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Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Crafts for Kids

New Year’s Eve is a fun time to reflect on the year before with your children. Here a few ideas you can do or use them to get your own creative juices flowing:
·       Create a book that you can print – these are a simple and fun task to put together. Include all of the fun things you did over the past year. Let your little one draw pictures that go with the activities they’ve done. These are also a good idea for early readers.
·       Write a Poem – Use the letters in the word “New Year” and write a poem about things you’ve done over the past year.
·       A New Year Essay – this is good for older children. Write an essay on the “The Best Thing That Happened to Me This Year Was…”
·       Entertainment over the past year – Make a list of questions about your favorite movies, songs, books, television shows, websites, photos, activities and why you liked them.
·       Keep the New Year In mind – make a list together of things you’d like to do, goals you’d like to reach in the new year. Include places you’d like to visit, books you’d like to read, things you’d like to learn, etc.
·       Create a scrapbook: Use photos and memorabilia from activities you’ve done, trips you’ve taken or other fun things and put it all into a scrapbook that your child can look back on for years to come.

There are plenty of ways to create fun reminders of the past year. Use your own creativity to create beautiful memories with your children. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year's Eve with Kids

New Year’s Eve is an exciting time for everyone – the end of the old year and the start of the new is always a cause for celebration. However, if you have young children at home, it can be a challenge to find activities to do when a champagne toast at midnight isn’t an option. There are plenty of options to make New Year’s Eve fun even with young children – here are just a few ideas to help get you started:
1.     Make your own balloon drop: This is an easy and fun way to celebrate New Year’s Eve – create your own “ball drop” right in your living room. Get a drawstring garbage bag, fill it up with pretty balloons and hang it upside down. W
hen the clock strikes midnight (or earlier if you have REALLY young children) pull the draw string and let the balloons drop.
2.     Old movies: Pop some popcorn and cuddle up on the couch with your favorite movies from the past year.
3.     Have your own dance party: Dress up in your Sunday best, decorate the living room and dance the night – and the year – away in style!
4.     Make a time capsule: Pick some of your favorite things from the past year – photos, movies, books, toys – anything that reminds you of something fun or special – and put it in a container. Tuck them away some place where you’ll remember where they are and open them next New Year’s Eve.
5.     Bake a cake: The Greeks have a tradition of baking a “good luck cake” by putting lucky coin or other trinket right into the cake mix to bake it. The person who gets the lucky coin in their piece of cake is said to have good luck the next year.
6.     Celebrate midnight in another country: This is an especially good idea if you have younger children who won’t make it to midnight in your area. For example, if you’re on the east coast, you can celebrate at 6:00 pm  - it’s midnight in Paris.

So there you have it  - a few ideas of celebrating this fun holiday with young children. Use these ideas for your family’s celebration or come up with your own! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tips for Stretching your Budget

We know times around the Holiday Season are tight. Want to stretch that budget? We have four tips for you. 

     We know times around the Holiday Season are tight. Want to stretch that budget? The reality is that children are expensive. They like eating, drinking, living indoors and indulging in recreational sporting activities, all of which cost money and the costs add up for parents especially if they have more than one child. The good news however is there are methods of stretching that family budget.

Write out a list of your monthly expenses in relation to incoming cash so that you know exactly what you can and cannot afford. Another good tip is to stop paying fees. Little fees all add up into big fees, so cutting out using ATMs too often and avoiding late fees can end up saving you a surprising amount of money. Coupons are an old fashioned but still highly effective way to save money, with many websites offering Internet coupons for stores, and other sites such as Groupon offering product, restaurant and travel deals. There are other ways to make every dollar count, such as sharing an adult meal between two children when eating out rather than buying separate kids meals. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cheap travel tips

There are plenty of good tips around for those that want to be able to travel as cheaply as possible.
One good cheap travel tip is to get some work at the same hostel in which you are staying in return for food and board or at minimum a discount. Another good piece of advice is to walk everywhere that you can for up to thirty minutes. This will not only save you money but also help you to keep fit.

Another good tip is to take a tent with you when you go on vacation to Europe. Many cities in Europe offer excellent campsites that work out to be considerably less expensive than the price of hostels and many of them even provide a free bus to the local city center as well.

You can sleep for free on many night trains. If you were to go to northern Italy and spend a day there, you could then sleep for free on the train to the south of Italy, spend another day there and then sleep for free again going back up.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Social networking is good for teens

New technology always causes generation fear, and the advent of social networking has seen much the same, with many of the older generations fearing that the technology is making teenagers unable to deal with face to face contact. The reality however is much different – and much more positive.

Social scientists studying young people have found that digital use by teens is both inventive and beneficial in social and even educational terms. The Pew Research Center sees no evidence for the idea that networking is cutting down real world communication either, which found that those who text most avidly are actually more likely to spend real time with their friends. Rather than social networking replacing “proper” socializing, it is merely augmenting it. Children still spend plenty of time in face to face interaction, and as they grow older and receive more freedom from their parents, it is common for them to cut down on their online social networking. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Stretching a family budget

The reality is that children are expensive. They like eating, drinking, living indoors and indulging in recreational sporting activities, all of which cost money and the costs add up for parents especially if they have more than one child. The good news however is there are methods of stretching that family budget.

Write out a list of your monthly expenses in relation to incoming cash so that you know exactly what you can and cannot afford.

Another good tip is to stop paying fees. Little fees all add up into big fees, so cutting out the use of ATMs and avoiding late fees can end up saving you a surprising amount of money. Coupons are an old fashioned but still highly effective way to save money, with many websites offering Internet coupons for stores, and other sites such as Groupon offering product, restaurant and travel deals.

