Melissa Matters

Melissa Matters

Melissa is a Stay at Home Mom with a BA in writing, CA teaching credential and a Masters in Education. She has taught many levels of education and loves writing. Also, dear to her heart are her faith, family and four animals. She has resided in Southern California for her entire life.

Melissa enjoys coming up with crafts for her children and finding low-cost ways to entertain her family. She is interested in organic food and a healthy lifestyle.
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  • Tips From an Educator: 8 Thoughtful Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas
    Teacher Appreciation week is the first full week in May. When I was teaching, I really appreciated the little gifts, gestures and words of kindness during this week. Here are 8 thoughtful teacher appreciation week ideas.
  • Visiting Carlsbad, California: Where to Stay and Things to Do
    Recently, my family and I took a trip to Carlsbad during spring break. We enjoyed the sun, the surf and the quaintness of the coastal community in San Diego County. Here are is a guide to visiting Carlsbad.
  • 10 Ways to Be a Better Team Leader at Work
    Two years after taking my first full-time teaching job, I was asked to be the team leader for my fourth grade team. I was flattered and told my principal, yes! I worked with a great group of teachers. Still, being in a leadership position can be hard.
  • Stop Your Children's Bad Habits With These Easy Tips
    Children can easily develop bad habits. Here are a few ways to stop bad habits in their tracks.
  • Tips From a Former Bridesmaid: Do’s and Don’ts
    Through my experiences as a wedding attendant, I picked up some very important do’s and don’ts for a bridesmaid. Here are some tips from a former bridesmaid.
  • Five Foods That Help Men Burn Fat
    Exercise and an overall healthy diet can help men lose weight. However, fat burning foods give you an edge in the battle of the bulge. Here are five of the best fat burning foods (and beverages) for men.
  • Do You Need a Diet Makeover? Five Ways to Tell
    Sometimes, the secret to our physical and emotional well-being lies in our grocery cart, our refrigerator and our lunch bag. If you haven’t been feeling like yourself lately, chances are you need a diet makeover.
  • Low Sodium Shopping Tips and Vegetarian Recipes
    These days, many prepared foods and condiments contain a lot of salt. However, you can stay healthy with these low sodium shopping tips and vegetarian recipes.
  • Four Great Reasons to Read Chapter Books to Kindergarteners
    Recently, I started reading more chapter books to my kindergartner and she loves it. Here are four great reasons to read chapter books to kindergarteners and some chapter book recommendations too!
  • Sustainable Easter Basket Ideas
    As consumers, we throw away a lot of packaging every day. With all of the greeting cards, wrapping paper and plastics used during Easter, I feel like there is a better way. This year, consider using one of these sustainable Easter basket ideas.
  • Dye-Free Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
    I have used the traditional Easter egg decorating kits. However, this year, I wanted to do something different. Using paint, markers and glitter, my family and I created some unique Easter eggs. Here are some dye-free Easter egg decorating ideas.
  • How to Stop Being a Whiny Parent
    When people constantly complain about their children, their spouse and the toils of life, it comes across as, well, whiny. It also sounds pessimistic and like they hate being a parent. So the next time you feel like whining, remember these tips!
  • 2014 Earth Day Events in Los Angeles
    Earth Day is the perfect time to be more conscious about your carbon footprint. Earth Day is on April 22. In the pursuit to reduce, reuse and recycle, here are four Earth Day events in the greater Los Angeles area for 2014.
  • Inexpensive Bunny Crafts for Easter
    While you may not get a visit from the Easter bunny this year, bunny crafts are a fun activity the week leading up to Easter. All you need is a little creativity, some paper and a few other supplies to make these inexpensive bunny crafts for Easter.
  • Spring Break Outfits for Vacations, Staycations and Just About Anywhere
    Whether I am walking along the beach, dining out, or going to a local hangout, I plan on being fashionable. Here are some great spring break outfits for vacations, staycations and just about anywhere.
  • Easter Basket Ideas Teenagers Will Love
    It can be hard to find the right gift for a teenager. While I believe it’s the thought that counts, I also strive to give presents that people like. Thus, here are a few Easter basket ideas for the special teen in your life.
  • National Poetry Month Activities for Kids
    Poetry can be a great tool to encourage kids to read, learn new words or help them become more fluent readers. National Poetry Month kicks off in April. Here are a few activities to do with your students.
  • Five Fun Types of Poetry to Teach Kids
    National Poetry Month is in April. During this month, as a teacher, I used to teach my students different poetic forms. All month long, we had fun learning, writing and creating poems. Here are five types of poetry to teach kids.
