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Fun, Educational Websites for Younger Kids

Computers can be great educational tools for young children. Kids develop better eye-hand coordination skills by controlling the mouse, and working with the keyboard reinforces letter and number recognition. But aside from learning those basics, there is a great deal more to be gained from allowing your child to have computer time each day.

There are, of course, many computer programs that parents can purchase to help their kids learn such things as shapes, colors, reading, math, and more. But I have found that these types of programs can be somewhat of a headache for two reasons. First of all, these programs require you to install at least a minimum component of the program into your hard drive. And, if you have more than one program that your child likes to use, these installed components can end up using a good deal of space. Secondly, each time your child wants to switch to a different program, you need to switch which disc is in the player. Sure, you can teach your older children to do this themselves, but this probably isn't a task you want your kindergartener doing.

So, what can you do instead of purchasing computer programs? Simple-bookmark several good learning websites! There are hundreds of websites out on the internet now that are devoted to helping children learn. Because of this widespread availability of educational websites, you no longer need to purchase computer programs at all!

But, how can you find good learning websites? How can a parent know which sites are trustworthy? Which sites are worthwhile, and at the same time, fun? Look no further than the list below.

Starfall

This is actually one of the educational websites that is used in my son's kindergarten class. It is mainly focused on the subject of reading, and has sections for beginning readers up through to advanced readers, from pre-kindergarten to second grade. There are lots of stories for kids to read through themselves, with assistance as needed at the click of the mouse. Early readers may need help with navigation at first.

Prongo

Prongo is a really fun website for kids of any age. There are separate sections for ages 3-6, ages 6-9, and ages 9-12. Each section has a variety of games available, and the sections for the older kids have quite a few math-based games. The graphics on Prongo are very kid-friendly, very bright and fun.

FunBrain

This site is loaded with fun games for kids in grades K-8. There are math games, word games, and more-and navigation on this site is incredibly easy because you can search for games by grade level. FunBrain also has a few different blogs kids might enjoy reading-there is a blog for girls ages 6-10, one for boys ages 6-10, and one each for boys and girls over the age of 10.

A Walk in the Woods

This is a site developed by the University of Illinois. It is just as the title suggests-a video tour of a walk through the woods. There is a narrator who talks kids through the walk, and kids will see many different species of plants and animals. The walk is designed for children in at least third grade, but younger kids can enjoy watching the tour even if they do not completely understand everything. The video footage is quite beautiful.

I Know That

You can find activities for several different subject areas on this site, including math, science, language arts, and social studies. Navigation might be a little difficult for younger kids at first, but there is a toolbar at the top where parents can help find activities by grade level, from grade pre-K through grade 6. Your kids will like the fun graphics on this site.

Learning Planet

Here is another site which has a variety of subject areas. Learning Planet has games and activities about the alphabet and phonics, math, geography, and more. Younger children will need help with navigation, but parents will find it easy to click on the desired grade level to find activities. There is a premium service which parents can subscribe to which will allow access to everything on the site, but even without subscribing there are dozens of available games and activities.

There are, of course, many other children's educational websites. And to some degree, it is a personal choice (both for you and your child) as to which sites you will like the best. Some sites offer a subscription service or a premium membership for a fee-think carefully before deciding to pay for this because many sites simply do not offer enough for the fee to be worth paying. You also need to decide if you want to pay for any sites at all-I don't. For me, there are enough quality free sites out there for me and my children to explore that I don't find it necessary to pay for any site. Perhaps that may change when my kids get older-maybe there will be some sites for older kids for which I will want to pay for membership, who knows? But for now, free is good enough for me.

Web Sites to Help Grade Schoolers With Math

As my daughter has advanced through grade school, her math homework has gotten harder and harder. Math isn't my strong suit, and the way they teach things is a lot different than when I was in school. Her teacher sent home a list of websites that she could play educational games on and help reinforce the math principles she was learning at school.

Coolmath.com
Cool Math describes itself as "an amusement park of math and more." It has a bright, fun interface and features math games for all ages. There are games for practice, lessons, a math dictionary and more. Cool Math's mission is to make math fun and exciting for kids who don't enjoy it, or just don't get it. My daughter says this web site is really fun.

Hoodamath.com
Hood Math is another game based web site that caters to grade levels from kindergarten to high school. You can choose games by grade level, games by math subject, or games by category. They also have apps for iPad and Kindle. My daughter recommends the escape games. Players have to solve equations to advance and escape.

