Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Ever feel like you are just not getting enough water in your day? Ever get tired of constantly drinking water, but then worry you are not getting enough. I found this article in Parenting magazine which lists food and their water content so eat away and hydrate at the same time :)
Eat This and Stay Hydrated
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I found another great top ten list in Parenting magazine, August 2010 issue.
Things We Know We Shouldn't Do--But Do Anyway
1. Fib that Bunny Lala got a brand new fur coat when you accidentally shredded the real Bunny Lala in the dryer and bought a look-alike.
2. Say you're out of mac 'n' cheese to avoid having the fifth "but you need protein" fight that week.
3. Crack up at how crazy-funny your toddler looks when she's having a tantrum.
4. Set the clocks ahead an hour so it's "bedtime," just because you need some silence.
5. Sit back and let your kid be hyper-loud in the yard because it annoys your mean neighbor lady so much.
6. Give in and let the kids paint the dog's nails because you're too tired to come up with a reason not to.
7. Funnel the birthday checks from the grandparents directly into the college fund without telling your kids. They need an education more than another Littlest Pet Shop toy.
8. Lie to your 10-year-old about what Lady Gaga means when she sings that she wants to "take a ride on your disco stick"
9. Terrify expectant moms with life-as-you-know-it-is-over stories. It's true, and they'll find out soon enough.
10. Tell each sibling that she's the special one...and mean it.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Looking for ways to save money this winter? I found this article in Parents magazine, December 2009 issue that may help do just that!
Cut Heating Costs
Don't spend all your cold, hard cash to keep warm this winter. Try these tips to trim your heating bill, from Zeke Hausfather of Efficiency 2.0, an energy-management firm.
Free and Simple Solutions
-Lower your thermostat by five degrees and bundle up. Winter savings: $300
-Close your blinds at night. Winter Savings: $5
-Ask your local utility to do a free home-energy audit to uncover air leaks and insulation problems. Winter Savings: up to $250
A Furnace Checkup
-Older models can waste up to half the energy you're paying for, so consider a new, more efficient one. Winter Savings: $300
-Purchase DIY insulation for air ducts (at $5 per square foot) and hot-water pipes (2at 25 cents per square foot). Winter Savings: $63 and $13, respectively.
-Seal leaky windows with caulk from your local hardware store. Winter Savings: $10.
A Gadget Worth Getting
-Install a programmable thermostat for around $65 (you'll find one at any home-supply store). Set it to 60F for five hours per night and seven hours during weekdays while you're at work. Winter Savings: $213
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Take charge of your health while you can. I found this article in AllYou magazine, July 23, 2010 issue that can definitely help you out!
Stop a Funk Before it Starts
Use this guide to home in on habits that drag you down.
Not sure what's causing your mood swings? Take a look at this list to see if you've fallen prey to one of these feel-good foes--some might surprise you.
Mood Wrecker: Lack of Sleep. Shut-eye helps your body better regulate sertoinin, a happiness hormone in the brain. A good night's rest that's cut short or interrupted throws your system out of whack.
Mend It: Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. Avoid stimulating activities such as television in the hour before bed.
Mood Wrecker: Caffeine. Your a.m. cup of coffee or tea may perk you up, but consuming caffeine from morning till night can lead to lower moods, even into the next day. Caffeine can linger in your system for up to 12 hours, making it difficult for you to get adequate rest.
Mend It: If you have trouble sleeping, keep caffeine intake to mornings only; otherwise, limit it to before about 2 p.m.
Mood Wrecker: Sugar. A sweet treat may give you a boost--thanks to the energy you experience when your blood-sugar levels rise--but the feeling is temporary. Your body overcompensates for the surge with a flood of insulin that then causes blood sugar to plunge, sometimes bringing on irritability.
Mend It: Confine sweets to mealtime. When your body is also processing fiber-rich, slower-to-digest foods such as whole grains or fruits, the sugar doesn't hit your bloodstream as rapidly, preventing a spike.
