Show-How Guides: Paper Airplanes

“Master the art of paper airplanes with this show-how guide that provides step-by-step illustrations on how to create many paper airplane styles.” – Momma Braga

Show-How Guides

Show-How Guides are joyful primers for curious minds – collectible, visual, step-by-step handbooks that teach the skills every kid should know! This pocket-sized 101 series introduces kids of all ages to the perennial talents, hobbies, skills, and hands-on activities they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Each book includes a curated collection of essential skills and every step is illustrated, allowing kids to truly and easily master the basics, regardless of how they learn. Finally, fun and friendly tutorials you can understand at a glance! Show-How Guides are an affordable stocking stuffer, birthday gift, or impulse buy.


Show-How Guides: Paper Airplanes is a great book for children to learn how to make paper airplanes. We love how this guide provides illustrations with step-by-step tutorials on 11 essential airplane models.

We took it to the test and tried one out ourselves and we went with the Eagle style which is featured below. After a few tries we got it! It is perfectly ok to feel frustrated at first but never give up. We didn’t give up and we loved the result. By the end, you will feel like an expert.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this guide 5 planes out of 5! Get off to a flying start and get started today! If you would like to purchase your very own Show-How Guide, click here.

About the Author

Keith Zoo is an illustrator living near Boston, MA. For the past decade, he’s been the Lead Artist at FableVision Studios, working on a full range of things, from character design to animation layout, interactives and design. When he’s not there, he loves spending his time drawing monsters, goblins and other silly things.

About the Publisher

Odd Dot is a publisher of notification books with innovative formats for kids of all ages, with lists that range from STEM-oriented workbooks, to board books with wheels, and beyond. Combining fun and delightful artists with expert, knowledgeable, and creative authors allows Odd Dot to make joyful books for curious minds.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Blue’s Clues & You! Learning Toys Are Woof-errific

“Beloved Blue’s Clues & You is embracing toy time with these woof-errific items that will have your children learning and having fun for hours.” – Momma Braga

Blue’s Clues & You

Blue’s Clues & You follows Blue as she invites viewers to join her and Josh on a clue-led adventure and solve a puzzle on each episode. With each signature paw print, Blue identifies clues in her animated world that propel the story and inspire the audience to interact with John and Blue to figure out Blue’s Clues.

This popular preschool show is great to learn problem-solving and gets viewers engaged and interacting.

It is hard not to fall in love with Blue’s Clues & You! There are some amazing toys featuring this beloved character and we want to introduce you to some that will be popular this holiday season (or anytime of the year for the Blue’s Clues fan in your life). 😉

Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock

Make time for learning and explore daily routines with the Blue’s Clues & You! Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock. Press Blue to listen to her friendly barks and watch Tickety Tock wiggle her bells and light up.

Tickety Tock will play music including a song sung by Josh, the host of Blue’s Clues & You! Tickety Tock introduces numbers 1-12, says phrases and asks questions to encourage toddlers and preschoolers to learn and discover. Move the hour hand to explore daily routines including brushing teeth, snack time, bedtime and more. Explore numbers, music and daily routines by sliding the mode switch for a variety of activities. The Blue’s Clues & You! Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock is a pretend clock that introduces toddlers and preschoolers to time concepts and makes a great gift for Blue’s Clues & You fans.


Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock is absolutely awesome and can really help children learn the concept of time. We love how we can make this toy part of our daily routines. I have to admit that it helped keep me on track of our activities too! We love the teaching aspect of this toy as it teaches about daily routines, counting and number recognition.

The learning is done through three different modes and depending what your child would like to play with, you can pick the one that fits for the day. Our favourite was the music as it provided interactive activities. The toy itself is captivating to a little one and it is nice and big to make it easier for a child to grasp it. This is one clock that can not be missed in a room – it’s adorable!

We give it, 10 tocks out of 5! “I love learning about time and I love finding out what Blue does at different times. My favourite time is when Blue goes and plays outside at 11 in the morning.” – Nikki, Age 6

The Tickety Tock Play & Learn Clock is recommended for children ages two and up. If you would like to purchase your own amazing Tickety Tock & Learn Clock, click here.

Blue’s Clues & You! Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook

Learn what’s new with Blue and Josh! The Blue’s Clues & You! Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook looks like Josh’s Handy Dandy Notebook from the show. Learn through pretend play with 14 light-up app icons that introduce toddlers and preschoolers to colours, counting, shapes, weather, health and hygiene.

