Earth week, which is typically toward the end of April, is a week dedicated to celebrating the world we live in, with Earth Day rounding the week out. You can take part in celebrating Earth week by making a craft, planting flowers or picking up trash at a local park. However, you don’t have to keep your Earth celebrations limited to this week. Raising kids’ awareness of the problems that are happening to the planet might encourage future environmentalists, or at least inspire kids to take care of the planet. These 27 blog articles are full of ideas for different ways you can celebrate Earth week.
Instead of throwing discarded newspapers or old crayons into the trash, recycle these items into different crafts. Old newspapers are perfect for papier-mâché and crayons can be melted down and reformed into a new shape. While explaining the craft, it’s important to highlight to your kids how you’re recycling different items and why doing so makes an impact on the planet. Take a look at these nine blog posts to gather ideas for Earth Day crafts.
Any activity that encourages kids to think about their environment is perfect for Earth Day. You can plant a garden and talk to your kids about eating the food that will come from the garden, or take the kids to a farmer’s market and buy from local farmers. These and other Earth day activities can be found in the nine blog entries below.
Over a billion people take part in Earth Day service projects around the world. The one thing that every person on the planet has in common is that we all live on this planet, and if we want to keep living on it then everyone needs to do their part in taking care of it. Take a look around your community to see what service projects you can do, then get a group of people together to do it. For inspiration, look at these nine blog articles about various service projects.
Most Americans would probably not seriously consider adding sea vegetables to their diet. Many have a difficult time trying to down broccoli or spinach, so the thought of eating any underwater vegetables most likely wouldn’t fly. However, if you are fond of Asian cuisine, chances are you have probably eaten and obliviously enjoyed many types of sea vegetables, as these products of the ocean have been a staple in the Asian diet for millennia.
- Nori – This vegetable is usually the wrapping around sushi. Nori is dark, purplish-black in color and comes in sheets. It is edible seaweed of the red alga species, and has been used as food in Japan since ancient times. Originally, it was made in a paste form; however, with the rise of paper making, nori began to be made into sheets. It is shredded, formed into sheets and left to dry before culinary use.
- Kelp – This seaweed is rather popular in health food stores. It can be light brown to dark green in color, and is most often used in flake form. Some people have been known to use kelp to alleviate arthritis problems, lower cholesterol and boost the immune system. It can be found in toothpastes, dairy products, cakes, salad dressings and even in some shampoos due to the algin it contains, which is an emulsifier and bonding agent.
- Agar Agar – This Japanese gelatin usually comes in flakes and is comprised of a combination of sea vegetables for use as a thickener in desserts such as pies, puddings and jellies. It is colorless and tasteless, and is often used as an alternative to other gelatins.
- Arame – Often used in such foods as quiches, salads, stir-fried food and omelets, these little shreds have a very mild, rather sweet flavor with a thin, wiry appearance. They are also full of healthy nutrients like calcium, iodine, potassium, vitamin A and contain a healthy measure of dietary fiber.
- Wakame – This sea vegetable can be eaten raw as a snack, added to soups or stir-fried foods or sprinkled on salads or stews. Wakame is one of the more tender sea vegetables available. When re-hydrated, it expands to about seven times its original size and the long, silky strands are grayish-green in color.
- Kombu – Found in many bean dishes, this dark purple sea vegetable actually makes beans easier to digest. Nutrient-wise, kombu introduces many vital minerals into the diet, including magnesium, iron, iodine and calcium. Dried kombu soaks up lots of liquid, and actually doubles in size when added to broths or stock.
- Sea Palm – Used in soups and salads, the sea palm is also known as American arame. It is found off the Pacific coast of America and looks much like a little palm tree. It has a sweet and salty taste and is brownish green in color. It can also be eaten raw, and is sometimes added to trail mix.
- Dulse – The texture of this vegetable is chewy and it has somewhat of a salty taste. Unlike some of the other sea vegetables, this one is reddish brown in color as compared to the various green shades of others. It is often served in sandwiches or salads, however, it also comes in whole leaves or in powder form to be served as a condiment. Some people eat dulse straight out of the package like jerky.