  • How to Show Your Grade-Schooler That Math Is Fun
    My daughter is almost finished with her first year in grade school. So far, she really enjoys it. By making math fun at home, I hope she continues to enjoy school. Here are some tips on how how to show your grade-schooler that math is fun.
  • Five Methods to Even Out Your Skin Tone (With or Without Makeup)
    After having kids in my late 20s and early 30s, I developed some brown spots on my forehead. Although I never had trouble with acne, my skin wasn’t quite as clear as it was a decade ago. Yet, these five methods have helped even out my skin tone.
  • Delicious Easter Dinner Recipes
    I have a few favorite dishes that I like to make for special occasions along with a few new ideas especially for the Easter. Here are some delicious Easter dinner recipes from my family to yours.
  • Fun Fact and Opinion Activities for Kids
    Since many editorials, advertisements and books utilize fact and opinion, I think it’s important for children to learn the difference between the two. Here are some fun fact and opinion activities for kids.
  • The Benefits of Growing Up in the '80s
    I don’t mean to start a my-generation-is-better-than-your-generation argument. Still, I’m grateful I grew up during a time where smartphones didn’t exist and you could play tag at recess. Here are a few other reasons why growing up in the '80s was great.
  • Easy DIY Home Decor Crafts for Easter
    Spring is here. I recently took down my winter snowflakes and snowmen. In its place, I’m putting up some Easter-themed decorations. Rather than spending a lot of time and money on my decorations, I’m making some easy DIY home decor Easter crafts.
  • My Travel Disaster in Italy: Lost Luggage and a Botched Itinerary
    Shortly after my husband and I were married, we began planning our week-long tour of Italy. For a fixed price, the tour included transportation, hotels and most of our meals. With everything set up for us, what could go wrong? As it turns out, plenty!
  • Engaging Prefix Activities for Elementary School Students
    Here are some engaging prefix activities for elementary school students.
  • Teaching Kids About Good Friday
    Most kids know about Easter. However, I think it's equally important for children to understand the significance of Good Friday. Here are a few ideas for teaching kids about Good Friday.
  • What Is a Midlife Crisis? Tips for Avoiding One
    My 35th birthday is approaching, rapidly. Some may say I’m approaching a period in my life where I’m susceptible to a “midlife crisis.” This got me to thinking: What is a midlife crisis? More importantly, what can I do to avoid it?
  • My Clean Eating Weight Loss Success Story
    Clean eating helped me shed all of my extra post-baby weight and then some.
  • Beautiful Pastel Outfits for Spring
    Pastels don’t have to be reserved for Easter Sunday or dance recitals. Pastels can be grown-up, glamourous or even edgy. In fact, here are a few beautiful pastel outfits for spring.
  • 10 Best Choices for a Family Game Night
    My kids love to play games. From Candy Land to Go Fish, we have a wide variety to choose from. I think game nights are a great way to save money while spending quality time with my family. Here are my 10 best games for a family game night.
  • How to Dress Down a Black Dress
    Since I have young children, I typically wear more casual clothes. Yet, that doesn’t mean my black dresses have to sit in my closet. In fact, here are a few ways to dress down a black dress.
  • Fun Activities for Teaching Onomatopoeia
    An onomatopoeia is a word which, when spoken, mimics the sounds of its own name. While kids can easily go overboard with their literary devices, I think teaching onomatopoeia is beneficial for their reading and writing development.
  • Fun Ways to Teach Dialogue to Kids
    Every day, kids have conversations. Yet, when they are asked to put a conversation onto paper, they freeze. Between the punctuation and the overuse of the word said, dialogue isn’t easy to write. Here are some tips on how to teach dialogue to kids.
  • Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference
    As a credentialed teacher myself, I have had many parent-teacher conferences. Thus, I know what to expect and how to make the most of my 15 minutes. Here are a few tips, from a mom and a teacher, on how to have a successful parent teacher conference.
  • Tips for Cleaning While Pregnant
    When I was pregnant with my first child, I cleaned a bit less than usual. Yet, with my second pregnancy, I got smart. I learned about natural cleaners. I purchased more functional cleaning supplies. And I learned how to delegate responsibility.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Fashion Ideas
    I like to purchase green attire that I can wear more than one day out of the year. Here are a few St. Patrick’s Day fashion ideas!
  • 4 Cute Outfits for Rainy Days
    I love rain boots, patterned umbrellas and water-resistant jackets. Rainy days don’t mean you have to wear drab, boring outfits. In fact, here are four cute outfits for rainy days.