There are other ways to make every dollar count, such as sharing an adult meal between two children when eating out rather than buying two separate kids meals. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to overcome financial procrastination

Financial procrastination can end up costing people dearly as they fail to organize their finances in ways that would be the best for their own future. The good news however is there are some simple tips that can help people to get organized and stop procrastinating.
Automating your bills is one such tip. These days the great majority of big companies will have automated billing systems via either credit card or debit card payments. Automating the most common ones such as electricity, phone and water bills means that you not only reduce the effort involved but also reduce the risk of being hit with late fees.

It is important to start saving the moment you are able. People often try to save only once they have paid their regular expenses but many of us often spend extra money if it is there, so organizing regular small transfers to a separate account is a good way to avoid temptation and begin saving right away. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to ease cramps from irritable bowel syndrome :(

Eating smaller and more frequent meals can help to ease the cramps caused by irritable bowel syndrome. Although changing how and what you eat will not cure you of irritable bowel syndrome, it can help to cut down on the number of flare-ups that you experience and there are some good tips to help you do just that.

One good tip is to eat small meals or snacks every three to four hours, rather than eating three big meals per day. You should also cut back on high-fat, greasy and fried foods, which are often responsible for the triggering of diarrhea and gas.

You should avoid dairy products if you are or believe you may be lactose intolerant, and reduce your intake of foods which are high in fiber, such as popcorn, corns, seeds, nuts and some Chinese vegetables.

If you are taking anti-spasmodic or anti-diarrheal medicine, you should consume them around twenty minutes before eating a meal. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Advice about diet

Having plenty of fiber in your diet is a terrific first step if you wish to lose weight as it both aids digestion and also make you feel full, thus making you likely to eat less. There are a number of good tips that can also help someone on a diet. One such tip is to drink plenty of water as it helps to flush out any toxins in your body, while stocking up on healthy food such as the likes of fresh fruits, green vegetables and nuts can also work wonders.

You should never skip meals due to the fact that the body begins to store fat if it does not receive regular food and ends up making you consume more food at a later time than if you had stuck to your regular meal schedule. Nor should you ignore cravings altogether – it is alright to give in occasionally and have a small amount of the food that you desire, taking the time to savor it as you eat it.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Be smart working nights

Late night jobs and night shifts are now part and parcel of the global revolution, but if you are one of those people who work nights it is vital that you know how to go about doing this without comprising your health in the process.

One good tip is to make sure that you get some sleep during the daytime. Everyone needs their rest and you should never compromise your own downtime. If you begin sleeping in the day on a regular basis then your body clock will gradually become accustomed to this.

Keep chocolate on hand; while you obviously do not want to overdo it and end up putting on weight, the fact is that sugar provides you with an energy rush so keeping some chocolate in your drawer at work is a good way of dealing with unexpected night shifts.

Even if you are working at night you still need to take a break every now and then. Even just getting up from your chair and taking a short stroll can help you to alleviate drowsiness. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to Avoid Frostbite in young kids

Winter can be a fun time with your children – snowmen, snowball fights and igloos in the backyard can be a great time for kids of all ages. But it’s also important to dress your children properly for the cold weather to prevent illness and of course, frostbite.
Frostbite literally means “frozen body tissue.” This usually means the skin, however frostbite can also affect deeper tissue as well and should be handled quickly and carefully to avoid causing permanent tissue damage. There are actually different stages of frostbite and as parents you should be aware of each and the signs that come with each phase to be able to treat it right away.

Frostnip is often the first and most mildest form of frostbite. It will typically affect the areas most exposed to cold: cheeks, nose, fingers, toes and even your ears, causing the affected areas to become red, numb and tingly. Frostnip can typically be treated at home simply by getting your child indoors and warming the affected areas.

Frostbite itself will have much more serious symptoms and if you are allowing your child to play outdoors for extended periods of time in the cold, you should know what to look for: white, waxy skin, numbness to the affected areas or a hardness to the skin. Don’t try to treat the problem at home – medical attention should be sought immediately.

If your child has been affected by frostbite, a trip to the hospital is necessary. If the feet are affected, carry your child do NOT let them walk if you suspect their feet have been affected. Be sure you have put your child into warm, dry clothing before transporting them for treatment.
In the event that you can’t get your child to the ER right away or if you are waiting for an ambulance to take you, there are a few things you can do to administer first aid while you wait:
·       Put frozen skin into WARM not hot water. If you aren’t able to access warm water, wrap your child in warm blankets or use your body heat to cover the affected area.
·       Do not use a heating pad on the area.

·       Do not thaw the frozen skin if medical treatment is not immediately accessible – thawing skin that can potentially be refrozen can have serious, negative effects. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Finance Tips for Young Adults

Heading off to college or into the armed forces is an exciting time for young adults and a gateway for them to become more independent. Learning personal financial skills is also an essential task to assist them on the road to success.

Having good financial habits should start early in life and helps to make sure of a sound financial future. One of the most important things that young adults should learn is how to set and maintain a budget. Effective budgeting and planning is one of the cornerstones of having healthy finances so goals need to be set, a budget needs to be created and young people also need to keep careful track of how much money they spend. Good spending habits and planning will last a lifetime.

It is also important to start saving as soon as possible. Financial stress can be eased by having a sound savings plan.  Even if your savings begins with a small amount, place it in a separate account so it will build up over time.  The sooner you start saving, the better.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Career advice for newbies and veterans alike

Just starting out? Looking to make a change? Your success depends on traits and talents that may not be obvious. Try this advice:

• Identify your real skills and strengths. Target what you’re best at—not just the classes you got good grades in, or the jobs you’ve done successfully, but the underlying skills they represent: planning, creativity, persistence, and so forth. These will help you prove your abilities in any job you take.

