Don’t Forget Your Password! My First Children’s Book

I have illustrated so many children’s books for so many authors over the years. I have illustrated for authors all over the world! You can find those books on Amazon and elsewhere, but in all of that time I have never written and illustrated my own story.

Time are changing!

I have always wanted to write and draw my own story. I just never felt I had the time. It was always after I get “this or that” done. But it just had not materialized. That changed a few weeks ago when I decided that I was going to make the time to do my own story. I started something, sat on it for a little bit, came back to it, and then over the last few days I illustrated it and put it together for purchase on Amazon.

Don’t Forget Your Password!

Don’t Forget Your Password: Tips and Tricks for Creating The Perfect Password is the result of my efforts! This fun and colorful story will teach children the best tips and tricks to making a secure password. Learn the Do’s and Don’ts as you follow Edward as he arrives in technology class where he will be creating the perfect password!

Available in print and digital so you have two options to check out my first story!

Take a Step in the Right Direction with Proper Flooring

Even if you step all over them, your house’s floor is a big part of what makes it a home. The type of flooring you choose for your house can make it appear warm, elegant, or down for business. Weigh your options for your floors because the flooring can last for more than your lifetime.

Wood

Most homes have wooden flooring – and not just because of tradition. While more modern materials are available for floors, wood is still the most popular choice because of aesthetics, practicality, convenience, warmth, and nostalgia. Wooden floors make a house feel more like home. They have a warmer and more intimate feel than stone or ceramics. Houses with wooden flooring also demand higher property values than those without, as demand for alternative flooring options are rare.

Traditional hardwood is the most in-demand, but engineered wood is also growing in popularity. Engineered wood retains the appearance and strength of hardwood. It is made of several layers of wood and is less prone to warping or swelling. Engineered wood can cost half the cost of solid wood,and installation can be less expensive. Engineered maple wood flooring is particularly popular.

However, you can also opt for hickory, oak, beech, or ash. Working with wood allows you to easily add layers of insulation underneath or repair particular sections in case of damage. Engineered wood can last up to 30 years,and installation (for the entire house) typically requires a mere 1-4 days.

Stone or Ceramic Tiles

Houses with modern designs will typically have stone or ceramic flooring. Stone tiles exude the appearance of fast-paced living and efficiency and provide a more hygienic environment. Kitchens of professional cooks and bakers will most likely have stone or ceramic floors. Stone tiles are waterproof and fireproof and are less likely to be damaged compared to traditional wooden flooring. Stone or ceramic tiles are often used to assert professionalism and hygiene, albeit sacrificing the warmth associated with a home.

Of course, most homes will use stone or ceramic tiles in particular areas – most notably the kitchens and bathrooms – while using wood for the rest of the house. Tiles come in various shapes and sizes. They can be of almost any color you want and can appear as any stone. You can even opt for stone tiles with the appearance of wood. However, a single step will instantly reveal the deception. Stone and ceramic tile flooring are easy to clean and need very little maintenance. Your usual cleaning regimen should be enough to keep your floors clean, and tile grouts can last 10-12 years before requiring replacement.

Polished Concrete

The smooth and shiny appearance of polished concrete is usually more popular in offices and malls. However, it is also used in more affluent homes. Polished concrete can appear professional or majestic, depending on how it is applied. The seamless floors create an aura of etherealness as well as a clear mark of opulence. Concrete is also a green building material and most environmentalists advocate its use. Like stone or ceramic tiles, polished concrete is waterproof and fireproof.

It requires very little maintenance and has none of the grout lines of tiles. Concrete floors are all but impervious to damage. But even if you manage to damage it (with a falling hammer or some similar kind of accident), it can still be repaired quite easily. Polished concrete works best with modern stone houses or houses that want to emphasize lighting.

Vinyl

Vinyl comes in tiles and sheets and is the most affordable flooring option. Of course, vinyl needs an existing flat surface to adhere to, limiting its use downstairs (since the flooring upstairs will likely be constructed with wood). Vinyl is easy to clean and durable, particularly ones with 8mm thickness. It can be made to appear as almost anything (wood, stone, or complex designs), and you can even opt for tiles that require grouting to increase its semblance to stone tiles.