Mood Wrecker: Alcohol. As metabolism slows in middle age, your body doesn't process alcohol (a depressant) as well.
Mend It: Don't have more than one alcoholic drink per day.
Mood Wrecker: A Low-Carb Diet. Depressed about your weight? Forgo low-card, high-fat diets. They'll likely only send you further into the dumps.
Mend It: Reduce fat intake and eat complex carbs (like whole grains), which contain serotonin-producing tryptophan.
Mood Wrecker: Vitamin D Deficiency. Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D negatively affect mood, a particular problem in the winter months because you get most of your vitamin D from the sun.
Mend It: Aim to get a t least 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. Start with a supplement that contains 400 to 600 IU. Food sources of D include salmon, tuna and fortified milk, cereal and bread.
Mood Wrecker: Stress. Your body can handle short-term anxiety (a busy workweek), not prolonged anxiety (a divorce). Lingering issues create a constant flood of stress hormones to the brain--which can make you feel exhausted and irritable.
Mend It: The longer your experience sustained stress, the more likely you are to suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder. See your doctor if a tension-induced low mood sticks around for two weeks or more.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
With Halloween quickly approaching,I have decided to add some spooky recipes that you can use for upcoming parties, get-togethers, etc... I found this recipe on familyfun.com.
Filled with gummy creatures and fish eggs made from tapioca pearls, this sweet, bubbly drink looks like something scooped up from a deep, dark bog. Try making a batch for a Halloween gathering or as a spooky after-dinner treat.
FOR 8 SERVINGS:
1/2 cup small tapioca pearls (found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
4 tablespoons sugar
8 gummy fish
8 gummy worms
MAKE THE EGGS: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls. Reduce the heat slightly and boil the pearls, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes.
COLOR THE EGGS: Divide the pearls, with the remaining water, between two bowls. Add 4drops of food coloring (we used 3 drops of yellow and 1 drop of green in one bowl, and 4 drops of blue in the other) and 2 tablespoons of sugar to each bowl. Stir the mixtures, then allow them to sit uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse the pearls with cold water.
ASSEMBLE THE DRINK: Spoon 2 tablespoons of pearls into each glass and drop in a gummy fish. Fill the glasses with seltzer water, then add a splash of lemonade. Place a gummy worm around a spoon as shown.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Another great Friday of where to find freebies! I found this article in AllYou magazine, Aug 27, 2010 issue.
Enjoy Freebies on Your Birthday!
Divulging your date of birth pays off with perks, so eat and be entertained on your special day.
Nosh on These!
Behinhana: You can find everything from steak to sushi at this Japanese restaurant. Click on "the Chef's Table" a benihana.com to receive a certificate for $30 off during your birth month.
Fuddruckers: Sign up for the Fudds Club at fuddruckers.com for a birthday burger.
Red Robin: Join the Red Robin e-club online to enjoy a free burger.
Moe's Southwest Grill: Score a birthday burrito on the house when you sign up for Moe's e-World at moes.fbmta.com
Taco Bell: Some locations will serve you a complimentary combo meal on your birthday (you need to show ID). Check with yours to see if it participates.
Quench Your Thirst!
Caribou Coffee: Create an online account to cash in on a free coffee drink.
Starbucks: Ask an employee for a Starbucks card on your next visit, then register it online. Not only will you receive the beverage of your choice once a year, you also will accrue "stars" with every visit. Accumulate enough stars and get free goods.
Savor a Sweet Ending!
Baskin Robbins: Join the Birthday Club to receive a coupon for a free scoop along with a discount on an ice cream cake, as well as other dollars-off deals throughout the year.
Cheesecake Factory: If you decide to celebrate at this restaurant, let your server know. At the end of the meal, you'll be treated to ice cream with a candle and a birthday serenade.
Cold Stone Creamery: At coldstonecreamery.com, join the Birthday Club to indulge in a free sweet.
Go Out (Or Stay In)!
Hollywood Video: Enjoy a complimentary rental on your birthday--and on that of everyone else listed on your account.
