Posted in A Possibility, A whole lot, Common Sense, Fun while learning, Summertime

To prevent idle kids

Mother with daughter // "5 Ways to Prevent Idle Kids This Summer" // Photo: Ryan McVay/Getty Images

Summer Means More Free Time for Kids

While your children may jump up and down for joy after school lets out for the summer, you may feel ready to jump out the window. These days it’s common for young people — especially those of a generation raised in front of the tube and not expected to do as many house chores — to find it difficult to engage themselves in positive activities.

As a result, children are spending an unprecedented amount of time with electronics, and less time with traditional creative discovery, such as crafts, role-playing and exploring the outdoors. Not only does this potentially lead to the development-stifling nature deficit disorder, but idle hands are also more likely to cause mischief or engage in risky behaviors.

Luckily, it isn’t that difficult to get kids engaged and excited about activities that teach and enrich, as well as amuse. Parents just may need a little inspiration.

Kids looking at map // "5 Ways to Prevent Idle Kids This Summer" // Photo: Leander Baerenz/Getty Images

Create a Green Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger or treasure hunt for your kids based on local nature, such as identifying trees and other plants in your backyard, following animal tracks, etc. If you have a GPS system, take them on a geocaching adventure, which is essentially a worldwide treasure hunt.

You could also introduce children to the British import letterboxing, which combines orienteering, arts and puzzle solving into quests.

Girl using watering can // "5 Ways to Prevent Idle Kids This Summer" // Photo: BLOOMimage/Getty Images

Get Your Kids Gardening

Most kids like getting dirty and poking around in the soil, and who doesn’t like to eat? The combination can be a winning one to introduce children to the benefits of gardening, which is often said to be one of the world’s most popular hobbies.

The good news is you certainly needn’t be a certified master gardener in order to show the next generation how something wonderful can sprout from the smallest seed. Even if you don’t have much room or ‘seed capital,’ plant a few flowers and beans or tomatoes in pots.

Gardening is a great way to learn patience, as well as explore science, where our food comes from and how interconnected life is.

Little girl cooking // "5 Ways to Prevent Idle Kids This Summer" // Photo: Caroline Schiff/Getty Images

Make Healthier Snacks Together

Cooking can be fun for kids, as well as educational. Entice them to roll up their sleeves with delicious, but better for you, recipes like The Daily Green’s Whole Wheat Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies and Whole Wheat Brownies.

Cooking is a set of skills and knowledge that will serve your children for life, so it’s a good idea to start them young. Plus, if you get them to help out a little with preparing family meals, they will feel like they are contributing to the household — and you can spend some quality time with them (or at least keep an eye on ’em).

By seeing how meals are prepared, your little ones will be encouraged on a path of healthier eating, hopefully for life.

Girl painting at easel // "5 Ways to Prevent Idle Kids This Summer" // Photo: David De Lossy/Getty Images

Make Your Own Nontoxic Art Supplies

Dabbling in arts and crafts is a fantastic way for children to express their creativity, have fun and build up confidence and skills. Unfortunately, many traditional art supplies like glues and paints contain toxic volatile organic compounds, including potential carcinogens.

Choose safer alternatives by avoiding solvent-based markers, rubber cement and the strongest-smelling glues. Learn to make dyes out of plant material and finger paint out of cornstarch at coopamerica.org. Generally, water-based or egg-based (tempera) paints are likely to be less toxic (and easier to clean up) than other types.

Craft time can also be used as an opportunity to teach your kids about recycling and reuse. Show them how to make collages and mobiles out of old magazines and odds and ends. Have them draw on the backs of used paper or decorate old containers.

Girl running to mother // "5 Ways to Prevent Idle Kids This Summer" // Photo: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Inti St. Clair/Getty Images

Remember when you were a kid, and summer evenings meant catching fireflies, watching tadpoles or maybe going on night walks to listen for owls? You don’t have to travel to the ends of the Earth to find opportunities to get more in touch with the millions of other living things on the planet.

Children are naturally curious and drawn to nature. But unless they grew up on a farm or truly rural area, they may not have had a lot of exposure to it. They key is to educate and keep them safe, while also letting them discover the wonders of the world for themselves. Hikes, canoe trips, camping and birding are just a few of the many ways to get out there.

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Simple yet things we all enjoy doing back when life was a lot simpler….:) Simple ways to to reconnect with your kids and getting to know them just a little bit more.

