Archive for June, 2009

Jun 30 2009

Let’s Get Ready For a Women’s Only Business Executive Wellness Retreat!

We all need to recharge our batteries and when I heard about this one I just had to pass it along:

Women’s Only Business Executive Wellness Retreat
July 26-30 in St. Germain, Wisconsin

This retreat is unique one of a kind opportunity to help women in leadership positions strengthen their mind and body.  Its a hybrid of wellness and business smarts conference, no other conference or retreat combine these two elements in the Midwest. Using the beauty of the Northwoods as a classroom, the retreat will feature Kathleen Paris, a successful national known business consultant of over 25 years and Cyndi Fine, a body and wellness expert for four days of self improvement. Kathleen Paris will provide on-going post-retreat support and feedback to all retreat attendees as retreat package. 

Background on Kathleen Paris:  A management consultant for over 25 years, she is University of Wisconsin’s Office of Quality Improvement’s Distinguished Consultant Emeritus. Paris has written extensively on strategic planning, consulting  with over 100 academic departments, schools, colleges in strategic planning and process improvement including Penn State, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and in the counties of Guam, the Virgin Islands and Cyprus . This month her book, Staying Healthy in Sick Organizations: The Clover Practice™  (BookSurge, 2008) was selected as the business book of the month on She has discuss her book extensively around the state (Fond du Lac, Madison and an upcoming event in Wisconsin Dells) and across the country and abroad (Atlanta and upcoming events in Boston and Oxford, England). Paris has also made numberous Madison television and radio appearance to discuss her book. 

If you would like to schedule an interview or have any questions, please feel free to call me or email me.

Scott Becher
Becher Group
(608) 838-9115

Provide an extended opportunity for women holding executive leadership positions to:

  • Examine and clarify their leadership beliefs and framework
  • Assess leadership strengths and areas for growth
  • Share latest writing and thinking on change management
  • Evaluate strategic planning approaches
  • Receive feedback on persistent problems or issues
  • Problem-solve using alternative modalities (writing, drawing, painting, music)
  • Tune up communication skills using The Clover Practice TM
    (E-mail, PowerPoint, speaking, conflict resolution)
  • Create a personal plan for the next twelve months to ensure that the most essential projects and relationships are handled
  • Relax, refresh, and integrate body and mind in the beauty of Wisconsin’s Northwoods

Expect to Revive and Thrive With:

  • A collegial and supportive group of leaders
  • Expert facilitation and guidance (3 days)
  • Personal attention and coaching-enrollment is limited to 12
  • Personalized body work and assessment
  • Eleven delicious home-cooked meals
  • Four nights lodging
  • A personal body work session customized for your needs
  • Time to relax in the hot tub, swim, boat, fish, read, meditate, reflect, play volleyball, walk in the woods
  • A virtual mastermind group after the retreat

Click Here for an article by Jody Glynn Patrick, “Invest in Yourself, Boss Lady” (PDF)

Click Here for a Brochure about the Women’s Executive Retreat

14 responses so far

Jun 29 2009

Announcing a New Elementary Education News Website from Cedar Valley Publishing

The world of elementary education changes daily … or sometimes, not at all.  That’s why Cedar Valley Publishing, a loyal-to-children and award-winning company, has decided to “take the bull by the horns” and bring you up-to-date information in the world of Elementary Education News with our new website:


We sure hope you’ll join us – and comment on the good, the bad and the ugly – because, if you have children, Elementary Education News is another resource for you to find answers to the quesitons you may have about your child’s development, educational levels … and how to prepare your children for their elementary educational lives that are before them!

136 responses so far

Jun 26 2009

Let’s Get Ready to Practice Saying “No”! from Guest Post Author Stephanie Marston of the Balancing Act Newsletter

This post hits me at a perfect time since we are gearing up for having the girls out of school and at home during the summer playing around my home-based business.  To keep my sanity I need to remember to practice saying “NO”!

Practice Saying “NO”

One of the keys to creating better work/life balance is getting good at saying, “no.”  Here’s an exercise that will help you to get more accustomed to setting boundaries, by becoming more comfortable with saying “no.” It may sound silly, but you can “teach” yourself to say “no” more effectively, and without guilt, by practicing.

If you decide to let your family or friends in on this exercise, you might choose to make the exercise a little more challenging by choosing something to say “no” to that you might ordinarily say “yes” to.

