1st Literary Award

Thursday, March 16, 2017 by  

literary-award-literature-novel-novels-writer-author-dreams-literary-1literary-award-literature-novel-novels-writer-author-dreams-literary-19Our 11-year-old earned her 1st Literary Award in a competition she entered back in Spring. She submitted a mini version of her 1st novella. It’s the 38th year of this competition & is open worldwide.

When Phillip read us the letter aloud, she jumped with pure delight feeling the fruits of her accomplishment after having spent months writing. We are so happy for her and very proud of her!

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Reading & writing are so important to Darling, a passion we saw at a very young age and have continued to fuel. While in England this May, we visited Oxford as C.S. Lewis & Philip Pullman are two of our daughter’s favorite authors, click: Oxford .
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Three teachers, Mrs. DZ, Mrs. SZ & Mrs. C have had such a significant impact on furthering her creative juices and honing her technical skills. Marvelous, nurturing, kind teachers ~ we are so grateful to have had this Dynamic Trio educate our daughter! Thank you, Mrs. DZ, for the amazing surprise cookie bouquet!!! Loved it!!!literary-award-literature-novel-novels-writer-author-dreams-literary-10
In her congratulatory card was a letter trimmed in gold with a very special message: Pack your bags & your wand, Hogwarts Castle awaits!! 
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Cheers with smoothies & an afternoon of play, the day could not have ended any better!literary-award-literature-novel-novels-writer-author-dreams-literary-30 literary-award-literature-novel-novels-writer-author-dreams-literary-34 literary-award-literature-novel-novels-writer-author-dreams-literary-37
bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Her award! Her friends! Her magical destination created by her favorite female author, J.K. Rowling, click: Wizarding World to see one of the most fun stories I’ve had the pleasure to write!
 
lands-end-catalog-5She was photographed for this Land’s End ad in Spring for the Autumn 2016 polo collection. They interviewed her and used this quote on the ad:lands-end-catalog-4
 
 
 
 
Darling, you are well on your way!
 
 

Bianca

Hand me a Volleyball!

Friday, March 10, 2017 by  

Well known for its particularly high satisfaction rating by patients, I am no exception with my bilateral reduction mammoplasty (photo taken next morning): 

With the initial look at my dressing upon waking in recovery, I was simply delighted with the white bralette, my first ever. I felt like someone should hand me a volleyball so I could head to a California beach straight away!

Over 3 hours & hundreds of internal stitches later, Dr. Chang Soo Kim (GCsurgeryandlasers.com) & his amazing team removed nearly 1,500 grams! Find a 3.3 pound weight and put it on a chain & wear it around your neck over your lungs and tell me if you don’t want to rip it off by the end of the week! Not only did Dr. Kim give me the breasts of a 20-year-old, but I could suddenly breathe effortlessly again!!

 

I don’t blame breastfeeding, I don’t blame aging & I certainly don’t blame weight loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life started out normal…

        

     

And then, what on Earth happened?? I mean, seriously, look at my little neck…

  

No matter how little I weighed, I was still a DDD+.                 Not pleasant when the rest of my body was wearing a size 4.
 It translates into neck & back pain, underwires digging into soft skin, and bursting
buttons.

I had never experienced a surgery that would alter my appearance. Between fun, function & fashion, the twins had served their time well.

  

But enough was enough. Deemed a medical necessity, I was grateful it was fully covered by our insurance.

Unless you’ve not been able to bounce on a trampoline with your kids or run through Costcos without getting black eyes or lay on your stomach at the Chiropractor’s or zip up your coat without pushing past the bust roadblock or comfortably enjoy a massage or if you’ve rested your twins on your wrists climbing the stairs or slung your mammaries into the massive nylon cups of a minimizer or released them at the end of the night only to swing like tube socks with golf balls or if you sleep on your side with a pillow just for your top boob or find it difficult to buy a pretty little outfit with straps or take a deep breath without holding up your center bra wire or accidentally hit the delete button with your breast when you’re reaching over your keyboard, then you may understand. Millions of women do. This surgery is life-changing!  

 

And those shocked by my decision only proves I was a master of camouflaging my DDD+ girls with the perfected fashionable slouch, wearing baggy blouses, and, as countless women know, subjecting ourselves to breath-defying minimizer bras. 

