Author Archives: Dwight Brooks

Helping Your Preschooler Adapt to the New Baby in Your Home

It can be very exciting to welcome a new baby into your family. If you already have a preschooler in your home though, then you may be concerned about the new baby’s arrival. This is because your preschooler is still a very young child himself and so he may not be as receptive to the new baby as your other family members will be. So, you should give a lot of thought to this in order to help your preschooler be able to adjust to this new family member. Luckily, you can do a lot of things to help your child before your newborn is even born.

First of all, you need to make sure that you include your child in this process just as soon as you know you are pregnant. This can begin with a formal yet kid-friendly announcement about the new baby. You can do this while sharing a snack together. By doing this, you will be sure to have your preschooler’s attention plus this is a nurturing environment.

After your conversation about the new baby, you should begin to talk about the new baby on a regular basis. Ask your preschooler to help you pick out things for your new baby. This way your preschooler will be involved and feel as though she has some involvement with the new arrival. Plus, if your preschooler has helped to pick out a few outfits and then sees the new baby in it she will be very proud to see the new baby in it.

Another thing that you can do to involve your preschooler is to have a few of your close friends bring something small for your preschooler to your baby shower. If this cannot be done, then you should purchase a few things for him yourself. There are t shirts that say “big brother” available as well as gift baskets too. By giving such a gift to your preschooler he will not feel frustrated or all alone whenever he sees all of this attention lavished on the new baby.

You should also make sure to explain to your preschooler what will happen whenever you go into labor. Once you do go into labor and get ready to leave for the hospital take a minute to lovingly inform her that you will be bringing the new baby home from the hospital with you. Then, after the baby has arrived, try to have your preschooler visit you and the new baby in the hospital before you come home. This way she will not be surprised whenever you bring the baby home to live with your family. Of course, she may still be a little upset whenever the baby does come home. You should know that this is normal.

A little planning and preparation can go a long way in ensuring that your newborn will be welcomed with open arms and a loving heart by your preschooler.


Plus Size Fashion: Cropped Jackets and Denim Vests for Summer

As the hot summer temperatures fade into the cooler fall, the latest plus size fashion trends are great for layering: Cropped jackets and denim vests. With acid-washed denim, metal embellishments and ruffled details, these new jackets and vests are an updated take on many styles from the 90s. A feminine twist on military-inspired lines makes these garments very tomboy-meets-siren.

Wear these with T-shirts and jeans for a casual look, or pair with a slinky, satin blouse and dress pants for a night out on the town. Pair these plus size fashion items with darker colors and well-fitting garments for a slimming effect, especially with the vertical lines and details on several of these recommended jackets and vests.

Plus Size Fashion: Ruffled Military Jacket by Fashion Bug – Black denim with military-style lines, the soft ruffles and curves of this jacket take it from macho to feminine and flirty. Available online for $27.99 (sale) and in sizes XS-4X, this cropped jacket can take you from late summer straight into the fall.

Plus Size Fashion:Ruffle-Front Cropped Jacket by Torrid – This khaki cropped jacket features a ruffle front and ruched sleeves, with a banded knit hem. This jacket is a flirty take on a tomboy look, which works both with casual or evening wear. Zip-front closure and 21" long, this cotton jacket is available online for $48 in sizes 0-4.

Plus Size Fashion:Stretch Denim Vest by Avenue – This sleeveless vest comes in white denim, with a western-inspired look. Button-up closure and slant pockets, this vest is cropped at 20" long. Darted vertical seams make this a flattering look, and it is available in sizes 14/16-30/32 for $16.99 (sale).

Plus Size Fashion:Vintage Stretch Denim Vest by Avenue – This sleeveless, soft denim vest is western-inspired, with a faded wash straight out of the 90s. Cropped at approximately 24" long, this item features button closures and contrast stitching. Available online for $21.99 in sizes 14/16-30/32, in both medium wash and light wash.

