- Make a List (and Check it Twice): Like Santa, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the people you intend to shop for this year. Include family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else you’d like to put on your gift list. Then go through the list and set a dollar limit for each person. Your kids and parents might have a large price tag, while neighbors max out at $5-and that’s okay. By knowing what you’re willing to spend on each person, you can have a better idea of what to expect as a final cost.
- Start Saving Early: Instead of paying for all the gifts at once, you can budget the holiday season all year round. Ideally, you should set aside some money every month for holiday gifts (even $50/month will net you $600 at the end of the year). If this isn’t possible, you can at least start shopping early. By grabbing some of the gifts in September, October, and November, you can avoid the last-minute pressure to pull out the credit cards come December.
- Pre-Shop Online (or in Catalogs): Some people know exactly what they want to buy as gifts, while others won’t know the perfect gift until they see it. Both of these work as approaches to gift giving, but it’s easier to stick to a budget if you have a good idea of what things cost. In your spare time, head to a few online shops or pick up catalogs at your favorite stores. You don’t have to buy anything yet, but you can get a good idea of what you can expect to pay for the items on your list. This is an especially helpful idea if you’ll be making some of the gifts, as you can start searching for ideas on Pinterest and other crafting websites.
- Buy in Bulk: Although you’ll want to personalize the gifts you give to those closest to you, it’s smart to buy in bulk for neighbors, coworkers, and the like. Consider baking a large batch of sweet treats, making mass quantities of sugar scrub from scratch, or brewing your own beer-these can be incredibly cost-effective and nice gifts if you have a large list of people to give to.
Posts Tagged ‘parent’
It’s Back To School Time… which means GERM Season is back!
Yes, end of Summer is here, which means settling back into the comfortable routine of days marked by the ringing of school bells. It also means cold and flu season lurking just around the corner. Every parent dreads their child getting sick when school starts, even if it’s “just” a cold.
At best, you have a child not feeling well, not eating or sleeping well-a child missing school and parents missing work. At worst, a cold occasionally develops into something more, requiring a visit to the doctor and medical attention. What’s an overworked, sleep-deprived parent to do? Especially if they can’t afford to miss work? Well, here are some facts and practical tips to help keep your family healthy this cold and flu season.
Colds and flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Viruses are one type of germ that infects cells and makes us ill. Here are some common illnesses from viruses:
- Head cold: Many colds are caused by rhinoviruses. Rhino means nose in Greek, so these are viruses that infect the nose. We get runny and stuffy noses when we have colds because that is where the virus is setting up shop.
- Stomach flu: Rhinoviruses are actually one of a group of viruses called enteroviruses. Entero means intestine in Greek. These viruses infect our gastrointestinal tract, causing sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea-an illness some people call the stomach flu.
- Influenza: A stomach “bug” is different from the actual flu, which is caused by the influenza virus. Influenza comes from the Italian word for influence of the stars. In medieval Europe, people thought outbreaks of colds and flu were caused by the movement of the stars.
- Hand Washing frequently with soap and water-and always before eating, after using the restroom and after being in a public place. Regular soap is fine; antibacterial soap isn’t necessary because colds are caused by viruses not bacteria.
- Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, washcloths, toys, etc.
- Cough or sneeze in a tissue or the crook of the elbow instead of the bare hand.
- It is recommend if a child has a fever they can return to school 24 hours after fever has broken. Please do not send your child to school with a fever.
- Give your child a box of tissue to keep in their desk/cubby as well as keep a box of tissue at your desk.
- Use Hand Sanitizer
To read the whole article: CLICK HERE
The best way to help your children transition is to start early. Take a few weeks before school starts up to give your kids an opportunity to meet new people and prepare for the upcoming year.
1. Arrange for a tour.
Most schools are happy to meet with new parents and students to walk you through the facilities. Make this appointment away from regular class hours so your child can familiarize him or herself with the school and ask any (potentially) embarrassing questions about the upcoming year.
2. Ask for a handbook.
Every school has a handbook of sorts—a guide to class hours, holidays, extracurricular activities, and school policies. Get your hands on one of these and read through it. Look for activities or events your child might enjoy and highlight the positive in these. You can also look for sports teams outside the school.
3. Get out in the community.
During the summer, community events for kids tend to be everywhere. Day camps, street fairs, public swimming pools, block parties—you might be unsure at the idea of getting out there and meeting people already, but it’s a good time to make the effort. Your child will appreciate having a few friendly faces in the crowd on the first day of school. (The library is also a good default option for this kind of thing, since you’re sure to find local kids roaming the shelves for their summer reading.)
4. Make each school day special.
A new outfit, a shiny pair of shoes, a note in their backpack, a promise to visit the zoo after school one day—any small thing you can do to brighten up the day is worthwhile. Give your child something to look forward to, and they’re likely to be more positive about the day as a whole.
5. Provide opportunities.
Even though you might not be ready to open your home to guests just yet or you might be feeling overwhelmed trying to make friends of your own, try to provide opportunities for your kids to mingle. Allow them to invite someone over for a special dinner or participate in neighborhood rituals to encourage socialization.
6. Give them space and time.
In your desire to see your child comfortable and settled, you might push too hard or make them feel like they’re failing at making friends fast enough. Experts suggest that getting used to a new school can take up to six weeks for younger kids (longer for teenagers), so be patient. They’ll get there.
Above all else, be sure and listen to your child. Kids may need to talk through their anxiety or verbalize their frustrations, and constantly pushing them to accept the changes may only make the situation worse. Listen more than you talk and be sure to show your child all the love and attention they need during this difficult time.
Saltine Chocolate Toffee Bark
40 whole Saltine Crackers, May Need More To Fit The Pan
¾ cups Sugar
1 cup Butter, Cubed
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
4 bars (39g Size) Skor
3-⅝ ounces, weight Pecans, Chopped
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 11″x 16″ pan with tin foil. Arrange saltines in a single layer, breaking the last row to fit if necessary. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add sugar and butter, stirring constantly over medium heat. When mixture begins to boil, let cook 1-2 minutes. Pour evenly over crackers.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until bubbly. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let the chocolate chips sit for 3 minutes to let them soften. Sprinkle with toffee and pecans.
Refrigerate until set, approximately 1 hour. Break into pieces.
Source: Tasty Kitchen
A healthy alternative to the “norm” for this Thanksgiving!!
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
1 3/4 pound(s) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 small parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
6 cup(s) vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
1 dash(es) apple cider
1 teaspoon(s) green Tabasco sauce
finely diced Granny Smith apple and minced parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with the parsnip, garlic, olive oil and salt.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.
In a blender, puree half of the vegetables with 3 cups of the stock; transfer to a large saucepan.
Repeat with the remaining vegetables and stock.
Add the apple cider and Tabasco and heat through.
Season with salt.
Serve with the diced apple and minced parsley.