Vinyl is easy to apply and remove, requiring a day or two for professionals or maybe more if you do it independently. Unfortunately, vinyl floors can make your house’s property value drop, as most buyers consider it to be drab and cheap.

Choosing the right flooring for your home is not a decision you can make lightly. Consider your options (whether wood, stone, or ceramic tiles, polished concrete, or vinyl) and go for the right materials that fit your vision of how you want your home to be.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Mad Science Virtual STL Summer Camps!!!

It’s that time of year again, when schools are out and summer starts peeking it’s head out from behind the Arch. With school ending this year in a dramatic fashion all across the region, I have started to see exciting new opportunities pop up for kids to still have fun and participate in fun and engaging programs from the safety of their living rooms.

This summer your children can participate in some very exciting virtual summer camps provided by Mad Science STL!

During the month of June Mad Science STL is offering 4 different virtual summer camps. The camps run 3 hours each day for 5 days. A total of 1-1.5 hours is spent on an active Zoom call, but that time is not consecutive.

The time on zoom call will be spent watching experiments, learning about different science concepts, listening to instructions, and discussing what your children think and what they’ve learned.

The time off the zoom call is spent doing the activities and experiments. The majority of materials are provided by Mad Science, parents can choose to either pick up materials from our office or have them delivered/mailed for $7.50! A bargain if you ask me!!!

Other materials parents will need to provide are fairly commonplace materials such as a cup, a book, or a piece of paper. While campers are working on their activities, the Mad Scientist will be available to chat and provide clarification as needed.

Mad Science STL is offering 4 different Virtual Camps for the Month of June. Space Alien Traveler, Rocketry, and Secret Agent Lab are open to rising K-5th graders. Our 4th camp is Mad Inventors and is open to rising 2nd-5th grades.

For most campers, they should be able to participate independently, but for Rocketry, Kindergarteners and 1st graders will need help from a parent or older sibling. 

A little more about the different camps…

Space Alien Travelers June 1st-5th: Take on the role of a space alien visiting earth for the first time. Find out about how earth’s sports work. Explore the animals and nature on earth. Learn how humans communicate with secret messages. Discover how earthlings can protect their planet. Finally, it’s time to take off into space to return home as we explore space!

In this camp, campers will explore nature, physics, space, and secret messages. All of the experiments and activities will relate back to the campers being Aliens, exploring the mysteries of Earth.

A young mad scientist waiting to see what happens!

Rocketry Camp: June 8th-12th Your child’s in for an action-packed week focused entirely on rockets and the physics of rocket flight! After learning the model rocket safety code, campers will build different types of rockets and watch exciting rocket launches. We recommend this camp for children entering 2nd – 5th grade; however, children entering kindergarten and 1st grade will enjoy it as well with a little more help from a grownup at home. Note: If you wish to for your child to launch their own rockets (with adult supervision), you will need to purchase a launch kit from an online source or hobby shop. All fueled launches during camp will be virtual.

Campers will learn about different parts of rockets. They’ll also learn about NASA and how launched rockets are recovered. (K-1 campers will need help from a parent or older sibling)

Secret Agent Lab June 15th-19th: Ever dream of becoming a secret agent? We’ll start with the basics: Campers will get their very own spy glasses! Step into the shoes of a detective as you uncover the science involved in evidence gathering and analysis! Figure out the science of forensics in a hands-on look at crime scenes! Become a super spy and learn clever ways of performing tasks as we take a hands-on investigation of the science that spies use!

Campers will create secret message, find clues, gather evidence, and learn all about spy technology.

Mad Inventors June 22nd-26th: Creative Contraption Warning! This is a camp designed by you–the Inventor! Each day you’ll be given a series of challenges which must be overcome using basic materials, simple machines, tips from the world of famous inventors, and the most important thing of all–your mind. With a little bit of ingenuity, you’ll construct catapults and forts and then lay siege, fabricate a winning design and assemble a working light saber. While Thomas Edison said invention is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, this camp is 100% fun!

Campers will create duct tape castles to defend, explore hovercrafts, and learn about all different types of flight. This camp is full of creativity!

