Sunday, December 30, 2012

Minivan Packed with Little Ones? How to Keep Your Cool Behind the Wheel

Driving from DeVoe Park to the Lodge

Whether you're in charge of transporting the peewee football team or have enough kids to make a football team of your own, driving with a carload full of kids can make even the most patient mom scream. While it’s hard to think about it, accidents with injuries are real and can happen to anyone. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2010 alone.

While the current campaigns are focused on texting while driving, distracted driving is de-fined as driving while engaged in any other activity and that includes yelling at kids. If you don't want to put yourself, your little ones and other drivers at risk, here are five tips that will help you stay calm when you’re out on the road:

1.Kids Will be Kids

One of the keys to driving with a car packed with kids is to remember that they are, in fact, kids. By starting off with the right expectations, you'll be less likely to lose your cool. There's little chance of each child behaving like a perfect angel in the back seat; expect them to act up a bit and ignore it. Unless your children are screaming to beat the band and you're at risk of developing a migraine, let them be kids. Try to remember that the car is not the place for discipline; wait until you get home to dish out the punishment.


2.Take Off with the Right Attitude

Before you strap the kids in their safety seats and buckle yourself safely behind the wheel, check your attitude. If you're negative or grumpy consider rescheduling your trip to the store. If you get in the car already worked up about some-thing else, every minor thing that your children do is bound to set you off and cause you to lose your focus on the road. Keep in mind that there are few trips that can't be put off until you're in a better, safer mood.


3.The Rules of the Road

We're not talking about driving laws, we're talking about the rules your kids have to follow while the car is moving. If you don't tell your children what you expect of them, how are they supposed to know how to behave? If you want to be able to keep your focus on the road while your kids are crammed in the backseat, you've got to be sure that you've told them how to behave. Your children should know exactly what’s expected of them and what the consequences are for misbehaving.


4.Activities Abound

You're a mom, which means that you know that a busy kid is a quiet kid. Let your kids pack their own little bag full of entertainment, and keep the bags in the car. Your smallest children may want to pack favorite picture books or coloring books and crayons. Older children may want to pack a hand-held gaming system and a few games. If you drive for the local kiddie carpool, pack a few age-appropriate bags that you can give to your charges while they're riding in your vehicle. Kids with things to do in the car are less likely to misbehave and you'll be less likely to lose your focus.


5.Earbud Love

No matter how old your kids are, a couple of mobile devices and a matching number of earbuds will keep your kids quiet and content. Load favorite songs, books and videos onto your mobile devices and let your kids listen to them in the car. If you make sure that the kids are using ear-buds, you'll be able to enjoy blissful quiet while you're driving down the highway. Calculate your time wisely and download media that will keep your children's attention for the greater part of your trip.

Your kids can be distracting on the best days never mind on the worst. If you're planning on packing your minivan full of kids, make sure that you're in the right mindset before you take off down the road. Your attitude, along with children who know what is expected of them and are kept entertained, are the keys in you being able to keep your focus on the road.

Author Karen Boyarsky is an advertising copywriter and an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @Boyarsky_kareni

For more information on safe driving, be sure to visit Kanetix on Facebook.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tech-Savvy Parenting When it Comes to Computers and Phones

Keeping up with new and ever-changing technology can be a challenge for parents, but it seems that it is completely natural for children. Concerned parents may try to block children from doing certain things online, but kids will often resist, and parents may be concerned that their children can outwit them when to comes to the digital world. Here are some tips for keeping kids safe online, both at home and on smartphones.

On the Home Computer

·         One of the easiest ways to know what children are doing online and to keep their activities public is to place home computers in a public location, such as a living room or shared office space.

·         Interact with children online. Most kids will say it isn't cool to be friends with their parents in online social networks, but doing so allows you to monitor their public activities in these areas. It can also be a challenge for some parents to use more kid-friendly social media sites, but checking in occasionally is worth the effort.
·         Use parental controls. Many operating systems, like Windows 7, have built in parental controls that make it easy to limit a child's use of the computer. Anti-virus and other protection software will also have parental controls built in.