Posted in Common Sense, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Familia, Work Thoughts

Is there such a thing?

This has and have been a problem with friends and family… of us being too good and too nice. But then again I always of what if we were on the other end and situation and of course I do not want to be on the other end of the rope.

But how can you say something not so nice in a respectful way? Is there such a thing?

You want to reason out but you are hesistant and concerned that the other side might take it differently and interpret it the other way around and here you are trying your best not to hurt anyone and yet they are the ones starting to ignite the fire.

Before blaming why not investigate and gather the evidence and start from there. But instead of the long version they do the shortest one they can get.

Life is just not fair anymore. You want to help out but at the end you end up the bad guy….. Where will I place myself now?

Posted in A whole lot, Accomplishments, Being Strong, Celebration, Marriage, Married Life, Mars and Venus, Milestone, Organizing Your Life, Thankful

And counting…

062120092

A decade of plus after we are still man and wife.

Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! Yes, we are still together and going stronger as ever. Raising a family and enjoying parenthood and as a couple. Who would believe that we would last this long. When we started a lot of critics were already telling us that we would only last for a year and if lucky 5 years.

Look at us!!! We are celebrating more than a decade of pluses together and still loving each moment.

Of course we have our roller coaster rides of ups and downs but still we fought it as a couple and surpassed it one by one. Life was never easy in the first place but we made it through the storms and chaos life has thrown at us.

We learned to work as a couple and that communication, communication, communication with the respect, love, faithfulness goes a long way to any relationship.

Happy Anniversary, Daddy!!!

Posted in A whole lot, Accentuate, Accomplishments, Being Strong, Bounding Time, Marriage, Married Life, Mars and Venus, Organizing Your Life

As A Couple

Decision-making can be challenging for anyone, but when a couple needs to make a collective decision, the challenge becomes greater, psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow says. The key is to recognize that the decision-making process is the same regardless of the type of decision, Dr. Klapow says. “Making decisions as a couple is not so much about what you decide on, but rather how you go about the process of making the decision,” he says. “If you approach each decision with the same game plan, then over time, you will become experts at decision-making.”

Dr. Klapow shares his five “smart” (set, monitor, arrange, recruit and treat) steps to collective decision-making.

Set a Specific Goal

Make sure you are very specific about what you want, Dr. Klapow says. For example, a goal of saving money is not specific enough; however, saying that you want to save an extra $100 per month by automatic deduction from your paychecks to pay off your credit card is specific. “The more specific you are, the better,” he says.

Monitor Your Discussion

As you are discussing the decision at hand, make sure you are staying on track, Dr. Klapow says. “Very often couples will start discussing a goal and stray to some other topic, which can lead to frustration,” he says. “If you notice yourself or your spouse getting off the subject, quickly come back to the specific goal.”

Arrange the Situation for Success

Decision-making doesn’t work well when someone is tired, hungry, short of time or preoccupied with other activities. “Before you start the discussion, make sure each of you is in the right frame of mind and you have the time,” Dr. Klapow says. If not, take a break from the discussion because it likely won’t be productive.

Recruit Support from One Another

A collective decision means that sometimes there will be a compromise, Dr. Klapow says. If you are going into the discussion to win, then you are not making a collective decision—you are fighting a battle, he says. “Remind each other that you are a team and that you are in it to win collectively, not necessarily individually,” he says.

Treat Yourselves

Because decision-making can be one of the toughest challenges a couple faces, celebrate the success of a decision together. “A hug, a celebratory reward—anything that acknowledges that together you have accomplished this task—will help keep you motivated to make decisions together again,” Dr. Klapow says.
Posted in Accentuate, Being A Girl, Budget Wisely, Common Sense

Right Hair Cut

Curly summer hair

If your hair is…curly

Your Good Fortune: Bold, vivacious ringlets come naturally to you. While some of us struggle to inject our hairstyle with a bit of an edge, you make rebellious cool look easy.

Your Challenge: Like teenagers and kudzu, curls can be willful and take on a life of their own if you don’t set some boundaries.

Your Ideal Cut: A style that dusts the shoulders lets curly hair strike the perfect balance between wild and soft, explains hairstylist Sebastian Scolarici of New York City’s Serge Normant at John Frieda salon, who masterminded the cuts on these pages. (If you want to move more toward the wild side, go shorter.) Layers should be very long—no shorter than six inches—except for a few in front to frame the face. Sebastian cut our model’s hair dry so he could see how each snip affected the overall silhouette (a good idea with curly hair). “You don’t want to thin out the curls; you just want to shape them around the ends,” he said.

