***NEW HOME for LB Living Better***


Hi Friends,

I have merged this blog with my new website:  www.lblivingbetter.com.

I appreciate all  the support, comments and conversations I have had with followers of this blog and I sincerely hope that you will continue you to follow me on my new website!

Here is a link to subscribe with your email address – don’t want to miss a new post! :)

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If you prefer you can receive posts via twitter @LBLivingBetter or on Facebook!

Cheers, LB

p.s.  A new business card too…. what do you think?




Cross Country Train Trip Videos


You can join us on our next travel adventure by following this blog and youtube channel! For me living better and travel will always go hand in hand. Enjoy our latest adventure!

Originally posted on LB Living Better Travel & Adventure:

I’m so excited to have finally finished some travel videos from our last great train trip adventure! Now that I have mastered the software :)…. you can expect many more!

Here is a look at “Beyond the Rails in Flagstaff, Arizona”.

And here is a highlight reel that features the best of our trip in less than three minutes!

Follow our new youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOc-CIscmAp-dAiXBxE0BKg or join us on twitter as we plan our next adventure: @lblivingbetter

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What is the Best Kept Secret for Water Park Fun?

Posted on Living Better Travel & Adventure originally… I thought I would share this post here as we make summer plans!

FREE Ebook Today Only 2/14/15 ~ Got Kids, Get this Book!

Just a reminder that the FREE book offer expires today, Valentine’s Day, eastern standard time.

If you have kids and you want them to think organizationally than this is the book for you.  Stories, tips, mantras and activities to support 15 skill sets necessary for developing organizational skills.



#organize #organizekids #gotkids #teachorganization

Be my RED Valentine!

On the reddest day of the year, please Be my Valentine and order your FREE Kindle copy of my new book!

Please share the red! #Valentine’sDay #freebook

A gift for my dedicated followers, friends and family.****See disclaimer below

Valentine's Day Book Free****Disclaimer:  This book is in no way associated with Valentine’s Day other than the color red.  It is not a romantic read and should not be misconstrued as a nice Valentine’s Day gift – husbands take note.  Sharing this offer with your friends however is not only acceptable but greatly appreciated by the author!  My complex marketing research tells me that running a book promotion with a RED book cover is easily associated with a holiday focused on the same color.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Wait, STOP Dropping the Pumpkins!”

October means pumpkins. I have never looked at a pumpkin without thinking of my twins and their first horrifying, yet funny, visit to the pumpkin patch.


Raising twins boys has its joys and challenges.  In my case, my twins are as polar opposite as you can get.  The best way I can describe these boys is to say that they literally “split up the genes in the womb”.  You take outspoken, and I will take pensive, you take natural athleticism, and I’ll take analytical genius, you go strawberry and I got chocolate, you get the picture.  

By three years old, I was parenting two very distinct personalities in my young boys ~ Twin A, a.k.a. “Clinger” and Twin B, a.k.a. “Runner”.  Clinger would not leave my side without a meltdown of epic proportions, while Runner looked for every opportunity to bolt.  So, on the occasion of the preschool field trip to the farm, you know that their mother would be there to chaperone.  

The field trip took place on a beautiful sunny day at an apple orchard and farm near our house.  After picking their own apples, and examining the many different kinds of gourds, we headed to the highlight of the trip, the pumpkin patch. The farmer brought us up to a large field with row after row of pumpkins.  After explaining how the pumpkins grew, he then released the kids to the patch to pick a pumpkin to bring home. 

Clinger didn’t move, he held tight to my pant leg as the rest of his class descended on the patch.  Runner, on the other hand, started down one of the aisles, moving quickly and with a fierce determination.  As he ran down the row, Runner began picking up pumpkins and putting them down (okay, dropping them, not “putting them down”). 

To my horror, he started to move faster and faster, grabbing pumpkins, looking at them and dropping them.  “Runner!”, “Runner!”, I yelled, but he was oblivious and the more pumpkins he grabbed the more upset he became.   Limping down the row with Clinger clutched firmly on my leg, I tried to catch up with my son. 

By the time I grabbed the back of his little overalls and turned him around, I could see that he was distraught.  “Wait, what are you doing, why are you dropping all of these pumpkins”, I yelled, probably a bit too loud since I was out of breath from chasing him. 

Runner turned, looked up at me and yelled right back, “I AM LOOKING FOR ONE WITH A FACE ON IT!”

                                Happy October!

Homework Battles – Two Tips to use Today!

Homework is here, homework is here, let the battles begin!  A few weeks into the school year and any novelty to the fresh new notebooks, pens and pencils has worn off.   It is homework time, day after day, night after night you dig in for a fresh battle with your child.  Here are two tips to aid in that battle and to make doing the homework a little bit easier.

TIP #1

Discuss where your child will do their homework and know that there really is no right or wrong answer here.   Every child and every situation is different so I desk_caddy_homework_helperrecommend brainstorming with your child where and under what conditions they like to do homework.  Just involving them in this process can relieve some of the “battles”.

Who says you can’t do homework in a tree or under the bed… as long as it is getting done!  Focus on the goals of completion and timeliness (i.e. don’t let the location distract from completing tasks).

