Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Relive The Magic of Beauty And The Beast With a Modern Day Version

Just yesterday, I was watching the original version of Beauty and the Beast with my 2.5 year old daughter, Scarlett.  It was her first time watching it as well as her first Disney movie too.  This was one of my favorite movies when I was younger and I was excited at the opportunity to share the magic of the movie with Scarlett.  

It's been 26 years since the original Disney classic Beauty and The Beast arrived in theaters and captured our hearts.  

A new generation of fans will be able to enjoy the film thanks to the modern day remake of the movie.  In the 2017 version, Belle (played by Emma Watson) is a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle.  Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to loo beyond the beast's hideous exterior.  This allows her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true princes that hides on the inside.

It's a completely different experience to watch the movie when you're an adult versus when you're a child.  Although this remake is a bit darker and geared towards an older audience, I think it was a smart move to make the new version since it can attract a whole new generation of fans.  

Everyone has gotten a makeover and while the same characters exist, they look very different.  The colors of the movie are dark and muted and this version is not animated.  You'll still be delighted by the classic story and songs.  This is surely a film the entire family can enjoy.  Gather everyone around the TV with snacks and drinks for a movie night you won't soon forget.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Click Communications for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Miami Beach Chocolates Are Exactly What You Need

Hi, my name is Sammi and I'm a chocoholic.  Yes, alert the press because it's absolutely true!  I love chocolate and can't get enough of it.  Give me a piece of smooth and creamy chocolate with a nutty or coconut filling and I'll love you forever.  I don't discriminate against chocolate no matter what form it comes in.  I'm a fan of chocolate cookies, brownies, candy, cake, and of course pie. Eating chocolate is always on my agenda and I can't get enough of it.  Go ahead and have a delicious brownie or cookie today, your stomach deserves it!

Miami Beach Chocolates creates gourmet chocolates with premium ingredients that will make your taste buds sing.  The shop is located in Miami, Florida and is proud of their Jewish heritage and they honor it through their 100% Kosher certification.  In addition, they offer parve chocolates made with no milk or animal products which are perfect for Jewish High Holidays.

This sweet treat company offers fantastic hand dipped barks and oreos, truffles, peanut butter cups, chocolate covered fruit, and so much more. Whatever chocolate based treat you could want, the shop offers it.  With nationwide shipping, there's always an occasion to satisfy someone's sweet tooth with Miami Beach Chocolates.  Keep them in mind for birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and work events.  

My love for chocolate knows no bounds.  I really could eat it daily if allowed. When I received the opportunity to review chocolates from Miami Beach Chocolates, I was very excited.  A fabulous assortment of four boxes of chocolates showed up at my door and my heart turned to liquid chocolate upon seeing them.  It was so glorious and definitely a chocolate masterpiece.


It should be against the law for these chocolates to be this beautiful.  Each one has a different look and personality, but in the end they all offer you a big, bold taste. The boxes contained barks, darks,  chocolate dipped fruit, truffles, and many other things.  Of course I haven't tried all of them because there's so many, but I have sunk my teeth into quite a few selections.  The luscious chocolate covering the hand dipped barks offers a crunch you won't soon forget.  My favorites were the nutty chews, along with the chocolate bark and Oreo bark.  

You won't find chocolate sweeter than at Miami Beach Chocolates.  The decadent milk, white, and dark chocolate blankets your mouth in deliciousness that you'll remember forever.  One bite and I was in heaven.  I can't remember the last time I had chocolates this excellent.  

I look forward to trying the rest of the treats soon.  I know it won't be long because I have zero self control against candies! 

If you're looking to make someone happy today, I highly recommend sending them a gift basket or box from Miami Beach Chocolates.  Who knows, they might even share it with you!

A Father's Day Present from Fracture Would Be a Great Idea

When I look at the walls in my home, I am presented with pictures of our family and artwork that my husband and I enjoy.  Walls are meant to be filled with love and memories, and that's what I aim to do.  I enjoy seeing pictures of my daughter when she was younger and the memories they evoke. Family means everything to me and I always enjoy adding new collages with meaningful pictures. When's the last time you updated the family photos in your home?