Steer Clear Of: Short layers. Especially if your hair is fine (like our model’s), they will make your curls spring up too much (boing!) and disrupt the shape of your style. And if a stylist takes out a razor: Run. The result will likely be frizz and split ends. Even if your overall style is a little loose, your ends should be scrupulously neat. Swimsuit, Eres Paris.

Your go-to product: A rich, moisturizing styling cream.

Your salon checklist:

  • Cut dry
  • Shoulder-grazing length
  • Long layers

Straight summer hair

If your hair is…fine and straight

Your Good Fortune: Frizz? What’s frizz?

Your Challenge: Without teasing or hot rollers or upside-down blow-drying (you know the maneuver), your hair can feel like it’s plastered to your head (and humidity doesn’t help).

Your Ideal Cut: A bob that’s angled slightly shorter in the back than in the front gives fine hair extra lift at the crown. Deep, sideswept bangs can also help create the illusion of heft (they’re most flattering if you have a thin or oval face). Another advantage to a shorter cut: It’s a lot easier to wash every day. If you have fine hair, you likely also have more hair follicles per square inch, which means more oil-causing sebaceous glands, which means roots that get greasy—and flat—without daily shampoos. And while you’re at the salon getting a new cut, you might want to consider a few highlights around your face. “Bleach causes the hair to swell up a bit, so it looks fuller,” says Sebastian.

Steer Clear Of: Too much length. “Once fine hair gets below the shoulders, it’s almost impossible for it to hold any style,” says Sebastian. And request layers only in moderation. A few long ones can add swing to your ends, but too many make fine hair look stringy. Dress, Temperley London.

Your go-to product: A lightweight volumizing spray.

Your salon checklist:

  • Slightly angled bob
  • Deep, sideswept bangs
  • Face-framing highlighs

Wavy summer hair

If your hair is…wavy

Your Good Fortune: You actually have the potential to wash and go…and look like you just stepped out of a beachside photo shoot. Your hair’s natural state is tousled, sexy, chicly relaxed—and humidity only makes it more so.

Your Challenge: Wavy hair can be a bit inconsistent: bending beautifully in one area, falling flat in another. And while steamy weather encourages the natural twists in your hair, it may also add some frizz.

Your Ideal Cut: Layers of varying lengths (starting about halfway between your crown and ends) encourage the shape of the waves and make the hair look fuller—but not frizzy. In spots where waves are flagging, shorter layers will inject them with more bounce. If hair is thick, like our model’s, your stylist can also thin it out a little at the very bottom—just the last inch or so.

Steer Clear Of: Razoring or serrated cutting (when a stylist slides the scissors down the hair shaft). Both can fray delicate waves and leave ends looking fried. And if you have finer hair, be wary of too many layers—you need enough weight to help your style hold its shape and resist poufing. Swimsuit, Lenny. Sunglasses, Daisy Fuentes. Necklace, Ten Thousand Things.

Your go-to product: A silicone serum.

Your salon checklist:

  • Layers from midlength to ends
  • Thinning, starting one inch from bottom
  • No razors or serrated cutting

Thick summer hair

If your hair is…thick and straight(-ish)

Your Good Fortune: You have a lot of hair—thick, lush, and full.

Your Challenge: You have a lot of hair—heavy and probably a bit coarse. As the humidity rises, it tends to expand, usually into a triangular silhouette, widening at the bottom.

Your Ideal Cut: Length helps keep a mass of hair from becoming overinflated—but you don’t have to grow your hair down your back: “A cut that falls at least to your collarbone has enough weight to give you the extra control you need,” says Sebastian. You also want long layers, starting about four inches above your ends; they’re key to keeping your hair from stacking into that pyramid shape. And Sebastian always uses thinning shears on the last two inches, to take some of the bulk out of this hair type.

Steer Clear Of: Blunt lines. They’ll make your hair look, and feel, even heavier. “You don’t want a cut that’s perfectly even at the ends,” says Sebastian. And while long layers are a must, short ones will make it more difficult to contain your hair’s fullness—the last thing you need is a shag. Sheer top, Zimmermann. Earrings, C. Greene. For details see Shop Guide.

Your go-to product: A light-hold spray gel.

Your salon checklist:

  • Collarbone length (or a bit longer)
  • Layers starting four inches above ends
  • Thinning from the bottom