Winter Hair Care for Kids- Managing kid’s hair in the cooler temperatures

15 Nov

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It’s time to prepare for the upcoming holidays and the upcoming winter weather. As cooler temperatures enter our neighborhoods, many of us increase the heat in our homes. While this keeps us warm, it ends up drying out the hair and leading to breakage. This happens for both kids and adults, but kids need a little more help from Mom and Dad to prevent hair from drying out. Here are some tips for caring for your child’s winter hair.

1. Start with a light, easily manageable haircut
It is recommended to get a trim every six to eight weeks to prevent breakage. At the start of winter’s peak—end of November, early December—I recommend getting your child’s hair cut so the ends are fresh, and the style is easily manageable. You want to avoid heavy styling in the cold months so having a simple hairstyle is best. My favorite winter hairstyles for girls are short to medium length Bobs and for little boys I recommend a Fade or an easy Crew Cut.

2. Invest in hair care products
Year-round you want to have quality haircare products, but this is especially important during the cooler temperatures. Invest in a quality shampoo and conditioner, detangling spray and a leave-in conditioner.
I recommend Original Sprouts Natural Shampoo, Leave In Conditioner and Miracle Detangler. You can find these products in your salon—ask a hairstylist at your haircutting appointment—or similar products
at the grocery store.

3. Think about your plate
Often times we forget that what we eat affects our hair. The best vitamins and minerals for hair moisture, shine and health are found in fish (salmon, preferably), leafy greens and nuts. Try to add salmon into the weekly rotation and consider adding a few greens to your child’s lunch or dinner. Nuts are easy add-ons in lunches, trail mix or other snacks. These easy swaps will help nourish your body and
your hair!

4. Avoid over styling
I mentioned this above but it’s worth repeating: heavy washing, drying, combing, braiding and excess hair accessories can lead to more breakage. Washing too often or not enough can dry out hair. Aim for every other day or so, but go with what works best for your family. Also remember that after washes
you don’t want your child to go outside with wet hair—it will make them too cold and increase the risk of catching a cold. It can also lead to hair breakage. Try to do washes at night before bedtime for best results.

5. Detangle hair before and after each styling/wash
Detangling hair not only makes washing and styling easier, but it also prevents messy knots, which leads to breakage. If your child’s hair is dry, spray it with water or a hair solution to get it a little wet. If wet, use a conditioning solution or detangling spray. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently comb through the hair, moving from the ends to the roots, until all the knots are out and hair is smooth.

6. Monitor and keep lice at bay
Kids often share hats and coats are frequently hung next to, or on top of, other coats making it easy for lice to spread. In the winter, make sure you are checking your child’s hair every one-two weeks to see if any lice have found their way onto your child’s head. I also recommend using Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel lice prevention line of products to repel lice away. Original Sprout Shampoo and Conditioner also contain Rosemary to repel lice.

Hair care is often forgotten about when temperatures drop, but it is an important part of overall care and appearance, and it is important to teach our children about it while they are young. I hope these tips will help your family combat the winter chill while keeping your hair in great condition.

About the Author
Grace Small is the mother of three young adults. She has lived in Kennesaw for over 20 years. Grace owns and operates the Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids salon in Kennesaw with her husband Las. The salon is located at 1615 Ridenour Blvd. in Kennesaw. When she’s not in the salon, Grace enjoys participating in community activities with local schools and day care centers, as well as with the local Business Associations. She also enjoys the outdoors and exploring the beautiful Atlanta parks.

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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Awarded “No Baby Unhugged” Grant

2 Nov

Huggies Awards Four New No Baby Unhugged Grants to Support Hospital Hugging Programs and their Impact on Premature Babies

 The grant program continues its mission to help every baby, including those in the NICU, get the hugs they need to thrive.

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On October 26, 2017, Huggies awarded four hospitals with $10,000 No Baby Unhugged grants to help support or establish volunteer hugging programs, which provide much-needed physical human interaction for newborns in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). These four recipients join an additional seven hospitals that received No Baby Unhugged grants earlier this year.

 

“We truly believe in the powerful impact that hugs and the human touch can have on babies’ growth and development, especially for those born premature and in the NICU,” said Giusy Buonfantino, president of Kimberly-Clark Baby and Child Care North America. “A cause close to our hearts, Huggies is continually committed to providing hospitals with the resources needed to help grow these programs, and ensure the babies who benefit from them thrive.”