Fracture is not your average traditional framed paper picture company.  These beautiful pieces are made by hand and very different.  The company prints directly on pure glass, instead of paper and provides a beautiful finished product.  By doing this, their special technique allows your photo to be displayed in an attractive way for years to come.  The uploading process is simple, just upload a photo, place the order and in a few days you'll receive your order ready to be mounted on the wall. An order from Fracture makes a beautiful housewarming gift as well as a wonderful present for just about any occasion for friends or family.  A gift from Fracture would be an excellent Father's Day present too.  Go ahead and make an order today!

The possibilities are endless for deciding what picture to use for your dad or husband for their gift. Whether you want to choose a recent family picture, your family pooch, or even a gorgeous picture of the mountains that you took, it will all look wonderful.  Your husband or dad will really appreciate it and want to hang it up as quickly as possible.

You'll notice the vivid and bright color printed directly on the glass photo for a lifetime of happiness and memories. The sizes range from small to extra large on portrait, landscape, and square and would look perfect in any room.

Fracture is having a sale from June 1st to the 18th where you can take 15% off your order at checkout with promo code DADROCKS.  Also, they are hosting a giveaway contest for a prize package worth $1,000! Please check out the details here.

*DISCLOSURE* I received a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  
Monday, May 29, 2017

Life With 2 Children

In the not so distant future, my husband and I would like to give Scarlett a sibling.  No, I am not pregnant currently, but we would like to expand our family soon.  I'm taking the time to write this post to connect with other parents who have more than one child to see what the beginning was like for them.

I have three friends who have two children and a fourth who is having her second child soon.  I've been asking them questions and looking for advice on how their lives and children's lives changed once the second child arrived.  I'm an only child and knew that I always wanted to give my child a sibling.

Everything is so easy for me now in terms of taking care of Scarlett.  I have a set schedule for her for sleeping and eating along with bath time.  I'm very lucky that she's slept through the night since 6 months old, she takes a nap daily for 2-3 hours, and is a relatively good eater.  When you bring a second child into the mix, everything changes.  What if this child doesn't sleep and screams all night? Not only will Scarlett be up, but my husband and I too.  I think the fear of the unknown is difficult for me because I like to have everything planned out.  I know that this next baby is not necessarily going to be as easy as Scarlett is and that's something I'll have to handle.

As any parent would be, I am excited at the thought of a second child, but have some fears and concerns especially balancing everything with a new baby.  This is totally normal in my opinion. Some of my thoughts are how do I make sure both children feel equally loved? My friends say it takes so long to get both kids ready and out the door and they are always late.  I'm an early arrival person and can't imagine being late to things.  How do I make sure I spend equal time and attention with both children especially with a newborn who demands attention? Scarlett loves babies but how will she feel about a sibling who is permanently in her home? I hope she will not be jealous.

It's just been me and Scarlett for 2 1/2 years now and it will be an adjustment for all of us.  I know it will be exciting and a new journey in our lives too.  When the time comes I will try to prepare Scarlett for the new baby as much as possible! 
Sunday, May 28, 2017

All Tummies Love Haagen Dazs Ice Cream

I don't regularly think about ice cream until it starts getting warm out.  As soon as summer hits, I crave that cool and creamy frozen treat.  I don't discriminate against ice cream, whether it's in an ice cream cake, by itself in a bowl, or even in a milkshake, I love it all equally.  My favorite ice cream flavors are anything involving mint or chocolate. Don't forget hot fudge, sprinkles, and gummy bears too.  Do yourself a favor and enjoy an ice cream cone today.

Haagen Dazs is an ice cream brand which offers the finest ingredients and flavors available.  If you haven't indulged in a treat from this brand previously, you need to do so!  When I crave ice cream, I usually want Haagen Dazs because the rich and creamy ice cream is always packed with wonderful add-in's like cookie dough or peanut butter swirls.  Haagen Dazs offers a wide range of flavor options for their gelato, sorbet, ice cream bars, ice cream, and frozen yogurt.  How does chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or limoncello gelato sound? If you're looking for frozen yogurt, maybe vanilla raspberry swirl is more up your alley? Don't forget about salted caramel ice cream bars too! This is only the start of what wonderful flavors Haagen Dazs offers.  If you're looking for a sweet treat to satisfy that sweet tooth, why not turn to Haagen Dazs?

