Parenting and Alcohol: Educating Our Children

April 22, 2014 By · No Comments

This is a sponsored post that I believe in and think all parents should educate their children on. 

If you drink around your children responsibly, that is great, but it is more about educating your children about the risks of alcohol than the physical act of drinking. After all, drinking is a big part of many peoples social lives, but it is ensuring that our children are aware of the dangers from a young age. Education is the key.

Photo taken from Roy Batty – thank you!

 

This article provides a quick run through of the risks of alcohol consumption in children:

The Risks

It is important to understand that alcohol affects children differently to adults, so it is essential that you realise that alcohol misuse is far more dangerous to young children and can ultimately affect both their behaviour and their health.

It affects young people differently as their bodies are still maturing and growing. The consumption of alcohol can interfere with this development, and potentially cause long term damage to their health.

Some of this damage is so suffer it could last a life time, and extremely affect their chances in later life. Alcohol consumption has the potential to cause:

Liver cirrhosis and heart disease

Cancer of the throat and mouth

Brain development

Sexual and mental health problems

These conditions are just the tip of the iceberg, potentially other conditions and diseases have yet to be identified.

Young people have an unhealthy attitude to drink, research and reports suggest that those people who are dying from liver diseases and complications in their early twenties actually drank quite heavily during their teenage years. So, it is important to start educating them at an early age.

Alcohol can also be a premise to risky behaviour, including experimenting with drugs and sexual encounters. Research also suggests that more girls are willing to have sex once they have consumed alcohol. It is their loss of inhibitions which makes the whole thing a lot more scary for both the young person as well as the parents.

Alcohol consumption in young people can also lead to anti-social behaviour. This happens as the alcohol interferes with how they think, as well as their judgement. This makes them act far more carelessly. Fighting is more common place to following alcohol consumption. You will find that young people become more aggressive when they have been drinking. Admissions to A&E have increased dramatically with the admission of young adults that have consumed alcohol and the accidents they have gotten themselves in to during having alcoholic drinks. In some extreme cases, this has even led to death.

Education

The risks above outline some of the potential problems alcohol consumption in young people can cause. They are just the tip of the iceberg, with time spent with the police, and school attendance and attainment dropping being the other two significant issues that young people and parents face.

The next step is to educate. An alcohol free approach, for any childhood, is probably the best way to approach it. Alternatively you can always educate and introduce them to other beverages and non alcoholic drinks. Why not visit Jim’s Cellars from non alcoholic wine & beer ranges. This all starts at home, with the parents. If you have a healthy attitude towards alcohol, there is a good chance you can pass this on to your children too. It is more important than ever to be as open about alcohol and its affects with your children. Remember, it is not about scaremongering but about educating them early on in their lives.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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How To Keep The Exterior Of Your Home Looking Beautiful

April 21, 2014 By · No Comments

This is a sponsored post to help you keep the exterior of your home looking beautiful. With all the crazy weather some of you probably haven’t thought about the outside of your homes. Hope this helps. 

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IMG: Flickr

Our homes play a big part in our live, and we are proud of them. Many people aspire to marriage, owning a property and raising children. The home plays a big part in this as it offers security and a sense of belonging to the whole family. Therefore, it is unsurprising that so much time and effort goes into maintaining it and keeping it looking at its best. There are also the neighbours to consider. We can’t let their house look better than ours can we?

 

Here are a few tips that will help you keep the exterior of your home looking beautiful.

 

Guttering

If the guttering fails on your home, the rest of the property will suffer. Though it is only a small and relatively cheap feature of the building, it does a vital job. Were there no guttering, rainwater would flow off the roof of the building and run down the walls, causing untold damage. The inside of the house would begin suffering from damp, and the water would freeze in the winter causing ant that is trapped in brickwork to expand. This could easily blow the face off the brickwork itself. So keep the guttering in good order by clearing it out occasionally and addressing any leaky joints with an application of plumbers putty.m Fix and loose brackets and make sure the guttering looks straight and level from below. If the guttering is ‘wonky’ it spoils all of the lines of the house.

 

Windows

Paint or replace window frames as necessary. Replace the windows sympathetically to the style of the home or you will do more harm than good. Don’t assume it is better to replace sash windows with modern frames because of the insulation properties. Replacement sash windows, according to Sash Smart, are draught free and can compete with the best when it comes to preventing heat escape.

 

Front Door

The front door makes a statement to visitors. If the door is clean, well painted, and dressed with good quality furniture it will show that you pay attention to detail in your life. It is also far more welcoming than a cheap door with peeling paintwork.

 

Walls

If the house is timber clad, as the one in the image, keep the paint in good condition by removing any that is flaking and applying a fresh coat. This is a never ending task, but it is important to keep on top of it. The house in the image doesn’t look like that without a lot of hard work.

 

The Garden

Even if your home is in perfect condition, the garden can spoil the look of it. Gardens need weekly maintenance throughout the growing season so don’t leave it until the garden looks untidy. By doing that you are creating more work for yourself, as it is much harder to mow a lawn that has grown too long. Prune roses at the appropriate time and trim shrubs to keep them neat and tidy. Keep the driveway clear of weeds and clean it occasionally with a jet washer if it is made from a suitable material.

