The saying goes ‘things aren’t always what they seem’ and the same can be said about modeling and the modeling industry. Primarily the perception is that modeling is glamorous, easy, very well paid, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that models are not exactly known for their grey matter! However, none of that is necessarily the truth. In actual fact modeling, and being in the modeling industry, can teach a ton of great life skills many overlook.
Do you want your kids to understand good hygiene, posture, manners and etiquette? Do you want your kids to learn social and communication skills? How about geography, persistence, delaying gratification or learning how to cope with rejection? And do not forget having a healthy self image, good listening skills, know how to be safe online, consequences of actions, and probably your favorite, the importance of sleep so the kids go to bed early! Yes… More Than Modeling camps, and the modeling industry, really can teach all of the aforementioned!
Let’s take the emotionally painful issue of rejection. Nobody likes to be rejected or rebuffed, however, rejection is something all children, and adults, need to face numerous times in life. Models deal with rejection (usually of their personal appearance) on an almost daily basis. For every 100 or so jobs they may cast/audition for they may only get booked once or twice. Thus models become adept at dealing with rejection more so than the average person. The principles on how you deal with that rejection are the same for models, and in fact anyone. Children, tweens and teens can sometimes suffer the most with rejection as they are in developmental stages, so the better equipped children become at dealing with rejection, the better their position will be for moving successfully through life.
To help, here are 3 tips on how you can help your child deal with rejection:
Listen to your child when they have encountered a situation where they have been rejected. Give them your full attention and validate their feelings so they feel safe and understood.
Always encourage your child to put more emphasis on their character and the way they handle situations, rather than an actual achievement or result itself. Example: “You worked so very hard for this! Well done!” rather than “I am glad you got straight A’s!”
Encourage them to focus on the future rather than looking back and dwelling on a rejection. A rejection needs to be acknowledged, then put aside, and focus needs to be shifted to the road ahead. Once your child is in this frame of mind have them try again, or trying something else. This will help your child get into a better frame of mind and will also encourage drive, ambition, motivation and concentration.
More Than Modeling is a new business in the Phoenix area teaching modeling classes, but their primary mission is raising confidence in kids. More Than Modelings’ holidays camps teach a variety of essential life lessons transferable to any job and walk of life – merely utilizing modeling and fashion with which to engage the kids.
Erika is the owner, founder and teacher of More Than Modeling. Originally from England Erika left a high school Science teaching position after completing her Master’s degree in Education, to pursue modeling, travelled the world doing so, and upon gaining her USA green card settled in Scottsdale to open her business. Years of international experience as a model, and seeing that industry through an educators eyes, resulted in the formation of camps, workshops and classes where kids think they are learning about modeling but parents know they are learning so much more than that! Erika’s heart and passion lie in equipping children with skills they can use no matter where life may take them and uses the subjects of modeling and fashion to transfer and communicate these skills. Call 480-442-9833
TIPS TO REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION WITH CENTRAL AC USE
Home heating and/or cooling, depending on where you live, are your largest home energy consumption activities. Here in Arizona it is certainly home cooling. Here is our extensive list of tips to greatly reduce your energy consumption via central air conditioning. You may not be able to use all these tips but you could certainly employ a number of them.
A house that is slightly cooler than the outside feels far more comfortable than you might think. Relative temperatures can go a long way. So when it’s 100 degrees outside there is no need to try to create a 60 degree environment inside. 77 or 78 degrees Fahrenheit is only slightly above ideal room temperature and can be plenty comfortable when it’s far hotter outside. Your AC system will not need to work as hard to maintain that kind of temperature.
Use Digital Thermostats – they are more accurate and can be programmable to set different temperatures for certain times of the day.
Dial down your thermometer a couple degrees at night – cooler evening temps make for a better sleeping environment and it easier for your system to bring temperatures down a bit more in the cool night air.
Dial it up a few more degrees for times of the day when there is usually nobody home. A cold house does not keep you cool if you’re not there.
Don’t position heat-producing appliances, such as televisions or lamps, near the thermostat. The added heat can fool your thermostat, causing the unit to run longer than necessary.