 

The four hospitals receiving grants in October include:

  1. Brigid’s Path – Kettering, Ohio: This grant will allow Brigid’s path to launch a new hugging program, which will be Ohio’s first newborn recovery center for infants suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
  2. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Atlanta, Georgia: Resources from the grant will support their expanding hugging program, which has seen an increase in volunteers. The hospital is also home to the “ICU Grandpa” who recently gained notoriety for his dedication to holding babies.
  3. Rush University Children’s Hospital – Chicago, Illinois: Funding from the grant will help supply additional mannequins for training new volunteers, printed educational materials, enhancements to the cuddler environment, and more.
  4. St. Vincent Healthcare – Billings, Montana: The No Baby Unhugged grant will help launch a new volunteer hugging program and add another level of therapy care that focuses on education and addresses diversity amongst patient population.

 

“Brigid’s Path is Ohio’s first newborn recovery center for babies born drug-exposed and a place where the hugging program will have such a huge impact,” said Jane Snyder, Director of Development, Brigid’s Path. “This Huggies No Baby Unhugged Grant will help us maintain a volunteer program that focuses on hugging, cuddling and skin to skin contact for our NAS babies.”

 

To be considered for the next round, interested hospitals are encouraged to fill out an application on the Huggies website by December 8, 2017, with the announcement to come in January 2018. For those interested in supporting the program, visit Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged to become a Huggies Rewards Member and in turn, Huggies will donate $5 to support volunteer hugging program grants for hospitals.

Four Tips to Eat Your Way to a Great Night’s Sleep

19 Oct

By Dr. Bill Miller

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Who has not had a restless night’s sleep? Everyone does on occasion, but for many, it is an increasingly frequent experience. The typical explanation is the unparalleled distractions of our modern lifestyle. We email compulsively, text our friends at all hours, and binge watch TV. Consequently, our sleep suffers. Studies show that the average amount of sleep that Americans currently get has fallen by between one and two hours each night over the last 60 years. Furthermore, the quality of that sleep has deteriorated. Some research even suggests that our irregular sleep patterns have led to a ‘dream’ deficit that also takes its own individual toll over time.

The crux of the issue is that there are significant health problems associated with sleep disorders that go beyond feeling tired the next day. Chronic sleep deprivation is associated with higher incidences of heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and cancer. Many of us realize this and struggle to make adjustments. We experiment with changing our caffeine or alcohol intake or, in desperation, some turn to sleeping pills.

Most of us know from experience that there is some kind of link between our food intake and our sleep patterns. Sleep can be difficult if we are too full or extremely hungry. Yet, our busy lifestyle and the temptations of snack foods continuously get in the way. One thing is clear. A good evening meal with sensible portions improves the prospect of a restful night of sleep.

We have long known that there are two fundamental states of sleep and each is regulated by a different part of the brain. Both are necessary for completely recuperative sleep. We have a sleep cycle, called our ‘circadian rhythm,’ which is regulated by our brain and by metabolic cues governed by liver cells. All of these signals work together in a continuous feedback loop which is commonly called our ‘circadian clock’.  New information adds a significant to factor to that mix. Our gut microbiome has a surprisingly crucial influence on our circadian sleep-wake cycle and our sleep quality. Experiments confirm that when specific microbes in our gut are altered, our fundamental states of sleep are disrupted. This limits our ability to recover from stress and is necessary to protect against neurological diseases such as dementia. To assist in that recovery process, we now understand that our gut microbiome and our own cells form an active feedback loop and our sleep patterns are part of it.

This continuous feedback between our gut and brain significantly modulates our responses to stress. When that feedback is suboptimal, it begins a cycle that leads towards metabolic health disorders such as diabetes. Our sleep-wake cycle is part of this loop. Impaired sleep disrupts our metabolism and contributes to inflammatory states and metabolic diseases, which can, in turn, further disrupt our sleep. When our gut microbiome is off-balance our capacity to achieve restorative sleep is profoundly affected.