- Hijiki – This high-nutrient sea vegetable is full of minerals, including calcium, iron, copper, manganese and protein. It is another of the sea vegetables that expands greatly when soaked, and is often used in noodle dishes as well as stir-fried entrees. It is also a common ingredient in fried bean curd.
- Laver – With less sodium than many other sea vegetables, laver is a good source of vitamin B-12, as well as many of the trace minerals like iron and iodine. It has a tangy, salty taste and when cooked in liquid may have more of a nutty taste. It comes in flakes that are usually purplish in color. When hydrated, the flakes can hold about four times their dry weight. Most often, laver flakes are used in stir-fries, seafood chowders and some dips. They can also be used in salads or salad dressings for flavor.
Sea vegetables are gaining more popularity because they are so dense in nutrient value and seem to have properties that help protect the body from cancer and help ward off inflammation. The Japanese have the lowest level of chronic disease on the planet, and they are culturally the largest consumers of sea vegetables in the world.
Results of a study published by Redbook magazine found that the average toddler hears the word “no” up to 400 times each day. Sources cited in their research also showed that kids who are repeatedly subjected to the word “no” without further explanation tend to have less advanced language skills than peers who experience positive feedback. Rather than subjecting your child to a barrage of negative words, experts like author Howard Gardner suggest that you adopt more positive redirection techniques. These 10 phrases can help you say no to your child without actually responding negatively.
- “Let’s Trade!” – Rather than snatching an object out of your child’s hand with a stern reprimand to assert ownership, try handing her an acceptable item with the proposal of trading. You’re still removing the initial item from her grasp, but you aren’t as likely to become embroiled in a power struggle with a headstrong child.
- “That’s Dangerous.” – Your toddler needs to know why she’s not allowed to touch certain items, rather than simply being commanded to ignore them. Instead of making a dangerous item even more alluring because it’s mysteriously forbidden, explain to your little one that she’s not allowed to touch the stove because it’s dangerous.
- “Let’s Look at This!” – Sometimes, the most effective way to get a determined child to abandon a forbidden activity is to redirect her attention altogether. Rather than continually separating her from a bad situation and telling her “no,” try to find an acceptable alternative that will hold her attention.
- “Why Don’t We…” – You can tell your child that he’s not allowed to do something with no further explanation or offer alternative suggestions, but you’ll probably find that he’s much more susceptible to redirection techniques than outright refusal. Offer reasonable, attractive alternatives when he asks for permission to do something you’d rather him avoid.
- “Yes, Later.” – Sometimes, all a child needs to know is that she will eventually be allowed to do the thing she’s asking about or to have the item she’s seeking. Instead of telling her that she can’t watch a video, let her know that she can watch it at a later time.
- “That Hurts People and Makes Them Sad.” – Hitting and biting are par for the course with a toddler, and they’re generally not receptive to the same negative reprimands they hear all day. Explaining the consequences of aggression, like hurting people and making them sad, gives your child a clear understanding of why it’s not okay.
- “I Know You Love Candy, But You Won’t Feel Well if You Eat Too Much.” – When a child is begging for a second chocolate bar or trying to gorge herself on a big Halloween haul, explaining to her that overeating has negative repercussions is usually more effective than just telling her she’s not allowed to have more.
- “Use Your Words.” – Temper tantrum are a fairly effective method of expressing displeasure, but they’re usually filled with wails and shouts rather than actual words. Letting your child know that he must use his words to elicit a response from you can nip a tantrum in the bud much faster than threats or reprimands.
- “I’m Sorry, I Can’t Understand You When You Speak That Way. Let’s Use our Big-Girl Voice.” – Whining is a fairly natural response when your child is tired, hungry or not feeling well, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to hear. Try telling your child that you can’t understand her properly when she whines and that a “big-girl” voice will help her make the point more clearly. It’s much more effective than, “no whining!”