 

Most of the jobs involved in keeping our homes looking beautiful are attended to as the need arises. They are also good fun and satisfying to complete to a high standard. Take care of your home, and it will undoubtedly take care of you.

 Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.

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I’ll Always Do My Best!

April 21, 2014 By · No Comments

Isn’t it amazing all the things we do for our families but many times we sit there and doubt whether we are doing things right or not or thinking about how we could do better. Truth is though, at least for many of us that worry about that our families do not. While we are sitting their criticizing ourselves our families haven’t even thought about all the things we wish we were better at. Those things we worry about our children/husband/wives thought it was just awesome that we tried to do it. I think that is what really makes it mean the most and at least for me I have to realize this. I always dreamed of being that mom that could cook, clean, have dinner on the table when her husband got home and be all pretty and made up the entire day. Well, that’s not me. haha. Maybe it is you, but I just can’t seem to pull it off and trust me I tried. I even asked my husband and kids at one point if they wished I was this person or that person. I mean I would love to be the “Leave it to Beaver” mom that had everything perfect. Course, looking back her life probably was all that. Right? But don’t think I haven’t tried.

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  The above example is a perfect example. My oldest, who I call SoccerBoy on the blog asked me last year if I could make him a Perry The Platypus cake for his 17th birthday and he also wanted “childhood gifts” for all his presents and of course I obliged as much as I could. I’m not an artist, but I will do my best to make his wish come true. His birthday was at the end of March. Perry gave me a few issues, his tummy ended up too big so right there was my first one, second we had a mini earthquake during the party and his back split. haha. I couldn’t find blue icing so I attempted to make it. I also used Graham crackers for his beak and tail (warning this does not work with staying up, not even with icing. By no means is this the cake I pictured in my head, nor was it one I had seen on pinterest. perry-platypus-cake-recipe-photo-420x420-clittlefield-C IMG: Spoonful.com But that is okay, while my cake didn’t come out looking extravagant or anything like the above it came out with laughs and fun memories. I think he will forever remember his momma making him that special cake and it was just because he asked. He was so proud of it that he even posted it his Facebook page. No I may not be that perfect mom that can make wonderful crafts, picture-perfect cakes/desserts but I am and will always be that mom that tries her best, even when it looks silly. As for my girls, I’ve already asked them if they wish I was the mom that could put their hair up in pony tails, braid it, do the whole french braids, fish tails, etc…not to mention make up. But both have told me it is okay, instead we will all learn by watching youtube videos. I never cared for all that stuff as a young girl due to some other circumstances and honestly I like the beauty of a real face over make up. But I do find it fun doing spa days and letting the girls practice on me and then themselves. They love the time together and see I am open to them wearing it as long as they try it at home first.

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When it comes to cooking…well I’m no longer doing strictly pasta (because it is quick and easy), nor am I doing straight box meals (mac n cheese) instead I am learning to cook from scratch and make new meals. Not everything turns out perfectly, I’ve even encountered a burned pot because the beans kept soaking up the water too fast. Other times we’ve discovered we like more seasonings then I originally put in. But above all things I do it for my family, trying to make things healthier and memories that will last. BalletGirl will always tell you her favorite meal is making french coast casserole and BabyGirl will tell you she loves making the peanut butter pie.

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For whatever it is worth, I will always do my best with making my kids and husband happy and making memories that will last. I love you guys!

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Amazing Tips to Help Keep Your Child’s Room Organized!

April 17, 2014 By · No Comments

This is a sponsored post but I thought with so many of my readers having children some of us may be looking for quick tips. Now that Spring is here and we are closing out the school year in some area or at least close to it some may be thinking it is time to spring clean some bedrooms. Check out the tips below on how to get your children to clean their room and keep it organized. 

Something parents are often nagging their children to do is clean their room. Whether it’s before a birthday, a new school year, or at some point in the holidays, there can be many things that inspire you to encourage your child to keep their room clean and tidy. The following tips are all proven to work, and will help you to get your child’s room organised in a flash – they’ll enjoy keeping it that way much more too!

Image Credit: Flickr

Look at It From a Child’s Point of View

You need to get down to your child’s eye level if you want to help them get organised. Take a look at the space, storage, furniture, and items from your child’s point of view and see what you find. Adult furniture and the way adults organise things doesn’t translate well in a child’s head – they simply don’t get it! That’s why it’s important to look at it from your child’s point of view. To really organise your child’s room, the solutions you come up with must suit your child. You could consider removing their wardrobe doors completely, lower their clothing rods, and buy children’s clothing hangers. Floor level open containers should hold the toys, while open plastic baskets can hold their socks and underwear.

Once you’ve organised this properly, you can then put together a simple maintenance checklist that your child will be able to complete judging by their ability. However, if you need a big clean done in a flash, you might be better off hiring a company for their cleaning services.