CRANKING YOUR THERMOSTAT WAY DOWN DOES NOT SPEED UP HOW FAST YOUR HOUSE COOLS DOWN!!
Don’t do this. It does not work. AC units only have two settings – off and on. When your thermostat detects your house has warmed too far past your setting the AC unit kicks in and will run until the thermostat detects the house has cooled enough. Cranking it farther than usual means it just runs the same but probably for longer since you’ll have a tendency to forget to turn it back up, meaning you’ve let it run too long and consumed more energy than you needed too.
CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING MAINTENANCE
The central AC unit is the largest energy draw. Old and poorly maintained equipment draws far more energy.
Replace old air conditioners with a modern high efficiency Energy Star unit – they use a lot less energy (up to 40%)
Choose the right size air conditioner – too small a unit will struggle to keep up and run constantly, too large a unit will cool your home too fast and frequently be turning off and on while not doing enough to reduce humidity.
Check the air filters on your AC system – replace them on schedule. Dirty and clogged filters cause the system to work harder, using more energy.
Schedule a yearly maintenance with your HVAC contractor to ensure your units are running at peak efficiency.
Install window tinting on sun facing windows – residential tint film is designed to cut UV rays substantially
Plant trees and shrubs around your house – their shade will help keep the house cooler
Paint your house a lighter color – darker colors absorb solar energy, lighter colors reflect it away
Make sure your attic is properly ventilated, your roof absorbs a lot of heat. Vents in the eaves allows hot air to escape. Consider adding a ridge vent or attic fan.
REDUCE OTHER INTERNAL HEAT GAINS
Besides the sun there are many things and activities around the home that produce heat.
Turn off pilot lights on gas furnaces and fire places – you don’t need them during the summer
Cook outside – It’s summer, enjoy the BBQ as much as possible on hot days
Install compact florescent bulbs, they produce a lot less heat than incandescent bulbs
Turn off appliances – even unplug them. Many TV’s, CD players, satellite TV receivers, stereos, cell phone chargers and other electronic devices draw power and give off heat even when turned off.
Keep your fridge and freezer full – more food in your fridge and freezer means it won’t warm up as fast when the door is open. Also all that thermal mass stays cooler longer and the fridge does not have to work as hard to keep it cool. When the cooling system is running on your fridge it is producing warm air in your home.
Take shorter showers and vent off the warm moist air – open a window while showering.
Reduce clothing dryer use – hang clothing outside if you can. Don’t use the dryer during peak daytime temperatures, instead use it early morning or in the evening. And keep that lint trap clean!
Don’t use the dryer setting on your dishwasher. Instead open the door and let them air dry.
DIVIDE YOUR HOUSE INTO ZONES
Large buildings employ zoning to more efficiently manage cooling and heating. You can do the same in your home. Most modern central air systems will employ automated zone control systems. Some home systems may employ two or three different central ac units each cooling a single floor of the house. If your system does not have these sorts of zone controls built in you can try these tips.
Have your HVAC contractor install zone dampers into your air duct system.
Close off empty and unused rooms – close doors, windows, curtains and vents. There is no need to cool this space as much as the rest of your home.
If your central AC uses separate thermostats for different floors (or zones) of your house, adjust temperatures according to usage patterns in those parts of your house.
Use small room AC units in your more lived in areas (living room, bedroom). You can let the rest of the house remain a few degrees warmer, reducing central a/c use which can offset the costs of the extra unit.
KEEP THE AIR FLOWING
Use fans – they circulate the air around and moving air help your bodies natural air conditioning (evapo-transpiration) work better.
Turn fans off when you’re not in the room. Moving air cools your skin, moving air with no skin nearby cools nothing, it just eats electricity, and the fans’ motor is producing a little bit of heat.
Re-Arrange your furniture – make sure chairs and sofa’s are not blocking air flow from your HVAC vents.
REDUCE HUMIDITY IN YOUR HOME
Ridding your house of excess humidity will help make your family feel more comfortable. You may even be able to set your air conditioner above 78 degrees when using a dehumidifier combined with fans. Your body can stand a couple extra degrees if the air is drier and moving around.
Use a dehumidifier to take water out of the air- turn it on when the temperature rises.