- “I’m Coming to Get You!” – Sometimes, all a little one needs to distract her from problem behavior is a good belly laugh. Assuming the mantle of a tickle-monster that’s coming to get her or instigating a fun game of chase can help her forget all about a forbidden activity, instead focusing on the good time at hand.
Avoiding overuse of “no” doesn’t mean that you should forgo limits in favor of giving your little one free reign. In fact, using positive language to offer a negative response can still establish strong boundaries without diminishing the effectiveness of the word “no.” Breaking the habit will require a bit of patience and effort, but the results you’ll see will almost certainly be well worth the effort.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, flying is almost always the quickest and most efficient way of getting from point A to point B with minimal fuss. That is, of course, assuming that you don’t miss a flight or experience a cancellation. Few things are as frustrating for travelers as the idea of an overnight layover in an airport, but there are a few ways that you can make the experience a more enjoyable one. These ten tips can help you survive an overnight layover, and maybe even enjoy it a bit.
- Try to Make the Best of the Situation – You can approach an overnight layover from the perspective of the situation being a terrible one, or you can simply accept it for what it is and attempt to make the most of your experience. A positive attitude can make all the difference, and you may even find that you’re actually enjoying yourself before the night is over.
- Make Late-Night Snack Arrangements Early – Most food outlets in airports will close at some point in the evening, leaving you without a way to soothe any late-night cravings. Be prepared for hunger pangs in the small hours by stocking up on the healthiest snacks you can find before closing time arrives.
- Check On Amenities Offered By Some Airports – In the event of a flight cancellation or overnight delay, some airports will offer cots and other amenities to stranded passengers. Be sure to see what, if any, amenities are offered by the airport you’re stranded in before resigning yourself to a miserable evening.
- Catch Up On Your Reading – If you’ve ever wanted a few hours to dedicate to your reading, consider your wish granted. Cell phone, tablet and laptop batteries may have relatively short lives, but most eReaders are designed to maintain a charge for weeks. Settle in with a good book or even a paperback you snagged in a gift shop, and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a bit of uninterrupted reading.
- Be Friendly – From employees of the airport to fellow travelers, everyone is more likely to respond positively when you treat them with friendly respect. It’s easy to lose your temper when you’re frustrated by the circumstances that left you stranded for hours in an airport, but anger and rudeness will not improve the situation.
- Raid Your Carry-On – If you packed a change of clothes, toiletries or diversions in your carry-on bag, your overnight delay is an iron-clad excuse for a raid. You’ll be grateful for a toothbrush, book or MP3 player at some point, and an overnight stay offers you plenty of time to repack the bag.
- Find an Airport Lounge – There are lounges in most airports, but they may only be accessible to first-class passengers or those willing to pay an admittance fee. Overnight layovers can be much more easily managed when you’re in relative comfort, so find a lounge and find room in the budget to cover an admittance fee.
- Take Advantage of Free WiFi – Almost any major airport will have some sort of free WiFi in place for travelers to take advantage of during long delays. Whip out your smartphone, tablet or laptop and catch up on your favorite shows, chat with loved ones or just play games to pass the time.
- Resist the Urge to Imbibe – Being stuck in an airport overnight might feel like absolute justification for a drink or two, but it’s wise to keep the effects of alcohol in mind before you belly up to the bar. The last thing you’ll want is to be hungover in the airport or wandering through it with compromised judgment.
- Keep Your Wallet On Your Person – Even if you’ve made a few new friends throughout your ordeal, you’ll still want to make sure that your wallet is on your person at all times. Pickpockets and thieves are less likely to target you if your belongings are secured and your wallet isn’t within easy reach, so resist the urge to throw it in your carry-on.
While you’ll want to make friends with those around you, it’s important that you keep airport safety in mind. Maintaining a reasonable level of cautiousness and vigilance over your belongings can help to avert unfortunate situations.
