Friday, November 30, 2012

More news from Lucas and the Luca Lashes Family!

We wanted to share some fun stuff that has been happening lately, and we would be remiss if we didn't share this video....ah, Lucas...

Also, we have been featured on a blog tour this week, check out some of the awesome sites that have shared our guest blog!

Tracy's Nook

Practical Parenting with a Twist

Susan Heim on Parenting

Life of TOI


Thank you to all for sharing our words and helping us to introduce our new app, "Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor", which is now available at Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon!

Happy parenting!

Damir & Nicole

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I am one of those people who constantly worry about the state of our universe. Why do we all feel so disconnected from each other? What has changed on our planet that is making us feel like we cannot trust anyone?  What kind of world are we raising our children into, and what are we leaving our children?

 There are no real answers to these questions. In fact, some people might think that it is a waste of time to even think like this. And that, I believe, is the problem, and the name I have for it is “short-term thinking.” Short-term thinking is quick, and sometimes necessary. Is your child throwing a screaming fit in a restaurant? Well then, pull out the smart-phone or tablet, give them something that immediately soothes their needs to avoid a bigger drama, right? This is probably the right move, and makes the most sense in the moment. The long-term solution is to be more prepared the inevitable drama and having some expectations on the child’s behavior to begin with.

You can find this to be true in so many settings. You find this in the modern workplace and the current business and political climate. We make decisions based on how things will be affected tomorrow, or next week. But where is the thought of what we are doing for 20 years from now? Forty years from now? Our children need us to think “long-term.” We need to teach our children to think “long-term.”

Like I said before, “short-term” thinking has its place, and when it comes to a person’s own career or financial goals, may be more appropriate. Passing a test in school, or getting a good score on the SAT and ACT, those are definitely moments for “short-term” thinking to take the front seat. But what happens after that?

So where are the moments that give you a chance to create good “long-term” thinking strategies for your children? Well, there are simple, eternal things like gardening and planting trees. These are long processes with no immediate gratification, but in the end, have great implications. Teaching children to think about careers instead of jobs is another great “long-term” moment. Getting a job and making money is one thing, but it is short-term. Having a career, one career that you excel at, can create a lifelong learning experience for a child.  

Overall, I guess I do over-think this situation, but as I see my son grow in intelligence and ability every day, I think about what kind of world he is growing up in. I think about how Lucas will be able to affect his life in positive way, and how he can affect the world in a positive way.

Happy Parenting, and good luck!


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Monday, November 26, 2012

Lucas at Thanksgiving!

Calmly waiting for Turkey!

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Getting Outside in the Winter

Walking, just walking!

I was thinking about this the other day because we have a rule in our house that our son has to go outside everyday, whoever has him. Whether it's mommy, daddy or grandma, we all love to walk outside and experience nature and the environment. Since we live in northern Illinois in the countryside, winter becomes a lot harder to get this done.

The weather in Illinois, especially in January and February, becomes bitter cold and snowy. It is not so easy to keep this rule, as you get stuck indoors or driving from indoor entertainment to indoor entertainment. This year we are supposed to get a pretty bad winter, at least that's what the weathermen are predicting for us. 

So we are looking for some assistance from our readers out there. When is a child old enough to truly enjoy the snow? I don't think my 3-year old is that delicate anymore, and he seems to want to build snowmen this year. What are some safe outdoor activities to do in the wintertime?

If we can't think of anything that is safe, should be move to warmer climes? Being outdoors year round was a real benefit when we lived in Northern California, and there is also a lot of family in Arizona?

We leave it up to you, dear reader! Give us some thoughts and example for what we should do outdoors this winter!

Happy Parenting!

Damir and Nicole

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Luca Lashes LLC is so happy to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Like many people, we have taken a look at the past year and found so much to be thankful for!

For starters, we are so grateful to have our inspiration, Lucas Fonovich, in our lives and guiding us into his childhood! Every day is so fun, and every success in our work and our lives is dedicated to you and done fore you!

Also, we have each other to thank. Luca Lashes LLC started as a family project, and while we have grown and added valuable members of our team, our core group is as close as family can get. Family is often taken for granted, but always valuable to recognize and remember on a consistent basis!

We also have such gratitude for our team members, our extended Luca Lashes LLC family! There are too many of you to mention, but you are so special and unique to us! Thank you for your continued support!

We dedicated this series to our father, Anthony "Pee Wee" Tortorello, and remain eternally grateful for your example to always strive for the greatness that one can accomplish in this world.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Nicole, Damir and Camille!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Morning! Wanna Play?


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Recent News and Highlights

We wanted to highlight some recent activity for Luca Lashes that some of you may not have seen!

Thank you to the website Smart Apps for Kids for two recent links, one to an introduction and another to our story "Luca Lashes and his First Haircut."

Thank you also to Carisa Kluver from Digital Storytime for the great and thorough review for "Luca Lashes and his First Haircut"!

All of this recent activity has made us feel truly blessed and hope that more parents and toddlers are enjoying the series together!

Happy Parenting and Reading!