On Smartphones

·         It can be harder to monitor children's use of phones, but having an open relationship with your children will allow them to trust you, and talking with them about appropriate and inappropriate things to do online, andbuild trust so they follow your advice. Create an environment that fosters honesty between you and your child.
·         Just like with desktop computers, many apps are available to monitor children's internet usage or block inappropriate websites. Use parental apps to monitor or limit your child's internet access on mobile devices.
·         Choose phones wisely. Some children may be too young or immature for a phone at all, and others should be allowed phones, but shouldn't be given smartphones. Make sure your child is old and mature enough to make wise decisions on their own regarding smartphone usage.

Unfortunately there's not anything you can do that's absolutely guaranteed to keep children safe, however, parental control software is quite advanced, and offers a great deal of protection. Most important is your relationship with your children, so creating an honest and open relationship is absolutely essential, and will make up the difference when control software might fall short of your expectations.

Author Bio

Melisa Cammack has been freelance writing for a number of years, and particularly loves to write parenting and technological articles. She is the mother of three young boys with one little girl on the way, and wife to one loving husband.

Melisa writes for Bell Internet, and would like to encourage parents to educate themselves on ever-changing technology.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yummy Recipes to Make with Kids for the Holidays

The holidays are a great time to do special things with your kids and to start traditions that you will love together for years to come. Your kids will love learning how to make new family dishes, and you'll both love the time you get to spend together.

While your children may not be ready to help you make the turkey or ham for your Christmas feast, they can help you make other delicious treats that your whole family will love. Here are a few recipes from around the web that we've found that you can use to spend quality time with your kids in the kitchen:

Peppermint Eggnog

Martha Stewart

Put a twist on this holiday classic, which is easy to make and which everyone will enjoy. Martha Stewart's recipe swaps out adult spirits with peppermint, a Holiday favorite that kids of all ages love. This sweet and delicious treat will be a great addition to any party buffet.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

This decadent cake from is easy and quick to make. Mix up some pudding, bits of Angel food cake, whipped cream, and chocolate and you're done. Put it in the fridge to chill, and it will be ready for you and your family to enjoy in about an hour. Even younger kids can get in on the action to help make this treat, and kids of all ages will love eating it.

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies (Source:

These were a favorite in my house at the holidays, but you can really enjoy them all year round. This recipe comes from Moms Who Think, and it's an easy one for kids to make. You'll have to help with melting the ingredients on the stove (or supervise for older kids), but the recipe is very simple. The best part is that they are ready to eat in no time -- though you may end up eating them in shorter time than it took you to make them.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Martha Stewart 

Here's another one from Martha Stewart -- another classic holiday drink. You and your kids will love making cups of this rich hot chocolate to go with your favorite holiday cookies. The simple recipe is suitable for all ages to make (though you will have to supervise the younger ones), and it is ready to enjoy in minutes.

Sugar Cookies

Betty Crocker

Sugar cookies are a holiday classic, and this recipe from Betty Crocker is an easy one for you to make with kids. Of course, the real fun comes when the cookies are finished baking and you can decorate them. You can hang them on your tree, wrap them up and give them as gifts, or just enjoy them with some milk and cookies.

What are some of your favorite holiday recipes to make with your kids? Share your tips or links to your favorite recipes in the comments!

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for, where recently she’s been researching the culinary academy of austin. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pregnancy Woes: Acid Reflux versus Heartburn - A Quick Fix for the Burn

Never have I had it this bad...that burning sensation in my esophagus that makes my whole chest feel like it's on fire. Blame it on the baby that is taking up the entire space in my body and pushing up on my stomach...

It's called heartburn. And, it's like a fire in my chest.

During the third trimester, little munchkin in the belly takes up every centimeter of space, and then some, and puts pressure on the bladder, and every other organ inside of our bodies, including the stomach, therefore making the stomach react in a backwards way. 

Last night, I had to find a home remedy at about midnight, after hours of "sucking it up". I simply couldn't handle it anymore, and certainly couldn't sleep. But, before I could find a solution, I had to figure out whether it was acid reflux or heartburn...because you can't treat something if you don't know exactly what it is, right?

