Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Mindful Child: Simple Games That Teach Essential Life Lessons

Written by a contributing writer




As a parent, you want only the best for your child. This naturally involves looking after their health and their needs, but also ensuring that you can support their mental wellbeing. Indeed, the mental wellbeing of your child is essential to his or her development. Children who grow up feeling depressed, bullied, or rejected – whether it is at home or in the classroom – are more likely to carry the trauma into their adult years. So it is essential to make sure that your children can interact socially, think independently, and promote respectful interactions. These social skills are key to their development. Surprisingly enough, they can also be easy to learn. Most social skills can be taught through games and playful activities during childhood. Here are some tips to help your kids to become more caring, creative, and tolerant.


Teaching Love And Care


Children naturally grow up in an environment where they are cared for. But it isn’t always enough to teach them that it is important that they show care and love to others. One great idea is to introduce your child to games with dolls or stuffed toys. While you may have grown up thinking dolls are for girls, it is perfectly acceptable (and beneficial) for boys to play with dolls too.  There are many dolls and toy animals that are suited for both genders. SuperiorThan.com, for instance, is discussing Hatchimals, which are cute stuffed toys that are ideal for both boys and girls. The toy comes in an egg and only reveals its species once the egg has hatched. But for this to happen, your child needs to care for the egg by giving it attention and encouraging the Hatchimal to come out. The toy behaves like a newborn and needs to learn new skills with your child’s encouragement and attention.


Teaching Creativity And Imagination

Knowledge is essential but it is vain without imagination. Imagination is a skill that you need to encourage your child to develop. Reading is one of the best tools to support a child’s imagination, according to LiteracyWorks.org, it enables the reader to mentally visualize a fictional scene or word. Children who read a lot develop not only their imaginative power but also problem-solving skills. By learning to think outside of the box, they are in a better position to come up with creative solutions to problems. Additionally, imagination is tightly linked to innovation. A world that keeps evolving needs children to read and invent today so that they can become the creative adults of our future.
Reading


Teaching Tolerance And Respect

Tolerance and respect are social skills that are not evenly spread across the population. Many adults have grown up learning discriminatory behaviors. Therefore, it is essential to teach your child to respect everybody, even those who have a different faith, opinion, or language. Cooperative games are particularly good at emphasizing common goals and peace. While these are often played within a classroom, you can introduce some games at home, such as the silent line up where you encourage your children and their friends to line up in a particular order – date of birth, shoe size, etc. – without speaking to each other. Learning to work together to complete the game helps children to build respectful communication skills.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Discover Cosmopolitan Boston With The Family On A City-Wide Road Trip

Written by a contributing writer

Planning to go on a trip with your loved ones this season? Enrich yourself with one of the most overlooked cultures in the entire country by taking the family on a road trip to a city that was formed in 1630. Boston’s roots, admirably, are still celebrated to this day.The culture is bathed in Anglo-Saxon heritage since the waves of Irish immigrants made the city their home during the influx of manual labor in the 19th and 20th centuries. With them, the Irish brought their deeply held religious belief of Catholicism, and that’s still evident today with many churches and a predominantly Christian population. Although the immigrants may have settled for houses that were small, attached to one another, the ghettos have all but almost vanished as the city has seen much investment and wealth come to it. Now home to people of all backgrounds, Boston has entered the cosmopolitan city scene.

Source - Sebastien93430

The arts

Many metropolitans will boast that nothing can hold a candle to New York City and London when it comes to art and entertainment. Boston is no slouch, and the young seem to have caught onto this fact. There’s a museum for almost every performing discipline, such as the Museum of Fine Arts which displays paintings from Italy that were seen as outlandish during the 15th-century Renaissance in Florence because Sandro Botticelli dared to depict beautiful women as sacred. The museum also proudly exhibits the unique history of the Irish immigrants and has the documents of the first waves who came to the city. It proudly exhibits the massive contribution they made to the infrastructure, as they built the hospitals, dug the sewer tunnels and worked in the automobile industry as it was coming of age.

Music
Jazz and Blues are not for the old at heart in Boston; quite the opposite. Trendy bars where the youth come to congregate and socialize can’t get enough of freestyle jazz. Especially in the Beehive and Wally’s Cafe. The famous Saxophone and clarinet player by the name of Harry Carney was born in Massachusetts, and his memory and inspiration of 1960s jazz live on strong in the bars downtown. If you’re lucky enough to book a minibus with bostoncharterbuscompany.com as your vehicle, you can hit the family-friendly bars all night long, and you won’t hear the same melody twice. The hipsters in the area have brought back classical instrument playing and mixed it with electronics to play ‘chillwave’ tunes; a popular genre with teenagers nowadays.


Image by - Matt Dolloff

Comedy

Perhaps the hottest and most unashamedly raw comedian in the country right now (and has been for some time) is Bill Burr. He hails from Boston, and you might be able to tell by his fair complexion and red hair, that he is indeed a descendant of Irish immigrants. Although he has moved to New York, he regularly comes back to Boston because he feels that ‘Bostoners just don’t care about your feelings, they don’t sugarcoat anything.' When he’s not in town, you can go down to the Wilbur Theater to see who the next comedian will be just to tell it like it is when confronting social and political issues. Boston isn’t a town that will leave topics off the table, so if you’re fortunate to sit in the front row, be ready to take a hit to your ego, as comedians will be self-deprecating but will also challenge the audience to laugh at themselves.

Can't Afford A Personal Trainer? Get In Shape For Free


Written by a contributing writer


If you are looking for ways to get in better shape, but you don’t want to splurge, then there is good news. It is actually not all that difficult to find ways to workout without spending a lot of money in the process.  A lot of people think that you need a gym membership or a personal trainer in order to tackle fitness issues. But the truth is, if you know what you are doing, you can get into shape without spending much at all. In this post, we are going to look at some of the essential tips and tricks for doing just that. So that you can get into the shape you want - while still keeping the wallet you have.


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First: Learn What Works & What You Want To Do


There might be occasions when you will be paying a little something along the way. But that is not a problem in itself, so long as you know when to spend the money and why you are doing so. That’s why it is important, first of all, to figure out what it is that you really hope to achieve with your fitness regime. If you have a very clear goal set in your mind, you are much more likely to get there, and it means that you will spend less time doing exercises you don’t need to do. This saves you a lot of pain and hassle, but also a great deal of money in the long run too. Once you are very clear on what your goals are, you should then make sure to learn what it is that really works for achieving those goals. Different workouts work better for different purposes, so make sure you get it very clear what is best for you. Once you know this, you will find that you can exercise much more effectively (and cheaply) than ever before.

