Nifty vs. Thrifty

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Engage in Play

Some days seem so long when our kids are acting out and we can't figure out why. Kids often act out because they are bored! Sometimes we are busy and attempt to give them ideas of what they should do but that's often not enough to keep them occupied. They might need some undivided attention with you engaged in an activity with them. Here are some ideas.

1. Climb onto the jungle gyms. I have seen kids acting out at the playground while their parents are talking on their cell phones. To me, it's obvious that they just want their parents attention even if it's just for a little bit.

2. Change levels. Get on your child's level by crawling, squating, sitting on the floor or put your child on your shoulders.

3. Unplug. Show your child that they have your undivided attention by turning off outside stimuli such as the t.v, cell phone, or laptop.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Product Review: The Silly Sorter

The Silly Sorter is a great product for kids. It is a great organizational tool to help your kids keep track of their silly bands and is also a great accessory. In addition, this product is great quality and is made of durable fabric. The product is $20.00 (which is well worth it!) and comes in over 50 designs including camoflauge, sports themes, and even one with glitter. My friends who are both 8 years old loved this product, however, i think any children who love silly bands would love the product as well. Order your Silly Sorter at

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How a Diary Can be Your Child's Best Friend

Writing in a diary (or journal) is a great way for children to learn about themselves and improve their writing skills at the same time. Offer your child a few quiet moments in the morning or evening when they can be alone and collect their thoughts. Writing in a diary is a great way for them to sort through their problems, express their creativity, and build self esteem.

Childhood is such a fun and amazing time for a person. It is a time when a child can learn about who they are, what they enjoy, and what qualities they possess. Giving your child a tool to help them learn about who they are is invaluable and can pave the way to a lifetime of good self esteem. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Let them pick out their own journal. Shopping for a special jounal can be a fun activity for you and your child to do together and can engage your child in the process. If your child is more of an online kind of kid, here's a great website for them to journal their thoughts online.

2. Create a special space. This can be really fun for kids! Offer your child ideas of where they can create their special space to write in their journal (in their bed, behind a sofa, or even in a closet!). Let them be in control of where they want to be inspired!

2. Do not read your child's diary. Having a safe place to write their thoughts is a great thing that you don't want to sabotage. Respect your child's space and they will be more likely to open up to you when they have a serious problem that they need help with.

I know it's hard to remember childhood (since it was so long ago) but childhood can be a stressful time for children. Teaching them coping skills will help them express their frustrations and work through them without solely depending on others. Obviously, this exercise is not intended to replace talking to you or others about their problems but instead helps them sort out their issues and learn to articulate their thoughts.

Do you need some help to get your child started? Here are some great ideas to initiate the start of a journal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

These are the moments to cherish!

How Therapy Has Made Me a Better Mom

Let's face can be difficult! When challenges arise, I find it helpful to stay positive and keep moving ahead. But I often find myself in the same kind of predicament over and over again. I find myself wondering, "Why do I keep getting myself in the same situation?" This is when I have found therapy extremely helpful.

While its good to 'be in the moment', it's also necessary to look back at your past and take care of unresolved business. It is helpful to hink about why you started making the bahavior patterns that have formed in your life.
There is such a negative stigma attached to therapy. For some reason, people see it as "living in the past" or dwelling on things that have already happened." I have found the opposite to be true. I often find myself dwelling on frustrations that are out of my control. Therapy allows me a safe and comfortable place to let out these frustrations and see them in a new light. I always leave the office with a fresh outlook and a new perspective.

These sessions can be very refreshing, however, sometimes I have had to take a hard look at my past (including my childhood). I found it very hard to look at some of these issues from my past, but it's definetly allowed me to grow and be a better person as a result. Because of these "breakthroughs" in therapy, I have had some difficult conversations with people close to me expressing my feelings about the past. It was very difficult to have these conversations but it has allowed me to let go of some of these feelings that I didn't even realize I was holding onto. I have now formed stronoger relationships with these people. I have put a lot of sweat and tears into these sessions but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

So, how has it made me a better mom? Well, I vent most of my frustrations out in a safe place each week which allows me to let go and be more fun and more present for my daughter and husband. Also, I have learned to set healthy boundaries in therapy which results in a happy, more productive environment for my daughter.
To me, therapy is something that I will need occassionally throughout my life when life presents it's challenges. I will probably spend just as much time and money on therapy as I do at the doctor's office because I want to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. For me, if I don't utilize the tools I need to handle life's challenges, then I am not living life to the fullest!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Great Activities Without Spending a Dime!

Want to have some fun with your kids without spending a dime? Look around you and use what you have in your own living room! We sometimes think that kids need expensive toys and fancy items but the truth is, they love the simple things!

I used to work with children with autism and provided many sensory exercises. While working with the children with special needs, I found thier brothers, sisters, and classmates wanting to do the activities as well. I began doing these activities with other kids and found they liked it just as much!

