Life” sign until you can get your point across. Kids need recess — no academic achievement or test score is more important than that.

We all miss recess — for many of us, it was our favorite class, coming second only to lunch. New generations should get to enjoy that class, no matter how focused on the standardized tests the curriculum might be. 

Saturday 22 September 2018

Cool 80's Board Games Making a Comeback!

The holidays are coming up super fast! It is time to start planning and buying some gifts for friends and families to show how much you care! Board games are gaining ground and making comebacks creating more family time away from screens!
Mastermind and Hydro Strike charmed families in the 80’s and are back once again for more family fun!

Pressman strongly believes in the power of play, as families who play together, stay together.

That’s why two timeless favorites are back with a new look and feel.

Parents will reflect on fond memories and be delighted as they have the chance to introduce these classics to their children. 
Hydro Strike!
Get ready to make a splash with Hydro Strike! In this head-to-head pinball game, you’ll need fast flipping fingers to shoot the ball into your opponent’s goal.  Score and your opponent will get sprayed in the face with water!  Since a sprayer is aimed at both players, strike quick when you play, or you’ll get the spray!  The first player to score 5 times wins.  Will you win or get wet?  For 2 players, ages 7 and up.

Test your code-cracking prowess with Mastermind, the challenging game of logic and deduction. Can you crack the code in 10 moves or less? Can you create a code that can’t be cracked? With more than 55 million units sold, Mastermind is a great strategy game…and one of the world’s most popular games ever. It’s easy to learn and fast to play and with thousands of code possibilities, it’s different every time. The Codemaker sets a secret code, then the Codebreaker tries to match the code using logic, deduction and maybe a little bit of luck. After each move, the Codemaker gives clues to the Codebreaker.  Make the code even more devious by using multiple pegs of the same color or by leaving one or more peg holes empty. With so many possible code combinations, every game is guaranteed to be a brainteaser. All of these game components can be stored in the game board! The winner will be a true Mastermind! For 2 players, ages 8 and up.
Game contents
  • Mastermind game console with built-in storage tray and code shield
  • 108 Code pegs in 6 colors
  • 30 Key pegs in 2 colors
  • Complete instructions

The coolest games for kids!

Get ready for fun that is out-of-this-world with Pop Rocket! Pull the string on the Rocket to start the countdown, and roll the die. Move your color star catchers to where you think the little stars will land, but keep an eye on that Rocket because it’s only a few seconds until BLAST OFF! Watch the stars explode into the sky and land in your star catchers. Be the first one to collect enough stars to fill your constellation to win! For 2-4 players, ages 4 and up.
Game Contents:
  • 1 Rocket
  • 1 Big Star
  • 40 Small Stars
  • 12 Star-Catchers (4 Colored Sets of 3 Star-Catchers)
  • 4 Constellations
  • 1 Die
  • Complete Instructions

Get ready for fun of Tyrannosaurus proportions with Domino Junior Friends “Deluxe”! The easy-to-use domino spacer tool simplifies set up, and the stunt dominos have been re-engineered to make setting up easier for little hands. Add in your dino friends to create cool chain reaction stunts! Includes 100 dominos and 3 Dino stunts, providing endless fun for kids ages 4 and up.
Game Contents
  • 1 Green Dino, 1 Yellow Dino, 1 Orange Dino
  • 1 Palm Tree Coconut Stunt
  • 1 Domino Spacer Tool
  • 100 High-Quality, Vibrant Colored Dominoes
  • Complete Instructions

Chamilia Blush SnowFlake 2018 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deal

You know it's the most wonderful time of the year when the Chamilia Blush Oval Snap Bracelet and Chamilia Blush Snowflake Charm come together for a deal available on Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2018!

The set features a lovely snowflake charm in Chamilia Blush, pavéd with marquise and round Swarovski Pure Brilliance Zirconia, presented on the newly released Chamilia Blush Oval Snap Bracelet (7.5”) $99 US / $120 CAN. 

About Chamilia Jewelery
Based in Cranston, RI, Chamilia is an American company that was established in 2002. Since its purchase in 2013, it has been owned in full by Swarovski, a world leader in quality and innovation. Each of the more than 400 exclusive charms and wide selection of fine jewelry available from the brand are made from .925 sterling silver or 14 karat gold and feature genuine Swarovski Crystals or Zirconia, or Italian Murano Glass. The brand follows strict Swarovski guidelines for quality and aesthetic excellence.

Find inspiration in flora and fauna with two new books from Walter Foster Publishing!

Illustration Studio: Inking Animals from artist Sova Huova contains instruction on a variety of inking styles and methods for whimsical animal projects (including unicorns!), so artists of all skill levels can discover something new.

Talented artist Sova Huova instructs art enthusiasts in drawing, inking, and coloring techniques; explores abstraction for expressive artwork; and gives tips for digital touches—all with easy-to-follow instruction. Beginning with an introduction to tools and materials, artists will find helpful tips for working with inks, pens, and watercolor. Inking Animals features a wide range of creative and fun inking techniques and unique projects that are simple and engaging. Huova’s valuable tips and tricks, creative prompts, and exercises will encourage artists to experiment and play as they learn.