Here are four tips to start you on the path to a great night’s sleep:

  • Our microbes have internal clocks, just as we do. We are at our best when we find our optimal personal method of synchronizing and adjusting to each other. In effect, if you feed your microbes well, they will treat you right.
  • Stick to a firm eating schedule and limit fat content. Both of these factors can improve sleep quality. There is an added benefit. These measures help with weight management, which is also mediated by the gut microbiome.
  •  Keep calories the same, but make your meals smaller and more frequent. Studies show that this improves sleep quality and metabolic parameters such as blood glucose or serum lipid levels.
  • Try adding either prebiotics or probiotics to your diet. These offer your microbial partners the nutrients they need.

When you plan to get a good night’s sleep, you need to think of it as putting your microbes to bed. Feeding them properly is your best chance for normal recuperative sleep in the midst of our hectic modern lives.

 Dr. Bill Miller has been a physician in academic and private practice for over 30 years. He is the author of The Microcosm Within: Evolution and Extinction in the Hologenome. For more information,www.themicrocosmwithin.com.

The responsibilities and Rewards of Being a Caregiver

16 Oct

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National Family Caregivers Month is an ideal time to reflect on both the responsibilities and rewards of being a caregiver.

Being a caregiver is deeply challenging. Especially when those we’re caring for cling fiercely to their independence, resisting support and insisting on remaining independent even when this is no longer a safe option.

Melanie Merriman, hospice expert and author of Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging, knows this all too well from her experience caring for her fiercely independent aging mother.

Torn between the need to protect her mother’s safety on the one hand and preserve her autonomy on the other, Melanie and her sister struggled every step of the way to find solutions that gave their mother the assistance she needed without wounding her pride or damaging their relationship. Paradoxically, her mother’s desire for independence actually created a greater strain on Melanie and her sister.

In the process, Melanie learned a lot about how to how to strike this delicate balance, and would be happy to share the lessons with your audience:

● Let yourself be human. Start by acknowledging the fact that there is no foolproof recipe for caring for an aging loved one. There is no such thing as perfection. Even professionals such as hospice care experts get caught up in minutiae and bickering when caring for their own family members. All you can do is simply do your best.

● Pay close(r) attention to the signs of aging. Some signs of aging are so small they’re barely detectable. Most of the ones you need to watch out for signal a step back from everyday life. Is your loved one canceling in-person meetings? Is she refusing to drive to unknown places? Is she skipping meals here and there? All of these can be signs.

● Be more realistic about the consequences of aging. This is tough, but crucial. Even though your father is eighty-eight and still wins the annual bridge tournament at the rec center up the street doesn’t mean this will go on forever. It’s easy to sink into rosy thinking about those we love. It’s necessary to remember that aging and decline are universal processes that we must prepare for.

● Start discussions long before it feels like it’s time. Being proactive means talking to your aging loved one months or even years before it feels “right”. As we age, mental faculties can go. Changes in health can happen quickly. It’s best that everyone discuss the game plan long before it’s needed.

Taking these steps can help improve well-being during what Melanie has dubbed “the tightrope of aging”—the stage between active independent living and end-of-life.

About the Author:

Melanie Merriman is author of Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging. She is also the co-author of Merriman’s Hawai‘i: The Chef, the Farmers, the Food, the Islands, a cookbook with stories about chef Peter Merriman. Melanie has spent much of her life as a research scientist, hospice consultant, and foundation grant evaluator—driven by a passion to illuminate, understand, and find meaning. Melanie and her husband Klein split their time between South Florida and Cape Cod, MA.

DENNY’S KICKS OFF THE SEASON OF GIVING WITH ANNUAL NO KID HUNGRY® FUNDRAISER

13 Oct

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Nearly one in six children in America struggle with hunger and go without the proper food and nutrition they need on a daily basis. In an effort to help end childhood hunger, Denny’s is teaming up with No Kid Hungry® for another year, helping give back a little this holiday season. Now through Dec. 3, more than 1,600 Denny’s locations nationwide will work together to help fight childhood hunger across the country – to-date, the brand has donated more than $4.3 million to the cause, helping provide 43 million meals to kids in need.

As part of this year’s fundraising efforts, guests visiting participating locations can make a $3 donation to No Kid Hungry and receive $12 worth of redeemable Denny’s coupons in return. There will also be various ways to support the cause online: users visiting ‘Denny’s on Demand’ – the brand’s new online and mobile ordering platform – will be able to make a $1 donation with any order placed, or make a donation of their choice through www.dennysnokidhungry.com. The diner will also offer an interactive donation option that will take place outside of its booths: The Grand Slamoji. Every time a user comments on the diner’s “No Kid Hungry video” on Facebook using their favorite breakfast emoji combinations, Denny’s will donate $1 to the cause, up to $25,000.