Don’t Be Afraid Of One-Off Classes

So you want to avoid buying an all-out gym membership, but you still want to get healthy. Well, as it happens there is an easy in-between which is worth looking at here. If you want to get in shape, you can easily boost whatever workouts you are doing at home and elsewhere by also buying the occasional one-off class. Because they are one-offs, you won’t be spending money on a gym membership, but you will still be getting some of the benefits of that membership. In a way, this is the best of both worlds, and it is possible that this will be enough for you to achieve whatever it is you are hoping to achieve, and hopefully within your time frame too.


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Learn How To Exercise Effectively At Home

A lot of people avoid home exercise primarily because they don’t actually believe that it would be that effective. But as long as you know what you are doing, you will find that it can be as effective as literally any other setting for exercising. Think again about your goals, and what kind of exercises you probably need to carry out. Now think about whether you could carry those out at home. For the vast majority of exercises, the answer to this is a resounding yes. It might be that you want to grab hold of a machine and install it in your home. This can be done relatively cheaply, definitely less money than a gym membership for a year. Or you might just be looking to tone up, in which case you might not need any gear at all, but could instead just carry out some simple yoga in the living room. As this guide about learning yoga at home will show you, it is actually extremely straightforward to get the results you want this way, so that is worth remembering when you are trying to get in shape and save money at the same time.


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Track Yourself With An App

One of the major roles that a personal trainer plays is that they encourage you to keep moving, often by signaling how far you have already come. There is no doubt that this encouragement is useful, but these days you can get much the same effect thanks to the increasingly useful world of technology. Now, you can download and install a smartphone app which monitors pretty much every aspect of your progress for you. It is worth giving this a go if you think you are going to miss that presence during your workouts. It really can make a world of difference - and many of the apps are completely free of charge.

*This post is not meant to give medical advice.  Please consult a health/medical professional before starting a new exercise routine. 

The Hostess With The Mostest: All You Need To Know About Hosting Your First Garden BBQ

Written by a contributing writer


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BBQs are undoubtedly one of the summer’s greatest highlights. They offer a chance to spend magical moments with friends and family without the hassle or cost of alternative entertainment. When the sun is shining too, life simply doesn’t get any better.

The first garden shindig is always the hardest to organize, as you’ll inevitably gain confidence with experience. In reality, you’re probably worrying more than you need to. Nevertheless, this checklist of key ingredients should ensure that your event is BBQtiful. What are you waiting for? Let’s get cookin’.


It All Starts With Good Food


The BBQ is about more than just food. Nevertheless, those tasty meats and treats are what leave guests salivating in anticipation. Choosing top products like smoked kielbasa will give you the best chance of delivering the goods.

You may want to provide a selection of vegan, gluten-free, or vegetarian options depending on your guests. Meanwhile, it’s equally imperative that those dishes are supported by great sauces and condiments. Get it right, and it will be compliments to the chef all round.


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The BBQ Isn’t Your Only Option
Great tasting food is essential. However, your image of cooking up a storm on the BBQ is only one possible solution. With these simple hacks, your kitchen can become an even greater weapon as you look to feed the big crowd. In many cases, the best option is to try a combination of the two.

Ultimately, your guests won’t be overly fussed about how the food is cooked. Taste is everything. Besides, utilizing both the kitchen and the garden creates a far bigger space for guests to mingle. It also offers a chance to break off into smaller groups. If you want to be the BBQ Queen, simplicity is king.


Be Prepared For Weather Changes
Even if you’ve conducted your research in advance, you can never trust the weather. Ever. Situations can change quite quickly, and it’s imperative that you have the facilities to cope.

If it rains, there’s always the option to head inside. However, if you have a decking area, then a retractable canopy can work wonders. This option can additionally provide great comfort should it get too hot. Alternatively, a small gazebo may be a great way to keep the options open for guests of all ages.


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Think About The Entertainment
Most hosts will take the time to make guests comfortable with the right furniture, and great food. However, you also need to keep them entertained. Creating a Spotify playlist is very easy. Do this and hook your laptop up to the speakers for a great background sound throughout the event.

You should also try to source a variety of fun family games. Whether it’s garden bowls, trampolining, or playing with a bat and ball doesn’t matter. Those activities and laughter are the perfect partner to great food and can turn a good BBQ into a great one. Get it right, and it’ll be a day to remember.

Planning The Perfect Family Picnic In The Park

Written by a contributing writer



Summer is here and the warmer weather means there’s no better time to eat al fresco with your family and kids. A picnic is a perfect way to enjoy each other's company, soak up the sunshine, and eat some delicious treats. So grab your gingham blanket and have a look through the following ideas that will help inspire you to create a memorable picnic that the whole family will appreciate.


Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-celebration-cheers-congratulations-415318/

The Setting

You’ll need something comfortable and decorative (why not) to sit on and a picnic blanket is the perfect thing to cover the grass and any dirt that would otherwise get on your clothing and, potentially, the food. However, if you’re included every generation of your family, and inviting seniors to the picnic, you might want to invest in some fold-out chairs or camping stools to ensure that everyone is comfortable.

You could add a touch of luxury to your family get-together by adding some cushions and extra throws to the setting, which will provide added comfort and warmth if things get a little breezy. A parasol or large umbrella can provide much-needed shade from the sun, which is essential for babies, toddlers, and the elderly. A decent cooler and picnic basket should also be a priority, after all, the picnic food is the star of the show. The idea is not to spend a fortune, but invest in items that you can use again and again. For some more ideas on cheap days out with the kids, take a look here: http://www.floridamommydiaries.com/2017/04/cheap-days-out-with-kids.html.


The Food And Drinks

Picnics can be a great balance of delicious, healthy food, and some tasty sweet treats too; so try and write down a list of what you intend to make, to ensure that there’s enough of each. Sandwiches are an excellent place to start, or, if you’re going to have a portable BBQ on the go, just take the buns and relishes you’ll need for the chargrilled chicken and burgers that you’ll fill them with. Savory snack like potato chips, carrot sticks, and cheeses, will all be appreciated also.

For your little ones and infants, you’ll need to ensure that you have some delicious food for them, that you can transport with ease, like sachets of Happytot Organic Superfoods and any teething snacks. Keeping the smallest members of the family happy and well-fed will ensure that your day goes as smoothly (and peacefully) as possible. Older kids will adore the rest of the picnic food and you can involve them in the preparation of the homemade lemonade and strawberry cupcakes (yum).


The Fun And Games

If you’re already outside and in a park area on a sunny day, everyone will be happy enough to sit and enjoy the food, weather, and natural surroundings. However, to add a little more fun to the day, consider taking part in some outdoor games: take a bat and ball for a family game of baseball, or perhaps a frisbee so the kids can play catch with mom and dad.