Everyone is unique in their learning preferences, look at lighting, music, type of pen/pencil, lap desk or traditional desk and help your child decide what they think works best.  Changing it up every now and then can also help keep homework battles at bay.

The key to a successful location however is supplies.  Use a desk caddy that can travel with your child and holds everything they could need to complete an assignment.

Whether they do their work at the kitchen table (and I would estimate at least 80% do), on the floor of the bedroom or at an actual desk, make sure that they have everything they need within arms reach. This not only saves time but also for those prone to distraction, a trip around the house looking for a ruler can be disastrous. Don’t be afraid to store supplies somewhere unique like your kitchen cabinet, or under the bed they sit next to when doing homework.

TIP #2

Almost every student from 4th grade through high school is given an assignment notebook to begin the lovely process of learning to be responsible for homework and to plan for long-term assignments.

Use a binder clip on the used pages so when the student opens the book to write down assignments, voila, they are on the right page. Pure genius!binder_clips_school_supplies

This also works well for the dreaded workbooks, no flipping pages as they tear and fall out.

(Do have them refrain from putting a binder clip on their nose as it does hurt, a lot!)

Last but not least, it is THEIR homework. You have done your homework, and I assume if you are reading this, you passed.  Set them up for success and let them work.

For more help with organization and tips for working with your children, visit our website at www.lblivingbetter.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Busted for Plagiarism in 1974

It’s true, my life as a writer was derailed in the fall of 1974paper_school_story_writing by my third grade teacher.  I was caught plagiarizing and the truth is, I was guilty.  Not only that, it was one of those moments that I can recall like it was yesterday and I know it has had a profound impact “writing” life.

In my defense, the expectations were way too high for an eight year old.  A new three – four sentence story every day, really?  And, it had to have a picture to go with the story that filled the top half of the paper.

You remember story paper, one half has lines for neat printing and the other half is a giant blank space for the picture.  “Make sure you fill in all of the paper with your picture” said teachers everywhere.

If the diagnosis for ADHD existed back in the mid-seventies, I’m sure I would have been a candidate.  That being said, my teacher’s took care of my symptoms the old-fashioned way and found many reasons to send me out of the classrooms.

In third grade, my teacher discovered that I liked to write stories. (I was not so happy about the drawings, but apparently not bad at the story part.)  Each day I was given a blank piece of paper and told to write a story and THEN, the best part, I was allowed to go down to the kindergarten rooms and read my stories.

This little charade went quite well until that fateful day when I met writer’s block.  I couldn’t think of a story and I was desperate to get out of the room and visit the other classrooms.  So, I did what any anxious, hyper, third grader would do, I plagiarized a story and I got busted.

How can I remember something that happened nearly 40 years ago, because I got caught in the most mortifying way possible, in front of everybody.

I had watched an Easter special on television the night before and basically I retold the story as my own the following day.  I read that story to a room of kindergarteners and as soon as I finished a little red-haired boy in the second seat of the second row jumped up and yelled, I watched that story on television last night.

It got louder and louder with kids yelling out that they had seen that show too.  They were pointing and laughing.  I can see the teacher coming from the back of the room and asking if I had written the story.  I kept my head down and begged the black and white tile floor to suck me into the basement.  I can still feel the redness burning through my cheeks.

“Did you plagiarize this story?”  bellowed the teacher.  (I’m 8 years old lady, do I know what plagiarize means?)  “You can’t take someone else’s story and pretend it is yours.”  (Well aware of this fact right now.)  “You need to go back to your room.”  Without a word I bolted out the door and ran down the hallway to hide in a bathroom stall.

Eventually, I returned to my classroom and told my teacher that I didn’t feel like reading today.  She seemed preoccupied and didn’t ask me anymore questions, thank goodness for small favors.

Busted for plagiarism at age eight, a lesson learned and never forgotten.  I never wrote another story and English classes made me feel anxious right through college.  I have since recovered and learned to write again the first time I had to deliver a eulogy (click here to read more about my writing).


The Truth of About “Going Screen-Free” this Summer!

time_unplug_children_summerI wish I could say it was a great epiphany or the culmination of the study of great parenting journals that helped me arrive at the decision to go screen-free for the summer.  No, it was nothing like that at all, it was an honest to goodness, full-blown, hissy fit. One of those not to be proud of parenting moments wherein you make a loud, impactful declaration from which you cannot back down.  Such is the birth of our screen free summers! Continue reading

I got the Best Mother’s Day Card 16 years ago… | LB Living Better

I received the best mother’s day card 16 years ago, in 1998, on my first Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, my kids have made me some absolutely lovely cards over the years, but it was the first card, the first year, presumably from my new infant daughter that still resonates with me today. Everything you will ever need to know about motherhood, you can learn from Kanga.

20140507_102306 (2)

“How do you learn to be a mom?” asked, Pooh. “You just follow your heart, ” answered, Kanga.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my fellow Mom’s, whether it is your first or your 60th, enjoy your day and your family.

via I got the Best Mother’s Day Card 16 years ago… | LB Living Better.

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