• Find your passion. You’ll perform best at work you feel strongly about for an organization you can believe in. Be willing to experiment and move around in search of the right job, but when you find it, devote your energy to doing your best work.

• Market yourself. Don’t be shy about letting managers and co-workers know what you can do, and what you’ve accomplished. You don’t have to brag, as long as you’re honest about your abilities and willing to help other people as needed.

• Find a mentor—and be one. Find an impartial mentor for your career who can offer objective advice, feedback, and coaching. Be ready to do the same for the people you meet who might similarly benefit from your experience and expertise. It’s a great way to expand your network.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Neck Rule

Getting a nasty bug is never a lot of fun and as well as causing cough, sneezes and snorts also messes with your ability to put in good day’s work, get a good night’s sleep, and have a decent workout. So how long after you start to feel better can you can go back to pounding the pavement, swinging the clubs and hitting the weights?

The general rule tends to depend on how your body was affected by the bug. Anything above the neck tends not to be too much of a worry, such as a scratchy throat or a runny nose (with the obvious exception of swollen glands or a really horrible sore throat). Anything below the neck however, such as stomach symptoms, fever, and body aches, should take a bit more time to get over.

In any event, when you are feeling a little better you should still do not much more than warm up exercises; a bit of stretching or walking, perhaps. Anything more strenuous too soon and you risk making yourself ill again. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Teaching Your Children to be Thankful

It’s no secret that thankful children are happier and more polite but raising children to be thankful for all they have is more important than making more pleasant kids – it’s about teaching them to be caring and sensitive to the feelings of others.

While some may feel that toddlers are a bit young to learn gratitude, children as young as 18 months can start to grasp that concept. They know that they are dependent on mommy and daddy to take care of their needs and those needs being taken care of make them happy and they begin to, even at that very young age, appreciate it.

Teaching children to be thankful can be done easily enough. They imitate the adults around them – especially parents – so be sure to use words like “please” and “thank you” often. Good manners lead to sincere gratitude. Here are few ways to teach your children to be thankful:

  • Have your children help with chores and tasks around the house. Give your child a chore that he or she can handle and avoid the temptation to jump and finish it for them. By allowing them to do simple things around the house they learn to appreciate what we as parents do.
  • Have your child help with a charitable project. This doesn’t mean take them to the soup kitchen on a regular basis. A nice project could be making a cake or soup for a sick neighbor.
  • Teach your children, and encourage them, to be generous. If they have several old toys that they don’t play with anymore, or clothes that they have outgrown but are still in good shape have them donate them to Goodwill.
  • Learn to say no. All of our children want something new every time we turn around. But we aren’t teaching them anything if we say “yes” to everything they ask for. Learning to say no for every request and only saying yes to special things will teach your children to be grateful for what they get and what they have.

Teaching children to be thankful can be tricky but it must be done in order to help them become better functioning adults.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bend, don't break: Dealing with inflexible colleagues

Some people seem unable to see issues from any point of view but their own. Whether they work for you or you work for them, their inflexibility can be a roadblock to your success. Here’s how to work together in harmony:

• Listen. Give your complete attention to the other person, and show you understand by paraphrasing what he or she says.

• Focus on the other person’s position, not your own. Resist the urge to argue. Instead, build some good will by showing how you’re trying to understand his or her perspective.

• Agree when you can. Most of the time you should be able to find common ground. Use this to build the basis for a reasonable discussion.

• Disagree with tact. Stand your ground when necessary, but try to disagree without creating more tension. Explain your own point of view in positive language.

• Show some flexibility yourself. Don’t adopt an inflexible stance of your own in response to someone else’s tough attitude. Remind yourself to stay open-minded at all times.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Make your skin glow with simple food tips

85% of teenagers and around 50% of adults are affected by acne. There is overwhelming evidence suggesting a link between diet and skin health, and skin health can be improved tremendously by a healthy diet.

One good tip is to cut down on your intake of refined sugar. Even beverages we think of as being healthy tend to have a lot of sugar, which causes a rise in the production of androgen and fat hormones. Curb your sweet tooth by indulging in fruit smoothies, which both cuts down on your sugar intake and increases your intake of fruit.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is vital. They are high in a number of vital nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals that makes them great for the promotion of healthy skin. Plants contain antioxidants that fight free radicals and help to cut down not just on acne but on inflammation and even on signs of ageing.

Hiring Passionate and Motivated Teachers... Sound like you?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Watch your vocabulary while on the job

Words have power, and what you say to your boss and your co-workers can have a huge impact on your job and career. You’ll get ahead by choosing your words carefully. Here’s what to say loudly, and what to avoid:

• Do say: “What should I do differently?” Use the feedback to improve your performance and show your commitment to helping your employer.

Don’t say: “That’s impossible.” You don’t want a reputation for being incapable. As long as no one asks you to break the law or violate physics, take an “I can do this” approach to all your assignments.

• Do say: “Try, try again.” Learn to shake off your defeats and setbacks and move on. This shows a positive attitude and a willingness to take chances.

Don’t say: “It’s not fair.” Whining will get you nowhere in your career. If you have a legitimate problem to discuss, stay calm and deal with the business issues, not your personal gripes.

• Do say: “How can I add value?” Instead of waiting for instructions from your boss, take some initiative. Be on the lookout for ways to use your skills and talents to improve products, procedures, and the culture of your organization.

Don’t say: “We’ve always done it like this.” Show your flexibility and willingness to adapt to new situations. Organizations need creativity to survive. If you’re obsessed with the tried and true, managers won’t look to you for ideas and career potential.

