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Life

This category will be all things pertaining to my life. You might see pictures of my boys or my crazy cats. You just never know..haha!

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The New Year Is the Time to Start Your Own Podcast

by Alek Sabin

 

We live in an era of almost unlimited content, and the reason for this is that there are so many mediums with barriers of entry that make it possible for anyone with a good story to tell to get themselves out there. One such popular medium, nowadays, is podcasts. Podcasts continue to rise in popularity as a form of entertainment, education, or both, together.

If you’ve ever thought about making a podcast, then now is the perfect time to do it. The internet has created a platform to get your message out to anyone, around the planet, and the only thing stopping you is yourself. Here are some tips on how to start your own podcast this year…

Good content is the most important thing

The number one thing that every podcast needs is a good topic. At the end of the day, people don’t tune into a podcast and listen for production values. They want to hear content that speaks to them and their interests.

Nowadays, the internet has gone down a path where it is primarily about the distribution of content, and using that content to attract the most attention. This is why content marketing has exploded, in recent years. That’s the first thing to figure out about any podcast: what is it about, and is it interesting? Is it a topic that can sustain itself across multiple episodes? And, most importantly, are you excited about this topic?

Go out of your way for good equipment

While people may not listen to a podcast for good production value, bad recording habits certainly have the capacity to force listeners to turn your podcast off, no matter how interesting the topic is.

For this reason, you should consider getting a decent microphone that is good at picking up the human voice and its many intonations. If you’re looking for an option that accomplishes this, but won’t break your bank, then something like the Electro-Voice ND46 is a good option, but you could even pick up something like a Bluebird mic from your local Guitar Center.

Consider who your audience is

When you are coming up with your topic, one question that you should constantly be asking yourself is who this podcast is for! Who is your primary audience? For far too many amateurs, the answer to this question is “everyone!” Well, it doesn’t really work that way. When you try to make content for everyone, all you are going to accomplish is making content that is for no one. Universality comes with specificity, not by appealing to the lowest common denominator.

If you want your podcast to thrive and survive, then you need to have a clear picture of who your audience is, and really consider what it is that they expect from your show.

Find a format that works for you

If you listen to successful podcasts, such as This American Life or Welcome to Night Vale, then you’ll begin to notice that all of these shows have a clear format that their episodes follow.

While this format may be stretched or vary, there is a clear structure that enables the audience to latch onto the narrative that the podcast is creating. Listen to a lot of podcasts and think about which ones have formats that you’d be interested in exploring, and then pick a format for your own podcast.

Make it an enjoyable listening experience

Very few podcasts work well and build an audience simply by having one person talk about something. Great podcasts will utilize multiple perspectives, characters, music, transitions, sound effects, and other auditory elements.

You should organize your podcast to take advantage of anything that you have at your disposal to create a more dynamic and enjoyable listening experience for your audience. While your topic might intrigue them, the execution of that topic helps bring them in even further.

Don’t forget about marketing

Lastly, you need to think about how you are going to get your podcast out there. While you shouldn’t make the mistake of overthinking your marketing before you have decent substance on your podcast, you should think about ways that you can potentially get your podcast out there. If you fail to do this, then you’re essentially relegating your podcast, no matter how great, to almost certain obscurity.

Luckily, there are tons of great outlets to get your podcasts out there, such as podcast hosting sites like Lisbyn, PodBean, or plenty of others. Also, don’t forget about the power of merchandising. By using merchandising, such as customized t-shirts or hats, you can create a strong local following that will grow, over time.

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What Lower Temperatures Mean for Your Car

by Alek Sabin

 

Winter, while still being lovely, can also be immensely destructive to the things that we own. For just about everything we own that touches the outdoors, the winter elements are going to have an impact on its durability. This is especially true for vehicles. Driving through the snow and incredibly low temperatures is a significantly different experience than doing so when it is warmer and more temperate. Here are some major ways that our car is impacted by lower (particularly freezing) temperatures…

 

Tires harden and lose pressure

First of all, one of the major things that you’ll notice when you are driving in freezing temperatures is that your tires are likely going to have far less grip on the road than they do when it is warmer. The reason for this is that most tires are made of a rubber that hardens up in the cold, which makes them lose their grip. Manufacturers do make special snow tires that are designed to stay pliable in cold temperatures, which improves their grip.

