Five Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

If you’re planning to visit Seattle with the kids, you won’t be disappointed as there are numerous things that are sure to keep the entire family entertained no matter what time of year you arrive.

Pike Place Market 

This market is not only one of the most popular attractions in the city; it’s the oldest continually operating farmers’ market in the U.S., founded over 100 years ago in 1907. It’s also one of the most lively markets, with not only the fresh produce, seafood and flowers you might expect, but a wide range of vendors that sell specialty foods, handcrafted and vintage goods, rare comics and collectibles, and all types of entertainment.

It’s always fun to watch the fishmongers toss their fresh catch of the day, but you’ll find many performers throughout the market including talented musicians (along with the not-so-talented), magicians, balloon-makers, and even a colorful and comedic costumed gorilla playing buckets rather skillfully.

The Great Wheel

One of Seattle’s newest attractions can be found by taking the steep steps down to the waterfront. The Seattle Great Wheel is one of the largest Ferris wheels in the country and offers amazing views of the Puget Sound as well as the Olympic Mountains on the other side. If you happen to arrive on a clear day, towering Mount Rainier may even make an appearance.

Seattle Aquarium

Also along the waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium is home to playful sea otters, adorable harbor seals, fur seals, and the always fascinating Giant Pacific Octopus. Kids will love the chance to get their hands wait and even touch some of the creatures that live in the tide pools along the state’s coastline as well as Puget Sound’s inland sea.

Get out on the water

Getting out on the water is a must while you’re here. A variety of cruises are available right from the Seattle waterfront, including sight-seeing tours of the harbor a well as sunset sails to take in breathtaking views of the city skyline. If you’re on a tight budget, just hopping on the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge Island is a great way to get some of the same views and maybe even spot a dolphin or whale along the way.

Pacific Science Center 

Just below Seattle’s famed landmark, the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center provides an opportunity to journey back to the days of the dinosaurs or stroll through lush gardens and brilliantly blooming flowers at the Tropical Butterfly House to watch the colorful insects fly and feed. You can even learn about the universe we live in and delve into unsolved mysteries at the Planetarium.…

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Used Bookstores in Kansas City and Surrounding Areas

Used bookstores aren’t just for the bargain hunters anymore. If you are willing to do some fishing through bookshelves and bins you will be surprised by the hidden gems you find. Who wants a new version of a book when you might be able to find a first edition?


Prospero’s Bookstore – This used bookstore is located on 39th street in Kansas City, MO. It is run by people that adore the written word and will help you with any question you ask. It is in an old building that they are constantly working on. There are 2 floors and they not only have current fiction but they also have nonfiction, classics, and occult books. As a used bookstore goes they are very well organized and have some great titles.

½ Price Books – This is a commercial end used bookstore. And although they are not independently owned and they don’t have the charm of most used bookstores they do have cheap books and a wide selection. They also will purchase books from you as well. They are located in Olathe and Overland Park, Kansas as well as other areas around the city. This is a great store if you like books but aren’t desperately in love with them.

JD Books – This used books store is a small one located in historic Westport. Definitely worth a visit especially due to the area it is located in. However they also carry rare books if you are looking for a true used book treasure. They are a little small but really most independent used bookstores tend to be. They have almost no advertising which means they manage to stay afloat just by the books they sell.

Lasus Used Books – This little independent used bookstore is located in Riverside, MO. They have used books as well as collectibles. The prices for the used books are pretty average for an independent store. The employees are very friendly and willing to dig through their books as well for you.

Anastasia’s Books – This is another charming independent used bookstore. They have rare, uses, and out of print books. They are located in Raytown, MO. What is so great is they will buy your books or even trade them for others within the store. They will also special order books for you even they can locate the title you want.

Really when purchasing any book look into shopping at a used bookstore, not only can you find books for less than regular price but you can also find rare books, and impossible to find novels. Plus you get a charming experience and support a local business.…

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Bette Hagman’s Books About Celiacs and Dietary Restrictions

Why Being Gluten-free and Wheat-free is Necessary for Someone Who is a Celiac – How to Do It, Where To Look for Advice

A gluten-free diet does not need to be just produce, protein or as Bette Hagman would say, “Bananas and Rice”. People on wheat-free and gluten-free diets are able to consume grains such as corn meal, quinoa, rice, millet, as well as soy flour and other bean flours.