Dr. Kim & his team were incredibly kind. I even asked to pray before surgery, something I’ve never done before and really didn’t even know what to say, but Dr. Kim held my hand and his team gathered around and I felt safe and cared for and the next thing I knew, after “Amen,” I was waking up in recovery feeling lighter & breathing easily.

The only unusual part of the day was standing with Phillip shortly before surgery in the pre-op room and the doctor used a special surgical Sharpie pen to mark my skin for the incisions. Ewww. I tried not to picture what those lines really meant.

When it was time to go home late that night around 10pm, Phillip helped me change. Gown off, we both looked down for the first time and were excited and pleased. No drains. No ugly bandage wraps. Just a little white satin bralette. I felt so adorable. I felt 20 again. “You look awesome,” Phillip exclaimed. Cool!

I dreamed of finally buying a pretty bra with a lovely pattern or wearing something strapless for the first time. When I got home, I wore a cozy PJ top I have never been able to button before. It was exciting!

Interestingly, if anything could go wrong the weeks leading up to surgery, it did. But it wasn’t going to deter me.

I had partially torn my meniscus and was in physical therapy 3 times a week in February. Phillip just recovered from another intensive cancer treatment surgery (The Journey) through February & I was drained. My Mom tripped 10 days earlier and I was making the 60-mile roundtrip to her house daily to care for her. Then Mom (Tribute to Mom) fell the day of my surgery and injured herself even more. My sister & niece both have bronchitis and my daughter broke her foot in gym this week prompting us to immediately cancel the friends’ homes where she was to stay during my initial recovery. As if that weren’t enough, I haven’t had my period for a year & the night before surgery it came on with full force & was relentless all week. Then a fluke March blizzard delayed my follow-up visit to the surgeon. One thing after another, but you know me. Nothing would stop me & so it is done.

 
I came home that night, got in bed, put my feet up, snuggled our 3 kitty cats & haven’t moved much since. We inflated a triple-decker queen air mattress in our room with pretty aqua sheets & a pastel butterfly comforter for my little Darling, 
and we’ve been cozying up watching The Flash, enjoying tea & scones, and letting our Boys deal with the chaos in the real world while she & I focus on our *Healing Party.*

(And Mom has Visiting
Angels now).

The reduction was a huge decision, no pun intended. No woman goes into such a major surgery without having given it a great deal of thought. 4 girlfriends went through it and offered words of wisdom. Recovery was quick and, thanks to strong meds, relatively comfortable. (Phillip’s med chart >         for me.) No stretching, no pushing, no pulling, no lifting, no standing upright for a long time. No driving for 2 weeks.

For a busy Mom, it’s actually quite nice to stay in bed for a while.

My gals still “under wraps” as I enjoy a lovely salmon dinner in bed. Phillip has brought me every culinary delight this week & is keeping me on track with infection & pain meds around the clock.

My husband & I met with Dr. Kim a week later for the unveiling. Phillip says the Redesigned Twins are “spellbinding!” Ooh! (blushing). We’re happy, I can breathe & long necklace ornaments will never be bobbling off the center wire of my big brassieres again because those parachutes are all in File 13!

UPDATE: DAY 9

We visited Dr. Kim yesterday, the one-week checkup since surgery. To be honest, I was afraid to look down & see stitches when the doctor took my bandages off. That’s when Phillip gave me that beautiful compliment above. But today was Day 9 and I seriously needed to shower so this would be my first meeting with my girls.

Phillip helped me take off the tight bralette and gently peeled off the gauze bandages. I just
stared at myself in the mirror for the longest time. I mean, just really stood there and stared. What looked back at me was the most beautiful set of healthy, perky twins with an upturned point you would only see on a mannequin and think, “Yeah, that’s not for real.”
But it was real… they were staring back at me in all their glory. All-natural me, just less of it! I simply had to share this beautiful ending to this long-awaited decision in my life. At the risk of my father spinning in his resting site at the idea of my gals going uncovered on screen, I’ve made sure to find pretty little flowers to cover the tips.
 
Since launching this story a few days ago, I have had countless women who have gone through reduction email me and say they wished they had done it earlier. That’s exactly what went through my mind, too. But I’m glad it is done now. 
The Bright Spotbright spot flower – Thank you, Dr. Kim, for your wisdom & your artistry. Your work is outstanding and you and your team are the very best and have made me feel light & amazing. 2 things that make Dr. Kim stand out from the rest – he doesn’t like to use drains which I’ve heard are painful to remove a week or more later. And he uses a special technique to help save sensation after healing. 
 