 Can you imagine anything more delicious than these two flavors? I think not.  It's important to eat ice cream on only days that end in Y.
Love at first bite.

I tried the ice cream bar first.  You cannot go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter together in one dessert.  It's such a classic flavor that always satisfies.  The ice cream bar is small for the amount of calories it packs, but it is a treat after all.  From the moment you see the sweet treat, it's visually pleasing.  The outer chocolate shell has a generous amount of nuts dotted all over.  When you take a bite, the crunch from the nuts along with the sweet chocolate shell and the creamy vanilla ice cream is fantastic.  I started to discover the ribbons of peanut butter that were hidden inside soon after taking another bite.  This treat was sweet but not overly sweet where you felt like you couldn't finish it.  I absolutely loved it and finished it very fast.  I'm controlling myself from having another.

I've been a fan of cookie dough ice cream from an early age.  It's very hard for me not to sneak a taste of the cookie dough when I'm making cookies. This ice cream was simply fabulous. It's vanilla ice cream with large chunks of cookie dough pieces packed into it. If you're wondering what heaven on earth is like, it definitely begins in this ice cream container.  The vanilla ice cream was sweet and rich and full of fantastic flavor.  The cookie dough pieces were large and made my stomach and taste buds smile.  

It's easy to say that I enjoyed both of these desserts from Haagen Dazs equally.  I look forward to trying more of the newer flavors in the near future.  It will be very hard for me to stay away!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Haagen Dazs for supplying me with product coupons in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own. 
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Loaves Will Make You Say Yum!

If you're thinking about sweet treats lately, why not combine the delicious flavor of banana and chocolate chip? This classic combo never disappoints and will make your belly happy time and time again.

The best part about these loaves is that they're mini! These tiny cuties are not only adorable, but perfect for breakfast too.  

To start, you'll need a mini loaf pan.  I found mine at Walmart, but you can probably find them at any major retailer.  The pan holds 4 mini loaves which is ideal for sharing, or freezing for later.  Sharing sweet treats is not my strong suit. :) 

Make sure you have ripe bananas on hand and lots of chocolate chips to make this an ultra-rich treat. 


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325F, and grease your mini loaf pan.  Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir bananas, milk, and cinnamon in another bowl.  Beat butter and sugar in a third bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir banana mixture into butter mixture, and then stir in dry mixture until blended.  Fold in chocolate chips until just combined.  Pour into mini loaf pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  This will be about 70 minutes.  Cool in the pan before removing to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.  

You'll be left with a fabulous mini chocolate chip banana bread that will be warm, moist, and just fabulous.  Pair it with a glass of icy cold milk or a mug of tea and you'll be enjoying a wonderful treat.

*This is not my original recipe, but I have altered it to make it my own.* 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Stay Healthy Thanks to Myrtol 300

I'm very lucky that both my husband and daughter and I very rarely get sick.  Scarlett goes to preschool and is constantly around children and germs, but I'm fortunate that the sicknesses seem to bypass both her and I.  Did you know that cold and flu season can last for months and even into May? On average, Americans have cold and/or flu symptoms at least five times in a typical year. Make sure you take care of yourself to stay as healthy as possible.

Myrtol 300 is a natural supplement to use when treating colds.  If you want to get rid of that pesky cold naturally instead of with over-the-counter medicine, this is a wonderful and safe choice for you. This supplement uses a proprietary blend of essential oils like eucalyptus and sweet orange to help soothe coughs and support a healthy respiratory system.  The product has recently been launched in the US, but has been used for over 40 years in Germany and 23 other countries. With 68% of Americans saying they prefer to take natural supplements rather than synthetic drugs, it only makes sense that Myrtol 300 is the product for them.