• Do say: “I can do more.” Get organized and manage your time effectively. When you’re not distracted by irrelevant activities, you’ll be more productive. Managers who notice that you get more accom­plished than your colleagues will learn to depend on your abilities and enthusiasm.

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Choose or Direct Your Child Towards a Good Role Model

November is National Inspirational Role Models month so I thought you would like the following article:

We all have had at least one role model in our lives. Role models are important to our psychological well-being because they help us guide us through certain decision making processes that can ultimately affect the outcome of our lives. Children often have many choices when it comes to choosing role models – most often their first role models are parents followed by other adults and relatives, such as teachers.

Role models should be a point of inspiration and give us an idea of how we should behave no matter the situation. This is why it’s very important for a potential role model provide good behavior – behavior that children can imitate without repercussion. There are many choices when children are younger, however as they grow older it can become more difficult for good role models to be found.

Helping your child choose a role model involves finding a person who has good morals, doesn’t take part in behavior that is self-destructive, is hard working, creative and free thinking. And yes it’s true that you can’t pick the role model your child emulates, you can do your part to make sure they are exposed to the type of people who would make good role models to begin with.

Your child’s role model doesn’t have to be Superman or someone famous – in fact, a celebrity may not always be a good choice as many tend to indulge in self-destructing behavior or take part in behavior that is just unsavory to begin with. A good role model will be someone who is similar to you.

When your child has discovered that he or she has a role model, it’s important for you as the parent not to put this person on a pedestal. Role models are human and as such subject to failure and mistakes. You can recognize this person as a guide for the behavior you would like your child to imitate but not necessarily someone your child should act like exclusively.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry

If you have children you have no doubt been confronted with sibling rivalry at least once. Dealing with sibling rivalry can be a challenge at times but you don’t always have to deal with the knockdown, drag outs that can come with it. Here are a few tips and tricks to make it easier.

First of all, you can stop the bickering by making sure each child has a few toys and other items that are theirs and theirs alone. This may seem like the opposite thing to do to stop children from fighting over things but it’s not. By establishing from the beginning that each child has things that only belong to him or her, you’re letting each child as well as the sibling know that they have territory that is theirs. But as important as it is for everyone to know that each person has their own property, it’s equally important for them to know that all other toys are fair game for everyone.
Jealousy is common among siblings – especially when you bring a new baby into your home. Toddlers who are about to become an older sibling will naturally become jealous of a new baby in the house that seems to suck up all of the attention. You can help your toddler be ready for a new baby by:

  • Spending time with other people’s babies and/or read books about the arrival of a new baby to the family. Take time to explain that there will be a new baby in the house and that your toddler is going to be a big brother or big sister and you will need his or help when the baby comes home.
  • Give your toddler a few “big brother” or “big sister” gifts when you bring the baby home from the hospital. It will not only take his or her mind off the new baby and the “fuss” that goes along with it, but it will also make them feel just a little extra special.
  • Never blame a change in plans on the baby. If a trip to the park has to be canceled or changed because it’s time for the baby’s nap time or meal, just tell your toddler that you’ll go to the park later and then try to switch his or her attention to a movie or other quiet indoor activity to take the attention off the change in plans.

Make sure both children know that they are loved equally and that nothing is going to change that.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Facts about dolphins

Dolphins are well known for a number of things, including their ability to communicate, their high level of intelligence, and their social nature. There are a number of endangered species of dolphins that have adapted to be able to live in unusual environments like the Amazon River.


Despite the fact that they live in water, dolphins are actually warm blooded animals that give birth to their young rather than lay eggs, show protective tendencies when being threatened by predators and live in groups. Dolphins tend to swim in pods of a dozen or more members and these pods often come together in order to form herds of hundreds of dolphins. If pods are threatened, the strongest dolphins will circle the herd in order to defend weaker members from predators like sharks. Dolphins will fight very fiercely in order to defend other members of their pod and have been known to win battles with sharks.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Motivation tips

Personal goals are very important. The focus we put into achieving a goal enables us to get much more from life in general as the determination, drive and resolution needed to achieve a goal will also foster success in other aspects of life. When you are able to overcome obstacles and reach your goal you will also be rewarded by a feeling of empowerment, satisfaction and endorphins that enhance your confidence and self-belief.


It can be hard to get started and to keep going but there are ways to stay motivated and inspired. One important tip is to keep living in the now while remaining positive and focusing on enjoying the journey. To this end you need to give yourself rewards while you are working toward your goal. Denying yourself things that you enjoy are only going to de-motivate you in the long run.

Friday, November 1, 2013

See if These Items Are on Your November Calendar!

National Native American Heritage Month. The indigenous peoples of North America— the First Americans—have woven rich and diverse threads into the tapestry of our nation’s heritage. National Native American Heritage Month recognizes their many accomplishments, contributions, and sacrifices.

American Diabetes Month. Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, and another 79 million Americans are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, this event seeks to promote a vision of a life free of diabetes and its burdens.

Historic Bridge Awareness Month. Established in 2006 by, which supports the preservation of America’s historic bridges and strongly advocates for the reform of surface transportation policy.

National Adoption Awareness Month. During November, states, communities, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. It also includes National Adoption Day (Nov. 17), which is observed in courthouses nationwide as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.

Avoid additional grief when you plan a funeral

Making funeral arrangements for a loved one is an unfortunate reality many of us will have to face in our lives, and most of us are unprepared for such a task when it happens. Here are some tips to help you stay calm and focused through the difficult process:


• Bring along a friend. A close friend with some emotional distance can help you examine funeral options objectively.


• Don’t rush. Even if your loved one has died suddenly, you’ll usually have a day or two to look over your options. Permit yourself some time to calm down before you call a mortuary.