Sumdog.com
Sumdog is an all math learning web site that doubles as a social network for kids. You have to have a free account to access the site, and parents can activate an account to keep tabs on what their kids are doing. Kids can play single-player or challenge their friends to games. There is also an app for this site. This site is one of my daughter's favorites because she can compete against other people and challenge yourself to get first place.

Funbrain.com
Fun Brain not only has math games, it has books, comics, and other subjects. This site doesn't require an account, but you can create a password so you can track your progress. There is an actual tab for homework help on this one called Fact Monster.

Another option for homework help is friends and family. Math is not my strong point, but my dad is good at it, so if my daughter gets stuck on some homework she can either go to my parents' house or she can communicate with him via Skype.

Helping with homework can be frustrating, especially as kids get older. But there are so many resources out there to help, that homework no longer needs to mean a stressful evening.

The Best Pet Adoption Websites

There are many people who are interested in adopting a new pet from a local shelter or rescue group, but don't know where to start looking. There are many websites that help people to find the perfect pet. The best thing about these websites is that a person can narrow down his or her search based on what exactly is wanted in his or her new furry family member. Many of these sites use zip codes to show only local pets that are available for adoption, and often pictures are available of the animal so one can see what it looks like before going to the shelter to find out if this is the perfect pet for you or not.

http://www.petfinder.com One can find any kind of pet that he or she is looking for on this website. Along with cats and dogs, this site includes reptiles, horses, pigs and small and furry animals.

http://www.pets911.com This site features a lost and found section for pets as well as animals that are up for adoption. Endorsed by Animal Planet.

http://www.avianrescue.org Specifically for bird adoption, the shelters are organized by state rather than zip code.

http://www.petharbor.com Covers shelters in Canada and U.S.

http://www.creatures.com/USBR.html Set up by dog breed as well as by state

http://worldanimalnet.org/new.asp Fetures pet adoption resoures worldwide. Endorsed by the UN

Always remember it is always best to spay or neuter your pet to help stop the overpopulation of unwanted animals!

True Crime Websites

Have you ever heard information about a murder or abducted person and just wanted someplace to go and talk about the case as it develops? Have you ever wanted more information on a high profile crime and didn’t know where to turn for more information? Then this is for you. I have spent countless hours at these sites and many more digging up information and finding out about cases that were never in the national spotlight.

I looked around on the internet for information on True Crimes and found many sites that are very thorough. Crime Library has an extensive listing of crimes covering such notorious crimes like the murder of the Black Dahlia to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Their topics include Serial Killers, Gangsters and Outlaws, Terrorist, Spies and Assassins, Notorious Murders and their documents on the criminal mind. They also cover current news and have message boards to discuss what you have read.

True-crime.com is also another good site for information. They have book reviews and for each person listed on their site they give a small overview of the case(s) against the person and a listing of books on the subject. The reviews of the books can be very helpful if you are looking for even more in-depth information on a certain subject.

Mayhem.net is a wealth of information. The site is very in your face but has information listed that is hard to find on other true crime sites. They have current news as well as articles on serial killers past and more recent. The site lists its content by the number of confirmed deaths attributed to each person or pair. All information is given with attitude. Their tag line is “Home of the Mass Murdering Serial Killer”.

Courttv.com deals with current crime cases and cases that are now in court. Court TV also has coverage on open cases that received a lot of national coverage, such as, the Jonbenet Ramsey murder. Very current and up to date information with a message board for discussion.

Information out there is hard to sift through and can be confusing. These sites are just a few out of thousands out there on the internet. These sites are comprehensive and very thorough with the information they provide and they try to stay current and will answer questions if you need clarification on anything.

2 Beauty Deal Websites You Must Visit Daily

If you love buying all things beauty, making every lipstick dollar count is probably important to you. As Daddy used to say, "That doesn't grow on trees!" I love a good value or flat out steal on my favorite goodies. Stay on top of trendy looks, cool styles and must-have accessories with these beauty deal websites. I admit, there are tons of cool sites out there, but these are the two I love the most!