Dads may seem rough and tough on the outside, but on the inside they can be just as squishy and sentimental as mom is, especially when it comes to their kids. Father’s Day is the perfect time to help the kids make dad a keepsake gift that he can hang on the wall, put on his desk at work or keep on his dresser at home. There are lots of crafty ideas out there, so whether dad is into sports or just loves homemade items from the kids, these simple to make gifts will be perfect for dad this Father’s Day. Check out these 21 blog posts and see if you and the kids find any projects that you can make for dad.
Sports Minded Gifts
How about making a gift with a sports theme? Whether dad plays sports or just likes to watch it on TV, a sports themed gift might be perfect for him. Maybe it’s a pasta trophy for being the best dad ever or a baseball cap note holder; no matter what you choose, dad will get a kick out of these Father’s Day presents. You might even recycle one of his old ties and make it into a unique camera strap that he can use to shoot pictures at his favorite sporting events. Take a look at these seven blog entries to see if any of these sporty crafts inspire you and the kids.
Often, dads will say that they don’t need anything for Father’s Day or that they don’t want you to spend any money on them. Well, there’s a solution for the budget conscious dad. These crafts are not only cool and creative, they also won’t break the bank with the cost of supplies. Using supplies you likely already have at home you can create an endless array of gifts perfect for dad. These seven blogs are full of budget conscious gifts.
Easy to Make Gifts
Don’t worry if you aren’t particularly crafty, because these crafts are easy enough for the kids to do and only require a little supervision from mom or another adult helper. Let your kids customize a notepad cube for dad to keep on his desk. Glue some candy bars on sticks and poke them into a vase to create a candy bouquet for dad. Whatever the craft is, dad will love it because it came from the kids. Look through these seven blog posts and get your kids excited about making something for dad for Father’s Day that he will not only be proud of, but he will brag about it.
Are you in the market for new prescription glasses or sunglasses, but don’t know what style of frames are the most flattering for your face? The following 21 blog entries can help. Keep in mind that choosing the right frame is not limited to just shape; getting the right color to complement your skin tone is important too. When choosing sunglasses, you will need to look for the added UVA and UVB protection. Once you learn what frame shape you should look for, take a look at this year’s eyeglass trends. You may find a pair that’s both functional and trendy!
When selecting the right pair of glasses, you will want to make sure that they are comfortable to wear. While you want to pick a pair that will function as a stylish accessory as well as a necessary tool, if they aren’t comfortable you won’t be happy with them. You also need to take into consideration your budget and your face shape. These seven blog posts will explain how to decide what shape face you have and what shape of glasses you should choose.
While many of the same rules hold for sunglasses as they do for eyeglasses, there are some differences. You can go bigger and bolder with sunglasses because you’ll just be wearing them outside, versus regular glasses that you’ll be wearing all day. Have fun with your sunglasses, but make sure they make you look good.
Like clothes, shoes and accessories, there are trends for eyeglasses too. Think back to the 60’s when everyone had to wear the cat eye frames because that’s pretty much all that was available. Now that trend is back and people are picking it on purpose. To learn more trends check out these seven blog articles.
According to WebMD, one out of every five people suffers from some form of allergies. Allergies can be very different from person to person. Food allergies or intolerances are very common, with one out of every three people claiming to have a problem with a certain food. There are also allergies to pet dander, dust, insects and pollen. Determining what kind of allergies you have is the first step in learning what you can do to treat your symptoms. These 21 blog entries will explain homeopathic remedies for adults, kids and pets.
Sometimes, treatment for allergies seems straight forward. If you are allergic to pet dander, then stay away from pets, and if you are allergic to nuts, don’t eat them. However, sometimes it’s not possible to avoid a pet if someone in your family has an animal. The good news is that there are certain things you can do to live your life normally and not in a sterile bubble. On windy days when pollen counts are high you should wear your hair tied back so that the pollen doesn’t catch in your hair, and you should wash your hair every night before you go to bed so that you don’t transfer pollen to your pillow case. Learn some homeopathic treatments for allergies in the following seven blog posts. Be sure to discuss any homeopathic treatment plans with your doctor before trying them out.