• Compare prices. Get price lists from several funeral homes before you sit down with a funeral director. You’ll feel less pressured and more able to make a sound decision.


• Protect your privacy. You have the right to keep personal information to yourself. For example, don’t disclose the value of a loved one’s estate, death benefits, or insurance to a funeral home director. Keep your relationship businesslike.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Preschoolers' extra pounds linked to sugar drinks

Preschool children who have sugary drinks on a regular basis tend to put on more weight than their peers, a US study suggests. Researchers discovered that in the group of two to five year old children that they followed, those who routinely had sugary drinks were 43 percent more likely to become obese.


While the study could not definitely prove the connection between obesity and the beverages concerned, experts recommend that parents choose water and milk for their children to drink instead, noting that there are no additional nutritional benefits with sugar sweetened drinks.  Since water is free of sugar and milk provides calcium, protein and Vitamin D, these drinks help children feel fuller than they do when consuming sugary drinks.


Although childhood obesity is also influenced by factors such as genes, physical activity and overall diet, sugary drinks nonetheless stand out as one of the primary causes.

Monday, October 28, 2013

How to spot ADHD in your children

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may affect 3 to 5 percent of children, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Experts are uncertain whether it fades away as children grow older, meaning that many adults may also be grappling with this frustrating and perplexing condition without realizing it.


How do you know if your child really has ADHD or is simply going through a phase? Here are some symptoms to watch for:


• Inattention. Your child seems unable to listen patiently, makes careless mistakes, and fails to give attention to details; fails to follow through on directions; is forgetful in daily activities; and avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort, like homework.


• Hyperactivity. Your child fidgets often; gets up from the seat in the classroom when he or she should be sitting down; and talks excessively.


• Impulsiveness. Your child often has difficulty waiting for his or her turn, and butts into conversations or games.


If you spot any of these symptoms, don’t jump to conclusions. Visit your pediatrician to talk things over. Here’s what your child’s doctor will look for:


• Environment. The symptoms should be present in at least two settings, like home and school, and should have persisted for at least six months.


• Symptoms. Doctors should look for the specific symptoms outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association.


• Interviews. Doctors should talk extensively with parents and teachers.


• Additional disorders. Doctors should also investigate other conditions. Many children with ADHD may also have anxiety or depression disorders.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tips for Newlyweds

Because so few people these days have much in the way of money, many divorces are driven by financial disputes. Too many couples are beginning their lives together when they hold seemingly overwhelming debts such as car loans, credit card debts and student loans. When the honeymoon is over, that is when the quarrels over finances start.


Experts advise that couples who are about to tie the knot should sit down and come up with a joint financial dream list. How many children do you intend to have? Where do you intend to go on vacation, and how often? Can you deal with the fact that one person has no savings while the other has enough to put a small down payment on your first home?


One good tip is to set up different accounts – a joint account for paying for the house, the car, children, taxes and the college fund, and two separate accounts, into which a small monthly allowance can be transferred and can be used as desired. This method may seem hard work to start with, but will pay dividends in terms of avoiding arguments over finances down the line.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Healthy Living

How to form healthy habits

When you want to start eating better or exercising more, it can be sometimes tough to get started and difficult to keep going at other times. Fortunately there are some helpful tips that can assist you with forming and keeping healthy habits.

Focusing on pleasure is a very helpful tip. We often try to form healthier habits with a somewhat grudging and reluctant attitude but this is never a good idea. Rather than subjecting yourself to foods you may not like such as cottage cheese or rice cakes, try to find foods that you actually enjoy eating that also happen to be healthy. Having a moderate amount of the food that you normally enjoy is also a better way to try to lose weight than cutting it out altogether, which tends to be doomed to failure.
You also need to associate the small decisions you make with the long-term view. When we try to form healthy habits we often ignore the small choices that have to be made to achieve our goals, such as refusing to sacrifice a small bag of chips or a morning cup of coffee. Ignoring small choices allows us to give into temptation.

Heart health tips

Even if heart disease runs in your family it is still surprisingly easy to dramatically reduce the risks by pursuing a heart healthy lifestyle. More than 800,000 Americans died as a result of heart attacks and other cardiac illnesses in 2012 but the great majority was preventable.


Eating a heart healthy diet is not as complicated as you might think. You should pursue a diet that is rich in vegetables, whole grains, fiber and fruits, eat fish at least twice a week and put a limit on the amount of cholesterol, trans fat and saturated fat that you consume. Choose low-fat, one percent or no-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in order to reduce the amount of trans fat you eat. You should also limit your salt intake.


You should also avoid fad diets, as studies have shown that almost all of them will actually see you gain weight after a year or so.

Start losing weight now with these simple tips

For most of us, losing weight is a struggle. The good news is that now is always a good time to start. Here are some tips for getting rid of a few (or more) unwanted pounds:


• Analyze your eating habits. Pay attention to what you eat, and try to identify habits that are undercutting your efforts to lose weight. Do you overindulge on junk food? Eat more when you’re depressed? Target the negative food behaviors that cause unwanted weight gain. Plan meals and snacks ahead of time so you’re less likely to grab something unhealthy when you’re hungry.


• Rely on fruits and vegetables. Nutritious food can fill you up just as well as French fries and cupcakes. Keep them handy for snacks, and try to fill at least half your plate with fruits and/or vegetables at every meal to avoid overdoing it on unhealthy fare.


• Watch what you drink. Sodas and sugary drinks can pack a lot of calories. Stick to unsweetened coffee or tea and plain water. They’ll quench your thirst, keep you hydrated, and won’t add unwanted sugar and calories to your daily intake.


