Tag Archives: Things

Fun Things For Kids – Cookie Exchange at Preschool

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Last year I had my first experience with Preschool. I have to say that at every turn I seemed to not be quite with the program when it came to the holidays and the treats or gifts that went with each one.

Halloween – My child got a goodie bag from each of the children in her class. We did not hand out any. We didn’t know that we needed to.

Thanksgiving – My child got a small gift from her teacher. We did not give her teacher anything. I didn’t realize that Thanksgiving was a gift giving holiday in school.

So, 10 weeks into the school year I am feeling very guilty about not knowing the protocol for holidays and gifts. I was determined to make amends in the upcoming holidays.

Christmas – My child got a gift bag from her teacher and a gift or card from each child in her class. I sat up until the wee hours of the morning with little foam stockings, foam letter and ribbon making a little personalized tree ornament for each of my daughters classmates. I also made a little picture frame for her teacher and included a picture of the two of them from the beginning of the year. Whew, I think that I did OK on that one.

Valentine’s Day – My child got a Valentine…AND a bag of treats…from each student in the class. I sat down with my child to help her print out 15 Valentine’s Day cards. She had to write TO: their name and FROM: her name. She is not great at printing small letters so she would run out of room…cry because it was wrong…start all over again. Good thing we had 2 boxes of cards. I also had to do 15 cards for my 2 year old. I did not know to send goodie bags for this one though.

Easter – My child got Easter treats from her teacher. She gave her teacher a special picture that she had colored. I hope that was good enough.

End of the Year – OK, this was the big one. My child got a gift bag and card from her teacher. I had gone out and bought a small set of candles ($ 10) for her teacher and the assistant. We also had to buy for my son’s teacher and assistant, the music teacher and the preschool director. I tried to pick out something that I would like as a gift from a student.

So, what conclusion did I come to? The expectations for gifts in PRESCHOOL (where we live) are ridiculous. Did I mention that I was the one doing all the work for the gifts that she was going to give out? Oh yeah, then there is the fact that all this gift giving can get a little costly!!

I am boycotting any gift giving this year. We are making cookies. All kids love cookies right?

For Halloween we made special cookies for the class. I bought the ones that come out of the “can” and have the Halloween decorations already in them. It couldn’t have been easier.

Didn’t have to do Thanksgiving because we were going out of town J Bonus for me!!

My enlightened moment came when I was contemplating what to do for Christmas. This is no way that I am going to have time to be “crafty”. We are going to have a COOKIE EXCHANGE in each of the kid’s classrooms!!!

Here is how it will work:

Each child will bring 2 dozen of their favorite cookies.

Now, I realize that the moms are going to have to do some work here but it will be faster than making decorations and cheaper than buying a gift. The great thing is that you can do this with your kids. My kids love to cook with me. There is always a mess to clean up but there are always smiling faces at the end of it. OK, back to the great idea!!

On the cookie exchange day the parents will send their child to school with the cookies and a plastic container with a lid.

The children will set out their cookies on a table and then go around the table with their plastic container taking 1 cookie of each kind until all the cookies are gone. They can put the lid on the cookies and bring them home. They can think of their friends and enjoy cookies over the entire Christmas Break.

I will get my daughter a package of Christmas cards so that she can write one for each of her friends and her teacher. Her printing is so much better this year but I will get big cards just in case J. There, the “gifts” are done.

So, I have saved myself time and money and therefore my sanity will still be in tact at the time of year I need it most.

I hope that many of you moms can relate to what I went through last year. I just don’t want to be the only one who feels like an idiot for messing up the gift and card thing. Please use this cookie exchange idea. Claim it as your own idea J I won’t mind a bit. Just promise me that you will let me know how it all goes.

Happy (a little bit more sane) Holidays!!