Consumers are seeing more labels that say gluten-free or contain warnings about gluten. These labels are not yet on all products, however, are expected to be in the future. These labels are on some products, products that don’t have a warning label usually have contact information to reach the corporate headquarters. A visit to a company’s website as well as toll-free phone calls to the company should give a consumer information about what products a given company manufactures. For the celiac, this important information is what products are wheat-free and gluten-free.

A visit to Albion, the Swan Library, a public library in Orleans County, New York was full of useful books about wheat-free diet options, such as books by Bette Hagman, who has been researching gluten-free products for 25 or more years. Thumbing through a few books by Bette Hagman provided some interesting information about what contains gluten and what does not contain gluten that I did not know previous to this reading.

The author of these cookbooks, Bette Hagman, is a founding member of GIG (Glucose Intolerance Group), is a good author.

I have found that fruit cocktail is also gluten-free. Sugar-free, gluten-free fruit cocktail is sold by Wegman’s, sweetened with fruit juice. Look for labels that say wheat-free and gluten-free on products.

Things to avoid include dextrin, which could be made from wheat, or corn, or rice, or tapioca. Read the label carefully, and if in doubt, contact the manufacturer. 
Malto-dextrin is safe to use, being made from cornstarch. Gluten-free diets allow for corn starch, corn meal, corn, and popcorn.

Watching videos about the gluten-free diet while eating popcorn is a goal of mine. I’ve been thinking about what I read, and am certain that popcorn is a flavorful and excellent thing to do! Popcorn is a surprisingly quick and easy way of making a gluten-free snack food for yourself. There are many flavorings that make popcorn taste an an equally unique variety of ways. Everybody eats popcorn, whether it be cheese-flavored, or garlic-flavored, or onion powder flavored, or paprika flavored, or cinnamon-sugar flavored, or basil/oregano/rosemary flavored, or sun-dried tomato flavored, or thai-peanut sauce flavored, popcorn is something that everybody enjoys eating!

Bette Hagman is an author of cookbooks for gluten-free diets. These diets are also wheat-free.…

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The Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market is a Excellent Resource for Aspiring Artists

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is a must have for aspiring children’s writers. It is a valuable resource for anyone trying to break into the business of writing for children. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is a book that guides you on your quest to writing success.

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market gives writers information on how to market and sell their writing. Writing, revising, and editing is a long process. When we finally have the perfect manuscript, we don’t want to waste our time sending our submissions to publishers who are not looking for the kind of story that we have created. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market makes it easier by giving the listings, and submission requirements of book and magazine publishers. There is even a section for marketing greeting cards, puzzles, coloring books, and games.

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market offers important tips on how to create queries, cover letters, proposals, and how to handle contract negotiations. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market also provides information on properly formatting your manuscripts, organizing your office space, and keeping submission records.

I know that when I first started, I was really confused about things like first rights, one time rights, first North American serial rights, second serial rights, foreign rights, and subsidy rights. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market makes learning about these things easy, by breaking them down into sections and explaining them.

The subject index is really a plus. If you have a humorous story that you want to submit, simply refer to the subject index to find out exactly which book, and magazine publishers are looking for that genre of work.

The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market provides sections on writing great children’s stories, listings on workshops, and children’s writing competitions. The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market offers a list of online resource that may be helpful to children’s writers. If you have questions or doubts on a particular issue pertaining to the business of writing, you can always refer back to the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market.

The cost of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is minimal, compared to the wealth of viable information that it offers. The book is available at most large chain bookstores for less than thirty dollars.

If you are an aspiring children’s writer and you don’t have the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrators Market, you need to go out and buy it. The book is a great time saver when you are looking for the perfect publisher to market your work.…

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Child Beauty Pageant: Winning and Losing Talent Performances

Observing child beauty pageants together is a great way coach your child through the do’s and don’ts of winning or losing performances. If your child is competing in beauty pageants, it is wise to order the Videos observe what choices and habits make contestants winners or losers.

Winning performances at child beauty pageants:

• Feel the performance: One pageant talent winner in particular, sang a song that while not necessarily popular, told a story. In addition, but her body language and facial expression told the story too. It did not hurt that she had a great soprano voice for a child under 10.

• Wow the crowd: Judges at child beauty pageants also notice the reaction of the crowd. If your dance routine involves stunts few others cannot do, then go for it! Flexibility helps!

Losing performances at child beauty pageants

• Be yourself. A Shirley Temple impression, while adorable, is just an impression. After a certain age, it’s time to form your own performance style.

• Painful to the ears: Get an impartial person to listen to you sing when preparing for your child beauty pageant, if you sing off key or just not well at all chose another talent. If you sing OK, take lessons to get better.

