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Archive for June, 2011


Preparing For a Gluten Free 4th of July

As the 4th of July approaches we are preparing for pool parties and get togethers.

I headed to the stores tonight to stock up on much needed supplies.  Our son is Gluten Free, Casein Free and almost Corn free so running to the store and expecting to see all the items I need in stock is a thing of the past.

Here is a quick list at the items I’m stocking up on this week:

We don’t allow our children to have soda so I haven’t listed anything here.  I’ve read that Hansen’s has more natural sodas.  I have read that there are trace amounts of gluten in many of the big commercial brands.  This in addition to the artificial colors and flavorings is enough to skip them for as long as possible.

Do you have a favorite Gluten Free, Casein Free food?

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Free Practice SAT Exam – June 18th Thousand Oaks

I have included below an email from a local entrepreneur who is attending the University of Notre Dame and offering SAT testing and classes this summer in Thousand Oaks.

This summer, I’ve been selected to bring Ivy Insiders SAT test preparation program to the Thousand Oaks area.  Ivy Insiders programs are offered through Revolution Prep, an innovative test prep company that is changing the way thousands of students around the country approach standardized tests. I will be teaching two intensive group SAT prep classes this summer, as well as offering private tutoring and hosting an upcoming free event in the area.

What are Ivy Insiders programs?
Ivy Insiders programs were founded at Harvard in 2003 with a mission to help high school students conquer the SAT using the first-hand insights of top college test-takers. Each summer, Revolution Prep selects student-entrepreneurs from the country’s top universities to return to their hometowns to manage and teach their SAT prep businesses. The Revolution Ivy Insiders program has provided me with instructor training, management assistance, and business tools so that I can take on my own growing business this summer!

Why am I doing this?
The Revolution Prep/Ivy Insiders program is a perfect fit for me. As many of your know, I am no stranger to standardized tests. I’ve worked hard to excel on them through the years, and in the process have gained what I think are some unique insights into how to improve as a test-taker. The idea of being able to pass on my expertise to high school students so that they can succeed in the college admissions process is exhilarating. Just as exciting is the prospect of using a skill I currently have – standardized test taking – to acquire a new set of skills – business management!

Why do I need your help?
Over the last five years, Ivy Insiders programs have built one of the strongest track records in the test prep, helping nearly 10,000 students in over 40 states raise their SAT scores by 257 points on average.

I need your help to spread the word that I will be bringing this incredible program to the Thousand Oaks area this summer!

I currently have a free SAT exam workshop scheduled for Saturday, June 18. This will give students an opportunity to take a full-length practice exam with no prior preparation to determine the areas in which they most need improvement. Beginning the following week, I will hold two consecutive group SAT prep classes, each consisting of 18 hours of lecture and 5 full-length practice exams. Additionally, private tutoring is available for students looking for a more individualized approach to test prep.

How can you help me?
I would be honored and grateful to receive your support as a “word-of-mouth” advocate for my business this summer. How can you do this?

1.     Spread the word by email! Email friends and family of yours who might be interested in SAT prep this summer. Attach the information sheet below and pass along the discount code “CA59E1”, which will give them $50 off any program they sign up for this summer.

2.     Spread the word in-person! Again, anyone you know who might be interested in SAT prep this summer – let them know what I’m doing!

Please visit my personal instructor page at http://www.revolutionprep.com/ivy/courtney_t for more details on my course offerings. For questions, comments, or more information, email courtney_taylor@ivyinsiders.com or call the Revolution Prep central office at (877) 738-7737. Once again, feel free to pass along the $50 discount code “CA59E1”.

Thanks so much for your help and support!

Courtney Taylor
University of Notre Dame ’14
Ivy Insiders Thousand Oaks Area Branch Manager

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Hes the one on the right.

That’s My Boy…. Surfing!!

Surfers Healing event Malibu, CA – June 4th 2011

Our 7 yr old sons first time on a surf board.


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sun protection clothing

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

I’m a couple of days late to remind everyone about Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

As summer approaches in the USA it is important to remember to protect your skin and your children’s skin. 

Having grown up in Australia I am very aware of the importance of sun protection.  As a child we were taught to wear sunscreen especially on our faces, shoulders and back.

In 1981 the Australian Cancer Council launched a nationwide skin protection campaign.

Slip, Slop, Slap!
It sounds like a breeze when you say it like that
Slip, Slop, Slap!
In the sun we always say “Slip Slop Slap!”
Slip, Slop, Slap!
Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat,
Slip, Slop, Slap!
You can stop skin cancer – say: “Slip, Slop, Slap!”

In 2007, the slogan was updated to Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide to reflect the importance of seeking shade and sliding on wrap around sunglasses to prevent sun damage.
School uniforms in Australia are designed to protect children during the school day.  Part of the uniform includes a broad-rimmed hat or legionaire hat (it has a flap on the back to protect ears and neck).  To ensure children wear their hats their is a No Hat, No Play policy.
At the beach it is common to see children in full-body sun protection suits, legionaire caps and wrap around sun glasses.
This doesn’t eliminate the need for sunscreen on children’s faces or other exposed areas. 
I may seem a little over the top about sun protection, and I am.  You see my cousin is in his early 40’s and he is dying of Melanoma and he’s not alone.

Whilst the incidence of many common cancers is falling, but the incidence of melanoma continues to rise at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers.17 Between 1992 and 2004, melanoma incidence increased 45 percent, or 3.1 percent annually.

If one person reads this and makes a change in their sun habits then it could possibly prevent a family from going through what my cousins and Aunt and Uncle are going through right now.
You don’t have to give up the sun or outdoor activities, just protect your skin:
  • Slip on some sun-protective clothing – that covers as much skin as possible
  • Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  • Slap on a hat – that protects your face, head, neck and ears
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on some sunglasses
  • And don’t forget to get an annual skin check from a dermatologist.  If you can’t afford the annual skin check, look for free clinics in your local area. 
    In Australia I have seen this every year especially at popular beaches.  I’ve also seen ads for them in Los Angeles area in recent years.  Go ahead and do a Google search for local screenings, you might be pleasantly surprised.
    No tan is worth dying for.

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