Plus Size Fashion:Denim Moto Jacket by Lane Bryant – Featuring darker denim and a cropped jacket length of 24," this jacket is a cotton/Spandex blend with an asymmetrical zipper and silver-tone studs, with two side-slit zipper pockets. Add a tough edge to your favorite ensemble. Available in sizes 14-28 in dark sandblast, this denim jacket is available online for $59.50.


Wedding Venues in St. Charles, Illinois

Choosing a wedding location in St. Charles, Illinois, can involve sifting through dozens of venues. Here are some of the most in-demand locations!

Planning a wedding is an exciting, sometimes daunting task. If you live in St. Charles, Illinois, the number of potential wedding venues can be dizzying. This article features some of the most in-demand locations in St. Charles.

Country Clubs

The Royal Country Clubs are a series of three associated clubs in the St. Charles and Winfield areas. The Royal Fox in St. Charles offers full wedding day services: indoor and outdoor options for the ceremony location, catering services and multiple banquet halls.

You may also opt to schedule all your wedding events (bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, etc.) with the three Royal Clubs and receive a "Bridal Bundle" discount. The reviews say the Royal Clubs are a professional and lavish local option.


There is one other major private country club in St. Charles: The St. Charles Country Club, which hosts events of up to 300 guests and offers several wedding packages. You can contact their Dining Room Manager/Event Planner through the website to help you make your plans.

Historic Resorts and Hotels

Located on 250 acres near St. Charles, Pheasant Run is the Midwest's largest entertainment resort. Originally a dairy farm, the Resort was opened in the early 1960s and continues to grow today. Pheasant Run Resort was featured by The Knot Magazine as a Best of Weddings 2019-20 Pick.

Pheasant Run offers wedding and entertainment packages that include golf, stage shows, a comedy club, a day spa and hair salon, and the Midwest's own version of New Orleans' Bourbon St. The location offers four ballrooms; indoor and outdoor options for the ceremony itself; and support services: an award-winning chef, on-site florist and salon, professional wedding planners, and a full-time Director of Entertainment.

Historic Hotel Baker, located in downtown St. Charles, was built in 1928 on the site of an old mill. The hotel boasts a laundry list of famous guests and musicians who slept in the venue and played in Hotel Baker's Rainbow Room. Hotel Baker was recently restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hotel Baker offers indoor options with the Waterfront Ballroom and Rainbow Room, along with outdoor ceremony locations at the Waterfront Patio or Rose Garden. On-staff wedding consultants and caterers will team up to help you design your event.

Wedding Chapels

Nestled into seven acres on the outskirts of St. Charles, Chapel In the Pines is a wedding venue that caters to smaller weddings, up to 150 guests. The venue offers a bridal cottage for preparations, indoor weddings at the classic chapel, outdoor weddings on the lawn at the gazebo, and banquets/receptions at the banquet hall, opened in 2010.

Another wedding chapel option in the St. Charles area is the Chapel by the Fox on East Main Street. The St. Charles Chamber of Commerce website offers their contact information and cites the venue as seating 50 people.

Conference Centers

An often overlooked type of site for wedding festivities is the conference center. In St. Charles, the Q Center boasts stylish conference and banquet rooms, coupled with an on-site culinary/catering staff. DuPage Expo Center on Main Street also hosts weddings, and has the capacity to host massive celebrations upwards of 500 guests.

May your wedding be memorable in all the right ways, and may your search for the perfect St. Charles venue be quick and easy!

Bargain Fashionista Tips: How to Throw a Clothing Swap

Do you love to shop for bargains? The bargain fashionista loves to shop and buy new things, but she also doesn't like to spend a lot of money on new clothes. After all, they will be out of style in a few months, anyway, right?

If you like to be fashionable without spending all your cash, try throwing a clothing swap. The idea is to bring all the clothing items you no longer use to an awesome party and return home with all new things. Sound like fun?

Here's how all you bargain fashionistas out there can throw your own clothing swap.