Bring the Child Into It

Try to resist the urge to tackle the mess alone. Simply telling your child that they must keep the room clean after you’ve cleaned it does not teach them the valuable organisation skills and maintenance methods they need to know in order to keep it tidy. Look at this process as a lesson for your child, and put the focus on them so they learn what to do in order to keep everything in it’s right place. This way, you can help survey what’s working/what isn’t, what’s important to your child, what’s causing any issues, and why your child wants to get organised.

You stand a much better chance of your child keeping to their maintenance routine if you get them involved in the first place.

Sort it Out, Store it, and Make it Simple

Children’s rooms are usually tiny, with little storage and in some cases they must share them with a sibling. Even so, you often find that these rooms store clothing they’ve outgrown, toys they don’t play with, and even things that belong in other rooms. You can hardly expect your kids to stay organised when their wardrobe is crammed full, the drawers are stuffed, and their toys cover every inch of their floor. Sort out their clothing by either getting rid or storing it, and do the same with their toys. A technique you can use to keep them interested in their toys is to only keep half of them in their room at one time for a month or two, and then swap them to the other half when those toys have gotten boring. Continue to do this until they grow out of them!

By involving your child in this frustrating process, you’re far more likely to have an organised room 24/7.

This is a sponsored post.

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Change of Seasons, Change of Path

March 10, 2014 By · 29 Comments

Many of you have heard the expression a change of seasons, with four seasons a year we always get to start anew. But what about our own lives? In a way as we travel through each and every day of our lives we too have a change of season. You go from being born, growing to adulthood and then there is a new season with each new event that happens in your life (marriage, baby, a job, a move, etc).nicoli 019

Sure some of us wish we could have a cheat sheet to see how we are suppose to travel this path called life, figure out our destiny and our reason for living, others would never dare use one because only their way is the right way. Last year my path changed, I did something totally unpredictable….I moved my kids and I to California from Indiana. Not many would do this, especially when you are leaving your husband in another state and have no clue how long it will be. But knowing it could take months, to a year or two before we would be back together as a family. Instead in the mean time we would have to accept the fact that we’d only be able to all be together during holiday breaks and the summer. But at the time it was for the best interest for the children, the job wasn’t a for sure thing and neither was where we were living. I knew we could make it, but it would take guts to get there. This would not be something I’d ever done and the last time I tried anything on my own I got stalked. This time though, I’d grown. People say that as you have a child a lion is formed within the momma, well I had just had my 5th child and I knew I had to do this.

I would stay with two families (my parents and his sister) before finding my own place, but when we did we knew everything would be okay. There was something about where I was brought to though. See many years ago, as a child something horrible happened to me in California and I never thought I’d ever live in the desert again once I moved away. In fact when I would visit my skin would crawl as we’d drive by certain areas or I’d get flashbacks. I worried that that would happen again and this time it would just be me with the kids, no support. But that didn’t happen and the place I am at makes me feel at peace. Many things have been going on behind the scenes since we’ve moved, a lot has changed. The kids of course are changing every day, especially Nicoli but so are we as parents….as adults, individuals.

I’ve grown more than any other time in my life. I’ve discovered a love for cooking that I’ve never had and by that I don’t just mean going to the store and buying hamburger helper. Instead I have become great friends with Pinterest and Facebook for all the recipes that go across my screen. I’m learning to make my own biscuits instead of buying Pillsbury and I like it better. I’ve learned to make peanut butter pie, green bean casserole, french toast casserole and many, many crockpot meals. I love my crock pot! I trust myself cooking, I know you can’t totally mess something up. So see, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Oh and if my husband or any of my kids are reading this, no this post does not give you the thumbs up on calling me old, only I can do that.

august2I drive more, this is not something I was really willing to do before. I didn’t drive until I was 26 years old, didn’t want to do so, period. Long story short, my husband liked driving so I let him do it. Why fight when you don’t really like to deal with traffic or crazy people on the road. No, I’m not meaning me, actually I’m pretty safe, in fact I’d probably irritate most because I do go the speed limit, but with 5 kids in the car I’d be stupid not to follow the rules of the road. I’m learning to fix my car too and watch for signs of when to take it in.

I’ve also developed some great friendships here, this is not something I would say lightly. Friendships like I have developed I’ve only had a few other times. We go to church now too, I hadn’t been to a church in years and now I go twice a week and my oldest daughter also goes twice a week. I’m figuring out where I fit in with life but while I have been here and getting to know God again (yes, again, as a teen I went almost every day of the week. I quit when a pastor’s wife told me I didn’t belong at the age of 21 and hadn’t been back until now) this isn’t the easiest of things. How do I explain things to my children when I didn’t always teach them? Have you been down this road? I have one that is very reluctant while the rest are eager to learn more. I can’t say I blame him since I didn’t always teach about him. Honestly, while this has been a sad move, it has definitely help me grow and I can feel this new season has already begun for my family and myself. I can see that it will be different from any season we have ever weathered but I can feel it is about to become a great one. One that feels you up with so much warmth that you just want to share it with everyone. So my dear readers, my friends, I hope you don’t mind that from time to time we will talk about our journey with the church, God, Forgiveness of those who have wronged me in my past and for the journey forward, where ever that might lead.

(Pics were just old but wanted to share)

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