Kids suffer with allergies just like adults do, and as parents you are often told not to give your child over the counter treatments. So what can you do? There are several natural or homeopathic remedies you can give your child to help them build up their ability to fight off the allergens, as well as treat the symptoms of allergies that they have now. Check out these seven blog posts for more information, and always check with your child’s doctor before trying any natural or homeopathic remedy.
It may sound odd, but animals have allergic reactions to food and environmental issues just like humans do. While your dog or cat can’t verbalize what they are feeling, you can see the symptoms, such as when the dog scratches all of the time or is constantly licking his paw and making a sore. To learn more about homeopathic treatments for pets, read these seven blog articles and check with your vet should you be interested in trying them.
As an adult, you know that much of your child’s future depends upon the effort he expends in school and his attitude towards education. It’s not easy to motivate a chronic underachiever, especially if he’s dead set against participating in school or earning high marks. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, though. If your child isn’t performing well in school, there are steps you can take that may help give him the motivation he needs to boost that performance.
Determine the Scope of His Abilities
Before you start putting pressure on your child to try harder when it comes to schoolwork, you may want to consider having him tested by an academic specialist or seen by an expert to determine the scope of his abilities. He may be suffering from an undiagnosed learning disorder or having difficulty processing information, which means that he could very well be working his hardest to achieve the mediocre grades he’s getting. Keep in mind that being diagnosed with a learning disorder is far from the end of the world for your child; in fact, once you’re able to determine the best ways of teaching him, you may find that his academic performance increases dramatically. Either way, it’s still important to know where he rests on the spectrum before you berate him about a lackadaisical attitude when he’s actually working as hard as he can to impress you.
Cut the Criticism
If you’ve determined that your child has no learning disorders or processing difficulties, there’s a good chance that he’s struggling in school simply because he’s not motivated to work any harder than he is now. Frustration at his apathetic attitude and refusal to work can make you itch to lash out a bit, but you should keep in mind that criticism isn’t likely to make the situation any better. In fact, it may very well make things worse by damaging your relationship with your child and making him even more sullen and disinterested in school.
Even if you mean well, comparing your child to a sibling or his classmates will almost certainly backfire. Your child is not his brother or his classmate, and it’s important for you to realize that. Setting these standards that your child feels are unrealistic and unattainable will only discourage him more. If he knows that he’ll never live up to the people you’re comparing him to, then he may feel like there’s no point in trying at all. Asking your child why he can’t perform as well as his sister or best friend is downright insulting, and ultimately counterproductive.
Think Before You Bribe
When you know that your child is capable of better grades and you’re desperate to find a means of motivating him to do his very best, it’s easy to reach for your wallet. Before you bribe your kids to bring up their grades, think about the message that you’re sending. Knowing that there’s a cash prize hanging in the balance may entice your child to cheat in order to reach the goals you’ve set for him. It also makes him look forward to getting a good grade for the sake of earning a reward, not taking pride in the feeling of earning good grades themselves.
Praise Strong Efforts
It’s essential that you know just how much your child is capable of, and that you place an emphasis on praising his efforts over praising his accomplishments. When you offer your child encouragement and positive affirmation for trying his best, he learns that the value lies within making his best effort, not just reaching the goal by any means necessary. Help your child learn to be proud of how hard he works, even if he’s not always reaching the brass ring. The value is in the determination, and your child needs to know that.
If your child’s performance simply isn’t reaching the level that you know he’s capable of, it may be time to discuss the matter with his teachers. They will almost certainly have more insight into his classroom habits than you will because they’re observing him directly, and may be able to give you some valuable tips for motivation and encouragement that will work with the unique needs of your individual child.
