Monthly Archives

September 2016

    book reviews, children's books, read aloud

    Rice & Rocks Book Review + A Giveaway!

    BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the charming children’s book written by Sandra L. Richards and illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, Rice & Rocks. The tour will run from August 23 – September 13, 2016. collages7_orig

    About the Book

    rice-rocks-by-sandra-l-richards Title: Rice & Rocksl | Author: Sandra L. Richards | Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing | Publication Date: August 23, 2016 Genre: Children’s Picture Book | Number of Pages: 32 amazon2 Book Description: Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity. Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed he does not like ‘rice and rocks’ and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.  Take a look inside the book…



    Being Jamaican-American I can totally relate to the way Giovanni feels in this book.  Back in the 1980’s it wasn’t “cool” to be Jamaican or Jamaican-American for that matter.  Although I was born in America, my mother was not.  She had a very thick and distinct Jamaican accent.  I remember sometimes asking my mom to keep quiet in public in attempts to save face and stray from being different because I was scared her accent would embarrass me.  Kids would often use the term “fresh-off the boat” when referring to my mother.  Sometimes it felt like I was trapped between two worlds.

    Like Giovanni, I also have some embarrassing childhood food memories.  Even today, I’m sure many multicultural children still have food-related insecurities while growing up, like awkwardness about using chopsticks and the custom of eating all parts of the animal — chicken feet, fish eyes and pig head.

    I loved when Giovanni’s auntie takes him on a magical journey and all the discoveries that Giovanni makes.  I love the look of wonder in his eyes!  He realizes that some of his friends also eat rice and beans as a traditional dish.  What a revelation!

    Overall, we enjoyed this book for several different reasons.  The kids seemed to like pointing to the pictures of Jasper the parrot and little Giovanni.  I appreciate the fact that it was relatable as well as all of the detail included in the warm illustrations and the overall message of this book.  It teaches kids to understand they don’t have to apologize for the scent of their food or the way it looks.  In addition, I think this book does a great job teaching children about feelings, imagination, acceptance, and respecting other cultures and their traditions.

    About the Author: Sandra L. Richards


    Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rocks, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. An American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, she hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

    Learn more about Sandra at

    Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | LinkedIn Amazon | Books a Million | Seattle Book Company

    About the Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan

    megan-sullivan Megan Kayleigh Sullivan graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 with a degree in Illustration. She is currently working as a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist, and aspires towards a career in the film and animation industry as a concept artist, character designer, or visual development artist (or d., all of the above). She enjoys traveling, writing, telling stories, and hula-hooping. Visit her at

    LinkedIn | Instagram

    Blog Tour Giveaway

    Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

    Giveaway ends: September 13, 11:59 pm, 2016

    Open to:

    How to enter:
    Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

    Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Sandra L. Richards and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    book reviews, children's books, read aloud

    Daddy Do My Hair? Beth’s Twists (A Book Review)

    Daddy Do My Hair? Beth’s Twists by Tola Okogwu, illustrated by Rahima Begum


    Publisher: Florence Elizabeth Publishing Limited
    Available for Sale: October 2016
    Pages: 36
    UK & US Pre-orders available now!  Learn more

    It’s Sunday evening and dinner is over.
    Beth is excited and heads to the sofa.
    Daddy is there with a smile and a chair,
    “Daddy,” she asks, “will you please do my hair?”

    Join Daddy and Beth on a wonderful hair adventure in this heart-warming story, which celebrates the unique and special relationship between a father and child. The perfect rhyming picture book read for every family, this is a book to be shared time and time again. This is the first book in the ‘Daddy Do My Hair?’ series.


    I love seeing dads style their daughters’ hair or paint their nails.  I don’t think my dad, in my entire life, ever even tried to do my hair let alone paint my nails.  With the popularity of the recent Pantene Superbowl ad and countless videos on the Internet, I think it’s refreshing to see so many dads who are stepping up to the plate to take on the task of doing their daughters’ hair.  Society has always made it seem like girls’ hairstyles can only be crafted by mothers, grandmothers, and sisters.

    In this adorable rhyming book, Daddy Do My Hair? Beth’s Twists, Beth and her dad go on a Sunday evening hair adventure.  First dad asks Beth how he wants her to style her hair.  Beth decides she wants to have her hair twisted.  Dad is shown parting Beth’s hair gently with his fingers before he starts twisting.  Beth and her dad talk, giggle, tell stories and sing songs the entire time.  When the style is finished Beth inspects her daddy’s work and a huge smile spreads across her face.  In the end, Beth is pleased with the end result and can’t wait to go to school to show off her new hairstyle to her friends and let them know her daddy did it.  I love how Beth was involved in the process by choosing her own hair accessories and the style.  I also enjoyed seeing the father give Beth his undivided attention while he styled her hair.