• Forgetting lyrics. A big no-no at child beauty pageants, especially when you are singing a popular song and everyone else knows the lyrics.

• Poorly played instrument. At a girl’s pageant, a performance that sound like you are tuning a guitar will not be understood. However, in a school talent contest, I might go over well.

• Background louder than singer: Singing should be louder than the background music. Try to use music with only background vocals in a child pageant, not a track with the main lyrics to the song.

At child beauty pageants watch out for:

• Natural Pageants prefer performances not be over staged. This means paying more attention to the camera that to what you are doing and choreography planned with camera poses. It gets annoying to the audience and judges. You would never find a regular tap dance performer stopping in the middle for a photograph.

• Classical music is great, but for talent contests, something more popular is appreciated, unless you are especially gifted.

• Have copies of your music, sometimes a disk that worked previously, may not work later.

• Clothing should fit. If your dress is too tight, short, or falling off one shoulder, it will take attention away from your performance.

• Know when to stop. Practice with your music and make sure your DJ knows when to stop the track. It is embarrassing if you keep singing after the music has stopped.

• Too short: Don’t leave them asking if you were really finished, or just quit. If the time limit is 2 minutes, try to do at least one and a half.…

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Shipping Your Amazon Book Orders

Shipping Domestically

Amazon seller shipping credits are flat for books, and are not calculated by weight or the location you will be shipping to. You will be credited the same amount for both a two ounce leaflet and a 15 pound textbook.

Within the United States, there are a few Amazon shipping methods.

For items weighing 7 ounces or less, you will save the most shipping via First Class Mail versus shipping that same item by Media Mail. For items weighing more than 7 ounces, shipping costs less by Media Mail versus First Class Mail.

You can ship via Media Mail for the “Domestic Standard” option, which is not at all unreasonable. With the $3.99 credited to you, you will be able to ship up to a 5 pound book ($3.94 via Media Mail) without losing any money.

When shipping “Domestic Expedited”, you will be shipping via Priority Mail. You will be credited $6.99, but to ship that same 5 pound book via Priority Mail to California if you are located in Maryland, it will cost you $17.65 ($10.70 if you can fit it into a Medium Flat Rate Box). Priority Mail costs are variable according to your shipping zone and the zone you are shipping it to. Amazon credits you $6.99, so you will be losing $10.66 to ship it.

Shipping Internationally

If you choose to ship internationally, sometimes the shipping will cost a significant amount more than the Amazon international shipping credit you will recieve. If you are shipping via USPS, “Standard International” translates into USPS First Class International, and “Expedited International” translates into Express Mail International. Remember, the shipping credit will not be calculated by where you are shipping to or the weight of the book.

Here, I will be using Australia as an example for the shipping prices because when shipping from the USA the Amazon shipping costs to Australia are highest. Shipping is a bit lower to Europe, but not too much lower.

If someone from Australia orders a book from you that weighs 4 pounds and chooses the “Standard International” option, it will cost you approximately $31.40 to ship it to them via “First Class International”. Amazon credits you $12.49 in shipping, so you will be losing $18.91 to ship it.

If someone from Australia orders a book that weighs over 4 pounds, and chooses the “Standard International” option, the shipping rate to Australia will be $46.90 ($43.45 if you can fit the item in a Medium Flat Rate Box). Items weighing over 4 pounds cannot be shipped via “First Class Mail International”. For items weighing over 4 pounds, it is necessary to send them via “Priority Mail International”, even if the buyer chooses the “Standard International” option. Amazon credits you $12.49 in shipping, so you will be losing $34.41 to ship it.

If someone from Australia orders a book from you that weighs 5 pounds and chooses the “Expedited International” option, you will be shipping via USPS Express Mail International. Amazon will credit you $35.98, and the shipping cost via USPS Express Mail International will be $55.75, meaning you will lose $19.77.

You can ship up to a 1 pound 4 oz book to Australia with the amount credited by the “Standard International” option without losing any money. With the “Expedited International” option, you can ship up to a 15 ounce book to Australia without losing any money.

And remember, as it states on Amazon: “Shipment is required even if the shipping amount credited to your account does not cover all shipping costs.”…

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How to Deal with an Emotionally Abusive Personality

Many times we meet others at a new job or when we are lonely and looking for a new romantic involvement to help us pleasantly pass the time away. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes time to see the true – colors of the individual we have to deal with on a daily basis. In today’s world with all the stresses you have already it is just too inconvenient to see what is really going on and so we choose to ignore it. Sometimes , we ignore the warning signs until it becomes harder to deal with later.