In addition to this, a sudden drop in temperature, overnight, can cause tires to lose air pressure, so it is important to check your tires more regularly in the wintertime.

 

Engine efficiency decreases

The scariest change that could happen to your vehicle when the temperatures change is that the sudden shift in temperature could make a weak or old engine block crack. Depending on how bad the crack is, this could potentially total your vehicle, or cause it to stall (although that might not necessarily be because of the engine block). This can be prevented by making sure that your vehicle’s antifreeze has been checked, recently.

Aside from the engine block breaking, the engine of a car is also going to run less efficiently in the winter, due to the fact that it is exhausting more energy to warm up. This means that the engine must work harder and produce higher emissions to get to the optimal performance it is designed to reach.

 

Weak batteries might die

Most types of batteries tend to lose charge, quicker, when they are in colder temperatures. For this reason, if you leave something on in your car without the engine running, it is liable to die a lot faster. If you have a newer battery, you shouldn’t have any problems when winter comes, so long as you only draw energy from it when the vehicle is running. However, it is common for old batteries to finally lose their ability to retain a charge when the temperatures start to reach a freezing point.

 

Different oil for different temperatures

Depending on the vehicle that you drive, the oil that is recommended for your vehicle is probably different, depending on the season. This is because certain types of motor oil begin to thicken, when it is freezing outside. Because of this, even though a vehicle will get lesser performance and efficiency, many manufacturers recommend that you switch to a lighter oil when winter begins. Check your vehicle’s owner manual to see if you need to change the type of oil you are putting in your vehicle.

In general, it is just a good idea to check all of your fluids before winter starts, so that you know your vehicle is in an optimal position to deal with the cold conditions. Here’s a helpful, handy guide on how to check your vehicle’s fluids.

 

Winter wears away at aesthetic options

When it comes to your car’s paint job and any additional upgrades to the exterior, winter’s harsh elements just tend to wear away more of the vehicle than would otherwise happen in the summer months. Not only does snow and freezing temperatures wear away at your paint at a quicker rate, but it also can quickly eat away at the undercarriage of your vehicle. For this reason, many car owners opt to powder coat the frame of their car, along with other parts, due to the fact that it increases durability and offers more protection than paint.

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Be Burglar-Safe While You Vacation

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Be Burglar-Safe While You Vacation

By Christine H.

 

Over the holiday, many of us travel. And none of us want to host a Home Alone-type situation at our house while we’re away. The security of your home is always a concern, whether you’re home or away, whether you have a security system or not. You’re going to want to enjoy the trip and be in the moment, rather than stressing about the things that could go wrong back home.

Here are some tips to help you keep your home and family secure from burglars.

 

Have Someone Check In

While you’re away, it’s nice to still have it seen that people are coming and going. Simply having a car parked in front of your house now and then can discourage burglars looking for easy hits over the holidays. Even if you don’t need a petsitter, invite a neighbor or friend to look in on your house now and then. Collect the mail, change the lights around, clear away any mailers or newspapers left on the door. Encourage them to sit back and relax in your home, too.

 

Check All Points of Entry

You probably obsess over whether or not the front door is locked when you leave home. However, how well do you check other points of entry? Do you have a window that’s usually left ajar, perhaps over the kitchen sink? Or a pet door? How about this one: is your garage secure? Most people don’t think about that one, and it’s often the easiest doorway to breach. For example, some burglars have a way of tricking the motion-sensitive mechanism from within your garage in order to gain entry. This article has some great tips for making sure your garage is secure.

In addition, you should do a personal perimeter sweep of your home. Walk around the exterior and see what your weak points are. There are so many things that we’d never notice until we see it from a different perspective.

 

Remote Security Technology

It might seem like a sci-fi-type of thing that’s outside of your reach, but the truth is that smart-home technology that’s linked to your phone is amazingly accessible and affordable now. You’re able to check on whether the doors are locked, and tune into security cameras from anywhere in the world. This can give you peace of mind while you’re away, and alert you if anything goes awry.

