Make the Most of Summer College Visits

For students entering their senior year of high school or current college students considering a transfer, there’s no better way to determine whether a college or university is the right fit than a college visit. Summer is a great time to make those journeys, when campuses are less chaotic and the demands of the school year are on hold.

Take an Official Tour

Most schools offer scheduled tours to prospective students, and this is typically a great starting point to begin getting a feel for an unfamiliar campus. Tours are often in groups, but may be private depending on the school and your timing. A tour is an efficient way to gather a lot of general information and gain access to buildings such as dorms and classrooms that you might not be able to reach on your own.

Satisfy Your Curiosity

Scheduled tours are designed to answer the needs of the general student population, but they don’t necessarily give all the information you need for your chosen field of study or any special considerations or interests. Make plans to meet with an academic advisor in your chosen field, schedule time with a student life representative or simply grab a campus map and seek out the areas that most interest you.

Explore the City

While academics are the obvious heart of a college tour, not every waking moment will be spent on campus. It’s a good idea to get a feel for the community you could soon be calling home. Check out the attractions, sample the local culinary scene and figure out whether the lifestyle that city can offer fits with your vision for your college experience.

If you’re considering several campuses, a centrally-located hotel like The Study at University City in Philadelphia could be a great temporary home basis while you explore. It’s located at the crossroads of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, and it’s in close proximity to Temple University, St Joseph’s University and La Salle University. The hotel’s College Package Tour includes a dedicated travel agent, or there are other special packages to make the most of your stay in Philly. Learn more at

Take Time to Talk

Although the student population is lighter in the summer months, you’re still likely to find plenty of students milling around, especially in common areas like the student union. Strike up a conversation. Ask what they wished they had known before coming to school and any other questions you might have.

Make Your Interest Official

Unless there’s something that absolutely convinces you it’s not the right school for you, you should always wrap up a college visit with a stop at the admissions office to get your application underway. You can narrow your final selection later, but an early and enthusiastic application is a good way to up your odds for acceptance.

Remember that while getting accepted is an essential step toward the college experience you desire, first you get to decide which schools make the cut in your book. Make your college visits count so you can choose confidently. (Family Features)

Study Hotels

4 Warning Signs a Family Entertainment Venue May Have Safety Concerns

How parents can I.D. family venue red flags; Expert spotlights avoidable facility and operational debacles exacerbating safety issues 

Written By Merilee Kern, MBA

The facts are sobering, gut-wrenching and indisputable. America’s children are needlessly suffering—and even dying—due to subpar safety standards at family entertainment venues across the board. This as evidenced, for one, by the ceaseless glut of reports on recent amusement and trampoline park adolescent deaths (many with details too horrific to recount), paralysis and a litany of other catastrophic injuries. But the problem is far more pervasive than that, as an array of other types of family-oriented centers and activities fraught with downright unacceptable facility flaws and inadequate policies, or a lack of suitable safety measures or policies all-together.

Enter family entertainment venue executive Tim Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Rebounderz Family Entertainment Centers. He’s on a mission to significantly improve safety standards not only within the trampoline park industry (having developed and wholeheartedly enforcing a litany of perfect patents related thereto), but with amusement/theme/activity park, playground, concert hall, and other such family establishments at large.

As part of his goal to help keep kids safe from needless injury and death, Murphy is also advising parents on how they can better assess if a facility they are frequenting has safety concerns—warning signs that, not only should the parent heed with caution, but also should be brought to management’s attention for the collective benefit of patrons.