Be sure to sign up today with Mad Science STL as spaces are filling up quickly! Check out their social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and elsewhere for more info and to see some amazing photos, projects, and interviews!

DIY Decorations For Your Teenager’s Bedroom

Are your teenage kids getting restless at home? Are you struggling to find activities that can keep them engaged? How about helping them to decorate their bedroom?  They are probably tired of staring at drab bedroom walls.

There are many DIY projects that you can involve your teenage kids in, but none will grab their interest and keep them involved like a project that will make their bedroom look super awesome. With the ideas below, you can quickly transform your teen’s bedroom from a boring room to a fabulous retreat.

Decorative Door Patterns

Your teen’s door doesn’t have to look as dull as the rest of the doors in your home. Make their door standout using washi tape. There are dozens of patterns you can create using washi tape. You can try to mimic another pattern inside the bedroom, or go for something unique. With a little creativity, you can both create something colorful or vintage depending on your kid’s taste.

Get Creative With String Lights

String lights are not just for Christmastime. There are a lot of things you can do with them. Create several sagging horizontal lines on the wall using string lights, then use cloth pegs to hang pictures on them. You can also use colored cupcake dressers to dress the string lights, then hang the lights around the bedroom.

Colorful String Art

With different colored strings, nails, and wallboard, you can create some stylish string art. First, write or print out the name or shape you want on the board. The name can be of a favorite musician or sports star. Set the nails where the letter markings are and then use the colored thread to form the design.

Geometric Wall Art

To add a creative statement in your room, try doing some artistic work. Take some colorful art papers and cut a large number of stretched triangles. Apply some glue on the back of the triangles, and then stick them on a white paper while trying to make a sun pattern. You can stick the artwork on a wall or on a frame.

Tie-Dyed Pillowcase

Take a white pillowcase and wet it. Fold the case using the accordion style. Take some rubber bands and wrap them around the folded case every few inches. Place the pillowcase on top of a plastic paper to protect the surface, wear gloves, and spray the prepared tie-dye of your favorite color between the rubber bands.

Make sure you leaving some white space between the areas you spray. Wrap in plastic for 8 hours, then cut the rubber bands and unfold. Rinse the excess dye, dry it, and stuff your pillow in the case and now it’s ready to use. Apart from cool beddings, remember your kids need to sleep comfortably. To improve their sleep quality, consider upgrading their mattress.

Stenciled Rug

If the rug looks boring, how about sprucing it up? All you need is a stylish stencil patter. Place your rug on a flat surface, pick one corner of the rug, and line your stencil on it. Mix fabric medium with paint and apply it on the stencil carefully using a paint roller or stencil brush.

If your rug is dark, use a bright-colored paint. Make sure you press the paint into the rug properly. After painting one section, lift the stencil, match up the edges, and repeat the procedure until you decorate the entire rug.

Book Planters

Do you have a kid who is an avid reader? Take a big book that isn’t being used and smear its edges with wood glue. If you want a deep planter area, you can use two books. Just use glue to hold them together. Mark the cutting area with a pencil and use a craft knife to slice through the pages.

Once you are done cutting, take a plastic bag and place it in the hole. You can use glue to hold it in. The plastic will prevent water from seeping into the book and damaging it. Add soil, place the plant, and water it. Use an indoor plant like a peace lily or rubber tree.

Leather Strap Hanging Shelf

If your kid’s room seems to be running out of space, you can help them design a DIY hanging shelf. You need leather straps, a hand drill, and a piece of wood to make the shelf. Cut two pieces of the strap to the desired length and create two screw holes on the edges of each strap. Create a loop with the leather strips, and attach them to the wall using the holes. Finally, place the shelf through the loops and ensure it is level.

Re-use Party Cups

Do you have some party cups around your home? You can use them to bring a bit of order and style to a room. Use different colored cups to store pencils, pens, markers, paintbrushes, and colored pencils. 

Final Thoughts

You don’t need expensive improvements to make your teenager’s bedroom to look and feel cool. With just a little creativity, you can brighten up your teen’s room, make it feel bigger and amazing. Use the ideas above to transform your kid’s room.