Huova will teach you to illustrate a vast menagerie of animals from the woodland, home, farm, wilderness, and imagination. Among them are a bear, fox, hedgehog, dog, guinea pig, donkey, owl, raven, and even a unicorn.

Featuring a variety of creative tips, techniques, exercises, and step-by-step projects, Inking Animals is the perfect resource for pen and ink illustrators of all levels.

Nature Art Workshop, meanwhile, offers a unique collection of mixed-media projects that invites you to explore nature's many canvases. With sections on flowers, stones and shells, wood, and more, art lovers of all levels and interests will find projects to bring them closer to nature.

Four talented visual nature artists guide readers through finding and prepping traditional media and natural elements to use in creating fun and unique nature-inspired projects following simple step-by-step instructions. Projects include a pressed-flower ceramic dish, fresh floral crown, and flower-adorned candles, in addition to painted feathers, stones, shells, leaves, and more. Valuable art tips and techniques offer guidance during the artistic process.

A fun, refreshing approach to mixed-media art, Nature Art Workshop proves that you can turn anything into a stunning work of art with the right materials and a bit of imagination.

How Heavy Is Your Child’s Backpack?

When kids carry more than 10% of their body weight, discomfort can occur

Schools are in session across the U.S. and millions of backpack-carrying students are settling into new routines – some of which include bringing the same items home each afternoon. Think the books and school supplies that your child is carrying in a backpack slung haphazardly across one shoulder are harmless? Think again. Heavy loads can cause discomfort and strain muscles in people of all ages.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) recommends that backpacks weigh no more than 10 percent of the student’s body weight. Making small adjustments to the items students are carrying can go a long way to lessen the load.

“Practicing safe carrying techniques such as only carrying necessary items to and from school, or filling an empty water bottle at school rather than carrying a heavier filled one, can make a difference,” says Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University, and an expert on school ergonomics and healthy growth and development of school-age children. “The 10 percent rule is a good one to follow, but the reality is that if it feels too heavy, it probably is.”

Now that school is in session, AOTA recommends taking notice of what items are being carried to and from school and how. The following guidelines can help:
  • Make sure that the backpack that is the correct size for your child.
  • Adjust the height of the backpack so that it extends from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to waist level, or slightly above the waist.
  • Make sure your student always wear well-padded shoulder straps on both shoulders so the weight is evenly balanced.
  • When packing the backpack, distribute weight evenly by loading the heaviest items closest to the child’s back and balancing materials so the child can easily stand up straight.
  • Advise the student to wear the hip belt if the backpack has one, to improve balance and take some strain off sensitive neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Check that your student’s backpack weighs no more than 10% of his or her body weight. If it weighs more, determine what supplies can stay at home or at school each day to lessen the load.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy for the child, consider a book bag on wheels.
“Removing unnecessary items from the backpack should part of every student’s daily routine,” says Jacobs. “Many books, electronic devices, items of clothing, toys, and even supplies can be carried on an as-needed basis. Having an understanding of what’s absolutely needed each day is a great 

Thousands of students, educators, parents, and health professionals will mark National School Backpack Awareness Day on Sept. 26 with backpack weigh-ins, backpack check-ups, activities, and special events. To learn more about National School Backpack Awareness Day, visit

Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to

Tips for Using Hand Embroidery Kits for Quilting

The usual quilting is done by attaching multiple layers of fabrics together, which can transform into a masterpiece with beautiful embroideries. Although now the complicated embroideries can be done with the help of the embroidering machine, the craze for original hand embroidery is still high. Thus, people interested in quilting need to know certain techniques of using the hand embroidery kits that has made the art of quilting much more attractive for many. The functionality of these kits entirely depends on how well you can use the machine and is aware of the craft.

Few Techniques of Using Hand Embroidery Kits on Quilted Products are as Follows:

§ First of all, the fabrics that you plan to use for quilting and embroidery should be washed thoroughly with water at room temperature before the embroideries are done. This step is crucial, or the cloth may shrink, and the embroidery may be distorted. However, the use of high-quality fabrics and best hand embroidery kits reduces chances of clothes getting distorted.

§ The colours of the embroidery thread may fade and damage the look of the quilted product. However, the high-quality hand embroidery kits contain cotton and silk threads whose colour does not fade even after several washes. Moreover, these threads are durable and do not tear off easily. Thus, any stitch or patterns can be done safely on the quilted fabrics with the help of these kits.

§ Quilting is the process of stitching brightly coloured fabrics together. Mostly running stitches are done using threads of multiple colours over the quilt. The hand embroidery kits have a collection of threads in several unique colours. Thus, extremely colourful and attractive patterns can be created with the help of the running stitches.