1SaleaDay: Goodness, I love this site. Here's how it works. Sign up to receive a daily email notice. Review the email and make your picks. The beauty is, they only offer 5 to 6 items per day and these dramatic sales only last 12 to 24 hours. Style lovers have a few categories to choose from like jewelry and accessories. Sometimes you can get an item free on 1SaleaDay, snagging it by just paying the shipping. Incredible-and there's no cost for signing up.

No More Rack: This website is a little more focused on beauty than 1st Deal of the Day. No More Rack too has just a few items a day but you'll find several categories like lingerie, apparel and shoes appeal to the style savvy. Shipping is cheap for most items and you can even snag deals at 80 to 100% off. They release new deals at 11 am Eastern Time and free items go fast so get to clicking! This site has a feature called Insanity Deals which I love! You have to have your credit card handy and some fast fingers if you expect to grab one of these amazing deals.

Here's the downside to some of the items you get. Some are marked down drastically because they are no longer being produced. So if you buy a swanky hot roller set, you may not be able to find replacement clips. Also, some items take a time to get to you so be patient. Overall, my experience has been terrific and I have found the one time I contacted customer service enjoyable.

One further piece of advice, if you don't have the extra cash, don't look. Some of the deals or hard to resist!

All About the Mobile Web

A Brief Introduction

In the past, cellular phones were meant for one strict purpose – to send and receive calls all around the globe. As developers began to realize the potential of mobile phones, however, they soon had other, much more advanced ideas in mind. And with the rapidly growth and expansion that the world has witnessed throughout the past decade or two, it wouldn't take long before their dreams would be made in to a reality; however crazy they may seem.

What Is The Mobile Web?

The mobile web is, in all regards the same old World Wide Web that you have been used to for the past several years. Obviously this is all scaled down in order to be able to fit on the tiny display of a cellular phone, but all the functionality is there. With the mobile web users can surf the Internet, play any number of mobile web based games, send emails, and more – literally anything you can do from a desktop computer and a home Internet connection can be achieved with a cellular phone, the mobile web, and a Wi-Fi connection.

However, there are some limitations imposed on the mobile web, due to both software and hardware issues. Because of the small screen size you may see single web pages split into several pieces, and some may not even appear at all. Additionally, most mobile devices do not use Javascript, which is used quite commonly on the Internet in order to enhance a user's web experience. And without a mouse your navigation through the mobile web will be limited, as well.

The Future Of The Mobile Web

And the ever advancing technology of the 21st century is only seeing mobile web innovations improve. With today's cell phones, dubbed "smartphones", you can surf the web with a stylus and even with the touch of your own finger as touch-screen technology is starting to emerge. And of course, the flip-out keyboards seen on today's cell phones are small and compact enough to avoid adding any excess bulk toy our phone, while at the same time being completely functional and large enough for your fingers to differentiate between the characters. With functionality like this, it is no wonder why the mobile web has taken off in popularity so quickly. And with no end in sight to the technological age, cell phone technologies and the mobile web are only bound to improve.

Website Review: Fabric.Com

If you are a fabric addict, you must give yourself a fabric high by visiting Fabric.com. Fabric.com is one of the very best sites to buy fabric online. There are many reasons why Fabric.com is one of the best. Read on to learn just a few of those reasons. Then visit Fabric.com and start shopping!

Incredible Fabric Selection

Fabric.com has an incredible selection of fabric for every kind of project you can dream up. They sell fabric for apparel, home decorating, quilting and crafts. You will find just about any print you can think of on this site. They have holiday prints year round, so you can buy Christmas fabric in March or Easter fabric in June. You can literally spend a week just looking through all their pages and pages of wonderful fabric.

Awesome Customer Service

Fabric.com offers the best customer service… period. If you have a question, they reply quickly. If you have a problem, they fix it. They treat you like you are their only customer. You do not get lost in the mix at Fabric.com.

Great Prices

Fabric.com offers the best fabric prices on the internet. All their prices are well below retail. And they have lots of sales in all their sections.

Huge Clearance Section

Fabric.com has one of the best clearance sections you will find at any online fabric store. Each category of fabric has its own clearance section with savings up to 75% off the already low Fabric.com prices. There is also a clearance section where nothing is over $1.95 per yard. The $1.95 per yard section moves quickly, so when it is stocked, you need to shop right away for the best selection.

Generous Cuts

Fabric.com gives you a generous cut so you are never shorted. They promise to give you a 37 inch cut per yard, but often times it's more like 40 inches per yard. Sometimes, if you buy three or four yards of one print, you will end up with a half yard for free!