Here’s how it works:

  • For a week or two, pick something each day that you wouldn’t normally say “no” to. Then, instead of saying “yes” automatically– say “NO?
  • It doesn’t have to be something terribly important; in fact it shouldn’t.   Just choose something that others would normally take for granted.  For example, if you’re out shopping with your kids, and they always ask for ice cream, and you’d rather not get it but usually do because it’s easier than fighting over it- this time say, “no” and don’t back down.
  • Or when a phone solicitor calls and you don’t want to hurt their feelings, you let them finish their spiel and then set an appointment you don’t intend to keep- don’t!  Say, “No, thank you, I’m not interested” in the first ten seconds or so, and be done with it.
  • Keep a record of how you feel when you say “no.” Notice if you feel differently about saying “no” when you get to the end of your time period than you did at the beginning. If not, consider doing the exercise for a longer period.
  • Work to say “no” without feeling guilty. Recognize that you have a right to say “no” whenever you wish, and to feel good about doing so.


Stephanie Marston, MFT
The Balancing Act Newsletter

2 responses so far

Jun 25 2009

Let’s Get Ready For a 9 year-old Movie Critic!

bentracyPerry Chen, a nine-year-old prodigy movie critic in third grade at the Torrey Hills elementary school in Carmel Valley, San Diego, became an instant hit on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. His feature story became the 2nd most viewed story on on May 31, 2009, the night of the broadcast.

Perry is a columnist/movie critic for family movies for “We Chinese in America” weekly newspaper, where he reviews G and PG rated movies on a scale of 1 to 5 Starfish, 5 being the best. 

Perry’s sophisticated and insightful movie reviews have caught the attention of producers from “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric”, who produced a special feature to introduce Perry as one of the youngest  film critics in the country that aired on the show on May 31, 2008. 

Perry also appeared on Fox 5 San Diego on May 25 for an interview and review of Pixar/Disney’s new movie “Up,” the first animated feature that opened the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.  The San Diego Asia Film Festival also invited Perry to interview filmmakers and become a guest columnist during the festival, October 15-29, 2009.

Renowned filmmakers took notice and have invited Perry to private interview sessions, including Pixar “Up” director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera whom Perry interviewed on May 4 during their San Diego press tour.  Perry was also invited to meet the acclaimed French director Michel Ocelot in San Francisco on March 4 whose movie “Azur & Asmar” Perry reviewed and gave five starfish rating in his first published review on “We Chinese in America” newspaper on February 20, 2009.

Perry’s movie reviews have also been featured on La Jolla Light, Carmel Valley Leader, Del Mar Times, Solana Beach Sun, and Rancho Santa Fe Record.  His movie reviews has generated significant media following, including features on San Diego News Network, San Diego Magazine, La Jolla Light’s five newspapers, Del Mar Village Voice, Carmel Valley News, The China Press, and We Chinese in America. 

Perry was born in 2000 in California after his parents Drs. Changyou Chen and Zhu Shen came to America to study biochemistry and molecular biology at graduate schools in 1988 from Beijing, China.

In October 2008, at the Parent-Teacher Conference, Perry’s 3rd grade teacher Ms. Joli Harris, told his mom Dr. Zhu Shen that he was already decoding words at high school level. At home, Perry enjoys reading Time Magazine that his mom subscribed. With encouragement from his mom and Ms. Harris, he has have been writing movie reviews ever since, and enjoy it very much! 

Perry’s hobbies are drawing, reading, folding origami, gardening, writing poems (In English and Chinese), and watching movies. Perry hopes that a lot of parents will watch many wonderful movies with their children and talk to them about the movies after reading his reviews, which can be found at his website, together with all of his published reviews, media coverage, and upcoming events:

18 responses so far

Jun 24 2009

Let’s Get Ready for some Iced Tea!

Gretchen at Tea Safari was sweet enough to give us some of her amazing tea.  Heidi and Megan loved the Strawberry Kiwi Iced Tea.  It is unbelievably delicious and caffeine-free.  

Iced Tea Preparation Instructions:

  1. Brew a tea concentrate by following the regular brewing instructions printed on the tea bag or tin, but using twice the amount of leaves. If sweetener is desired, we recommend using sugar, stevia, honey, etc. while the tea is hot.
  2. Fill glasses or pitcher approximately 2/3 with ice (preferably made using filtered water). Use plastic or tempered glass only.
  3. Immediately pour the hot tea over the ice, separating the leaves with a strainer. If necessary, add more ice until the concentrate is diluted to nearly double its initial volume. 
  4. If desired, add a slice of lemon, lime or orange or decorate with a sprig of mint leaf. 
  5. Example Measurements: To prepare 36 ounces of iced tea, brew 18 ounces of tea using approximately 6 teaspoons of tea leaves.

Tea is a great way to stay hydrated and healthy.  To visit Tea Safari, click on the link below. Free ground shipping in the continental U.S.


Use the coupon code at the store checkout!

11 responses so far

Jun 23 2009

Let’s Get Ready for 10 “NEVERS” To Make Your Life Better from Guru Michael Levine!