    I think this book is such a cute testament to the relationship between fathers and daughters which captures the importance of fatherhood perfectly.  Not everyone is blessed with parents or dads who are active.  Let’s face it, for many dads, doing hair isn’t as easy as most moms make it look. From basic pony tails to buns to complex braids, there’s a lot to learn.  With a plethora of products, accessories and styles available, it’s easy for dads to get caught up in complicated styles that leave their daughters’ looking more chaotic than cute.  However, I think Beth’s dad does a great job making his daughters’ hair look fierce and stylish.  He gets an A+ for both effort and style.  Way to go, Dad!

    daddydomyhair (2)

    Overall, we enjoyed this book because it goes beyond the hair and shows the special bond between a father and his daughter.  Beth’s dad shows her that she’s worth his investment and reinforces in her heart that she is important, beautiful and unique.

    Learn more about the Daddy Do My Hair book series!
    To order a copy of the book click here. (For both UK and non-UK residents)

    WebsiteInstagram | Twitter | YouTube

    children's books, read aloud

    19 Unique Friendship Picture Books for Kids!

    As September rolls through our lives, we find ourselves slipping into that back-to-school mentality: back-to-school means new clothes, new school supplies, and most importantly, new friends. Even as adults we get butterflies thinking about meeting new people, so it’s tough to imagine placing our kids in that position of needing to make new friends and coming out of their shells in new environments.

    Friendships, of course, come in all different shapes and sizes, and there’s no better medium for exploring these unique friendships than picture books. The people we meet during our lives can be transformative and life-altering, and finding the people we want to spend our time with is always a process unique to the individual. (Written by Mel @spiky_penelope on Instagram)


    Here’s the round-up of Unique Friendship stories shared throughout August from the Kid Lit Picks Book Club on Instagram and quotes from individual reviews.

    Leo, A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson (shared by ME @readingisourthing)

    “…friends come in many shapes and sizes. Well, they can cross through dimensions, too.”

    Life Without Nico, by Andrea Maturana and Francisco Javier Olea (shared by @spiky_penelope)

    “…honest and authentic, and it tackles a common issue in such a fresh and beautiful way.”

    The Sandwich Swap, by Rania Al Abdullah, Kelly DiPucchio and Tricia Tus (shared by @ilovebooksandicannotlie)

    “…a great book to use to discuss accepting each other’s differences and cultural diversity! Pick this one up!”

    The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown (shared by @afriendlyaffair)

    “This wild Robot causes the reader to consider that it isn’t a beating heart that gives us life. It is our friends, our loves, our ability to learn, adapt, to be both WILD and refined.”

    Sophie’s Squash, Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf (shared by

    “Sophie finds the most amazing squash at the farmers market. Her parents plan to have it for dinner, but Sophie isn’t hearing anything of it!”

    The Cloudspotter, by Tom McLaughlin (shared by @homegrownreader)

    “…a gentle reminder that we don’t need to do everything alone and though friendship can be uncertain, it can also be its own reward.”

    Lucy and Company, by Marianne Dubuc (shared by @book.nerd.mommy)

    “This adorable picture book is a sweet tribute to childhood and friendships. It is three short stories about Lucy and her friends as they enjoy three special little adventures.”

    Hole and Hill Are Best Friends by Kyle Mewburn and Vasanti Unka (shared by @hereweeread)

    “Hill likes being a hill, and Hole likes being a hole, but sometimes they wonder what it would be like to switch places.”

    Unlike Other Monsters, by Audrey Vernick and Colin Jack (shared by @astoryaday)

    “This is a wonderful book about finding new friends, standing up for those friends, and what it means to be a friend.”

    The Invisible Boy, by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton (shared by @chickadee.lit)

    “The book’s illustrations help children understand the invisibility metaphor; Brian is first depicted in grays and gradually becomes more colorful as his friendships grow.”

    Duck & Goose, by Tad Hills (shared by @happily.ever.elephants)

    “If everyone could learn to cooperate like Duck and Goose, this world would no doubt be a much lovelier place.”

    Lost and Found, by Oliver Jeffers (shared by @bookbairn)

    “…a fabulous story about friendship and how all things that are lost don’t always need to be returned to be found.”

    Harry and Walter, by Kathy Stinson and Qin Leng (shared by @bookbloom)

    “Decades dissolve, as once again their friendship is rekindled.”