Below, Murphy highlights four key red flags that a family entertainment venue needs to be immediately vetted for safety shortcomings:

  1. Lack of Proper Management. The number one safety protocol starts with suitable management. Does it appear that the managers are properly trained? Are they engaged with their attention to the facility, employees and its patrons or are they indelibly sequestered “in the back” somewhere? Does there appear to be safety checks and measures in place based on signage, how staffers are managing the floor and regularly checking on equipment and facilities?If the bathrooms are a mess, what might this say about property equipment care and upkeep? If any of these are apparent issues, it’s a major red flag and perhaps the tip of the iceberg among other issues you may find at the location.
  2. Lack of Properly Trained Team Members. Floor staffers are a direct reflection of the management’s training style, depth and frequency.Without proper staff training and experience on the grounds, it becomes problematic for everyone. One wrong or missed action by the team member could be detrimental to any family member or even employees.Is the attraction led by trained staff members that are demonstrably and thoroughly engaged in all aspects of the post for which they are responsible? Are they appropriately managing patrons who are engaging with people or equipment improperly? Are they actively ensuring any safety protocols are being adhered to by guests and continuing to check back? Are they demonstrating proper techniques on how to use equipment? Are they picking up litter or otherwise resolving problems and exuding pride in their role and environment? Are they interacting with customers professionally and with a genuine smile? An absence of these qualities, certainly in combination, is a red flag that attentiveness may be lacking.
  3. Improper Equipment and Standards. Does the equipment appear clean, properly installed and in good working condition at the venue? Or, do you see stains on the equipment or floors, rips, tears, and other obvious signs of equipment use and wear and tear? It’s a sign of poor management and maybe even location cash flow issues. Properly run facilities do daily inspections of all equipment and attractions to ensure that guests receive the best possible experience, as well as keep them safe while using the equipment in the space. Additionally, facility rules are paramount—extremely visible parameters of use that will ensure guests know exactly what not to do, also with staffers proactively ensuring every guest follows these rules. Ensuring there’s no question about what to do, or not to do, helps minimize the opportunity for injury, but also serves as a visual cue for the guest to follow to help aid in preventing injury.

    Finally, if the venue serves food, is the equipment (vending machines, counters, tables, ice cream machines, restrooms, etc.) clean, appear to be in good working order, and has received a formal state inspection posted? If the location serves alcohol, is the business properly licensed by the city, county and state? Cleanliness, good equipment operation and proper inspection signage gives patrons a good indication of the condition of the facility and how well both the staff and management is performing.

  4. Improper Facility & Safety Standards. Firstly and highly fundamentally, warning and rules signs should always be displayed, both in the activity areas, at each attraction, and in the restrooms. If there is few or entirely absent signage in this regard, safety is a concern. This is a baseline standard and if it’s sub-par it’s indicative that safety isn’t a priority for the location. Also, are team members verbally instructing guests on how to use equipment, and intervening when that is not the case? Or are they chatting amongst themselves letting patrons run amuck? Also, when applicable, are smaller kids segregated from more aggressive teenagers and adults, which can help prevent injuries to younger guests? And, do employee uniforms aptly differentiate team members from guests? This allows all guests to know who is in control of the facility and who to talk to, and as well as who is the authority at each attraction. As well, does the facility avail First Aid Kits (including defibrillators), team member headsets and PA systems that also help facilitate a safe and properly supervised environment? If management has taken care of all standards of safety, then all guests should have “maximum” fun with little safety concerns.

Exacerbating unresolved safety concerns like the above is a litany of operational debacles that are equally avoidable. This often includes things like:

  1. Small problems going unreported by staff and/or patrons
  2. Equipment and condition problems going unnoticed or unattended
  3. Deficiencies showing up in audits and inspections not being addressed
  4. Less time taken when doing pre-shift checks
  5. Fewer people participating in safety meeting discussions and ongoing education/training sessions
  6. Company and its leaders spending increasingly less time being proactive about safety
  7. Safety is never completely under control, because people are never under complete control
  8. Safety performance “flatlines”—even when the line goes through zero

Ultimately, ongoing formal and informal inspections, staff and management training, safety videos, ongoing personnel evaluations and other safeguards are absolutely fundamental measures that can help a facility quickly identify and rectify structural and policy issues and ensure employees are aptly educated for the type venue at hand,” Murphy underscores. “Not only will this mitigate the chance of injury, but also help owners avoid expensive liability lawsuits.”