There's nothing more frustrating than being sick and feeling miserable.  Since I'm a stay-at-home-mom, I don't get sick days.  I have to take care of Scarlett whether I'm feeling well or not.  I can only recall one time in 2 1/2 years where my husband had to come home from work early to help me, because I was really feeling bad.  You'll be pleased to know that Myrtol 300 provides lung and sinus support to help break down mucus to alleviate sinus congestion so you can breathe better.

When you take this supplement it starts working within hours and most people are symptom free within 3 days!  My colds usually last about a week and I feel awful and spend a lot of time in bed.  I definitely need to remember to take Myrtol 300 at the first hint of a cold or sore throat in the future.   It's time to kick those germs and colds to the curb and feel better quicker.

Keep this miracle product with you when you travel or with you at all times.  It's compact enough to fit in a medicine cabinet as well as a purse or backpack.  It'll be your new best friend and you'll wonder how you ever lived life without it.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Myrtol 300 for sponsoring this post.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine.  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Make Your Newborn Feel Safe With a HALO SleepSack Swaddle

It's imperative that babies feel secure from birth.  They need to feel close to their parents in order to properly thrive, grow, and develop.  Make sure that you interact with your child and hold them tight as much as possible so they feel loved.  Sometimes babies need a little more than you can realistically provide, and that's when HALO steps in.

HALO offers wearable blankets that replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover your baby's face and interfere with breathing.  For young babies, HALO offers the only 2-in-1 adjustable swaddle that allows for swaddling arms in and out for baby's comfort.  The wearable zippable blankets come in patterns and colors for both boys and girls in a variety of sizes.  You can choose from materials such as micro fleece, 100% cotton, 100% cotton muslin, 100% organic cotton, and plushy dot velboa.  Besides just sleepsack swaddles, HALO offers SleepSacks, SleepSack gifts, comfortluxe sleepwear, and much more.  If you're going to a baby shower anytime soon, any item from HALO makes the perfect gift.

Since Scarlett's been born we've been using HALO products.  We started off with SleepSack Swaddle and then at 3 months old we transitioned into SleepSack.  Depending on the season, Scarlett goes to bed every night with either a cotton or a fleece SleepSack   They keep her secure and comfortable and I don't have to worry about the hazards of a loose blanket in her crib.  Since she's small, the sleep sacks fit her longer than normal. That's a win-win for mom and baby! You can't beat the pretty colors and patterns that sleepsacks are offered in either.

If you're looking for an adorable SleepSack Swaddle for your new baby, I'd love to recommend the 100% Cotton Muslin Sleepsack Swaddle in the Grey Tree Leaf print.  This is a gender neutral print that goes for both boys and girls, making it an ideal choice.  When Scarlett was an infant, she was very fond of her swaddles and loved her arms wrapped as tight as possible.  I know I'll continue using HALO products when I have my next child too.

In addition to helping your baby sleep safer, it helps them sleep better too.  The adjustable swaddle wrap immobilizes your baby's arms to prevent the "moro" or startle reflex.  You'll be pleased to know it's the only 3-way adjustable swaddle that adjusts to your baby's sleep style.  Feel free to swaddle arms in, hands-to face, one or both arms out to ensure baby's best sleep and an easy and gentle transition to the sleepsack when it's time to stop swaddling.

I'm a big fan of these swaddles because unlike regular swaddle blankets, they don't easily come undone.  Thanks to HALO's wonderful velcro closure, your baby will always be safe and secure no matter what.

Keep HALO in mind for all of your SleepSack Swaddle needs both present and future.  You'll become a loyal customer instantly.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to HALO for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post. All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Don’t Give Up Your Weight Gain – Fight Back With Phenocal!