    Imaginary Fred, by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers (shared by @howifeelaboutbooks)

    “The book is touching and – fair warning – the end might make you tear up.”

    Wilfred, by Ryan T. Higgins (shared by @smallysbookshelf)

    “This adorable story teaches a lesson in empathy, friendship, and the cost of greed.”

    Same, but Little Bit Diff’rent, by Kylie Dunstan (shared by @fee_loves_)

    Two friends “compare with wonder their differences in lifestyle, culture and traditions but they also find much of those differences contain just as many commonalities.”

    The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty, by Beatrice Alemagna (shared by @ohcreativeday)

    “Beatrice Alemagna can do no wrong in my books. One of my class spelling groups is named after her, in fact.”

    Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School, by David Mackintosh (shared by @alittlebookhabit)

    “This is a really interesting book. It’s really stylish and appealing to look at. The layouts are inventive and there are lots of fine details so that you can spot something new each time you read it.”

    Goodnight Already, by Jory John and Benji Davies (shared by @childrensbooksgalore)

    “Bear just wants to go to sleep, but Duck has other plans!”

    @kidlitpicks is an Instagram book club. Its members are avid readers, and love children’s literature. Each month we share recommendations linked to a chosen theme. We want you to get involved. Follow @kidlitpicks on Instagram. You’ll find the monthly theme in our profile. Have a favorite children’s book that falls under this theme? Post a pic and review, and tag it with #kidlitpicks.

    adult books, myleik teele journal

    MyTaughtYou Podcast Companion Worksheets + One-On-One with Myleik Teele!

    If you follow my blog or Instagram account, you’ve likely heard me mention two trailblazing women I admire the most: Oprah Winfrey and Myleik Teele.  Kerry Washington comes in a very close third place.  I don’t know about you, but I love seeing fabulous women who are making big, bold moves out in the world.  To me, these women set the example that we can all accomplish our wildest dreams and be graceful and humble while doing it. They exude class, celebrate intelligence and break down barriers – they truly walk in their purpose.

    Myleik Teele, has revolutionized the way women address their curly hair needs. She is the founder of curlBOX, an exclusive monthly subscription box full of amazing products.  She also started a second business called MyTaughtYou and she offers sage advice on her wildly popular podcast.  On the podcast, Myleik shares everything from personal stories, money tips, relationship advice, business tips and so much more.

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Myleik to discuss her new podcast companion worksheets.  Have you seen these gems yet?  Each worksheet is approximately 5 – 9 pages long and they cover three main topics: Maintaining Momentum, Landing  Your Dream Job and my personal favorite, The Business Approach to Dating and Relationships.

    Click here to purchase Myleik’s Podcast Companion Worksheets!  Current prices range from $4.99 – $9.99!

    Let me break down each of these worksheets for you and let you know how I’ve been incorporating them into my everyday life.

    Maintaining Momentum
    This 5-page worksheet guides you towards overcoming obstacles that have no place in your life and moving full force to the top of your game. It has definitions of what a vision board is as well as a mantra – a word or phrase that is repeated often.

    Myleik then challenges you to ask yourself an honest question about how you want to feel when you achieve your goals and leaves space for you to jot down your answer. There are also instructions on how to make a vision board and additional space to write down the mantra(s) you want to recite to yourself daily. The rest of the worksheet is about taking action and brainstorming so you can begin to reset your mindset, step outside of your comfort zone and build momentum.

    I think this worksheet is very well thought out and organized. I’ve used it to help me start putting some personal plans and goals into action. There is something about the power of writing things down that starts to get the universe moving in your favor.

    Landing  Your Dream Job
    This 7-page worksheet is a companion to the “Why You’re Not Getting the Job” podcast.  This worksheet’s intent is to creatively guide you in the right direction of landing the job of your dreams.  Myleik shares proven tips, insider secrets and tells you how to enhance your resume and cover letter with step-by-step instructions.  Researching your online presence is also discussed along with some action steps to take.  The worksheet then discusses how to creatively find your dream job and provides an action plan.

    I think entrepreneurs or people looking for a new job in the workplace would benefit from using this worksheet.  I used it to help me start building my early literacy consulting business.  It helped me to start getting crystal clear on my goals and vision.

    The Business Approach to Dating and Relationships
    This 9-page worksheet is a companion to the “Why I Took a Business Approach to Dating and Relationships” podcast. It provides a loose strategy for approaching dating in a way that makes you feel a bit more confident.

    At the top of this worksheet Myleik challenges you to be honest with yourself about your life goals and priorities. There is space provided for you to write down your thoughts. Then there is a section for you to evaluate your past experiences with regards to relationships and useful information about how to find a therapist if you feel like you’re in need of one.

