Category Archives: Family

Fun Aunt & Uncle

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Fun Aunt & Uncle

Hello!! Johnny and I pride ourselves on being the Fun Aunt & Uncle to our two sweet nieces, Valerie and Raya. They are the absolute best and we cherish every minute with them! With all of the craziness going on in my life, it had been hard to see our nieces as often as we would like and that was my first order of business to change once things (Thankfully!) slowed down. This past Wednesday, we hosted our darling Val for a slumber party and it was a blast. Val claimed that Wednesday would be “the best day ever” and she was so right, as always!

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Val arrived fairly late into the evening on Wednesday and came prepared with all of her slumber party supplies; A sleeping bag, stuffed animals, jammies and slippers, and books to read before bed. It was like she consulted the “what to bring to a sleepover” manual and it was adorable. To kick start the party, we had her favorite meal of spaghetti and Parmesan cheese and both of our favorite dessert – ice cream sundaes! Extra sprinkles for Val, of course! While we ate, we had a viewing of Ugly Dolls, which I had never seen before and I LOVED it. It was such a fun, sweet movie with an awesome message and an all star cast. Huge shout out to Val for her selection!

Once dinner and a show was complete, it was time to play, play, play. We hung out with Melvin and Penelope, and I didn’t think anyone could be as obsessed with them as I am, but I met my match with Val! She enjoyed petting and brushing both Mel and Pen and our shy Penelope graced us by letting me pick her up so Val could hold her. They both did great! After bunny time was done, we kept the theme going by playing a rabbit themed board game: Uncle Wiggly. This was Johnny’s favorite game in his youth so it was really special to play it all together and introduce a new generation to it.

Since Val arrived late, it was time to wrap up the evening and start heading to bed after our bunny jamboree. Val and I snuggled up and watched Home while surrounded by all of our plushies. We were both fast asleep as soon as it was over! Before Val was picked up in the morning, she assisted me in caring for the bunnies and making chocolate chip pancakes. Unfortunately, she decided after one bite that she didn’t like them lol so we just had spaghetti for breakfast! She is so much like me because that is honestly my favorite thing to have in the morning too. 😀

After Val left from our slumber party, I was missing her like crazy! She is mine and Johnny’s number one best girl and we are all looking forward to many more “best days ever” with her! ❤

Did you have a favorite aunt and uncle when you were little? Do you prefer regular food or actual breakfast food in the morning? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Easy Ways To Help Your Child’s Social Skills

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Easy Ways To Help Your Child’s Social Skills

It is highly beneficial for your children later in life if you help your child’s social skills as early as possible. Some experts agree that it is never too early to begin teaching your kids – some evidence suggests this can begin as early as in the womb, where babies can form attachments. To help your child’s social skills blossom, you can begin with some of these ideas:

Let them Mix with Other Kids:

An isolated child will find it hard to develop the necessary skills later for mingling with others. This can mean a harder time in school, college, and even carrying on into adulthood. Letting your kids mix with other children will help give them the confidence they need to speak to others, therefore avoiding social isolation. Daycare centers like Play and Learn School offer a wide range of activities to help your children in their vital early years of social skill development.

Engage with Your Kids:

A recent study in the UK found that 10% of children struggle with learning the social skills needed for the best possible education. But simply having your children engage with others helps build confidence, teaches them social responsibilities, and develops language skills. And this is easy to do. For example, have your children converse politely when someone enters your home. Also, teach them to say please and thank you. And above all, talk to your kids often.

Help Your Child’s Social Skills with Activities:

Bonding with your kids over a shared interest is one of the greatest joys of life. But it isn’t always the case that your kids will enjoy the same things as you and forcing them to take part in activities they don’t want to will cause great distress. It helps to expose your kids to a wide range of hobbies and activities, so they can find something they enjoy. Then, you can capitalize on this since they will be more willing to engage with other kids while doing something they like.

Teach by Example:

You play a massive role in the life of your children and kids learn most of what they do from their parents. For instance, your children will speak the way you do, treat people how they see you doing it, and even swear if you speak that way. So, your responsibility as a parent goes well beyond taking care of your children. You are the prime example of their social development. Leading by example can play a key role in helping them become more socially well-rounded.