Free Shipping

Fabric.com offers free shipping on all orders over $35. That's all you need to spend for free shipping! If you spend less, the shipping is very low, so you don't have to spend $35 if you don't want to.

Easy Return Policy

Fabric.com offers a no hassle return policy. And they mean it when they say no hassle. Anytime you want to return fabric, you just email them or call them and they will send you a return label. It does not cost you anything to return the fabric. And when they refund you, they refund your original shipping too! All without any hassle. This is a return policy that can't be beat! Oh, you do have to return within 30 days.

Valuable Coupons

Fabric.com is generous with their coupons. If you get on their mailing list, you will get one email per day telling you about their latest specials. And at least once per week you will get a nice coupon to be used on your next order. They even give out coupons for 25% off all clearance items. That brings the $1.95 per yard section down to just $1.46 per yard when you use the coupon!

Fabric Samples

Fabric.com offers fabric samples to help you decide if a particular fabric is the right one for your next project. They do charge a small fee (usually $1.75 per swatch) but it's worth it if you need a specific type of fabric or an exact color for your sewing project.

If this is not enough reason for you to try shopping at Fabric.com, the just visit their site and you will find many more reasons, too many to list. It's more than a fabric store. It's a fabric family!

More articles a fabric addict might like:

Sewing Tip: Turning Ribbon into Fabric

How to Make a Very Simple Patchwork Quilt

Sewing Guide for Buying Denim Online

Estella Warren Photos Heat Up the Web

Estella Warren photos are heating up the web and that can be attributed to a couple of things: one, Estella Warren is beautiful, and, two, Estella Warren is slated to appear in one of the the summer's new TV reality shows – "The Superstars," which premieres Tuesday, June 23, on ABC. As a result, interest in Estella Warren has reached a fever pitch and hot-blooded men all over the globe are eager to feast their eyes on the ridiculously-hot beauty.

Estella Warren has been richly blessed with many gifts. In addition to her obvious physical beauty (are those not the most beautiful lips you have ever seen?), she is also a talented athlete. In 1990, at the tender age of 12, Estella Warren began training with Canada's national synchronized swimming team. In 1995, Estella Warren was the solo bronze medalist at the Junior World Championships. And in 1996, she competed in the summer Olympics.

Estella Warren also enjoys the distinction of being the first woman to top Maxim's Hot 100 list of the hottest babes on the planet. That's correct, dear reader, Maxim debuted its Hot 100 list in 2000 and it sagely selected Estella Warren as its maiden hottie. Visit Maxim.com to learn more about the 2000 Hot 100 list.

I can't help but compare Estella Warren to Danica Patrick, for both are enormously attractive women who have excelled in the world of sports. Not only does Danica Patrick's hot bikini body grace the June cover of Shape magazine , but she also raced in the fabled Indy 500 over the weekend and came in at a very impressive third place (behind Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon). Thus, Danica Patrick, like Estella Warren, is a tremendously well-rounded woman.

As previously mentioned, Estella Warren will be appearing in the new ABC reality series, "The Superstars." The show pairs professional athletes with Hollywood celebrities (Estella Warren will be paired up with basketball player Robert Horry). The teams then compete with one another in various sporting events. You may recall that an earlier version of the show was broadcast during the 1970s.

One can only hope that beach volleyball (think bikini) is one of the sports that Estella Warren competes in on the new version of "The Superstars."

Sources:

ABC Announces the Cast and Team Pairing for "The Superstars, thefutoncritic.com

Estella Warren, Wikipedia.org

Website Review: Cellphoneshop.net

Shopping for cellphone accessories can be aggravating. Usually, you end up paying too much for an accessory and it is not worth it. Other times you may pay a low price but receive a low quality product. I've searched endless websites trying to find the right cell phone accessories for my budget.

Not only does this website offer great bargains for cell phone accessories, but it also offers a lowest price guarantee. If by chance you discover a lower price over the internet, they will match it and deduct an additional %10. I don't know of any other cell phone accessory company that is willing to do that. I love the fact that the prices are very competitive and I have not found prices lower anywhere else.

For a short time, I purchased accessories from my local dollar store but started to notice that I was spending more. The item usually broke after one or two uses so I would purchase several of them just in case. Finally, I realized that the low dollar store price was not a bargain because I ended up spending more over a short period of time. When I discovered CellPhoneShop.net, I did not have to purchase multiple items because my accessories lasted tremendously longer.