 

Motion-Activated Lights

This is one very simple upgrade that you can make that will make a huge difference in your home’s security. Not only that, but it’s going to be extremely convenient for you when you’re coming home from a long day fumbling for keys as you approach the door. Motion-activated lights at your porch and on the sides of your home do a few really good things. First of all, the motion-activated aspect will make it seem like someone is home, even when you’re not. Secondly, the unexpected light will strike a very sudden bolt of fear into the heart of anyone with ill intentions. Thirdly, having motion-sensitive lights, rather than keeping your lights on all the time, will help you to save money and energy.

 

Move Expensive Things Out of View

Does your big, beautiful television screen sit enticingly in front of a picture window? Are computers and tablets sitting on your kitchen counter in plain view? Is it easy to see the best aspects of your home from the outside? You might want to think about changing that before you leave town. That way, it will seem less worthwhile to break into your home.

 

 

Have a Safe

Speaking of moving things out of view, you might want to put your most important valuables in a locked safe. Jewelry, cash, and important documents all fit easily into a small safe, and that way you know that even if someone does break into your home, they’ll be unable to access the most important things. Few, if any, casual burglars will have the time or resources to try to conquer even the most basic of safes. However, if you want to make sure you have a really good one, check out this article for some burglar-safe tips.

 

Display a Security System

Do you have a home security system? However basic it is, half of its purpose is to simply deter intruders. Stand-up signs in the lawn, and stickers at the window can let burglars know that they’re getting into more trouble than they might anticipate with that particular house. Make sure that these signs are easily visible. Additionally, you might want to install some obvious-looking cameras. These cameras don’t even have to be very good. Most burglars will move on to an easier target after seeing your security measures.

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About Goliath Games

Powerful brandsGoliath Games is an international manufacturer and distributor of toys and games (among the brands we market are Rummikub, Triominos, Rolit, Wordsearch, Pop the Pig, Doggie Doo, Gooey Looey, Robofish, Domino Rally and many more sold under the flag of Goliath).

About The Games

Fish Food

Fish Food is the FINtastic game with the smart fish that knows how to play! If he lands on you, feed him one of your cards. Watch out on the next spin – he may spit the card back to you! Get rid of all of your cards to win. The fish knows who wins and will call out the winner at the end of the game.

Mr. Bucket

Are you ready for buckets of fun with Mr. Bucket? The nostalgic favorite has come back to entertain a whole new generation of kids! Children will toss the colored balls into Mr. Buckets top, as he tries to block you with his hands. Mr. Bucket will whirl and spin all around the floor. But watch out! Mr. Bucket will spit the balls right back out of his mouth onto the floor creating tons of laughter and fun! Made with high-quality materials, Mr. Bucket will have kids up and moving around. For two to four players, ages four and up.

Stuff Happens

You’re going to read some really messed up stuff on these cards, and then rank them based on how bad they really are. Is a 3rd degree sunburn better or worse than seeing your father naked? Is it worse than dropping your phone in the toilet? Rank the card, and if our Misery Index agrees with you, you get to keep it. Correctly rank 10 cards and you win.

Googly Eyes

Googly Eyes is the hilarious family game that challenges your vision and leaves you googling for more! Put on the zany, vision-altering google eye glasses and start to draw while your team tries to guess what you’re drawing. Is that an igloo or a turtle? A birthday cake or a fortress? Players take turns drawing and guessing, so everyone gets a chance to wear the glasses. The glasses come with three sets of lenses that range from mild changes to mind-blowing fun, so no one can see (or draw) straight–your vision will bounce off of the lenses. Googly Eyes is a fun twist on classic drawing games that lets players of different ages and skill levels compete on equal terms, since the goggles make it fun and challenging for everyone. Unlike any other drawing game you don’t need to be an artist, and the rules are simple. Just roll the die and move–the space you land on tells you which color lenses to use (easy, medium, or hard). Then pick a card, set the timer, and start drawing. If your team guesses correctly you get to roll and move again; if not, then you stay where you are on the board. The first team to reach Finish wins. For 4-16 players, ages 7 and up.