As my OR nurse who later wrote to me so perfectly said, “Wishing you a “B”eautiful recovery, “B”ring on the new “B”ras and “B”athing suits!”  

Dr. Chang Soo Kim ~ Click: GCSurgeryandLaser 203-920-1444


Bianca

Everyone Needs Their Mum!!

Monday, June 6, 2016 by  

England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (64)a

We had a 2-week window between Phillip’s last chemical injection and the start of his radiation. It will be 40 rounds of daily radiation from June through August. He wanted to see his Mum. Click: Amazing Grace. Everyone needs their Mum at a time like this!

So we took our little one out of school late May/early June for this family emergency and visited relatives in Europe. Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, Godchildren, close friends, everyone we could see within 2 weeks.

Phillip’s mother was overjoyed! Her 89th birthday was in June and she said seeing her son was the best gift ever!

Naturally, everyone we saw wanted to know how treatments were going. We could not rehash the details over and over. Not only is it draining for us but we didn’t want these conversations to overwhelm or frighten our youngest. Most of the time, we can shield her from it but when you’re traveling from home to home – or pub to pub, as is the case in England – folks want to catch up and we’re very sensitive to little ears in range.

Plus, we have striven to reclaim normalcy in the household & beyond for our family. Playing with friends & doing cool things was a mainstay.

England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (26) England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (28) England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (40)  England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (43) England, Spring, Summer, Lego, legoland, Lego Land, Legoworld, Lego World (2)  England, Spring, Summer, Legoland, Legoworld, Lego Land, Lego, Lego WorldAnd Legoland was awesome but laying on the grass topped all!! Why? Because there are no ticks or pesticides for ticks at all where Grandma lives and Darling was so happy!! It’s the little things, isn’t it?

England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (2)cu

Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, England, bamboo, (37)  While staying for an overnight with dear friends about a hundred miles south of Scotland, we ventured with the girls to a nearby castle where parts of Harry Potter & Downton Abbey were filmed, click: Castles & AngelsOxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (8)a

Later, we drove nearly 300 miles south to Oxford to visit the university and delve into the history of this beautiful medieval city, click: Oxford 

And because our budding marine biologist, during these 2 weeks, would unfortunately be missing a highly-anticipated field trip to the beach to explore the biodiversity of the water’s ecosystem, we wanted to do something special for her and booked her for Seatrek at what’s known as Europe’s 1st SeaTrek, Sea Life, SeaLife, Europe's 1st Sea Bed Walk, Seabed walk, marine life, marinelife (29)Seabed Walk: SeaTrek

Her 5th grade teacher kindly allowed our daughter to give a full presentation to her class on the 3 adventures above & what made each so special.

And speaking of 5th grade, the Friday we left for the airport was the same day her class was split into just girls/just boys earlier that morning for “The Talk.” You know the one. Menstruation, growing bodies…

But unlike the lecture we had in school when I was that age – along with a cartoon movie with dancing flowers depicting our blossoming into young ladies – this talk was not only about girl stuff…but boy stuff, too! Would be shocking, but the school explained that with the advent of the Internet, kids see much more than we did at this age and need to know more material to educate and protect themselves.

England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (22)Spotted Dick PuddingHumm… Still found it shocking. But it certainly made for fits of laughter – of which we need much of these days – and especially with a silly 5th grader! as we passed England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (6) by unassuming pubs like the Dandy Cock, or were served Nobby Nuts (salted peanuts) or when we read Spotted Dick on the menu – a British sponge pudding made with raisins & served with custard – but I mean, seriously, come on!

England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (11)  England, Spring, Summer, countryside, English countryside, playing, flowers, zipline, zip line, pub, pubs (9)

When we all revived in the car from laughing so hard, we arrived at one of Phillip’s oldest friend’s for a lovely meal. No, not at the Dandy Cock. We walked over buttercup-covered hills and along lakes & clifftops.

 

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bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – finding the hilarious things in life out of the simplest moments! And appreciating the glorious countryside with our loved ones.

 

 

 

 


Bianca

Oxford

Saturday, June 4, 2016 by  

Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (13)During our 2-week stay in Europe, we visited the medieval city of Oxford, coined the “City of Dreaming Spires” by poet Matthew Arnold.

Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (20)

Our 11-year-old daughtOxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (25)er & I just finished the 7 books by C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, & the epic trilogy, His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman, both alumni of Oxford University, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, established 1096.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was completely remarkable was that there was only 1 parking spot available in this bustling college town when we arrived and it just so happened to be in front of the Eagle & Child pub – we were hungry, but we didn’t know how significant the place was until we walked in!!

Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (6)Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (2)Built in 1650, this favorite watering hole was frequented by Lewis, Pullman, J.R.R. Tolkien and other members of “The Inklings,” the famous literary group!

So, of course, that’s where we had lunch!

Seriously, out of the whole city, what’s the chance of finding that one parking spot! Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (1) Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (3) Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (4)

 

 

Our daughter, a published author & speaker by age 8 and now a prolific writer working on her 1st novel, felt the wall behind where we sat and breathed, “I’m touching history.”

Couldn’t be more perfect!

 

 

 

Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (10)Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (9)

She ogled the Harry Potter Golden Egg in one of the store windows but opted for the snitch.
Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (23) Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (21)

 

 

 

Before leaving historic Oxford, we stopped for tea & scones and some lovely smoked salmon.Oxford, Oxford University, England, Eagle and Child pub, Harry Potter snitch, Exeter (16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Being surrounded by spirituality, architectural magnificence & educational brilliance, it was nourishing for our well-being at this most challenging time: Kicking Cancer


Bianca

The 1-Eyed Teddy Bear

Monday, May 2, 2016 by  

The point of this story need not identify of the owner of the 1-eyed teddy bear, but rather WHO this fellow is made all the difference in saving our son’s cuddly animals.

The man actually cannot be identified because he is a secret agent on a very significant level. He is close to our family and we all adore him but we keep conversation limited to family stuff, old friends, or school happenings. He signs his holiday envelopes as James Bond. It’s all very cool in a surreptitious kind of way, the “secret” in secret agent makes it sound so hush-hush, and the undercover missions we are never allowed to know about are wrapped in clandestine mystery. All very exciting, so what does this have to do with stuffed animals?  Proud of our son, strapping young man, England, Abercrombie & Fitch

Our eldest is a strapping 24-year-old dude with beer posters in his room and a steady girlfriend at the helm.

Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, white tiger, little boy, stuffed animals, cuddly animals, The 1-Eyed Teddy BearRewind about 14 years and here was a kid with a ton of stuffed animals, some from babyhood, others won at the amusement park, many from the big glass box with the grabber handle thingie at the diner. An admirer of big cats, one of his favorite was a huge white tiger with sharp blue eyes.

For a long time, my husband felt our son needed to unload his cuddly animals. I’d protest seeing the quiet sadness in our child’s eyes. The subject came up at significant milestones, like award ceremonies, moving from elementary to middle school, etc. I understood my husband’s point of view: he wanted to make our son grow up, be a man, get tough. I understood my son’s point of view: at that time he was still an only child and he wasn’t ready.

Then one year we visited Washington, D.C. and James Bond invited us to stay in his homThe 1-Eyed Teddy Bear, Steiff, Steiff teddy bear, old bear, loved bear, teddy bear, James Bond, James Bond's bear, James Bond's teddy bear, teddy on the bed, revered bear, revered teddye. He was away, as usual, and he couldn’t say where he was, except that he would leave the key for us under the mat. Under the mat?!? He lives with all this enigmatic secrecy but leaves the house key under the mat!

It was very exciting to walk around his home. Medals, awards, Christmas cards from the presidents over the last 20 years, and as we walked upstairs to pick out our rooms for the night, there, in the middle of the master bedroom, sitting proudly atop the big bed, was a 1-eyed Steiff teddy bear with a worn nose, an untied yellow bow & fur so loved-off and cuddled, it was a treasure to behold.

It was also ammunition to ward off any more attempts to clear out stuffed animals from our son’s room. “If James Bond can keep his teddy bear, so can I!” 
Tiger, Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, students, enrichment program, enrichment school program, teacher with students, teacher and students and tiger, centerpiece of classroom, buddy for reading
So that was that. More than a decade’s passed and on his own, our son has donated his stuffed animals along the way – but that’s the important part of this story – it was on his terms, his timing and his choice of where they went. The huge white tiger is now the centerpiece & reading buddy in a fantastic enrichment school.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (4)
I never take anything from my children without asking them. Together we donate what they choose to give up when they choose to. It teaches them to let go, to give to others and to stay organized. (Little One sorting>>)

Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (2)There is a marvelous organization called YoungLives which helps teenage mothers. Every 3rd Wednesday, the young mothers meet at a church in Norwalk, CT to learn about God and their children, plus, they can choose items they need that people have donated.