Bargain Tip #1 for Hosting a Clothing Swap: Invite all your fashionista friends

Make a guest list of all your friends with a fashionable wardrobe. Buy or make invitations to send to all these friends. To save money on paper and postage, send an e-card to all your fashionista friends inviting them to your awesome clothing swap.

Bargain Tip #2 for Hosting a Clothing Swap: Plan the menu

This is a clothing swap, not a dinner party. Plan to snack on appetizers throughout the evening, like little smokies or fondue, in order to save money. To save even more, tell your friends it's also a potluck and to bring their favorite snacks or beverages.

Bargain Tip #3 for Hosting a Clothing Swap: Come up with party activities

Other than swapping clothes and eating, what are your plans for the evening? Perhaps you could plan some games for the party. Why not play a game to determine who gets what at the swap?

Bargain Tip #4 for Hosting a Clothing Swap: Clean out your closet

Don't forget, you have to bring something to the swap, too! Dig through your closet and decide what you don't need – or want – anymore. If you haven't worn it in the last year, you probably won't ever wear it again. And just for courtesy's sake, make sure it's clean!

Bargain Tip #5 for Hosting a Clothing Swap: Shop till you drop!

Not only do you get to have a good time at a clothing swap, but you'll get a ton of new clothes without spending any money. It's great to have sisters or friends to swap clothes with. It's like having a whole new wardrobe at times – without dropping any serious cash. Could you get a better bargain?

Now get out and show off your new stuff!


Book Review: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife is September 2008 novel by Curtis Sittenfeld and is on the New York Times Bestseller Paperback Fiction list. This novel is about a woman who is a librarian who falls in love and marries a man who will eventually become President of the United States. From the reviews of this book, it is apparently supposed to be off the cuff fictionalized version of the former President and First Lady of the United States.

Alice Lindgren is the kind of person who is different than many people and is a person who is who has awareness and high regard to others. Her parents are the kind that go through live, not expecting much from the world around them. Alice is someone who is not close to people and remains in the background, watching others. In a tragedy of epic proportions, a student is killed and Alice is involved. This tragedy leaves Alice with thoughts about life and her life. As she copes with what has happened, she learns to live life and goes on to become a librarian. She will meet Charlie Blackwell, many years later, who she ignores at first. Charlie Blackwell is interesting and comes from a family who are well off.

Alice is not impressed with Charlie, at first since he tends to be annoying and domineering. Alice finds herself interested after some recent events. Just as quickly, she finds that she is attracted to him and being wined and dined by him. Their relationship soon takes a turn and they get married. We, the reader, start to see things between them that are not as they seem to be. Alice integrates herself into her husband's family and the high society life. She begins to question herself and the life that she lives now, with her own beliefs. She is uneasy about this new life and the wealth that is comes with the family. Alice is determined to do what she must because she made vows and helps him is some trying and troubled times. She has to reach inside herself to find more strength when he makes the decision to go into politics. The next thing that surprises her is that her husband becomes the President of the United States.

Alice is overwhelmed with her life and what goes along being the President's wife. She watches as her husband does many unpopular things as the commander in chief. Alice begins to see what her life is as time passes. She questions her life again and what she gave up. How can she get herself back? And what does she need to do to recover her life?


Pax Vaporizer Review

Pax Vaporizer Review
Pax Vaporizer Review

Pax Vaporizer Review

The first generation PAX vaporizer is one of the best portable vaporizer devices because of its size and design. The device isn’t very big, measuring about 4 inches in length and weighing about 100 grams. It fits perfectly into your hand and it is built for convenience. This means there is no glass or large tube that you can easily break. It doesn’t even look like a normal vaporizer. In fact it looks like an oversized lighter. Ploom did a fantastic job designing this device and the engineering inside of it makes it even better.

What’s in the Box?

This vaporizer comes with:

  • 1 PAX Vaporizer
    • 1 Cleaning Kit
    • 2 Packs of O’ Lubricant
    • 1 Wall Charger

You can also customize the color of your device: Onyx (Black), Diamond (Silver), Emerald (Green), Cobalt, Amethyst (Purple). You can purchase additional accessories such as a car charger, additional mouthpieces, oven lids, screens, charging kits, etc. Click here to know about vape juices in UK.