Don’t Give Up Your Weight Gain – Fight Back With Phenocal!
Struggling To Shed Those Extra Pounds? Phenocal Might Be Your Solution

Regular physical exercise and a diet that includes food rich in all essential nutrients are an excellent way of keeping yourself fit and healthy, as well as feeling (and looking) good. When you have excess weight, however, such a simple lifestyle might not be the best approach to losing those extra pounds. For this reason, a calorie restricted diet is often preferred, but many people still fail to maintain such a diet or to achieve appropriate results while following such a diet. There are also many best diet pills that can be taken to help people maintain a lower calorie diet, but these supplements often fail to provide results that can be considered appropriate. Phenocal, however, is one weight loss supplement that is becoming increasingly popular among people who are overweight. In this post, we will take a look at how Phenocal can help you avoid picking up more weight and help you reduce your present body weight.

How Phenocal Helps You Stop Weight Gain

Being overweight is dangerous to your overall health and the more weight you gain, the more dangers you will have to face.NIH reports that around 68.8% of Americans are already overweight. Livestrong says that at least 50% of all women in the United States are on a diet, but little of them achieve any significant results and a lot of dieters pick up more weight after they stop dieting. Preventing further weight gain is a major step if you wish to lose weight and reach a better level of health, but it is often difficult when you frequently experience cravings, and you cannot control your portions during meals.
Phenocal has been formulated to help people overcome these problems. The formula contains Chromium Picolinate, which keep blood sugar levels intact during the day. When blood sugar levels are not spiking and diving throughout the day, it also means the user will be less likely to crave carbohydrate-rich foods. The formula also contains Glucomannan, which expands in the stomach and causes the user to eat less food when they are having a meal. Cocoa extract and Hoodia Gordonii further helps to reduce the users appetite so they can better control the amount of food they consume during the different meals they have during the day, and also helps the user avoid those cravings for unhealthy snacks. 

How Phenocal Helps You Lose Weight

Phenocal does not only suppress the users appetite and prevent further weight gain but also includes a formula that utilizes a unique method known as thermokinetic. This technology has been developed to increase the results a person gets when they exercise. While you already burn calories while you participate in physical activities, the ingredients used in the thermokinetic blend in Phenocal helps to increase the temperature that your body reaches internally during exercise. When the temperature rises, you will burn a significantly larger amount of calories while you are exercising. The product also contains Cocoa extract to help improve the way your body breaks down carbs and fat, as well as Folic Acid to allow stubborn fat to be burnt. 

How Safe Is Phenocal?

One concern that people often have when they buy weight loss supplements is the safety of the product. Since the pharmaceutical options can lead to some unwanted side-effects, people often wonder whether the same side-effects would occur when the use a natural supplement for weight loss. Fortunately, Phenocals ingredients have been tested through numerous scientific studies, and it was confirmed that the ingredients found in the formula are safe to use and do not yield any side-effects that could be harmful to the users health. Phenocal also does not include any chemicals that are found in pharmaceutical products. The entire formula has been developed with a carefully selected blend of vitamins and botanical extracts. Phenocal Reviews all over the internet are very positive, which shows how efficient and safe this product is! 
Even though all of the ingredients have been deemed as safe, it is still important for any potential user to consult the parts of the product and to determine if they are allergic to an of these components. Should a user be allergic to an ingredient, they may experience an allergic reaction when taking the supplements. If the user is not aware of an actual allergy and a reaction occurs, it can be treated with a dose of antihistamines. 


To lose weight, a regular diet often does not work. Restricting your daily calorie intake and doing more physical exercises is often recommended, but sticking to such a program can be tough. Phenocal, however, offers people who are overweight an effective solution that reduces hunger and helps the user lose weight faster. The supplement is also equipped with natural compounds that can help the user avoid picking up any more weight.

Author Bio-
Meighan Sembrano is an enthusiast and a passionate writer. She is expertise in Beauty and skin care articles. Also, have contributed in the health and fitness field. Her work gives an enthusiast twist to the readers. She resonates the readers with her sincere and thoughtful words. You can follow Meighan on Twitter and Facebook.

Video:  Phenocal - #1 Rated Weight Loss Product

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Celebrate Dad This Father's Day In a Thoughtful Way

For many years, the only dad that I've celebrated on Father's Day was my own.  In 2014, my husband became a dad and I've been able to celebrate him on his special day once a year.  This year will be his third Father's Day and I plan on making sure he has a special day complete with picnic lunch! Make sure you honor the dad's in your life with everything they love to do.

