All posts in Parenting

Top Ways to Teach Kids to Give Back

Top Ways to Teach Kids to Give Back

In this increasingly self-absorbed world where people can spend more time staring at a screen then they can communicating with each other face to face, it’s getting more and more important to teach children the importance of doing good in the world. As well, with the growing number of natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other conflicts and issues, in addition to the fluctuating economies around the world, there seems to be more people who need help than ever before.

If you’re keen to teach your children to donate to charities, volunteer their time, raise money for a good cause or otherwise help someone who needs it, read on for some ways you can encourage them to do good today.

Top Ways to Teach Kids to Give Back Read more…

A Multitude of Concussions

A Multitude of Concussions

I’ve become well versed in teen concussions after my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, had four concussions over a period of fifteen months from club volleyball. Also, PickyKidPix had a soccer teammate with two severe concussions; her older sister had a concussion so bad that she had to quit soccer altogether. I’ve teamed up with that mom, Mary Lou, to bring you what parents should know about concussions in children and teens.

My daughter is number 9. She plays libero, a defense specialist.

Our Concussion Story

volleyball and concussion

First Concussion

In retrospect, my daughter’s first concussion was a mild one that I didn’t realize was a concussion. She tried out for club volleyball team in December of 2015 where she took at least one hard ball to her head from girls serving the ball at high speeds. She had a headache for two days and then she was fine.  We didn’t go to the doctor at all.

Second Concussion

Her head coach of her volleyball club team called me to tell me that she had failed his concussion test. He wasn’t the coach at her practice when she took a very hard ball to the side of her head that had shanked off a teammate. He noticed that she didn’t look quite right during practice and gave her the test. She wasn’t able to recalling the words he’d given her in the correct order.

This was April 2015 at her MGA Club Volleyball practice. Her symptoms included memory loss, headache and light sensitivity. She missed about a week of school but the following week was spring break. When she was home, she had to stay off screens and she was bored and restless. She cocooned for that week at home, unhappily.

During that vacation, she took an intensive 40 hour art class at Mass College of Art. My boxing trainer advised drinking a lot of water to help bring down the swelling in the brain. After her week of art class, she returned to school full time and seemed fine. Read more…

Coupon for Jimmy Dean® Stuffed Hash Browns

Coupon for Jimmy Dean® Stuffed Hash Browns

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own.

Now that school is starting soon, I find that hot breakfasts are harder to pull off. We are always rushing in the morning due to the fact that two of kids — the youngest and oldest — are simply not morning people. They tend to skip breakfast or eat on the run because they are always running late.

My middle daughter, however, gets herself up every morning and makes herself a hot breakfast. She likes a big breakfast to set herself up for the day. Read more…

Sleepaway Camp and Why Dangerous Activities are Good for Kids

Sleepaway Camp and Why Dangerous Activities are Good for Kids

It probably won’t surprise you that my two daughters refused to do the easy thing for their parents: go to the same sleepaway camp. No, they chose YMCA sleepaway camps on the other side of the state. My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, went to the Berkshires at Chimney Corners where the camp culture emphasizes being yourself and accepting others.Sleepaway Camp and Why Dangerous Activities are Good for Kids

My middle daughter, PickyKidPix, chose Cape Cod, Camp Hayward for girls because the sessions were only two weeks versus four weeks at Chimney Corners. The culture is also different. Camp Hayward has daily interaction with their boys’ camp (unlike Chimney Corners), so there is a sense of competition of boys versus girls. For example, my daughter’s sailing class included a game of pirates where the point was to jump onto a boy’s sailboard, and take down the sail to capsize it. The boys at Burgess retaliated by removing the girls’ rudder. Good fun was had by all.

Read more…

My Top 10 Favorite Instagramers

My Top 10 Favorite Instagramers

I’m fairly new to Instagram — about two years now — and it’s becoming one of my favorite social media platforms to meet and really get to know bloggers, authors, illustrators, and moms. I like how quickly an image can convey a message and how easy it is to comment and follow the commentary.