And, okay, maybe you think I'm stupid right now, but I realized while I was surfing the 'net for answers that I wasn't the only one who got the two confused.

Okay, the short of it is: Acid Reflux is the "action", and Heartburn is the "reaction".

Acid Reflux is what is actually happening inside of your body - it's when the contents of your stomach move back up the esophagus, which is NOT the natural way things flow, by the way, in case you didn't know. When this happens, stomach acid accompanies these contents and comes in contact with the soft and sensitive lining of the esophagus.

That's the burning...and the burning, that FIRE, is called Heartburn!

So, you actually have Heartburn. That terrible, horrible, no good, very bad burning feeling that won't go away, even if you drink water!

DO NOT DRINK CAFFEINATED beverages! They will exacerbate the LES, which is the lower esophageal sphincter. That's the flapper thing that's supposed to keep the food in the stomach. Yeah, if you have heartburn, your LES is not performing the way it's supposed to. It's being lazy, and the caffeine will make it even less lazy.

So, after a bit of research, some A-ha! moments, and a long swig of some honey, my heartburn was gone. I slept well, no more burning. No, the honey didn't stop the acid reflux, but what it did was coat my esophagus so that it wouldn't be affected by the acid burn.

While some of you may be tempted to toss some honey into some tea or coffee, I would strongly insist that you drink it straight from the bottle. The thicker the honey is, the better it will coat your esophagus.

Hopefully, this works for you as well as it worked for me. Good luck with the little one...if you're experiencing heartburn during pregnancy, you're probably pretty close to holding your new munchkin in your hands for the first time. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Ultra-Difficult to Shop For

If you're at a loss for holiday gift ideas for your wife, husband, or someone who is ultra-difficult to shop for, you're going to LOVE the ideas here! Forget about the non-original ideas, like the wallets and purses, perfumes and colognes that may smell good to you, but end up sitting on their dresser unused, and little trinkets that are supposed to be meaningful, because "It's the thought that counts!".

Sexy Christmas gifts from EdenFantasys - the sex toys shop you can trust! has been a favorite of mine for a few years now, and although you may find a lot of their products a bit risque, they have a bunch of products that are not risque that I have fallen in LOVE with and MUST HAVE IN STOCK AT ALL TIMES...(and shall I add that my husband has fallen in love with them, too?)...

The Shunga Erotic Massage Oil is, by far, my favorite product yet. Not only is it made from all natural ingredients, it has an amazing banana-like aroma and works better than any other massage product I've ever used.

My second most favorite in the massage oil category is the Naturals massage oil by Kama Sutra, in the pomegranate aroma. Again, the ingredients are all natural and the aroma is fantastic!

Here's a hint for those of you who desperately need a massage: If you give, you may just receive! If you give this massage oil as a gift, you may just find yourself receiving the gift of a reciprocal massage back!

Bath oils and shower gels are just more products to add to the list of gift ideas for the ultra-difficult to shop for...and you'll love all of the promotions on these products!

And, I'm sure that if you look around their online store, you will be able to find something somewhere for that hard-to-shop-for person in your life - you'll probably even find things to add to your own wish list!

Below, you will find the holiday coupon codes, and information about their free shipping promo. Happy shopping!

Coupon codes - good until Dec 21st!!!
Here are some coupon codes you can use on orders:
  • CANDY15 (save 15% on any order)
  • CANDY20 (save 20% on orders of $50+)
  • CANDY25 (save 25% on orders of $100+)
  • CANDY30 (save 30% on orders of $150+)

» Free Shipping Promo

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Growing Up in the Age of Technology: How Are Your Children Being Affected?

Childhood today is a very different picture than it was in the past. Instead of seeing boys shooting hoops outside, you are more likely to find them cooped up indoors playing video games. And instead of seeing girls playing hopscotch, you'll more likely find them behind a computer screen.

All of the technology we cherish as adults also affects the way our children grow up. They are surrounded by cell phones and computers at home, at school and pretty much every where they look. What consequences does technology have on our children's development?

Communication Skills

The popularity of texting and social networking sites like Facebook has changed the way people, including kids and teenagers, talk to one another. These days, we are more likely to use abbreviated words in text messages than to make a phone call, much less talk in person.