Sephora: Sign up for Beauty Insider at sephora.com and stop in on your birthday for a pampering present.
Local Attractions: Many museums, zoos, amusement parks, and cinemas offer birthday specials. Calling ahead can pay off with free admission or concession treats.
Treat the Kids!
On Their Birthdays: Bring your children to Baskin-Robbins for ice cream, Boston Market for free food or Sonic for a kid's meal. They also can receive a free meal if you enroll them in the CPKids Birthday Club at California Pizza Kitchen and the Kids' Birthday Club at your local Denny's (check first--it varies by location).
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I have a son in the 12 year old so I hear a lot about what is in and what isn't. Some parents out there are just not ready for their babies to grow up, but need to realize that it is happening before our very eye. I found this article under the "Ages & Stages" 10-12 years section of Parenting magazine, August 2010 issue that gives us a little insight into what goes on in our child's world and how to deal with some of it anyway.
Clothes That Fit (In)
"I can't wear those tighty whities anymore--you have to buy me some boxer shorts!" Turns out, kids can be teased when classmates spot them with the telltale white band peeking from the top of their jeans. Most kids want to fit in, especially at this age, says Jaana Jovonen, Ph.D., a professor of developmental psychology at UCLA. However, lots of individual differences exist. For some boys and girls, clothes are a huge issue: for others, not so much. And while you might not be thrilled to see your child succumbing to peer pressure so soon, here are some ways to put it into perspective.
He's picking up social skills: Understanding what's desirable within one's peer network is an important social insight. Think about it this way: Wouldn't you rather your child understand what's "cool" v's having no clue?
He's learning planning skills: If your child covets pricey designer duds, there exists a real opportunity to teach him about money management and budgeting. Negotiate some extra chores to earn, say, a pair of expensive sneakers and you'll be building his work ethic.
It opens a dialogue: As with all things parenthood related, you have to pick your battles. That could mean greenlighting a pair of boxers for your son or a slightly padded bra for your daughter, but first find out why it's so important to them. These conversations over small, less consequential matters pave the way for discussions about weightier issues not so far down the road, like drug use and sexual behavior.
You can help him look in the mirror. Talk about what his clothes or accessories might say about him. And discuss why you drive the kind of car you do or carry that particular brand of purse. It will also help you see where your kid is coming from.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This is a great chart for a diabetic or even a non diabetic to live by. I found this article in Diabetic Living magazine, Summer 2010.
Meal Makeover: By the Plate
Puzzled by what to put on your plate? Here's a simple way to create satisfying, good-for-you meals.
How can you combine simple, healthful foods to make a variety of quick and easy meals that are appropriate for a person with diabetes?
To create balanced meals plus stay within your carb and calorie allowance, let a 9 inch plate be your guide. Using this method, a meal complete with a side of fruit and a cup of fat-free milk provides about 425 calories, 55-60 grams of carbohydrate, 35 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat. Save the dairy or fruit serving for a snack if you're targeting 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal (typical for many women) and limit condiments.
Fill 1/4 of plate with lean meat or other high protein food.
Fill 1/4 of plate with a starchy vegetable or whole grain serving.
Fill 1/2 of plate with non starchy vegetables.
Include a serving of fruit and/or dairy if your carb budget allows.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I found this "Top 7" list in the January 2010 issue of PTO Today magazine. A few are interesting and some are even true of the PTA at my kids' school.
Top 7 Things You Never Did Until You Joined the PTA
1. Cook spaghetti and meatballs for 200 people.
2. Purchase 30 pounds of cookie dough at one time.
3. Unjam 50 sheets of paper from a photocopier.
4. Know you way from the school's office to the PTO closet--blindfolded.
5. Count box top labs in your bed at night to help you sleep. (Hey, that's me!!!)
6. Think that stick-on name tags are a pretty nifty thing.
7. Dress up like a Dr. Seuss character. (Wait, you did that before you were in the PTA?) (I never did a Dr. Seuss character, but did dress as Billy Bob at Billy Bob's Wonderland when I was 17)
Monday, October 18, 2010
Ever wonder what you need to help make over your diet? I found this small article in Parenting magazine, May 2010 issue.