  • Themed Easter Basket Ideas for Adults
    This year, show someone you care with one of these themed Easter basket ideas for adults.
  • Tips for Teaching Sentence Variety to Students
    Teaching sentence variety to students in elementary school can help them become better writers. Here are a few tips to help students write better sentences.
  • Dealing With Sexual Harassment in Elementary School
    In the fifth grade, I was sexually harassed. A boy was whispering sexual comments to me. Eventually, I told my teacher and the student was suspended.Sadly, sexual harassment is something that does go on in elementary schools.
  • Candy-Free Easter Basket Ideas for Kids
    There are a lot of reasons why children can’t have candy. Thus, here are some candy-free Easter basket ideas for kids.
  • Must-Have Fashions for Busy Moms
    As a mom of two, I have found myself exchanging my heels and stiff skinny jeans for leggings and comfy flats. Although I like to dress comfortably, I still like to be fashionable. Thus, I stock my closet with these must-have fashions for busy moms.
  • Teaching Kids to Have Compassion for Animals
    As a parent and animal-lover, I’m doing my best to teach my kids to have compassion for animals.
  • How to Improve Reading Comprehension at Home: Simple Strategies for Success
    Now, that I have one child in school, I try to check for understanding when we read together. Here are a few tips on how to improve reading comprehension at home.
  • First Person: How I Splurge on a Tight Budget
    Excessive spending isn’t in my budget. Yet, this doesn’t mean that my family and I go without luxuries. Here are a few ways I splurge on a tight budget.
  • 5 Reasons to Exercise With Your Family
    Recently, my daughter purchased running shoes. As a result, the entire family has been exercising together more. Here are five great reasons to exercise with your family.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Writing Activities: Prompts, Poems and Summaries
    With its rich history, colorful symbols and cute leprechauns, St. Patrick’s Day provides students with plenty of inspiration to write. Here are some St. Patrick’s Day writing activities including prompts, poems and summaries.
  • 5 Reasons Parents Shouldn't Complain About Teachers on Social Media
    Unfortunately, I have seen parents, far too many times, writing mean-spirited posts about their child’s teacher. Here are five reasons parents shouldn’t complain about their child’s teacher on social media.
  • Teaching Theme With Picture Books
    When I was teaching my fourth graders about theme, I often used picture books. After all, the illustrations and fun stories helped me engage my students in the lesson. Here are a few tips on teaching theme with picture books.
  • Engaging Activities to Teach Kids About Classifying Triangles
    When I was teaching fourth grade, I tried to do some fun activities to teach about the different types of triangles. Use these art, investigation and fun games to teach kids about classifying triangles.
  • “Farmed and Dangerous”: Chipotle’s Original Series Dares Us Think About What We Eat
    While “Farmed and Dangerous,” Chipotle’s Original Series, dares us to think about what we eat, it does so with a fictional storyline, engaging characters and satire. The result is about 20 minutes of amusement juxtaposed with a troubling insight into ind
  • First Person: I'm Not Buying into Retail Therapy
    As I become older, I have realized that less is more. Even though I experience a smidgen of joy when I make a purchase, I’m not buying into retail therapy.
  • Child Care Choices: How I Decided to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom
    There are a lot of things to consider when deciding to stay at home or pay for child care. Here are some of the main factors that went into our decision.
  • Cute Spring Outfits for 2014
    Spring 2014 fashion has plenty of great trends. How can you take these runway trends and make it work in your everyday wardrobe?
  • How to Deal With Your Irrational Toddler
    Toddlers are notorious for being irrational. Yet, there are ways to communicate with your toddler and make those irrational moments a little more rational.
  • Fun Activities for Teaching Irregular Plural Nouns
    Children learn to add the letter ‘s’ to the end of a noun to make it plural. Yet, there are plenty of nouns that don’t follow that rule. The best way to help kids remember these exceptions is to engage them in meaningful lessons.
  • Rainbow Crafts for St. Patrick's Day
    What child doesn’t like rainbows? Throw in some shamrocks, gold and a leprechaun hat and these rainbow crafts for kids are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Tips to Minimize Classroom Interruptions in Elementary School
    There are ways to nip the unnecessary disruptions in the bud. Here are a few tips from an experienced classroom teacher on how to minimize classroom interruptions in the elementary school setting.
  • How to Encourage Kids to Write
    Writing skills are also often important when applying for jobs, and proper grammar is necessary when exchanging business emails. Here are some tips from a mom and credentialed teacher on how to encourage kids to write.