“No Kid Hungry is an organization that is near and dear to our hearts, and at Denny’s we are proud to once again help raise awareness and funds to end the fight against childhood hunger in America,” said John Dillon, SVP and chief marketing officer for Denny’s. “No child should have to worry about when and where they may get their next meal, even more so during the holidays. This year’s campaign serves as a great way to team up with our guests as they gather around our booths with family and friends to share in this season of thanks and giving.”

Guests visiting their nearest Denny’s to make a donation or enjoy a great meal will also have the opportunity to experience its new holiday-inspired menu “Flavors of the Season.” The festive new lineup includes a mouthwatering choice of sweet and savory Pancake dishes including the New Pumpkin Cream Pancake Breakfast, the New White Chocolate Raspberry Pancake Breakfast and New Cranberry Orange Pancake Breakfast, each served with two eggs, hash browns and a choice of two strips of bacon or sausage links. The diner will also offer its traditional family favorite, the Turkey & Dressing Dinner, featuring tender carved turkey breast, savory stuffing, turkey gravy and cranberry sauce.

Guests are also invited to enjoy a holiday treat with a deliciously sweet dessert such as Cinnamon Sugar Pancake Puppies® served with cream cheese icing, or the New White Chocolate Raspberry Milk Shake. Denny’s will also offer its classic Pumpkin and Pecan pies, available by the slice or whole throughout the holiday season.

For more information about Denny’s No Kid Hungry fundraising efforts, please visit www.dennysnokidhungry.com. Guests can order online or find out more about Denny’s seasonal menu, available all day, every day through Jan. 3, 2018, by visiting www.dennys.com.

 

About Denny’s Corp.

Denny’s is one of America’s largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating over 1,700 franchised, licensed and company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guam, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, Curaçao, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Philippines. For further information on Denny’s, including news releases, please visit the Denny’s website at www.dennys.com or the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or YouTube.

 

About No Kid Hungry®

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast, eat healthy summer meals, and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at NoKidHungry.org.

Five Commandments for Balancing the Busy by Tabitha Lord

3 Aug

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Enjoy this guest post written by mother of 4 and Writer’s Digest Grand Prize Winner (2016) Tabitha Lord, author of the acclaimed Horizon series.

I’m busy. I mean really busy. There are more things on my plate now than when my four kids were little and I was working full-time as an admissions officer and Latin teacher. The kids are mostly grown, I’m a writer now, and yet somehow I still feel busier than ever.

From a business perspective, the busy pays off. Horizon, the first novel I published, won the 2016 Writer’s Digest Grand Prize for Self Published Fiction. I’ve just released Infinity, the sequel to Horizon this past summer. I’m attending conferences, doing readings and signings at bookstores, and am plotting my next big project. I can see the fruits of my labor, and I have been lucky in just how delicious they’ve been. I love what I’m doing and I feel blessed to be doing it, so I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. I’m not.

Still, no one wants to feel exhausted the moment they open their eyes in the morning, or daunted by an endless “to-do” list before the day even starts. Moreover, I find myself  constantly taking stock of my role as a mom — Am I paying attention? Am I present enough in the moment? At the end of the day, have I attended to the most important things?

These are questions moms grapple with constantly, no matter what their particular brand of ‘busy’ looks like. Whether working outside the home in a full-time job, doing so a few days a week, or going full speed ahead at home, finding balance is not easy. But it’s crucial to our personal survival and to the well-being of our family.

My own soul-searching resulted in a list of promises I’m holding myself to every day. They’re a total work in progress, but so far I’m seeing some dividends. Of course, different methods work for different people, but maybe some of these will resonate with you:

Attend to the priorities first. There are things to do. Every day. And like most of my friends, my tasks don’t just include managing myself, but managing some of the other people who live with me. So, I have to live by my calendar and lists, and I feel much more organized when I do. I admit that my list-making borders on obsessive (doesn’t everyone have a monthly overview list, a weekly task list, and a daily schedule???). But I’ve been thinking about this lately, and I believe creating lists actually allows me to let some things go, temporarily at least. If something is written down, and I can’t attend to it in the moment, I know it isn’t lost or forgotten, it just needs rescheduling. Similarly, working with a calendar assures me I’m not going to miss something important, like a kid’s doctor appointment or my mother-in-law’s birthday! I can relax. My calendar will remind me.