Taking a kite to fly is another option, especially if you’re up on a hill, or it’s a breezy day. And, for the brave among you; water pistols and water balloons are a great way to cool down and have a good time in the sunshine, just don’t forget to take some towels and dry clothing for the journey home.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Meals in Minutes: Easy Microwavable Dinner Dishes

Written by a contributing writer

 

What is it that you least want to do when you come in from a long hard day at work? That’s right, switch the oven on and spend the next hour cooking a meal from scratch. Now I'm not saying that cooking food from scratch is bad. Actually, it's pretty good, but the time and effort it takes can beat the best of us after a busy day. Instead, why not save some time and some energy by a look at the options for microwave easy dinner dishes below.

A note on microwaves

Not all microwaves are created equal and it's important to know that before you start cooking your dishes.

Obviously, there are different brands with different features that you can read about at sites like https://senseireviews.com/best-over-the-range-microwave/. But you also need to know that different microwaves have different wattages. That means that they can have anything from 700W to 1100W.

Just remember that the higher the microwave wattage, the shorter time it takes to cook the food through. So adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Risotto

Everyone loves a creamy risotto, especially if you combine it with delicious vegetables and even a little pancetta. But who has the time to stand over a pot stirring it constantly until it's done? Not me!

Instead, why not have a go at making this divine primavera risotto complete with asparagus, and mint.

The ingredients you will need are:


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Solids:
Rice (Arborio 350g or 2.5 cups),
Frozen peas,
Fresh asparagus,
Fresh chopped mint leaves,
Grated Parmesan or soft cheese.

Liquids:

17 ml (or 1 tbs) of white wine,
Stock, vegetable 850ml (or 3.5 cups)

Combine the rice, and the liquids together and cover. Then microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. After that allow the dish to rest for 1 minute. Remember it will still keep cooking during this time. Then add the vegetables and cook again for 6-7mins.

At this point, the risotto should be ready to serve, so mix in the grated or soft cheese end garnish with mint leaves.

It makes a delicious light dish, perfect when served with chicken and you can even follow it up with these super easy cookies for dessert.


Quesadillas

Something else that you can make so easily in the microwave is delicious Mexican quesadillas.

To start, lay of out a single tortilla on a safe microwave plate. Then add your fillings such as cooked mince beef or lamb, chicken, fresh chopped tomatoes, and grated cheese to melt. You can get some more idea of what to include at http://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/cinco-de-mayo/g2553/quesadilla-recipes/.

At this point, you can also add in guacamole, or you can leave it out as use it as a dip once the dish is cooked.

Then top with the another tortilla and lightly brush with oil to get that crispy finish. Microwave on medium for 2-3 minutes, or until the filling is piping hot and the cheese is melted. Just watch out that the tortilla doesn't burn.

These are so easy and delicious and work well as part of a larger dinner, or as a lunchtime snack.

Under The Sea: The Health Benefits of Seafood (and How To Get More Into Your Diet!)

Written by a contributing writer


Source: Pexels

Not only is it delicious, but seafood is incredibly healthy and one of the best protein sources you can include in your diet. Plus at this time of year, there are few things nicer than a light, fresh fish dish for lunch or dinner. If you’re looking to give your dinner menu a shake-up and improve your health, adding more seafood is a great way to go about it. Here are some of the health benefits and easy ways you can add more to your diet.

Health Benefits

Seafood is low in both fat and cholesterol and is high in protein, vitamins and healthy fatty acids such as omega 3. This is so important in our diet since it’s essential for many of the body’s processes, but we cannot produce it ourselves. Most people in the western world don’t get enough of it so making the effort to eat more seafood is a smart move. If you currently eat a very meat heavy diet, especially with a lot of red and processed meats, switching to seafood is a great option.


Health Concerns

Most healthy people can eat fish every day with no problem at all, in fact doing so is highly beneficial! However, there are some limitations that you need to bear in mind. It’s recommended that you eat oily fish no more than four times per week. This is because it can contain low-level pollutants than can build up in the body. While you can eat as much white fish as you want, limit the amount of sea bream, sea bass, turbot, and halibut as, again, these can contain pollutants. Children, pregnant women, or those looking to conceive should avoid shark, marlin, and swordfish due to it’s higher mercury content- healthy adults can enjoy one portion a week. So while there are some limitations, you still have an enormous range of different fish to work with. Getting plenty into your diet shouldn’t be an issue at all.


Mix it Up

Eating the same foods over and over is always going to get a bit boring. Trying out lots of different recipes and finding new ways to incorporate seafood will keep it fresh and interesting. You could eat smoked salmon, cream cheese, and spinach on a bagel as a tasty weekend breakfast or weekday lunch. You could enjoy different types of sushi, you could stir fry shrimp with vegetables, or enjoy the British classic ‘fish and chips.' While this is usually deeply fried, it’s easy to make your own healthier version by breadcrumbing the white fish and cooking fries or wedges in the oven with a touch of cooking spray and some seasoning. Tons of restaurants offer fantastic seafood dishes, just looking at the Red Lobster menu shows you what kinds of tasty options you could go for.


Source: Pexels

Write a Menu

Writing a menu and shopping list for the week is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it allows you to be organized, it doesn’t get to 6pm mid way through the week, and you think ‘what on earth am I going to cook?!’ It also means you can plan out a shopping list, meaning you shop smarter and save money by not buying unneeded things. You don’t have to eat seafood every day (unless you want to!) but having a few different fish meals planned each week will do wonders for your health.


*This post is not meant to give medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting a new diet.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kitchen Hacks For Feeding A Big Crowd

Written by a contributing writer


Even if you’re a domestic goddess in the kitchen, the idea of cooking for a large crowd of people can be extremely daunting. Now that we’re well into summer, you may be having a lot of family staying over in the future, and wondering how you’re going to manage it all. If you’re going to have to feed the five-thousand soon, here are some hacks to make the whole thing easier.


Image: Max Pixel

When It Comes to Meat, Oven Fry, Don’t Stove Fry

Fried chicken has been a favorite crowd-feeder for years, mainly because of how versatile it is. It can be served with a wide range of sauces while keeping everyone happy and be prepared as chicken parmesan and a variety of other dishes. The only drawback is that when you make breaded chicken on the stovetop, as most people do, you have to make several batches, keeping the finished ones warm in your oven, while you finish off all the rest. This can be extremely time consuming when you’ve got a hungry crowd to feed. Oven-fry the cutlets and you’ll only have one batch to worry about. If you’re squeezed for space, this is one of the most detailed reviews of the best new countertop ovens that we've seen. By switching to the oven, you’ll cut your work in the kitchen in half!