Branding, business and entrepreneurship success pundit, Merilee Kern, MBA, is an influential media voice and lauded communications strategist. As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List International News Syndicate,” she’s a revered consumer product trends expert and travel industry voice of authority who spotlights noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers. Merilee may be reached online at Follow her on Twitter here: and Facebook here:

Ignite Ambition

How women can inspire other women

Having “it all” is a concept women have discussed and aspired to attain for nearly 40 years. Still, the conversation continues because no one has determined what having it all actually means.

A first-of-its-kind social experiment dug deeper into the choices women make in life and uncovered that female relationships often play a significant role. In collaboration with Dr. Emily Balcetis, Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University, Lean Cuisine asked women to define their “ideal life,” as part of the ItAll social experiment.

The experience explored how women answered questions alone versus in the presence of other women in their lives. The results showed that women help each other set a higher bar for themselves. In fact, 89 percent of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women.

Despite societal stereotypes that suggest female relationships encourage anxiety, pressure and judgment, this experiment determined that women have a positive impact on other women as an engine for ambition.

“We rarely talk about the positive power of female relationships that we saw firsthand in the ItAll experiment,” Balcetis said. “Women can encourage each other to shoot for more where it matters most, rather than working to accomplish something less fulfilling only because society says they should. Women have a truly unique way of inspiring each other to reach their own greatest potential.”

Balcetis offers these tips, which were observed during the ItAll social experiment, to support women aspiring to be the best versions of themselves:

Be a Role Model

Allowing a woman to observe and model your performance, whether in your personal or professional life, is an opportunity to give someone the courage and confidence to excel in her own right. A role model can set standards for an aspiring woman to work toward, while proving that certain goals are, in fact, attainable.

Provide Encouragement

Take stock of the women in your life, including family, friends and social and professional acquaintances. Consider where you may be able to lend support or nudge someone into higher aspirations. It might mean encouraging someone to set or achieve a certain goal, or it may mean challenging someone to take a leap, like applying for a challenging new position.

For example, the ItAll experiment first surveyed female participants individually then allowed them to express their aspirations in the presence of familiar, influential women in their lives. Life choices became less conservative when others were involved. For example, participants declared a desire for higher salaries, chose to work more hours, wanted to spend more time with friends and be more involved with children.

Start a Conversation

It’s been said that variety is the spice of life, and no place is that truer than among women working to define their own ambitions. Engage with women from different backgrounds and start important conversations that may open your eyes to unique experiences or viewpoints you hadn’t previously considered. Arming yourself with that kind of knowledge can help make your own path clearer and encourage others to be a positive force for change.

Learn more about the social experiment and discover ideas to spur ambition for your own life at (Family Features)

Lean Cuisine

Get Ready for Guests

Tips to prepare your home for summer entertaining

Summer entertaining season brings joy, laughter and plenty of ways to create special memories. From a fresh coat of paint to some simple sprucing up, you can ensure your home is poised to be the perfect backdrop to a fun-filled summer.

Color can have an enormous effect on a room’s overall atmosphere, so bringing out your home’s unique charm can be as simple as a quick change of wall color. Change up the feel of your space and make each room warm and welcoming with these tips from Valspar Paint and HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams’ Senior Color Designers, Sue Kim and Ashley Banbury.

Clean and clear. Warmer weather is the perfect opportunity to throw open the windows to help lighten and brighten your home. Give every nook and cranny a thorough scrub and organize areas that have grown messy. Try taking on one room at a time to make the job more manageable, and before you know it, you can have the whole house sparkling clean. Take it one step further by adding a clean and refreshing shade of paint to your space. Consider an option like the Quiet Comfort Color Collection from HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams, which is a palette of 20 hushed hues that, when used in any combination, can cultivate a neat and tidy vibe throughout your home.

Uncover a creative focal point. During your cleaning, you may uncover open wall space or find an overlooked corner that is now visible. Change newfound free space into a family gallery wall. Paint it with a deep accent color like Valspar Favorite Green and create texture by adding open shelving to display important family mementos or experiences.