  1. Never…make the same mistake twice.
  2. Never…trust technology.
  3. Never…forget that life is not divided into semesters; in real life you don’t get summers off.
  4. Never…fail to return a phone call.
  5. Never…confuse wealth with success.
  6. Never…expect respect without giving it.
  7. Never…be late without calling.
  8. Never…forget that business is about making things and selling things.
  9. Never…burn a bridge with an old employer.
  10. Never…fail to accept constructive criticism.

This material has been excerpted from the best-selling gift book Never.  Click here


BUSINESSMAN. AUTHOR. SPEAKER. Michael Levine is one of the best known names in the field of public relations in the world. Referred to as the “Michael Jordan of Entertainment PR” by the late Steve Allen, he has made his mark on the public relations world through his books, television appearances, and most of all through his extensive history of servicing the biggest names in Hollywood and the world.

Find out more about Michael Levine

Michael Levine
310-300-0950 ext. 230 

I am a huge fan of Michael Levine and his fantastic newsletter – I read it everyday: 
Be the First to Know…

P.S. You can post a free 40-word message on the LBN E-Lert website.  Email –  I have had amazing results from his free ad!

11 responses so far

Jun 22 2009

Let’s Get Ready for a Little Elementary School Incentive

Published by under Uncategorized

My webmaster wrote a post on her own blog, and I just *had* to share it with you!  I love it!!!! WOW!!! How hard would that be for each school district to give out $$  in a raffle, and each child than gets good attendance goes into the pool with a chance at winning some summer spending money!!! I mean we spend trillions of dollars on education on how many kids in the U.S.?  Why can’t SOME of that money go TO the kids, directly, to encourge them to continue being great students?!

Here’s Tammy’s Post:

DD#3 just finished the 2nd grade at the local public school.  During her award’s ceremony, she received a certificate for perfect attendance.

Yesterday in the mail, she received another award for that perfect attendance – a check in the amount of $200!!!  As I understand it, a member of the community graciously rewards second graders with such checks, if they have either perfect attendance or if they miss 1 or 2 days. 

I was dumbfounded and have never heard of such a thing before!  Of course, she refuses to share with me … and she won’t even consider buying her dad a Father’s Day gift with some of her funds.  She emphatically (and loudly) has stated that she’s saving her money to buy her very own LAPTOP.  Can a geeky mom really be upset about that?!

I think I’ll head back to second grade next year!

For More From my “Secret Weapon” Tammy, Click Here

215 responses so far

Jun 19 2009

Let’s Get Ready For A Guest Post from Mary Fetzer and

I was contacted by the talented Ms. Stacey Kennenberg and asked if I would like to review her “Let’s get ready for Kindergarten” and “Let’s get ready for First grade” books. While I do not have small children I do have lots of small nieces and nephews and I love books so I gladly accepted the offer. First let me tell you a little about Ms. Stacey Kennenberg

Stacey Kannenberg, “Let’s Get Ready to Learn” Mom

Stacey Kannenberg is an author, publisher, motivator, consultant, spokesperson and MOM. As the “Get Ready to Learn Mom”, Stacey is a nationally renowned education expert and award winning author with an expertise in children’s education, and “Mom-entrepreneurship”. She is the co-author of the award winning and state approved, Let’s Get Ready series with Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Stacey is the Founder/CEO of two publishing companies: Cedar Valley Publishing and Stacey Kannenberg Unlimited, an imprint of Cedar Valley Publishing. Stacey has recently released the highly anticipated Spanish/English Bilingual Edition of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!

Stacey is a media favorite with numerous television appearances along with hundreds of radio, magazine and newspaper stories to her credit from Radio Disney to Toy Tips Magazine to the Dallas Daily News. During Back to School, she was featured in 22 Parenting Magazines from Indy Parent to Houston Parent to OC Parent to Metro Parent as well as numerous television shows from FOX 6 News to Milwaukee’s Morning Blend to WEAUTV to the WB’s Daily Buzz.

Stacey is a frequent presenter at Early Learning and Head Start Conferences where she holds workshops for teachers and educators entitled: Empowering Parents 101. Stacey is a favorite presenter at schools where she helps parents, kids and teachers get ready for Kindergarten. She also presents at Book Publishing Conferences with her sessions on Book Publishing 101 & Book Marketing 101. Stacey also presents Empowering Mom 101 and Mom-entrepreneurship to mom groups, playgroups, MOPS and book clubs.

Now if that’s not enough for you to already be saying “Wow!” she is also a wonderful mother to 2 beautiful girls, wife to Micheal and a very busy lady, how she does it I don’t know.