With all this organization, I’m also trying to re-imagine my daily time management. Rather than create an endless to-do list, I want my schedule to reflect my priorities. So, when I create that schedule,I’m attempting to allot an amount of time to each task and block out chunks of time for the most important things.

Plan the down time and unplug. Down time has to be a priority, and I have to honor it. A few weeks ago my daughter needed to make a dish for “fiesta day” at school. When my boys were younger and had to bring treats or snacks to school, I would generally hear about this at bedtime the night before, or sometimes in the morning as we were rushing to the car. But my daughter, she’s a planner. I got the recipe a week before, a gentle reminder a few days ahead, and a “mom you got the ingredients, right?” the day before. And not only is she a planner, she’s actually helpful. We work really well together in the kitchen. The day before “fiesta day” I picked up the ingredients, and, using rule #1, I actually planned the cooking time into my schedule. Because I did this, I was able to shut everything down and really be with my daughter while we cooked together, laughed, told stories, and enjoyed each other’s company. I’ve been trying to think of cooking time now as down time. It has to be done anyway, and with a glass of wine and good company, why can’t it be a time to reconnect and pay attention to one another? I even bought a new cookbook…

Sleep on it before making a commitment to something. This one’s been really helpful. Generally, I’m the kind of person who likes to say yes to everything. Especially now, trying to get a new career off the ground, it’s really hard to refuse any work that comes my way. But not all the projects are the right ones for me, and if I let an idea percolate for a while, the right choice becomes clear. The right projects are the ones I can’t stop thinking about. They energize me, and my creativity flows around them. The others never sit quite right. I’ve learned to listen to my gut, but it requires my first answer to always be, “let me sleep on that and I’ll get back to you.”

Laugh more. Research suggests that laughter is good for your health! Laughter not only feels good, it changes my perspective. And, while it’s really wonderful to laugh with other people, in a pinch, I’m happy to laugh all by myself. I fall out of my chair when I read those autocorrect snafus that are posted online. And I’ve recently discovered a Star Wars bloopers reel that I find absolutely hysterical. When I need to take a break, rather than fill my head with the negativity that is so pervasive in the media and online, I look for laughter and levity.

Don’t wish it away. Don’t get me wrong – I have perspective on this one. I had the stomach bug the other day and I definitely wished that shit away immediately! But I’m talking garden-variety challenges – the stress that comes from being part of a family, having a career, raising children – the day-to-day stuff that can sometimes just wear us down. For example, we have a small (ahem) construction project happening right now. It’s over budget, my yard’s torn up, my house is dirty from the work, and I’m hosting a huge party back there for two of my kids in another month. Because those two kids are graduating. And then they are moving, one to the other side of the country. The project will be done in a few weeks, and a few weeks after that, my household will look completely different. It’s as it should be. My older boys are following their dreams and I couldn’t be more excited for them. But I don’t want to miss out on these last few weeks with my whole family living under one roof together for the last time. If I focus on hurrying along the discomfort, I might miss the joy in the moment. And really, life’s just too short for that!

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What about you? How do you manage your busy?

Lifehammer Safety Device for Car Travel

1 Aug
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I wanted to share with my readers the launch of the Lifehammer Evolution, the industry-awarded, car safety tool that will break you and your loved ones out of your car if you are trapped after an accident.
 
While Summer Break is over or nearly over for kids in Atlanta, in other parts of the country children still have a month before the start of a new school year.  And, summer weather and weekend roadtrips are still are my mind even with my own kiddos headed back next week.  

Every summer, once school is out, there is an increase in the number of cars on the road. A recent survey by AAA found that there will be 10% more families taking 50+ mile road trips this summer than there was last year. And whether that is a result of families driving for a weekend at the lake, or friends taking day trips to the beach, when there are more cars on the road, there are more driving accidents. 
 
In fact, every year in the U.S., 10,000 people are involved in water immersion accidents, with more than 400 people dying from getting trapped in their car. And when a car becomes submerged underwater, the car windows die within 30 seconds and the seatbelts will not release if the car is upside down.
 
Would you know what to do in this situation?
 
