My Financial Bucket List

At SunTrust Bank Their Purpose is Lighting the Way to Financial Well Being

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

What would you give up to save money towards scratching off something on your bucket list?

Everyone has a list of things they want to accomplish or do by certain age, year or in their lifetime. Not everything on the list will be crossed over, and for some life gets in the way of accomplishing even the simplest things.

If you asked me ten years ago about my bucket list it would be much different from today’s one. It would be full of travel, shopping, shoes and things revolving around interests of a young professional with good salary and not many responsibilities in life other than taking care of myself and my personal bills. Today with a busy household, husband and two kids many of those things are crossed over or put on delay.

Today my simple bucket list revolves around my family and things we can all enjoy together like vacation, museums, festivals and shopping for things we can all use.

Budgeting monthly bills, activities, school, groceries and any extras while working from home can be tough. While my husband and I earn a decent paycheck each month sometimes even with best of budgeting that bucket list gets pushed further away. And I’ll be first to admit that many extras each month play a big part in it.

But there is a simple solution with SunTrust Bank and their easy budget worksheet that can help us and you save and feel amazing while being able to cross things off that bucket list.

It’s simple really, all you have to do is look at your spending and see where unnecessary money is going. For instance, are you eating our more often than you should? Are you buying shoes, clothing, home accessories that you and your family really don’t need? If so, stop spending money on unnecessary things and save that towards the things on your bucket list. You will be amazed how easy and quickly you can reach the amount needed to use for some of the things you always wanted.

For us, we are going to cut out on too many activities that have us spread thin throughout the year and use that money to cross out the dream family vacation from our bucket list hopefully next summer.

Now is your turn…

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.

To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.


Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) wrote this sponsored post on behalf of the above mentioned company or their PR Representative. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Safe Babywearing With Boba Baby Carriers

How do You Wear Your Baby?

Disclosure – This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boba. The opinions and text are all mine.

Which carrier is right for you? We know how overwhelming all the options can be for new parents. That’s why we want to talk to you about the right carrier for the best way to wear your baby on the go and around the house!

Boba Carrier

There are many benefits to wearing your baby. For one thing it makes you bond with your little one more each moment. 

When my daughter was a baby I had a hard time finding the right carrier that we both liked. I wanted something that was easy for me to carry her in, something that was safe and something she would feel comfortable in. But back than not many carriers were available and I found most on the market to be very uncomfortable. I also didn’t like that they were front facing which always made me feel like she could fall out, or that most of her body wasn’t properly supported.

Because I couldn’t find a right carrier for us I didn’t wear my daughter which made it all more difficult for us to get daily things finished together. When at home she was in my arms when needed, but that made it hard to do anything else. And when outside we had to carry a heavy stroller at all times.

Now that we are expecting our second child I am looking into products that can make me close to my child, but still allow me to finish the easy day-to-day stuff. Most of my friends have recommended me to look into Boba carriers and wraps. I am really looking forward to trying them out and hope they will be a right solution for us!

I’m also reading a lot about the safety while wearing your baby. And I recently learned many things that I didn’t know before. 

Like 9 Reasons Not to Carry Your Baby Facing Out:

Boba is the only baby carrier company that exclusively sells baby carriers that keep baby facing inward. Boba products give you the opportunity to wear your baby safely and they have perfect products for your individual style. Whether you choose a Boba carrier, wrap or air they all will give you a piece of mind that your baby is safe with you.

Boba Carrier – Description and Features:

The Boba Carrier makes babywearing more convenient, comfortable, and ergonomically correct than ever before. It grows with your child, thanks to an integrated infant insert, detachable foot straps, and 10 other bonus features. Now parents and kids of all shapes and sizes can explore the world – together!

1. Removable sleeping hood

2. Comfortably fits heights 5’0″ – 6’3″

3. Waistband range: 25″ – 58″

4. Additional adjustment for easier fit breastfeeding

5. Removable foot straps

6. Elastic bands neatly roll up straps

7. Shoulder strap holders keep purse in place

8. Easily adjustable chest strap

9. Uniquely designed to “hug” your child

10. Includes Integrated Infant Insert

11. Body of carrier rises 2″-3″ higher than other brands

12. Multiple pockets for on-the-go storage

Boba Wrap – Description and Features:

The Boba Wrap is the perfect wrap style carrier – with its unique fabric blend and the no-guesswork tying, the Boba Wrap is a great choice for beginners and advanced babywearers alike. The simple design of this baby wrap, free of buckles, straps or buttons makes it perfectly comfortable for both you and your baby. By evenly distributing the weight of your child, there is no time limit to how long your baby can stay in the wrap, so you may calm and sooth your baby with your warmth, your voice, your movement and your heart beat as long as you are both content!