    Other topics include: performing a gut check, working on your personal elevator pitch and writing down exactly what you’re looking for in a relationship.

    I think this worksheet is a fantastic resource for both single and married people. I used it to re-evaulate some of the goals my husband and I have for our marriage.  Myleik says once she started approaching relationships the same way she did her business things started to change for the better.  Check it out for yourself and see if things start to shift for you too!

    MyTaughtYou Podcast Companion Worksheets + One-On-One with Myleik Teele!

    Now for the fun part, the interview!

    Q&A With Myleik!
    Q: Tell me about your new Podcast Companion Worksheets and why you decided to create them.
    A:  The podcast companion worksheets are sort of a physical, tangible accountability partner for people in certain areas of their lives.  We looked at our most popular podcasts and wondered how can we help people maintain momentum.

    Q: Who should use these worksheets and how can people benefit from using them?
    A:  I think anyone can use the worksheets.  I have found the people who enjoy the worksheets most are visual learners.  They enjoy making vision boards, setting goals and making plans.  They like being held accountable and some are still looking for mentors.  The worksheets are sort of a way to help them stay on track.

    Q: What’s your most popular podcast episode that you’d recommend others listen to?
    A: I have a podcast that I did about therapy.  It’s about why I went to therapy and why I still go.  Therapy is such a taboo topic to many people, but that is probably the one that’s listened to the most.

    Q: What are some lessons you’ve learned in leadership?
    A:  When it comes to leadership, people have to remember to use their voice and trust their decisions.  I think sometimes people don’t think they’re good enough or don’t believe their ideas are valid.  We need new opinions, we need new ways of doing things.  So I think leaders have to get really good at trusting their voice.  They also have to learn how to work with others and not be so married to their own ideas.  I always say, “I lead from the back”.  Meaning, I know I’m on a team with other people so sometimes I let others step in and fix a problem instead of always doing it myself.

    Q: After all of your success, what do you struggle with now? What keeps you awake at night?
    A:  To be honest with you, I feel very content in my life right now.  That is something that I worked really, really hard on because there were many things that used to keep me up at night.  I think that now I decided at the end of the day I want to have some peace.  So with the help of psychotherapy and learning how to really let things go, I have become somewhat of a black belt communicator.  I know how to communicate better than I ever have before.  When you master that I think you don’t take things so seriously.  As long as I can say that I have done my absolute best I can’t be worried about what may or may not happen.

    Q: Do you have any books that you would suggest I read for pleasure?
    A: I don’t do a ton of pleasure reading, but I am currently reading The Perfect Find by Tia Williams and I’m absolutely enjoying it.  I also really enjoyed 32 Candles by by Ernessa T. Carter and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.

    Q: Which 3 business/career related books do you recommend the most?
    A: Every person who works for me has to read The Personal Touch by Terrie Williams and Write to the Point by Salvatore Iacone.  If I had to pick a third book I’d probably say Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  It’s a great networking book.

    Q: What’s the most important business or other discovery you’ve made this year?
    A: I think this year has been my year of contentment to be okay with where I am.  This year I’ve worked really hard to just enjoy my moments by not beating myself up.

    Q: What’s unique about the MyTaughtYou products and services that you provide?
    A:  The MyTaughtYou brand and products are purely based on the community.  People may not know this, but I’ve been on social media for over 7 years.  I used to chronicle my hustle on Twitter and provide tips.  I used to have people sending me money to my office as a way to say thank you for helping them.  So I decided to create MyTaughtYou as a way to give back and create useful tools in hopes that they help others.  It’s completely a labor of love.  I use the money I make from MyTaughtYou to put back into making more MyTaughtYou products.

    Q: What’s next for MyTaughtYou and Curlbox in 2017 and beyond?
    A:  With CurlBox, I think people will be excited to see we’re stepping things up quite a bit.  We’ll have a lot more offerings and partnerships.  For MyTaughtYou I have a few more product ideas and I’m also working on creating another journal.  I hope to have it finished before the holidays because I think that will be so great to help people start the new year.

    Q: If you were to start a third business what kind of business would it be?
    A: It would probably be something cooking related.  People who follow me on Snapchat know how much I love to cook.  So it might be something like a cookbook or something related to food.

    Q:  Are you willing to share 1-2 things about yourself that can’t be found in your bio or on social media?
    A: I’m pretty much an open book, but a lot of people may not know that I skipped the first grade.  Also me and my junior high track and field team hold a Junior Olympic Track and Field record for completing the 4 x 400m Relay in 3:45.90 seconds.