My Thoughts

I had never had any games from Goliath Games before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as quality and such. I am happy to say that I was very impressed with their games.  They are all age appropriate, and a lot of fun. My husband had actually seen a commercial for Mr. Bucket on television, and commented that it looked like fun. He was thrilled when I told him Goliath Games had sent it to me for review! Yes, I am aware that these games are geared toward smaller children, but who says adults can’t have fun, too?

The instructions are all easy to read for the games, and each game had the correct pieces. There is nothing I hate more than getting a game, setting it up to play, and finding that it is missing a piece. Frustrating!

These games are all a lot of fun to play, and will make your kiddos happy! They are budget friendly, and perfect for those on your Christmas shopping list!

 

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Knocking out the Honey-Do List Yourself

By Aurora M.

 

I think we can all agree that gone are the days that you separated the different household tasks  to whatever member of the family was “supposed” to do it, according to their gender. The women in the household don’t need to be the ones to make three meals a day, stay at home, or keep the house tidy while their husband works. And the men of the household don’t need to be the main breadwinner, or be the one who fixes the leaky faucet, changes the oil in the car, or squish the spiders that show up on the walls.

 

Don’t leave the to do list for your honey

Staying at home taking care of the kids and the house is a job, too. It’s every bit as difficult as going out into a traditional workplace from 9-5 every weekday. But there’s no reason to split the household duties in a traditional sense. Leave the dishes until the end of the day when your husband is home, and let him do them. Insist that someone else takes out the trash for once. And you’re not exempt from this. The handywork doesn’t have to wait until your husband is home. Your sink is clogged? You can fix it yourself.

 

Unclogging the drain

Maybe just a little bit too much food went down the garbage disposal in the kitchen sink. Or your stress hair loss is making it impossible for the tub to drain. Or maybe the toddler got away for a few minutes and filled the toilet with toilet paper. Things happen. A clogged drain is definitely not something to leave until the end of the day for your partner to fix. There are a few different methods that you can use to try and clear the drain of the unwanted materials. You can use a plunger, baking soda and vinegar, or you can use a drain snake.

 

Lawn care

Working in the yard may be tedious work, but it can feel relieving to be outside for a few hours and get your hands dirty. Unlike when you spend hours to get the kitchen clean just to see your child run through and smear jam on the counters moments later, working in the yard will leave you with results that aren’t so easily destroyed. Let your husband put the kids to bed after dinner, while you spend a few minutes watching the sunset while you rake leaves or prepare mulch for the garden. Or have him help you. If you have some nice shade cover (or you’re holding out hope that you can maintain your summer tan throughout these cold months and want to work in the sunshine), bring your kids out to play while the weather’s still mild enough, and get the work done during the day.

 

Be your own mechanic

How many times have you asked your husband to change the oil in your car or swap out the windshield wiper blades, before you finally have to take it to your local garage and pay someone else to do the work you know could easily be done at home? These mechanical fixes are a lot less complex than they seem, and will not only save you money, but will also leave you feeling accomplished. And then you can spend the money you would’ve spent on taking your car to get the oil changed by someone else, to do a little online shopping the next time your kids are taking a nap.

All you’ll need to change the oil in your car is: replacement oil, replacement oil filter, tray to catch the old oil, and a socket wrench. It’s a relatively simple job, and you can watch a few youtube videos to figure out how to do it right. It’s just a matter of replacing the filter(which will then leak the old oil), and then refilling with the new oil. Such a simple job, but one that will nonetheless surprise your partner when he gets home and sees that you took matters into your own hands and took care of the honey-do list yourself.

 

The power of a screwdriver

Often, there are small things around the house that can be quite simply fixed with a screwdriver; a loose cupboard door, the toilet-paper holder knocked off the wall, a wobbly leg on a table. Here’s a pro tip: if you’re not sure how to take care of something yourself, you can ask someone at the hardware store. They’re amazingly helpful and sometimes, they even have classes to help you learn some extra handyman skills.

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Common Mistakes People Make When Building a Home

by Alek Sabin

 

Building your own home is an exciting experience. For many people, actually building a home from the ground up is something that they save to do with what they imagine as their dream home. This means that there is a strong emotional attachment to the homebuilding process. For this reason, people should take special care with the construction process to make sure that they are getting what they want out of their new home.