Stay in balance all life long

Staying in shape as you grow older is important to your overall good health. One area that’s sometimes overlooked is balance. You don’t want to injure yourself by falling over at any age, but as you grow older, your risk of a broken or fractured bone becomes greater, with more serious consequences.


Start working on maintaining your balance now with these simple exercises:


• Stand on one foot. Holding on to a chair or nearby wall if necessary, stand on one foot for 10 seconds. Then switch to the other foot. Do this 10 times.


• Walk heel to toe. Stride in a straight line for 20 steps, heel to toe, as if you’re taking a sobriety test.


• Swing your legs. Standing with your arms at your sides, lift one leg to about 45 degrees in front of you and then slowly swing it back. Try this 10 times, then switch to your other leg.


Important: Check with your doctor if you find that your balance is severely impaired. It could be the result of an ear infection or some other medical condition.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Children and business travel will mix - with this advice

When working parents travel, they don’t always leave their children behind. You can sometimes take your kids along on business trips if you make the right preparations. Before you start packing, think the trip through with these points in mind:


• Pick the right kind of trip. A high-pressure trip where you’ll be working 16-plus hours a day may become even more exhausting with a child or two in tow. Bring your kids to events where you’ll have the flexibility to work and also take time off to be with your young companions.


• Bring another adult. If your spouse can come along, so much the better. But set up a plan so everyone knows what’s expected and neither parent feels dumped on during the trip.


• Choose a child-friendly hotel. Many hotels have concierges who provide information on child-related events and frequently provide babysitting services. Call around to find one that best suits your needs.


• Examine your motives. Don’t drag your child halfway across the country just because you feel guilty about leaving. Focus on how the experience will benefit you and your child, not on making yourself feel better.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Protect your skin!

Pay attention to the risk factors associated with skin cancer

Skin cancer most often develops on areas exposed to the sun, but it can occur anywhere on your body. Understanding the risk factors is crucial—you don’t want to let a skin cancer go untreated because you’re not aware of the potential for a serious illness.


Even before you have any reason to worry about that blemish on your shoulder, study this list of factors that can increase your chances of getting skin cancer:


• Fair skin. The pigment melanin in your skin provides some protection from damaging UV radiation. The fairer your skin, the less you have, thus raising your risk.


• A history of sunburns. Just one or two blistering sunburns, especially when you’re young, can dramatically increase your chances of developing skin cancer as you age.


• Excessive exposure to the sun. If your job or your recreational activities take you outdoors for long periods of time, sunscreen is vital.


• Family history. Find out if your parents, grandparents, and other family members have ever had skin cancer. This can add to your risk.


• Living conditions. If you live in a tropical climate, or in a high altitude area, your chances of developing skin cancer are greater.


• Moles and lesions. Moles that are large and irregular are more likely to become cancerous. Watch also for growths that show up as rough, scaly skin patches that appear to be brown or dark pink.

Dealing with sunburn

Everyone has, from time to time, spent too much time under the sun without sunscreen or some other form or protection and as it takes time for the skin’s reaction to develop, we rarely realize we have been sunburned until it is too late, after which comes days of pain.


The first thing to do when you have been sunburned is to apply the same basic first aid principles as you would if you were hurt by hot water. Make use of cool compresses, but do not use ice. This will make you feel better and lessen the damage caused by the burn by reducing the temperature a few layers under the skin. Drinking lots of water is also a good idea as sunburn causes dehydration.


Chilled aloe gel or ibuprofen early on can also help by lessening the damage and inflammation done to the skin cells and the layers beneath.


If you run a fever, get skin blisters, or feel nauseous or have flu-like symptoms, you should immediately seek out medical assistance.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Analgesic gel cuts down pain from skin glue that repair children's cuts

Skin glue has become the accepted method for stitching together kid’s cuts at hospital emergency rooms.  While they are considerably less painful than sutures, they can still cause a significant amount of discomfort to children, doctors say.


Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario tried to find out if the process would be less painful if the area was first covered with a painkilling gel or topical analgesic and undertook a study using 221 children from the ages of three months to 17, with the affected area in 50 percent of the youngsters being applied with a preparation of lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine.


On average the preparation reduced the pain caused by the skin glue quite considerably, with 51 percent feeling no pain whatsoever. Given the evidence that suggests that children who undergo medical procedures that cause them pain become adults who are fearful of hospitals and doctors, the move toward reducing pain in treatments such as these is being widely recognized as important.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to share a summer home

If you have a good relationship with your family then you can vacation at a much cheaper price by sharing a summer home. However the changes in personal circumstances can also make things a little tricky.

A family is more likely to enjoy sharing vacation time if they have common interests, while at the same time respect for one another’s space is vital. You do not always have to take part in every activity together, and having some vacation adventures individually is encouraged.


You also need to be flexible on scheduling and be ready to share any concerns freely and openly. A decision also needs to be made as to whether or not the summer home is to be used solely for family members, or whether it should be rented out in the times when it is not being used by the family. Having property affairs overseen by a concierge or rental company can also reduce conflict over whose turn it is to get the home ready for the next visit or to cut the grass.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Looking for good career advice? Then avoid these stale cliches.

Books, blogs, and motivational gurus are full of career advice for beginners and veterans alike. Much of it can be useful, but you’ve got to be careful to separate the good from the misguided and obsolete. Don’t blindly follow these “words of wisdom” without a healthy dose of skepticism:


• “Any job is better than no job.” Working at a job you hate can sap your morale and make any change harder to accomplish. You probably won’t be motivated to do good work, and if you quit out of frustration, you could be labeled an undependable job-hopper. No job is fun all the time, but you’ll generally do better at a job you can find some enjoyment in, even if that takes longer to find.


