MommyMandy l California Mom Blog

Less crying and more smiles #Formulaforhappiness

Being a mom to four babies you would think I know what to do with each one right? That bringing home a newborn is a piece of cake because you did it before and you are a pro… ohhh no! Every new baby brings new hurdles and challenges. No two babies are the same.

All four of my kids have been different as babies. My first baby had colic the first few months and would cry and cry for hours at a time. I would be so upset because I just had no idea what to do with her or how to help her.


I would sit with her tummy side down stretched out on my lap and pat her on the back. Endless nights of standing and swaying her, trying just about everything to help her calm down from the colic.

Colic affects approximately one in five infants born in the United States- about one million new babies annually. Be prepared before baby arrives and add Gerber Soothe probiotic Colic Drops to your baby registry.

Research indicates that the type of bacteria in the infant’s digestive system may determine whether a child is colicky. This suggests a role for probiotics to help support a balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract of colicky infants. In particular, the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri has been clinically shown in multiple studies to reducing crying time in colicky infants.

Gerber Soothe® probiotics Colic Drops with comforting probiotics L. reuteri which is a probiotic that is safe for infants. It has been clinically shown to significantly reduce crying time in colicky babies.

Comforting probiotics are a great way to improve the good bacteria in baby’s digestive system.

*“I received a free sample of (Gerber® Good Start® Soothe infant formula or Gerber® Soothe probiotic colic drops.) from Gerber®. My thoughts and opinions are my own”

DIY Baby Shower Candy Buffet

Have you ever considered a candy buffet when hosting a baby shower?  They add interest to an event that is already as cute and sweet as a newborn baby.  All you need are the right treats and accessories to create the perfect One-of-a-kind baby shower candy buffet.

Choose a Baby-Related Theme

When creating a candy buffet for your baby shower make sure that it stands out from all other types of candy buffets by choosing a theme. Go with traditional or create your own. Consider an “old-fashion” look or go modern with cartoon figures.

Baby Themed Accessories

To really make the candy buffet pop use accessories to enhance the baby theme.  You can use large plastic baby bottles as containers to hold an assortment of candies, small rattles, clothes pins, and pacifiers can be incorporated in, Small toys, booties, and other infant-themed props, sprinkled on the buffet table bring it all together.  Choose bulk candy from a supplier such as Sweet Services who specializes in the different types of candy you will need. Having your candy shipped to you at the right time avoids the need to store it. If you need help with the essentials to get started, here is the candy buffet supply kit to give you a jump start.

Make it  Personal

Try to add elements that will give the baby shower candy buffet a personal touch.  Something that can’t be bought such as photos of the parents when they were babies would be nice.

If the sex of the baby has not been revealed and it is ok with the {mom-to-be} you can bake cupcakes that reveal the sex by having pink or blue frosting injected into the center of the cupcake.  

Incorporate  a Game

The candy buffet is already a fun and beautifully decorated element.  It can be even more interactive by creating a matching game.  You simply incorporate candies that relate to the baby-related theme such as pacifiers, necklaces as teethers, etc.  Give the guests  clue sheets that list the baby elements and the guests have to find a match and write down the candy that relates to each baby element.

Basic Candy Buffet

Set up a 6’ or 8’ table and cover it with the covering of your choice. Place the table in front of a backdrop if desired. Ribbons, cloth, cut-outs, twinkling lights, branches, and balloons can be staged behind the buffet for the backdrop.

Place tall clear jars on the back section of the table. They are to hold candy which is scoopable or tall items such as suckers, rock candy sticks, candy straws, or other items that will not require the guests to reach deeply in the jars. The mid-section will need two mid-sized jars on each side and the centerpiece in the middle of the table. The centerpiece is the main event. It should draw the eye up and the candy should accent it. The colors are to complement the centerpiece. The centerpiece can be a large candy arrangement or florals, props or whatever your theme calls for. The front section is for low jars of candy, trays, gift bags, and small props.