Damir and Nicole

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Publishing and Fast Change

There seems to be a new sentiment building among traditional publishers that the eBook revolution and shift to digital content is going to drive the cost of books lower. This might be why the traditional publishers have been such slow adopters of digital technology in their industry, but it seems they are not students of history, especially recent history.

While everyone understands that publishing is a business, and the sole purpose of a business is to make money, it is important to not forget this business is also an art form. Within the realm of the art form, the recent history should make publishers look at the music industry as to what exorbitant pricing for inferior products gets you. It was well known to people involved in the financial processes within the entertainment industry that making music is relatively cheap. In fact, a CD costs almost nothing to make. Adding production costs and marketing expense, everyone who would want to make money off a CD would be a millionaire if CD’s sold for $7 per CD.

So what happened to the music industry? People stopped buying CD’s because no one wants to pay $18 for a CD where they only like 2 songs. Consumers were asking for labels to release CD Singles, and create easy ways to make music portable. The music industry did neither of these things, and now iTunes sales matter more for an artist than CD sales.

Does the book industry want to go the way of the music industry and not give consumers what they want? Consumers seem to want portability, affordability and quality. E-Books can offer all of these. Publishers need to get behind some solid eBooks and help authors get the word out about quality content that exists for everyone. The “50 Shades” phenomenon will keep happening, where an author gets a huge online following first and then publishers are forced to fight for the right to sign that author to a book deal for the print versions.

Book publishing is changing quickly, and there are exciting things happening every day. The writing has been on the wall for years for books and bookstores to catch up and predict changes rather than wait for technology to change the whole industry.

Happy reading and writing!


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Monday, November 12, 2012

Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor - The Real Thing!

Lucas at the Doctor!

posted by Luca Lashes @ 5:34 PM  

Friday, November 9, 2012

How did I Explain Election Night to my 3-year old?

Left and Right

I am not one for taking a personal, positional stand on politics on the Internet. In fact, I would prefer that everyone keep their opinions to themselves and simply work on making themselves better, whatever that means for each individual. With election night over and my three-year old Lucas asking me what was happening, I had to explain something! How do you explain a Democrat or Republican to a small child with a growing mind?

This is what I came up with.

Democrats = We.
Republicans = I.

Thankfully, he didn’t ask me to go beyond that, as we next focused on making assorted donkey and elephant noises to truly make election night a fun and playful experience. We also played games like which color is better, red or blue?

What do you all think of my explanation? Should I have gone further? I was trying to make the entire political party process as simple as possible.

Let us know your thoughts, and any ideas you had for explaining the process without trying to influence thought and behavior!

Happy reading!


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Where do you buy eBooks/Apps?


Recently we asked our readers where do you they go to buy their physical books, and offered some locations where readers could go to buy their books, which sadly is not as many as it used to be. With the proliferation of eBooks and Apps, we wonder which of the marketplaces people enjoy shopping at?

1. iTunes for App Store and iBookstore
The Apple-owned iTunes program boasts the largest selection of music and apps one could want. With Apple Tablets and smartphones dominating the industry, this is the number one place for consumers to find the apps they are looking for. The problem for Apple is the iBookstore, and consumers do not frequent this marketplace for eBooks because of limited quantities and typically higher prices than their competition.

Boasting one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet, the Amazon eBookstore for their Kindle devices has over 1 million books to offer and a nice App Store for users to surf. Amazon also boasts a great online-streaming service for movies and TV shows, making it one of the biggest providers of content for users of their devices.

The website for Barnes & Noble, and its accompanying App Store and eBookstore, actually boast the largest number of eBooks that a consumer would want to buy. The new video service and a fairly serviceable App Store make this content provider fairly user-friendly. The Nook Kids portion also boasts more interactive eBooks and regular eBooks for children than any other content-provider.

4. Google
Google Play is the world’s largest App store, and provides content for a wide variety of Android-software supported devices. Although their marketplace for eBooks is sorely lacking, there are a wide variety of ways to get ePub files on the open marketplace that are all legible on most Google-friendly tablets and eReaders.

5. The Rest
This is the place where Kobo and Sony customers go to shop, at their respective eBookstores. These devices and their accompanying App Stores and eBookstores offer little different than most of what is already out there, and the devices to read this content are not as popular as the rest of this list.

Let us know what devices and platforms you find the best for you! We are excited to hear about any new platforms too!

Happy Reading,


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Monday, November 5, 2012

Post-Lesson Fun in the Pool!


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Friday, November 2, 2012

Meet our Illustrator - Kim Stace Thomas!

What I like about being an Illustrator 

I love being an Illustrator because it feeds my soul.  It's a part of me.  I would not be the happy person I am if I didn't have this creative outlet.  Being able to support yourself doing something that you love is one of the most amazing things I've had in my life.  I particularly love working on the team for Luca Lashes because I see it almost as an adventure!  We are all in it together, learning as we go.  This isn't typical illustration so I've never been able to just rest on my laurels. Every task is a challenge and a learning experience.  Everything we create is a process that we work together to get through.  It seems that every task is new and different as well.  That translates into everyday is different, and nothing is ever boring!  I'll take it! :)

Happy drawing!

Kim Stace Thomas

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