• “Follow your passion.” On the other hand, don’t wait forever for your dream job to present itself. You need to know what you’re good at, and what you like doing, but chances are you can do well in a job that satisfies less than 100 percent of your ambitions. You don’t want to give up worthwhile career opportunities because they don’t fit with an unrealistic dream of success.


• “You need an advanced degree to get anywhere.” Education is always a good thing, but without a clear purpose, you could waste years and thousands of dollars on studies that don’t necessarily translate to career success. Decide on what you want to learn, be clear on how it will help you, and make sure the investment will really pay off in terms of increased opportunities and career satisfaction.


• “Never quit a job.” You shouldn’t jump ship at the first sign of trouble, but staying at a dead-end job with no hope of advancement and little chance of learning anything doesn’t help your career. Look for opportunities to improve your situation wherever you’re at, but keep an eye on the job market so you’re never trapped.


• “The one thing you need to do is ...” Be wary of any advice that offers a quick fix. Managing a career is complicated. You don’t know what’s coming up, and you won’t always know the right decision to make. You’ll make mistakes and encounter bad luck. Commit to learning and moving forward, and don’t waste time following short-lived trends or depending on gimmicks to land your dream job.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to Survive with a Large Family

Having a large family can be tough, but there are some good methods to make sure that you can survive the strain!


One good tip is to make children share a bedroom. Children are not automatically entitled to have a room of their own and the fact is that sharing a bedroom with their siblings can actually help to increase their familiar bond as well as provide some humorous memories for them when they are older!

Something else to remember is that it is perfectly fine to keep driving an old car for as long as you want providing it’s still roadworthy. It may not look as pretty as it once did, but so long as it remains functional, gets everyone in and is able to get from place to place, that is really all that matters.

Cooking your own food rather than eating out is also excellent advice. Not only is it a good deal less expensive but home cooking is also likely to be a good deal healthier.

Friday, October 11, 2013

How to beat burnout

If you are finding it more and more difficult to cope with the demands of your job in addition to the rest of your life, you are definitely not alone. More and more people are putting in additional hours at work or being on call even when they should be at home relaxing.


The good news is there are ways to make your daily routine a little more balanced. One of the best is to actually build downtime into your schedule. As you plan your week you should make a point of including time with friends and family as well as activities that will allow you to recharge such as a sport of some kind.


Being proactive about scheduling can be very helpful and also prevent free time from being wasted.  Another good idea is to drop activities that are sapping your energy or time, including online activities. Making time for exercise can also assist you with becoming more alert and boosting your concentration and overall energy level.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to Teach Kids to Set and Achieve Goals at a Young Age

As parents, one time or another we have all experienced the frustration of knowing our children aren’t trying hard enough to accomplish we know they are more than able to do. While the initial reaction would be to harp and push, it’s important not to get overly excited about their lack of ambition and instead turn your efforts into teaching them how to set and reach goals – even at a young age.


It’s not as difficult as you may think to instill the importance of goal setting in your children. With a few simple steps you can plant the seed:


  • Start by looking for ways your child already sets goals, even though they may not realize that’s what they’re doing. For example, if they are trying get their favorite video game and saving up any extra money he or she gets. Take this opportunity to discuss the steps that will need to be taken in order to get the rest of the money for the game. Explain how good it feels to work toward something and actually make it happen.
  • Start small – Help your child pick a small, fun goal that can be reached in a relatively short amount of time – maybe a craft project or finishing a short book. Starting with small goals is a great way to teach children to work toward bigger goals.
  • Let them be involved in choosing the goals they want to reach. Sure we want them to have straight A’s or make the honor roll each grading period or make the sports team but these may be more YOUR goals than theirs. Letting them choose what they want to achieve is often better because it allows them to take ownership of the steps needed to reach them, as well as the actual accomplishment.
  • Be supportive – as your child begins to work toward setting and reaching their goals, be the biggest cheerleader you can be for them. Applaud their efforts no matter how big or small and let them know you see how hard they are trying.

It’s never too early to start instilling the importance of setting and reaching goals in your children. And while these steps are a great way to get the ball rolling, remember that we are our children’s biggest teachers so be prepared to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fun and Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids

With summer already coming to an end and fall just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the favorite holiday of many children – Halloween. What kind of costume does your little one want? Scary? Fun? Will you buy the costume or take the creative route and make it? If you’re handy with a needle and thread or have a creative side, maybe one of the following ideas will be a winner with your kiddos:


  • Gumball machine: Get a bag of colored balloons, a clear trash bag and a ball cap and you can create this costume fairly quickly. Blow up all of the balloons and don’t forget to cut holes in the trash bag bottom for your legs and two on side for your arms.. Make sure the holes aren’t big enough that the balloons can get out. Have your little one step into the bag and secure the top of the bag at the neck with a ribbon or pin it to their shirt. Add the blown up balloons. Get a piece of paper or thin cardboard and write “5 cents” and attach to the ball cap. There you have it  - a gumball machine!
  • Zombie: Zombies are all the rage thanks to the variety of television shows and movies on this very topic. Don’t be surprised if this is one of the ideas your child throws at you for a Halloween costume. It’s easy to turn your child into a zombie – grab some old clothes that you were getting rid of anyway and shred them. Now, add green, brown and red paint to the clothing, dark makeup under his or her eyes, a little red lipstick or makeup for blood and you’re all set!
  • Ghost : A Halloween favorite that never goes out of style. Take a bed sheet, cut holes for the eyes and you’re done. Does it get any easier than that?
  • Military person: Live near an Army/Navy store? You’ll find all you need to make your little guy or gal a GI.
  • Painter: A pair of overalls, a painter’s cap, splatter a little paint, add a paintbrush to the pocket or carry a roller and you’ve got yourself a little painter.