Eyeball your cart before you hit the checkout line. Is it a sea of boxes and bags--or do you also have stuff for the fridge and fruit bowl? "Aim to fill two thirds of your cart with produce, whole grains, lean meats, beans, and low-fat dairy foods," says Kathy McManus, R.D., director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston. That way, you can't overload on treats and packaged snacks and meals.
I am always looking for fun ideas to do with my kids. I found a few reader suggestions in the July 23, 2010 issue of AllYou magazine.
Slow the fast pace of childhood with these fun reader suggestions:
Cupcake Sundays: A few times a year, let the kids stay up late on Saturday night to bake cupcakes. The rules are: Everyone helps, you all wear a silly chef hat, and there's no taste testing. After adding the frosting, go to bed. On Sunday morning, enjoy the sweet treats for breakfast.
Scrapbooking: This is a great time to grow closer during creative sessions, but also get a chance to reminisce about the memories in the photos, too. It's wonderful!
The Library: Go to the library once a week to take out books. Every night, cuddle under a blanket right before bedtime and read the stories your child picked for the week.
High and Low: Play this at the dinner table. Take a turn sharing the highest and lowest points of your day. Sometimes a child can get so excited that they can't narrow it down.
Bedtime Questions: When tucking your children into bed, ask them questions like, "Did anything (exciting, funny, happy, sad, bad) happen today?" Being interested in their answers lets them know that you care about their lives and that what they have to say is important.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
This is such an awesome setup that I found on familyfun.com. Perfect for a Halloween get-together! Who says you can't be healthy even at Halloween?!
Black Bean Cat Crudités
Looking for a Halloween night snack that's both healthy and festive? This skeletal array fits the bill, no bones about it -- just assorted fresh vegetables and a bowl of dip arranged in the shape of a spooky cat.
Black Bean Dip
ASSORTED VEGETABLES OF YOUR CHOICE:
Arrange vegetables in the shape of a cat, as shown. Serve with Black Bean Dip.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Be sure to mark your calendars so you don't miss out on these freebies!! I found this tip strip in the August 27, 2010 issue of AllYou magazine.
Mark your calendars
Based on 2010's best free-for-all events, keep an eye on these days in 2011.
National Pancake Day: IHOP typically dishes out free pancakes on Fat Tuesday. After eating, consider making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network. For details, visit ihoppancakeday.com.
Free Pastry Day: This year, Starbucks served up free pastries on March 23. See if the same deal exists next year by checking starbucks.com around that date.
Free Cone Day: Also on March 23, Ben and Jerry's gave away ice cream to thank customers for their loyalty. Check benjerry.com for future offers.
Tax Day: Shops such as Cinnabon and Taco del Mar treated taxpayers to free goods on April 15. Google "tax day freebies" for updated lists in early April.
Earth Day: There's bound to be a slew of freebies on April 22. To celebrate this year, Disney stores and Babies 'R' Us were among the retailers peddling free eco-friendly fare.
National Pretzel Day: Prezelmaker offered a free pretzel (salted or unsalted) to those who stopped by their local shop on April 26. Find out more at pretzelmaker.com
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Ages & Stages, 7 to 9 years of Parenting magazine, May 2010 issue.
Reality v's TV
What kids don't see on TV and in movies is as important as what they do, says Toronto animator and teacher Ellen Besen. Increase their media literacy by pointing out tricks that make things look more appealing than they really are.
Break up the shots: A scene with ice cream might make her tummy rumble, but the treat is probably fake--hot camera lights would make real ice cream melt. if she looks closely, she'll notice the actress is not really eating her sundae after all.
Turn down the sound: Music is used to trigger emotional responses and redirect viewers' attention during commercials or action scenes, so help her see the difference when it's lowered.