Enter the Lifehammer Evolution by Life Safety Products B.V – the industry-awarded, best-in-class car safety tool with an ultra-hard ceramic hammerhead. Easy to use by adults and children, the Lifehammer Evolution has the ability to both shatter a window, and comes with a safety guarded blade that can cut through a jammed seat belt. 
 
But you may ask why do I need a Lifehammer Evolution? Because a person can never plan for the unexpected. With situations such as unpredictable weather and unsafe drivers, one must always be prepared for the unexpected (especially if you have kids in the car). And the Lifehammer Evolution is the best car safety tool & life-saving solution on the market.  My favorite feature, besides the high quality make, is the mount feature so you don’t have to fumble looking for it while under duress, which would be a concern for me with other tools.
 
Here’s a link to the demonstration video on how to the Lifehammer Evolution tool.  I am grateful that we now have one in our car.  I bet you will be, too.
*I was provided with a free Lifehammer to review for this post.

Introducing A Sugar-Free Diet To Your Kids

28 Jul

How to…
Introduce A Sugar-Free Diet To Your Kids

As a new school year is upon us, with birthday parties, sports, classroom celebrations and lunches to pack on my mind, I’d like to make a move more/junk less shift in my family.  So, what better way to kick off a “How to” series on the blog than to talk about decreasing or eliminating the sugar in your child’s diet?

We all want our kids to be healthy and happy. Somehow we have gotten confused and we think they have to have every indulgence to be happy, and their health is suffering because of it. Sugar consumption leads to obesity in children. It has a direct effect on their blood, organs, skin, and brain chemicals. The constant sugar rush followed by the inevitable crash interrupts their play time, sleep schedules, and other activities like sports, dance, and study.

As American parents have become more aware of the effects sugar has on their own bodies, they are concerned about the effects it has on a young, developing child. The only way to know how sugar truly affects the way we feel, function, look, and rest is to eliminate sugar for a period of time and see the difference. Challenge yourself to take your family on a sugar-free journey.

Getting started

The beginning of your quest will consist of sugar hunting. If your children are old enough start pulling contents out of the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer as a family adventure. Teach the children how to identify sugar and the code words like fructose and glucose (among many others) that mean the same thing. Make a game out of sugar hunting. The younger the children are, the better. However, this is something everyone can do.

Make it tasty not sugary

This may seem challenging at first. But this is your opportunity to learn how to combine natural foods to get a sweetness that satisfies.

Treats

Have fresh veggies available with fat-free dip. Make snacks from peanut butter, fruit, and whole grains. The internet is full of tasty recipes that you can make in child size bites that are cute and fun.

Do not expose the kids to sugar. If you are on a sugar-free diet, avoid places that have displays of sugary goodies. While at the supermarket, avoid the bakery aisle, which is almost always in front of the fresh fruit and vegetable aisle.

Let your children help you bake their own treats. A child will always like a treat more that they helped make. Make fruit smoothies at home with real fruit and no sugar when they want a decadent treat.

Treat them another way

Put your kid in gymnastics or dance. When they do well, instead of taking them out for ice cream let them choose a special dance costume at Just For Kix. Let them choose the movie for family night or take them to the waterpark to celebrate. Teach your child to celebrate without food and sugar.

Your quest

During your sugar-free quest, make notes of the changes you see and feel. You may feel bad for the first few days when your body is trying to get the sugar fix it is used to. Soon you will feel your energy levels rise and you will notice glowing skin and clearer eyes. At the end of your quest, you may choose to keep the sugar-free lifestyle based on the positive influences the changes will have had on your life. This is something that your children will be grateful for even when they are grown up and become parents themselves.

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with ManageBacklinks.io who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.

This is your one life.

17 Oct

 

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As I approach the “middle” of my one life, this is what I now know:

1)  Friendship is worth fighting for.  Preserving a good relationship is always more important than being right.  Even if you feel like it should be the other person’s responsibility to apologize, reach out to you, or be the bigger person, if the friendship is worth saving, you should do your best to save it.

2) That being said, invest in friendships, but don’t chase them.  I’ve learned that taking the time to notice my friends’ needs and priorities is worth its weight in gold.  Pay attention.  Be thoughtful.  Reach out just to check in, even if you have nothing to report.  But, by God, do not chase after someone.  If you are doing all of the planning and initiating all of the contact, it might be worth considering being quiet for a while.  If they care about you enough to miss you, they will realize and reach out.  If they don’t then you’ll know that things were way too one-sided to flourish into a fruitful, long-term friendship.

