Tag Archives: reviews

Canadian author aims to break world record

Spreading some good news today! I had a chance to meet Miriam Laundry last summer and wrote about it here. My kids and I also had a chance to read her book and feed Shreddy some of our CAN’TS. Well, now she’s going to try to break a world record! Read on to find out how you can get involved!

Best-selling writer Miriam Laundry hopes to raise awareness about children’s mental health

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Her first children’s book has already landed on the best-sellers list and now St. Catharines author Miriam Laundry has set her sights on hitting a new milestone.

Laundry, author of the recently released I Can … Believe in Myself, is aiming to set a new Guinness World RecordTM for “Most Children Reading With An Adult (multiple locations)” — but she’s going to need a lot of readers to join her in the attempt.

The record is currently held by Jumpstart, which broke the record with 238,620 children on September 20, 2007. Laundry’s record attempt will take place on May 7, 2014 over a 24-hour period, with a goal of 300,000 children reading I Can … Believe in Myself, with an adult.

“My hope is to raise awareness to the issues of children’s mental health and the power of positive children’s books. Not only is this attempt a fun way to do this, but it’s also a way to reach people around the world,” says Mrs. Laundry.

In addition to the record breaking attempt, Laundry is also using the event as opportunity to launch her ‘Healthy Minds’ campaign, which focuses on helping children understand the power of their thoughts while bringing awareness to children’s mental health.

I Can … Believe in Myself  is Laundry’s first book and comes directly from lessons she wanted to teach her children after her 17-year-old niece who was living with a mental illness took her own life.

Laundry, whose youngest child was just days old at the time, turned to writing to help deal with her family’s emotional loss and set her sights on writing books that promote positive self-esteem.

“We need to do more as a society to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health disorders so that we can improve care for people living with them,” Mrs. Laundry says. “I’m hoping my books and this world record attempt will help get young people thinking and talking about these issues in a positive way.”

Laundry Books is a proud supporter of mental health awareness, with a portion of every book sale being donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Here are a few quick stats about mental health in Canada:

  • 70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence. (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world. (Canadian Mental Health Association)
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them. (Canadian Mental Health Association)
  • At least 1 in 3 Canadians experience problems with their mental health each year. (Canadian Mental Health Association)

To register for the Laundry Books Guinness World RecordTM Attempt, click here.

About the Author:

Miriam Laundry writes books that empower children to make choices that promote confidence, happiness an responsibility. She lives in St. Catharines, Ont. with her husband, Mark Laundry, and their four children.

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Boundaries in an Overconnected World

The title of this book grabbed me. It took hold of all the swirling thoughts and buzzing phones and beeping computers and spun them around in my head until I could only see blurred lines from all the chaotic movement.

What I wanted to do was draw a circle around my brain just inside the vortex of buzzing and beeping and ringing and people vying for my attention and call that my boundary and force all of the noise out.

That’s what I pictured when I read the title of the book.Boundaries cover_a

And that’s what the book is all about. How to draw that line, create that boundary, stop the noise.

Anne Katherine authored another book called Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin, which I now of course have to read because it’s the basis for the concept of boundaries.

And if there’s something I’m not good at, it’s creating and maintaining boundaries.

On page 73, Anne Katherine succinctly describes my biggest issue with boundaries (or lack thereof):

“Yikes! You Mean I Have to Set Each of My Boundaries Myself?

As with any new skill, boundary setting can feel awkward at first. Many of us fear we’ll lose a friend if we set a boundary. But think about the cost to the friendship if you don’t set a boundary. Over time, the friendship is likely to fade anyway if your boundaries continue to be trampled (or if you keep trampling on someone else’s).”

To get to the meat of Boundaries in an Overconnected World, it’s a fantastic read, straightforward, serious and relevant. Though I enjoyed the whole book and all the help it provided as I become better able to establish boundaries, I was particularly interested in Chapter 10: Protecting Your Children.

As my kids get older (and spend more time online), I’m going to have to start thinking about the boundaries for them. As Anne Katherine says in her book, “Children and teens are so accustomed to computers and life online that we grownups can easily feel that they are way beyond our own capacity with electronic media. They probably are. But we still have better judgment and a clearer idea of how a chain of events can become dangerous.”

Chapter 10 provides great tips and tools for parents to help their children develop boundaries for their online activities. But beyond that, Anne Katherine really gets to the heart of the “connection” issue. Boundaries in a digital world are as much about setting rules and guidelines as they are about creating real connection with each other. She states in chapter 10: “Working closely with your children around Internet use automatically strengthens family intimacy boundaries.”

And, as a parent, what I want most is for my kids to be involved and understand why we set boundaries, and for them to know that, no matter what they encounter in the great big digital world, they can always come to me and their dad and we will help them.

For those without children, Boundaries in an Overconnected World also covers personal information boundaries, online dating, chat rooms, work boundaries and many other useful topics including what to do if you can’t set boundaries for yourself.

It’s a very well-written book with lots of helpful information. Given how busy life tends to get and the fact that my blog’s name is based on how much Life Takes Over, becoming more clear on boundaries by reading this book is going to be very useful.

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Title: Boundaries in an Overconnected World: Setting Limits to Preserve Your Focus, Privacy, Relationships, and Sanity
Author: Anne Katherine
ISBN: 978-1-60868-190-7

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I received a review copy of Boundaries in an Overconnected World. The opinions above are entirely my own. I received no compensation for my review.