Switch up your motif. You may wish to update the decor of an entire room, but simple swaps can make a big difference. Try introducing more lively, summery textiles with fresh window coverings, area rugs and throw pillows. Swap some of your darker, heavier accent pieces in favor of bright, inviting decorative pieces that do dual-duty, such as colorful coasters that add whimsy while giving guests a place to rest their drinks.

Change your kitchen into a hub for entertaining. Bring a breath of fresh air into your kitchen by creating a pleasing, relaxing environment fit for entertaining with a blend of bright and bold colors like Valspar Emerald Ice and Indigo Cloth. Try the reassuring indigo for the base of the island, a central hub, and the light and airy emerald green as a backdrop for a stylish gathering spot that can get guests feeling instantly at ease.

Make it feel like home. Part of making your house as inviting as possible is ensuring that guests feel comfortable and welcome. Creating a guest suite that feels inviting can help make guests feel at home during their visit. While you can do this by stocking up on cozy blankets and towels, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a warm, nurturing wall color. For example, the Timeless Beauty Color Collection from HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams, instilled with a sense of classic coziness, is full of pleasant shades that can be mixed and matched to create your perfectly coordinated, desired vibe.

Find more ideas to get your home ready for this summer’s guests at (Family Features)

Valspar and HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams

How to Inspire Summer Reading

While summer is the perfect time for kids to take advantage of days spent away from the classroom, remember not to put valuable skills, like reading, on the backburner. In fact, research estimates that 1-2 months of learning loss can occur during the summer months.

To help your child maintain his or her reading level and avoid the “summer slide” – which can be counteracted in part by reading 20 minutes a day over the summer – Kate DiCamillo, a two-time Newbery Medal-winning author and the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program literary partner, recommends finding ways to make reading a fun, interactive experience that incorporates children’s interests.

“Reading together is one of the best ways I know to foster a love of reading,” DiCamillo said. “You can read to your child. Your child can read to you. You can listen to an audiobook together. You can both read the same book at the same time and discuss it when you are done. Reading is a way to connect to each other and the world.”

Help your student maintain his or her skills and develop a love of reading this summer with these tips.

Love the Library

To help ensure learning doesn’t stop once school lets out for summer, making periodic trips to the library part of your routine can be a good step. For many children, browsing the shelves on their own and discovering new books in a library can help them get excited about reading. Most libraries offer something for every reader, regardless of age or skill level, including a structured environment that can help make reading a priority.

Incorporate Interests

During the school year, many of the books your student is reading are probably assigned, but summer offers the opportunity for him or her to choose what to read and tailor selections toward specific hobbies or interests, which can increase enjoyment. Start by creating a list of books and activities that align with those interests, and take advantage of pre-built lists at libraries or online resources like those at, which offers a variety of book suggestions and activities to help increase reading during the summer months.

Program Participation

Many schools, bookstores and libraries offer summer reading programs for students. Joining a program can provide a way to track your child’s progress, and there are typically rewards involved for meeting certain criteria, which can provide a level of motivation that may otherwise be difficult to replicate.

Make Materials Matter

In addition to traditional books, summer reading can include materials of all lengths, from chapter books to short stories and even magazines or comic books. Even if you’re committed to limiting screen time during the summer, consider a compromise that allows for the use of devices to read e-books or listen to an audiobook.

Read on the Road

One of the best ways to ensure your kids are reading is to make reading materials available to them, even when you’re on the go during the busy summer months. Whether it’s a long road trip or just a trip to the store, taking books – or playing audiobooks – in the car is a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some reading time.

Fostering the habit during the summer can help ensure your child is prepared when school – and the annual BOOK IT! Program – starts again. The program, available to kindergarten through sixth-grade students, helps motivate students to read by rewarding them with recognition and pizza. Learn more about the program and find more summer reading tips and activities at (Family Features)


Pizza Hut

Gift Ideas from Travalo & AnySharp!

