Sunday, July 13, 2008

The ADDEdge Family Focus Issue 5: Are you perfect?

Well, as I think about our children and their challenges I am immediately brought to the thought of self-esteem. Why is our children's self esteem so low? Why does it seem that we struggle daily to convince them they are good people? And why does it seem that other times we spend the same amount of time trying to convince ourselves of the same thing?

One theory is our concept of perfection. It is believed, in fact proven, that part of the reason for a person's poor self-esteem is due to our concept of perfection and our belief that we are not.

We spend so much time measuring ourselves against our idea of perfection that it is no wonder we have a low self image. I do not know of anyone who is perfect. In fact, the thought of that is somewhat alarming. Can you imagine attaining perfection? Having nothing further to work for in life? Knowing you will never be better or smarter or healthier than you are right now?

Once we are able to let go of our idea of attaining perfection and embrace the thought of being constantly changing individual, we will surely feel better about ourselves! The amazing thing is that we can coach our children in this same technique!

One of the best things my mother ever taught me is that being perfect would not only be boring, but it would be a lot of pressure too! I grew up being grateful and relieved knowing that perfection was to be strived for, but never truly achieved. She had me fully convinced (and she was right) that being perfect would be boring!

The most amazing thing is that she convinced me of that without ever telling me that! She would ask questions like "Don't you think it would be boring to have nothing to work for?" or "Wouldn't you hate knowing what your grade was before you ever got a paper back?" Her gentle suggestions were enough to allow me to come up with my own opinions.

She allowed me to be able to judge myself against what was right and wrong, not against my idea of being perfect. I encourage you to do that with your children, and yourself.

If we can eliminate this idea of perfection, we will think more highly of our kids, and in turn allow them to think more highly of themselves.

So, over the next week I encourage you to try to drop the thought of reaching perfection, and keep in mind that you are the perfect you! No one is better at being you than you are! You have achieved your own perfection, and the great thing is that by defining perfection this way, you will continually be able to strive for improvement.

If you would like to comment on this topic, please visit

TheADDEdge blog and post your thoughts!

Until next time...

~Stay Strong

Tracy Hoobyar is a personal trainer for academic, personal and professional excellence for people with ADHD, and those who love them. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Psychology and working with children as a substitute teacher and volunteer, she learned what an incredibly widespread problem ADHD can be. Through her training in NLP, Psychology, and her experiences working with all these children, she has finally developed a unique yet effective program to help those living with ADHD. She blogs about various parenting issues affecting all those concerned and she is a frequent guest blogger on Sew Cute’s blog. Learn more by visiting

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

“Green” up your Sunscreens and Bug-Repellants

It’s almost summer! That means it’s time for splashing around in the pool and escaping the heat by heading to the cool mountains for some outdoor fun. The products we use to protect us from the sun and from the pesky outdoor pests that we encounter during our summer activities can have less than desirable ingredients and chemicals listed on their labels. In order to avoid harmful substances that are absorbed into our skin, what should we look for to know we are using safe products for ourselves and our children?

Protection from the sun is important, but so is knowing what types of things to avoid in commercial sunscreens. Remember, our skin is our largest organ and anything absorbed into the skin can be transported to other organs in our body in about 7 seconds. In recognition of that fact, try to avoid the following common sunscreen ingredients:

PABA: Many people are very sensitive to this ingredient and can end up with red, itchy skin.

Benzophenone (benzophenone-3), homosalate, and octy-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate): These chemicals have shown estrogenic activity in lab tests. Oxybenzone is a derivative of benzophenone and it is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. According to the CDC 97% of Americans are contaminated with this widely-used sunscreen ingredient.

Parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl-): Parabens are common in sunscreens so avoiding them may prove difficult. They are preservatives that have estrogenic qualities. They have produced abnormal hormonal effects following on laboratory rodents, particularly male, resulting in decreased testosterone levels and other abnormalities. They have also been found to accumulate in the breast tissue of women with breast cancer.

Padimate-O and Parsol 1789 (Avobenzone): While on the surface of the skin these chemicals appear to prevent UV damage but when absorbed into the skin they can actually damage DNA. There is evidence that the sun’s light may cause these chemicals to become reactive and cause free-radical damage.

Safe sunscreen components include any zinc oxide or titanium dioxide products that scatter, rather than absorb the sun’s rays. In addition, you can use protective sun clothing to keep your skin shielded when you are planning to be outside. Hats, sunglasses and UVA/UVB repellant swimwear are widely available and provide the safest protection for kids and adults alike.