  • Teaching Tips: Cause and Effect Activities for Kids
    Each day, cause and effect relationships are all around us. Once children realize this, it becomes much easier to find cause and effect sentences in stories and articles. Before handing out a worksheet, consider some of these cause and effect activities.
  • 5 Reasons to Volunteer in Your Child's Classroom
    Along with helping, I was able to spend some time with my daughter and have fun. Here are five reasons to volunteer in your child’s classroom.
  • 4 Reasons You Should Wear Sunscreen in the Winter
    Sometimes in the winter, I think to myself, does my child really need sunscreen? In reality, there are plenty of reasons to wear sunscreen in the winter.
  • 5 Must-Have Spring Fashion Trends for 2014
    Whether you live in a warmer or cooler climate, spring is the time to pull out those mint green flats or cross body bag and start showing your lighter side. Here are five must-have spring fashion trends for 2014.
  • Using Children's Books to Teach Descriptive Writing
    I feel that one of the best ways to teach descriptive writing is with strong examples. Then, give children the chance to weave some descriptive details into their own stories. Here are a few ways to use picture books to teach descriptive writing.
  • Easy Mardi Gras Arts and Crafts for Kids
    Mardi Gras has come to be a time of celebration and indulgence. It’s main colors are purple, green and gold. Here are some Mardi Gras crafts to help bring a little taste of the holiday to your home.
  • Fun Real World Fraction Activities for Kids
    Fractions are all around us. From recipes to sharing, we are often engaging with parts and wholes of numbers. Here are some fun, real world fraction activities for kids
  • How to Keep Toddlers Busy: Five Simple TV-Free Options
    Anyone who has a toddler knows little ones need a lot of supervision. Yet, there are times when I need to cook, help my older daughter with her homework or take a break. Over the years, I have stumbled upon five ways to keep toddlers busy, without TV.
  • Tips for Being on Time to School, and the Benefits of Doing So
    I like being punctual and I think it's important for kids to be on time too! Here are some of the benefits of being on time to school, along with some tips on how to eliminate frantic mornings.
  • Sugar: The Sweetest Thing May Also Be Toxic
    Sugar is everywhere. When we eat candy or sweets, we know we are eating sugar. However, sugar is also hiding in the pasta and tomato sauce you had for dinner and the salad dressing you had for lunch. Sugar is sweet but it also may be toxic.
  • First Person: How I Buy Designer Clothes for Up to 70 Percent Off
    Now that I have kids and a hefty mortgage, I still like the occasional designer splurge. However, I can’t afford the luxury prices. Yet, with a few tricks, I am able to purchase designer clothes for up to 70 percent off.
  • How to Transition Your Wardrobe From Winter to Spring
    In spring 2014, pastels, metallics and sheer materials are just some of the styles to hit the runway. Here are a few ways to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring.
  • Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Presents for Kids
    I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t take a lot of money to show you care. Every year, I get my children a small Valentine’s Day gift. This February, surprise your children with one of these inexpensive Valentine’s Day presents for kids.
  • 4 Reasons to Stop Nagging Your Kids
    On any given day at my house, you might hear a chorus of "Clean up your toys!" "Eat your Broccoli!" and "Get your hands out of your mouth!" Yes, I’m nagging my kids and here are four reasons I'm going to stop.
  • 5 Cute DIY Candy-Free Valentines
    Due to a sugar overload, allergies and rules at school, we are doing candy-free valentines this year. Here are five "no candy" cards for Valentine's Day!
  • Are You Overparenting Your Children?
    Some parents do everything for their children. This stifles their ability to be independent, solve conflicts and even get a job. Are you overparenting your children?
  • First Person: California's Driest Year…...And The Drought Goes On
    For weeks, the ground has been dry and there has been zero chance of rain. As a result, I have been wishing for rain. Recently, I got my wish and it drizzled for a few hours. Yet, a few drops of rain isn’t enough to pull California out of a drought.
  • Classroom Activities to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the perfect time for educators to teach children about his far-reaching impact. This January, engage your students with some of these classroom activities to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • First Person: I’m Living with Less and Enjoying the Simple Life
    Although consumer have been spending more, I am still being conservative with my money. Due to the recession, I have grown accustomed to living with less. In addition, I have found that living a simple financial life has made me happier.
  • Inexpensive Pirate Party Ideas for a Child’s Birthday
    When your child turns another year older, consider some of these inexpensive pirate party ideas for his or her next birthday bash.