When our daughter was ready to donate her toys or princess dresses, etc., we would bring them to the church and she would see firsthand the children light up with joy as they pickedBarbies, mermaids, singers, butterfly fairies, butterfly fairy, Barbie mermaid out what they would like. She saw a little     2-year-old boy dive into her Elmo chair exclaiming, “That’s mine, I love this chair!” And little girls picking out sparkly dresses. Or Barbies. Or unicorns.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (1)

The children were happy and it made our child well up with joy to see the kids’ faces light up while new life was instantly breathed into her cherished pieces. It deeply linked giving to pleasure. You can check out organizations in your area like YoungLives, Birthright, Hopeline or any organization that benefits a cause you believe in. We’ve also donated her crib, baby furniture and Pack-n-Plays.

Child donating stuffed animals, child donating toys, Africa, orphans, FedEx, FedEx box for donation, kindness, thoughtfulness, readiness of a child, giving

Our daughter has given up lots of her cuddly animals, even packing & sending many huge boxes to Africa.

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – The exciting thing about the missionary we shipped her stuffed animals toOrphans, stuffed animals, given with love, children snuggling new animals, Africa, love, swells our hearts is that they sent back photos of orphan children cuddling her animals! A fine day, indeed. Again, on our children’s terms while reinforcing a life skill of giving as a pleasure.

 


Bianca

Going National ~ Thanks to YOU!

Monday, October 5, 2015 by  

Headshot together

Thank you to everyone who listens to our Life, Love & Parenting show, “Let’s Talk with Bianca & Phillip!”

After nearly 500 interviews &             19 Seasons, my husband & I are excited to announce we have been signed for national syndication!

 

For those who are new to this program, here are snippets of our bios & an overview of our show.

Bianca’s Bio:

Bianca Tyler is a 3-time award-winning TV journalist, nationally-syndicated radio show host, popular blogger, Mompreneur, former Miss Connecticut, TV & radio producer, founder of WH Publishing, and “The Momversationalist®,” the title of her new book coming out in 2016.

She’s also been a news anchor, news reporter, parenting contributing editor, entertainment reporter, weathercaster, one-man band, linear & NLVE editor, singer, model, lecturer, teacher, animal-lover, adoring wife, active mom of 2 kids and her pets, and an all-around, bona fide multi-tasking guru ~ a BFMTG!

In addition to her TV awards, Bianca has also been honored with 8 other awards including the Women’s Leadership Award and a Citation of Excellence from the Connecticut State Senate.

Her website, www.TheLetsTalkMom.com, currently celebrates over 10.26 million page hits & counting! Her focus is about family life and empowering oneself by “Finding Your Bright Spot™.”

She has spent over 30 years promoting her charitable causes ~ during her reign as Miss Connecticut, statewide charities raised over a million dollars of fundraising revenue.

Bianca has appeared as a special guest on over 35 television & radio programs and in more than 60 newspaper, journal and magazine publications in over 135 articles, photos and covers worldwide, including USA Today, NY Post, NY Daily News and The New York Times.

Bianca has explored over 120 times more than 50 countries on 5 continents.

Phillip’s Bio:P (11)

Phillip is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur who founded his 1st company and grew revenue by 268% in the first 3 years. His 2nd venture – a tech company, www.IDCardGuard-us.com, launched last year and specializes in patented RFID-shielding for credit/debit cards & identity theft, SmartTag & WalletTag tracking devices, selfie remotes, RFID-blocking wallets, passport shields and so much more.

An accomplished publishing & media executive, he demonstrates extremely strong strategic and analytical skills with a proven track record in business start-ups & turnarounds. Most recently, the division under his leadership ranked in the Inc.500 list as one of the fastest-growing companies in America showing a 3-year, 937% increase in revenue ranking them as the #9 media company in the USA.

Exceptional P&L and cost control expertise, Phillip is a leader in identifying strategic alliances to build and convert market opportunity into new business revenue streams. He has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars worldwide for charity. 