As mentioned above (reduce internal heat gains), minimize showers, baths and boiling water while cooking to reduce humidity inputs into your home.
INSULATE AND PLUG AIR LEAKS AROUND YOUR HOME
Trap cold air inside as much as possible. Letting it leak outdoors mean you have to cool more of it to replace those cold air losses.
Weather-strip, seal, and caulk leaky doors and windows and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.
Seal air ducts – leaky ducts mean you push less cool air to where you need it. Have your AC contractor test and seal your duct work.
Increase attic insulation – insulate your attic to at least R-30.
Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans sparingly – you’re pumping out your cool air.
WATCH OUT FOR THE “REBOUND EFFECT”
If you follow many of the tips in this article you will certainly reduce your energy consumption and save money. Depending on where you live and the size of your home those savings could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. A nice chunk of change for most anybody. Be careful though not to simply use the money you save to buy more energy consuming devices or turn your AC down a few degrees thinking you can now be cooler while spending the same as you did before. In energy and conservation economics this is known as the rebound effect.
On Saturday, August 18, from 6pm to 11pm, 100 couples and probably even a few singles going stag, will gather at the historic Crowne Plaza in Chandler to dance the night away at this Prom for Parents. ‘As parents we don’t have many opportunities to get together and party the night away old school style’ as Katie Halle Lambert, the founder of MOMnation describes.
East Valley mom of four, Jessica Nelson, not only attended PROM2017 last year she also helped with decorations and the evening’s agenda. ‘I really enjoy the social opportunities that MOMnation offers but I also love diving in and helping with all the awesome events the group organizes throughout the year.’
And, just like the high school prom, some moms that have attended the event in the past say their emotions and confidence can be a rollercoaster ride.
Jeni Cohen, a Mesa Mom of five, admits ‘I was a little shy and hesitant about meeting new people before I joined this group over three years ago and now I can’t imagine life without them. The variety of events and opportunities that group provides help Moms of all personality types find real friends that they click with.’
Mesa business owner Emilie Nikolich Mom of two states, ‘My life is busy. MOMnation gives me an opportunity to plug in when I can on a social and professional level and I never feel like I have missed a thing.’
All agree that the annual Prom for Parents is an amazing way to recharge their social batteries and meet new friends.
What’s to expect at this Prom for Parents? MOMnation’s founder, Katie Halle Lambert says, ‘The ticket price includes a great variety of yummy appetizers served throughout the night, an entry into the drawing for some awesome prizes (someone won an iPad last year) and entertainment emceed by a pro DJ. And, of course, we’ll crown Prom King and Queen.’
This is the second annual Prom for Parents that the Phoenix moms group has organized and last year, the first, was sold out. Each year is a different theme. The PROM2017 theme was the 80’s and this year it’s masquerade ball. The upcoming event is open to the public and is priced at $28 which includes appetizers. Crowne Plaza is offering discounts on rooms for Prom attendees. For more information, visit the Eventbrite page.
MOMnation is a Phoenix, AZ area based social group exclusively for MOMs that coordinates social gatherings, business opportunities and local resources for its members. Follow @momnationAZ on Instagram.
Summer is coming and the kiddos only have a few days left in the school year. MOMs are scrambling to find an exciting solution for summer child care. Luckily, there are several programs offered by the city and the local school districts but also some specialty programs. Check it out!
The i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa is offering another free admission day on Sunday, May 20th. Children of all ages are invited to visit the museum from 12pm to 5pm. The Sonoran Safari exhibition is being featured this season and they have an awesome toddler friendly section.
The Childrens Museum in Phoenix is offering a free admission day the first Friday of most months from 5pm to 9pm.
Visit video game arcades especially with younger kids. Stay cool in the AC and let your 2 to 4 year-old loose in the arcade. They will think they are playing the games with you and will have fun with all the buttons and lights. Dave and Busters is free to visit with the added bonus of the restaurant and bar. 😉
Get a snow cone maker! The kids will love making their own snow cones and playing with the different colors and flavors. You’ll love how easy it is to keep them entertained.
Have an Arizona snowball fight! Pick your teams, dip these water balls in water and toss!