Children love pressure and squeezing. They find it hysterical if you tell them you're going to sit on them and flatten them into a pancake (I like to pretend to put syrup on top and then eat them)

Next, children love the sandwich game. Take some pillows from your couch or sofa and put your child into a 'sandwich'. Ask your child what they want on their sandwich, "Would you like me to add cheese or tomatoes? " Put the cushions or pillows on top of your child and push down with a little pressure. Your child will love it!

Finally, exercise balls are great for bouncing and rolling. Use your imagination for different ideas such as having the child sit on the ball and bounce them lightly or put them on top of the ball (on their belly) and roll forward and back. Another option? Roll or bounce the ball across the room to each other.

Don't have anything to play with in your living room? Challenge older children to a push up contest or get the little ones to start marching! Children love to march and will enjoy following you around and stomping their feet!

Children have so much energy and also have many sensory needs. They often act out as a result of either being tired, bored, or needing some sensory input. Try some of these activities and you will definetly have some quality time and create a positive experience with your kids. The best part? All you need is your imagination and some willingness to try new things! Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Is Your Family Grounded?

Staying grounded can be such a tricky thing. For us and for our children. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the materialistic things, events, and even drama.
To me, staying grounded means living up to the priorities that I set for myself and my husband and I have set for our family. Of course, what 'staying grounded' means to me could be an entirely thing than it means for you. Your job is to figure it out so you can have the family life you desire! Here are a few ways to help you find out what it means to you!

1. Have a conversation with your significant other about family priorities. Having a candid conversation about family priorities can really be eye opening. I remember where I was when I had the conversation with my husband about what priorities he felt were most important for raising children. I remember that I was pregnant at the time (perhaps this conversation should have been before that point! LOL!) Before opening this conversation, think about the question first. Try to be open minded and listen carefully.

2. Put your ideas and goals on paper. This really helps me. I may write it down and never look at it again but having things written helps me to prioritize (and really make it real!)

3. Make it happen. Make your actions consistant with your priorities. If you are working towards having a positive and happy family, are your conversations and actions mostly positive? If you are working on being an honest family, are you being honest as a role model? If you want your kids to get along better, are you communicating effectively with your spouse and even with your children?

Good luck and I would love to hear your ideas about this!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Focus of the week: Karen Izzi

The person I chose to focus on this week is Karen Izzi, owner of the Peaceful Healer in Exton, PA. Karen provides a variety of beauty services as well as wellness services to her clients. Karen is actually not a mom, but I chose to spotlight her because of all the wonderful services she provides to moms of all ages.

I met with Karen at Barnes and Noble a few months back. Her ideas were enlightening and inspirational. She explained Reiki to me (since I didn't really know very much about it) and how it is a healing touch which balances the shockers in the body (something I'm sure many moms could benefit from). Karen also motivated me to give back to the community. She talked about how she encourages peaceful healing to those going through troubled times (including many troubled teens). She gives teens facials and creates a peaceful and loving environment. In addition, she offers wellness counseling which specialized in behavior, guidance, dietary needs, and lifestyle changes. It was so nice to have met Karen and to hear the positive ways she is giving back to the community. I am now motivated to create more of a consciousness about love and peace myself and with my family.

If you are interested in hostessing a massage party or visiting Karen for one of her services, call Karen for more information 484-889-8668 or email

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 Greatest Tricks to Getting Your Child to Love Reading

Many parents struggle with getting their children to read, but it doesn't have to be a battle! First all, it should not be a battle and if you start to go down that road (an argument), make a u turn and try a different approach! Here are a few ideas to get you going!

1. Create a special 'Reading Time'. This is something fun you can do together! Read on your own while your child is also reading. First, ask your child to set a timer for a certain length of time (maybe 10 minutes). Next, have them find a "special reading spot" (under a table, behind a sofa, or anywhere they like!) Turn off any t.vs, radios, or phones that may distract. Finally, RELAX and enjoy your quiet time (although it may be brief!)

2. Read to your child. Keep books handy (in the library and in the car). Ask your child (with enthusiasm!) if they want to read "Hey Mary, would you like to read this book or that one? I bet this one is good!". Also, many parents create special times when they read such as before bedtimes. This creates a great reading habit for your child.

3. Go to the library. Children love to make their own choices. Offer them some ideas and help them find some books they enjoy. Although the library can be a little overwhelming, with some guidance it can be a great place for kids to find a love for books!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Secret to Beauty...Generosity!

So you want to look and feel beautiful? The most beautiful celebrities aren't the ones with the most expensive designer clothes, fancy car, or perfect body. The most beautiful celebs are ones that are graceful and show generosity. Showing grace is demonstrated by giving back to those less fortunate. Take Angelina Jolie and Demi Moore for example. Their beauty is shown through their generosity and kindness.

When I am giving back to others (usually through my church) there is nothing better than the feeling I get when I do something for someone in need with no expectation in return. If you are interested, here are a few really cool websites:

If you have a daughter who like Hananh Montana, check out this website..

The key to gettting your kids involved is to make it fun and let them see you enjoying giving back to others. When sitting home on a Saturday afternoon watching t.v, why not volunteer your time and give back to others? Enjoy!