Your favorite perfume deserves to arrive in style, and not shattered into pieces all over your gym bag or luggage! Say bon voyage to toting glass perfume bottles across the country, and hello to the Travalo Milano ($49.99), an elegant refillable atomizer. The Milano is finished in opulent and elegant material, with finely crafted metal parts, and is perfectly weighted. New spray technology produces a fine mist which disperses the perfume over a wider area.  Learn more at

How it works:

The TSA-approved Milano is available in 8 sexy and sleek colors including Black and White for dad as well as Hot Pink, Aqua, Pink, and Red,  and packaged in a sophisticated box. Click for high res images of Travala Milano!

For the family on a budget, the Travalo Classic HD ($15.99) is an excellent option and also available in a wide variety of colors, including Black, Blue, Brown, Silver, and Titanium and White, to name a few. Click for high res images of Travalo Classic HD!

Also for Dad, please consider‘s line of sharpeners, including Knife Sharpeners, Smart Scissors, Pocket Knife Sharpener, Mini Chopper, Graters and even a sharpener for Dad (Multi-Tool Sharpener) with a  green thumb!

AnySharp’s line of “World’s Best” Knife Sharpener ($22.00) offers Dad the choice of colors to match his unique style, including Citrus Zest, Cream, Metal, Orange Zest, Pink Cream, Pistachio Cream, Racing Green, Royal Blue and Royal Red. For the chef, AnySharp also offers a Pro CHEF Sharpener ($29.99) touted by Chef Jamie Oliver as a must-have and available in sleek colors of Brass, Copper and Wolf.

The Outdoor Dad will appreciate the Outdoors Knife Sharpener with Firestick ($24.99) – professional knife sharpener for any pocket knife or tactical knife with integrated firestick and striker to help light a fire or the Multi-Tool Sharpener ($18.00) a two-in-one sharpener that allows for rejuvenating almost any knife or tool, including gardening tools!



7 Steps You Can Take To Keep Your Healthcare Payment Data Safe

Your medical records and personal payment data are worth a lot of money on the “dark web.”

In fact, medical information sold on the anonymous regions of the internet is four times more valuable than a Social Security number.

When criminals get their hands on your medical records or billing information, they have everything – your address, your birthdate, your home phone number and probably your Social Security number, too.  That’s why crooks put a higher value on medical records than simple financial records.

They can use that information for more than stealing your identity.  They can create fake identities that could allow them to buy and resell medical equipment or drugs.  They can also combine a patient number with a false provider number and file fake claims with insurers.  They can even use them to file fake tax returns.

But there are steps patients can take to protect their medical records and billing information, says April Wilson, Vice President of Marketing and Analytics for RevSpring (, a company that provides patient engagement and billing solutions for healthcare providers.

 In one recent study, 89 percent of healthcare providers surveyed admitted at least one data security breach in the previous 24 months.

Wilson provides a few tips on what patients can do to guard their healthcare information.

Only give out data that is absolutely necessary.  When asked on an application to provide a Social Security number, ask why. It may not really be needed. It’s always safest not to store financial account information online for bill paying. But if you do, credit cards offer better protections than most debit cards or bank account numbers if compromised.

Watch for suspicious mail.  If the hacked company has your address, expect bogus pitches to arrive in your mailbox from people who want to “solve” your identity theft problem for you.  Be suspicious of notification emails, especially those containing links or attachments (they may contain computer-infecting malware).

Use fraud alert.  If your Social Security number was taken in a breach, the risk of ID theft is five times greater than for the average consumer. Place a fraud alert or security freeze on the credit report at the three big credit-reporting bureaus.

Say yes to added securityIf the breached organization offers free monitoring service, take advantage of this extra layer of security. Only 20 percent of breach victims do.

Monitor your accounts.  This includes Social Security earnings records. Ask bank or credit card issuers to set up free email alerts for notification about activity on accounts, especially including change-of-address requests.