  • Inexpensive Homemade Valentine's Day Decorations
    The next time you are at the craft store, pick up some cute patterned scrapbook paper, ribbon, paint and you will be armed and ready to tackle these inexpensive homemade Valentine’s Day decorations.
  • Most Expensive Winter Olympics: Sochi Appears to Be No. 1
    Hosting the Winter Olympics is a big undertaking. Construction of new sporting venues, heightened security and road expansions are some of the reasons costs start piling up. Here are some of the most expensive Winter Olympics.
  • The Winter Olympics and Injuries: Risks Are Part of Being an Olympian
    Here are some of the injuries that have have sidelined Winter Olympic athletes. For some, their injuries will keep them out of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
  • Extended Breastfeeding: Statistics, Benefits and Society's Criticism
    Extended breastfeeding isn’t common in the United States. In fact, some people even think it’s strange or inappropriate. Yet, I’m not worried about what other people think. Here are a few reasons why I continued nursing past my son’s first birthday.
  • First Person: Adjusting to an Increase in My Cost of Living
    With fuel and food costs expected to rise, our household is already making changes to adjust to an increase in our cost of living.
  • First Person: How I’m Keeping My Valentine’s Day Costs Low
    Valentine’s Day can become expensive. American's spent close to $19 billion last year. However, I'm not looking to spend a lot on Valentine's Day. Here are a few ways I'm keeping my costs low.
  • Valentine’s Day Food Art for Kids
    My kids like fun food art. My daughter often asks me to make her toast in the shape of a heart or a face on her pancakes. Valentine's Day is the perfect time to make some cute food art.
  • Five Charming and Romantic Handmade Valentine Cards
    Giving a homemade valentine shows your recipient that you put a lot of time and effort into this friendly or romantic gesture. Here are five charming and romantic handmade valentine cards.
  • U.S. Athletes to Watch at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games
    At every Winter Olympics, there are athletes who are expected to shine. Some live up to these expectations while others fall short. Here is a handful of U.S. athletes to watch at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
  • Seven Ways to Improve Your Students’ Writing Skills
    As a writing major and word lover, I spent a considerable amount of time teaching my upper grade students how to write. Here are seven ways to improve your students’ writing skills.
  • Luxury Beach Hotels in Southern California
    Nice linens, beautiful views and posh details like spa baths are some of the things that make these hotels truly luxurious. While the Golden State is full of lush resorts, here are a few of my favorite luxury beach hotels in Southern California.
  • Just Breathe: How to Have Patience With Children
    During a summer school class, I taught a group of four-year-olds who tried my patience. Yet, as I became a more experienced teacher and, later, a mother, I learned how to have patience with children.
  • How to Wear Florals in the Winter
    Florals may make people think of spring and summer. However, many florals are winter-appropriate and can add life to heavy coats and boot ensembles. Here are a few tips on how to wear florals in the winter.
  • Lessons to Learn From Martin Luther King Jr.
    As a credentialed teacher and a mom, here are five of the biggest lessons I think we can learn from Martin Luther King Jr.
  • How to Get Kids Interested in Science
    I believe that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degrees will help future generations find a job that is in demand. Here are a few ways to get kids interested in science.
  • Favorite, Family-Friendly Beaches in Ventura
    When my family and I want to enjoy the beach while avoiding traffic and crowds, we go to Ventura. As a lifelong So Cal resident, I have been to many beaches. As a mom of two, here are some of my favorite, family-friendly beaches in Ventura.
  • Heart Shaped Crafts for Valentine's Day
    Try out one of these heart shaped crafts for Valentine's Day! Mixed media heart flowers and heart people are two of my favorites.
  • Excessive Valentine’s Day Consumerism: Five Ways to Avoid It
    As much as I like Valentine’s Day crafts and surprising my family with gifts, I don’t like the excessive consumerism that Valentine’s Day brings. If you’re like me and want to avoid excessive consumerism, but still be thoughtful, try one of these tips.
  • Leo Carrillo State Park: Tide Pools, Camping and a Beautiful View
    One warm winter day, our family headed southwest to soak up the sun and see what creatures were in the tidepools. Here are some tips from a Southern California girl on how to make the most out of your visit to Leo Carrillo State Park.
  • First Person: Overcoming Generation X’s Biggest Financial Hurdles
    At 34, I’m barely part of Generation X. However, I have felt the financial burdens that my generation has faced. Yet, despite this crisis, I have been able to overcome the biggest financial hurdles that plague Gen Xers.
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