Do you have a wok stashed away in the cupboard somewhere that you never use? Break that bad boy out and try some of these recipes. Not only is wok cooking healthier for you because it uses high heat with very little fat, but it often contains a lot of vegetables. If you think you don’t have time to mess with the wok, think again. Cooking dinner in the wok is far faster than nearly any other method of cooking. Prep your ingredients ahead of time and then when it’s time to cook you just need to get your wok screaming hot and start cooking. Whether you’re vegetarian or a meat lover you will find tasty recipes to try in these 15 blog entries.
For vegetarians, wok cooking is a perfect way to change things up. By stir frying your vegetables and tossing them in a delicious sauce you can really shake up your normal menus. Find a post below with several sauce recipes you can use with vegetables of your choice. You can prep your vegetables in the morning and when you get home you can start cooking and be sitting down to dinner in no time. Tofu is a high protein staple in both vegetarian cooking and wok cooking because once cooked in a wok with other vegetables and a sauce the tofu will take on a whole different flavor. These five blog posts will give you several new ideas to add to your weekly menu.
Asian cooking doesn’t tend to be heavy on beef. When you see stir fry the meat is cut into small pieces in order to cook quickly and feed more people. It’s very uncommon to see Asian people sit down to a 16 oz. steak. The meat just isn’t available to the average family. Many wok dishes are made with meat that is relatively tough and so it is marinated to make the meat tenderer. To try some of these beef recipes just take a look at these five blog articles.
Chicken is fairly common in Asian and wok cooking since it’s simple and quick to cook. Boneless and skinless chicken thigh is used more often because not only is it cheaper, but it’s got more flavor than breast meat. However, when making these recipes you can interchange breast meat or thigh meat based on your preference and what you have on hand. That’s another thing about wok cooking, you can use up what you have in the fridge.
Over the last few years, one of the biggest dessert trends has been the dessert-in-a-jar. For years people would serve lemonade or other drinks in a jar to lend a quaint country feel to the occasion, and now desserts are taking on that same Southern charm. Plus, they’re perfect for when you’re on the go; just put a lid on the jar and pack it in a lunch box, picnic basket or cooler and you’re ready. These desserts can be made in many varieties, including layered desserts, baked desserts and frozen desserts. Feast your eyes on these 15 blog entries for inspiring recipes.
Layered desserts are created by layering different ready-to-eat ingredients into jars of various sizes. Everything is already cooked and can be eaten at room temperature. One example of a layered dessert might be a cupcake divided up with frosting between the cake layers, making a cupcake taste more like a layered cake. That’s not all you can do though; there are many other options, as you can see when you take a look at these five blog posts.
- S’Mores in Jars If you’ve had s’mores before then you know how yummy they are. These S’mores in a Jar are layered and baked a little to get the melty toasted goodness of the real s’more. It can be eaten right away or served at room temperature.
- Apple and Gingerbread Layer Dessert Jars Cooked apples are layered with gingerbread for this dessert in a jar.
- Adorable Jars for Easy Eating and Giving Layered Nutella mousse and Oreo cookies take this dessert-in-a-jar over the top!
- Layered Pumpkin Pie in a Jar Creamy layers of pumpkin pudding, whipped cream and graham crackers take this Thanksgiving treat to the next level.
- Banana Caramel Cream Dessert If you like banana pudding desserts, you will love this concoction of pastry cream, bananas, whipped cream and caramel sauce.
Baked desserts are desserts that are built inside the jar and then baked. You can bake pie, cake, or bread right in the jar. The dessert can be enjoyed fresh from the oven or at room temperature on a picnic. These desserts can even be frozen and baked off a few at a time. They also make a special treat for guests. Bake them off and tie a ribbon around the jar to give them away as gifts. For some baked in a jar goodness, check out the following five blog articles.
Create a frozen layered dessert, ice cream or other type of frozen treat in a jar after you take a look at these five blog posts. By keeping these desserts packed in ice you can take almost any dessert on the road with you. What could be tastier than a frozen treat on a warm summer day? People love how cute and quaint desserts-in-a-jar are and they keep the mess to a minimum because you can screw the lid back onto the jar and then take it home and toss the jars into the dishwasher.