Top Casseroles with Their Own Side Dish


When you’re cooking for a large crowd, casseroles are something of a no-brainer. The downside of them is the fact that they usually require some kind of side-dish to feel like a full meal. Those side dishes usually need to be prepared on the stove at the same temperature, but you can save yourself the trouble by topping the whole casserole with their side dishes and preparing the whole thing in the oven! One popular example of this is a southern chilli casserole topped with cornbread. Preparing this means that you won’t have to prepare the cornbread separately and can simply put the whole dish in the oven and set a timer. This frees up more time for working on the desserts, polishing off appetizers, or simply mingling with your guests and playing host. This simple change can make recipes that you may have found intimidating so much easier!


Make Baking Tray Desserts

Sundae bars are perhaps the best choice of dessert when you’re feeding a large crowd, but all the mess and hassle can make this difficult and impractical. How do you save yourself from cleaning up all those stains and sprinkles? Bake a huge dessert that takes up the entire baking pan! This can cut down all the hassle of sundaes to a neat 5-10 minutes in the oven following a nice, easy prep. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to deprive your guests of ice cream completely! There are many baked desserts that leave room for ice cream in the recipe, or can be easily combined with it afterwards. Whatever your tastes, use a baking tray, and you’ll make dessert a snap.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Never Say No To A Trip To North Dakota

Written by a contributing writer

Let’s be honest, North Dakota probably isn’t on your dream wishlist of places you want to travel. But it definitely should be! There’s so much there that you can’t find anywhere else in the world and if you’re looking for a relaxing retreat to the wilderness, this could be the perfect destination. So let’s take a peek into some of the must see attractions this state has to offer and why you’ll definitely want to go there at least once in your life.

Count Rushmore

What’s that you say, there’s no Count Rushmore? Then who sculpted the faces on the mountain? Kidding and Friends references aside, Mount Rushmore is truly phenomenal, and it really doesn’t come across in pictures. So the only way to appreciate it’s glory would be to venture there yourself. Yes, you’re looking at a little bit of a hike, but once you get there, you’ll have some great photo ops. The best part is that great places to stay like Comfort Inn & Suites Custer are right by this popular tourist spot. So, once you get to your hotel, you’ll already be close to one of the key places to visit in this wonderful state.


Credit Pic Source

Theodore Roosevelt


Of course, you must check out the national park named after the former president. What a beautiful park it is too, with sprawling grass verges and winding valleys that stretch for miles. You could spend a happy few days getting lost here, and it’s also the perfect place for camping. If you’ve never seen a true star-filled sky, far from the artificial light of cities, you’re in for a real treat. Watch out for the wildlife too. You’ll see some breathtaking sights of nature if you’re eager enough to spend a few hours exploring.


Free Photo Link

Off The Beaten Track

Usually, when you take the kids on a vacation, you’ll get stuck in queues for rides that last two minutes. Or, you’ll be dragged away from the holiday to see a film at the theater. Neither will be a possibility in North Dakota. Instead, you can take the whole family mountain biking at places like Maah Daah Hey Trails. The actual trail is 98 leg aching miles so you may not be able to complete all of it. There are some tough climbs too, but you will spot coyote and bison as you wheel through beautiful prairies and bump over rocky terrain.


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Take A Journey Through Time

Ah, this is the perfect day out with the kids while you’re in North Dakota. You can head over to the Heritage Center. There you’ll find real dinosaur skeletons and other historical artifacts dating all the way back to the Jurassic period. It’s a lot more interesting than your typical museum that’s for sure and the staff here ensure that it’s a real treat to visit.


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Of course, if you really want to take a trip through time, you must visit Bonanza Ville USA. There you’ll find a settlement from the 1800s alive and well with staff in character, ready to answer all your questions about this time period. There’s shops with great mementos too and live shows. Without a time machine, this is the closest you can get to seeing what life was really like back then.





Thursday, June 15, 2017

Can Technology Help You Win at Parenting?

Written by a contributing writer


Wikimedia

Technology hasn’t exactly replaced parents yet, and they won’t  - at least, not in our lifetimes! For now, though, there are plenty of ways in which technology is providing a very useful helping hand in the lives of busy parents!

Baby monitoring

Baby monitors are now using digital transmissions, instead of the analog transmissions you got on old-school models. But does this mean they’re any better? Yes, the digital transmissions are much more clear. They’re less likely to be distorted, which means that they give a much more accurate representation of sound, as well as a lot more detail. It won’t get interrupted by nearby analog signals, the way that older baby monitors did. Plus, you can hook them up to your smartphone or tablet, which makes the actual monitoring process easier than ever.


Pixabay

Older baby monitoring


Okay, so by “older baby”, what we’re really referring to is kids aged anywhere from 7 to 16. They’re not technically babies anymore… but they’ll always be our babies really, right? Anyway, the type of monitoring we’re talking about here is the monitoring of gadget use - phones, the Internet, etc. Things like iPhone monitoring software help us make sure what our kids are doing online is safe. They can also help us locate our children if we’re not sure where they are! It can be much more useful for kids to have smartphones than a lot of people think!

Schooling

These days, it’s easier than ever to keep track of how well our children are doing in school. While not all schools provide many digital services, there are many that are beginning to provide online reports that parents can access; some are even offering this on a weekly basis. Modern tech is also helping teachers and parents stay in closer contact, which means we can be alerted to any problems much quicker.



Pixabay

Literacy

A lot of people assume that modern technology is signaling the death of literacy in a profound way. But book sales seem to be getting better every year, so that might not be the case after all! In any case, new gadgets can really help with literacy because of their interactivity. There are loads of iPad apps that help kids learn how to read, and some would argue that Kindles give kids access to a wide range of free books, ranging from new children’s literature to classics from centuries past. It’s also been argued that all these gadgets help expose our children to more text - which is precisely what they need to gain better reading technique and a wider vocabulary!

Scheduling

Your average parent is pretty busy. Whether they’re a stay-at-home parent or a parent who is remaining on the career ladder, your schedule is probably going to be pretty stacked. The keyword there is ‘schedule’ - while a lot of parents have so much to do, they generally don’t actually have a formal schedule. They tend to have a to-do list that they keep in their head! But by using scheduling apps, or even something as simple as the calendar functions on their smartphone, they can become more efficient and less stressed by making sure they know what they need to do and when on any given day.

Getting Around: How To See The Sights Without A Hire Car

Written by a contributing writer


Lots of families choose to hire a car when they arrive at their vacation destination. That is because they know getting around isn’t always easy. Some people may encounter language barriers when traveling to a foreign country. However, that doesn’t mean you should reside yourself to having to drive. There are lots of alternatives in most places. You just need to do some research in advance. You might feel like you don’t want to drive abroad because of road safety issues. That is entirely understandable if your kids have come along for the trip. So, use some of the advice from this article to ensure you never miss out on your chance to see the best sights.