Don’t Push Them Too Hard:

As a parent, you know there is a delicate balance between trying to get your children to do something they don’t really want to do. Forcing them into a situation can cause resistance. And over time, this builds into complete refusal. It’s the same for social activities. It is a good idea to expose kids to social activities and encounters. But some children are naturally shy, and forcing them to engage will make this worse. Let them engage when they feel more comfortable.

It can be tricky to help your child’s social skills develop properly. But you can help them along by having them mix with other kids, talking to them, and being patient for them to socialize more!

Featured Image By: Pexels

May Flowers

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May Flowers

Hello! This past week when I got to my parents’ house after work, I found my dad in the backyard preparing his raised planters for spring flowers. It was a gorgeous day outside and it was going to rain that night, making for the perfect conditions to plant. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bask in the sunshine and spend some quality time with my dad and even though I was dog tired, I offered my assistance which he happily accepted. We spent a glorious hour or so together creating beauty and I am so pleased with our handiwork. Check it out:

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Ever since I can remember, my dad has been an avid gardener and all spring, summer, and fall long you can catch him outside tending to the yard. During the warm months, we enjoy the bounty of his vegetable garden and the bouquets he makes weekly for my mom. Not only does he have two green thumbs, but he is also a very gifted flower arranger and his bouquets are stunning. Last year, his veggie garden went into overdrive with hauls so big we simply didn’t know what to do with everything. So, he decided flowers were the way to go this summer since all of our lives are crazy at this current juncture.

When I was younger, I loved to help in the garden and as I grew up, I tried to help as much as I could with planting and upkeep. It had been a while since I gardened and I forgot how much fun it was! Seriously, all of it was a blast from donning ridiculous gardening gloves, handling the delicate flowers, and cleaning up the dirt that got on us with the garden hose. And, of course, doing it all side by side with my dad. For the past few months, the time we have spent together is almost always driving to the Cleveland Clinic, so it was SO awesome to be able to do something with him for the joy of it.

Our garden day was the first time I had spent a considerable amount of time outside in so long. It only recently got nice out in Ohio and the previous weather had been absolute garbage. Being outside, soaking up the sun, and making something grow was just what I needed. Once we returned inside, I wanted to go back out again to plant more and I found myself thinking that I would like more house plants when I got to my apartment. I might just have a green thumb yet!

My dad has now started to plan his garden projects with my help in mind and I am more than up for the task. In fact, we will be planting flower seeds later this week. I can’t wait! 🙂

What is your favorite outdoor activity? What do you and your parents do to spend quality time together? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

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Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

Hello everyone and Happy Mother’s Day!!!! Today, we celebrate all of the amazing moms around the world and I like to think of this as my first Mother’s Day now that I have Melvin and Penelope lol. Hey, they are the closest thing Johnny and I will ever get to having kids! Of course, the real star of the day is my wonderful, beautiful, fantastic, strong, hilarious, and every good adjective that I can think of mom. ❤

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My mom is my ride or die, A1 bestie. I am literally obsessed with her and we are typically in constant contact throughout the day because she shares the same sentiments about yours truly. We end up missing each other as soon as I leave the room or hang up the phone! My mom is a true class act and handles every difficulty life hands her with the utmost strength, grace, and resilience. She is a fighter, warrior, and the best mom; being her daughter is an absolute gift and I feel proud of that every single minute of every day. I love her so much I can hardly stand it! ❤

I would not be the person, friend, wife, and business owner that you all know and love without my mom guiding, supporting, and cheering me on every step of the way. We are each other’s own personal cheerleaders and I always know who to go to when I have exciting news, need a kind word, or just want to chat about nothing. The bond I share with my mom is something that I am eternally grateful for and I wish I could shrink her cute little self and carry her around in my pocket all day. Lol, is that weird? 😀

My mom deserves to be celebrated every day and I cannot wait to create more memories with my partner in crime by my side. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you and I love you, mom, more than words can say!

What is something special about your mom? What is your favorite memory with your mom? MOMS!! I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

 

Better Design Your Family Home With These Tips

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Better Design Your Family Home With These Tips

When it comes to designing a family home, you want to get it just right! There will be many different things that you need to take into consideration, one of them being the safety of your kids. You shouldn’t buy things for your home that are risky to them like breakable vases or sharp corners. If you are looking to design the perfect home for your family, this post will help get you started:

Add Plenty Of Textiles:

A family home won’t feel like home unless you add in some textiles. You should think about including curtains, cushions, and throws in most rooms in a range of materials so you can create a warm and inviting space. Steer clear of natural materials as these can soak up stains and that’s not what you want with children in the house. Try not to add expensive rugs or sentimental soft furnishing in the main rooms where the kids are because no matter how hard you try, something will always get spilled!

