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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  • Festive Outdoor Fourth of July Games
    While I haven’t masterminded a 4th of July block party on my street, I have come up with several outdoor Fourth of July games that would be fun for any party or gathering.
  • 3 Delicious Ways to Use Quinoa
    Hailed as a superfood and a grain ancient warriors used to use for energy, quinoa is quite versatile and it tastes great. Here are three delicious ways to use quinoa.
  • How to Layer Necklaces Like a Pro
    now that my kids are getting older, I have been sifting through my jewelry box again. I have so many lovely pieces that I want to wear all of them at once…but I wont. Here are a few tips on how to layer necklaces like a pro.
  • Summer Writing Activities and Ideas for Elementary Students
    Writing is an important skill to keep up in the summer. Here are a few summer writing activities and idea for elementary students.
  • First Person: How I Save Money with Grocery Rebate Apps
    I like to save money at the grocery store. I use coupons and purchase items on sale. However, another great way to save is with grocery rebate apps.
  • Fun Ways to Teach Appositives to Kids
    The appositive, a noun or noun phrase that renames another noun, is a great way to give more information about a person, place or thing. Grammar lessons can be dry. However, here are a few fun ways to teach appositives.
  • Using Picture Books to Teach Adjectives
    Yet, children’s books are a great way to help enforce the correct way to use adjectives. Here are a few tips on using picture books to teach adjectives.
  • Co-Sleeping With My Toddler Benefits Everyone in the Family
    I wasn’t planning on co-sleeping with my toddler. One night, it just happened. Pretty soon, we had a family bed. Here are a few reasons why toddler co-sleeping works for my family.
  • Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach
    Recently, we took our two dogs down to San Diego for a family vacation. My doggies had a blast. In order to make your trip to the shoreline a successful one, it's important to be prepared and do a little research before taking your dog to the beach.
  • Help Kids Make Good Decisions
    Kids have to make decisions everyday. However, peer pressure, impulsiveness and naivete can make it harder for children to make good ones. Here are a few ways we can help our kids make good decisions…or, at the very least, better ones.
  • How to Get Free Books for Your Kids
    Books are an important resource to help your child learn to read, develop their vocabulary and help them acquire knowledge. The problem is books can be expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get free books for your kids.
  • Must-Have Summer Dress Styles for 2014
    From the little white dress to a flowing maxi, dress styles for summer are versatile. Here are some of the must-have summer dress styles for 2014.
  • The Importance of Grandparents
    I was lucky enough to have a close relationship with my two grandmas and one of my grandpas. It benefited me greatly. Indeed, we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of grandparents in our children’s lives.
  • Inexpensive Ways to Pamper Yourself at Home
    As a busy mom, I don’t always have the time or money to go to a day spa. The next time you are feeling less-than-great, try one of these inexpensive ways to pamper yourself at home.
  • Black and White Fashion Trends for Summer 2014
    The 2014 spring and summer runways had plenty of fresh ways to incorporate black and white into your wardrobe. This year, try some these black and white summer fashion trends for 2014.
  • 6 Tips for Avoiding Wedding Disasters
    My wedding was beautiful but I encountered several problems and near-disasters along the way. As a result, I hope to pass my experiences, both good and bad, down to my daughter and other brides to be. Here are six tips for avoiding wedding disasters.
  • Healthy 4th of July Food Ideas
    When looking for red, white and blue food for the 4th, I noticed most of the recipes involved red and blue food dye. I’m not a fan of the taste and ingredients of artificial dyes, thus I decided to come up with some healthy 4th of July food ideas.
  • American Flag and Other Patriotic Crafts for Kids
    With the Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to come up with some American flag and other patriotic crafts for kids. This is a great time to teach kids about our country’s flag and why we celebrate our independence.
  • Let Your Kids Be Bored (Sometimes)….It’s Good for Them
    Anyone who is acquainted with me knows I come up with a lot of crafts and activities to keep my kids busy. Yet, I don’t entertain my children all day. In fact, I think being bored can be a good thing, here's why!
  • How to Motivate Reluctant Readers
    Some phonics and basal readers are quite boring. I could see why some of my reluctant readers wouldn’t want to read these. Luckily, there is an entire world full of interesting reading materials. Here are some tips on how to motivate reluctant readers.
  • Breastfeeding Complications, Challenges and Frustrations
    Breastfeeding has great benefits for both baby and mother. However, it isn’t always easy. Knowing about some of the complications can help moms with solutions.
  • How to Teach Kids to Use Transition Words in Their Writing
    I think of transition words as a bridge from one sentence to another. Furthermore, I think the ability to use transition words effectively is a signal of a mature writer. Here are some tips on how to teach kids to use transition words in their writing.