Now on to my book review, like I said in the beginning, I was contacted by Stacey and asked to review “Let’s get ready for Kindergarten” and “Let’s get ready for First grade”. It only took me a second to decide that this would be perfect for my 2 nephews, Dylan and Wyatt, 2 little boys who happen to be brothers. Dylan just “graduated” from kindergarten and is entering first grade this fall and Wyatt “graduated” from headstart and is entering kindergarten. I called their mommy and asked if they would like to help me review some books and they said yes.

I decided to wait on reading them myself until I met with the boys. My 15 year old son Jesse wanted to help me so he tagged along. The boys were excited with Dylan far more eager than Wyatt. Jesse sat down with Wyatt and I had Dylan with me and we got started. The books are wonderfully illustrated and Dylan started immediately talking about the pictures, he loves learning. He helped me read alot of the words and really got into sounding out the letters. He enjoyed solving the problems, counting and talking about the different things that the book had to offer. Before we knew it we had spent a good hour and enjoyed every minute of it. Who knew that I have a little bit of teacher in me, I do miss this part of my kids. I miss sitting down with them and reading/learning new things. The fascination that you see in little ones eyes is so wonderful. Jesse had a good time with Wyatt also, he enjoyed working with him on his colors, counting numbers and saying the alphabet. They worked on many different things and Wyatt was smiling. laughing and enjoying every minute of it. Wyatt has a short attention span and I have to admit I wasn’t sure if he would sit still long enough to really review the book but he sat there for the hour also. There was a moment of silence once and I heard Jesse ask Wyatt if he was bored. Wyatt exclaimed “No, I’m just thinking.”

All in all, the boys, Jesse and I thoroughly enjoyed the books and highly recommend them for anyone who has or know children that are toddlers, preschool or entering kindergarten and first grade. They are very educational, wonderfully illustrated and recommended by 2 very fine boys who love to be boys but also love to learn, a 42 year Mom and a 15 year old young man.

For More Information about Mary’s Website, Click Here

12 responses so far

Jun 16 2009

Let’s Get Ready To say NO to a NYC billboard for the sake of our children!

My grandmother and mom refused to let me buy Calvin Klein when I was a kid because of that risky Brooke Shield’s Campaign when she was a young girl.  Calvin Klein has always pushed the envelope and I have always spent my money elsewhere.  Thankfully I live in Wisconsin.  I don’t know what I would say to my girls if we were walking in NYC and saw a young girl making out with two boys at the same time and another watching from the floor.  This ad is too pornographic for me to even show you on my blog!!! Are all the people from Calvin Klein insane?  Is the world made up of 24 year-old marketing managers who don’t understand who pays for your products – the parents!!! Why in the world do you want to alienate them? 

Enough is enough – please call 866-513-0513 and tell Calvin Klein how you feel!

12 responses so far

Jun 14 2009

Let’s Get Ready to Welcome Baby Caden!!

Readers to our blog will remember the call for help The Hustler Family – we / YOU!  helped to raise funds to allow them to adopt!  Thank you to those that helped!!! 

I am giddy to Welcome Baby Caden Josiah to the Hustler Family who was at the hospital to celebrate his birth on May 29 at 3:37 a.m., weighing 6 lbs. 7.9 oz.  and 20 inches long.  WOO HOO!!!

Here’s a note from Baby Caden’s forever mommy:

Caden Josiah was born early this morning at 3:37am.  He weighs 6 lbs. 7.9 oz. and is 20 inches long.  He scored 9.9 on his APGAR.  He’s doing very well; eating and doing all of the things that baby’s are supposed to do.  Tasha, his birth mother, is also doing well physically and emotionally.  She is referring to us as “the parents” or “his mom” and “his dad” or “your baby brother” so we think that this is a good sign.  She has not held him, yet, but she probably will before we take him home.  Until then, we are hanging out with her in her room along with the baby.  He’s a very content little boy.  (And, of course, ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!)

Tasha checked into the hospital at 1:00am Thursday morning for severe vomiting.  She was put on a fetal monitor for awhile but since she wasn’t having contractions, they took her off.  She also started having severe back cramps late last night and told the nurses that she was having contractions but they didn’t take her seriously and would only put her on the monitor for a few minutes at a time. At 3:00am Tasha decided to take a bath.  While she was in the tub, the nurse came in to check on her and asked how she was doing.  She told the nurse that her back pain was getting worse and she felt like pushing.  The nurse checked her and screamed that the baby was coming and to hold him in!  (Yeah, right!!!)  Caden was born in the bath tub at 3:37am.  The hospital said that this was their very first underwater birth.  😉

Hope you all enjoy the pictures.  Eric has posted more on Facebook, too.  We have not heard when the baby will be released from the hospital but we are hoping for tomorrow morning.

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your prayers.  This little miracle wouldn’t have happened without all of your support.  

Love and blessings,

17 responses so far

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