Layered candy is always pretty. Make sure your colors and selections balance the table. For baby shows, small bags of pink and blue cotton candy are pretty. In your mind’s eye, look at your table as if the table top was the bottom of a triangle and you want the jars and arrangements to form the two sides meeting in the center. Use a lot of color and use your imaginations. Anything goes.

Author Bio
Wendy Dessler
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.

Valentine’s Day Gifts: Subscription Box to Match Made Coffee

We have an awesome alternative gift idea to roses this Valentines Day– a subscription to Match Made Coffee, a monthly coffee pairing subscription box.
This is a great gift to give your perfect match, as it is delivered to your doorstep each month with 3 new craft coffees and their perfect snack pairing. A match made in heaven for your match match made in heaven 🙂
For Valentine’s Day, Match Made Coffee has built a special box that includes a custom card for your perfect match, in addition to the beautifully crafted wooden Welcome Box that each first new order comes in.
To get the Valentines Day themed box, and custom card with your message included just use the code VDAY17 at checkout before 2/10/17 to guarantee arrival by the special day!

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Why Access to Technology is Important to a Child’s Development

As parents, we constantly worry about our children. Are they eating right? Are they active enough? Are they playing with the right toys? Are they developing normally? The advancements in technology, and in particular how readily it is available to children, have added another worry. With older children, we worry about what they are doing online, and who they might be speaking to. But even when children are younger there are concerns. What is the right age to introduce tablets or let them play on our phones? Will it lead to them becoming overweight or anti-social? The truth is, tablets and other smart devices are becoming increasingly important to a child’s development, and here is why.


Computers and tablets give children a different way to explore their creativity, which is tremendously important to their development. Offering children a range of apps and programs to let them draw, paint or make decisions when reading, allows them to explore the world, and their own abilities in a different way. Giving children as many different ways to learn, and to play, as possible, can only be good for their development.


One of the main worries we have when children have tablets is that it will stunt their social development. However, it can have the opposite effect. Encourage younger children to use their device to express themselves. Use video calling software such as Skype to introduce them to a new method of communication. Use it to let them speak to or just see relatives and friends they perhaps don’t get chance to see as often.


Technology is incredibly important to our everyday life. Smartphones and tablets have changed how we do everything, from ordering shopping to communicating with our loved ones. Your children see you use devices all the time. Curiosity is a great thing. Depriving children of a chance to use similar devices, to explore technology in their own way, is halting their natural curiosity. As they grow, they will use these and newer devices even more than we do now, so it should be a natural part of their learning.

Use in Schools

As soon as children start school, part of their learning takes place on an iPad. School libraries are often digitally managed, with content available across different devices, totally changing the way children access information, and the way teachers teach. If you are interested in learning more about this, consider an online MLIS program from Rutgers Online. All elements of a child’s school life will involve technology in some form. So, while you may be able to avoid it at home, it could be argued that you would be putting your child at a disadvantage when they start school.

As with everything, the key is moderation. Don’t buy your child their own tablet until they are perhaps 3 or 4, if at all, and always make sure they have been introduced to toys, books, games and coloring long before. Limit the amount of time they use a screen, and make sure you have control over what content they can access. If you are interested in learning more about how technology and digital libraries have changed teaching, an online MLIS degree could help.

How many trips to the dentist are needed for root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is used to save a tooth which is referred to as dead. If the treatment is carried out in time it can save you from needing to have a tooth removed or from having to undergo a dental implant procedure. If you have a tooth that is sensitive to hot and cold, looks discoloured or is sore to the touch or when you bite, you may need to have root canal treatment carried out.

The treatment involves the removal of infected pulp from inside a tooth root canal. We are going to take a look at this process. Hopefully, we will dispel any myths you may have heard about needing to make a lot of visits to the dentist to have this procedure carried out.

What happens during root canal treatment?

When you undergo root canal treatment at the dentist your tooth is drilled in order for your dentist to be able to access the root canal area inside of the hard exterior. This enables them to remove any infected or dead pulp which is present. The area is also completely cleansed before being filled with a rubber like solution. This work is all completed during your first treatment visit.