Rushing through the process is sure to lead to mistakes that are always going to bug the homeowner, if not outright haunt them because of how easily they could have been fixed. Here are some common mistakes that people make when building a home…

 

Failing to properly communicate with the contractor

First of all, a person should never try to be their own contractor when they are building a home. After all, you wouldn’t try to be your own doctor, would you? (Hint: you shouldn’t.) Picking a proven and experienced contractor is an important part of the home  building process, but even that is only part of the equation. It is important to make sure that you keep an open line of communication with the contractor, so that there is clarity about the process between both parties. Make a list of questions to ask them about whenever you talk to them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but also be sure to respect their profession, as well.

 

Using cheap materials where it matters

If you are building a brand new home, then you want to make sure that you are building something that is going to last and be comfortable to live in for years and years to come. Despite this fact, some people try to cut corners when they build a home, and opt to get lower end materials. The materials that you use on your home are going to determine its longevity and how much it is going to be worth, in the end. For this reason, always budget out to get quality materials that are going to get you a quality home. Don’t settle for linoleum. Get tile! Don’t settle for laminate countertops. Get that granite; you deserve it!

 

Trying to do too many things, themselves

This goes hand in hand with the above point, but people tend to think that they can save a buck or two by trying to do many things, themselves. However, when you are building a home from scratch, it is probably best to let professionals with the proper specialty handle most tasks. Sure, there are some things that families can do that are going to save some labor costs, but don’t assume that you should put up entire frames or shingle a roof just because you’ve helped do it once before. If you make a mistake, it is likely going to cost you a lot more, in the long run. Be realistic about whether or not you should do this task, and then call a professional.

 

Building in a bad area

When people want to build a home, they get so wrapped up in the specifics of the actual structure, that they sometimes miss the fact that where your house is located can be just as important as your actual house. Buying a lot of land in an area that isn’t growing (or is growing too much for your liking) or that doesn’t have great access to schools and hospitals can make you begin to resent a home, after the novelty of a “new house” wears off. Just remember, site location should be just as important as any other aspect of building a home.

 

Not budgeting a contingency fund

The difference between building a home that you love and a home that you’ll settle for comes down to one thing: budgeting. If you are scraping pennies and trying to turn nickels into dimes the entire time you are building a home, then you are probably going to get something that is notably different from the vision that you started with. For this reason, you should budget out how much you expect it is going to cost (after professional input, of course), and then you should add about a 10% contingency fund to that budget, so that you can handle any unexpected expenses (which always pop up).

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Hygge Happy Coloring Book

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Do you love coloring? If you are like me, coloring is a passion. Take a look at this Hygge Happy Coloring Book!

About Hygge

Have you ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy day or taken pleasure in sipping hot cocoa by the crackling reside? If so, you’ve experienced hygge! Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the Danish word hygge translates into a feeling of cozy contentment by enjoying the simple things in life. The hygge trend has become huge in recent years; just look at Instagram with 1.5m results appearing with the #hygge hashtag.
Now, you can experience the feeling of hygge while coloring hygge-related images in the new coloring book Hygge Happy Coloring Book: Coloring Pages for a Cozy LifeThat’s double the hygge!The book features the stunning artwork of Robin Pickens and Heather Davulcu. Pickens is an artist who specializes in Christmas ornaments, fabrics, and greeting cards. Davulcu is the owner of her own art business called April Heather Art. The pair make an extraordinary team in bringing together a unique, modern, and exquisitely Hygge-esque experience in this comfortable and relaxing new book.

My Thoughts

I adore this coloring book! It is full of vintage and retro style images, that make me want to color for hours! I am all about everything retro, so it was only natural to add this book to my collection. The pages are nice and thick, and the ink flows smoothly across them. The quality of paper is such that the ink doesn’t bleed through. Now, don’t get me wrong, marker, especially permanent, will bleed through with certain brands. But, ink does not bleed through the pages.

This book makes me think of happy times growing up. It brings back memories of my grandparents, and spending time with them. Overall, it’s a great coloring book, and I absolutely love it!

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Up Your Lunch Game With Russbe

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Russbe has you covered for all of those lunch container needs.