Change your passwords frequently.  Also order, for free, a credit report once every four months — once a year from each agency — at

Choose the most secure payment optionAsk if your provider has a secure, online payment option rather than handing your credit card over to the billing department. Many health systems use big data screening and analytics to flag possible security breaches before data is stolen.

Healthcare providers are struggling to keep up with these increasing security attacks and need to partner with healthcare payment vendors who prioritize security and data safety at every transaction,” Wilson says. “Patients need to be as vigilant as possible.” 

About RevSpring

RevSpring ( is a leading provider of consumer communications and billing solutions for healthcare providers. Since 1981, RevSpring has built the industry’s most comprehensive suite of consumer engagement, communications, and payment pathways that is backed by consumer behavior analysis, propensity-to-pay scoring, intelligent design, and user experience best practices.

Gift Ideas for Moms Who Love to Entertain


Diamonds Are Forever: Give mom her diamonds that really shine with the Chef’sChoice® 315XV Knife Sharpener that has 1.9 carats of diamond abrasives for applying optimal cutting edgesIdeal for sharpening both straight and serrated blades, this 2-stage electric sharpener quickly and easily applies a durable, super sharp 15° edge for safe and easy food prepping. This a tool she won’t want to live without. The 315 XV is available for $99.99 at


Wine not?: Give her the gift she really wants anytime!  The Vinturi® Red Wine Aerator is perfect for aerating an entire bottle or just one glass in seconds. Made from specially formulated acrylic with an easy-grip silicone body, it comes with a no-drip stand for properly displaying and keeping wine off surfaces when not in use. A filter screen protects the wine from bits of cork and sediment. The Vinturi Red Wine Aerator (V1010) is available for $29.99 at

Mom’s Always Got the Scoop:  Zeroll’s classic ice cream scoop is the scoop of choice for American ice cream parlors and ice cream lovers since 1935. The liquid-filled, heat conductive handle responds to the natural warmth of the hand so ice cream is easily scooped—creating perfectly round and plump ice cream balls. It features a one piece design, no springs to replace. Engineered for smooth scooping and easy release of ice cream. The Zeroll® 1520 Scoop is available for $19.99 at

XOXO: Ideal for leveling ice cream tubs, hand-packing and hand mixing, mom will love being able to create her own ice cream parlor worthy treats at home with the Zeroll® Tubmate Spade available for $20.50 at

Mom’s is Poppin’:  WestBend’s 4 Qt. Theater Popcorn Machine will make movie nights at mom’s super fun! Whether mom likes popcorn with extra butter or drizzled with caramel and chocolate, popcorn pops in just 3 minutes using only hot air—and it sure beats that concession stand line. The WestBend® 4 Qt. Theater Popcorn Machine (82515) is available for $79.99 at

When Mom Needs a Snack: The Air Crazy Mini Hot Air Popper by WestBend is the perfect snacking companion when mom needs a pick-me-up. No oil required for this hot air popper – it can pop up to 8 cups (2 quarts) of healthy, delicious popcorn in under 3 minutes! The WestBend® Air Crazy Mini Hot Air Popper (82421) is available for $16.99 at

ice tea 012

Thirsty Thursday—Mom Style: With summer fast approaching, mom can brew both sweetened and unsweetened iced tea without breaking a sweat. Using bagged or loose tea, the WestBend® Iced Tea Maker is uniquely designed with variable tea brew strength. Just cut up some lemons and it’s good to go! The WestBend Iced Tea Maker (IT400) is available for $59.99 at

Being a Good Father: When You Didn’t Have One

It’s hard enough to deal with the absence of a parent when you’re a little kid but the impact doesn’t stop as time goes on. The role of a father-figure is very important to children’s formative years, both in their emotional and social development. Beyond that, as you grow older and start your own family, you still may feel that lack of a father figure in your life and for men that could affect how you handle fatherhood.


Touré Roberts

Touré discusses how to understand pain and recognize brokenness in his recently launched book, Wholeness Winning in Life From the Inside Out. Additionally, he offers advice on the importance of building a happy home… physically and emotionally.  A few points he’s expanded on are: 

How can you be a good father? Is there a definition to a good father?