It takes time for the substance inside your tooth to cure so you have to return to the dentist after a week or two in order to have a crown fitted to the tooth. This is the final treatment visit you make. As you can see, you only have to visit the dentist a couple of times and you have a tooth that is fully functioning again.

Why having root canal treatment is a good idea

Many people are reluctant to have root canal treatment carried out but it can actually be a very good idea. If you think that root canal treatment would help you then you should speak to your dentist as soon as possible. If you do not do this your dental problems may reach a stage where root canal treatment is no longer a viable option.

If this happens you may be forced to have a tooth extracted or to pay out for a more costly dental implant procedure. It’s also worth noting that the dental implant procedure is more complicated and takes longer to complete.

You should not be concerned if you need to undergo root canal treatment. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and any discomfort you experience as a result is manageable. As we have explained, the treatment only takes a couple of weeks to complete and you only need to visit the dentist on two occasions.

After doing so you end up having a tooth that functions just as well as your natural teeth. You also put an end to any pain and sensitivity you may have been feeling.  As you can see this is a positive result.

Scotties Facial Tissues Welcomes The Homeless Into Permanent Housing

Pictured above (L-R)
Lyndia Downie, President & Executive Director, Pine Street Inn
Maria Suarez, Tenant
John Robertson, Director of Marketing, Scotties Facial Tissues
Pamela Ricci, Brand Manager, Scotties

January was a great month for 100 homeless people in Boston who are now living in permanent supportive housing thanks to the generosity of The Pine Street Inn. The Pine Street Inn is the largest resource for the homeless in the state of Massachusetts. They provide emergency shelters for the homeless, have street teams, they offer job placement programs as well as many other resources.


In a partnership with Scotties Facial Tissues, the new residents were welcomed into their new homes with comfort care packs. In an effort to kick off 2017 with a worthy cause, Scotties provided each of the 100 residents with a queen-sized fleece blanket, warm slipper socks, a mug with hot cocoa and marshmallows, and of course boxes of  soft Scotties tissues! These small gifts of comfort can be just what may be needed to turn a house into a home. For so many homeless people, who have not had a room of their own for a long time, this acted as one small step in their journey to a better life for themselves.


Maria, who has lived in her beautiful home for the last three months was previously homeless.  She has made her home her own by beautifully decorating it in the style of her native home, Columbia.  She is eager to put the Scotties blanket to use this winter!


Don’t Buy Another Gift Until You’ve Read This!

Buying gifts for the people you love is a nice way to commemorate a special occasion, whether it’s an anniversary, Christmas, or a birthday. However, you shouldn’t buy another gift until you’ve read the information here. You could be buying better gifts and saving money in no time at all!

Save Money On Your Gifts

So much money gets wasted on gifts. People don’t realize that buying thoughtful gifts is so much more meaningful than spending a lot of money on a gift. That doesn’t mean expensive gifts can’t be thoughtful. It just means that you need to make sure you’re putting real thought into it, and not just relying in the price tag to impress. You can save money on gifts whatever you want to buy. You can get tips and ideas by looking at something like the list created by Couponbox.

Make Sure Your Gifts Are Thoughtful

How can you master the art of buying thoughtful gifts? Really listen to the person you’re buying for. Pay attention to their needs and their struggles. Think about their hobbies. Try to help them with this gift. Make sure you buy something they’ll really use and love!

Why Not Give An Experience?

Many people go out looking for things to buy, without considering that an experience is actually far more valuable. There are experiences for the thrill seekers, explorers, children, knowledge seekers – everybody! There are galleries, museums, free tours, and so many days out you can look at. Buy them a bungee jump. Take them to a theme park. Go and explore a new city. There is no end to the amount of things you can do!

Consider Giving To Charity

If this person is very hard to buy for, how about giving to charity in their name? You can give to animals, the homeless, those with mental illness – think of something that may be close to their hearts. You could do this each month for a year, as a one off payment; there are a few different options depending on what suits you.