Dayna Palmer is a mother of 3 children – 1 girl and 2 boys – ages 5, 3, and 1 and lives in Roanoke, VA. She is actively involved in bringing parents and kids together with area businesses and organizations through her popular kids website. Dayna Palmer’s website Roanoke4Kids.com [http://Roanoke4Kids.com] provides families with a local events calendar, kid friendly businesses and organization, job listings for childcare workers, a classified buy & sell forum and other local kid worthy information. RoanokeForKids.com [http://RoanokeForKids.com] is the only website in the Roanoke area dedicated to “all things kids”.

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Great Things About Audio Books For The Blind

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Working 8 hours a day or even more can be very tiring. But most of the time, a good book makes us feel relaxed. After work, we usually grab something to eat and then immediately flip those pages for an exciting journey. Reading your favorite book is like a breather for many people. Through these books, they can learn and feel relaxed without spending that much. But what if your tight schedule would no longer permit you to read your favorite novel? What if you no longer have the time to sit back on a couch and feel relaxed with a good book? What if you can’t find the publication anywhere? Audio books for the blind will definitely give you more reasons to enjoy reading the more.

Reading can be very costly especially if you have to spend money purchasing the publication. That is the only way you can read your favorite novel apart from borrowing. But what if the book is too expensive? What if you have other priorities besides shelling out a considerable amount of money over one expensive novel? You don’t have to worry because reading can be very affordable. In fact, you can read your favorite novel for free. How is that possible and could that be possible at all?

Yes, reading for free can be very possible. There are various online sites that will allow you to browse through a wide selection of audio books for free. After which, you can download these audio books and store them in mp3 players, PDAs and iPods. This will allow you to access your favorite book anywhere and anytime. You can in fact drive home while listening to your favorite audio book. You can cook breakfast or lunch for the family while listening to a good book.

Audio books for the blind have become in demand among universities and colleges. Why? It is because these books on audio have become means for visually challenged individuals to enjoy a good book even with their eyes closed. Who says books are only for those people who can see? These audio books can enhance visually impaired individuals’ listening and imaginative skills. 

Read about audio books for the blind .



Writer writes just about anything

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Things to Consider while Learning Dance Lessons for Wedding

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Wedding dance on the day of wedding is really exciting. This is become a trend for the engaged couple to choreograph their first and last dance with a professional dance expert. It can be very helpful to keep the stress off this position of the night. So wedding dance is a nice way to enjoy and relieve our day- to-day stresses of the wedding planning procedure.

Dancing is meant to be enjoyable. So don’t fret over it. Remember that even if you can’t afford or don’t want lessons, you should dance at your wedding. This is always an option to hold each other and dance in a circle, just like you did at your first dance in junior high school. This is all about showing how much you love each other and letting everyone see you doing it.

If you are planning to learn dance lessons for wedding, you will find so many institutions or studio at your nearest location. Nowadays this is really easy to find an instructor. Search properly through internet. Of course nearest dance instructor will be preferable.

Choose one among from them if he offer dance lesson. Now you can also take private dance lesson for privacy. It will help you most. Professional dance lesson will help to learn proper dancing styles and movements. You can also ask if they offer any package deal to get you on your feet. So most will be able to help and in fact look forward to this fun experience.  

Always keep in mind that this is not a good option to just not have a first dance. You will be missing out on a very memorable experience, a great photo opportunity and you will disappoint all those guests and your relatives who were looking forward to seeing you and your special one showcasing this very romantic moment.

Start practicing early at your home. This will help you to improve yourself with your partner. At the same time practice will make you more confident and active. Remember to take time to practice so you look comfortable. There is an old saying practice makes perfect describes how to gain this valuable memory and that’s what makes it perfect memory.

So just put on a romantic song and hold each other tight. It is a lovely way to spend a Saturday night. In addition, even after the wedding is done, spend some time dancing together in the living room. So this is a great way to reconnect with your most beloved after a tiring day at the office or with the kids.

The important thing is that tell your wedding videographer and photographer that you are going to dance and to make sure to capture this important part of the evening. This is very significant to communicate the total procedure with them. Remember it will be a memorable part of your weeding. So arrange all the stuffs properly with coordination.