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Research the public transport situation


As I just mentioned, some countries have different road safety laws. So, you won’t always feel comfortable using public transport in foreign lands. Still, you’re perfectly fine to do so in most places around the world. It’s going to work out much cheaper when driving with your family. You just need to do some research before you leave home, so you know how the system works. For example, in many European countries, you can purchase travel cards that allow you to use buses and trains. Download some relevant maps to your phone before you travel and you can’t go wrong. Even if the driver doesn’t speak English, someone else using the service may have a basic understanding.


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Use a taxi app to arrange lifts

In the past, you had to call taxi companies to arrange a ride. That meant you had to know a little about local businesses. Thankfully, the situation is much better now thanks to lift apps. Websites like Ridester.com list discount codes and coupons for that industry. So, you could end up saving a fortune if you’re prepared. The best thing about using an app abroad is that you inform the driver of your desired destination in advance. That means it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the lingo. By the time they arrive to pick you up, they should know where you’re going.


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Pay for group tours for your family


If you want to see the sights while having the most relaxing experience possible, you might consider group tours. No matter where you plan to visit, you are sure to find companies offering that service. Specialists from Taketours.com say it’s easier than ever to make your booking. You’ll get to see everything you wanted with other travelers around to offer a helping hand. So, you might even expand your social circle and make new friends. At the very least, you are going to learn more about the history of different locations if you visit them with other people.

As you can see from the points I’ve just made, you don’t have to hire a car when you travel abroad. It’s still possible to see all the sights without having a vehicle at your disposal. In some instances, you will just have to do a little preliminary research. Regardless of which country you plan to visit, having a WiFi connection in your hotel is critical. If you don’t have that, the money you save using lift apps will pale in comparison to the extra charges on your phone bill. Remember that!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Denver: The Perfect City For A Staycation With Your Kids

Written by a contributing writer


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If you’re looking for a place to take your kids on your next staycation, then why not give them the choice? Write down all the names of all the states on pieces of paper and then put them in a bowl, except don’t actually do this. Instead, rig the result by writing down the word “Colorado” fifty times and then celebrate when they pull it from the hat because the Colourful Colorado should definitely be your next stop. More specifically, though, you need to visit Denver.

The reason for this is, well, kids can be seriously tough to please, which is why we have come up with a bulletproof way for you to keep them smiling from ear to ear during your stay in The Mile High City.


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Denver Zoo

If there is one thing kids love, it is the Zoo, so make it your first-day activity. Get up, have breakfast, walked out of the Residence Inn Denver Cherry Creek and straight into the zoo. This is the best way to start your holiday off on the right foot. The reason this place will make them smile is that this astonishing zoo is where education comes alive. There are almost 4500 animals here, but that’s not the most impressive thing. The most impressive thing is that you get to see them enjoy life. Elephants swimming, lions roaring, orangutans swinging, and loads more. It is truly amazing.


Nature & Science Museum

You can’t miss this place because it is right next door to the Zoo. Just retrace your steps and, voila, you’ve found it. Now you’ve probably been to a lot of museums with your children over the years, but this is something else. There are fossils and dinosaurs and Egyptian mummies and even a planetarium that explores some of the biggest mysteries we know about space. Oh, and there’s an IMAX there too. It is the most mind-blowing experience you have (until you pop along to the Children’s Museum that is).



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Children’s Museum

What makes this so special is that the learning is totally powered by children. We don’t mean that children are running around in hamster balls powering the lights, what we mean is all of the learning as done on the kids' terms. It has been completely designed for the kids to explore, discover, and create. There is painting, sculpting, the chance to climb a three story mountain and forage like a squirrel, and to make huge bubbles (like 8-foot bubbles). Kids will love it and so will you because that’s what learning should be like.


Awesome Aquarium

“This is place is like holding a kaleidoscope against the ocean,” that’s what the slogan or tagline to this place should say. There is just an astonishing amount of fish here. Not just fish, but birds and reptiles and even a tiger habitat too. In terms of breathtaking experiences, you can feed stingrays, find gold, swim with sharks, and even see mermaids. Now that’s cool.



Elitch Gardens Theme Park

We recommend you wait until the last day because it’s always best to save the best until last. Your children will still talk about this place years from now, which is because it is awesome, especially if you are a theme park pro. There are over 50 heart pulsing rides for the more daring and a 10-acre swimming area with slip slides, wave machines, and lazy rivers for the younger ones. This is an absolutely must-do day out.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Here's How You Can Help the Kids in Your Community


Written by a contributing writer



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Civic responsibility - the responsibilities of a good citizen. While individualism is essential to great societies, there’s no denying that getting out there and helping your community is also a great step towards a better future. This is probably weighing even heavier on your mind if you have children. How can we get together and improve the areas around us so that our children are safer and can have more fun?

We’re going to take a quick look at some projects you can consider tackling for your community. There are bound to be loads of fellow parents who feel a similar way!


Wikimedia

Cleaning and recycling

A clean community is a safer community. After all, a messy one is bound to be more polluted. It’s also bound to be more dangerous; the more litter that is allowed to build up in communities, the more likely it is that particularly dangerous litter will make an appearance, such as glass or sharp metal. Unfortunately, not every local government pours enough resources into making sure the community is kept clean enough. So if you’re up for doing a little volunteer work, you could explore the possibility of getting things cleaned up by yourself.

Of course, it should be the responsibility of the local government to ensure that communities are cleaned. After all, that’s supposed to be a service covered by the taxes you pay. So you may want to get other parents together to sign a petition to increase cleaning resources in your area. In the meantime, see if you can get several parents together during the weekend to help clean up the streets and local parks.


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Building new facilities

Sadly, there are a lot of areas that don’t really have great play facilities for local children. They either lack in parks completely, or the parks that are there clearly aren’t very safe. If you and the community want to take matters into your own hands, you could research the development of your own parks. As long as you have the right permissions and good playground surface options, this could be more feasible than you think.

This, again, is perhaps something that the local government should be considering. If there’s a parks and recreation department in your local government, then consider speaking directly to them about the problem. Otherwise, making sure local streets and grassy areas are kept clean can help encourage play even without a formal playground.


Wikimedia

Developing clubs


Kids need to exercise, right? And one of the best ways of getting them to do this is by getting them into sports. Some friendly competition is essential for many reasons. Thankfully, this is something you can help facilitate. If there aren't any local sports clubs, then consider developing one yourself. Get local kids together to play soccer, basketball, or baseball - or maybe even an informal mix of several sports! This helps keep kids active and away from all those darn screens back at home.