I Can…Believe in Myself

Not too long ago, I received the book I Can…Believe in Myself by Miriam Laundry. This book is part of the “I Can” Book Series written by Miriam Laundry to empower children to believe in themselves.

Two words: Great book.

ICanBook2From time to time I receive children’s books on review, and when I get them, my children and I anxiously open the box and take the book out for a once over.

We flip through the book’s pages, checking out the pictures and seeing how long the story is.

If time allows right then and there, we’ll snuggle on the couch and I’ll read the story to them. Then we’ll talk about what they liked and what they didn’t like. Continue reading

A family trip with the Ford C-MAX

I’m just back from a wonderful week away with my kids (unfortunately hubby had to stay behind to work) and from a wonderful week driving a new Ford C-MAX.

2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

Ford C-MAX Hybrid

My daughter hadn’t started camp yet, so I took a few days off to take her and her brother to the cottage for some R&R. (Anyone who vacations with kids will tell you that there is nothing resting or relaxing when you’ve got kids around, so there was no real R&R for me. It was go-go-go from sun up until sun down; and then sometimes after sun down. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying.)

And we got to do all that going in a Ford C-MAX Hybrid. A sweet little ride with a ton of mommy-must-have features.

Size and Comfort

The C-MAX is about the same size as my Toyota Matrix. It’s a hatchback like the Matrix and it seats five people comfortably. But the C-MAX has more leg room in the front and back seats. Even though I was only toting tots around and leg room wasn’t really valued by my second row passengers, I appreciated the space because it provided me with extra room to stash our bags for our cottage trip. Not that we really needed the space since the trunk was very roomy.

Packed trunk of a Ford C-Max

Packed and ready for the cottage. Lots of space here!

The cockpit of the C-MAX lends itself nicely to a mommy driver (although my husband loved it, too, so it’s probably better described as lending itself nicely to parent drivers).

Fantastic Features

All the functionality for remaining safely in control of the vehicle and its features while driving were within easy arms reach. And because this isn’t a big family car, the kids were within arms reach right behind me. Plus there was the voice command operation of just about everything you could need during your drive. Very handy. And very intuitive. This was the first time I had driven a car with voice activated features, and I found it to be easy to use, straightforward and very helpful while driving. And the Bluetooth was phenomenal. I have Bluetooth in one of my other cars, but it’s choppy at best when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone. I can hear them well, but they can’t hear me. Not so with Ford’s Bluetooth. It was clear on both ends. And so easy to sync my phone to.

The Auto Climate Control was another feature I especially loved. In my own car, I’m forever turning the AC on because it’s hot, then turning the AC off five minutes later because it has gotten too cold. Then turning it back on again in short order when things heat up. With the Auto Climate Control, I set the temperature I want for the driver’s side and the passenger’s side and then, based on my settings, the fan and the cooling system cut in to keep the temperature in the car regulated. This meant that I could stop fussing with the dials and buttons and enjoy my drive at a comfortable temperature. And the kids didn’t complain either because no one in the car got too hot or too cold.

Another feature I really liked was the hands-free liftgate (a must for packing the car with no help from the hubby and two kids running around). This feature alone is enough to make me want to buy this car. I consider it the ultimate mommy feature. Grocery shopping, cottaging, baby on one hip, diaper bag in one hand, sippy cup, toys, etc. in the other. There is no better way to open a tailgate and dump your stuff (not the baby, though) than the hands-free liftgate. Just kick your foot under the back bumper and let the system do the rest. Up comes the tailgate and in goes your stuff. (The remote-entry key must be on you near the back end of the car for this to work.)

Hands-free liftgate

This was me every time I went anywhere with the kids at the cottage; loaded down but still able to open the liftgate…HANDS-FREE!

Performance and Fuel Efficiency

The C-MAX is a nice sized car; not too big, not too small. It’s very roomy with ample compartments to tuck stuff into for long trips. For its size, I was impressed with its handling on the highway. A long drive up Highway 400 in rush-hour traffic meant contending with a lot of transport trucks and tons of anxious commuters trying to get home at the end of the day. The C-MAX had the kick and power to easily overtake other cars and trucks and get me and my kids out of the city and into the peaceful countryside. It was a smooth ride, too; very quiet and comfortable.

And fuel efficient. I drove 200 Kms up north, spent my days driving in and out of the town near our cottage and day tripping to various activities and tourist destinations with the kids, and then 200 Kms back at the end of the week and I barely used half a tank of gas. In my own car, all that driving would’ve been a tank of gas and then some.

Around the city, the Ford C-MAX was even better (as it’s meant to be). I drove my daughter to camp and then I drove to work and back the last couple of days that I had the car and the gas gauge didn’t move at all. Again, in either of my cars that amount of driving would have cost me a quarter tank of gas. And with today’s gas prices, I’d rather be driving a Ford C-MAX!

Kids beside a Ford C-MAX

All ready for camp and another ride in the Ford C-MAX

I can honestly say that, when it comes time to buy a new car, my family will be considering the Ford C-MAX Hybrid.

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The Ford C-MAX was provided on review. The opinions stated above are my own. No compensation was received for this article.