Build A Bear – Limited Time Coupon!

Build A Bear - Limited Time Coupon!  (July 2018)

Did you have a chance to check out the awesome Pay Your Age event at Build-A-Bear? It was such an awesome deal that they had unprecedented turnout and had to shut down several stores.  I’ve even heard reports of people there for over 4 hours (and still waiting!) – wow! I applaud their stamina and determination! For those who weren’t able to survive such a long time waiting or just weren’t able to make it out, you can log into your free Bonus Club account for a $15 off coupon for in store make-your-own bear purchases! This brings most bears to just under half price (minus accessories, which weren’t included today either.) What a deal for Build-A-Bear fans! 

In the meantime, I’ll be browsing some of the fun accessories available on Amazon!

Build A Bear Limited Time $15 Coupon!

Log into your Build-A-Bear Bonus Club account and claim your coupon by midnight tonight (July 12th, 2018) and it will be valid through the weekend, expiring July 15th.

My kids and I decided not to stay for long once we saw the lines, so we will likely be taking advantage of this awesome coupon.  Don’t miss out!  If you didn’t already have a Bonus Club Account, I recommend signing up.  They have other awesome deals from time to time, including birthday deals for the kiddos! 

Also, while you’re at it, go check out a past review I did of Build-A-Bear!  My 5 and 7 year old love their Avengers Iron Man and Hulk bears and they’ve held up pretty well! 



The Zen Of Recovery: 5 Steps For Rebuilding Your Health And Restoring Your Hope

The Zen Of Recovery: 5 Steps For Rebuilding Your Health And Restoring Your Hope


Some accidents can cause personal injuries that last for years. They necessitate things like surgery, therapy, medical equipment, and more.  Although it may seem perfectly natural, considering all the things that you’re going through, to give up and believe your life has lost meaning and purpose; this is a mistake. When you sink into depression, you only make a bad situation worse, ruining your own life and making everyone close to you miserable, too.


Here are five practical tips you can use to deal with your new situation without letting it get you down:

  1. Make sure your basic needs are met.

Before contemplating what coping strategies you should adopt, sort out your basic needs. Do you have enough money to cover your basic cost of living? If not, then research what resources are available for financial assistance or at-home employment. Do you have easy access to all the medical supplies you need when you need them? If not, then use an online medical supplies service like to place an order when your supplies run low. Do you have enough emotional support to cope with your situation? If you don’t have any close family or friends, then consider joining a support group in your city to be able to share your feelings with others.  And if you do have family and friends nearby, be willing to accept their help. 


  1. Avoid making yourself miserable.

The way people make themselves miserable is through negative self-talk and overidentification with all the ills and misfortunes reported in the news, on social media, and other media. Learn to catch your mind-wandering and steer it away from self-pity, reflecting on everything that’s not working, and feeling critical of people and events. Instead, steer your mind to what is working for you. Give yourself the gift of self-compassion.

There are three exercises that you can use to steer your mind in a more positive direction:

  • List a few things you are grateful for when you wake up, even if it’s something as simple as feeling grateful that you have a bed to sleep in and will soon have breakfast.
  • Scribble a letter to yourself every day for a week speaking words of empathy, hope, and faith. This daily dose of self-encouragement will coax your mind to think in a more productive way.
  • Read biographies of people who overcome great odds in life, making impossible things possible.

Although these three exercises may seem contrived, they will work if you stick with them long enough. Eventually, you’ll start to think in a more positive way, which will not only help you but those around you. 


  1. Notice when you’re winning.

Every time you do something that you couldn’t do before, you’re winning in life. Depending on your condition, small victories might be learning to walk a few steps more than you did a week ago or to do something else that shows that you’re making progress toward recovery.  


  1. Focus on what you can do.

Although you may feel that you can’t do much physically, there is plenty that you can do mentally. You can read a book, learn how to play chess (or learn how to play better chess), or study some skill, like math or art. Appreciate the simple fact that your mind can learn from documentaries, books, online courses, and discussions. Set some intellectual or artistic goals for yourself.


  1. Get better at managing your stress.

The more stressed we are about something, the worse things appear to get, which, of course, stresses us out even more. The way to step out of fear, worry, anxiety, and other stressful emotions is to adopt practices like mindfulness, meditation, and contemplation. By calming your agitated nervous system, your body will have less cortisol running through your bloodstream. By focusing on the physiological aspects of stress reduction, like tensing and relaxing your muscles or breathing more deeply, your turbulent emotions will settle down.  Stress can also extend to those around you, including your own children, so learning to manage your own will help them as well. 


While these five practices are neither intuitive nor easy, you will get better over time at taking care of your basic needs, thinking more optimistically, noticing your small victories, focusing on what you can do, and getting better at managing your stress. You will begin to feel increasingly better about your life as these gain momentum.

How to remain patient with your picky eater

Child reaching for strawberries


From the time we are born, our senses are constantly growing and changes.  Our taste buds are developing as well as our desire to be independent.  It may seem like a simple thing to eliminate the picky tendencies that arise but it can be so much more than that.  It can become a major psychological change for the child.

While most children are simply “picky,” some have a sensory processing disorder causing certain tastes or textures to seem despicable and unbearable.  With my children, I have experienced both the typical pickiness as well as oral aversion caused by SPD.  So how do we know the difference?  For most, it takes a trip to a specialist to determine, but we knew early on.  With any food that was not completely smooth, my oldest would choke.  For some, the earliest signs are a dislike for socks and shoes, or getting extremely upset on any type of mess (paint, food, etc) on their hands. 

Other children may have allergies to foods that do not clearly present themselves.  They may develop stomach aches or nausea and automatically have aversions to certain foods from it.  At such a young age, they may be unable to communicate their pain, leaving the only “choice” to be refusal and reluctance of those foods.  This is something we worried about with my youngest for a while.  What if he felt we were forcing him to eat foods that made him hurt?  Fortunately as he has developed his speech, we are able to work through this and determine what is going on. 

But for those who are simply picky, there are a few things we can do to make it easier.

Eat with your child.  Nowadays, it is too easy to fix something separately, eat a something different than your child, but it is so important to the well being of your child to maintain a habit of eating meals together. 

Offer rewards.  Rewards of a mini M&M or another small treat after a bite of disliked food may help put your child past the desire to fight that food.  Once he or she accepts this method, change it to two bites for a treat, and so forth. Prefer not to give candy?  Find something else your child likes such as mommy or daddy making a silly monkey face and noise.  You’ll be surprised how a smile, happy attitude, and silly face can make a difference when you are on the verge of a breakthrough!

Give your child something to fidget with.  I found that both of my boys both benefited from holding something in their hands as they took a bite of something they did not like.  Once you work past your child fighting that food, you can move on to them self feeding.  For those with SPD, it helps take their mind off of the food and give their brain something else to process.

For the older kids, a chore chart with meals could be added.  At the age of 5, my son has a great appreciation for coins.  He earns a nickel for each thing he completes on his chore chart and it is really a great motivator for him.  We added meals to his chore chart and it gives that extra push to help him work past it.  


Try to learn what makes your child tick.  Each child is different and will respond differently.  You know your child best and you can do it.  Just keep trying and don’t give up.  You are your child’s world and they need you more than anything!



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