I was able to customize my cell phone with gorgeous accessories at great prices. CellPhoneShop.net has a wide selection of accessories to choose from. I could hardly believe that they even have Apple iPhone accessories. I would much rather pay the lower price for great iPhone accessories instead paying a huge amount.

If you have hard to find cell phone accessories consider visiting this website. There are batteries, bluetooth accessories, data cables, keypads, and even car kits. I have a drawer filled with cell phone accessories from this company because the bargains were too good to pass up. Purchasing items from CellPhoneShop.net will allow you to create your own individual style for a low cost.

Searching for quality cell phone accessories for almost any phone or cellular company is easy once you visit this website. Soon you will discover items that you never even thought you would need. The prices on this site are so remarkable that I am still in shock. Recently, I visited a cell phone store for some comparison pricing. I soon found out that this site had them beat in a second. There were more accessories available at this site than many of the cell phone stores I have visited.

Women’s Plus Size Shoe Websites

Everyone has heard of the term "plus size" used to describe clothing sizes for women who wear sizes above 12 (in most cases); plus size is a term that is readily used for larger shoe sizes, but given we live in a world with people of all shapes and sizes, the term should be used more often. As a proud size 11, and as a woman, I understand the frustration of looking endlessly to find the cute designer shoe in my size. Before the days of the internet, I went from store to store not knew if the store carried above the standard size (typically a size 10). Thanks to technological innovation the internet has become a wonderful resource to find the most stylist plus size shoes.

This plus size shoe shopping guide will provide everyone with an overview of the best places to shop for sizes 10.5 and up.

Endless.com

http://www.endless.com

Endless.com is a fine retailer of accessories and shoes for children, men, and women. They offer an extensive selection of plus size shoes ranging from low to designer. Endless.com offers stylish shoes between sizes 3 to 16. Some examples of brands include: Just Cavalli, Nine West, Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, Bruno Magli, and Calvin Klein.

Bakers Shoes

http://www.bakersshoes.com

Bakers is a website primarily focused on selling shoes, they also carry some accessories. The shoes are moderately priced (nothing too high end). They carry brands such as Baby Phat, Blowfish, Chinese Laundry, Jessica Simpson, Playboy, Sketchers, Dereon, Ed Hardy, Pastry, and BCBGeneration. They carry shoes ranging from 5 to 12; they have a good selection of shoes in the plus size range.

Piperlime

http://www.piperlime.com

Piperlime's parent company is the Gap; they offer apparel, shoes, and accessories for children, men, and women. Piperlime carries a decent selection of plus size shoes up to a size 11. Some examples of brands carried by Piperlime include: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Steve by Steve Madden, Fossil, Calvin Klein, Lucky Brand, and Nine West.

Victoria's Secret

http://www.victoriasecret.com

Victoria Secret is known for selling sexy lingerie but they also have a great selection of women's apparel (up to a size 16) and shoes (up to size 11). Some brands carried by Victoria Secret include: Jessica Simpson, UGG Australia, Steve Madden, and Carlos by Carlos Santana. Victoria Secret also provides a wide range of styles to coordinate well with their trendsetting clothes.

Nordstrom's

http://www.nordstrom.com

Nordstrom is a department store well you can expect to find a size 11 or 12 in the store in several of the styles showcased on the floor. However, the selection is significantly broader online. Nordstrom carries up to a size 14. If you have concerns about widths as well, they also carry a variety of widths. Nordstrom carries a variety of brands such as Aerosoles, Manolo Blahnik, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Dolce & Gabbana, and Jessica Simpson.

Shop Bop

http://www.shopbop.com

Shop Bop is a website that sells women's accessories, clothing, and shoes. They carry plus size shoes up a size 11 in brands such as Juicy Couture, Tory Burch, and Frye. The selection is not as extensive as some of the other websites mentioned but it is definitely worth taking a look at.

There are a few other websites worth mentioning that carry some of the same brands carried by some of the other retailers mentioned. Aerosoles carries an extensive selection of plus size shoes on their website. Their brand is sold in fine department stores such as Macy's, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales. Zappos is another great resource to find additional selection, they are well known for carrying accessories, house wares, shoes, and more.