How to have a Better Holiday Season

by Judy Davis - The Direction Diva on December 8, 2014

how to have a better holidayA while back I was reading a book by my long time friend Sandy that had tips about how I could do a better job at enjoying the holidays. You see for years I spent most of my time stressing out to make sure everyone around me had a magical season. Who cared if I enjoyed myself, my mindset was that I was responsible for making sure that my family had a Christmas like it was in all the hallmark movies.

So you can imaging how excited I was when she shared these 8 steps. Instantly I began to feel less stressed and much to my surprise I was able to have more fun AND so did my family. I loved these steps because they helped enable me to create a Stress free holiday and just had to share them with you.

How to have a Better Holiday Season 

inspired by Beyond Eggnog & Mistletoe

Do you remember doing this as a kid? Maybe you had an advent calendar, maybe you marked off days on a wall calendar, but we all got so excited when December 1st arrived. Then each morning we woke up all excited because we are one day closer to Christmas.

You can have that same joy now, even in the midst of all your holiday preparations.

I’m going to give you a simple system you can follow to do it. The only catch here is that you have to do a little planning, and you have to make some choices. If you will do that, you can celebrate every day in December just like you did as a kid! [click to continue reading …]

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5 Ways to Work With Your Child’s Civilian Teacher by Jo, My Gosh!

by Judy Davis - The Direction Diva on December 2, 2014

Parenting a military child doesn’t come with a standardized rule book or a simple how to guide. I wish it did, but the reality is that things are different for military families especially when it comes to education. Frequent moves mean multiple schools and school districts that range from good to bad and everything in between. But the constant is that your child’s education is a team effort and you need to be able to advocate on their behalf. Which means we need to do a better job at helping teachers understand the unique challenges our milkids face. And who better than fellow blogger, educator and military spouse Jo, My Gosh! to share

5 Ways to Work With Your Child’s Civilian Teacher

5 ways to work with your child's civilian teacher

My principal had called me down to his office. And I was nervous. A 5-year veteran of the Baltimore school system, I thought I had experienced it all– working with homeless students, holding my students’ children so my students could take quizzes after school, stepping in the middle of fights, hugging a student who watched her puppy run into the road and get hit by a car, paying my last respects to a student who didn’t get a heart transplant in time.

And still, getting called down to the office always made me nervous. You see, for the most part, teachers are always on the defensive. We’re constantly being asked to do more and more with fewer resources and less time. Often we have to justify ourselves over and over again and prove that what we do is important and necessary for our students. And then there’s high-stakes testing which has everyone on-edge.

“Quanisha’s* mother is deploying to Afghanistan in May for a year.” My principal looked over the desk at me. “Since your fiance’s in Afghanistan right now, I thought you might be able to talk to her about it.”

I was both relieved and troubled. I wasn’t getting in trouble for the rowdy drama class I’d led the other day that had two hall monitors burst through the classroom door yelling, “Where’s the fight?” But how could I not have seen that Quanisha– who had been the most disruptive, sullen, and difficult student I was teaching that year– was actually dealing with an imminent deployment? I felt… ashamed. [click to continue reading …]

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Making Kids Happy at Christmas by guest blogger Sandy Fowler

by Judy Davis - The Direction Diva on November 28, 2014

Making Kids Happy at ChristmasAs a military family finding ways to make the holidays meaningful and happy isn’t always a simple task. So often we think it’s about the gift and the magical moment that happens when the last bit of wrapping paper is torn off of that item you hope they will love ( that item that will make up for the fact that there is an empty spot at the table this year).

An expert on handling holiday stress and making the most out of tight finances, guest blogger Sandy Fowler  is the author of Beyond Eggnog and Mistletoe: Creating a Stress Free Holiday Season You’ll Love  and host of the Heart Filled Holidays radio show. She has helped me balance the holidays and all the chaos more times than I can recall and I highly recommend grabbing a copy of her book so you can make the most of this holiday season. It’s packed with simple ideas but most important it walks you, step-by-step, through the process of creating a great Christmas.

Today Sandy shares a unique twist on something she believes is key to making kids happy this holiday season – and it’s not about buying that perfect gift!  [click to continue reading …]

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Star Tech Holiday: To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone…

by Judy Davis - The Direction Diva on November 24, 2014

IMG_20141121_075231184_HDR The phrase “To boldly go where no man has gone before” can be heard at the beginning of many Star Trek episodes. But today it could easily describe the new destination store that Verizon opened just in time for the holiday season. BTW if all stores were like this I wouldn’t hate holiday shopping – just saying :)!

A couple of weeks ago, as a member of the VZWBuzz Team*, I was invited to a store that takes Star Tech to the next generation. Ok, enough with the cheesy Star Trek references, but I kid you not it is an adult playground on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. From the moment I walked in the door my jaw dropped and my heart started beating just a little bit faster.

My eye was drawn first to the speaker wall – brilliant with color – and then to the unique layout of all the latest and greatest toys available to meet all of my tech needs. And lets not even get started on the 2nd floor fitness zone that got me excited about using technology to take my health and fitness goals to a whole different level.

I loved that each customer is given the ability to test the myriad of selections starting with the signature DJ setup in the Amplify it zone. The options range from speakers and a range of phones to meet any need to drones and an interactive photo booth that could capture a moment only to return as a custom case for your newest device.

It’s a shoppers paradise, even for those of us who tend to avoid holiday crowds.

What stood out even more than the tech itself, was the attitude of the staff. They were having as much fun as we were and it’s obvious that they love what they do. Without exception every red shirt was accompanied with a genuine smile and willingness to help us understand the vast options that were available to us. Never did I feel like my ooohs, aaahhhs and questions were bugging them. Tiffany was “my gal”. She took my list and with expert care helped me navigate the store and  choices with ease. Not once did I feel pressured and I felt happy as I handed over my plastic to be swiped. The perfect gifts (some for myself too :) ) were purchased and I didn’t want to leave.

IMG_20141121_091115230They have truly gone to a place where no retailer has gone before. It is experiential because of what they call lifestyle zones. Each zone highlights ways in which technology can be incorporated into our every day lives. It’s not about sales, it’s about helping the visitors understand and fall in love with tech one device, one product and one experience at a time. Whether it’s my favorite “get fit” zone or one of the 6 others (Amplify It, Customize It, Have Fun, Home, On the Go and Anywhere Business) it is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of boring holiday shopping.

In fact I think that my soldier would happily shop with me this year if this was the place I took him to. OH and did I mention that they give a military discount :)! SCORE!

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*As a member of the #VZWBuzz team I receive various devices and accessories. No additional compensation was given and all opinions stated are my own. As always whenever I talk about Verizon you will get the real scoop not something someone else asks me to write icon smile

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