Headshot - Bianca & Phillip“Let’s Talk!” Show Overview:

“Let’s Talk with Bianca & Phillip” is a Life, Love & Parenting program. It’s a forum to discuss parenting, relationships, single parenting, infertility, marriage commitment, intimacy, loss of a spouse, communication, raising phenomenally close & thoughtful children, romance, matchmaking, healthy living, information and well-being, great tips to make your life easier, getting through any tough situation and, most of all, getting & staying motivated whether you are married, single, male or female.

We’ll help you empower yourself and keep your sanity while keeping your marriage and family strong!

Headshots together 2015 - Red dress, black shirt PR radio pic (46)c-s-c

We have incredible, experienced & dynamic guests from all over the nation, many of whom have been quoted from People magazine to Parenting magazine and have appeared on shows like Today & Good Morning America, experts, authors, parents, and doctors as well as little folks on our “ChitChat with Children™” portion, and teenagers for our “Teen Talk!™” segment, connecting parents and youths through understanding and communication.

All programs are archived on this site. You can listen to the shows on your computer or cell phone at home or in the car for your listening convenience.

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – “Let’s Talk with Bianca & Phillip” ~ Empowering parents/listeners through information, advice, guidance & tips.


Bianca

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Part 2 of 3)

Thursday, July 9, 2015 by  

Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (28)Incantations, frothy Butterbeer, chocolate frogs & interactive wands. Hogsmeade & Diagon Alley, Hogwarts Express & Flight of the Hippogriff…all wizarding wonders our young Harry Potter aficionado enthusiastically embraced.

Humidity & sunny 90 degree weather in a full-length black satin & polylined cloak ~ with a touch of heat exhaustion on the 2nd day ~ could not stop this 10-year-old from soaking in the sights & sounds of Universal’s magical adventure.

The conductor at Hogsmeade, spotting her special birthday pin, suddenly stopped the crowd of hundreds in the station to heartily announce the arrival of our birthday darling to which the crowd spontaneously erupted into thunderous applause.

It was a movie moment. A memory to last a lifetime.

 

Enjoy this 30-second video of Little One going through Platform 9 3/4, the fire-breathing dragon atop the amazing Escape from Gringotts 3-D ride & more.


Harry Potter World Snippets
1st stop – Ollivanders – Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC – to pick up her interactive wand which works throughout the park to make water fly, needles knit, feather pens write, and lots of hands-on spellcasting. It was there that she chose Dumbledore’s Army scroll case & wand collection as a fine memento – heavy, well-crafted, great quality.

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Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (47)

Hogwarts Castle is simultaneously breathtaking & ominous.

Harry Potter World, Hogwarts Castle, Universal, wizards, wands (2)Harry Potter World, Hogwarts Castle, Universal, wizards, wands (6)The paintings move & talk just as they do in the movies.

Harry Potter World, Universal, Inside Hogwarts Castle, Hogwarts Castle, Hogwarts (3)  Harry Potter World, Universal, Inside Hogwarts Castle, Hogwarts Castle, Hogwarts (5)

The Birthday Girl enjoyed a special breakfast in the Leaky Cauldron & a Butterbeer toast followed by…

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Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (14) Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (13) Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (27)

…an adventurous visit to Gringotts.

 Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (23) Harry Potter World, Universal Studios, Universal, Dragon Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (24)
The Hogwarts Express took us on a fascinating journey to Hogsmeade…with Harry, Ron & Hermione!
Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (54)

Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (35)Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (20)

 

Then lunch at the Three Broomsticks & more spellcasting lessons from a passerby witch.

Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (49)Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (16)

And what would a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter be without a stop in Honeydukes sweet shop or Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes store with Wildfire Whiz-bangs or Every Flavour Beans

Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (16) Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (26)Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (25) Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (6) Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (24) Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, spells (4)

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Okay, seriously, how excited is this reader ~ broomstick in hand, all her Potter books have come to life!!
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From the Muggles’ perspective, Phillip & I were thrilled for our Little One and her magical week!!

 

 

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – A wonderful adventure for Harry Potter fans. Highly recommend it!!

To see part 1 & 3 of this story, click Part 1Double-Digit Extravaganza for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Titanic & Animal Kingdom.Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (40)

For Part 3, click: Dolphin Tale-Winter & Hope for the Clearwater adventure or just keep scrolling, it’s next. 🙂

Thank you for sharing and we hope you enjoy a trip to these family-fun places in the near future.