If you are interested in a baby carrier designed for newborns and toddlers alike, check out the Boba Carrier. You can also find instructions on how to properly use all of our baby wearing gear.

1. Weight Range: 7-35lbs

2. Hands Free

3. Custom Fit”

4. Durable and Strong

5. Simple No-guess Tying

6. Allows you to Breastfeed Easily

Boba Air – Description and Features:

The BobaAir an ultra lightweight baby carrier that is great for travelers or any parent on the go. It folds up into its own hood pouch to be easily stored in a purse or diaper bag! The BobaAir is intended for children 15-45lbs.

1. 100% Nylon

2. Front and back carry options

3. Sleeping hood and pocket

4. Compact and Self Storing

5. Comfortably fits heights 5’0″-6’3″

6. Waistband range: 27″-55″

7. Body of carrier rises 16″

Follow Suzana Uzelac’s board Safe Babywearing on Pinterest.

To learn more and connect with Boba, “Like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boba. The opinions and text are all mine.


Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) wrote this sponsored post on behalf of the above mentioned company or their PR Representative. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

IBBY Announces the 2014 Jury and Nominees

IBBY Announces the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury and Nominees

The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international distinction given to authors and illustrators of children’s books.  Given every other year by IBBY, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards recognize lifelong achievement and are given to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children’s literature.

IBBY Announces the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury and Nominees

The 2014 Jury, selected by IBBY’s Executive Committee from nominations made by its national sections, comprises the following ten distinguished members from across the globe.  Jury President María Jesús Gil (Madrid, Spain) will lead the Jury to select the winners of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen awards.

  • Anastasia Arkhipova Illustrator, chair of the board of the Association of Moscow Book Illustrators and Designers, Moscow, Russia.
  • Fanuel Hanan Diaz Editor, author and researcher, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • Sabine Fuchs University lecturer in children’s literature, Graz, Austria.
  • Sang-Wook Kim Professor in children’s literature at the Chuncheon National University of Education, Seoul, Korea.
  • Enrique Pérez Díaz Author and publisher, Havana, Cuba.
  • Deborah Soria Book-seller and promoter of children’s literature, Rome, Italy.
  • Susan M. Stan Professor of children’s literature at the Central Michigan University, USA.
  • Sahar Tarhandeh Independent researcher in children’s literature, freelance graphic designer and art director, Tehran, Iran.
  • Erik Titusson Publisher and former Director of the ALMA, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Ayfer Gürdal Ünal Writer, critic, and lecturer at the Bhosphorous University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Former IBBY Vice President Elda Nogueira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and IBBY Executive Director Liz Page are ex officio Jury members.

The following nominees have been submitted for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Awards by the National Sections of IBBY.  For the 2014 Awards 29 authors and 31 illustrators have been nominated from 34 countries.

  • Argentina: author María Cristina Ramos; illustrator Isol
  • Australia; author Nadia Wheatley; illustrator Ron Brooks
  • Austria: author Renate Welsh; illustrator Linda Wolfsgruber
  • Azerbaijan: author Sevinj Nurugizi
  • Belgium: author Frank Andriat; illustrator Carll Cneut
  • Brazil: author Joel Rufino dos Santos; illustrator Roger Mello
  • Canada: author Kenneth Oppel; illustrator Philippe Béha
  • China: author Hongying Yang; illustrator Liang Xiong
  • Croatia: illustrator Svjetlan Junaković
  • Denmark: author Lene Kaaberbøl; illustrator Charlotte Pardi
  • Estonia: author Aino Pervik
  • Finland: author Kirsi Kunnas; illustrator Pekka Vuori
  • France: author Jean-Claude Mourlevat; illustrator François Place
  • Germany: author Mirjam Pressler; illustrator Rotraut Susanne Berner
  • Greece: author Sofia Madouvalou; illustrator Daniela Stamatiadi
  • Iran: author Houshang Moradi Kermani
  • Ireland: author Eoin Colfer; illustrator PJ Lynch
  • Italy: author Bianca Pitzorno; illustrator Fabian Negrin
  • Japan: author Nahoko Uehashi; illustrator Ken Katayama
  • Republic of Korea: author Jin-Kyung Kim; illustrator Byoung-Ho Han
  • Latvia: illustrator Reinis Pētersons
  • Netherlands: author Ted van Lieshout; illustrator Marit Törnqvist
  • Norway: author Bjørn Sortland; illustrator Øyvind Torseter
  • Portugal: author António Torrado; illustrator Teresa Lima
  • Russia: author Vladislav Krapivin; illustrator Igor Oleinikov
  • Serbia: author Ljubivoje Ršumović; illustrator Dobrosav Živković
  • Slovakia: author Daniel Hevier; illustrator Peter Uchnár
  • Slovenia: author Polonca Kovač; illustrator Alenka Sottler
  • Spain: illustrator Javier Zabala
  • Sweden: illustrator Eva Lindström
  • Switzerland: illustrator Albertine
  • Turkey: author Serpil Ural; illustrator Saadet Ceylan
  • UK: author Jacqueline Wilson; illustrator John Burningham
  • USA: author Jacqueline Woodson; illustrator Bryan Collier

The Jury President will guide the judging process and preside at the jury meeting 15-16 March 2014.  The shortlist will be disseminated immediately following the Jury meeting and the winners will be announced at the IBBY Press Conference at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on Monday, 24 March 2014.