Ballroom of Huntington offers the best dance studios on long island in Huntington. Our curriculum provides a solid foundation for beginner students, as well as a challenge for the more advanced dancers. Our highly trained dance instructors teach you more than just ballroom dancing lesson. We offer all types of dance lessons for wedding include salsa, Cha Cha, Fox Trot, Tango, Belly dancing etc.

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Things To Consider For Mobile Apps Testing

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If you are a freelance mobile developer or an individual who wants to develop and release his own applications then you would probably be doing a lot of testing over emulators and browsers etc. Testing is a very important phase of software development and you should take it very seriously. During the initial testing of the app over emulators everything might seem to function properly, which is a good thing, but an emulator only shows you how your application should work on a real device and you are never really sure how it would behave on the actual device.

Using browsers for testing the app is also a good technique but it also has some limitations. You cannot really test the touch screen functionality of the app and you also have to consider the CPU difference, memory usage and many more critical factors. The slight deviation of the application functioning on real device as compared to testing results could be a matter of real concern for you. Large organizations and businesses usually hire an offshore software development company to make sure that the application is properly developed and exhaustively tested for performance issues.

However, here are some aspects that you must consider before testing the application on the real device:

The Required Mobile Device: Deciding the type of device that you wish to test the app for is also a big questions. Let us take the example of iPhone which is the most popular range of smart-phones and devices. There are many devices and further there are hardware differences, multiple versions, operating system versions and other aspects associated with each device. The suggestion would be that you should opt for the latest hardware and firmware as these users generally upgrade their devices whenever new firmware is launched. This way your app will remain effective for a longer period.

What to do if You Can’t Afford the Real Device: These devices are usually very costly and especially when it comes to iPhone devices one has to think twice before buying it. However, most carriers offer these devices on a very low price if the user is ready to sign lengthy contracts. Still it is not worth buying it just for testing an app. The most sought after and cost-effective testing method would be to hire a professional mobile application development company offering proven mobile app testing services and let them do it for you.

Professional App Test Before Release: As you are just single person therefore you have a certain perspective shared by you only. Further, you can also miss out on some things. It is always better to get the app tested by others too. This does not means that you have to hire a professional app tester as you can take the help of your colleagues, friends and or other person who has proper knowledge. However, it would be better if you can afford a professional mobile apps tester.

The Network/Carrier Providers: The type of carrier does not really matters as app testers usually check the application performance at good, medium and poor signal strengths. As long as the testing includes network specific testing specifications you should not worry about the type of signal carrier.

Mobile apps development is a very costly process and you should be careful and thorough in the testing process so that you investment could provide proper returns. Mobile application development is also a complex process and unless and until you have total confidence in your skills, you should try to hire a mobile development company and get the app developed by experts.

Amy Patrix is an industry expert for IT technologies and is currently providing consultations and advices to organizations and businesses spread all over the world. Formally, Amy is associated with Xicom technologies, a renowned offshore software development company and mobile development company offering highly business centric and reliable software solutions to clients spread all over the world.

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5 Things That Can Increase Retention In Mobile Apps

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Mobile Applications come in two business models. The first depends on the sale of applications, and actual retention is only a minor concern so far as it can drive additional downloads. The second model depends on user engagement, and the application is generally free, and it relies on user retention to drive ad or sales revenue.

According to Flurry Analytics, which monitors data for over 20,000 Android and iPhone applications and over 2 billion user sessions each month, user retention across all apps drops an average of 85 percent by the first month. This means that 85 out of every 100 people who download an app will have deleted it from their phone within the first 30 days. After six months, retention is only 5 percent.

For apps that depend on user engagement and constant use over time, these numbers are troubling. However, there are many solutions that can increase retention and make applications successful over time.

We’ve taken a quick survey of the software development and marketing teams here at Amadeus Consulting, and come up with the top 5 things that affect mobile app retention.