Master the moves: Remind her that those pow! crash! wham! fighting scenes are pretend and , unlike in real life, no one gets hurt. Have her try falling gracefully or stopping punches and kicks inches from targets.
Hand over your camera: Poorly attended concerts or sporting events can look packed, thanks to tight shots of fan-filled sections. Let her zoom in and out with your camcorder to see the difference.
Consider the odds: Have your American Idol fan research the music industry to learn how to break into the business. Or ask, "Can 1,000 balloons really make a house fly?"
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I am already not a big salt person, but I have a lot of friends who just dump it on in mounds! Here is an article I found in Parenting magazine, September 2010 issue concerning salt.
Shake the Salt Habit
Too much sodium is bad news for your heart--and most of us average 3,400 mg a day. The maximum recommended amount is 2,300 mg! The good news? You can refrain your taste buds to adapt to less salt. Ellie Krieger, R.D., author of So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Day of the Week, offers these flavorful tips:
Don't Cut Out All Salt! That's right, you get to keep some salt in your diet, or your taste buds would rebel. The goal is to reduce sale intake, not torture your palate.
Season With Herbs, spices and aromatic vegetables like onions, garlic and leeks.
Squeeze in Some Citrus. Fruits such as limes, lemons, and oranges satisfy some of the salt receptors on your tongue, allowing you to use less salt without noticing.
Choose Organic Versions of Processed Foods if you can't find a reduced-sodium version of your favorite brand. Many organic versions are low in sodium and high on flavor.
Use the "Double the Calories" Rule of Thumb. Steer clear of products that have more milligrams of sodium than twice the number of calories--so, a 200-calorie burrito shouldn't have more than 400 mg of sodium.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Ever wonder what to do with that old electronic? Batteries have you confused when it comes to the environment? I found this article in the June 18, 2010 issue of AllYou magazine that gives us the best tips on how to deal with tossing items.
If it's broken or unsafe, get rid of it. But remember that some items should be recycled or trashed in a specific way. Ask what your local landfill will accept, and learn required disposal methods. These articles generally need special handling.
The item: Batteries
How to discard: Batteries--both alkaline and rechargeable--contain metals that harm the earth. Check the manufacturer's Web site to see if trashing them is OK, but it's usually best to recycle them. Take recyclables to Staples, or find a drop-off center at earth911.com
The item: CFL light bulbs
How to discard: When a compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb burns out, place it in a plastic bag and then in an orange CFL recycling bin at any Home Depot location.
The item: Financial documents
How to discard: The safest way to discard important papers is to shred them. Keep bank statements for six years and bills for one year, unless they're tax-related, in which case hold on to them for six years (along with your tax returns). Toss paycheck stubs after six months.
The item: Latex-based paint
How to discard: Pour paint into a tray or box filled with kitty litter or sawdust, then toss. Recycle the cans.
The item: Ink cartridges
How to discard: Recycle them at Staples--and receive $2 back per cartridge in Staples Rewards.
The item: Electronics
How to discard: You TV and computer contain parts too hazardous to dump. You can recycle electronic devices at Best Buy stores for Free. Before getting rid of a computer, erase its hard drive (learn how at geeksquad.com).
The item: Medications
How to discard: Flushing meds down the toilet or placing them loose in trash raises the risk of water contamination. See if your pharmacy has a medication disposal program, or ask about special sealable disposal bags.
Monday, October 4, 2010
As I promised, I am listing the next 10 ways that you can get a great deal as found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, issue July 2010.
11. Got an iPhone? Download the free Coupon Sherpa app and get discounts delivered directly to your phone. To redeem a coupon, just show your phone to the cashier.
12. Most items bought on target.com, jcpenney.com, and walmart.com can be returned to the store, so you don't have to pay return shipping.
We Love...A Good Value!
13. Don't be shy about asking for a better deal on a big-ticket item. if they won't come down on price, ask for a value-add, like free delivery or installation. The worst they can do is say no, then you decide whether to buy anyway or walk away.
14. Original, one-of-a-kind art can be spendy. Visit UGallery.com and etsy.com, which sell the work of recent art school grads and budding artists at reasonable prices.