Papyrus is the headquarters for beautiful gifts, gift wrap and bags, as well as greeting cards.  Delight your Dad with a beautiful handmade card with a sweet message inside that he'll treasure forever.  If you're looking for gifts, you can select from personalized calendars, picture frames, music boxes, journals and notebooks, and so much more.  

There's truly something for everyone no matter what their style or interest is.  Papyrus's gift wrap and gift bags are truly works of art and any individual will just love them.  Keep Papyrus in mind for Father's Day as well as any other future gift needs.  

One gift that I'm giving my husband this year is the Greatness of Dads book.  Jay loves books on topics that are meaningful to him, and I know he'll appreciate something that is near and dear to his heart like fatherhood. 

This is a heartwarming book filled with quotes, poems, literacy excerpts, pop-culture references and photographs that highlight the bond between fathers and their children.

Any dad will appreciate this beautiful book and it may even bring a tear to their eye! The bond between a father and daughter is unbreakable.  It makes me happy that Scarlett loves her dad and is so close to him.  I hope that she will always be close to him as she grows up. 

This book would be a great gift option to give Pops this Father's Day along with a gift card and his favorite meal.  It would be a Father's Day he won't soon forget!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Papyrus for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Beauty Of Cooking

Some of the best memories in life circle around the idea of the 'home-cooked meal'. In many cases, it was our mother and father, grandma or grandfather who made the best recipes and the tastiest meals. There's a good reason for that. In most cases, we are very connected to our families, and we grew up eating family meals together at the table - and how lucky were we for that? Food - right up until now, was always about sustenance and community. You cooked for your family, and you enjoyed a great meal together. Our ancestors tackled great beasts and shared in their meat together - then they learned to grow food and shared it together - then they went out to the market and bought it to bring home, and shared it. Food? It's always been about getting it and sharing it. Unless you're Joey from Friends of course! Some of us don't like sharing, but even then it is all about eating in the company of others. A lot of modern households owe their development to the family meal.
We’re losing it though. Society is so focused on the now that we almost never have the time to sit back and enjoy our food, let alone cook it. We want our six-inch sub of the day right now, we want our fries and coke now, we want to eat it fast and get on with our lives. On the occasion, it’s all well and good, but have you ever been walking to work with a sandwich hanging out your mouth only to think that the situation isn’t right? Food is meant to be enjoyed, not rammed down the throat as quick as possible. There is beauty and joy to be found in cooking. Always.
Some of us are fighting back against the 'bad food revolution' by doing a simple thing. Finding the time to cook. Yes! It's possible, even in this day and age! Shopping Kim will help show you how, but you can always carve open a slot for cooking, so you carve open a chicken and potato meal for the family! Once you’ve found the time to cook, you can find the beauty in cooking. You are not just roasting something, you are creating a meal and thus a moment for the family - what could be more beautiful than that? Not much I’d venture. Beauty can certainly be found in fleeting moments, but it needs time to be cultivated on every other occasion - by finding the time to cook, you are finding the time to cultivate that little bit of beauty.

Cooking isn't just beautiful because of the meaning behind it or what it creates for your family, but because of the fact that you get to be hands-on with food! Food is beautiful and one of the best things you can get to grips with. From the bright colors of peppers and fruits, to the smells of spices and oils, to the tenderness of meat - food has it all. Cooking is the chemical craft of combining these ingredients into a meal. You can sear and sizzle with oil, bake with sheets and trays, season with salt and spice - what you do is up to you, be you artist or scientist in the kitchen - or a little bit of both. Cooking is only ever going to be limited by your imagination and creativity. The true beauty of food comes out in your cooking and your ideas.