Marketing  & Acquisition


So you have a great idea, and you’ve created an app, but it has a really low retention rate. What’s wrong?  Well, the most likely problem is its usability. If users cannot figure out how to use it and get it running in 10 seconds or less, they will delete you and potentially find a competitor’s app that is easier to use, even if it does not provide the same depth of services.

Some things that affect usability include a mandatory or lengthy registration, difficult or unusual controls, a very clunky interface, or slow sync time between the app and your servers. In order to increase the value of your app, you need to optimize the user experience.

For example, let’s say that you are a local pizza restaurant and you have an application that is designed to increase sales of pizzas by letting users place orders through the application. For you to be successful, your application needs make ordering pizzas as simple of a process as possible. Evaluating good UI design is difficult to describe in words, but basically the user should not have to think about how to use the app, and it should be intuitive with as few steps as possible.

An extension of this idea is creating a positive user experience. Some apps claim to provide certain functionalities, but they require a lengthy setup process, or have a clunky interface, or are not intuitive, or have any number of other usability problems. Good development requires more than just great coding. It requires an understanding of how people will use the application, and a development process focused on the end user.

Great interface design is a very valuable skill and it can make-or-break an application in the eyes of your users. Even if you have excellent in-house programming to back up the UI design, it may be worth your time to look at getting help with the interface.


The problem with software is that it changes so often. Your app may work perfectly today, but tomorrow Apple may provide an update to the iPhone operating system and your app suddenly develops bugs. Can your developer anticipate the changes and provide an update to your application to prevent downtimes?

Developers need to offer troubleshooting and “IT” service to the application once it is developed. If you are hiring a third party to develop your app, you should at the very least expect a warranty period, but also carefully consider the option for extended service and upgrades, which usually cost extra. In most cases, you or your developer will be able to anticipate changes or upcoming issues and provide an update to your app that will limit downtimes.

Also, some operating systems are used across different phones. What will happen to your app over the next few months if Apple releases a new version of the iPhone, or if Android OS comes out on a different model?  You need to consistently provide compatibility updates; otherwise people will drop your application in droves.

Additionally, frequent content updates are an excellent way to keep people engaged. If people know that there is an update coming soon, or that you provide frequent content additions to a paid app, then they are more likely to download it and hang onto it. Updates are also a great way to remind users that your app is still there, and remind them to use it.

These recommendations are all things we take into consideration when we develop mobile applications for our customers. They are the best way to keep users engaged with your app; let us help you in the process.


There are two sides to retention: The usability side, which encompasses most of what we’re talked about so far, and the acquisition side, which means getting people to download the app initially.

Acquisition includes more than just a measure of the number of downloads; it also describes how well people are able to find the app, and how likely they are to download it. Just remember, on the Apple App store, there are over 180,000 applications. You need to make yours stand out.

How do you do that?  First, you need to make sure that it meets basic search engine optimization (SEO) requirements, which includes making sure that it is appropriately labeled and categorized during that submission process. You wouldn’t want your new banking app to end up in the games section, because people that wanted a banking app would never find it. The description and information needs to be targeted and exact using appropriate keywords, but also inviting. Pictures almost always help, especially if you have a great UI, but you also need to make sure that everything else is correct.

Second, you need market your application. You need to tell people about it, and provide some incentive to download it. If you are building an application for a current business, then you can piggy back on a few of your other marketing efforts so that you include your app as well. Additionally, there are also many websites that specialize in app reviewing and rating and you can work with these sites to provide a bit more visibility to your application.

Also, a word about rankings: while it may be tempting to pad your own rankings, doing so is extremely dangerous and has gotten more than a few apps banned from the store, and is fairly easy for users to spot. Instead of padding your own rankings, use your time to build legitimate user reviews by being very transparent and providing frequent updates and quality feedback to users. There are thousands of new app startups, and if you are planning on being in the app business (or offering apps) for awhile then you definitely want to brand yourself as reputable.

I know many third-party developers, including Amadeus Consulting, provide specialized SEO and marketing for apps, which are definitely worth looking into. Whether you do it, or if you hire someone else to help you do it, marketing will give your app an extra ‘oomph’ that it needs for a successful launch, and give you the momentum to succeed down the road.