Think About The Maintenance:

One of the best ways you can look after your family home is to think about the maintenance that will be needed when you are designing it. For example, if you are adding an AC system, you need to remember that you will need to add AC maintenance to your yearly list of tasks to get done in order to look after your home. The same applies to things such as your outdoor space. Always think about what it will take to look after the features you are adding to your home before you commit to them.

The Ideal Furniture:

Finding furniture for your family home can be difficult. You want it to look great, however, you don’t really want to spend too much on it. As your family gets older, you will be able to upgrade and buy more expensive pieces, but there is no point while the kids are young. The same applies if you also have pets. Try to avoid any jagged edges and lighter colors. Young children are prone to walking into sharp edges and making a mess on light-colored furniture.

Using Non-Slip Mats:

If you have hard floors around your home, then you should really think about adding some non-slip mats. They will help to prevent slipping from your children. They run around a lot so you need to make sure you add some protection for them. If not, hard floors can spell disaster and they could seriously injure themselves. Make sure to try to cover as much of the floor as possible, non-slip mats aren’t overly expensive and they will make sure your kids are kept safe.

Bring In The Sunlight:

You really want to bring in as much sunlight as possible to your home. If you blackout your windows or dress them wrong you could be creating a dark home. Ideally, you want to create a bright and airy space to enjoy. It will not only create a more positive environment but will boost everyone’s moods. With energy prices continuously going up at the moment, letting in natural sunlight will also help to heat up your home. If you struggle to get more light into your home, think about adding blinds where you can control both the privacy and the light coming in. You could also think about changing the type of bulbs you are using so you can get the vitamin D that you need.

Creating More Privacy:

Your home is supposed to be the most private place that you can be. This means that you definitely don’t want anyone to be able to walk past and see inside. Think about adding some trees to your front garden, or even a fence or trellis. You are only going to feel comfortable in your home if it is private so make sure you put the steps in place to ensure that you get the privacy that you and your family need. If you are thinking about planting trees, make sure you use semi-mature trees so you don’t have to wait years for them to give you the privacy that you are looking for. Consider the point above, about letting in more sunlight to your home. You need to ensure that the trees or fences that you are putting in aren’t preventing the natural light from entering your home. It’s about the right balance.

When designing a family home, it is all about the steps you can take to keep your kids safe, cut costs, and keep upkeep and maintenance low key. These tips will all help steer you in the right direction!

Featured Image By: Paige Cody on Unsplash

Belated Easter Egg Hunt

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Belated Easter Egg Hunt

Hello! With the craziness going on in Lil Red’s world, my family didn’t do anything for Easter and Johnny and I enjoyed a much needed day of rest. I still had grand plans for an Easter egg hunt for my sweet niece, Val Gal, and this past Thursday we spent the afternoon outside together in the summertime temps. Prior to the arrival of my sister, Raya, and Val, I filled up the eggs with prizes and placed them throughout the backyard to be found. I would say that it was a raging success; Val loved it!

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This was Val’s very first Easter egg hunt and my girl came to WIN! She was finding eggs left and right and it was so fun to watch her scurrying around the yard and filling up her bag. Almost every single egg was found without a hitch and the only one she needed help finding was one directly in front of her lol. Once the hunt was over, we went back inside to evaluate the spoils which included money, chocolate, and Sweet Tarts. Some of the chocolate did melt so it was lucky we had backup supplies and Val was so sweet to offer the first Hershey Kiss in one of her eggs to me. Angel! ❤

After the eggs were all opened, we just had to go back outside and soak up the sunshine. My dad, Kristen, Val, Raya in the stroller, and Archie the dog went for a nice, long walk around the neighborhood. We taught Val about the different flowers that were blooming and, although every yellow flower was a sunflower, I think she learned a thing or two haha. To end our day, Val and I stayed outside and played with our favorites; Chalk and bubbles! We colored rainbows and the flowers we saw on our walk and, I hate to brag, but we popped a very impressive amount of bubbles. 😀

When my sister arrived back home with the kiddos, she sent me a picture of Val fast asleep in the car after our activity filled afternoon. The sure sign of the best Easter egg hunt ever and Val is already eager to do another one again soon!