Kids are growing up with a decreased value of real conversations and their social skills suffer for it. Conversing through texts and online messaging does not give kids the practice they need to express emotions and build confidence to meet new people in person.

Instant Gratification

Technology has also conditioned kids into feeling they should be able to get whatever they want instantly. Email and text messaging are forms of instant communication. The Internet is a resource of instant information that while educational can also prove to be dangerous.

Online, kids can look at pictures, download music, movies and games and talk to friends instantly. Sometimes, children don't understand the rest of the world doesn't work that way.

Dangers of Technology

Kids are also experiencing an increased amount of privacy in comparison to years before. They can send text messages or say things online parents may be completely unaware of. This is how tragic occurrences, like cyber-bullying, take place.

Sexting has also been a huge problem with teenagers. What they do not realize when sending photos to their boyfriend or girlfriend is those pictures live forever in the online world and can hurt them in the future.


Despite all the problems technology may bring in raising children, the truth is it's really up to parents to decide how technology will affect their kids. Children who are allowed uncontrolled access to the Internet and cell phones may very well suffer developmentally.

It is possible, however, to simply pay attention to what kids are doing online, set parental blocks and put limits on cell phone usage. Technology comes with many risks, but also many blessings, there are even online schooling programs, from elementary all the way to college. While parents cannot protect their children every second of the day, most problems can be avoided with a little love and attention.

Author Bio: Michelle is an aspiring writer who currently works for an online college that offers a home health aide certificate program, among others. When she’s not working she loves writing about anything and everything and blogs as much as she can. She loves that blogging allows her to share her writing with an unlimited audience.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tips on Talking to Your Teens about Prescription Drugs

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, today's post will help you broach the subject with your teen.

Drug abuse is not restricted to illegal substances that teenagers see on television. In fact, prescription drugs and items they can find on the shelves at a drug store are more of a threat because of how easy they are to get their hands on. Knowing how to talk to your teenager about these dangers is extremely important.

Make sure when you have this talk with your teen that you are not accusatory. You need to be calm and honest to avoid having the talk turn into a fight. Do some research about the dangers and let them know what you have learned. Do not pretend that you are an expert on the situation or they will be likely to tune you out. 
Also, try to incorporate them into the talk. If you sit there and lecture, it can become uncomfortable for them. You want to have an open dialogue about drugs with your teenager during this talk and going forward. Now is the time to build that relationship.

You also need to talk to your child about the dangers of peer pressure. Prescription drugs are easy to get a hold of. Teenagers can take them from their parents or grandparents. They can purchase them from dealers more easily than illegal drugs. They may have even been prescribed them for a legitimate purpose. When you are talking with your child, the most important idea to get across is that prescription drugs are just as dangerous as illegal drugs. This is true even if a friend is experimenting with them.

In order to be honest with your teenager, you cannot shelter them from the truth. This means that you have to give them specific knowledge about the drugs. Be honest about what prescriptions are in the house, from the family pet’s medication for arthritis, to antibiotics that were taken for an ear infection. Cover what they’re used for and what adverse effects they have if they are abused or even consumed just once in some instances. Be sure to also touch on the subject of their friends not needing to know what is kept in the cabinet, as their friends will be more likely to abuse prescription medication when they won’t be the ones to suffer consequences when found that medication is missing. 

To avoid this, just be honest. Talk about why someone would enjoy talking them, but also why it is such a bad idea, that there is potential that they could overdose, be hospitalized and could cause long term damage to the organs in the body. Touch on the subject of getting caught with the drugs, and how it could mean spending time in jail.

Prescription drugs are not something that should be taken lightly. Just as you would talk to your child about other dangers in the world, you need to teach them about dangers that are legal in the right circumstances.

Author Bio

Melisa Cammack has been freelance writing for several years and loves writing for parenting blogs the most. She is the busy mother of three even busier boys, wife to one over-sized and honorary “boy” and is kept entertained by their two golden retrievers, and the constant kicking from the child in her belly.
Melisa is currently promoting the Delray Recovery Center in Florida; learn more about their facilities and what programs they offer.

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