The subtle hints you will see in any relationship with an emotional abuser.

Negative commentary that is personal.

To put it into perspective , all of us know someone who is a bit negative . However, when the individual attacks and insults your accomplishments every time you shine, there is a problem. This is especially true if you have a personal challenge such as a weight issue. If you are successful in your goals, does this person put you down? If so,let them know diplomatically how you feel when they do this, and watch there reaction. If it is a specific thing it may be a jealousy or insecurity issue. If it is everything you do, and you can’t seem to do anything right, this may denote a serious personality issue. In a personal relationship the best you can do for yourself and your self – esteem is end the relationship. You don’t know where it can lead and want to avoid a possible dangerous situation later .

The abusive personality in a professional relationship.

If it is a professional relationship it is more complicated than that. If you work in a small company and this is your boss, unfortunately you may have to swallow it. However, since this is usually a power issue you may have to remember not to react and to make the boss feel like the boss. It may be a little kiss up action that is needed to keep the peace and keep your job. If you work for a larger company with a human resources department then here are your steps to follow. First, make sure you practice covering your behind. Depending on your job responsibilities, make sure you have a clean paper trail. Get a copy of your job description and follow it . Prepare to go to your human resources representative only after you go through the chain of command. If the person in question has no firing authority, then the first person you go to is them. Keep calm , and let them know there is something you need to speak to them about privately. Take them aside and let them know that there comments, make you feel very uncomfortable. Those with an abusive personality will have an attitude of insult or denial. When this happens , it is time to go to the next person in the chain. Provided they are not in the offenders after – work click , you should get some relief. Abusive personalities are usually cowards and will cease the behavior . If not ,then get your ducks in a row and go to human resources.

All and all , I offer advice with no moral judgment. It is extremely hard to come away from a person you are emotionally vested in or a job you are looking at as a career . The key is to hone your ability to see what’s coming and deal with it positively before it’s gone to a destructive and possibly more permanent level.…

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Why American Idol Contestant David Cook Wears an Orange Bracelet

American Idol Contestant Honors Young Cancer Patient

Have you been watching “American Idol” recently, and noticed that front-runner David Cook has been wearing an orange bracelet during his performances? I wondered if it was somehow connected with his brother, Adam, who has been undergoing treatment for brain cancer. However, I was surprised to learn that the bracelet came from a young fan who has her own health challenges.

The flexible orange bracelet was given to Cook by Charley Belcher, a TV reporter in Tampa, Florida, who interviewed Cook recently for WTVT, Channel 13. His 7-year-old daughter, Lindsey Rose, is a big David Cook fan. She was diagnosed with leukemia late last year.

Charley Belcher posted information on Yahoo! Answers to answer the question, “Meaning to David Cook’s orange bracelet on ‘American Idol’?” So this information is straight from the original source.

Belcher wrote, “(Lindsey Rose) loves David Cook so much, I just had to mention it to him when I was interviewing him for the top 12. He was absolutely the most genuine person I think I have ever met in my life.

“He called Lindsey Rose and spoke such encouraging words to her. When I told him about the orange bracelet that I wear … he immediately asked for one. The fact that he followed through with his promise … and wears it on the air … is simply amazing.”

Every time Lindsey Rose sees David Cook wearing her bracelet on TV, it makes her happy, her father notes, and is a good distraction from what she’s going through with her medical treatments.

Lindsey Rose was diagnosed in December 2007 and has two years of chemotherapy ahead of her. Her dad says her favorite color is orange, and this is also the official color of childhood leukemia awareness. And so Belcher made up orange wristbands that say “Do whatcha gotta do!” on one side, and “Lindsey Rose” on the other.

“I encourage all of you to use that motto in your own lives,” wrote Belcher. “And I know David will use that motto to become a huge singing success. I don’t care what happens on this TV show … he is already my Idol.”

Myself, now I have more than one reason to admire David Cook. Not only is he a talented singer and performer, he’s also got a big heart. A rare and awesome combination.…

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Review of Disney Digital Books

If you’re a parent of children under the age of 12 then there is no doubt that you are familiar with Disney’s characters. My 3 year old daughter is in love with Princess Tiana, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear. In an attempt to get in some more reading time and really take advantage of her love of Disney characters I decided to give Disney Digital Books a try. I figured that since they were offering a free 7 day trial that I had nothing to lose.