To combat those pesky mosquitoes and other biting insects, we need to once again, examine what it is that we are using on our skin. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests the use of “non-chemical” methods to deter biting insects before any consideration of chemical insect repellents.

Most bug sprays and repellents contain DEET. DEET is a pesticide that is considered HIGHLY toxic. Experts report that up to 56% of DEET applied to the skin penetrates the skin and about 17% is absorbed into the blood stream.

One of the major adverse effects of DEET exposure to children is seizures and brain damage. As parents, it is wise to utilize caution, care and knowledge in your approach to protecting your children from dangerous insect bites.

Consider using barriers like window screens and netting to shield your children and protect their skin with long-sleeve shirts, long pants and socks. Other commercial products with safe and effective ingredients are:

MiEnviron Certified Organic Personal Bug Spray


California Baby SPF 30 + Bug Repellent

Now that warmer weather is here, families can spend time together enjoying being outside. If we can do a little bit of label reading before purchasing some of the summer necessities, it will be a safer and “greener” season for everyone!

Based in Arizona, Lisa Smith has a BA in Psychology and is the Owner/CEO of Regionz Kidz, a multi-cultural infant & toddler clothing line featuring ethnically diverse characters and designs. She publishes a blog on her website that discusses cultural diversity and children, and she is a frequent guest blogger on Sew Cute’s blog, and other blogs and websites regarding parenting and children’s issues. She is also a monthly contributor to Educated Mommy Magazine.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Ready Feet, Only 3 steps away with bluebasins bath & body’s Perfect Pedicure Routine

Our feet take a lot of abuse during a normal day and should not be neglected however many people do. This neglect can have an adverse effect on our bodies causing back, knee, heel and of course foot pain, just to name a few.

They are one of the most important parts of your body carrying you around and, in relation to that same body, are relatively small. On average, these tiny pedometers can count between 2000 and 6000 steps a day, so if you want them to keep on counting, start by taking great care of them now...naturally.

As the temperature rises, the layers start peeling off not only on the body but also on the feet. No longer are the thermal socks, stockings or boots needed because it’s finally time to wear our summer sandals. But are your feet summer sandal ready? Were you taking care of them all winter long even though they were covered. By the looks of it quite a few of you were not. So with the official summer season upon us, you can get your feet summer sandal ready with our Perfect Pedicure Routine created by bluebasins bath & body.

Our newly created foot care system is designed to naturally have your feet feeling and looking great. “We realize that a lot of people do not take great care of their feet either because they have no time, do not know how, or where to start, that’s why we’ve created this simple system to start the user on a path to having great feet,” says Makeda Paul, owner, “besides, it’s summer and you’ll want to show them off with pride.”

bluebasins has created a three to five step (depending on what you are trying to achieve) foot care system. The products created are all 100% natural, handmade with essential oils and/or herbs. The entire systems is designed to have your feet looking and feeling great.

Here’s the Perfect Pedicure Routine which is recommended once a week:

If wearing nail polish, remove before beginning routine.

Step 1: Begin by starting with the Peppermint & Tea Tree Liquid Foot Soap. Fill a basin with a gallon of warm water. Soak your feet for 10 - 15 minutes. Use a pumice stone on soles of feet during the soak. At the end of the 15 minutes wash feet in the basin with our Peppermint & Tea Tree Liquid Foot Soap. Empty the basin.

This foot soap uses the germ killing properties of Tea Tree essential oil, an excellent combatant against athlete’s foot or smelly foot syndrome.

Step 2: Fill the basin again with warm water and pour in 1/4 - 1/2 cup of our Revitalizing Herbal Foot Fizz, soak for 10 min and relax. Pat dry.

Designed for tired and achy feet, it contains the invigorating essential oils and herbs of peppermint, tea tree and crushed mint leaves. Packed with herbs that help cool, soothe and relax tired feet, it is the best way to rejuvenate them. The minerals in this fizz will have your feet cool, relaxed and refreshed.

Step 3: After your feet are patted dry, apply our Warming Ginger Foot Mask with hands. Rub the foot mask on feet and leave on for 10 - 20 min. Rinse off. Pat dry again.

This clay-based foot mask will have you feet feeling recharged and refreshed. It will revive your feet while making your skin, soft and smooth.

Note: The following two steps are optional depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your foot care.