For more information about IBBY’s programme and current projects please contact the IBBY Secretariat or visit IBBY website!

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys

Bouncy New Sing-Along app from Little Bahalia Teaches Kids (and their grown-ups) Animal Group Names

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys arrives in the iPad store as the first in an app trilogy written by Julie Hedlund and illustrated by Pamela Baron. Produced by Little Bahalia Publishing, a new transmedia book and app company based in Milwaukee, the app features original music by singer/songwriter Tim McCanna.

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys

Little Bahalia was launched in 2012 by Stacey Williams, who’s spent over fifteen years in the field of interactive e-learning materials. A Troop is a Group of Monkeys is designed to delight and educate kids 3-8 and entertain all ages.

The pandemonium of parrots, parliament of owls and pride of lions are just a few of the groups that join the swinging monkey troop on this musical, interactive romp through the animal kingdom. Little fingers will enjoy tapping on the animals, and hearing their calls and seeing them react in charming, surprising ways. Owls turn their heads and hoot, monkeys swing from branch to branch, parrots take flight, and the skunks – well, just guess what they do?!

Little Bahalia publishes children’s literary fiction and nonfiction in a variety of media formats, with a focus on iPad apps. Williams said, “I believe tablet computers open up wonderful possibilities for experiencing stories, and now, inspired by my passion for art, music, and books, my goal is to bring stories to life using animation and sound in exciting new ways. Our intent at Little Bahalia is to keep pushing the boundaries of storytelling as new technologies emerge and to offer exciting new opportunities for authors and artists”.

Little Bahalia is both an independent press creating original content, and a studio for hire. Their team of designers, animators and production staff helps clients and other publishers make interactive books for iPad. Little Bahalia welcomes inquiries from authors, illustrators, animators, and publishers who want help in getting an iPad app concept off the ground.

New apps coming from Little Bahalia Publishing will include the sequels to A Troop is a Group of Monkeys featuring undersea creatures and creepy crawlies, as well as apps that take kids to a stormy garden, an Italian opera, and on the road/in the air in fleets of tiny trucks and airplanes.

A Troop is a Group of Monkeys
Little Bahalia Publishing
February 2013
iPad Version 1.0
Ages: 3-8
Price: $3.99 ($1.99 until 2/28/13)

East – West Literary Leads with Books

East – West Literary Leads with Books on New York Times Bestselling List for Fifteen Consecutive Weeks…and Counting

New book by Anna Dewdney expected to hit the list when it drops Sept. 4

For 15 consecutive weeks, East/West Literary Agency’s books have landed slots on the New York Times Picture Book Bestseller List, and there’s no reason to believe the streak will end anytime soon. East/West has owned the No. 1 position five of the last 15 weeks, and held three of the top picture book slots for 10 of those weeks.

On 4 September, Viking will release Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney.  Upon its release last year, Llama Llama Home With Mama—a Children’s Choice Book Award “Illustrator of the Year” nominee–landed the top spot on the coveted list. Among other recent accolades for Dewdney:   Llama Llama Red Pajama was chosen as Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” book in 2011, setting the world’s record for most readings of a particular book on one day.

Much of the agency’s recent command of the top ten can be attributed to Harper Collin’s popular Pete the Cat books by Eric Litwin and James Dean (www.petethecat.com/), including Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, and Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. “In addition to Llama Llama Time to Share, I expect we can earmark another slot for Pete the Cat Saves Christmas when it lands on 25 September,” Deborah Warren, founder of the Agency, adds.  “And I know that Pete fans will be delighted by the upcoming extension books written and illustrated by James Dean—lift-the-flaps, 8 x 8’s and beginning readers.”

“Referring to one of our NYT picture book bestsellers last year, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Dream Big, Little Pig!, illustrated by our very own Tim Bowers (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky), we have big dreams,” says Rubin Pfeffer, who leads the Boston-based arm of the Agency.   “East/West prides itself on finding and nurturing new talent—picture book and otherwise–as well as managing and leveraging the accomplished careers of our more established authors and illustrators such as Marion Dane Bauer, Susan Cooper, Patricia MacLachlan, Edith Pattou, and David Diaz.  In every regard, we’re proud to make those big dreams come true for the very talented writers and artists we are honored to represent.”