Learn through pretend play with the Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook, just like the one in the show Blue’s Clues & You! 11 light-up app icons introduce toddlers and preschoolers to colours, counting, shapes, weather, health and hygiene. This Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook features phone, music and mail apps for pretend play with Blue, Josh and Mailbox. Press the button with the picture of Blue to listen to a variety of her fun barks. This Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook makes the perfect gift for toddlers and preschoolers who watch the show Blue’s Clues & You!


Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook is a great way to truly feel like you are part of Blue’s Clues & You! The notebook looks just like the one from the show and if your child is a fan they will absolutely love it! This toy provides great interactive games that encourage imagination, listening skills, movement and early childhood foundations, such as shapes, colours, weather words, numbers and more.

There is so much that you can do on this handy dandy notebook, it truly earns it’s name of handy. 😉 You can chat with Josh and Blue, check email with Mailbox and play music. You can also explore 11 light-up app icons to explore colours, counting, shapes, weather, health and hygiene. Did I mention you can also play games?! My favourite is the exercise game with Magenta – it really got me to shake my tail! 😉

We give it, 10 hands out of 5! “My favourite app is the ABC because I like sounding out the letters of the alphabet and picking a word that starts with that letter.” – Nikki, Age 6

The Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook is recommended for children ages two and up. If you would like to purchase your own amazing Handy Dandy Notebook, click here.

Blue’s Clues & You! Learning Watch

Bring Blue wherever you go with the Blue’s Clues & You! Blue Learning Watch. Bring time concepts to life with an entertaining wristwatch that features Josh’s voice and familiar barks from Blue! Explore daily routines with Blue and Magenta by choosing a time to discover what they want to do.

It’s time to learn all about time with Blue, Magenta and Josh by exploring daily routines and things they want to do at different times of the day. Four interactive learning games introduce counting, shapes and problem solving with Tickety Tock, Slipper Soap, Shovel and Pail. Explore time concepts and build early habits with an alarm clock and timer. Includes seven digital watch faces and a protective lid featuring Blue’s adorable face. This digital wristwatch featuring Blue makes the perfect birthday gift or holiday present for toddlers and preschoolers.


Learning Watch is a great learning tool on the go. It includes four learning games, seven watch faces, alarm clock and timer. Along with all these great features, a child can learn counting, daily routines, shapes and telling time. All great skills to learn!

We love the Learning Watch as it allows kids to take it with them as it’s comfortable to wear on their wrist. We loved picking the watch faces and our favourite is Magenta. It is hard to pick my favourite game as I enjoyed each one. Nikki on the other hand does have a favourite game which is “Spot the Difference.” She loved being able to find the differences in the pictures and I have to admit that she was fairly quick to spot them all. It is overall a great addition to a child’s playtime as it offers fun, learning and of course Blue and friends!

We give it, 10 barks out of 5! “I love playing the games! It is so much fun and it’s easy to take with me everywhere!” – Nikki, Age 6

The Learning Watch is recommended for children ages three and up. If you would like to purchase your own amazing Learning Watch, click here.

We absolutely adore all three of these toys and they truly are great for little ones, especially for Blue’s Clues fans! We love how LeapFrog developed them with education on mind to ensure every child is getting the most out of playtime.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

*These products were provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Love Is Powerful | Book Review

Love is Powerful is an empowering children’s story that shows us that one little voice can be carried out to millions. All you need to do is believe, have confidence and never be afraid to speak up.” – Momma Braga


Mari raised her sign for everyone to see. Even though she was small and the crowd was very big, and she didn’t think anyone would hear, she yelled out.

Mari is getting ready to make a sign with crayons as the streets below her fill up with people. “What are we marking, Mama?” she asks. “A message for the world,” Mama says. “How will the whole world hear?” Mari wonders. “They’ll hear,” says Mama, “because love is powerful.”

Inspired by a girl who participated in the January 2017 Women’s March in New York City, Heather Dean Brewer’s simple and uplifting story, delightfully illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is a reminder of what young people can do to promote change and equality at a time when our country is divided by politics, race, gender, and religion.


Love is Powerful is an empowering children’s book that is so refreshing to read. We loved the storyline and illustrations throughout. The message is loud and clear for our young activists that every voice should be heard. But most importantly that you CAN be heard.

We love how the book included a note from Mari who is the star of the story and her telling us of her real life experience of being heard. A six year old inspired everyone to chant “Love is Powerful.” It is empowering to hear stories like this as it reminds us that we all can be heard.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 hearts out of 5! Beautiful storyline and illustrations that will empower the little ones and even the adults reading the story. It truly touched our hearts and we recommend to give this book a read.