In Conclusion

Creating an application is not a pass/fail process. Like almost everything else, quality matters. To make a comparison, it is like creating a personal Facebook account but never logging in, accepting friends, or responding to friendly inquiries. Are you on Facebook?  Yes, technically. But it is not doing anything for you, and may even be hurting since you seem to ignore everyone who would be interested. App development works the same way:  having a bad app is much worse than having no app at all.

What this means is that you need to understand that creating an app is an investment and a commitment. It also means that if you are looking to get into the app business, you may be much better off investing in an experienced third party developer that can guide you through the process and manage it with you until you are ready to take over.

Stay tuned for our second part of this post, where we will discuss Design and Integration best practices for mobile application development and retention.

As the Search Visibility Manager at Amadeus Consulting, Monica’s knowledge is extensive in search engine marketing and conversion optimization strategies. Monica is dedicated to helping both Amadeus Consulting and our clients succeed online and is passionate about all things search. The Search Visibility Insights blog offers knowledge and market-related information for readers interested in the ever-changing world of online marketing trends.

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The things to Examine for in a Ecstasy Addiction and Drug Recovery Center

In today’s always changing and fast paced world, some people pick up different kinds of health problems that stem from their inability to cope with the transitions all around them. Unfortunately, some people express their lack of ability to manage stress plus the difficulties of everyday living by falling into the trap of addiction.

Many people that suffer from addiction are the ones which encounter unrestrainable behavior, that is often attributable to depression and anxiety. Usually, these individuals don’t realize their addiction until it has entirely taken control of their lives.

You will discover various organizations that offer assistance and the much needed attention for those who are trying to uncover a treatment for their addiction and depression. Recovering addicts can depend on rehabilitation centers such as Ecstasy Addiction Center to provide them an alternative addiction recovery approach that will not only allow them to encounter their personal unpleasant feelings but additionally teach them the very best ways to handle their own destructive thoughts and actions.

It is very important for addicts to learn where their negative thoughts and destructive behavior are originating from. That’s where most drug rehabilitation centers differ. Some rehab centers concentrate mainly on the individuals unfavorable behavior and fail to offer more focus on precisely what truly causes their depression and distorted thinking.

The very best treatment is the one that permits the addicts to address their pain and convey their feelings. Ecstasy Addiction Center moves one step further by permitting the addicts to direct their deep emotions toward an even more inspiring method.

By offering addicts the ability to convey themselves creatively, Ecstasy Addiction Center successfully brings them to the best road to recovery. This holistic approach to addiction recovery educates addicts to assess their feelings and deal with their problems by getting more in touch with their own senses.

There are 7 senses that examine information in a person’s environment, and these deliver corresponding information to the brain. When addicts come to be more conscious of their senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing, balance, and internal sensations), they ultimately realize that they can not feel their thoughts. They discover that their depression and negative thoughts are absolutely nothing but physical sensations.

By paying close attention to what they sense from their surroundings, addicts are able to search for the source of their hardship. They discover that each time they fret, their own thoughts send alerts to their brain. It is in fact not the thought that they are feeling but their bodys reaction to the physical sensations brought on by the thought itself.

This is how it works. When a person begins to worry, he sends a thought of which the brain identifies as a danger. The brain then transmits signals to the body to safeguard itself by releasing chemicals including adrenaline and cortisol. The human body reacts accordingly to the information sent by the brain, indicators which can be activated by the ideas of a person who began worrying.

Simply by knowing this, addicts recognize the importance of paying closer focus on what they sense from their surroundings. They figure out how to manage their thoughts much better so that they can prevent the possible body responses that may trigger their anxiety and depression. It is this type of addiction recovery approach that sets Ecstasy Addiction Center apart from the rest given it is where addicts learn how to be better connected with their own humanity.

In case you’d like to learn far more about ecstasy addiction please get in touch with Hawaii Island Recovery at 866-515-5032

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