East/West specializes in children’s books of all genres, from concept, novelty and picture books to chapter, middle-grade and young-adult. “We have a particular strength in the picture book category, true,” says Deborah—“from author/illustrators like Rubin’s Mike Austin, Linda Davick, Jeff Mack, Aaron Meshon, Jesse Joshua Watson and Richard Jesse Watson to Jim Averbeck, Gianna Marino, Andy Myer, Antoinette Portis, Lucianna Navarro Powell and Belle Yang—that said, East/West has a full roster of talent in every category–including MG/YA/Fantasy authors Kwame Alexander, Elana K. Arnold, Platte Clark, Alethea Kontis, Holly Schindler and Tyler Whitesides.”  And “soon,” Deborah and Rubin promise, “there will be a major announcement about placement in other categories, as well.”

“We’re not just dreaming,” the pair state, “we’re doing what people want – bringing the best books to market by talented writers and artists who will keep selling over the long term. We’re of course thrilled for our authors and illustrators and for their publishers, who have helped make this all possible. We also want to recognize and thank all of the terrific booksellers out there who help make our clients’ dreams come true.”

The agency’s strength in the picture book category was highlighted last year when it scored four of the top ten slots on the New York Times bestseller list the week of September 11.

Based in Los Angeles, California, East/West Literary Agency, LLC was founded in 2000. For more information contact dwarren@eastwestliteraryagency.com.

Snow Lion Storytelling Initiative

New Literacy Project to Bring Beloved Stories From Around the World to Children of Tibet

Snow Lion Storytelling Initiative preserves Tibetan language, promotes cultural curiosity.

Dharamsala, India – An exciting and significant new literacy project has been launched to give thousands of Tibetan children living in exile in India, Nepal and Bhutan the rare opportunity to read popular children’s books in their own language. The Snow Lion Storytelling Initiative (SLSI) promotes literacy and proficiency in the Tibetan language from an early age and seeks to inspire curiosity in other cultures.

There are over 190,000 Tibetan refugees in India and 5.4 million Tibetans living in territory that has been claimed by China over the past 60 years. Despite the significant Tibetan population, there is limited opportunity for the study of the Tibetan language. The curriculum is taught in Tibetan only in primary schools. As a result, education levels among Tibetans in Tibet are much lower than those of Chinese. An estimated 30 percent of Tibetans in India are children and students seeking a Tibetan education.

Thanks to the generous support of Dalai Lama Fellows , the Snow Lion Storytelling Initiative is translating some of the most beloved children’s books from around the globe into Tibetan. The SLSI will distribute to Tibetan government schools across India, Nepal and Bhutan freshly printed copies of beautifully illustrated stories from Africa, Asia, North America, the Arctic and more.

“The Snow Lion Storytelling Initiative will help open the door to a world of possibilities for thousands of Tibetan children,” says Marty Krasney, Executive Director of Dalai Lama Fellows. “Dalai Lama Fellows supports the project not only because we share a common goal of enhancing understanding and cooperation across peoples and culture, but because we want all children to achieve their highest potential.”

The SLSI hired three students from Lha Charitable Trust in Dharamsala, India, to translate the books, which have already been translated into many other languages and were chosen for their international appeal. The books include children’s classics like Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, Barbara Joose’s Mama, Do You Love Me?, and Alice McLerran’s The Mountain That Loved A Bird, but also new books like Salina Yoon’s Penguin and Pinecone.

The SLSI is indebted to Konga Gyatsen, editor of the Central Tibetan Administration’s Phayul magazine for children, who proofread the translations pro bono. An educator and father of two, Gyatsen finds the illustrations of the SLSI books especially important for Tibetan children’s development. “Through these illustrations, our children gain access to new dimensions,” he says. Geshe Lhakdor, director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, agrees that the art in these books is a precious addition to the available children’s literature in Tibetan. The SLSI speaks to the dire need for creative artwork in children’s literature, something that is lacking in Tibetan publications to date. “The children read the pictures,” the Geshe explains.

The SLSI is the brainchild of Eléonore “Nelly” Buchet-Deàk, a student at McGill University in Montreal and 2012 Dalai Lama Fellow. Buchet-Deàk grew up in a multicultural family attempting to master two languages herself, as she was taught English at home but attended school in France. From this experience, she recognized early the value of having access to reading materials written in both French and English. Dalai Lama Fellows partner only with select institutions, including McGill, which conduct a rigorous selection process on campus using Fellowship criteria and guidelines to evaluate project proposals and candidates.