Design and Features

The PAX has an anodized aluminum body with a plastic bore mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is a little different than most might be used to. It is a wide mouthpiece as opposed to the traditional small round mouthpiece. It does change the flow of air and how much vapor you get, so it will take some getting used to, but that does not change the value of the device. The bottom of the device is where the oven is stored. It is closed with magnetic pieces making it easy to pop the bottom on and off.

The PAX is loaded with adjustable heat settings including low, medium or high so that you have a more customized vaping experience. To use the device you open the oven at the bottom and fill the herbs inside the tube. The oven is slightly smaller than an inch. To actually start the heating process, press down on the mouthpiece at the top of the device to release it into place. This will start the 30 second heating process. A simple and effective process with quick heating.

The PAX does have a nice LED light indicator that tells you when you are low on battery, what temperature setting you are on, and if the device is on standby mode. Standby mode conserves battery power and cools the device automatically when you are no longer using it. It’s a nice feature that also makes the device safety conscious. One other neat function that Ploom added to the PAX is the ability to give the device a quick shake to illuminate the LED to see how much battery life is remaining.

Battery Life

The PAX is a portable device, so remember that as we talk about battery. The battery will only last about an hour (of full use) before you have to charge it again. However, it only takes about an hour to charge. As mentioned earlier, there is a standby mode that does conserve battery. Therefore, depending on how often you use the device will depend on how often you need to charge it throughout the day. You will want to have a charger with you at all times, so getting that car charger may be a useful addition.


Joyetech eVic VTC Mini 60W Full Kit Review

Joyetech eVic VTC Mini 60W Full Kit Review
Joyetech eVic VTC Mini 60W Full Kit Review

Joyetech eVic VTC Mini 60W Full Kit Review

Joyetech eVic VTC Mini 60W

The eVic VTC Mini 60W is built on Joyetech’s very successful eVic VT, maintaining all the core features of the eVic VT but in a much more compact device. In the full kit it comes with the eGo One Mega, a very solid tank of choice for sub-ohm vaporizers. At a price of $64.99 this bundle is still cheaper than Joyetech’s eVic VT on it’s own. So what exactly are the differences and does the eVic VTC Mini perform as well as it’s bigger brother? You will find the answer here.

Joyetech eVic VTC Mini specs and build quality

Much like the eVic VT this vaporizer offers variable wattage output, with up to 60W and resistances from 3.0 Ohm down to 0.15 Ohm, and a temperature control output mode, with temperatures ranging from 100°C to 315°C and supporting dual compatibility so you can use nickel as well as titanium coils (both of which are already included in this kit, by the way!). The eGo One Mega sub-ohm tank has a capacity of 4ml and features industry standard dual air flow control. Unfortunately, the tank can not be fully disassembled, which can be annoying if any parts need to be cleaned, fixed or replaced. Also, if you are keen to build your own coils you will have to purchase the eGo One rebuildable coil head separately.

The design is incredibly simple and compact. It appears very sturdy and the surface is well done, it seems to be a plain matte chassis but Joyetech must have tweaked something there because it still offers really good grip. Unlike the eVic VT this vaporizer is powered by just a single, replaceable 18650 battery which is the main reason why this box mod is so much more compact. We were very happy to see that Joyetech kept the same, high resolution, well organized OLED display that we already loved on the eVic VT.

Joyetech eVic VTC Mini vapor production and flavour

We have tested this kit with all possible combinations of modes, resistances and coils and it always delivered a very satisfying vape. The vapor production is impressively consistent, even at very low battery power we still got the same dense and flavourful vapor. We have enjoyed most of our favorite vape liquid uk with this vaporizer by now and were very happy. Once we found our preferred settings we enjoyed vaping with the eVic VTC Mini just as much as with expensive high-end vaporizers. The battery lasts a fair while and on longer sessions you can just swap through your 18650 batteries and keep going.


Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Gottex

Based on the videos and photos coming out of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, swimwear is going a little bit 70s and a little bit Goth with much consideration for a real woman’s body taken into account.

A Little Bit Goth

My personal favorite of the entire show was a strapless, black suit with a brief cut over the leg. It looks to be imitation leather or vinyl. While Gottex only featured one swimsuit in this material. It stood out to me as the most memorable and most important piece in the collection. I have never seen a suit like it and while I am not sure if it has any real world appeal, it certainly brought a fresh idea to the forefront. I certainly hope stores carry this look in a breathable material. The look is rockin’, but it doesn’t seem entirely practical.

A Little Bit 70s

It seems that one-pieces are making a come-back in a big way. The suits featured by Gottex on the runway were 70’s era glam and I personally loved it! The majority of one pieces featured plunging necks with a dramatically high cut over the legs. The acceptability of the high cut leg is something I have been praying would make a comeback. Everyone wants to appear to have long legs, especially in a swimsuit. The boy briefs of previous seasons are pretty unflattering to anyone over 100 pounds. I say bring back that high cut leg and make us all look like long-legged bathing beauties.

Is that Belt a Flotation Device?

An accessory with swimwear is something I have never understood. But, I like my swimsuit to at least give the impression that I might actually go swimming. Many of the suits were belted which to me makes very little sense. Personally, I think the suits stood out without the embellishment. The cuts are dramatic enough and highly flattering for most body types. But, there are also people out there who wear high heels with their swimsuits. Maybe accessorizing swimwear is geared toward them. Having said all that, the accessories were very bold, and certainly upped the wow-factor on the suits.

Black is Back

Black was the dominant color with a lot of bold red accents thrown in for drama. White, blue and gold were also featured. But the black suits are what caught my eye. Who doesn’t love the slimming effects of a black swimsuit? Thank you to Gottex for designing swimsuits that will allow real women to showcase their assets, hide their flaws and be highly fashionable all at the same time.


How to Prepare for a Baby Music Class

Babies always have a fascination for melodies, even as newborns. Mums and their little ones enjoy this unique musical kinship since mums are the ones who'd make their little ones listen to beautiful melodies of their choice. After the birth of the child, parents enroll their children for music classes, where they are taught how to dance and sing, which is an ideal connecting time with their parents, not to mention the kids' enjoyment and learning. Kids are exposed to a variety of songs, musical instruments and other kids also, which is an excellent way to make friends.

Below are some tips when going along with your kid to music classes:

Search for an excellent baby music class somewhere in your neighborhood. The best thing to do is to look up a reputed music school; if possible one of the greatly recommended establishments that will offer your baby the right training. Also see if that institution offers programs for kids and search for any reviews about it. Preferably, the school must be located close to your home. Generally, day care centres have music programs.

Request your friends to have their kids join your baby. Learning is anytime more enjoyable with buddies. Hence, if you have friends with kids more or less in the similar age-group as your little one, why don't you call them to enrol their children for the same baby music classes? However, even otherwise there are number of dads and moms at the music classes! It's not merely your child who'll make new friends, but so will you, too!

Ready your baby for music school. The most effective mode for your kid to pick up more from a baby music class is to ensure they're well-fed and well-rested. That way, they won't be drowsy and peevish in school. Get them to have something before attending baby music classes, so that during lessons, they won't become famished and demand food. Feeding them during music class will merely divert their attention and make them less prone to learn than normal.

Spend time to master things. It takes a little time before kids will at last learn to understand musical concepts, dances and songs. This is precisely why it's prudent to educate your child on how to conduct themselves, listen, and involve themselves in a baby music class. But, spend time in listening to the tutor, for they will offer tips and recommended activities to rehearse at home.

Allow your baby enjoy himself/herself. Offer your kid the liberty to fix his/her own tempo of studying. Don't force them to partake in all the exercises, since this will just irritate them for not being on par with others. In due course, they will pick up on their own and certainly will be capable of being in sync with the children in the exercises. But ensure they are alert and up-to-date with the music lessons.