These ideas can really done by anyone with little cost but tons of value when it comes to entertainment and memories. Be creative and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 4, 2013

How Children Can Deal with Bullies - Especially in Day Care

When we think of bullies we tend to think of bigger kids picking on littler kids, older kids taking milk money from younger kids – all when our children are a little older. But bullies in day care? Sadly, it’s never too young to start dealing with them. Bullying – no matter what age – is NOT just kids being kids and as soon as everyone gets that out of their mindset, we can be on the way to helping the problem disappear.


Children become bullies for different reasons – maybe they are acting out behavior that they’ve seen somewhere before, maybe they are doing it for attention from adults or the other children. In extreme cases, children may bully because they enjoy seeing others in pain, fearful, miserable or even injured. If bullying gets to this point, it can be very difficult to stop.

Regardless of the underlying cause a child bullies another child, as parents we need to teach our children how to deal with it if they become a victim of a bully.


  • First, you’ll need to find out just what is going on. If you suspect your child is being bullied, you can ask questions like “Has someone hurt you?” Even at a young age, children are able to tell you something that happened that made them feel bad or hurt. Let your child explain what happened – let them talk until they are finished – and no matter how upset you are, keep your emotions under control so that you can reassure your child that they have done nothing wrong and you will help take care of this.
  • Once you know what is going on, you’ll want to figure out how to help your child respond if it happens again. You can play out different scenarios to help your child find the best way to deal with the situation if an adult happens to not be close by – ignore the bully, stick with friends (think safety in numbers), act brave and finally tell an adult.
  • As the parent – you will need to take action. Talk to the daycare director, teachers and/or caregivers who are in contact with your child and the bully. There is a very good chance that they may not be aware of the situation because your child has been afraid to say anything. Many times talking to those in charge will help stop the harassment. But if it doesn’t, keep working at it with those in charge until it does.

It’s difficult to fight our protective impulses when our child tells us he or she is being bullied, but fight it we must. Let you child know that you are there for them and the lines of communication are open and that you are there for them to make the situation right.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Help with Math

If you are worried that your child’s math skills could be in need of improvement, then investing a little energy and time over the holidays can help a great deal. To be successful at math a child needs to spend time practicing their skills, which in turn gives them greater confidence and helps to establish a firm foundation for success. If there is a problem then perhaps talking to your child’s teacher is a good idea in order to find out about getting additional help and learning what other resources may be available at school.

Using technology can also help to engage with today’s youngsters. ‘How to’ videos and math technology lets students reach an understanding of the subject by virtue of their own skills of critical thinking instead of just memorizing facts and figures.

A tried and true method of helping children with math is to keep relating to their everyday world be it getting gas for the family car or slicing up a pizza. It is also crucial to praise a child’s academic progress; the more confidence in their abilities they have, the more they will enjoy the subject.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Surviving a Road Trip

A road trip sounds like a good idea
but can often turn into an ordeal for
the family, especially when the little
ones get bored. Fortunately there
are ways to reduce the stress of a
road trip and make it enjoyable for
the whole family.


Keeping the kids busy is one of the
most important tips for surviving a
road trip. Load up a car caddy or small bin with activities that will enable the children to stay occupied during the trip. 


You should bring along crayons, coloring books, markers, games and toys.


Keeping the car clean can also make the trip less of a strain. Wet wipes should be kept on hand at all times for use after meals or snacks. 


If the family dog is coming on vacation with you as well then it is a good idea to bring a bath mat to make sure that the car seats don’t get damaged by muddy paws.

Are these items in your calendar?

Italian-American Heritage Month, October. Celebrate the contributions of Italians and Italian-Americans to the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, as well as the impact of Italian culture and language on the U.S. and the world.


National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October. Public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies work together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information, and provide greater access to services during the month of October and throughout the year.


National Cyber Security Awareness Month, October. We rely on the Internet for filing tax returns, applying for student loans, following traffic signals, powering our homes, and much more. NCSAM is designed to raise awareness about cyber security and strengthen the resiliency of the nation in the event of a “cyber incident.”


National Work and Family Month, October. Strive to create a healthier work/life balance for everyone, with more flexibility in workplace arrangements and clear support of family needs.


World Space Week, Oct. 4-10. This United Nations effort explores and supports the peaceful uses of outer space and space-related sciences. The theme for 2013: “Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth.”


Financial Planning Week, Oct. 7-13. The goal: Help individuals discover the value of financial planning and make smart financial decisions to achieve their life goals and dreams.


Earth Science Week, Oct. 13-19. This year’s theme, “Mapping Our World,” engages young people and the public in learning how scientists, geographers, and other professionals use maps to represent land formations, natural resource deposits, bodies of water, fault lines, and more.


Free Speech Week, Oct. 21-27. Raise free speech awareness by talking to your friends and your kids about freedom of speech and how it affects their lives. Exercise your free speech rights by posting a message online, composing a poem, writing a letter to the editor, and letting your voice be heard.


World Vegetarian Day, Oct. 1. Established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 “to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.”


World Animal Day, Oct. 4. Celebrate the wonders of the animal kingdom on this day, observed by animal lovers of all beliefs, nationalities, and backgrounds. Columbus Day, Oct. 12. The annual observance of the date Christopher Columbus reached the Americas in 1492.


National Boss Day, Oct. 16. Show some appreciation for the hardworking managers who keep businesses and offices running smoothly.


National Candy Corn Day, Oct. 30. Get ready for Halloween, which accounts for 75 percent of all the candy corn sold during the year.


Halloween, Oct. 31. Trick or treat!