Whatever You Do, Make It Look Pretty

Whatever you give this person, make an effort to make it look pretty. Even if you’re taking them somewhere, how about wrapping up the documents and information in a pretty folder with a bow on it? The anticipation of finding out what a gift is can be just as good as finding out, so build it up with wonderful presentation.

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Never Apologise When Gift Giving

Something people tend to say is, ‘sorry, I’m not very good at buying for people’, or something to that effect. Never apologise for giving a gift. As long as you’ve tried, there’s no need to say sorry. Be confident in your gift. Try telling yourself a different story too. What we think of ourselves becomes true. Tell yourself that you’re great at buying for other people!

Be Smart When Giving Gifts To Kids

When giving gifts to kids, make sure you don’t just go out and buy them the latest toy. Books, crafts, and educational gifts can be fun and beneficial!  


Show Your Love For Your Children With These Gifts They Can Keep Forever

When you are expecting a new addition to the family, you will find that it is very easy to overspend on gifts, toys, and clothes for them. Having a baby is all very exciting – and you will feel exactly the same way whether it is your first child or your fourth! Every parent comes with a natural instinct to spoil their children and it can be very easy to go over the top without even realizing it. After all, who doesn’t want their little one to have the best of everything? However, sometimes we can get so caught up in the latest toys, treats and fashions for our kids that we end up with more stuff than we know what to do with. If you want something for your children that they will appreciate for years to come, and possibly something that they are going to pass down to their kids too, you will need to think of something really special. Often, these items can even become family heirlooms. Here are just a few of the things you may choose to pass down, or give to you children that they will be able to keep forever.

Personalized Gifts for Kids: I See Me Books

A birth year box

Feel like getting creative? Putting together a ‘birth year box’ for your child is a great way to commemorate the year they were born. Plus, it’s something they can look at in years to come and see how much the world has changed since they were born. Fill it with personal things from the first year of your child’s life – such as their first pair of booties, or their ultrasound scan. But also include some things that represent the cultural aspects of that year. This could be a memory stick with the number one hits from that year saved onto it. It could be a photo of the president at the time, or some technology you feel could be defunct by the time your child has grown up (the first ever iPhone, perhaps?).

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A personalized gift 
Even though so many things change as time goes on, some items are simply timeless. Getting an item such as this personalized for your child will mean it’s something they can keep forever. For example, the art of letter-writing is indeed on the decline. But there are still certain times that will call for a hand-written letter or note – which is why personalized embossed note cards make a great keepsake for your child. Personalized pens, photo frames, and mugs all do the trick too.


A plush toy

Hands up if you’re an adult and you still have your favorite plush toy from your childhood? Many of us develop a strong emotional attachment to the teddy bear we carry around with us as a child, as it provides a form of comfort and security that we don’t get from many other things. Keeping this safe for your child even when they are much older can mean it is a touching and sentimental gift. You could even go one step further and have a plush toy made from some of your child’s outgrown baby clothes.

Scrape-A-Round Ice Scraping Just Got Easier!

Over Christmas and New Years we received a ton of snow. The kids have been having a ton of fun playing in it but I had to go out and shovel it and get the snow off all the cars!

At least I had a little help with the Scrape-a-round. The Scrape-a-round is a brilliant feat of ice scraping engineering. The simple explanations why Scrape-A-Round is the best ice scraper are as follows, Scrape-A-Round is the
Best ice scraper because of the softer plastic, allows the scraper to conform to the window curvature!


  • 18″ of ice scraping surface.
  • The comfortable grasp provides relief for the arthritic or carpal syndrome sufferer.
  • Direct pressure to the window, no pressure lost through the ice scraper!
  • The circular rotational motion of ice scraper.
  • Double ice scraper action, leading edge and trailing edge.
  • Multi functional, remove the cap and it doubles as a funnel.
  • This scrapes windows frost and ice free in half the time!

Find out more information head on over to

My readers get to save! Get FREE Shipping at Use code LU8FBEZREU2 at checkout.


*A product was provided.