  • Teaching Kids About the Setting of a Story (It's More Than a Time and Place)
    Setting is the breeze rustling through the sycamore trees along a river bank or the solitude of an empty park before sunrise. Here are some activities for teaching the setting of a story to kids.
  • The Potent Sting of a Stingray: Prevention and Treatment
    After experiencing the “sting” of a stingray, I am a lot more careful. Here are some stingray sting prevention and treatment tips.
  • How to Teach Number Sense, and Why it is Important!
    Essentially, number sense is the ability for students to understand numbers, the relationship between numbers and use strategies to solve arithmetic problems. Here are some tips on how to teach number sense and why it is important.
  • Parental Stress: Four Things Parents Should Stop Worrying About
    Being a parent is a big responsibility. Along with keeping our children safe, it is our duty to nurture them, teach them and a million other responsibilities. Yet, in order to reduce our parental stress, we should stop worrying about these four things.
  • Fourth of July Fashion: Cute Red, White and Blue Outfits for Women
    On the Fourth of July, I like to look festive. However, I don’t like to look like a giant American flag. Here are some cute red, white and blue outfits for women to wear on the Fourth of July.
  • Must-Have Summer Fashion Trends for 2014
    Bright colors, sundresses and a great swimsuit are some key pieces to shop for this season. Here are some of the must-have summer fashion trends for 2014.
  • Must-Have Beach Items for Parents and Their Kids
    I have learned about some essential beach supplies that keep us cleaner, drier and sunburn free. Here are some must-have beach items for parents and their kids.
  • Fun Summer Math Activities for Kids
    This year, engage your kids with some fun summer math activities and help prevent summer slide.
  • There, They’re, Their: Activities to Teach Homophones
    Giving children frequent exposure to homophones can help them use the right words in the proper context. Here are some fun activities to teach homophones.
  • Tips for Raising a Selfless Child
    The last time we went to the beach, my daughter offered to help pay for parking. I was happy to observe this selfless act. Here are a few tips on raising a selfless child.
  • Inexpensive and Easy Summer Crafts for Kids
    With summer just around the corner, I know I’ll need plenty of summer crafts for kids to keep my kids occupied. These inexpensive and easy summer crafts for kids are a great way to beat the heat and keep boredom at bay.
  • Three Great Beach Daycations in Southern California
    As a parent of young children, I have become a fan of the daycation. In other words, I try to travel an hour or so to somewhere with beautiful scenery, delicious food and fun activities. Here are three great day trips in Southern California.
  • How to Differentiate Instruction in the Elementary Classroom
    A one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work in the classroom. Based on my experiences as a credentialed teacher, here are a few tips on how to differentiate instruction in the elementary classroom.
  • Unique Father’s Day Gifts He Will Love
    If you’re like me, there have been times you have felt stumped when picking out a Father’s Day gift. There are probably other times when you felt like your present was an epic fail. Here are some unique Father’s Day gifts he will love.
  • Fun Compare and Contrast Activities for Kids
    Indeed, teaching compare and contrast is important. Here are some fun compare and contrast activities for kids to use in class or at home.
  • Inexpensive Ways to Entertain Your Kids When It's Really Hot
    You don’t have to spend a lot of money to beat the heat. Here are a few inexpensive ways to entertain your kids when it's really hot.
  • Creative Graduation Gifts for Kids and Teens
    Graduation is a special time of the year. Money and gift cards may be popular graduation gifts. However, if you want to get a little more creative, try one of these graduation gift ideas for kids and teens.
  • Five Great Summer Jobs for Teens
    A summer job is a great way for teens to gain some job experience, learn some skills and stay active. If you are looking to make a little extra money and/ or beef up your resume, try out one of these five great summer jobs for teenagers.
  • Must-Have Supplies for Hosting a Graduation Party
    With the school year coming to a close, it’s likely you’ll be invited to some commencement events. If someone in your own family is graduating, you may even be hosting a graduation party. Here are some must-have items for hosting a graduation party.
  • The Best Swimsuit Trends for 2014
    If you’re looking to stay on-trend this season, here are the swimsuit trends for 2014.
  • Fashion Tips: How to Mix Prints and Patterns
    While mixing prints can easily look silly, there are a few ways to mix prints and patterns so that you will look fashionably unique.
  • Fun End of the School Year Crafts for Elementary School
    The end of the school year is an exciting time. For this reason, it’s important to end the year with plenty of fun activities. These end of the year crafts are great way to say farewell and get ready for graduation!
  • Six Fun Summer Water Games for Kids
    While we typically don’t see temperatures in the triple digits until July, I suppose summer has come early this year. What a great time to play some outdoor water games with the kids! Here are six fun summer water games.