Step 4: Once feet are dry, massage feet with our Peppermint & Tea Tree Foot Butter - to keep feet soft and wonderful. To keep feet soft use foot salve at night and cover with socks. This can also be used as a daily moisturizer for your feet.

Our creamy and thick foot butter will have your feet looking beautiful, soft and supple all day long. Great for those with dry cracked heals. Best used after a shower or anytime in the day to keep dry heal syndrome away.

Step 5: If your foot care system is to aid in smelly feet syndrome then our Cooling Foot Powder is for you. Once feet are dried after the Warming Ginger Foot Mask, this cooling powder with it wonderful herbs can be sprinkled on feet to keep them dry, not sweaty.

“When you are finished with our Perfect Pedicure Routine, take a wonderful bare foot walk around your home to give your feet a great stretch,” concludes Paul. So even though your feet are abused throughout the day take great care of them at home to avoid seeing the foot doctor.

For more information, visit our website at

bluebasins bath & body products show consumers an alternative natural way to take care of their skin.

Makeda Paul is the owner of bluebasins bath & body, Canada's premier line of all natural skin care products. An Aromatologist by trade, she developed all of bluebasins’ products using only the best ingredients suited for your skin, and is a frequent guest blogger on Sew Cute's blog. Her products take care of you and your baby's skin the way nature intended, naturally. Begin now with bluebasins bath & body at

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The ADDEdge Family Focus Issue 4

Good Day! Hope all is going well and you've been able to implement the tips from the last three newsletters to make a difference in your life. This week's newsletter will have a slightly different format, designed to share more information in an easier way for you to take advantage of it. Please let me know what you think of the new design. Tip #4
People, children or adults, with ADHD are perfectionists. Now, this fact came as a HUGE surprise to me, one that I argued with and refused to believe for quite a while, until I talked with my daughters. You see, I watch this beautiful, strong, intelligent child scraping by in school and life and figure she simply doesn't care. It never occurred to me that she did care, and it was simply easier to swallow that she didn't do well because she didn't try, rather than she wasn't able.

Oh man! Now that made sense. How many of us, when we think back, remember trying to act cool when we goofed? Well, it's kind of the same response, just more intense (not surprising when dealing with ADHD).

So, this tip actually relates back to tip #2 to some extent. If you remember that was to give yourself a break. So this week, give your kids a break. Now this DOESN'T mean to let them off the hook and have no rules. In fact, as we'll discuss in a later issue, rules are important. What it does mean is to remember they want to do well. But more than that, they don't want to fail!

I'll tell you what. This piece of information has made an enormous difference for me. It has helped me to be less frustrated and more sympathetic to my kids. It has helped make sense of their behaviors that before this made me scratch my head in confusion. And, most importantly, it has made the number of arguments in this household far less frequent.

So, that is this week's tip, Give Your Kids A Break. Just try to remember where they are coming from, don't lower your expectations, just lower your frustration level when the expectations aren't met. Your kids are already feeling bad enough about letting you down, another topic we'll tackle later on.

Until next week, take care and stay calm!

Recommendation of the week
For a ton of great product ideas, visit There you will find products to help you with anything ADHD related, from organizational tools for you to toys for the kids to help entertain, educate and occupy them. Visit them today for additional ideas and helps around the house!

Organizing Tip Of The Week
Today, take 5 minutes and get rid of all shower items you haven't used in more than a month. We all tend to get stuff, open it once and forget about it or decide we don't like it. Somehow though we forget to discard it. Now is the time. Simply complete the task of getting rid of any shower items you don't use. You can move them into the guest bath (you never know what your surprise guest will have forgotten to bring) or transfer partially used bottles into travel containers. Barring that you can donate unused items and throw away already opened containers. However you decide to clear the shower clutter, just don't stop until you've completed this one task, then enjoy a calm and clutter free shower!

e-Class Beginning Soon
There is a new, FREE eClass currently being offered ($47 value). Simply visit the site, and sign up! You will get fantastic information, learn a lot, and gain a greater understanding for ADHD. Don't miss this opportunity!

Parenting Tip of the Week
Ask kids to clip and organize coupons for grocery shopping. This will allow them an outlet for organizing, one that doesn't have a lot of consequences like school, and help them understand the cost of living. This is a great activity that works for any age group and will allow you something to teach your kids but give them some control too. You may be surprised at the coupons they cut out!