Make a ‘water piñata’! Fill a bunch of water balloons, get some string and tie the full balloons to a tree, the covered patio or wherever you have enough room to swing a bat. The more balloons you hang, the wetter you will be!
Move to a neighborhood with awesome amenities:
Seriously though! HOA payments are much easier to make when you are enjoying the splash pad and community center at Eastmark, or the sandy beach and clubhouse at Val Vista Lakes or the fishing derby’s and movie in the pool at Dobson Ranch. Click here to request a list of awesome, family friendly neighborhoods in the greater Phoenix area.
Our hearts are FULL!!! These last few months have been some of the best for the MOMs of MOMnationAZ. From charity events to prom, we had a blast. Here are some highlights:
MOMnationAZ Charity Events
We helped raise over $600 for Kitt’s Kitten Rescue in May! A kitten was given a second chance because of our efforts.
In June, we raised $131 for Tempe Young Lives. We were able to sponsor a “club” night for these young MOMs.
We are always proud of the work we do within our community, but our August efforts left us beaming. We were able to donate $400 to a Chandler family that has run into some health surprises that quickly impacted their finances.
Over the summer we had 50+ events but the most memorable events were the 80’s themed MNprom in August, and the Find Your Soul MOM Speed Dating 2.0.
MNprom was just that!… An adult prom with a little twist. Hairspray, 80’s music and pink lipstick were in abundance that night, as was the raffle winnings, cold drinks and yummy appetizers. We rocked the Macarena, the Dougie, the Electric Slide and even crowned prom King and Queen. Good times!!
The original Find Your Soul MOM was such a hit that we decided to do it again. Nearly 50 women met up to “speed date” by asking each other a series of questions (and not your average questions either) to determine their next MOMbff That event started at Boulders on Southern and turned into some late night karaoke at Doc and Eddy’s. Turns out, there’s quite a bit of karaoke talent in this group.
As MOMs in AZ, there’s lots we have to think about and energy efficiency certainly is at the top of the list. It’s not only important for a comfortable home environment for the fam, but it’s also beneficial to the household budget.
There are several ways to keep the house comfier and the wallet happy during the summer months. Here are our great suggestions from our MOMs:
Get sunscreens, especially on the windows in direct sunlight. Sunscreens come in many different sizes ranging from 60-90% sun coverage. They not only help block the heat but also provide some privacy. Sunscreens can make a really big difference in the overall comfort of your home, and also offer major relief on your energy bill.
Sunshades are a must and we LOVE the automatic version. There are many options and colors of shades that are programmable. Once the sun hits a certain level, the shades come down. It’s great! Manual versions are also available and are a bit more cost effective while still offering the savings on the monthly energy bill. Check out one of our favorite, and very popular, manual sunshades here.
Nest Thermometer! This programmable thermostat learns your habits and saves approximately 15% on your cooling bill. The coolest part is that it can be controlled by your smart phone.
Check out energy rebates and usage programs from SRP, APS and SW gas.
Check your insulation levels. Having the correct amount of insulation is super important, and at least 90% of AZ households do not have sufficient insulation. Speak to a professional to determine the appropriate amount of insulation and appropriate R-value. Here’s some more info.
Energy efficient windows are a great investment and will definitely help reduce the energy bill. When selecting new windows, consider their energy performance ratings with respect to climate and home design. You can expect at least a 20% savings on your energy bill if not more.
Make sure your “extra” fridge in the garage is up for the challenge. Higher temperatures can stress it by forcing the motor to run constantly, especially if your garage exceeds 110 degrees. The energy bill will spike and you run the risk of the machine failing and risking food spoilage.
Service your AC unit ASAP if it has not been regularly maintained. You’d be surprised how much more efficient a regularly maintained AC unit is and you might even find that it makes sense to upgrade and replace the unit with a higher SEER rating for maximum efficiency. Be sure to change your AC filters regularly; it may seem small but this helps keep the unit running efficiently.
Speaking of AC units, don’t forget about your ductwork. This is nearly as important as the unit itself. Look for sections that should be joined but have separated, and for obvious holes. Don’t want to do the work yourself? Consult a pro. Ignoring this could mean a 25% to 30% energy loss.