  • Tips for Teaching Kids to Read With Expression
    Part of the fun of reading books aloud is reading with emotion. In addition, this skill will help students have a better understanding of stories and dramatic performances. Here are a few tips to help your kids read with expression.
  • The Story Behind Memorial Day
    Memorial Day is so much more than a three-day weekend where people flock to the beaches. It is a time to remember and to count our blessings for our freedom. Yet, most importantly, it is a time to honor those who died while fighting for our country.
  • Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Angles
    Angles are everywhere! From corners to furniture edges, we are surrounded. Here are a few fun activities to teach kids about angles.
  • How to Avoid Crowds and Lines at Disneyland (and Disney’s California Adventure)
    I’m not a fan of crowds. As a lifelong Southern California resident, I have been to Disneyland countless times. Over the years, I have discovered a few ways to avoid crowds and lines at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.
  • The Selfie Trend: Destructive or Fun?
    While a lot of the selfies I see make me smile, I can’t help but think that this trend is destructive.
  • Easy Flower Crafts for Kids
    With my garden blooming, my kids are often picking roses and digging in the dirt. It’s great fun. However, when it’s really hot or I don’t feel like getting mud tracked into my house, I encourage my children to do a flower craft instead.
  • How to Be a Good Chaperone on a Field Trip
    Being a chaperone for a field trip is a big responsibility. Here are a few tips on how to be a great one.
  • 10 Free Ways to Thank a Teacher
    Here are 10 free ways parents, students and, well anyone, can thank a teacher each and every day.
  • 'Don’t Leave Me!' Tips to Ease Toddler Separation Anxiety
    Whether it be for work or pleasure, there are times when caregivers have to leave their little ones. Here are some tips on how to ease toddler separation anxiety.
  • First Person: How I Make Money Shopping Using My Smartphone
    I have discovered how to make money with my smartphone. Even better, I have learned how to make money shopping for everyday items like food and toilet paper. These three money making apps allow me to earn extra cash for shopping.
  • How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise When You Are Tired
    When you’re running on five or six hours of sleep, it can be hard to want to workout. Here are some tips on how to motivate yourself to exercise when you are tired.
  • Five Reasons You May Need a Mom’s Night Out
    ''Mom’s Night Out," the movie, is coming to theaters on May 9, 2014. In honor of the movie, I came up with a few reasons why you may need a mom’s night out.
  • What’s That Smell? Helping Your Kids Have Good Personal Hygiene
    We often think about teaching teens about personal hygiene. However, it’s necessary to establish proper grooming habits early. Here are some tips to help your kids establish good personal hygiene.
  • Avoiding End of School Year Burnout
    As a credentialed teacher, I know end of school year burnout isn’t a myth. However, here are a few tips on how to make it through the home stretch.
  • How to Throw a Birthday Party for a Little Girl on a Budget
    Throwing expensive birthday parties is not in my price range. At the same time, I like my daughter’s parties to be fun and memorable. Here are some ways I have been able to throw a birthday party for a little girl on a tight budget.
  • Three Delicious Salad Recipes for Spring
    With the weather warming up, spring is a great time to enjoy a cool salad. With several varieties of lettuce and other vegetables in season, there is plenty of produce to make a healthy salad. Here are three recipes to get you started.
  • A Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Menu and Other Ideas
    I love Mother’s Day! After all, along with being showered with love, I don’t have to clean up the kitchen. A Mother’s Day brunch at home allows you to avoid crowds while enjoying yummy food. Here is a Mother’s Day brunch menu and some other ideas!
  • Five Tips for a Successful Blind Date
    In college, my good friend set me up on a blind date. I’d say it was successful. After all, I married my date. We’ve been together for over 11 years and have two children (and four furry animals). Blind dates can be uncomfortable or down right horrible.
  • Visiting La Jolla Shores: Where to Stay, What to Do and Where to Eat
    For three years, I lived miles away from La Jolla Shores Beach. Here are some tips, from a former local, about visiting La Jolla Shores in San Diego County.
  • Simple at-Home Solutions for Dry Eyes
    I suffer from dry eyes. Every once in awhile, if I rub my eyes, it feels as if my eyelids are sticking to my cornea. Dry eyes can be quite uncomfortable. Luckily, I have discovered some home remedies to combat my dry eyes.
  • Important Facts and Myths About Food Poisoning
    Food safety is something I don’t take lightly. By knowing some important facts and myths about food poisoning, you can prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • How to Create the Ideal Classroom Environment
    As a teacher, I tried to create a positive classroom environment. After all, even with great lessons, it can be hard to be effective if there are distractions and students don’t feel valued. Here are some tips to create the ideal classroom environment.
  • 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.
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