If you would like to purchase this great book, click here. This book is great for children’s ages five to eight years of age.

About the Author

Heather Dean Brewer is a writer, artist, and art director who designs books for kids and adults and loves to ride her bike in the woods. About this book she says, “I’ve often felt quiet and small and that no one could hear me. But when I joined others in the Women’s March and saw my friend Mari lifted above the crowd, her voice echoing down the streets of New York City, I learned that even the smallest voice has the power to change the world.” Heather Dean Brewer lives in Michigan wit her family and loves to ride her bike in the woods.

About the Illustrator

LeUyen Pham is a Caldecott Honor recipient and the illustrator of over one hundred books for children, including the Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. She says, ” I marched in the first Women’s March in Atlanta in 2017, but I carried no sign. This book is the sign I wish I’d had with me.” LeUyen Pham lives in California.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.


Covering Your Bases: 9 Things You Need to Do to Prepare for a Possible Power Outage

Homeowners get weather alerts on their TVs and smartphones when a storm is coming. Most severe storms increase power outages and define how long the outage will last. Steps for preparing for a power outage helps the property owner avoid dangerous circumstances and helps them keep their families safer in terrible weather.

  1. Purchase and Install a Generator

A generator provides adequate power for the home during a power outage. However, the homeowner has two options with generators, and they must choose either a gas-powered model or a product that uses solar power to light the home. Comparing the costs of each and the duration they operate helps the homeowner find the best product for their home.

Image Credit: Pexels
  1. Buy Plenty of Batteries

Batteries are a necessity during a power outage and provide power for flashlights, weather radios, and even battery-powered lamps. Homeowners need an ample supply of batteries on-hand when a storm is rolling in.

  1. Stock Up on Non-Perishable Foods and Water

Non-perishable foods and bottled water are the best choices for a storm or power outage. It is best to choose foods that are pre-cooked and don’t require the homeowner to heat the food before eating. An ice-filled cooler keeps the water cold during the outage.

  1. Fill Up Your Vehicles

Homeowners need to fill up their gas tank just in case of an evacuation. Strong storm systems are often a cause for mandatory evacuations, and the property owner needs to leave as directed.

  1. Purchase a Backup Phone

A corded phone gives the property owner a backup option for contacting emergency services and staying in touch with family. Cordless phones are useless in a power outage, and the owner can use the corded phone even if the power is off.

Image Credit: Pexels
  1. Lower the Temperature in the Fridge and Freezer

Reducing the temperature in the fridge or freezer keeps it colder until they restore the power. It lowers the chances of a complete loss of all the food stored in the appliances. It will also cause the freezer to generate more ice that won’t melt for several days.

  1. Make Your First-Aid Kits are Stocked

First-aid kits must be stocked with vital medical supplies. Experts recommended that homeowners replenish their medical supplies as needed. This ensures access to the supplies if someone is injured in the home during the outage or a severe storm.

  1. Buy Plenty of Flashlights

Flashlights are necessary for lighting the homeowner’s way through their home once the power is out. The size of the home defines how many flashlights they should have on-site. At least three flashlights provide emergency lighting during a storm and could prevent avoidable injuries.

  1. Keep Your Cell Phone Charged

Cell phones should stay charged before the outage. Once they are fully charged, the homeowner can use the phone to contact emergency services or family members. A car charger is an invaluable investment, too.

Homeowners must act quickly when a severe storm is approaching. Preparatory steps for a power outage prevent the homeowner from remaining in the door throughout the outage. If the storm lasts longer than expected, the owner could be without power for several days. Buying non-perishable foods and water helps the homeowner feed their family during the outage. Families that follow tips for preparing for an outage prevent injuries and keep everyone safer.

A Children’s Book That Brings Out Your Inner Artist

Make Your Mark Gallery: A Coloring Book-ish will let your inner artist shine through as they can express their art through the beautiful pages in this children’s book.” – Momma Braga

About the Book

Draw. Frame. Share! With pages of possibilities, the creator of The Dot inspires us to make our mark and see where it takes us.

Do you have a crayon or marker ready? Children’s book creator Peter H. Reynolds has motivated kids of all ages, in homes and classrooms, to escape their inner critics and let the artist inside of them out to play. Now, with Make Your Mark Gallery, the celebrated author-illustrator offers more inspiration with a coloring book-ish featuring frames of all kinds just waiting to be filled with original art. Readers can follow ish-full suggestions or let inspiration guide their artistic vision, then tear out their creations along a perforated edge to proudly display their work or give it to someone special.