What Prenatal Vitamins to Choose When Expecting *Giveaway closed*

Approximately 68% of women are calcium deficient, but this matters even more when you’re pregnant because the developing baby needs calcium to build strong bones and teeth, as well as for a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles. Prenatal Vitamins are important to add to any expecting mother’s diet, not only for herself but for her growing baby.

When a pregnant woman lacks dietary calcium (which is often the case), her developing baby draws this much-needed calcium directly from HER bones, which can impact the woman’s health later in life. Popular prenatal vitamins only have a small percentage of recommended the daily calcium. The recommended amount of calcium during pregnancy is 1000mg daily!

It is never too early to start taking Prenatal Vitamins either! If you are trying to conceive it is best to start taking them, it helps mom to be already getting those nutrients she may be lacking from diet alone.  We spent many months trying to conceive our second child and the whole time I took prenatal, plus I knew I needed the vitamins I was lacking.

Prenatal vitamins typically contain more folic acid and iron than standard adult multivitamins. If you are wondering why:

  • Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects in the unborn baby. These defects are serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Iron supports the unborn baby’s growth and development. Iron also helps prevent anemia for mom which is a condition blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.

The best over the counter prenatal vitamins can be found at your local pharmacy and retailers such as When picking a Prenatal make sure they include:


ONE winner will receive a gift card for $50!


What Prenatal Vitamins to Choose When Expecting *Giveaway gift card for $50 ends Jan. 20th*

Note: This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.

This giveaway will end on Jan. 20th

*This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate

Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy This Winter

Winter brings with it some wonderful things: Christmas time, all the lovely lights, gifts, food, school plays and shows. There’s also snuggly jumpers and hot chocolates in front of the fire, as well as gorgeous winter walks, and with any luck, snow. But winter also brings the flu, coughs and colds, vomiting bugs and many more unwelcome things. If you have young children, you’ll know how quickly they can pick things up, which they then kindly share with the rest of the family. There’s nothing worse than being ill when you are trying to look after your family, especially if you are also working, or studying a further education degree like the nurse practitioner doctorate. Follow these tips, and hopefully you’ll be able to stay relatively healthy all year around.


Making sure you get all the vitamins you need is critical to keeping fit. We all know that vitamin C is great for staying healthy, but you’ll want to make sure the others are topped up too if you want to fight off illness. You should be able to get everything you need form a balanced diet, so make sure you are eating meals full of vegetables and snacking on fresh fruit. If you work full time, or are studying an intense course like a BSN to DNP online, it can be hard to find time to cook. But it is worth making the effort to eat fresh, healthy foods. Cook in bulk and freeze batches to save time later. If you are worried you aren’t getting enough from your diet, consider taking a multi vitamin supplement to help.


Staying hydrated is also really important to staying fit. Your body is make up of huge amounts of water, so it needs more to repair and heal itself. Try to drink 8 glasses a day. Buy a bottle to carry around with you to help.


When its cold outside, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out for exercise, so try some home workouts on YouTube. Exercise not only helps your body to keep healthy, it will also help increase your mood and fend off any winter depression and fatigue.


Like water, your body needs sleep to look after itself. We are much more likely to pick up illnesses if we are tired and run down. Aim for 8 hours a night where you can. But if you can’t, afternoon naps, or just getting more rest will help.

Listen to Your Body

If you do start to feel ill, get some rest straight away. Stay inside, wrap up warm and get plenty to drink. This way you might be able to fight it off before it becomes anything more serious.

Winter can be a truly magical time. Don’t let winter bugs ruin it for your family. Keep the kids of school if they have a fever or any vomiting, and let them rest until they are better. Always see a doctor if you are worried about any symptoms.

Savings with Huggies® Biggest Pack Ever

Being a mom to four life can get crazy busy! Running to the store daily for groceries and weekly for diapers is just something my husband and I got tired of! We decided it was time to invest in a Sam’s Club membership last year t help us save time and money!

Buying in bulk has been such a lifesaver for us. My kids have super jammed pack schedules during the week and as you can imagine four kids school lunches products go fast in our house. We knew that bulk buying not only would save us money in the long run, but it keeps us from having to do daily grocery store runs!

