Archives for September 3, 2015

Back to School with Zazzle

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Back-to-school officially starts for us next week! I homeschool and still can’t believe that my son is in 7th grade this year! Where does the time go? He is in that tween age where he is no longer a kid in his view. Finding back-to-school items for him isn’t quite as easy as it used to be! He deems many things as just for little kids.  Well…I found a website that has really cool back-to-school items for all ages but especially for tweens and teens.

Zazzle is a marketplace where you can custom design nearly anything including watches, notebooks, lunchboxes, iPhone cases and more. In fact, they’ve recently added hundreds of designs to school gear available for you to choose from. Check out all of their great back-to-school items!

I received a really stylish and cool Chemical Elements Wrist Watch. I can’t wait to give this one to my son the first day of school! It’s definitely not for a little kid! It is a vintage leather watch and it will be just perfect for fun and any formal occasions. It is recommended for ages 13+. Retails for $49.95.

Check out Zazzle for all your cool custom designed back-to-school gift ideas!

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this back-to-school post. No other compensation was received. Photo Credit: Zazzle.

 

ANCIENT EARTH JOURNAL by Juan Carlos Alonso Giveaway Opportunity that you don't want to miss!

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I have often said, “Every child is born an artist.” I believe this to be an absolute truth. If you were to spend any time at all with a child, you’ll notice how adept they are at expressing themselves whether it is through drawing, painting, dancing or acting. All of these behaviors are untaught, they come naturally and even without much thought. Why is this? This is because children are inspired by everything around them. You’ll notice some will be inspired by a trip to the zoo, so they’ll draw animals. Others might be inspired by music, so they’ll dance. Children have a number of muses, for me it was dinosaurs. I was obsessed with drawing them, molding their images out of clay and staring at their pictures in books. Everything about dinosaurs was fascinating; they were an amazingly unreal group of animals – large, powerful and most importantly an enigma. We knew they existed by evidence of their bones, but everything else about them was kind of a mystery. Everything from the color of their skin to how they acted. Of course, back when I was a child, they were slow, stiff, tail-dragging behemoths lumbering about attacking each other. At least every rendition of dinosaurs made them appear this way. In order to make them look dynamic in books, illustrators always portrayed them either biting each other or eating plants. And if it was a Brontosaurus it was pictured next to an obligatory Blue Whale; for some reason they felt this would give a child a good perspective of scale. When all was said and done, dinosaurs didn’t seem natural they were more like monsters than animals.

 

But as time passed, little by little, scientific discoveries began to chip away at our perception of what dinosaurs were. And in the process they slowly drifted away from being monsters to becoming animals – animals that ate, reproduced and defended themselves to ensure the next generation of their species continued. Really no different than say, a lion or a giraffe might do today in the Serengeti. But still, dinosaurs were unique if compared to modern-day animals. Some were enormous and armed with an arsenal of weapons from teeth to claws, some even had sharp elongated spines protruding from their necks. Their mystique is still alive – people want to experience what they were like. This explains the popularity of movies like the Jurassic Park franchise and the amount of books and websites dedicated solely to dinosaurs.

 

Inspired by my own daughter’s sense of wonder, I sat down to create Ancient Earth Journal: The Early Cretaceous, to not only satisfy my life-long passion for prehistoric life, but also to share with other children. You see, the wonder and inspiration you are gifted as a child changes as we grow older. For some of us, we become pigeonholed into a career or trade or become tied to obligations. But for a fortunate few, regardless of their journey, this sense of wonder remains with them throughout their lives. By writing and illustrating this book, it was my intent to share my passion for both art and prehistoric life and that this book serves as an inspiration to wonder, imagine and possibly bring people closer to the intriguing wildlife of the Early Cretaceous.

Guest post Credit: Juan Carlos Alonso.

Now..for the book!

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What it would be like to see a living, breathing dinosaur? The Early Cretaceous brings readers closer to prehistoric life than ever before. By combining the latest paleontological findings with highly detailed, intimate drawings of wildlife from the Early Cretaceous, readers will look into the eyes of some of the most fascinating creatures to ever inhabit the earth. Written and illustrated in the style of a naturalist’s notebook, the viewer will be given a first-hand account of what it is like to stand alongside everything from the first birds to flying dinosaurs to some of the largest creatures ever to walk the earth. Through detailed illustrations and descriptive narrative, readers will discover how some dinosaurs survived polar blizzards, while others were able to pump blood five stories high to reach their brains. While many books on prehistoric life lump dinosaurs into the general timeline of the Mesozoic Period, no book currently dissects plant and animal life during one specific period. This allows the book to explore wildlife seldom featured in publications, many of them recent discoveries. The Early Cretaceous is backed by the research of one of paleontology’s most acclaimed theorists, giving the book the most up to date scientific interpretation regarding animal behaviors, interactions, and recreations.

I received a copy of this book and it really is quite amazing! The drawings and the facts provided make for a great educational resource for kids of all ages! I highly recommend for ages 8-12. 

More about the Author:

Alonso

Juan Carlos Alonso is a Cuban American graphic designer, creative director, and illustrator. He has over 30 years experience in the graphic design/illustration field. In 1992, he founded Alonso & Company, a creative boutique specializing in branding, design, and advertising. He has been working with clients of all sizes from Fortune 500 to local businesses and has forged strong relationships with companies including the NBA franchise The Miami Heat, Bacardi Rum, Ryder System, Pitney Bowes, and Capitol Records. Alonso & Company has attained international acclaim for work in advertising and graphic design. His passion for nature has taken him around the world from Australia to the Galapagos Islands to study animals. Along with his work in the graphic arts, he is also an accomplished wildlife sculptor focusing mostly on prehistoric animals.

http://alonsopaleo.com/

I have participated in a Blog Tour!

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! US and Canada residents only! To enter, leave a comment below telling us your favorite dinosaur or your child’s favorite dinosaur. Deadline to enter is September 12th, 2015 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via random.org.

Self Disclosure: I received a free book to participate in the Blog Tour. One winner will win a book, which will be sent to them by the Author.