Make Your Mark Gallery: A Coloring Book-ish is an amazing children’s book that embraces your inner artist. This is absolutely the perfect book for our family as Nikki loves being artistic. Each page provides a different frame that you can use to create your masterpiece. Once completed, your child can write their name, date and the name of the drawing.

Your child can give their photo to someone that they love or they can add their photo to their own art gallery. You can even be creative and do an art gallery opening where your child can display their artwork for all to see. We have started the process and we are hoping by Thanksgiving in October we can have “Nikki’s Art Gallery” ready to show our immediate family.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 paint brushes out of 5! Time to roll up your selves and get creative. Your child will love to explore the pages that await them. I wonder if I can sneak a page for my own design while Nikki isn’t looking?! 😉

If you would like to purchase this great masterpiece, click here. It is perfect for children ages four to eight and let their inner creativity flow!

About the Author

Peter H. Reynolds is the New York Times best-selling illustrator of the Judy Moody and Stink series, written by Megan McDonald. He is also the creator of several picture books for children, including The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, The North Star, So Few of Me, Rose’s Garden, The Smallest Gift for Christmas, and Playing from the Heart. The president and creative director of FableVision, Peter H. Reynolds was born in Canada and now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

It’s Not A School Bus, It’s A Pirate Ship

“It’s Not A School Bus, It’s A Pirate Ship is a great adventure to get your imagination ready for a new school year.” – Momma Braga


A boy overcomes his first-day-of-school fears by imagining It’s Not A School Bus, It’s A Pirate Ship! Set sail on the high-seas with him in this picture book adventure by writer Mickey Rapkin and illustrator Teresa Martinez!

The first day of school means the first ride on the school bus. But who will I sit with? What if no one talks to me?

Luckily this isn’t a school bus, it’s a pirate ship!

And this crew has one motto: “One for all and all for FUN!” So set sail on a voyage across the high seas! And prepare to make some pirate buddies along the way in this adventure about overcoming your anxiety.


It’s Not A School Bus, It’s A Pirate Ship is the great adventure that will get you ready for the school year.

The illustrations are vibrant and really bring the story to life. The storyline is full of imagination perfection and will help the little ones shake their school gitters away. Who would not want to travel to school in a pirate ship?! I know I would sign up for that! 🙂

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 ARRRRRs out of 5! A super cute children’s book that takes you on an imaginary pirate adventure. It also makes a great story for those who might be a little nervous to start the school year. We just love it!

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

About the Author

Mickey Rapkin is a journalist and screenwriter whose first book, Pitch Perfect, inspired the hit film series about cappella signing. Previously a senior editor at GQ, he is the author of Theatre Geek and has written for the The New York Times, ELLE, Bon Appetit, and National Geographic Traveler. He lives in Los Angeles when he isn’t surfing the high seas, matey! He is the author of It’s Not a Bed, It’s a Time Machine.

About the Illustrator

Teresa Martinez was born in Mexico. She was a very shy girl at school, and drawing helped her connect with other children. When she grew up she studied graphic design and started illustrating picture books. Now she lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, drawing for kids as she did during her school days, and that makes her happy.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Llama Unleashes The Alpacalypse | Book Review

Llama Unleashes The Alpacalypse had has giggling throughout the story and with a very important lesson: never duplicate an alpaca (LOL)!” – Momma Braga


Llama loves cooking. And baking. And, above all, eating. For breakfast, Llama makes one epic spread…as well as a big mess. But Llama hates cleaning. So by lunch, Llama has cooked up something really devious – an idea! – and by second lunch, Llama has cloned his most fastidious friend, Alpaca, to clean his house. And Llama doesn’t stop at just one clone. By dinner, the alpaca clones threaten to tidy the world into utter destruction – THE ALPACALYPSE* IS HERE! Will Llama be able to fix it all before dessert?

*That’s “apocalypse” with an alpaca – get it? 😉


Llama Unleashes The Alpacalypse must be the funniest book we have read so far this year! It truly had us laughing out loud throughout. Just imagine the world filled with cleaning alpacas! Just the thought of that alone makes me giggle (lol).