Seal energy leaks around doors, windows, etc. If you can see the light of day, you are losing energy. Caulk and/or apply weatherstrip to doors and windows. Caulk to seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets. You can even install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
Moving air is cooler that turning on your air conditioning because it creates quick evaporation of moisture from the skin. Ceiling fans are found in almost all homes in the Phoenix, AZ area and help create a more comfortable environment by moving air. Don’t think there’s a fan for you? Ceiling fans come in many styles and colors to fit any design scheme!
Go solar! Solar power popularity is on the rise and you can now either purchase or lease the systems. There are still several options and incentives available for installing solar panels on top of the already big savings on energy bills.
Upgrade to energy star appliances, and don’t forget the water heater.These appliances save a ton on energy but they don’t slack on performance. Upgrade your dishwasher, freezer, refrigerator, washer, dryer and water heater.
Keep the fireplace damper completely closed while not in use! Consider adding glass doors and keep them closed to increase energy efficiency.
Planting the appropriate trees in strategic places around your home conserves energy and reduces your energy bills. Be sure to consult a professional as planting an inappropriate type of tree or placing it in the wrong area can be damaging to some major systems of your home including the roof, foundation and plumbing.
Our family business has always been bugs. Growing up, my dad owned a pest control business, so I’ve been around bugs my entire life. I can vividly remember when I was little, my dad would bring home jars of scorpions, spiders and all kinds of things that he would catch while out working. He would place them on the kitchen window seal (I’m sure my mother just loved that!) and teach us about them.
While I never did grow fond of our house visitors, I did learn a lot. Sure, I still run from the room screaming if I see a spider, but running a pest control business in Arizona means knowing the importance of being knowledgeable about all insects, especially scorpions.
The truth is, that no matter where you in the valley, scorpions are likely there. Maybe you are one of the lucky few that have never seen one inside your home, or perhaps, like many of us, you’ve found one in your shoe!
Scorpions tend to come out more when it’s hot, so with the extreme weather we are having, we felt it was important to remind you of the basics in scorpion safety. Being educated and knowledgeable about scorpions, and all dangerous desert critters, is essential to protecting both you and your family:
Scorpions are not malicious and they do not hunt humans.
Most scorpion stings are caused by accident, by being accidentally stepped on, or by aggravating where a scorpion is sheltering
Scorpions seek warm places, so use caution when putting on shoes, or taking out towels from the closet.
While scorpions are mostly found outside, they are attracted to heat sources inside of homes such as cars, hot water heaters, and attics. Always check storage boxes that are stored in the garage and attic before bringing them inside your home.
Scorpion mothers have anywhere between 25-35 babies which she will carry on her back until they are ready to survive on their own, at around two months! Yikes! Can you imagine having 25 babies?
If the mother scorpion cannot find food, she will eat her babies. She would have to be pretty hungry though because scorpions can go up to a year without eating.
Scorpions can live up to 20 years but average about 6. Scorpions can also live underwater for about 2 days. So if you see one in your pool, use extreme caution, as it may not be dead.
Scorpion venom is a neurotoxin designed to immobilize their prey.
An adult scorpion knows how to control its venom when it stings.
A baby scorpion does not know how to control its venom, so their sting can be much worse. This is why you will often hear that small scorpions are more dangerous than big scorpions.
Everyone is different in how they react to a scorpion sting, but most adult humans will not need any medical treatment. Symptoms will last for several days and include a feeling of pins and needles, numbness, shortness of breath and pain at the sting site.
A sting for a very small child, elderly person, or ill person can be very dangerous and immediate medical treatment is advised.
So, what can we do about these creatures that have been on earth for longer than humans and multiply at alarming rates? Here are 3 proven ways that we recommend to help stay safe, and not just from scorpions, but all kinds of creepy crawlies:
The first and most important thing is to have your home sealed. You can do this yourself or hire a professional. If you look at your doors and you can see daylight underneath, then your house is inviting all types of bugs in. This can be a simple fix at Home Depot. If you have a hole in your ceiling where a ceiling fan was installed, this needs to be patched and sealed! No matter how much pesticides are laid down, if your house has openings, scorpions, and other bugs will find a way in.