If there are local sports clubs, or if there isn’t enough interest in developing one, then you could explore other ‘club’ options. For example, you could consider getting kids and parents together a couple of times a month for a movie night! You could rent out a local space, get a projector, and enjoy a film together. This is great for enhancing community feeling and simply having fun!

It's Not about Society, It's about You

 Written by a contributing writer


For too long we have been made to believe that the way society wants us to look, is, in fact, the way we should look. For too long we, as humans, have yielded to these demands of society and made changes to ourselves in order to please it. But why is this done? Why should this be done? Yes, the society in which you live may provide you with the standard of life you desire. But it also controls the way you see yourself in ways you many not even realize. But we can all break free of the societal image chains that restrict you and your self-image. Below you can find advice on how to do so.

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Summertime is a time in which preconceived notions of what people should look like appear out of the woodwork. For instance, it is common knowledge that there is a preconceived, and misconceived, notion that women must look like supermodels whilst they’re on their summer holiday. But why is this? If a particular person has the physical capabilities, time, and desire to be able to healthily look like the stereotypical supermodel, then there is nothing wrong with them attaining that look. But if another person is unable to attain such a look in a healthy manner, then there is nothing wrong with them looking different.

This is not to say that you should give up on working out if you aren’t able to look like a supermodel. It’s just to say you shouldn't work towards it if it isn’t you. And you shouldn’t be disappointed in yourself for not being able to be someone else. When it comes to working out and staying fit, it’s about finding a workout that works for you and your specific needs. It’s about using a workout such as the Bikini Body Guide (reviews can be found here: http://www.bikinibodyguidereview.com/) to not necessarily attain a supermodel body, but to attain the perfect body for you. It’s about working out to an extent where, at the end of the workout regime, you are comfortable enough in your own skin to be fearless when it comes to relaxing by the pool.

Another way is to find something that works for you even if it's not the trendiest method of the moment. This instance can come in many shapes and sizes, but can most easily be exemplified when it comes to food and diet. There are constantly going to be scientifically and medically induced ‘recommendations’ as to what should and should not be eaten. There are always going to be fads when it comes to food. But it’s up to you to be careful when it comes to these fads. It’s up to you to know when these ‘recommendations’ are bogus. If a particular diet has been working for you, then you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it just because an article has said it doesn’t work. You know when something works for you in regards to your diet and health. Whether it be because you actually enjoy eating something and know it helps you stay healthy at the same time. Or whether it's because it allows you to actively see and feel healthful results.

The point is, you shouldn’t let the demands from society affect the way you see yourself. You shouldn't let them make you feel like you aren't enough. Because you just need to be the best YOU you can be. And that's more than enough.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

You Don't Need A Gym Membership To Keep Fit

Written by a contributing writer




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Gyms can be pretty polarizing places. When you go, you will mostly find people who just love being at the gym. They may have long since ceased to do it because they wanted to lose a little weight, or they wanted to get a bit more fit. They now just love going. There is nothing wrong with spending four or five nights at the gym each week so that you can get the toned beach body that you desire all year round. However, this sort of atmosphere has contributed to a lot of people feeling uncomfortable when they go to the gym if they are not already looking great. The irony of this is that the reason that a lot of people go to the gym is because they want to get to that comfortable-in-their-own-skin stage. This is why there is a lot written about how to get over gym anxiety.

However, a lot of Americans still have memberships to gyms or health clubs. A survey conducted recently found that about 16% of the population, which is about 50.2 million people, have a gym membership. That does not mean, however, that all of these people are using them regularly, or that when they do use them, they are getting much use of out the exercises and activities that they are doing. Gyms are great if you know what you are doing and you enjoy it. However, there are a lot of reasons why some people don't like to go, besides reticence. For instance, the average cost of gym membership in the US is between $40 and $50 a month. When you factor in the registration fees and other costs, it is likely to be about $800 a year. That is an incredible amount of money that a lot of people simply cannot afford. Besides, it is not just money that the gym can cost you. If you work full time, you may not be able to find the time. You have to travel there in the first place, workout after a long day at your job, and then drive home. Since most people want to relax after they go home from the office each day, the gym may not be an especially appealing option.

Thankfully, there are lots of great alternatives. One of the most convenient is working out at home. If you have a little extra money lying around somewhere, you could dedicate a room in your house, or your basement, to exercise and invest in your own gym equipment. However, it is expensive, and this is why a lot of people effectively rent it each month by getting a gym membership. Working out alone can be tough as well.

If you go with a friend to the gym, you can at least motivate each other. That is why exercise tapes or DVDs have become so popular. You can fit them in around your own schedule and even pause them if you like when you need a break. However, knowing which one to get can be tricky. Checking out reviews from sites like http://www.piyoreviews.com/ can help you make the right decision. Each tape will be different and will be intended to help you work out a different part of your body. You should, therefore, carefully consider which ones will appeal most to your needs. A lot of celebrities have a tendency to create a feel good, weight loss narrative around their lives which they then attempt to monetize. This may be fine if you like the person involved, but from a pure fitness perspective, these types may not be the best.

If you want a way to work out that is going to be fun as well as effective, why not take up a sport? You can learn a new skill while making friends at the same time. Besides, if you join a team, you may find that the competitive aspect of the sport takes over and by the end of your first season, you may not realize that have been exercising so much. Who knows, you might be great and end up becoming a pro? As for which sports to pick, that depends on what you enjoy, but each sport does have its own health benefits. For instance, swimming is great because it exercises all of your muscles at once. Basketball, meanwhile, helps  cardiovascular fitness as well as improving bone strength, motor skills, and coordination. Every sport will have it owns physical benefits, but one thing that they all have in common is that they help you reduce stress. The only question left to ask is, what are you waiting for?


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Healthy Tips To Keep You Focused And Aware At Work

This post was written by a contributing writer




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If you have an office job, or any job that you need to work long hours for, it can be easy to get stuck in a mental rut. Go to work, do your job, go home, and sit on the sofa watching TV until it’s time to go to sleep. This can be comfortable, but you might find yourself asking the question ‘is this really what life is about?’ or ‘Why do I always feel so exhausted after the office? I have barely done any physical movement!’

Believe it or not, this is actually the problem. Well, it’s one of problems. When you’re tired while working, you become less capable of doing your job and climbing the corporate ladder. Every day will be an obstacle instead of a challenge to overcome. Many people live their entire lives this way and never question why getting up in the morning is so difficult.

There are ways around this. Think about it, we used to be hunting and gathering animals, constantly on the move, building shelters, chasing animals, looking after our young. We are physically adapted to a difficult existence. The funny part of this is it might feel difficult, but it also feels ‘correct’.

Our physiology has mechanisms to let us know when we’re living in the way we’re set up to and these ancient reward systems are neglected at our peril. There are also modern inventions that can keep us active and alert, cognitively functioning at our very peak.