§ The combination of French knots and feather stitch look extremely artistic on quilted fabrics. The doodle-like patterns are created by using multiple embroidery threads of different colours and material. You will have plenty of choices in terms of colour and fabric to choose from the hand embroidery kits. However, you must learn the craft well before attempting the patterns and if you are keen, you can simply follow the free tutorial provided on the CD supplied with every hand embroidery kit.

§ Different designs of flowers and birds can be created on the quilted fabrics, with the application of stem stitch, back stitch, cross stitch and French knits. Various coloured threads are used according to the chosen designs that match perfectly on the colours of the quilts. All these ideas of designs and stitches can be learned from the tutorials supplied with the hand embroidery kits of branded companies.

§ It is best to use dark shades of embroidery threads for creating designs on light coloured fabrics. Tin this way, not just the pattern is more visible, but also it adds to the overall look of the quilt. However, care should be taken to keep all the knots of the threads neatly on the wrong side of the cloth, while doing the embroideries so that the designs do not look untidy or clumsy. Likewise, the light-coloured threads should be chosen for adorning the dark coloured fabrics, as numerous shades are available in the hand embroidery kits sold in the market.  

The embroideries should not be done in dim or poor lighting, as that can be strenuous for the eyes. Moreover, with high-power lights, you can create craft the minute embroideries with perfection. It is also easy to choose the right coloured threads under bright light, for creating beautiful embroideries on the quilts. The beginners should start with small and simple patterns made on quilted rugs, pillowcases or handkerchiefs.    

I want to keep my breasts. Screening options for high-risk women who don’t want prophylactic mastectomy.

Angelina Jolie. Christina Applegate.  These two Hollywood superstars have something in common that millions upon millions of other women also share:

Having been labeled HIGH-RISK for breast cancer, they opted to have both of their breasts removed preventatively.

If faced with the same dilemma, what would you do?

Chances are, your gut reaction would be, “take ‘em both off.”  That’s a completely understandable thought if you know that many women in your family have had breast cancer and your doctor’s analysis based on family and medical history places your risk level squarely above 20%.  Knowing there’s a high likelihood you will develop breast cancer can be scary and overwhelming. Preventative surgery -- otherwise known as prophylactic mastectomy -- can seem like a reassuring solution.

Yet the decision to go ahead with such a major procedure is far from easy. As I show in my novel, Bedside Manners, these decisions can be costly. Removing both breasts is both physically and emotionally strenuous—not to mention irreversible, and life-altering.

As a breast imaging specialist, I often have discussions with women about their breast cancer risk and what they can do about it. With so much information out there, the options can be confusing and difficult to sort through. While prophylactic mastectomy is one choice, it may not be the right one for everyone. If you are not ready to take this step, there are still many powerful screening options that will allow you to be proactive about finding any potential changes that may signal it’s time to take action:

 Annual screening mammography. This is by far the best way to make sure your breasts remain healthy and cancer free. Mammography is the only test that has been proven to save lives. If your center offers 3D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, you should definitely choose this option. This newer type of mammogram is better at finding subtle cancers and also decreases the number of women who need to return for additional pictures.

 There are several other tests that can be used for supplemental screening in conjunction with your mammogram. By far the best additional test for high risk women is Breast MRI. This test is extremely sensitive—it finds nearly all cancers when they are small and treatable. Screening breast ultrasound, another test used for supplemental screening, is not as useful as breast MRI—it finds fewer cancers and requires many more benign biopsies to diagnose these cancers. Other screening tests such as breast specific gamma imaging are less commonly used.

 Develop a relationship with a breast specialist. Some large centers offer high-risk clinics, but in most parts of the country this will mean making an appointment with a breast surgeon. This doctor will go over your history and help you develop a screening regimen that works for you. Some women prefer to have their mammogram and breast MRI performed on the same day. Others choose to stagger these tests every six months so they are being screened at least twice a year. Your breast surgeon will also examine your breasts on a regular basis to assess for subtle changes.

 There are also several medications that can help you stay cancer free. Taking medicine to decrease your risk is known as “chemoprevention.” While these medicines have been shown to decrease your chances of getting breast cancer, they also can cause side effects such as hot flashes and blood clots. Set up a meeting with an oncologist to discuss the pros and cons to help you decide whether chemoprevention is right for you.

 Know your own breasts. While the medical professionals are important, you are the ultimate expert on your body. If you notice something feels or looks different—a lump, an area of thickening, nipple discharge—let your doctor know immediately. Also, set a time to examine your breasts at least once a month and call your doctor if you notice any changes.

It’s also important to know that women who are considered high risk can have widely different chances of developing breast cancer. Women with known BRCA positive gene mutations have been shown to have up to 72% risk of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime while other “high risk” women have closer to the 20% lifetime risk. Your level of risk will factor into your discussion with your doctor and help you come up with a plan to move forward with this new information.

You can do this. It’s always better to be educated and informed than bury your head in the sand. Congratulations on taking control of the situation and being proactive about your breast health.


Heather Frimmer is an avid writer and reader when not practicing radiology. Her debut novel, Bedside Manners, will be published by SparkPress in October 2018. To find out more, visit