    Q: I love the question you asked your friend Ken in a recent podcast so now I’m going to ask you. If you had $20 what would you spend it on?  Same question for $100.
    A: If I had $20 I would get a foot massage at the massage place down the street from my house.  If I had $100 I would get the Alexa that Amazon sells.

    Myleik also dropped some real gems and gave me some personal, valuable advice.  Here are some of the highlights:

    Regarding time management…
    “You have to use your time wisely as if your life depends on it because it does.  There’s a great amount of sacrifice that goes into working for yourself as an entrepreneur.  A lot of people want to reap the rewards of being an entrepreneur, but they don’t want to put in the time or the work.”

    When deciding what to charge clients/customers for your time…
    “If I know I need to make $5,000 per month in order to live comfortably, I could either have 2 clients paying me $2,500 each or 50 clients paying me $100 each.  I generally find the higher your prices are, the less customers you need.  In the past, the more cheaper clients I had, the more headaches I had.”

    “You need to find the right people who are willing to pay for your time and services and work really, really hard to keep them happy.  You also need to figure out what it costs you to live on a monthly basis.  Then decide how many customers you think you can get and build it from there.  Start high and then you can negotiate.  You should also have to have a walking point to say, ‘No, I’m not going to do it for that price’ if it’s less than what you’re willing to accept.”

    On consistently making money as an entrepreneur…
    “If you want to consistently make money, you have to consistently hustle.  There are no guaranteed or steady paychecks like you get from working at your job.  With entrepreneurship you eat what you kill, period.  That’s the thing I love the most about being an entrepreneur.  I felt like I was a millionaire when I was 25 years old.  I know how hard I’m willing to work and do what it takes.  I will wake up at 4am for a decade if that’s what it takes.  Do the work, remove the date, and the check will come down.”

    On changing your mindset…
    “You really have to come to a place of understanding that your income is limitless.  You can make as much or as little as you want.  It’s up to you.  You have to get into that mindset and be willing to do what most people won’t or be okay with being micromanaged at your job.  Your job may not be as bad as you think given all of the things that come with being an entrepreneur.”

    podcastcompanionworksheet3 podcastcompanionworksheet2 podcastcompanionworksheet1

    Connect with Myleik!
    Website Instagram | Twitter


    children's literacy

    Why Your Child Hasn’t Developed a Love of Reading by First Grade

    I learned to read while I was in preschool at the ripe age of four.  I don’t remember the methods that were used to teach me, but I do remember reading and literacy wasn’t seen as a big deal in my household.  I didn’t have someone who read stories every night before tucking me into bed.  Instead, once I learned how to read on my own I would read books and then fall asleep shortly after.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for books and reading.  When people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up my first response was, “I want to be a teacher!”  For me, being a teacher was a no-brainer since I loved to read and had a passion for helping others succeed from a very early age.  By being a teacher I had a desire to transform instruction so that children could become powerful readers, writers and thinkers.  My dreams of becoming a teacher never came to pass, however I believe making the decision to be an early literacy and learning consultant will help satisfy my desire.

    Why Your Child Hasn't Developed a Love of Reading by First Grade
    As an early literacy and learning consultant my goal is to offer a host of personalized learning, tools, feedback, and resources to parents who have prioritized their child’s early literacy.

    Through my interactive, online workshops, I help you figure out your child’s reading stage and where he or she is going next. This enables you to tailor home literacy practices to your child’s unique strengths and needs.

    During the months of October, November and December I’ll be offering a beta version of my very first workshop, “Why Your Child Hasn’t Developed a Love of Reading by First Grade” as a holiday special promotion for $47. Start a read aloud habit with your children and set your child up to have a successful school year. Let me show you how. I look forward to working with you!


    Perks of joining us:

    • Exclusive Facebook group with like-minded parents/caregivers who are passionate about early literacy and helping their children
    • Reading tips to help your child become a better reader
    • Advance notice on upcoming board, picture and YA books (6-9 months before they hit the market)
    • Book giveaways
    • Fun read aloud challenges for kids

    What makes you a good fit for this course:

    • You have a child ages birth – 7 years old
    • You are an expecting parent
    • You have a desire to help your child become a better reader or fall in love with reading and books
    • You are looking for good quality books for your children to read

    Testimonials from previous courses:
    “It was money well spent and would gladly recommend it to any parent!”

    “It really helped to reiterate and tweak some of the things I’m already doing and enhance some of the things of the things some of the things I need to do more of with my kids.”

    *No refunds will be offered for this course once you are enrolled.*