Make sure your yard is de-cluttered and free of debris that scorpions can nest in, including keeping your grass is trimmed down. Also, make sure your palm trees are debarked and kept trimmed. Scorpions LOVE palm trees for their moist shade and protection they provide. Do not place any type of shed or outdoor container directly against your home. Place it along a fence away from your home. In fact, do not have anything touching your home; keep a minimum 6-inch gap. This includes shrubs, trees or any vegetation.
Have regular pest control service. Don’t wait until you’re having a problem. If you’re not seeing a lot of activity, think about having bi-monthly or even quarterly service. This will kill off the food source of scorpions which will help keep them away. We also recommend having your attic dusted at least twice a year.
What about the babies? Keeping our littles safe from scorpions is really important, and luckily there are a few easy things we can do:
Do not place a crib directly underneath a fan, air vent or can light. Bugs can come through very very tiny openings and fall from the ceiling if they are residing in the attic.
Do not place a crib directly against the wall as several kinds of bugs can crawl up the wall and into the crib. Some people have resorted to placing glass jars on the legs of the crib – this would be because scorpions and spiders cannot climb slick surfaces.
If you or your child is every stung:
Stay calm and get away from the scorpion.
Some scorpions can make themselves flat so it’s hard to smash them. Try to capture it in a glass jar or throw a cup over it and come back to it later.
Clean the area well with soap and water.
Apply an ice pack or cold cloth to help relieve the pain and stop the venom from spreading.
We recommend calling your doctor or pediatrician as soon as you can for their further recommendations.
Ready to keep your house safe from scorpions? Give Creepy Crawly Pest Control a call at 480-969-2926. Be sure to mention this post!
It’s getting hot in the Valley of the Sun!! Our MOMs have great tips, tricks and advice for surviving these next 5 months of heat with kiddos!
Most of our Mama’s keep the AC set to 78. Infants are usually comfortable in thin material pajamas with long pants and sleeves especially those that are too young for bedding.
Drink water! Keep sipping water all day even if you don’t feel thirsty. It’s very easy for anyone to get dehydrated during the summer months in the Phoenix area.
Beware of the water that comes out of the faucet. Both sides will be hot and could be too hot for little hands. The same goes for the water in the garden hose. DO NOT let your child use the garden hose without running the water until it’s cool first. The water that comes out initially will be scalding.
Little feet should have shoes or sandals on at all times. Even the “kool” decking around the pool is scorching hot in the midday sun. Wear shoes while walking outside at night as well, even in the back yard. Scorpions can be found in many areas at night.
Stay away from the bees. Summertime is bee season in Phoenix and bees could be harmful to people and animals.
For the house, sunscreens for windows and covered patios make a difference in energy efficiency and comfort.
In the Car:
Get a car seat cooler. Popular styles have pockets in the material for four or five ice packs that you place in the seat when it’s not in use. This usually keeps the car seat cool even if you are parked for several hours.
Use a sun screen in the front window. It will help keep the car a bit cooler as well as the steering wheel. If the sun isn’t beating down inside the car, usually the seatbelt buckles aren’t quite so hot. Do be sure to cover those buckles or keep them in the shade somehow. They can be branding irons for little kiddos if touched after sitting in the sun.
Get an extension hose/tube for the front AC vent so that the AC can be directed easily and more effectively from the front to the back of the car. If your car doesn’t have designated AC vents in the back, it could get very hot for your small child / baby.
Always have lots of water! The new aluminum or stainless steel water bottles keep the water cool even when left in hot cars for hours.
Keep a light jacket or sweater in the car for both Mom and baby. It can be very cold in stores, restaurants and grocery stores during the summer months. This can also be used to cover up leather seats when parking in sunny areas. Leather seats can be very uncomfortable in the heat especially with shorts on!
Never, never ever leave a baby, child or animal in a hot car even for a minute. The temperatures are extreme and can be very dangerous.
Is your AZ home as efficient as it can be? CONTACT US and ask for a free copy of the “Efficiency Cheat Sheet” for tips on energy efficiency and tricks to maximize the comfort of your home and minimize your energy bill.