5 Ways to Dodge the Winter Blues

Sometime in late January after all the holidays and winter fun I get a bit blue. The memories of summer seem far away and spring seems too far off to be excited about yet. I have found some good ways to brighten my mood and thought I would share!

images#1- Spring Clean early: If you are feeling cooped up and restless start a de-cluttering project that may take awhile to complete. This way you can spend more time outdoors when the weather is better.

#2- Go outside: Yes, I know the last thing you want to do is leave your warm house and freeze (if you live somewhere really cold). However, getting just 10-20 min. of fresh air and sunshine will improve your mood.

#3- Exercise: I know that I would rather snuggle under a blanket sipping my hot cocoa, but getting the heart rate up and sweating will help you release those negative feelings and feel good.

#4- Help Someone: Doing something kind for someone else who may be sad or struggling will help you feel better because you provided comfort or relief to others.

#5- Create a Spa day/night: After the kids go to bed draw a bath, soak in the tub, put some good smelling lotion on and just RELAX. By recharging yourself you will feel better and be more able to handle the winter blues.

5 Ways to Find Peace During the Holidays

Yes, the Holidays are upon us and we are all busy getting ready for visitors or traveling to visit. How can we find peace and calm at this crazy time of the year?

2d84f46e412773220afa71f3f7d3b6d0-d2i1ii6The following are 5 suggestions to help us have a sense of calm and peace:

#1- Write it down – Whether you are a list person or not writing down all the things you have to do will help you remember your tasks and as you finish them you will have a sense of accomplishment that gives you peace of mind.

#2 – Take time to Enjoy- As we grow older and look back on our lives we will be sad we didn’t spend enough time with those we love, especially our children. They are only little for such a short time. Stop doing things that don’t matter and spend time enjoying the magic of the holidays with your children.

#3- Take time for Yourself - Don’t burn yourself out doing for others. It’s always nice to do things for others but remember to do something for yourself too.

#4- Help someone in need – Don’t lose an opportunity to do something for someone else. It doesn’t have to cost money. You can always just listen to someone, smile at people or offer a service you can provide. It not only helps you feel peace, but it teaches your children to think outside themselves.

#5- Listen to calming music – It may be a collection of holiday songs or just something you find relaxing. If you are feeling stressed out, relaxing music can bring your nerves back down to a manageable level.

How to Teach your Child to be Grateful

schoolcolorsblackHere are 5 tips to help teach your child gratitude this month!

#1: Tell your child how grateful you are for things in your life!

#2: Write thank you cards. Have your child draw, write or color a card and send it to the person you want to thank. It teaches your child to think of others as they receive things.

#3: Talk about things your child is thankful for at breakfast or dinner.

#4: Give to others. Children are naturally self-centered, but helping them to think about doing things for others can open their minds to thankfulness and gratitude.

#5: Teach your children to use “please” and “thank you” by saying those words to your children when you ask them to do something.

Toddler Fun: Nature Walk

MH900442476Do you live near a forest, mountains, coast or even a park? Little kids love to discover and explore nature. Just try taking your toddler on a walk when you are trying to get somewhere in a timely fashion. They stop at every little thing whether it’s a bug or a stick. Not only do they have to stop, they have to show you what they’ve found.

The next time you take your toddler out into nature give them some time to just walk and look. They will appreciate your slower pace and the interaction you have by just being with them and finding wonder in the small things. Kids know when we pay attention to them fully and when we don’t. Make sure you find moments when you are fully present with your kids.

5 Tips for Packing a Kids Suitcase

Boy Traveling Away From HomeCan I tell you how glad I am that it is June? If you have some traveling to do this summer, check out these great tips on how to pack for your kids.

#1- Pack by outfit: Create an outfit for each day you will be gone. To make it even easier for your child, put each outfit in a Ziploc bag and then all they have to do is pick a bag for the day! (Remember to bring one extra outfit, accidents happen, you just never know!). For girls, don’t forget cute hair accessories!

#2- Don’t forget the comfort item: Whether it’s a blanket or stuffed animal make sure that makes it in the bag. This saves at least 60 min. of intense crying.

#3- Include your child in the packing: Not only does this help your child understand how to effectively pack a suitcase (for future reference), it also gives them a sense of ownership to what they packed. You can avoid the surprise of not packing their favorite shirt because they know exactly what is in the bag.

#4- Allow for Extra Space:  Leave room in the suitcase for souvenirs or clothing you will inevitably bring home.