What was your favorite thing to play outside with when you were little? Did you or your kids attend an Easter egg hunt this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday, Sister!!!

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Happy Birthday, Sister!!!

Hello!!! Today is a fantastic, wonderful day because it is my big sister, Kristen’s, birthday!! Kristen and I are barely over two years apart in age and she was and will always be my first best friend. She is such an amazing sister, daughter, and mother and I am so indescribably proud of her. Thanks to Kristen and her equally awesome husband, Ramon, I have two precious nieces who are my world. They are the happiest, most loved little girls and I can’t sing praises of their parents enough. A sister is a gift and I am so thankful for mine:

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Kristen is my A1 and despite having drastically different schedules, we still make time for each other as much as we can. We are always trying to cook up fun plans for us and the kiddos and I live for our trips to the park, zoo, and story time at the library. My favorite hang out is when Kristen, Ramon, and the girls come over to my apartment for dinner. I love to host and cook and it brings me so much joy to make a big meal and then enjoy Johnny’s guitar playing or watching a movie or show all together. It isn’t a day at the zoo, but it sure is the absolute best. ❤

My sister is one of the kindest, empathetic, funniest people I have ever met. She is a fierce warrior for animals and is such a great pet parent to her two rescue dogs and two rescue cats too. Whenever she can, Kristen still manages to find time to volunteer at shelters and lends her voice to the animals that have none. I thought I was good at making schedules, but I truly pale in comparison to her. Between family life, work, and volunteering, I genuinely have no idea how she does it all and with a smile on her face to boot!

Throughout my childhood, Kristen has been my role model and she still is every single day as adults. I just love her to pieces and can’t wait to celebrate her special day together! ❤

Happy birthday, Kristen!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!!!

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Happy Birthday, Dad!!!!!

Hello!! Today is a fantastic, wonderful day because it is my dad’s birthday!!! I am a huge mommy and daddy’s girl and I am so beyond proud to be the daughter of such amazing parents. Times have been very trying in Lil Red’s world and my dad has been my rock, confidant, and shoulder to cry on. His strength is unparalleled, his love for his family is fierce, and his devotion to my mom is a prime example of true and pure love. He is, simply, the best.

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As I continue to get older, I am constantly blown away by how selflessly my parents give without ever expecting anything for themselves. This has molded me into the person I am today and I see it reflected in my work as a provider for people with developmental disabilities every day. One of my favorite things that my dad has ever done for me goes back to my college days when I had a really early winter class at Tri-C. Every single morning, without fail, my dad would get up and prepare a travel mug of coffee for me to drive to Cleveland with. The first day of class, I tried to make coffee for myself and it sucked. When I told my dad about it, he took it upon himself to do it for me all in the name of me waking up enough to drive to school safely. I think about this often and my heart feels just as warm as my hands were as I cradled a hot travel mug in the bitter winter cold.

Watching my parents’ relationship continue to bloom after almost forty-three years of marriage also was a major assist in my own love life. After dating a lot of assholes, I threw up my hands, gave up, and waited for the real thing. Then, I met Johnny and, well, you know the rest. He was the first guy who my dad ever approved of and that honestly told me everything that I need to know. I am so lucky to have the parents that I have, whose opinions I value, whose company I cherish, and who still continue to push me to be my best self at almost twenty-nine years old.

My dad isn’t the biggest fan of birthdays so I will wrap things up by saying that I love him so very much and he is the best dad that a gal could ever ask for. ❤

Happy birthday, Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Four Tips For A Healthier Family

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Four Tips For A Healthier Family

Our health is the most important thing we have. How can you guarantee your family’s health and make your children aware of its significance? Let’s take a look at some of the ways to focus your energy:

Show Them How Important Nutrition Is:

Making water the go-to beverage in your household should be a top priority. While it’s tempting to give in to a child’s desire for juice or pop, it’s better to offer them water first. Try stressing the significance of staying hydrated and modeling good water-drinking habits for children. Also, consider what you now feed your loved ones. When you prepare meals for your family, give thought to serving a variety of nutritious foods. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, nutritious grains, nuts, and seeds. Indulge in takeaway or dining at restaurants occasionally, but don’t make it a regular habit. If your family enjoys dining out frequently, it’s important to instill solid decision-making skills in your children. Instead of letting young children get everything they want, provide them with a limited selection of options from which to choose.