3) Friends are put in our lives for a reason, and sometimes only for a season.  Instead of viewing the fizzling or ending of a friendship as a “break-up”, treasure the good memories you made together and be thankful that the person was placed in your life for such a time as he or she was. 

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4) Rest assured that if something devastating hasn’t yet happened in your life that it will.  You will be stretched until you think you will break.  Instead of being constantly anxious about the inevitable, live in the moment and be grateful that you are experiencing a time of peace when you are.

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5) Children are blessings.  If you have kids, most days will likely be overwhelming and you will feel more challenged than blessed.  Instead of making life harder on yourself for feeling guilty about that, just accept that parenting is not meant to be blissful.  It is the raising of a human being, which like any work is going to require a lot of ups and downs and time investment, and will sometimes be less about joy and more about survival.

6) Having a spouse or a partner may very well be the hardest job you’ll ever have.  Instead of fighting that fact, embrace the idea that being in a full-time relationship is a full-time job from the moment you decide to spend your lives together.  That way, when the honeymoon is over and sh*t gets real you won’t be so shocked.

7) People get sick and die.  If you live past 30 (or maybe even before), you will likely find yourself staring at your phone or computer in disbelief when you get word that the unspeakable happened. That your best friend’s infant was stillborn.  That your colleague’s child committed suicide.  That your pastor’s wife has breast cancer and has a very low chance of survival.  That your neighbor’s toddler drowned in their pool.  There will be no words.  Don’t avoid those people because you don’t know what to say or do.  Bake a casserole, go to them, look them in the eyes to show you care, and hug them.  Just be there.

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8) Family are the people that you choose to show your true self and who seek to love you unconditionally.  Sometimes they might be related to you, but usually they aren’t.  Be open to this possibility.  Don’t buy into the “blood is thicker than water” B.S.

9) If you are connected to your family of origin, do not take them for granted.  Don’t wait to say “I love you.” or “Thank you.” or “Can we work this out?  You hurt me.” Your grandmother is still alive?  Stop reading this and call her on the phone right now.  Seriously.  NOW.

10) A good housekeeper, nanny/babysitter, or therapist are probably the hardest people in the world to find.  If you are lucky enough to have one, tip them often, thank them profusely, and treat them like family (or better).  When they eventually move out of your life for one reason or another, you will be heartbroken.  Don’t wait until then to let them know how much they make your life better.

11) Your body will fail you.  Stretch marks, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, gray hairs, hernias, wrinkles, and worse happen sooner than later…and not just to other people.  Take care of yourself, but don’t expect to be 20 forever.  Embrace the body you have; confidence is 80% of being attractive.

12) Love yourself.  Not just your body.  Your soul, your mind, your entire humanly being.  We have but just one life to live, so have a personal mission and vision and abandon anything that derails or erodes them.  Write your own eulogy now and then take all the steps necessary to live towards a life that represents it.  

13) Superstitions are nonsense.

14) Love someone else fully.  The person you shower with your fondness doesn’t have to be a spouse or child.  A dog, an elderly nursing home resident, or God count here.  Whomever you love, just give them your all.

15) Serve.  Do things for others without any expectation.  Being grateful and doing good are the shortest routes to contentment.

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16) Find a reason to laugh.  Daily.

17) Believe in something.  Sure, the Lutheran Christian in me hopes it will be the God I know who loves us all unconditionally and who provides grace through faith alone.  But, no matter what you believe in, stay grounded by being certain it is something bigger and greater than yourself.

18) Take my advice and shove it if it doesn’t work for you…your life is your own to be lived in a way that brings a little bit of better to the world.  Breathe.  Love.  Live.

Peace,

Amber

Text4baby: free health texting for pregnant women and moms with infants

26 Jul

Text4baby is a free public health texting service that provides pregnant women and moms with babies under age one, three health and safety text messages each week timed to her due date or baby’s age. Text messages are developed by trusted experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and include information on topics such as labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, developmental milestones, and more. Know someone who might be interested? Signing up is easy! All you have to do is text the word BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 and you’ll begin receiving free health and safety messages to care for both you and your baby.

Text4baby

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