Diapers is one of them! We usually get all of our baby needs at Sam’s Club because I know it will last us a long time. Well we were super excited to learn about the  2-months supply of  Huggies® diapers (qty 312) at Sam’s Club!

Yes, that is right a TWO month supply of diapers! It was quite entertaining at Sam’s Club though because all of the workers made comments on “wow now that is a huge box of diapers” and they are right, but think about it, for 312 diapers it is about 67 dollars. We spend 20 dollars every time we go to the store for a pack of 74 diapers that lasts a few weeks, it actually costs less buying in bulk and I do not have to worry about running out in two weeks!

When we got home Mikey was pretty excited about the giant box (I know he was thinking a box to play with)

We love shopping at Sam’s Club! Having a Sam’s Club Membership has helped our big family save money and spend less time at grocery stores! You can head on over to the Membership Page to learn more!

Fun Ways to Integrate When Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is becoming more and more popular, and for students who choose to travel as part of or for the duration of their degree, this experience can be both exciting and daunting. One thing is for sure, however, students who travel abroad to study don’t tend to forget their experience quickly.

When studying abroad, one of your top priorities is sure to be making new friends and finding a social circle that you easily fit into. When you study abroad, integrating with your new classmates, housemates, and perhaps even the people who’ll you’ll be working with abroad is important in order to build up your social circle and have fun for the duration of your stay. We’ve listed some fun and exciting ways to integrate when studying abroad.

Playing Games

Playing games as a group is one of the best ways to break the ice, and there are many games that can still be enjoyed even if there’s a language barrier! Bingo, for example, is a fun games to play that many people will understand or pick up easily, and introducing online Bingo to a group of people who’ve never played the game before can be an awesome way to get the conversation started and learn more about the people who you’re likely going to be spending a lot of time around for the duration of your stay. Online games, board games, and even drinking games are all huge fun and safe go-to choices for making new friends and getting to know one another.

Learn the Language

It may seem obvious, but if you’re going to be spending some time in a country where the residents speak a different language to yourself, it makes sense to learn the language. However, whilst attending language classes or using an online language course to learn the basics before you leave can be very useful preparation, be sure to continue your learning once you arrive as this can be one of the best ways to integrate and make new friends. Learning a language as part of a group or class can be huge fun, and also an awesome way to meet interesting new people, some of whom may be fellow students who’ve come abroad like yourself.

Be a Tourist

A great way to integrate when traveling for education is to ask your newfound friends to show you where they enjoy visiting the most in your new city or town. When studying abroad, it’s likely that you will want to see all the main attractions in your chosen destination and get some amazing snapshots to take home and post to social media to show your family and friends. Spending the day taking part in tourist activities and having fun can be an awesome way to spend more time with the people who you study or live with abroad, and having somebody there’s who’s familiar with the area can make the experience all the more enjoyable.

Learn a New Hobby

Wherever you choose to study, you may come across hobbies that aren’t so popular back home, but hugely popular in your study destination. Learning a new hobby can be a very fun way of spending your spare time as a student abroad, whether you choose to do something that’s widely available such as taking part in arts and crafts, or learn something that’s specific to the place that you’re visiting, for example taking part in cooking classes in order to learn how to cook traditional cuisine.

Studying abroad can be a very exciting experience, but in order to get the most out of it, integration is essential!


Did you all see American Girl‘s newest Girl of the Year for 2017???? As soon as I showed Sarah she was thrilled to see another dancer! But what makes Gabriela special is how she turns to poetry to help build her confidence.
Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion. Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.

Gabriela comes to life for girls via a beautiful 18-inch Gabriela doll featuring curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes, an exclusive outfit that reflects her creative side, and a book chronicling her story. Gabriela also comes with several performance-inspired outfits and accessories, including a dance barre, rehearsal and dance outfits, plus pretend headphones and a microphone. Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017, and—for the first time—the new Girl of the Year collection will be available for a full 12 months and beyond.

and Teachers!!!! , American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and leader in comprehensive educational materials, to create and distribute Express Yourself, a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The free materials will be available on starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home.