The idea of making clones had me and Nikki talking about what we would want our clones to do in our place. I of course had a LONG list of tasks that I would be happy to pass onto my clone and Nikki just had one item on her list. “I would make my clone do my bed! Everything else I can do myself!” – Nikki, Age 6

However, after reading this story, we know how much of a disaster it can be to have clones running around in the world. So we decided that we best just get use to do the items that we are not big fans of. We feel that by doing this, we are saving the world. 😉 We do admire the Llama’s creative idea to avoid his cleaning task but does he really learn his lesson on not duplicating?! You will have to read the story to find out. 😉

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, Nikki says A Million Alpacas out of 5 (muahahaha)! We love the characters, the storyline and the vibrant illustrations. If you are looking for a book to just bring some smiles and joy into your home, then this is the one.

If you are interested in purchasing this great book for your reading line-up, click here.

About the Author

Jonathan Stutzman is many things – a children’s author, a filmmaker, a Jonathan of science…but one thing Jonathan definitely is NOT is a Jonathan who likes cleaning up messes. Thankfully, most of his messes end up being stories, which he sends to his editor to clean up for him. Jonathan is a big fan of books, second dinner, and pizza.

About the Illustrator

Heather Fox is an illustrator and a picture maker. She loves gigantic breakfasts, does not like messes, and has a tendency to hide her snacks from unwanted snackers. One time, she invented a battery-operated automatic-spaghetti-twirler (a plastic fork glued to an electric hair braider).

Jonathan and Heather are married and live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with their Frenchie, Hugo. They are the creative team behind Llama Destroys the World and Don’t Feed the Coos and have many more silly stories on the way.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

7 Signs Your Child is Athletically Gifted

If all the news herald today about athletes enjoying multi-million-dollar yearly contracts has done anything, it’s made parents acutely aware of any athletic prowess of their children. Whether a son or daughter is in high school or diapers, parents’ schedules are full chock of practices and sports training classes.

Many parents ponder their children’s success when it comes to raising athletic children. Is it best to raise a child in one sport or multiple sports? At what age should we start them? How do we find an athletic program? What follows are seven signs you better start looking into athletic shoes.

Is Your Child a Leader?

If your child demonstrates the ability to lead early in their life, you probably have a future athlete on your hands. These characteristics will often show, but you must watch for them. If they struggle between which toys to play with, you could have a leader.

Image Credit: Pexels

Do You Live in a Warm Climate?

According to a recent story in the Journal of Sports Medicine, the high number of professional athletes who come from California, Florida, and Texas indicates the benefits of warm weather on potential athletic development. By contrast, children who live in colder climates are often unable to practice their sports, putting their development on hold.

Tall Parents

Most athletes, especially at the professional level, are well over six feet tall, whereas the average American male is five foot nine inches. Want to know your child’s potential height? Just add both parents’ heights, divide the result by two, and then add 2.5 inches for boys and subtract 2.5 inches for girls.

Eye/Hand Coordination

Coordination is an essential skill for an athlete. Unfortunately, children are born with no coordination. It’s not until they are about six months old that they begin to understand the correlation between seeing and touching. Their ability to watch an object as it moves and transfer an object from one hand to another is an early indicator of coordination.

Image Credit: Pexels


There is a point at which fearlessness becomes stupidity, but it’s also true that athletes have a degree of fearlessness that others don’t. For example, that basketball player who attempts the difficult lay-up or the gymnast who isn’t afraid to try the seemingly impossible maneuver is a fearless athlete. Fearless children are often climbers, talkers, and much more that prove they aren’t afraid of failure.


Does your child fall and never fail to get back up and try it again? Or, does your child try to reach something that’s too far away, only to try again? These things and more indicate early resilience in a child.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Quick Learner

Does your child pick things up quickly? Do they learn things fast? Being a quick learner is an excellent attribute for any athlete. Learning things like proper form is essential to athletic success, such as the basketball player who watches the form of a professional and attempts to copy it.

There are many more critical indicators of a child’s potential for success in athletics. These include their body type, competitive nature, and much more. In many cases, it’s difficult to determine which is a more important characteristic than another. And yes, there are those athletes who defy all the norms but become standouts against all expectations. It all comes down to the attitude of the child.

5 Dos and Don’ts of Proper Wooden Patio Maintenance

Wooden patios and decks add value to homes and increase usable living space. However, owners need to care for outdoor wood surfaces to extend their lives, keep them safe, and ensure they remain attractive. The steps involved in maintaining decks and patios are not complicated, but it is easy to make mistakes that create more problems than they solve. With that in mind, savvy property owners learn the dos and don’ts of power washing, repairing, tidying, and sealing wood surfaces.