#5- Make a List: The worst feeling is getting to your destination and realizing you forgot something really important. Once I forgot tennis shoes and had planned on running a 5K. Although shopping is fun, it may not have been in your budget.

Good luck with your summer travels!

Picking The Right Colors for your Skin Tone

I look horrible in bright yellow. It’s just a fact. I’ve tried it several times and the outfits were disasters. My kids look horrible in yellow too. We all have olive skin tones and it gives us a lovely puke shade to our skin. However, yellow/gold looks great, so what colors and hues go with you or your babies skin tone? Here is your guide:

All skin types can be  included in four categories which correspond with the four seasons: winter, summer, autumn and spring. By matching your skin tone with the right season, you’ll be able to dress your best.

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Winter skin tones can be pale, yellow, or dark with blue or pink undertones. Sharp colors like black and blue are great for winter skin tones, but light browns won’t help you out, so give them a wide berth. 00042chb-lp-d-lp_2

If your skin is pink, then you fall into the summer category. That means you’re best suited for pastels.

Red heads and brunettes generally belong to the autumn camp. They look best in oranges, browns and other earthy tones. Black and white on the other hand won’t do them any justice.

If you have freckles and light skin, you are spring, so you should wear yellows, greens and blues. Avoid black and white.

 

Take 20: Playing with Your Kids

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We all have things that have to get done during our day and many times our kids are trying to get our attention. The question is how do we make sure our kids feel loved and important while also being able to get things done?

One trick that I use is the “take 20″ idea. At some point during the day I take 20 minutes to give my kids my undivided attention. We play soccer, build with blocks, play hide and seek, play a board game, have a tickle fight or play cars/dolls. My kids respond amazingly and are less needy during the day, when they get 100% of my attention for that short period of time. It makes my day easier too.IMG_1072

5 Reasons Chocolate is Good for You

MH900448355You hear all the time that dark chocolate is good for you, but why? I’ve found your answers so you can indulge and feel good about your choice. Remember that all dark chocolate is not made equal, check the ingredients on your dark chocolate to make sure there is at least 60% cocoa in the chocolate otherwise you won’t reap the health benefits.

1- Dark Chocolate actually contains more antioxidants than any other food.

2- The Theobromine (not caffeine) in chocolate can help prevent pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.

3- Dark Chocolate can reduce PMS symptoms (woot,woot!).

4-  Dark Chocolate reduces blood pressure.

5- Dark Chocolate is more filling than it’s regular milk chocolate cousin. This may help by making you feel fuller but eating less.

Food Facts

MH900411701- If you stop drinking soda and other sweetened beverages, you can lose 25 lbs in a year by replacing one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water).

- Did you know? Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food prepared outside the home. So eating at home provides more than just monetary benefits.

- Try going for 1 meal without using meat. Why? An estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.

- Did you know? The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate. Try to buy local as often as you can.

- According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S. Buy organic on the right products. The produce you should buy organic are:

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Grapes (Imported)
  10. Spinach
  11. Lettuce
  12. Potatoes
  13. Carrots
  14. Green Beans
  15. Hot Peppers
  16. Cucumbers
  17. Raspberries
  18. Plums
  19. Grapes (Domestic)
  20. Oranges

Produce that has the least amount of pesticides, so it’s okay to buy them conventionally:

  1. Onion
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet corn (Frozen)
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mango
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet peas (Frozen)
  8. Kiwi
  9. Bananas
  10. Cabbage
  11. Broccoli
  12. Papaya
  13. Blueberries
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Winter Squash
  16. Watermelon
  17. Sweet potatoes
  18. Tomatoes
  19. Honeydew melon
  20. Cantaloupe

5 Time Saving Tips

These easy time saving tips will help you make better use of your time during the day. I especially love #3!

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1- Lay out your kids clothes the night before: How many times do you sit and stare blankly into the closet wasting time picking out clothes for the day? I do it almost everyday. Save time in the morning by picking out outfits each night before bed.

2- Do one load of Laundry a day: This makes for less chance of spending your entire day doing laundry. I have 3 kids and, geez, they sure don’t tell you about how much laundry you’ll be doing.

3- Clean the shower while you are in it: So before you scrub yourself, clean the entire shower while you’re in there anyway. Not to mention you don’t have to worry about getting wet.

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4- Clean the bathroom while you’re kids play in the tub: Obviously this applies to older children who still need help with washing but can play in the tub without direct supervision. While you’re kids play with tub toys wash down the counters, sinks and scrub the toilet.

5- Meal Plan: It takes time and some imagination, but by planning meals you save time each day so you don’t have to wonder what you are going to make for dinner.