These are just a few of those methods:

Exercise

Staying active outside of office hours will help you stay energetic and willing to combat challenges during your work life. It will also help with your self-esteek. That is important when you deal with situations like feeling like you’re not getting the respect from a colleague you feel you deserve. Your employer may also notice the refreshing rejuvenation that has occurred within you as a consequence of you paying attention to your health. Weightlift, do cardio, do yoga, no matter what it is, all of these can help you.

Meditation


Meditation keeps you present in your surroundings and allows you to ‘overtake’ your negative thought habits. This can do wonders for your self-esteem because the thoughts that usually plague you that you’re insufficient or not good enough are reduced heavily. You’ll be more in contact with yourself emotionally, much more stable, and much more disciplined as a result.

Coffee

Drinking coffee can help you get to work and stay focused when it’s crunch time. This is a good option so long as you choose fresh roasted coffee over the cheap instant variety. This can give you a feeling of concentration and will help you feel less tired if you’ve struggled to get a full night of sleep. You’ll also help yourself cardiovascularly because coffee has been proven to help prevent heart disease and other general toxin build up. Caffeine is the one drug you needn’t feel guilty about ingesting, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Be sure to eat right, get in nature, progress with passion in a hobby, and socialize to a degree that’s achievable for you. You'll be sure to feel a rejuvenation in your spirit and mentality, which can then be applied to your work life.


*This post is not meant to give medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting a new diet/exercise plan.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Changing Your Diet? Read This First

Written by a contributing writer



There are loads of reasons an individual or even an entire family may change up their diet. In any case, it’s essential that you keep these things in mind before you make any changes.

Don’t self-diagnose!

A lot of people change up their diets based on nothing more than their own intuition about a problem they may be having. Some people may feel uneasy after they eat particular types of fruit, so they assume that they’re intolerant to certain nutrients, prompting them to make drastic changes in their diet that may not be necessary. Some may assume that their body mass index can’t be right, so they take it upon themselves to get into a drastic weight loss routine.

The problem with all of this? Self-diagnosis. It’s easier than ever to do this sort of thing thanks to the Internet - though this isn’t to say that there isn’t a plethora of useful info on the Internet! Take the time to discuss your concerns with a doctor or a nutritionist before you make any drastic diet changes.


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Be careful about fads

If you feel like you need to shed some pounds or put on some more muscle, there are few things more tempting than fad diets or workout programs. But they may not be all that they appear to be.

Crash diets and expensive programs can look good on the surface, but the amount of good they’ll do for you, in the end, can be questionable. The key to making sure the particular plan you’re interested in is suitable for you is by making sure you take the time to properly research it. Check consumer reviews and professional write-ups if you can find them. If you can’t, consider giving the plan a pass.

Ensure what you’re eating is safe

You don’t want to switch up your diet to include foods that are going to end up being unsafe! This is partly why you need to talk to a professional beforehand; everyone’s body is different, so what makes a good diet or food inclusion for one person may end up being a disaster for someone else.




Wikipedia


Even with this considered, it’s best to keep up-to-date with food safety. Dietary fads are sometimes promoted by food companies that are simply looking to get more customers for their products, and the sort of companies that do this aren’t always the safest or most ethical when it comes to food! You can read Unsafe Foods for more information if you’re interested in keeping in the know about dangerous ingredients, food recalls, and related illnesses.

Let nutrient content be your guide

At the end of the day, your body needs a particular set of nutrients and in a particular amount. Don’t just assume that a particular product is going to give you what you need, and don’t be suckered in by fads or ads that claim it’s healthy.

If you want to change your diet up, then it’s pretty essential that you get used to reading labels and ingredients. The particular nutrients that are in a product, as well as other ingredients such as additives, should be used as a guide when it comes to deciding what you should introduce to your diet!

*This post is not meant to give medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting a new diet/exercise plan. 

Get Your Diet Off To A Flying Start

Written by a contributing writer


Dieting to lose weight and improve your overall health is a very admirable thing, however, it can be extremely overwhelming. If you’ve never really tackled losing weight before, then you may find the whole prospect pretty nerve-wracking. Changing your eating and drinking habits certainly isn’t easy, but there are various things you can do to get your next diet off to a flying start…

Make a Healthy Eating Plan


Credit: Pixabay

A good healthy eating plan should include the foods you love, in combination with lots of healthy, non-heavily-processed things such as fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meats, and so on. Due to these foods’ potential to satisfy, planning to eat them will actually make it easier to be self-disciplined enough to stick to your diet. Some people will find it helpful to start their diet off by throwing themselves into some kind of big commitment, like a cleanse or detox for weight loss. Others will be able to lose weight more efficiently by gradually weaning themselves off of foods that are full of fat and calories, replacing them with more nutritious things. If something doesn’t feel right to you at any stage of your plan, go ahead and change it. As long as you’re making a point to up your intake of healthy food and decrease unhealthy ones, you’re on the right track!

Keep your Goals Realistic


One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to lose weight is setting themselves lofty goals; wanting to fit into certain clothing sizes that may take years of dedication and strict diet control. Try to remember that losing just 10% of your body weight can have a profound impact on how confident you feel, wean you onto healthier habits, and most importantly, make a huge improvement to your all-round health. Research has shown time and time again that losing even a small amount of weight can improve our overall health, lowering our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you set your standards too high, work yourself too hard, and still don’t hit the targets you wanted to achieve, it can put a real damper on your mood, and make it harder to stay dedicated to your plans for healthy eating and exercise.


Reward Yourself More than You Punish Yourself



Credit: Public Domain Pictures

When we make mistakes while working towards our goals, whether they’re to do with weight loss or anything else, the tendency is to beat ourselves up over it. This, in turn, means that we have less faith in our ability to get back on the wagon and work towards those things that we want so badly. Try to work on keeping your motivation high, by rewarding yourself for hitting your milestones, rather than punishing yourself. If you’ve lost five pounds or had a session at the gym four times in a week, you’re doing much more than you used to, and more than countless other people are doing, despite wanting to lose weight. Accept that you made mistakes, then move on!

*This post is not meant to give medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting any diet/exercise plan.

Top Tips for Stress-Free Teething

 Written by a contributing writer


When you were younger, you might not have been able to understand why babies made such a racket when their teeth started coming through. Then, in your late teens, you probably had a huge shock to your system: your wisdom teeth starting to grow. Your jaw would ache, your teeth would ache and feel wobbly, your neck and your head would ache. The ulcers would drive you mad - you wouldn’t be able to eat, sleep, or talk. And all of a sudden, you understand why babies scream so much. It’s hard to cope with four teeth coming up - let alone a mouthful.