Reward your child. This is amongst the optimum ways to persuade your kids to meet their potential. Once the baby music class is finished, allow your kids time to rest and refresh themselves. Give them a delicious treat, like a sundae. Or, get them a coupon for attending school and performing well. Also, reward your kids every time they do well in take-home exercises.

A baby music class is always enjoyable, and it surely will make it even more enjoyable for your kids if you assist them in exploring unreservedly, discover their own scope, and set their own tempo. Parents indeed are there for standing by and taking care, and it's in their control to direct and involve themselves with their kids while attending a baby music class. Dance and sing with them. Such activities forge a lifetime bond of kinship.



Planning a Green Wedding: Ideas For Reducing Your Wedding Carbon Footprint

It used to be that planning a green wedding took a lot of extra work. But these days, wedding vendors are more aware than ever that brides and grooms want to plan a special event without sacrificing the environment. The result is a wide array of eco-friendly wedding products that not only make a wedding beautiful, but earth-friendly as well.

Eco-friendly Wedding Invitations

According to The Green Bride Guide, the amount of paper used to create wedding invitations each year could cover the entire island of Manhattan. Reducing the amount of paper used in an invitation is one of the easiest ways to reduce the carbon footprint of a wedding. Some green wedding invitation ideas include:

  • Choose 100% post-consumer recycled paper for the invitation, and print with only soy-based inks.
  • Print only the invitation and avoid the popular practice of creating a variety of inserts for each potential guest. Send maps, accommodation information, and other events only to those who have confirmed their attendance.
  • Opt for electronic wedding invitations. While it may not be suitable for every wedding, using an electronic invite will save paper, postage, and fuel for the transportation of mail.

Eco-friendly Wedding Attire

Many bridal and wedding attire fabrics are made with synthetic fibers and man-made materials that pollute the air and produce additional carbon. With more brides demanding eco-friendly wedding dresses, bridal designers are paying attention. Here are some ways that wedding attire can be both beautiful and earth friendly:

  • Look for bridal gowns that are made with natural fibers, such as cotton or silk. Justin Alexander, for instance, has recently launched a completely biodegradable and beautiful line of wedding dresses, PURE.
  • Choose a pre-owned wedding gown. Choosing a wedding gown from a consignment shop, thrift store, or a hand-me-down from friends or family not only reduces the environmental impact of the wedding, it can save a lot of money, as well.
  • Rent a wedding gown. Renting a wedding gown is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to buying a new gown.

Eco-friendly Wedding Accessories

One of the easiest ways to implement eco-friendly practices into wedding planning is by choosing green wedding accessories.

  • When shopping for diamonds, choosing a conflict free diamond is one of the most environmentally and socially conscious options.
  • Many jewelers and wedding ring designers offer wedding bands and engagement rings that are fashioned from recycled gold.
  • Scope out antique stores, thrift stores, and consignment shops to purchase pre-owned items for wedding party gifts or bridal jewelry.

Other Eco-friendly Wedding Tips

In addition to making eco-friendly decisions in the core parts of planning a wedding, creative brides and grooms can extend their green wedding planning to other areas of the special event:

  • Give guests a renewable wedding favor, such as a packet of flower seeds. Small trees have become a popular wedding favor, but they only succeed at being green when the guest will actually plant and maintain them. Opting for something simple, such as seeds, keeps the gift low maintenance for wedding guests.
  • Opt to purchase a carbon offset membership. Carbon offset programs calculate the amount of carbon produced by the wedding, and use the money of the membership to invest in offsetting that carbon. Some examples include investing in wind or solar powered resources.

While there are many options to help reduce the carbon footprint of a wedding, it's important to always look beyond just the label. Many companies have started to "greenwash" their wedding products making them sound more eco-friendly than they actually are.

Creativity is key when planning an eco-friendly wedding and reception. Limiting choices to only those that provide the green wedding results the bride and groom desire can help make a the planning of a green wedding be less overwhelming and more fulfilling.