Be An Active Family:

You should spend time together exploring the outdoors, learning about each other’s interests, and visiting new locations. Get your kids moving and teach them the value of fitness. Make plans for the weekend, even if it’s only to go to the park and play some soccer. Children are more likely to follow their parent’s example and lead an active lifestyle if they see it modeled at home. Take them on outdoor hikes and keep an eye out for animals and animal footprints if they have an interest in wildlife. Talking to youngsters and seeing what they’re interested in trying is a great way to get them excited about outdoor activities.

Go To Regular Check-Ups:

As an adult, you are aware of the importance of routine visits to the doctor, dentist, and eye doctor. It’s important to start sharing what you learn about health with your kids when you see the doctor, whether it’s for a problem or a routine exam. Children often express anxiety about medical visits due to their lack of knowledge and experience. If they see you visiting these places when they aren’t there, they may feel more comfortable and confident in going to such experts. Including the kids as soon as possible is the greatest option.

Even if you’re anxious, taking a proactive stance and reassuring them that they have nothing to worry about might help them develop a heightened awareness and, perhaps, a reduced level of fear. Show your kids where you’re going to appointments instead of just saying you have them. This is especially helpful for younger children who are venturing into the unknown for the first time. One poor encounter is all it takes to put them off coming again so make sure that you involve them in anything you may be having done such as same day teeth treatments.

Be A Good Example:

No one is flawless, therefore there’s no pressure to be. Nonetheless, parents can better influence their children’s behavior by leading through example rather than lecturing them. Be mindful of your words and actions. Many unhealthy parents raise unhealthy children, which in turn increases the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles. It has the potential to become a vicious cycle. It’s important to set an example for others by talking about your efforts to eat well, exercise regularly, spend time with your family, and maintain a positive mental and physical state. Provide unambiguous, truthful responses wherever possible.

Focus your energy on these four steps for a healthier family and lifestyle!

Featured Image By: Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

The Power Of Focusing On Family Health

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The Power Of Focusing On Family Health

Health is something that affects every family. Despite the numerous advantages of consistent exercise, a healthy diet, and other lifestyle behaviors, many families find it challenging to work these habits into their daily schedules. However, by emphasizing the value of family wellness, parents can foster a culture in which their kids can start developing healthy habits at an early age, preparing them for success as adults:

The Power of Healthy Habits:

Developing healthy habits from an early age is essential for promoting a lifetime of good health. Studies have shown that children learn best through example, so it’s important for parents to lead by example and demonstrate healthy behaviors throughout the day. This includes eating nutritious meals, staying active, and getting enough sleep each night. Parents can also set aside time for family activities like going for walks or playing sports together – activities which encourage physical activity as well as quality bonding time.

Creating a Healthy Environment in the Home:

Parents should work to establish a healthy environment in the home in addition to focusing on their own habits. This includes providing wholesome meals and snacks for the family as well as making sure that there are always healthy choices accessible. Parents can also set limits on screen time and encourage activities like reading or playing board games instead. Having a regular bedtime routine, including winding down before bed, is also important for helping children get enough quality sleep each night.

Benefits of Raising a Health-Conscious Family:

Raising a health-conscious family has numerous benefits for both parents and children. Start by setting clear expectations about healthy habits, such as regular physical activity, eating nutritious meals, and getting enough sleep each night. It will be simpler to remain motivated and incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine when everyone in the family is on the same page. Regularly discussing the importance of health with your children can also help them understand why these choices are beneficial in the long run.

Keeping Up With Medical Check-Ups and Exams:

It’s also important for parents to ensure that their children are up-to-date with all necessary medical check-ups and exams, such as hearing tests. Hearing loss can be a common issue in children, so it’s important to catch any hearing problems as early as possible. If hearing aids are needed, getting them fitted promptly is essential for reducing the risk of developing speech or language delays due to hearing loss. Having hearing aids fitted when recommended will ensure that your child can hear properly and participate fully in school and other activities.

By making family health and wellness a priority in the home, parents can help create an environment of healthy habits that will last well into adulthood. From leading by example to incorporating preventive care into your routine, there are many ways parents can promote overall well-being in their household. By taking these steps now, families have the opportunity to create a lifetime of good health for themselves.

Featured Image By: Terje Sollie