  •              Fathering first of all has to do with covering. It’s to provide an environment that affirms, nourishes, and provides space for his children to grow and evolve to their potential.

What is the importance of having a strong father figure in your life?

•             Generally speaking, the role of each parent differs, however, the father provides encouragement, confidence, and a sense of safety and affirmation to the child. He gives the child the confidence to spread out their wings and soar.

Where does pain come from?

  •  Pain can come from a variety of places but one general place that most people experience pain is from the hurt of rejection. This is why one of the fathers primary roles is to exude acceptance, affirmation, and a sense of value in the presence of his children.

At what point do you acknowledge that you are broken from your childhood? How Can you move on from the past?

  •  The sooner you acknowledge your brokenness the better. Unacknowledged brokenness only perpetuates itself. You can move on from the brokenness by taking steps to reprocess the events that led to the pain. Through this reprocessing you can discover a healthier narrative concerning what happened and this is the beginning of healing.
Touré Roberts and wife Sarah.

Touré Roberts and wife Sarah.

Touré Roberts is founder of The Potter’s House at One LA, one of the fastest growing churches in Los Angeles, and the lead pastor of The Potter’s House of Denver. He is the author of Purpose Awakening and is a sought-after international speaker for his revelatory messages on purpose, identity, spiritual growth and relationships. He has been a featured guest on numerous local and national television programs and has more than 15 million views online. Roberts has several hundred thousand followers on social media who subscribe to his weekly inspirational and transformative messages. Roberts is the son-in-law of megachurch pastor and author T. D. Jakes. He and his wife, Sarah, live in both LA and Denver with their family.

Gifts for Every Mom

From every skinned-up knee when you were small to nearly every celebration throughout life, she is always there. Mothers are consistently there cheering you on and supporting you. Mothers are strong, fearless and kind, and Mother’s Day is your day to give back to them for all they’ve done and show them how much those moments mean to you.

This year, make her day special by choosing a gift that is not only functional but also charming. Use this gift guide to help find a Mother’s Day gift she can love and cherish for years to come.

Find more gift ideas perfect for any type of mom at

For Her Thrilling Side

Celebrate Mother’s Day with the No. 1 New York Times’ best-seller, “The Woman In The Window” by A.J. Finn, hailed as the next “The Girl on the Train.” With more than 1 million copies sold worldwide, readers can enjoy this twisty, powerful novel of psychological suspense that is soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000. Anna Fox is a recluse, unable to venture outside her New York City home. She spends her days drinking wine, watching old movies and spying on her neighbors. When she sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and she finds out that things are never really what they seem. Learn more at

Something Soft for Her

Give mom a warm and snuggly gift she can use all day, every day. No matter if she is watching her favorite shows or tucked in for a nice weekend nap, a soft and luscious blanket is the perfect companion. With various styles and sizes available, there’s almost certain to be an option perfect to fit your mom’s lifestyle.

Add to Her Style

Nearly every woman needs a good, solid purse to hold all her belongings and show off her personality, too. From makeup to money, the kids’ snacks and her keys, a stylish purse can hold it all while also allowing her to express herself. For Mother’s Day, give her something that not only helps her day after day but gives her the satisfaction of style.

For Her Inner Chef

For every mom that loves to cook, and every mom who doesn’t, a pressure cooker can be the perfect gift. Throw your favorite ingredients, like spicy chicken or savory pork, into the pressure cooker and let it work its magic. Set the timer to the correct time, give it a few stirs throughout and you’re done. She can get creative with what to make and have dinner on the table quickly with minimal prep time.

For Her to Relax

Almost nothing beats the few minutes moms get to relax during the day. This Mother’s Day, give your mom something that can help her find her inner-Zen like a diffuser, which can help her escape to her own oasis. With quiet, portable options that feature adjustable lighting, this gift can leave a fresh garden mist in any room.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Mom and daughter, Blankets, Purse, Pressure cooker, Air diffuser)

Harper Collins