 

 

 


Bianca

Dolphin Tale – Winter & Hope (Part 3 of 3)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 by  

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (1)

As part of our daughter’s 10th birthday extravaganza, we surprised her with a special visit with Winter, the beautiful dolphin who lost her tail when she was only 2 months old. Her tail was caught in commercial fishing lines.

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (7)

(Courtesy: Fintastic)

 

 

 

 

She is now 9 years old & lives with her best friend, Hope, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

 

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (4)

 

 

 

Our budding marine biologist was thrilled to meet them both and all the marine animals under treatment in the hospital.

 

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Winter’s real-life rehab story has captivated audiences worldwide in Dolphin Tale & Dolphin Tale 2.

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Both movies, starring Harry Connick, Jr. & Ashley Judd, were filmed on location at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Winter.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (5)

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (7)

A look at the timeline these past 9 years and how Winter has inspired suffering children & veterans:

  Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (11) Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (12) Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (13)  Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (15) Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (16) Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (17)  Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (19) Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (20)Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (21)

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Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (3)

Our fintastic trip wrapped up with a trolley ride between the filming site rehab center & museum, dinner on the water, and the best memories of Winter & Hope!

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (29) Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (31) Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (33)

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (32)

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Empowering your children to grow up living their dreams.

For Part 1, click: Double-Digit Extravaganza      For Part 2, click: Harry Potter World


Bianca

Dolphin Trainer

Sunday, June 14, 2015 by  

Cruise ship 2How we kept it a surprise I have no idea! After weeks of planning and several days cruising across the Atlantic on the gorgeous Norwegian Breakaway, we landed at King’s Wharf and headed barely after daybreak onshore with our Little One.

“Why are we leaving so early? Where are we going?” Still mum, Phillip & I guided our inquisitive daughter to a huge, weathered wooden door battered by storms but fixed firmly in place by its centuries-old surrounding stonework.
Her eyes grew wide as we knocked loudlyDolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (18) on the door. No one was around but us. A short while later, the door creaked open and we were led into a large courtyard – the National Museum of Bermuda at the Royal Naval Dockyard. It was clear it would not open to the public until later that morning.

We walked through the dockyard until we came to a building where a young woman greeted us. She knew the day had been a surprise for our daughter. When she explained to our Little One that she would be joining her team for a day of dolphin training, the excitement in the room was electric! Then she was handed a Dolphin Quest swim top and felt very official. “Wow!” she whispered under her breathe.Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (15)

Our daughter’s dream of loving, studying, and safeguarding marine life just took another leap forward. Years prior, our family had only swum with the dolphins. Jamaica. Bahamas. Florida. But this was different. It wouldn’t be just a 45-minute encounter with a group. When we saw that Dolphin Quest in Bermuda offered a Dolphin Trainer for a Day program, we booked it for our daughter straightaway.

She spent the day with 8 dolphins including 2 baby dolphins just 3 months old ~ talk about over the moon!

Our Little One gained experience in fish preparation, dolphin feeding, gating, hand signaling, dolphin relationship building, swimming, measuring and dolphin training.

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Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (4) Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (8)

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I’m not sure who had more fun, the dolphins or our darling!

Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (17) Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (31)

Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (16)Later that day, she enjoyed lunch with her mentors and when we picked her up at the end of her session, the dolphin trainers said they had never had a person know so much about marine life before and that she was the most excited participant they had ever had in all their years and that she would be a welcome participant for their 5-day training program there or in….Hawaii!! Yeah, looks like that may be the next dolphin destination! I’m ready to pack…

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bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot  – Our daughter has been waiting 5 years to swim with her beloved Beluga, Juno.

Beluga, Juno, Mystic Aquarium, touching whale, touching Beluga

She learned about the program when she was 5 years old but the rules require people to be a minimum of 60 inches to get in the tank with the whale.

 

So guess who’s 59 & 3/4 inches?!?

Yes, I think we are heading to Juno before summer’s done! (photo of Little One with Juno left). It’s truly a pleasure to empower children’s interests.

Click here for the story about Juno at 5: Harmony & Magic

Click here for the Florida dolphin swim at 6: Pixie Dust & Dolphin Kisses

Click here for Dolphins in Jamaica at 7: Paradise for Families

Click here for Winter & Hope at 10: A Dolphin’s Tale

Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (11)


Bianca

Best Mother’s Day Ever

Sunday, May 10, 2015 by  

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (9)Our 9-year-old led us on a 14-mile bike ride to the Freedom Tower on Mother’s Day.