15. 3M Command Hooks are the best bargain for organizing. Put them up anywhere to hold backpacks, purses, robes, pajamas, towels, etc. They come in different colors and sizes and they come down without damaging your walls.
16. The golden rule for shopping home decor at a discount store: Stick with items that have the fewest materials and embellishments. Simple, timeless things--a glass hurricane, a wooden bowl, solid-color cotton napkins--will perform better and have a place in your home longer.
17. Join the rewards programs at your favorite stores to earn discounts (So all those membership cards don't clog your wallet, store them in a gift card tin in your car or purse.)
We Love...Secret Sources
18. Old-fashioned corner hardware stores and feed stores always have interesting things. Head down the aisle with all of the galvanized metal=--buckets, pails, chicken feeders make unique and affordable storage containers.
19. Sign up at estatesales.net to get e-mail notifications of tags sales, estate sales, and auctions in your area.
20. Shop consignment stores. They usually take only high-quality items, and prices drop dramatically the longer an item sits on the floor. Upholstered pieces are typically in excellent condition.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Ever wonder if your kids are consuming way too much caffeine? I found this article in Parenting magazine, Sept 2010 issue that may shed some light on just how much is too much for our little ones.
This just might give you the jitters: By conservative estimates, 77 percent of children regularly consume caffeine through sodas, energy drinks, and other products. But too much of this stimulant can cause nausea, heart arrhythmias, insomnia, and ADHD-like symptoms.
"It also makes kids fidgety, impulsive, and less able to focus. A strong connection has been found between caffeine and poor academic performance," says Marina Kushner, founder of the nonprofit Caffeine Awareness Association. And while you might be able to handle mega-latte amount of caffeine just fine, the same is likely not true of your kid. "It really hits children hard because the less you weigh, the more caffeine affects the body--and the longer it stays in the system," adds Kushner. Try to keep your kid's consumption under 100 milligrams of caffeine a day (what's in about two cans of caffeinated soda). Aside from the usual suspects--coffee, tea, cola--here are some other surprising caffeine sources to watch out for:
Hot chocolate (8 oz) 3 to 13 mg
Dark chocolate (1.45 oz) 18 mg
Coffee ice cream (8 oz) 58-68 mg
Barq's root beer (12 oz) 22 mg
Nestea Peach Green Tea (20 oz) 106 mg
Clif Bar Peanut Toffee Buzz (2.4 oz) 50 mg
Glaceau Vitaminwater-Energy-citrus (17 oz) 82 mg
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Since we are into the month of "Halloween" I decided to swap some spooky recipes from familyfun.com. This is a great one for a home or school lunch!
Total Time Needed:
30 Minutes or less
Say "boo" to ordinary fare by packing this school lunch for your child.
Green fruit leather
Use a paring knife to cut a sandwich into a skull or bite-size fingers, as shown. For the latter, add red pepper nails. To turn a clementine into a jack-o'-lantern, press on green fruit leather shapes.
Friday, October 1, 2010
It is a Friday and a day to feel oh so good about yourself! I found this article in Woman's Day magazine, September 2010 issue.
You rock. Seriously.
You look great!
Let the world see your beautiful smile!
Be who you are and say what you feel.
Fabulous + Beautiful x Amazing = You!
You are a work of art!
You matter to me!
You deserve to be happy :)
"Smile, You're Amazing"
Imagine opening a menu and seeing that phrase written on Post-it note inside. Or seeing "You are beautiful at any size" tacked to a dressing room mirror. Operation Beautiful founder Caitlin Boyle hopes that just might happen sometime soon. Her project encourages women to put Post-its with uplifting body image messages in random places (such as inside bathroom stalls and on the covers of library books). "We need to replace 'fat talk' with positive exchanges," says Robyn Silverman, PhD, body image expert and adolescent development specialist in New Jersey. To participate, go to operation beautiful.com or pick up Boyle's new book, Operation Beautiful.