Here’s a small sampling of who I love. It’s pretty impossible to pick just 10 but that’s what I did today. I could probably keep this kind of post up weekly for months! How about you? Who do you recommend?


My Top 10 Favorite Instagramers

You might recognize these illustrators from children’s books but follow them for their amazing doodles.

1. Lori Nichols. I love her hyperlapse drawing videos. She’s a fun illustrator to watch in action!

Lori Nichols

2. Inky Girl. Debbie Ridpath Ohi plays with her food, making for whimsical drawings.

inky girl debbie ohi

Read more…

Four Cookbook giveaway

4 Cookbook GIVEAWAY!

I’m cleaning out my office and giving away these four brand new cookbooks (I have two copies of Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook). These cookbooks address a specific audience: kids who want to learn to cook, anyone jumpstarting a diet and exercise plan, and those wanting to cook Chinese food. If any of these cookbooks speak to you, please fill out the Rafflecopter to win and specific your first, second and third choice.

 

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids by Ruby Roth

This cook has 60 easy plant-based recipes that kids can make to stay healthy and save the world! Big promises? Perhaps. But getting your kids to cook for themselves is a gift that keeps giving. Ruby Roth makes kid friendly food in this appealing cookbook. Some recipes just require assembly while others will need the stove turned on. Whether you cook these recipes with your kids, or have older kids try on their own, everyone when kids learn a valuable life skill. [cookbook for kids, ages 6 and up]

Read more…

boarding school benefits

Common Benefits of Boarding Schools to Consider for Your Family

Depending on your background (and the movies you’ve watched or books you’ve read over the years), you may love the idea of boarding schools or think that they are just a parent’s excuse to get rid of their children for most months of the year.

However, no matter your stance, there are a variety of benefits to be had in sending children to schools away from home. These are all well worth considering if you’re thinking about your child’s education today. Read on for some common pros of boarding schools you should keep in mind when weighing up the options.

boarding school benefits

A New Start

For some teenagers, getting away from their current environment through attending a boarding school can be just the thing they need to enjoy a new, healthier school life. Sometimes kids can become unsettled, angry, depressed or otherwise troubled by their current circumstances, through things like a negative circle of friends, bad reputation at school, difficult teachers, or lots of fighting with their parents.
Going away to boarding school can help provide just the change that is needed to get teens in a better frame of mind and/or to start the healing process. For many children, having the chance to start over at a brand-new high school can do wonders for their confidence, relationships, and academic success. Read more…

how to set up a blog or website

How to Set Up a Blog (or Website)

If you are thinking of setting up a blog or even a simple website, it’s becoming the same thing. You can set up a blog to use as a website for your small business. Here’s how in three easy steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Blogging Platform. Spoiler alert: Use Self Hosted WordPress.

Step 2: Secure Your Name and Host. Spoiler alert: Make sure your name is available on Twitter and other social media platforms. Use BlueHost.

Step 3: Configure and Design Your Site. Spoiler alert: Make sure your blog/website theme is Responsive.

Ready? Let’s go! Read more…

Visiting Quebec City with Kids

Planning a Visit to Quebec City with Kids

My son loves Canada. He was the first to declare that he’s moving to Canada if Trump wins, and his sisters agreed. We’ve been to Canada a few times; it’s a road trip for us and we’ve visited Montreal, Toronto, and Ontario for the Women’s World Cup.

Quebec City is considerably farther from our previous Canadian trips, but now our kids are old enough to handle the car ride. Instead of worrying about kids melting down in the car, we are a little worried by our inability to speak French. We are going to have to take a quick crash course, especially on food for reading menus.

My husband has been reading a guide book on Quebec City, but this is what I came up with.

 

Quebec City Day 1

aquarium de quebec

image from Wikipedia

1. Aquarium du Quebec

We like aquariums. This one sounds great: Aquarium du Québec is a public aquarium located in the former city of Sainte-Foy in Quebec City. The 16-hectare facility is home to more than 10,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Read more…