There's no reason why you shouldn't involve the kids in it either. Let them discover the beauty of cooking from peeling carrots to sizzling steak (with supervision from yourself). Teaching them the basics of cooking and a number of techniques (that you might have to teach yourself!) can set them up well for later life. Learning to cook from a young age is invaluable and such a great skill. Of course, you need to supervise the actions of the young chefs due to sharp knives and hot pots - but with careful cultivation, you can have a happy and talented kitchen. Not many people learn to cook, so give your kids the gift of cooking and find the beauty in that.
Now? We come full circle. Once you discover the beauty in cooking you can give the kids the memories that you once had - or if you didn't get to enjoy home-cooked grub, you could change that. It might be in twenty years time that your kids look back fondly on the meals you created for them! There is so much beauty in cooking - so find it.

Top Tips For Encouraging Your Child To Lead A Healthy Lifestyle

As parents, ensuring our children are happy and healthy as the develop into adulthood is the reason we exist. It’s what keeps us up at night, and the reason we get up in the morning. And while society seems convinced that fast-food and computer games are the way to go, many of us parents are looking at the frightening childhood obesity statistic and refusing to allow that to be the fate of our little ones. When television advertisements and social pressure make fast food and a sedentary lifestyle seem like the coolest way to be, us parents are fighting the hard battle - the battle for health and fitness. Educating our kids about the importance of exercise and a balanced diet, and trying to encourage them to feel enthusiasm about both can be tiring. Here are a few key ways to get disinterested kids enthused about their own health and fitness.

Get out and about
Exercise doesn’t always have to look like exercise. It can look like a long walk in the woods with the dogs, a swim in the ocean, or climbing a tree. Encouraging your children to spend time out of doors is the best way to encourage them to prioritize fitness. Sitting in front of a television or a computer all day, every day, just isn’t good for them, physically or mentally. If you require more structure, why not make a family promise that you will all spend at least thirty minutes a day outside, whatever the weather? A family dog is a great way to reinforce this (the pup isn’t going to let you forget to take them on their walkies after all) but if you don’t want the responsibility or another mouth the feed, then find some activities you enjoy together as a family, and go for it. Even if it’s half an hour in the park, swinging on the monkey bars or on the swings.

One very good reason to encourage your child to spend time outdoors is that they’re more likely to grow up to be the sort of adult who enjoys spending time outdoors. This is giving them the best opportunities in life, and great habits that will stick with them.

Lead by example
Whether consciously or subconsciously, your children follow your lead. That means, if you sit on your bum in front of the television, playing on your smartphone, your kids will do exactly the same thing. If, instead, you get up early, go for a jog, make breakfast, and spend some time in the yard, your kids will grow up thinking this is normal. When you lead by example, you guarantee good habits for your children. Now, this doesn’t necessarily sound fun, but when your child first suggests cycling alongside you when you’re out for your jog, you know you’ve made a success of it. Your kids idolize you, so make the most of that and give them some good habits to start on young.

Make the most of your backyard
However big your back yard, it’s the perfect space for getting your kids outside and burning off energy, without the need for constant supervision. And it doesn’t have to be expensive for you to kit the yard out for energetic playtime. Skipping ropes and hula hoops are practically free, require very little space, and will keep your kids exercising for hours. Even a trampoline, such as a rebounder, is perfect for encouraging them to exercise, without them even knowing it. If you engage with these activities as their parents, encouraging them to make games using the equipment, sing songs as they skip or hula hoop, or learn some fun tricks on the trampoline, then they start to build the association between outdoors, exercise, and fun, which they can take with them into adulthood.

Cook together
Healthy eating is an essential skill for kids to take with them into adulthood, if they’re going to grow up healthy. These skills can’t be learned at school - they’re your responsibility to teach. So when you cook a meal, encourage them to join you. It’s a great time to talk about healthy, balanced diets, but it also teaches them the skills they’ll need when they grow up. These skills include meal preparation, understanding flavors, but also understanding how different components of a healthy diet are important for the body’s overall health.

If you find that your kids are a bit fussy when it comes to healthy eating, a great trick for getting them to branch out is to get them involved with the whole process. That means, if you have the time and space, starting your own little vegetable plot in the backyard or in a community plot can really help your kids to gain an appreciation for more healthy food. It doesn’t have to be a huge operation, just a few vegetables and fruits that you can plant and tend together, and ultimately harvest, cook, and eat. Teaching your little ones about this connection between earth and their meals will help them to gain a greater understanding of the food they eat but, most of all, it’s great fun!