1) Power Wash Surfaces Correctly

The simplest way to give outdoor wood a facelift is to power wash it. However, the process has to be done correctly and on a schedule that optimizes the life of the wood.

Owners should hire professionals for the task since experts have the necessary equipment and experience to ensure a thorough job. Technicians can use methods that are gentle on surfaces. For example, property owners who browse the Internet will be able to get more information about soft washing techniques that are safe for all types of woods.

It is best to avoid DIY power cleaning that can destroy patio materials. It can be challenging to gauge the pressure needed for various materials. Homeowners should also avoid power washing too often since overusing the process can take a toll on materials.

Image Source: Pixabay

2) Remove Debris Regularly

Something as simple as sweeping a patio or deck has a significant impact on its condition. When debris is left too long, it can get trapped and create the perfect home for mold and rot. Decaying foliage may stain surfaces.

However, it is essential to use tools that will not harm surfaces. For instance, scrubbing stains with a wire brush is abrasive and may damage the wood.

3) Routine Cleaning Is Essential for Good Looks

Washing a wooden patio helps keep it looking good between power-cleaning sessions. According to experts writing for Savvy Remodeler, plain water may be all that is needed, but a mild cleanser will also work.

Avoid using bleach that can change the wood’s color and damage nearby plants.

4) Repair Damage As Soon as Possible

Homeowners who want safe, durable wood patios and decks must stay vigilant and routinely examine surfaces for damages. Nails can come loose, and boards might crack or warp. Per home improvement publication Today’s Homeowner, it is also critical to inspect surfaces for dry rot.

As owners examine patios, they need to be careful not to ignore areas like railings and stairs. Damages often weaken these areas, turning them into safety hazards.

5) Seal Wooden Surfaces Instead of Painting

Even carefully maintained outdoor wood surfaces eventually need to be resealed to preserve them. Experts recommend using one-step products that seal and stain and are ideal for DIY projects.

Tempting as it might be to paint outdoor wood structures, building specialists advise against the idea. It is easy for moisture to get trapped during priming and painting. Painted surfaces also need much more care to look good than stains.

Wood patios and decks can last for decades with the proper care. Routine maintenance includes removing debris, washing surfaces, and scheduling regular power washing. It is critical to fix damaged areas quickly and ensure surfaces are sealed. However, owners should avoid harsh cleaning products and techniques. It is equally vital to seal rather than paint surfaces and ensure that wood is not power washed too often.

Image Source: Pexels

You Are A Beautiful Beginning | Book Review

You Are a Beautiful Beginning gives children the ultimate confidence boost in story form that is captivating through words and illustrations. Perfection!” – Momma Braga


It is not the destination but the journey.

Inspired by this timeless adage, You Are a Beautiful Beginning combines lyrical storytelling and lovely art, blossoming into a celebration of self-love, friendship, and community. With delicate, evocative language and hidden depth, this meditative and magical picture book encourages readers old and young to discover their own endless potential.


You Are A Beautiful Beginning is a celebration of self-love, friendship and community that will appeal to readers of all ages.

The whimsical art will captivate everyone and the powerful message it brings out will be the ultimate confidence boost for a young person. Every story has a beginning and there really isn’t an end but a new beginning to the next story. It was simply a beautiful story

“It is not wishing to be different. It is learning to love being you. It is not the end of your story. It is a beautiful beginning, too.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give You Are A Beautiful Beginning 10 stars out of 5! A must read story with your little one and great story to have your young reader read it to you!

If you would like to purchase this lovely book, click here.

About the Author

Nina Laden is an award-winning, bestselling children’s book author and illustrator. Her many books include The Night I Followed the Dog, Peek-a Who?, When Pigasso Met Mootisse, Roberto: The Insect Architect, Once Upon a Memory, If I Had a Little Dream, and Yellow Kayak. When she is not writing or drawing, she paddleboards, takes long beach walks, hunts for agates, forages for mushrooms, makes jewelry, and cooks up a storm, amongst other things. Nina was born and raised in the New York City area and now lives on a little island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State with her husband, Booth, and their Siberian cat, Marley.

About the Illustrator

Kelsey Garrity-Riley is an illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in Germany and Belgium before moving to the US to pursue her love of art at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Kelsey’s picture books include Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir’s First Crusade, Other-Wordly, Born to Ride: A Story About Bicycle Face, and Frankie’s Favorite Food.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.