Tracy Hoobyar is a personal trainer for academic, personal and professional excellence for people with ADHD, and those who love them. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Psychology and working with children as a substitute teacher and volunteer, she learned what an incredibly widespread problem ADHD can be. Through her training in NLP, Psychology, and her experiences working with all these children, she has finally developed a unique yet effective program to help those living with ADHD. She blogs about various parenting issues affecting all those concerned and she is a frequent guest blogger on Sew Cute’s blog. Learn more by visiting

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To Fathers with Love

In June of each year, we celebrate the wonderful Fathers and father figures in our lives! The modern celebration of Father’s Day has ancient roots, dating all the way back to the Babylonian period of history.

The earliest record of Father's Day was found in the ruins of ancient Babylon. A young boy named Elmesu carved a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago. He wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life. The tradition was passed down from generation to generation and is currently celebrated in several countries throughout the world. In many countries, where the Catholic Church has had an important influence on the culture, Father's Day is celebrated on St. Joseph's Day (March 19) but in others, the date varies with the calendar year.

In the United States, we typically purchase greeting cards or small gifts for our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, etc. In other countries around the globe, they have unique and different ways to celebrate the Father’s Day tradition.

1. The UK and Australia: Breakfast meetings for fathers and families are held along with public games and activities that strengthen the father-family bond. These events include picnics with sports or games, fishing contests and hiking or running races.

2. Canada: Different colored roses are worn by families signifying the well-being of their fathers. A white Rose is worn if the father has passed away and a red Rose signifies father or grandfather in good health and vitality.

3. South Africa: Social and cultural societies host large community Father’s Day celebrations to stress the role of fathers in building a stronger society and in nurturing their children. They read stories and poems that have strong male characters.

4. Ireland: Families make donations in the name of their father or perform acts of community service that pay tribute to the important men in their lives.

This year in June, we can all look into some different ways to express thanks and gratitude for the fathers and father-figures in our lives. Whether we spend time strengthening our relationship by participating in an outdoor activity, performing some community service together or just sitting down to a meal together, we can all look to different cultures around the world to see that celebrating fathers is not just something we do here at home. It is an ancient and wonderful tradition that can be expanded upon to create some wonderful new memories and traditions of our own.

Based in Arizona, Lisa Smith has a BA in Psychology and is the Owner/CEO of Regionz Kidz, a multi-cultural infant & toddler clothing line featuring ethnically diverse characters and designs. She publishes a blog on her website that discusses cultural diversity and children, and she is a frequent guest blogger on Sew Cute’s blog, and other blogs and websites regarding parenting and children’s issues. She is also a monthly contributor to Educated Mommy Magazine.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

10 Great Gifts for Father’s Day

By: Cynthia Marcano for Simply Sinful Baskets

Ok, so Father’s Day is approaching and you’d rather go to the dentist than buy another tie. Save the appointment for wisdom teeth trouble and make shopping a little easier. Here are 10 gift ideas for Father’s day that are sure to bring a SINCERE smile to his face.

10. Father of the Year Plaque – Show your appreciation for that special Father with a trophy or plaque that honors him as a Father.

9. Magazine Subscription - This is the gift that keeps on giving year round. Popular subscriptions are Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal and Muscle & Fitness. There are others that I would rather not mention, but I am sure would get a positive reaction, if you know what I mean.

8. Sports Tickets - Because Father’s Day is during the summer, baseball would be the sporting event to get tickets for. Other options are wrestling events or golf tournaments.

7. Golf Getaway - Speaking of golf, a golf getaway is a really nice gift and a great way for busy dad to unwind.

6. Gift Basket - You are probably thinking "Gift Basket?!" Yup, I said gift basket. You can find any themed gift basket nowadays including golf, fishing, football, baseball and movie lovers.

5. Clothing - I gave my father-in-law a T-shirt with his only granddaughter’s picture on it and he has it folded in a drawer so that he can’t ruin it. Saying he worships it, is an understatement. If he isn’t the sentimental type, golf shirts and shorts work too.

4. Watch – They seem to be a necessity that men don’t splurge on. If he is wearing a watch with a plastic wristband, you need to read no further. Go shopping right away.

3. Barbeque Supplies - The weather is warm and there is a good chance you are having a BBQ to celebrate Father’s Day. Start the BBQ off right with new cooking tools for the BBQ cook.

2. Tools - This is a pretty obvious choice but a great gift nonetheless. Especially if you married someone like Tim Taylor – The Tool Man.

1. A day to watch sports, pig out and do whatever it is, he likes to do. Consider this his special day. Things like breakfast in bed, renting his favorite movie (you know the one with all the guns, violence and macho stuff) and cooking his favorite dinner could be just what the father asked for.