Enroll them in fun sports clubs
Exercise comes in many forms, but it’s not just good for their physical health, it’s also good for them mentally too. Getting out and socializing in a competitive setting can help to teach children a lot about interpersonal relationships as they grow up, and they stay healthy as a bonus. Some children are very shy when it comes to joining sports teams, and it’s essential that you listen to their concerns and try to work these things out together - otherwise they may just grow up resenting the sport entirely. Ask them which sports they’re interested in, and encourage them to talk about their experiences after each session.

When kids want to sit on the couch and watch television instead of going outside to play, it’s time to get imaginative.  Studies show that children who partake in sports are far more likely to grow up into healthy adults. If that isn’t proof that starting them young will have a positive, long-term impact, I don’t know what is.
Monday, May 15, 2017

Raising Well-Rounded Kids: Do It Your Way!

Ask any parent in the world what they want for their children and almost every single person will tell you the same thing: happiness. But the road to ensuring a happy and well-rounded future for your kids often seems complicated. There are hundreds - if not thousands - of books on raising children, and a lot of the advice out there can be contrary to what you read somewhere else. The truth is that there are no guarantees that one method of bringing up children is any better than another.

There are, however, a few things you can do that are backed up by a lot or scientific research. So, if you are having concerns about the happiness of your children or are worried whether or not you are doing the right things, read on. We’re going to take a look at some of the facts surrounding the art of raising happy children - so let’s get started right away.

Don’t worry, be happy

Want happy children? Then be happy yourself - it’s that simple. A lot of parents have guilt complexes that stop them from indulging in themselves, but the research suggests that a little bit of selfishness on your part can have a positive impact on your little ones. For example, research suggests there is a link between mothers who suffer from depression and worry about adverse outcomes often have children who go on to have behavioral problems. So, consider that the next time you feel guilty about treating yourself every once in awhile, or even just going out for dinner with your partner.

Pick what you need, don’t follow the rules

There are no definite rules about parenting - every child is different, as is every parent. The answers to your problems are not in a single book or will come from a single source of inspiration. What works as parenting norms for some will be an entirely different experience for others, and it’s vital to make your own way in parenting life. Read as many books as you can, but adapt the ideas behind them to work for your situation. Pick and choose your advice and don’t try and enforce the rules laid out by any one source - you will end up having a better impact on your kids.

Work hard, not perfectly

There is no such thing as the perfect parent. Despite what you might see on TV, or read on blogs and magazines, the ‘supermom’ is a fiction and an impossible aspiration. In fact, if you demand perfection from yourself, there is every chance you will end up demanding it from your kids, too, which will ultimately lead to serious issues later on in their life. So, work hard at being a parent, but give yourself a break when it comes to perfection. And do the same for your kids, too - don’t celebrate natural ability and put hard work at the top of the priority list.

Life is about relationships

Ultimately, life for your kids will be defined by the relationships they are able to develop with others. Personal, professional, and social lives are all going to be better for kids if they know how to communicate, be compassionate, and kind. As a parent, it’s your job to teach your children about building relationships, and watching the way you act with others is the primary way they will learn.

Optimistic outlook

When you are a busy parent, it can be all too easy to develop pessimistic tendencies. But you should be careful about displaying these feelings to your kids - they will pick on them. Research shows that positive people are almost always happier than those who feel worried or unhappy about life. Optimism will help your kids do better at school, live a longer, healthier life, and be more robust against mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.


Finally, be aware that kids who have higher levels of self-discipline often go on to have happier lives. If you can teach your children the art of delaying gratification, it can go a long way towards creating a better future for them. Again, self-discipline is something that you teach your children subconsciously - if you can’t wait to get stuck into the cream cakes you have just bought, the chances are that they will follow your lead.

OK, so there you have it - some scientifically backed ideas to help you raise happy kids. Need the great thing about each of these points is that you can adapt them to however you need, and you can do it your way. Good luck!