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One thing that sets Angela Addington apart from many other writers is her sincere interest in people’s stories.  There’s a sense that she loves her work because it brings her into contact with so many fascinating people!  When Angela reviews one of my clients’ CDs, for example, more often than not she becomes curious about the artist behind the music and is inspired to “go the extra mile” by pursuing an interview.   Angela’s lucky readers learn not only about the music, but also about what went into creating that music.   In my experience, it is rare to encounter a writer with such dedication to telling the whole story.  Angela’s thoroughness and professionalism are to be admired.  What’s more, she’s a joy to work with:  good humored, organized, accurate, and, best of all, great fun.   I recommend Angela Addington without hesitation and only wish I could clone her!
– Elizabeth Waldman Frazier, Owner, Waldmania Public Relations

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  • How To Get Your Child Ready For Kindergarten

    How To Get Your Child Ready For Kindergarten

    kindergarten-2204239_1280Moving into kindergarten is a big step for children and their parents. If they have never been in a school environment before, it’s an even bigger transition to deal with. It can mean a whole new school, new teachers, and a new classroom, not to mention more structured learning and a longer school day. It’s important to prepare your child before kindergarten starts; here are some tips on how to do it.

    Plan A Visit

    If possible, book in a visit to your child’s new school so that they get a chance to see what it’s like before that daunting first day. If they have already met their teacher and seen their learning environment, they are less likely to be afraid of going. It’s not just the classroom that’s important though; try to see as much of the rest of the school as possible including the cafeteria, the gym, the outside play areas, and anywhere else where your child is likely to spend some time.

    Have A Bedtime Routine

    Your child is going to be exhausted during their first few weeks (or even months) at their new school. It’s important to have a good bedtime schedule in place at least a month before their first day as it will make things a lot easier for them once school starts. Parents often allow their children to stay up longer during the summer because it’s lighter outside and there is less of a structure to the day, but this will need to be stopped in the weeks leading up to kindergarten starting. If your preschooler is still taking naps, it’s time to phase them out; they won’t get to have one at school.

    Work Out Your Morning Routine

    Many parents (and children) find the time between waking up and getting to school the hardest part of the day. It is often rushed and frantic, and things can easily be forgotten. Tempers can fray. Before school starts, it’s a good idea to try some dry runs to work out exactly what time everyone will need to be up and dressed and out of the door. Make sure you allow enough time for breakfast as this can help your child concentrate better in their lessons.

    Work Out Your Afternoon Routine

    In many households, both parents work for at least part of the week, and this can mean needing a routine for after school pickup, homework, and mealtimes. You’ll need to plan all of this in advance, and make sure that your child can get home from school every day. It’s not just the adults who need to understand this routine either; let your child know who is picking them up and to whose house they will go each day.

    Make It Special

    Many children will be nervous about their first day of kindergarten. It is much more grown-up than preschool was, and it will be a lot different. They are going into the unknown. In order to stop them feeling so nervous and worried, parents need to show them how special school is. Don’t let your child know that you’re sad they’re going; remind them of how much they will learn and how many new friends they will make. On the day before school starts, take them out for a special day together. Do something fun. It’s a lovely idea to get them a gorgeous new outfit to go to school in, and you can browse some stunning designs on this site. While you’re out, you can also buy all their school supplies and get them involved so that they become excited rather than scared.

  • What to Buy Your Partner for Your Anniversary

    What to Buy Your Partner for Your Anniversary

    present-2891870_1280When you first get married, there can be a lot of excitement and ingenuity when it comes to your anniversary. You want to get your partner something that they will love and signifies the love you have for them. However, as time goes on, finding new and creative ways to celebrate your anniversary can be difficult. Rather than falling back on flowers or a nice card, try to think of alternative things that you can both enjoy. Here are a few ideas for those struggling with the anniversary gift.