 

 

 

 

7 miles down Manhattan Island & 7 back along the Henry Hudson River South Waterfront Bike Path in sunny 75 degree weather.

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (8)As we rode along New York City’s beautiful path, we enjoyed an air display, basketball games, families picnicing at the many parks on the water, the famous ballerina statue, the Intrepid, Concorde & space shuttle, views of the George Washington Bridge & distant Tappan Zee, and best of all…discovering a mama bird feeding her newborns on Mother’s Day in a blossoming tree!! Breathtaking!! (precious video below)

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (7)

After stopping for ice cream, we enjoyed a lovely dinner and then Phillip gave me one of the most wonderful, thoughtful gifts ever!! Ever!!

To put into perspective how special this Mother’s Day gift was to me, may I just say that one year, he surprised me with a beautiful Mercedes convertible in the driveway; another year, matching silver Mercedes’ with huge green bows. Yes, those were exciting.

But the gift he gave me this evening made my eyes tear & my heart swell! I’ll explain at the end of this story.

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (21)  Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (14)

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Stopping for ice cream after the 14th mile:

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (2)

Mama Bird & her babies:

Okay, so this was Phillip’s gift. A few days earlier, we saw this sign at Nordstrom’s. WOW is exciting for us because it’s our daughter’s initials. Flipped upside down, it spells MOM.
Phillip carved this WOW~MOM sign for me from a block of wood. A handmade gift is the best gift of all to me and the meaning behind it was heartwarming & made with love and thought.                            
What an amazing husband, I love you, Darling. Thank you!!
Those magenta-orange-pastel-sherbet colors are some of my favorite hues & it will be painted those colors soon. 
Zooey Deschanel, Mother's Day, Nordstrom, Nordstroms (3) Zooey Deschanel, Mother's Day, Nordstrom, Nordstroms (4)
WOW, MOM, gift, husband, Mother's Day (1) WOW, MOM, gift, husband, Mother's Day (2)
Mother's Day 2014, WOW MOM sign
One of the best Mother’s Days ever (2014)!!
Today’s 2015 Mother’s Day was just as delightful!
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After breakfast & celebrations, we snapped pics under a very significant tree, then Phillip & the kids surprised me with an afternoon of painting together at Pinot Palette in New York, followed by dinner with my Mom.
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For more on my Mom, just click: Mom
For more on my Mother-in-Law, click: Grace
Thank you for sharing. And thank you to my family, I love you all!!         
Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (3)   Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (5) 
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Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (10)   Family, kids, love
Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (2)
bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Celebrating Moms Everywhere – Happy Mother’s Day!!!!
 


Bianca

Color a Positive Thought – 10-year-old’s Perspective

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by  

My husband met Harry Bell by happenstance.Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (7)

If anyone understands the value of early intervention, positive thinking, and the reinforcement of basic values, it is Harry Bell.

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He was born in Bridgeport to a troubled young mother, and raised by his aunt, who realized he needed a male role model.

His aunt connected him with a local family who had a son that ended up being Harry’s 3rd grade teacher.

 

Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (5)

Their efforts paid off. Today Harry Bell is employed by both the Bridgeport Board of Education and the University of Bridgeport as a Security Officer.

Seeing so many children going through some of the same problems, Harry was determined to do something about it. He developed a very special coloring book, Color a Positive Thought! He explains how it’s an anti-bullying, self-empowering, positive thinking tool in our May 12th broadcast on WGCH radio (archived links below.)

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Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (9)
The book has had such a positive impact on children & the community. It can be found in schools, pediatrician offices, everywhere!

Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (10)  Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (13)  Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (6)a    Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (4)

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Our 10-year-old loves Color a Positive Thought and gives us her perspective on it as a child. Here are some snippets of the second half of the interview, just click image below:


May 12, 2015 ChitChat with Children – a 10-year-old’s perspective

Our daughter’s principal & teachers enjoyed the interview and her 4th grade teacher even played it in the classroom.

Harry Bell, William King, Color a Positive Thought, radio show, WGCHWe were thrilled to give voice to a man who’s had such a difficult upbringing, was able to pull himself up, surpass expectations and fulfill his dream. To hear the full hour, click: Full Interview.

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – This was his 1st radio interview and Mr. Bell & his liaison, William King, were amazed at how much this 10-year-old gleaned from Mr. Bell’s book. Very inspiring!

Click here to order the book: Color a Positive Thought


Bianca

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