The signup process for Disney Digital Books as fairly simple. After registering with the site I was granted access. I was given the option to create multiple accounts for each of my children so that the experience was customized with their name and they could also choose a Disney character to be their avatar.

With my daughter sitting next to me on her little chair, we navigated our way through the site. She was instantly “oohing” and “aahing” over the different sounds and animations that I described above. She decided that she wanted to use the Disney character Princess Tiana from the Princess and the Frog to be her avatar and then we went into the site. Once into the actually site we were given the option to choose from hundreds of Disney Digital Books to read. Some of these books were actual recreations of the Disney movies that you’ve probably heard of before like Toy Story, the Princess and the Frog, Pinocchio. And some of the stories were actually new spins on these stories with further adventures by these same Disney characters.

My daughter and I surfed around to her hearts content. At first we started out with me just reading the stories to her. Although she was attentive, one thing that I didn’t like about this feature was that the digital books were separated by age level. At times I ended up picking some books that were chapter books and more oriented towards older readers. There weren’t nearly as many pictures in these digital books as I felt were necessary to interest a 3 year old for very long.

One feature on Disney Digital Books that would be great for an older child was that the pointer turned into a pencil shaped object that you could drag over each word and then the word would be pronounced for you. This would be good for a child who is learning how to read. However, one downfall of this feature is that each word is spoken by someone with a different voice. So for example if you are trying to point and click all of the words in one sentence then you will have about fifteen different voices that have said each word by the time that sentence is done. While this feature is good for helping children with word pronunciation, I really do not think that it is good for helping with reading comprehension.

Another feature on Disney Digital Books is that you can just have a book read to you. My daughter really liked this feature. I thought that this feature was nice, but I really compared it to watching TV. It reminded me of still frame TV shows like Thomas the Train. I think that sites like this should really emphasize the child and the adult interacting and this feature is one that can allow an adult to just park their child in front of the computer and listen to someone else read to them.

Overall I would say that the Disney Digital Books trial is nice and simple to use. Another plus is that it is free and requires no credit card, so if you are curious then I would definitely give it a try. I did, however, decide to cancel my trial of Disney Digital Books because I was disappointed that the characters really did not come to life. I felt that there were not a lot of animations or interactions besides just reading the books, and I did expect a lot more than that.

Curious about Disney Digital Books? Check it out yourself at…

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After Innocent Rendition, Will David Cook Become the Next American Idol?

Will David Cook become the next American Idol? This is a question burning in the minds of many American Idol fans. For me, the answer is simple…David Cook should be the next American Idol.

This week, American Idol’s resident rocker, David Cook, took on the song “Innocent” by the alternative rock band, Our Lady Peace. I’ve been a strong fan of David’s from the beginning of this season, so it’s with reluctance that I admit my disappointment with his song choice. Please don’t get me wrong. It’s an excellent song with inspiring lyrics, which is probably the reason David chose the song. I just don’t believe this arrangement of “Innocent” properly showcased David Cook’s amazing talent and vocal range.

The weakness in this performance for David Cook was primarily due to the large part of the song being sung in his lower register. In my opinion, his voice is most powerful and compelling when he’s belting out the higher notes. Overall, this was not David Cook’s best performance but I don’t believe it will deter his devoted American Idol fans from continuing to support him. Week after week, David Cook has brought a unique, rock edge to the American Idol stage. He has been a consistently strong performer and commanding stage presence throughout this season of American Idol and deserves to make it into the finale.

What other American Idols have the potential to rival David Cook in the finale? In my opinion, the top three American Idol contestants this year will be David Cook, David Archuleta, and Michael Johns.

First, let’s look at young David Archuleta. I agree that he is an extremely talented singer but I find his performances to be kind of boring, at times. If David Archuleta wants to win this competition, he needs to bring more excitement to his performances. If America chooses the next American Idol based on cuteness and sweet personality, then yes, David Archuleta has a huge chance.

Now, let’s examine Michael Johns. Another early favorite of mine, Michael Johns has the potential to be an incredible performer. He has a strong and remarkable bluesy sounding voice. I think the main struggle for Michael Johns in the American Idol competition has been choosing the correct songs to maximize his voice. If, or when, he finds the perfect song, Michael Johns has the power to completely blow the American Idol fans and judges away.

So, let me say it again. I believe David Cook should be the next American Idol. Come on America; let’s get it right this time. Don’t let this be another mistaken and shocking elimination like with Chris Daughtry!…

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