Kill Germs The Healthy Way.

There has been a lot of articles in the news recently about “super bugs” and how the over use of antibiotics has caused many kinds of bacteria to be resistant to traditional medications.  WE OVERUSE ANTIBIOTICS when they really aren’t necessary.  In addition to antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections, we often use them for viral infections where they have no benefits other than to kill off the good bugs in our intestinal tract.  We can also  find antibiotics in meat and poultry, and in hand sanitizers, soaps and cleaners.  When we overuse them in these ways, not only do they kill off beneficial bacteria we need to digest food, they also create an overgrowth of “bad bugs”.

We don’t need to use antibacterial cleaners to get rid of germs.  Washing with regular soap and water will kill 99.9% of all germs.  So, instead of buying expensive anti-bacterial hand sanitizers, why not make your own?

MIX pure aloe vera gel with tea tree oil, or oil of lavender or myrrh – nature’s way of fighting bad bugs without destroying good one. Store in a container or pump bottle and use as needed.

For more recipes and DIY remedies, visit:

Summer Fun: Crafts For Kids of All Ages.

Summer vacation is here!  While your children enjoy a break from school, you still want to make sure they are active and spending time in constructive pursuits instead of vegging out in front of the TV or computer.  Trips to parks and playgrounds, lakes and beaches, are a great way to enjoy the outdoors.  For days when it is too hot to go outside, or for times when quiet activity is preferred, there are some great sites for summer crafts.

The Long Thread offers 50 Summer Crafts for kids of all ages including Stone Dolls, Recycled Crayons, and Fairy Wings.

Spoonful also has a lot of great crafts to while away lazy summer days.  This site includes recipes and party games as well.

You can also have your kids join in on the COLORING CRAZE with FREE COLORING PAGES from Learning to Walk.   Flowers-Colouring-Pages-for-Red-Ted-Art-by-Learning-2-Walk.compressed

Finally,  check out the RED TED site for videos on some amazing crafts that will keep your children entertained all summer long.

Happy Summer!

Father’s Day Fun!

It’s not too late to do some memorable things to honor the dad in your child’s life.  Any dad will love being treated like a king for a day.  A fast and easy gift can be as simple as a book of homemade “coupons” dad can redeem for things such as A FREE CAR WASH, BACK MASSAGE, FOOT RUB, DESSERT OF YOUR CHOICE,  and anything else you think the dad in your life might enjoy. 

You can also check out some great books about dad’s and Father’s Day at this site:

You and the kids might also want to make an awesome FOOTBALL HANDPRINT PHOTO keepsake.  It’s made using a simple salt dough recipe and a cookie cutter.

For awesome gift ideas, you can also check out:

Make DAD feel special…have a Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day Craft: Picture Puzzles — Levi & Laura

If you aren’t paying attention to the calendar, heads up! This Sunday is Father’s Day. Somewhat less advertised but equally as special, Father’s Day is the time to show your guy (father, grandfather, husband) just how important and loved he is. And what says “I love you” more than a handmade gift? Last year I […]

via Father’s Day Craft: Picture Puzzles — Levi & Laura

Swing Sideways – Book Giveaway & Journey

This book sounds like a great debut. Looking forward to reading it!

Writing and Illustrating

Congratulations to Nanci Turner Steveson for her debut book, SWING SIDEWAYS. She has agreed to do a book giveaway, so all you have to do to get in the running for win Nanci’s new book, is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Please make sure you check back on June 27th to discover the winner. Make sure I will be able to find and email for you, too.

blogswingsidewaysBOOK DESCRIPTION:

Perfect for fans of Bridge to Terabithia and Walk Two Moons, this debut middle grade novel is the story of two girls and the unforgettable summer in which they learn about true friendship and…

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Keep Your Kids Reading This Summer.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has compiled a list of its members books that are perfect reading for kids of all ages this summer.  If you are concerned about your kids “losing their skills” during the summer break, why not check out some of these books at your local library.


Have a safe and happy summer break!

Marilyn Ostermiller Rides the Rails For Summer Fun!

Tracking Back Through Time by Marilyn Ostermiller

Got a yen to get off the fast track? If you’re looking for a summer adventure that takes you back to the trains that ran 100 years ago, you can ride on any of the numerous restored steam locomotives across the country. These trips offer views that can’t be enjoyed from the highway. And, depending of which train you hop on, you can enjoy the scenery in accommodations reminiscent of drawing rooms from that period.

This sampler of vintage train tours starts with an East Coast option and heads west:

  • Black River & Western Railroad, which dates back to 1854. Board at Flemington, N.J for a 25-minute trek to Ringoes, N.J. After a 10 to 15 minute stop, which includes a visit to a museum car and a gift shop, it’s all aboard for the return trip. For information about tickets, train schedule, special events visit: org
  • Strasburg Railroad, Ronks, PA. A 45-minute, round trip through the tranquil Amish countryside to Paradise, PA, and back. Travelers pass by more than 1,000 acres of farm fields. The excursion can be extended by getting off mid-trip at two convenient recreation areas. Choice of seating includes first-class, open air, coach and dining cars. For information visit: or call (866) 725-9666.
  • Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Board in Durango, CO. and travel 45 miles north through the valley of the Animas River before the canyon narrows, all roads vanish and for 30 miles there exists only the railroad, the glacial green waters of the river and the peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Narrators relate historic tales of the settling of the west dressed in period clothing. Season ends Oct. 29, 2016. Information: Reservations: (970) 247-2733.     473 Higline Sept2013 YLashmett wm
  • Grand Canyon Railway. Board at Williams Depot in Williams, Ariz. and arrive at the Grand Canyon Depot, just 200 yards from the edge of the canyon’s South Rim. The 2 1/4 hour trip covers 65 miles of classic Old West territory, including high desert plains with vistas, small arroyos and portions of the world’s largest Ponderosa pine forest. Vintage 1950s and 1970s-era diesel locomotives are used throughout the year. On select dates, the historic steam locomotive is put on the front of the train for the round trip journey. For reservations, call 1-800-THE-TRAIN (1-800-843-8724) or visit:

Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time business journalist who now writes for children. You can follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_Suzanne.

Link to Youtube video:        Marilyn Ostermiller