If you are tired of buying ties for Father’s Day, then you have come to the right place. Read about great gift suggestions any father would love.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Cynthia Marcano is a stay at home mom of two. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, crafting and other creative pastimes. In her spare time, she enjoys running her princess party website, and writing articles about party ideas and gift giving. She is a frequent guest blogger on Sew Cute’s blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Diversity in Youth Sports

For some parents across the country, weekends are measured in soccer game start times, baseball innings and tournament scores. Researchers estimate that over 14 million children play one type of organized sport and several of those youngsters play multiple sports depending on the season. Sports are important for teaching good sportsmanship, goal-setting, teamwork, and for encouraging children to have an active lifestyle. Aside from these obvious advantages, organized sports can also play a much larger and culturally significant role as well.

Sports combine athletic as well as social skills and mix them up into an organized framework. Children are often required to put aside their own desires and ego for the sake of their team. They spend time learning from and befriending teammates who often are more like brothers and sisters than mere friends. Team uniforms are worn to signify solidarity and equality; everyone’s uniform looks the same. Children learn to play, strategize and communicate with people from all walks of life; those of different religions, race, ethnicity, gender and culture and work toward a common goal - winning. They are often exposed at an early age to those that are different from themselves but possess equal or greater skills and they come to realize that everyone is different, but differences can be strengths as well. Consider the following sports when looking for a diverse team activity for your child:

1. Baseball
Baseball not only requires good communication from all team members; pitcher and catcher, outfielder to infielder and between the out and in-fielders themselves, it also encourages children to assist struggling teammates who are not performing well. By succeeding individually, children help contribute to a winning team environment and each child knows that even though he or she may not have their best game that day, one of their teammates will pick up the slack.
Major League Baseball also has many international stars and role-models that children of different ethnicities and nationalities can look up to and admire. There are players from Japan, Korea, Canada, the US, Australia, Mexico, Cuba and several other countries around the globe. MLB has training centers in a number of Central and South American countries and are constantly providing instruction and education for their players. The teams play exhibition games overseas and have created a World Baseball Classic which features international teams competing against each other for the title.

2. Basketball
Basketball requires communication as well. While on the court, players make each other aware of their positions as well as the position of the defenders. It also encourages and rewards players for unselfish play in passing the ball to others to score. It necessitates an understanding between all players and the coach when plays are created in practice or called out during the game. Basketball is a game of camaraderie and the more time a team spends together practicing, the better they know where teammates will be during any given play in the game.

Recently, the National Basketball Association has seen an influx of international players as well. There are players from all different walks of life and several different age groups, as the NBA allows high school players to participate. Basketball is a very popular international Olympic sport and thousands of fans from every different country come out to support their team during the trials and 2 week events.

3. Football
In football, we truly see the uniform disguising all differences. The helmets children wear to protect themselves also offers a mask to hide skin color, gender differences and cultural distinctions as well. Everyone looks the same on the football field; there is no one better than another; the great equalizer. This helps children to be judged more on their ability to play, rather than what they look like or where they come from. Football, like Baseball and Basketball requires communication skills between teammates as well as a desire to unselfishly sacrifice oneself for another teammate.

4. Other Sports Programs

There are a number of other special sports programs in communities across the country that focus on helping children with disabilities participate and establish relationships. Special baseball fields, basketball courts and tennis facilities allow children in wheelchairs, walkers and on crutches to play sports alongside of their peers. Mixed leagues provide children without physical disabilities the chance to participate and learn about children that are different from themselves.

Although many people may consider sports divisive and ego-driven with all players performing for themselves, parents can use sports as an opportunity to teach children about the satisfaction that comes from being part of a team. Children can learn life lessons as they play; leadership, teamwork, social skills and they can also learn that people that look, speak or play differently from themselves are people that they want to get to know and become friends with. Children are open to learning about others and accepting those who are different. We as parents need to be conscious of what we are teaching and the opportunities that we provide to them for doing just that.

Based in Arizona, Lisa Smith has a BA in Psychology and is the Owner/CEO of Regionz Kidz, a multi-cultural infant & toddler clothing line featuring ethnically diverse characters and designs. She publishes a blog on her website that discusses cultural diversity and children, and she is a frequent guest blogger on Sew Cute’s blog, and other blogs and websites regarding parenting and children’s issues. She is also a monthly contributor to Educated Mommy Magazine.