About Russbe

Welcome to the Russbe family! We’re a California-based company dedicated to providing fun, waste-free lunch and snack products to you and your family since 2008. Russbe offers convenient, reusable lunch and snack bags and containers to eco-conscious folks and those who want to share our passion for preserving this amazing planet.

Russbe’s washable and reusable snack and sandwich bags provide a fun alternative to disposable plastic and paper sacks. Each RUSSBE bag has the potential to keep hundreds of disposable bags out of the world’s oceans, cities and landfills while keeping snacks and sandwiches fresh and ready to enjoy. Our new line of Bento boxes are the perfect waste-free solution for packing daily lunches or mid-day snacks for little ones and teens. They’re also great for health-conscious adults who prefer prepping homemade meals and snacks on the go.  All Russbe products are durable, easy to use, and simple to clean. They are also free of BPA, PVC, latex and phthalates.

Attractively priced and packaged, RUSSBE products allow people to cut back on plastic waste without breaking the bank. Russbe also uses biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials to further reduce the amount of harmful waste. We are dedicated to making a positive difference and maintaining our beautiful planet for generations to come.

My Thoughts

Oh my! These sandwich and snack bags are the most adorable things ever! What kid, or adult even, wouldn’t want to use these? Not only are they eco friendly, but they have cute designs. I love that I can wash and reuse these. It saves so much money, and waste. The sandwich bags are perfect for nearly any sandwich, and the zipper seal stays sealed. The little snack bags are perfect for throwing a snack in my purse for on the go. My youngest son appreciates this, as he is always snacking!

The bento boxes are awesome. They are large enough to fit a sandwich in the big section, and the lid just snaps on. They are very strong, and will withstand a lot of use. They are microwaveable, and dishwasher safe.

The snack bentos are the perfect size for snacking on the go. They have 2 levels, with a divider in between. They snap closed, and won’t open accidentally, and make a mess. They are easy to clean, since there are no sharp corners.

The reuse-a-pop bags are perfect for many things. You can make popsicles, of course, because they are awesome. But you can also use this for making your own yogurt tubes, or for pureed fruit. They have a zip seal on them, and are washable so that you can use them again and again!

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Tips for Smooth Mornings for Moms

By Aurora M.

 

For some people, the morning is bright and full of potential. For the rest of us, it’s the dreaded gauntlet that we have to run in order to get on with our lives. All too often, the people feeling bright and chipper in the morning are your children, who love to wake you up hours before you’re ready to start the day, (even though they also kept you up all night!) Whether you’re trying to get your children to church, school, daycare, or simply get them dressed and out the door… here are some tips to help the morning go smoother for the whole family.

 

The most important meal of the day

morningsWe’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you have kids running around your feet, it can be easy to put off eating a for a few hours, just until they’ve settled down. You might tell yourself that you’re just waiting until the baby is ready for a nap. But in reality, you know you probably won’t actually get around to eating. Breakfast really is so important, because you need the energy to get through the day and chase your little ones around. If you don’t eat in the mornings, it’s likely that you’ll be cranky and short with your kids, meaning that no one will really have a good day.

For breakfast, make sure that you’re getting a balanced meal that includes protein. A bowl of cereal probably isn’t going to cut it and give you enough energy to last you until lunch. For an added boost of energy, try adding a cup of matcha to your daily routine. As this article argues, it will keep you energized longer than your regular cup of coffee, plus it burns more calories and has way more antioxidants per cup. Your energy is important, and you don’t want to let yourself get burned out in the first few hours of the day!

 

Implement healthy routines

This is true for both you AND your children. Your children will learn from example, and it’s important that they pick up healthy habits from you at anmornings early age. You can make it fun! Brush your teeth at the same time as all your kids (even before they have teeth!) and make a game to see who can brush their teeth longest, or who can gurgle their rinse water longer. Making sure that you eat WITH them is another important habit. They need to see that it’s important to eat three full meals every day. Bonus points if your meals are full of fruits and vegetables, so they won’t be afraid to try eating an array of different healthy foods.

 

Don’t give up on nap time

morningsWhile your little ones are growing so much, especially in the first few years, it’s important that they get lots of rest. They’re tiring themselves out so much during the day, running around and playing. Besides that, growing actually takes a lot of energy, which is why napping is so important for your littles. Utilize their nap time, and use this time to take a much needed break. Catch up on your favorite tv shows, read a book, or take a nap yourself if you need one.