    Mini Break

    Everyone loves a vacation, even if it’s only for a few days, and what better way to surprise someone than with a car waiting to take you away to somewhere sunny. Of course, there is a lot of planning involved in this type of gift, and it can quickly go wrong if they suspect anything. It isn’t just a matter of buying the tickets without them knowing; you also have to arrange the time off with their employers. You also need to decide if you are taking the children with you, or are they staying with relatives? Your partner might prefer some time alone to relax and enjoy their vacation, so you will need to arrange a babysitter as well. However, when the whole thing is arranged, and they are getting into the car, it will be worth all of the preparation.

    A New Pet

    Now, this idea is totally dependent on whether they want a new pet. If you are going to buy them a pet without knowing that they want one, then things could get awkward. However, if you know that they have always wanted a puppy or a kitten, then this can be a great anniversary gift for them. Many animal rescue centers will probably have just the pet you are looking for, and it is better than buying directly from a breeder. You might need to probe your partner a little to find out if they have any particular breed or color in mind, though they have probably seen ones before that they have liked. As well as the pet, you should also get all the things they will need such as food, toys, bowls, and beds. It is certainly a gift that will promote a big response on the day.

    Indulge Their Hobby

    It could be that their hobby has sometimes got in the way or even grown too big for the space you have. However, there is nothing they will appreciate more than you getting them something that will relate to their favorite pastime. It is important to know what they want so that you are not buying the same things again, or you can buy something totally different that blends in with their hobby. For example, if they have a love of reading mystery novels, then why not get them an Interactive Serial Mystery, they can collect it each week and solve the crimes.

    Take Them to Try Something New

    You most likely know the things they like, but what about those things they have always wanted to try? As a surprise, why not take them to do something new, such as go to a new restaurant or take them ice skating if they have never been before. It will be great fun trying new things, and they will be able to tick it off their bucket list. It makes things easier if you already know what they have always wanted to do, but if you aren’t sure, then try to think of something they might like, but be careful. Taking them on a hot air balloon ride if they are scared of heights might not be the best idea.

    Create a Reunion Party

    Many people do this for birthdays, but there is no reason it cannot also work for anniversaries. Try to get some of their old friends together so you can have a party; the further away their friends are, the better as they probably haven’t seen them for a long time. It will take a lot of organization to get everyone to a venue in time for a party, but it will be worth it when they all arrive. You could even make it a wedding reunion party be inviting as many from your original wedding as you can. It will give you all a chance to meet up again and catch up if you haven’t seen them for a while.

    Take Them to the Theater

    If they love going to see shows and plays at the theater, then why not take them to a special show. Although there are probably many theaters near where you live, take them to one in the nearest big city. It will make it more special if they are traveling to a big theater to see someone they like or a show that they have been waiting to see. While you are up there, you can take in the sights and have a meal to make it a perfect day. Sometimes if you ask in advance, the theater will allow you to go backstage to speak to the cast. On occasion such as a wedding anniversary, they are most likely to allow it.

    A Gift Linked to the Wedding Anniversary

    If you look on the internet, there is a list of what each year of your wedding anniversary represents such as diamond, ruby and golden. One way that you can celebrate is to get your partner something along the theme of your wedding year. For example, if your year is glass, then why not get them a specially engraved glass or laser 3D engraved picture of the two of you. It will be a reminder of the year of your anniversary, and it will give you ideas for future years as well.

    If money is tight, then you don’t have to spend a fortune on presents. Just a nice meal cooked at home and some time to relax will go a long way.





  • Big Foots Sightings Increase

    Big Foots Sightings Increase

    big foot visits big citiesRecently, there has been a rise in BigFoot sightings, Google Trends reports an uptick in the search term “Bigfoot Festivals,” and BigFoot conferences draw in thousands upon thousands of attendees annually.

    So, what gives with recent BigFoot interest? Children’s book author D.L. Miller says, “BigFoot has transitioned from a scary paranormal beast to a beloved cultural icon. He is both celebrated at local festivals around the country and also by professional cryptozoologists.”