So, with an enlightened view on teething, when your own kids teethe you start out as super empathetic and not mind missing an hour or two of sleep. Then you wake up in the real world and realize you have a house and a family to look after... on less than 30 minutes of sleep.

You’re not alone when it comes to teething troubles. And the good news - it doesn’t last forever! But to help you get through it with as little pain as possible, here are some top tried and tested tips to help your little ones through this period. If you’ve got any great ideas be sure to leave a comment below.

How do you know if your baby is teething?


Well, if the constant crying and screaming doesn’t give it away, watch out for excessive drooling, chewing on solid objects, and  exceptional irritability.  Depending on how far along in the teething process they are, you might also be able to see teeth coming through - or feel them if your baby likes to chew on you!

Yep, baby is definitely teething. How can you help?

As much as you’d love to take all the pain away from your children, unfortunately, you can’t all the time. All you can do is help them feel more comfortable and limit the likelihood of anything going wrong.

1. Apply pressure

One of the simplest ways to help relieve your child of pain is to rub or apply pressure to their gums. Make sure you’ve got clean hands and just press your finger against their gums. They’ll probably enjoy chewing on your finger too, while it’s there.

2. Stay cool

Take this in two ways. Parents: this will pass. Your children won’t teethe forever.

Secondly, the cold will help soothe your children’s gums. A chilled spoon, cloth, teething ring, or food will help ease the discomfort. Follow any instructions on teethers. And while chilled and cold is good, frozen is not. Don’t give your child anything frozen to put on their gums - this could do more harm than good.




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3. Invest in fun things to chew

If your darling one has managed to chew bigger holes in your belongings than the puppy did, it’s time to get some real teething objects. There’s a huge number of teething rings on the market, so have a look at the shapes and materials and decide which would be best for your child. From soft plastics to wood, there are loads of choices, and you can get them in all shapes and sizes - check out Amazon’s top sellers for some inspiration.



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You can even find teething blocks on a necklace for you moms to wear! That way, baby can get the cuddles he or she needs, without resorting to chewing on your nice necklaces or earrings.

4. Get inventive with food

If your child is over six months old, you could give them solid food to chew on, as well as giving them teethers. Raw fruit and vegetables, like carrot sticks and apples, are ideal. Or if they don’t fancy the healthy route, try a crust of bread or a breadstick. Just don’t leave them chewing on food unsupervised - to avoid the mess at the very least!


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It’s best to avoid biscuit-type foods like rusks, as they nearly always contain sugar - and that’s the last thing your baby’s new teeth needs. On that note: now that the teething has started, it’s time to find a dentist to take care of your baby’s new gnashers. And once their teeth have come through and the cleaning begins, see how you can make it more bearable with these tips in this blog post.

5. Use teething gels

If your baby is really suffering, try using teething gels. You can rub them straight onto their gums, and the relief is almost instant. It doesn’t last long, but it hopefully gives you enough time to get them back to sleep, or distracted with another story or song, before the pain comes back.

Choose a gel that’s sugar-free, suitable for very young children, and ideally look for one with antiseptic properties. This will help combat any bacteria or possible infections in your baby’s gums. They’re going to be vulnerable while breaking, and you don’t want anything nasty to get in.

Likewise, you could use baby-friendly painkillers. Ensure you use the right medicine and dosage for your child’s age - ask your doctor or pharmacist for help if you aren’t sure.

6. Go down the homeopathic route

Before you try any homeopathic remedies, always consult your doctor first. They will be able to recommend any natural options and tell you which to avoid. Rosehip and Chamomile are among the most popular natural remedies, and are available in tablet form, like most other natural options. And while homeopathic remedies can have a great effect, watch out for the side effects of teething tablets. You should always monitor your baby closely after giving them any tablets or gels and be quick to alert emergency services or your doctor if you have any worries at all.

7. Prevent rashes and infections

Excessive drooling is part and parcel of the teething process. But just because it’s normal doesn’t make it a pleasant affair. Your baby’s skin can get quite irritated and sore from all the drooling (and subsequent wiping), so try to stay on top of it, before it becomes an issue. As well as wiping the drool away with a clean, soft cloth, you could also try applying some moisturizing cream. Make sure this is safe for your child’s skin, and ask a doctor or nurse for any recommendations. Petroleum jelly also works well, just follow any age-related guidance.

8. Keep baby distracted

If you’ve tried everything, and your little one is still getting upset, then you might just have to up the distraction factor. Get out their favorite stories and toys, and keep playing until you’ve taken the edge off. Plus, if they’re super tired in the day, the theory is that they’ll sleep better at night… But you’re probably still waiting to see the truth in that one.

Monday, June 5, 2017

How to Make Your Kid's Birthday Extra Special

Written by a contributing writer 



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It’s that time of year again. Your kid’s birthday is coming up and you’re wondering what to get them for their special day. Whatever their age and however fussy they may be about the presents they receive, it’s always a little stressful for a parent trying to pick out the perfect gift for their child. You don’t want to spoil them but you don’t want to disappoint them at the same time.

You want to make good memories but sometimes a fancy present isn’t what it takes to make a birthday special. If you’re tired of overthinking it then it might be time to take a step back from this mental anguish. Here are some pieces of advice which may help you make your child's birthday extra special without stressing you out in the process.

Plan early.

The key to making the perfect birthday for your child is to plan ahead. When Christmas approaches, the way to avoid mishaps or expensive presents is to go shopping in the sales months before the season is upon you. You should treat birthdays in the same way. When you see the opportunity to buy something you know your child would like on sale then you should just go for it. Imagine the joy of knowing that you don’t have to worry about planning your little one’s birthday a week before the big day because you bought presents for him or her months in advance.

Go for something unusual.

Kids like to be surprised and they remember the thoughtful things you do for them. When your little one is older, they’ll be more likely to remember that crazy birthday on which you did something completely unusual and unexpected than the birthday when you bought them a trendy toy or present.

To reiterate an earlier point: don’t overthink it. Just take an idea and run with it. You could organize a special day out at a zoo they love or take them to see a musician they adore, depending on how old they are. You could even check out a kids boutique if you’re looking for clothing or accessories that are a little more unique and out of the mainstream fashion range. Don’t worry about it not being costly; just think about what your child loves and take them by surprise.

Don’t fall for the “cool” act when they get older.

Keep the birthday magic alive even when your little one becomes a teenager. They might act too cool for presents and perhaps they only want cash, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make the day fun and special. You could present the money in quirky ways such as making roses out of rolled up cash. You could also make a silly birthday crown for them to wear at home. Everybody wants to have fun on their birthday, so just make sure you do something especially for your kid - even if they’re playing it cool.