Monthly Archives: June 2014

Special Needs..using iPad on Pinterest

I will keep this brief, because what I want you to do is check out Amanda Butt’s Special Needs Classroom page on Pinterest, specifically, the one entitled Special Needs..using iPad.  Her main page will provide resources of all types that would be of great value to a parent, teacher, or anyone working with a child with special needs.  The main page has subdivisions that includes numerous resources including: teaching children with special needs, art accommodations, motor skills, sensory resources, and much more.  However, given our technology age and how one of the biggest assistive technological advances, in my opinion, is the iPad, I’m going to send you over to the subdivision mentioned earlier: Special Needs..using iPad.  This page will give you links to great apps for children with visual impairments, autism, for children in residential facilities, valuable apps for special education, for children with speech and language disorders, and much more.  If you’re trying to help a child in your life that has special needs, check this page out!


Arturo Rodriguez at The Frost Museum

I remember when Florida International University was comprised of five buildings, the student center was basically Gracy’s Grill with a pool hall and one menu, and the museum was limited to a tiny little area in Primera Casa.

Well, no longer! FIU’s campus has blown up into who knows how many buildings that include a law and medical school, the student center looks like a an airport terminal, and that tiny museum is now The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, a lovely glass-encased, several-story building that is far more of a suitable fit than its former self.

Within the walls of The Frost Art Museum, Arturo Rodriguez’, School of Night exhibit, is currently on display through August 24th.  Arturo Rodriguez is a Cuban artist, who has been exiled in Miami since 1973.  His work is powerful, incorporating elements of his life, intertwined with the workings of night – its darkness, silence, and the anxiousness resulting from insomnia.  I have to say how wonderful this series is.  It’s a refreshing change of pace to see the beauty found in the intricacy of charcoal on paper.  The first drawing I encountered was the one on the cover, School of Night, XVI; its style was reminiscent of a favorite artist of mine, Chagall.


Arturo shared with me that this series was created over a series of two years, and as his bio on the webpage states, he created them throughout many sleepless nights. The pieces in this exhibit were dark, penetrating and inspiring.  If you have not seen Arturo’s work, please visit The Frost and let yourself be seduced by the uncertainty of night.



True Blood: the beginning of the end…Say it ain’t so!

The creators have begun most of the seasons with an extra dose of blood & gore, and Sookie at a crossroad…and this final season isn’t shaping up to be much different.

The season opened with the army of Walking Deadesque vampires that killed many Bon Temps folks, including Tara, which was both a shock and relief due to the annoying evolution of her character (which has been completely different from the one Charlaine Harris envisioned in her Sookie Stackhouse novels of which this series was once based on, now not so much). So bye bye Tara, but we get to still deal with your annoying, crazy mama…you couldn’t have used her as a shield?!

Sookie’s insecurities of how the townsfolk perceive her is in full swing, the much anticipated sexual encounter with Alcide was reduced to 2 seconds of which we saw nothing…really?! We’ve got Pam looking for Eric and playing Russian roulette, some weird Bon Temps vigilante idiots hunting the good vampires, Jessica having an existential crisis with the fairy teen, her boyfriend and Lafayette engaged in an interlude with homoerotic undercurrents, Sam as mayor (?!), and Bill being himself.

However…I will take this moment to thank Jason, the show’s moral compass, and a man of very few (or repeated) words. Thank you Jason for being the source of joy for so many of us as you and your vampire girlfriend engaged in a rather explicit sexual encounter…thank you.

Am I looking forward to next Sunday’s episode? Of course!  I may critique it, but I LOVE it and I’m dreading its final departure…

True Blood can never do wrong in my book…5 fangs.


LoKal in the Grove

Craft beers.  Locally grown food.  Environmentally conscious.  Pet-friendly.

What am I talking about?

LoKal Miami of course, located in the heart of Coconut Grove.

LoKal runs on 100% renewable energy sourced from wind and solar power.  Their beers are amazing and most of them are from Florida breweries…I personally am a huge fan of the Due South Caramel Cream Ale, but they have some temporary visits from Cigar City like one that was dark, with a cocoa kick…mmmm.

Then there’s the food.  Oh the food, it’s so amazing.  My first meal there was their Frita by Kush, which is a burger with guava jelly, melted Gruyere, papitas or potato sticks, bacon and their special sauce…AMAZING.  By this point I’ve tried most of their menu, but my favorites are still the Frita and My Wife’s Tuna Fish Sandwich, which is incredible, with tomatoes or sweet potato fries.  The sides consist of seasonal veggies, fries, sweet potato fries, the best tomatoes ever, and more!  Don’t leave without trying their key lime pie or Mami’s Puertorican Tres Leches.

And that’s just biped food, because they’ve got a menu for quadripeds!  Your doggy will love: one, the service given to them, and two, Marmaduke’s Meatloaf or Yeyo’s Chicken & Rice that comes complete with a breath mint!  They can even have their very own non-alcoholic beer brewed just for dogs 🙂

Please do yourself a favor and go to this treasure in the Grove!

I give Lokal: 5 high-fives!

Update: As of August 2nd, 2014, on Saturdays & Sundays, this awesome establishment will be offering The Before One Brunch with a ridiculously amazing menu that includes avocado fries, Homemade Pop Tarts, Eggs Benedict BBQ, Butterscotch Banana Pecan French Toast, and more (including a special brunch menu for our canine family members too)!





The Fault in Our Stars: Book vs. Movie

My teen daughter appears one afternoon with a blue book in her hand and says, “Mom, read this…you’ll like it.”  So what do I do? Immediately, I log onto my Amazon account, and buy my own copy because when your teen is reaching out to you, you jump…(trust me parents of babies or toddlers, exhausted, with stains from strained carrot baby food or baby vomit, you will jump).

So, two-days later, thanks to Amazon Prime, I receive my blue-colored tear-jerker of a book.  I couldn’t stop reading it, or crying.  I would intermittently stumble into my daughter’s room, my face covered in tears and snot, and I’d ask “Why are you making me read this???”

tfios cover

I have a weakness for Young Adult novels. I do. I’m sorry if I just lost some credibility in your eyes.  I read the “Twilight” series along with my kid (and mom, ahem), we were into it…we wore the “Team Jacob” or “Team Edward” shirts.  I enjoyed “Perks of a Wallflower” and the “Hunger Games” too…but there was something about this story, which seemed to have resounded with many given the cult following it’s received.

That said, after reading this novel, which I enjoyed tremendously, I taught it to my 8th graders, which extended my love of this novel.  I started a movement among middle-schoolers who all wanted to read this novel.  Yay for reading!  I’m still riding the wave of effective teaching, when June 5th comes and my kid and I went to see an early showing of the blessed movie…

and it was okay.  It wasn’t the book, but it was faithful to it.  It covered the basics.  And yes, during the last twenty minutes all that could be heard other than the film, were teenagers and women sniffing, crying and blowing their noses.  Buuuut, it wasn’t the book.

tfios movie cover

Book receives: 5 snaps!

Movie receives: 2.5 tissues 🙂