    Miller’s four-book seek-and-find series starring BigFoot shows the famed Yeti as an adorable world-traveling hero. The debut titles for this series are BigFoot Goes on Vacation and BigFoot Visits the Big Cities of the World, which will hit shelves in February 2018. The books will surely be a hit at the BigFoot festivals in 2018!

    With the new BigFoot see-and-find series, children and trackers of all ages can finally say they found BigFoot.  Not only will trackers have tons of fun looking for BigFoot in teh colorful and crowded landscapes, they’ll also have the chance to learn about the many places he visits.  In BigFoot Visits the Big Cities of the World, young readers will learn about ten major cosmopolitan destinations, from the Big Apple and London to Paris, Athens, Tokyo, Toronto and more.  And in, BigFoot Goes on Vacation readers will have the opportunity to learn about deep sea diving, sea life, balloon festivals, Yellowstone National Park, and more!

    About the Author:
    As with Bigfoot, D.L. Miller is a bit on the reclusive side, rarely seen in public, spending most of his days sketching from his studio located amongst the mighty oak trees only found in the deep dark woodlands far off the beaten path. After spending decades learning the habits of the elusive bipedal humanoid, he has finally agreed to share his illustrative journals that capture the sightings of this larger-than-life creature that has mystified generations.

  • Foodie Friday:  Busy-Day Slow Cooking

    Foodie Friday: Busy-Day Slow Cooking

    busy day slow cookingWith work, school, play and everything else, moms know it’s a real challenge to serve up home-cooked meals.You may already have a secret weapon in the cupboard, though…a trusty slow cooker! Bring it out and start slow-cooking hearty meals for every occasion.

    In Busy-Day Slow Cooking you’ll find delicious recipes shared by cooks just like you.  Fill up the slow cooker overnight, then serve Overnight Blueberry French Toast for breakfast…what a day brightener! For lunch and casual suppers, tummy-warming Gram’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup and Creamy Chicken & Macaroni Soup are sure to be welcome on chilly days. Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Carol’s BBQ for a Crowd and other savory meals-on-a-bun will make your next tailgating party a big success.

    Two big chapters of main-dish recipes will meet all your dinnertime needs. On busy weeknights, you’ll love serving your family Help-Yourself Hamburger Casserole, Creamy Dreamy Chicken and Kickin’ Pork Chops…even meatless choices like Chili Sans Carne. For church potluck or special get-together? Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti, Cowboy Beans and Best-Ever Pineapple & Brown Sugar Ham are sure to please.

    We’ve included tasty snacks like Hot Artichoke & Spinach Dip and Kielbasa Cocktail Appetizer to share…even Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Cake, Easy Cherry Cobbler and other ooey-gooey desserts.

    With familiar ingredients and simple directions, it’s easy to fix these recipes. You’ll find plenty of handy tips too. So, pull out that slow cooker and put it to work…

  • Beanstalk Jack:  A Folk-Rock Opera

    Beanstalk Jack: A Folk-Rock Opera

    beanstalk jack

    New York’s critically acclaimed Paper Canoe Companywill release Beanstalk Jack, a musical retelling of the classic tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk” adapted as a folk-rock opera for todays families, on February 2, 2018.

    Featuring Paper Canoe co-founder Tami Stronach, known to millions for her haunting performance as The Childlike Empress in the iconic 1984 film, The Neverending StoryBeanstalk Jack references the American tradition of folk music that embraces a powerful message, and then shifts to include ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s-style pop and rock, seasoned with a laid-back, bluesy element.

    paper canoe company

    Says Tami Stronach, “We know the rules. The rules are you aren’t supposed to make albums anymore. Albums aren’t supposed to be narrative. Kids’ music is supposed to be funny, sweet, cute, and musically ground floor. We wanted to break all those rules. We made a full-length, A-side B-side concept album that tells an amazing story. We wanted it to be great music first, great storytelling second, and third, to let families connect to nostalgic American musical traditions from the folksy protest music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger through to the classic rock/pop sounds of the ’80s.”