Even as your children get older and begin resisting nap time, it’s still important for you to get that short break in the late mornings before lunch. So even if they aren’t going to take a nap, have them take an hour or two (however long nap time usually is) for “quiet time”. They should use this time to read books or quietly play by themselves, if they don’t want to nap. Sometimes, because they’re being peaceful and relatively still, they’ll end up taking a nap anyway, which is a double win for you!

 

Setting yourself up for success

Mornings can be hard, period. But this gets even harder if you’re carrying over anxiety and stress from the day before. If you do this day in and day out, you’ve caught yourself in a vicious cycle that may be incredibly difficult to get yourself out of. Some of the things that are the most helpful here are to eat a balanced breakfast, as mentioned earlier, and then a good night’s rest. Sometimes that’s just not possible, and that’s okay. It’s not always possible. If you have a free moment in the mornings, try to sit and collect your thoughts before you start the day. This article has some great ideas for confronting stress and anxiety in the mornings. Think about the ways you’ll succeed that day. Meditate. Project your positive thoughts. The more positive and successful you think you’ll be that day, the more positive and successful you’ll actually be.

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Teaching Your Child to Understand Strong Emotions

By Alek S.

 

One thing that a lot of adults tend to forget about growing up is how extreme emotions could feel at time. Children tend to feel things very strongly, and don’t necessarily have the context to tell whether something is a big deal or not. Because of this fact, strong emotions can often bubble up in children, and cause them to engage in behavior that could be harmful or destructive. For this reason, it is the responsibility of parents to recognize these issues that their children are having, and to teach them how to work through and understand those strong emotions. Here are some tips on how to teach this to your child…

 

Teach them to apply logic to their emotions

Children have a tendency to operate strictly off of emotion. This is just how children are. While they can be remarkably observant, they just don’t have the context of a longer life to have witnessed logic in action, as much. Because of this, it’s important to communicate with your child (calmly, might I add), and ask them to really think about why they feel a certain way. When children begin to put motivations to their emotions, it becomes easier for them to see a bigger picture and realize that they might be overreacting to something, or at least they’ll understand why they have such strong feelings.

 

Don’t downplay their emotions

One of the worst things you can do is downplay these emotions and make your child feel like these feelings don’t matter. Yes, they may be acting absurd, or might be overreacting to something that is really such a small problem. But the feelings that they are feeling are very real. Address those feelings, as such, and make sure that they understand that you really do care what they are feeling, and want to help them figure out how to handle those emotions. This teaches children to tackle their emotions, head-on and in a productive way, rather than burying them deep down where they can forget about them.

 

Tell them when you feel a certain way

While children don’t always do what their parents say, or follow their parents’ advice directly, they are always watching and listening. Children pick up on so many cues that their parents never really intended the to learn from. It’s why people have such a tendency to inherit their parents’ mistakes. Because of this fact, be mindful that they pick up emotional intelligence by watching you.

 

Whenever you are feeling incredibly strong emotions about something, do the same thing that you tell them to do, and communicate with them about why you feel this way, and why you are reacting the way you are. This helps put context to certain emotions. If you feel like you don’t want to explain the reason you are acting a certain way to your child, then the reality is that your emotions are probably very childish, in that moment.

 

Show them coping skills for problematic emotions

When you are a child and you feel something so strongly, it can be difficult to really know what to do about it. They just haven’t developed the coping skills to deal with such strong feelings, yet. It’s up to you, as the parent, to show them how they can cope with these strong feelings, and that they can work through their emotions in a positive way. This is especially something to worry about when the emotions can lead to problematic behavior, and cause your child to be destructive.

 

Teach them to recognize emotion in others

Emotional intelligence is a highly important skill for children to learn, as it teaches them how to be social and how to have empathy for other human beings. Start to teach them how to recognize emotion in other people, early on. You can do this by showing them how to recognize certain emotions in the media that you watch together, or by pointing out the ways that they’ve made another person feel (whether that is another child that they play with, or another member of the family.

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