    Beanstalk Jack tells the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk” with the addition of a refreshing girl-meets-boy twist, a tribute to the spirit of optimism, and more than a hint of youthful rebellion.  Jack, our intrepid hero, armed with his six-string guitar, climbs the beanstalk to seek his fortune. At the summit of the towering vegetation, Jack meets the giant’s daughter, Harmony, a bright star just waiting for the right band to come along. He steals Harmony’s heart, and they run away to follow their dreams and make music together, leaving the greedy giant to languish in the celestial dust.

    Album highlights include the Beatles-esque “Beanstalk Jack” and a genial nod to Dolly Parton on “Let Me Be.” “Bestest Bargain” cruises along courtey of some fine Simon and Garfunkel-ish vocal harmonies, while “Lucky Jack” channels Woody Guthrie and explodes with some very fancy fiddling. The rousing, ’80s-influenced dance party number, “Hey Wow,” is guaranteed to have children of all ages up on their feet and moving. Of course, any musical retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” must have a “Fee Fi Fo Fum” song for the giant, and the Beanstalk Jack version was inspired by Tom Waits.

    Beanstalk Jack will be available for download at digital retailers such as iTunes, Amazon Digital, Google Play, Bandcamp, and more. Physical CDs will be available at Amazon and Bandcamp.

    Visit the Paper Canoe Company website HERE.
    Visit the Beanstalk Jack website HERE.
    Visit Tami Stronach’s website HERE.

    Paper Canoe Company on Facebook.
      Paper Canoe Company on Twitter.
    Tami Stronach on Twitter.
    Tami Stronach on Instagram.  

    Paper Canoe Company on YouTube. 

  • Plentiful Pantry Soups and Chili

    Plentiful Pantry Soups and Chili

    tomato parmesan bisque

    With it being National Soup Month, we’ve brought you our favorite soup mixes.  Today, we feature Plentiful Pantry.

    Business started for Gourmet Food Group in 1992 when Debbie Chidester and her husband Jody transformed a passion for food into an opportunity to make a living. Debbie had long loved entertaining friends with fabulous meals. As well, she had experience working in restaurants and knew what it took to consistently provide delicious food. When friends asked about her recipes, she explained chopping the garlic and fresh herbs and blending unique spice combinations. Most of her friends wanted to eat like that but didn’t necessarily want to do all the work. Debbie took her own time tested recipes, converted them into a dried easy prepare dishes, and voila! A new business was formed!

    What started out as a small operation; cooking, perfecting and packaging at their kitchen table, while selling at trade shows across the country, traveling in their Ford Aerostar Van has grown into an organization with more than 30 employees, selling in all 50 states, and into Canada.

    cheddar broccoli soupCheddar Broccoli Soup

    The goodness of creamy aged cheddar and fresh crisp broccoli are in perfect harmony within this mix.  This mix is great when you have limited time to make dinner.  Actually, it’s so easy, the kids can make it themselves for lunch or an afternoon snack after playing in the snow.

    If you are heading or a party or hosting one, you can also use this mix as a dip in a bread bowl with crunchy french bread cubes or as a sauce over steamed vegetables.

    Tomato Parmesan Bisque

    This is an enriched classic.  Plentiful Pantry has roasted the tomatoes to make them savory and flavorful while the parmesan adds a richness.  Perfect paired with grilled cheese.  Looking for another twist, toss in some Tortellini.

    chili fixinsChili Fixins

    While it’s National Soup Month, we cannot pass up sharing Plentiful Pantry’s Chili Fixins.  This chili has a smoky taste.  You can make it in true Texas style by adding just meat and onions or go whole hog and add beans.  Pair this with corn bread for a tasty delight for lunch or dinner.  Bring it to your next potluck or enter your local chili cookoff. It’s guaranteed to be a hit.