Friday, June 25, 2010

Celebrity Chef...Gourmet Baby Food

Since children weigh far less than adults, they are often at risk of higher exposure to the toxins found on non-organic produce. That’s why celebrity chef and dad-of-three Tyler Florence decided to launch Sprout.   I just received three samples in the mail, and I find myself asking "Why didn't this exist when I was a baby!" 

Designed for babies aged 6 months and older and 7 months and older, it’s a line of organic baby food made entirely from nature’s purest ingredients.  It's from the SPROUT Baby Food line, and comes in these hip, eco-friendly resealable pouches.  My samples were Roasted Pear, Sweet Baby Carrots, Apples & Mango, and Roasted Apples & Blueberries.  They definitely sounded delicious, but I wanted confirmation from the very people for which the food line was designed----BABIES!

The verdict is out....the babies who sampled Tyler's organic baby food liked it... A LOT.  One mom told me that her son "clapped" as she fed him the Roasted Pear sample (This had me giggling!)  The other two moms also raved about their samples as well.  One even said that she helped herself to the sample as she fed her 9-month-old (LOL).

Publix Super Market carries Tyler's line of baby food.  Not sure about what other retailers carry it if you don't have a Publix in you neck of the woods...but it seems worth the effort to find out if you have a youngster at home. Judging from what I heard, you shouldn't be disappointed:) 

Happy Parenting,
Please not that I was not paid to do this product review. 

An open and honest blog about what matters most....children and families!!!!




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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

5 Savings Tips for Losing Weight

Here is a guest blog post sent to me by the folks at Savebrite.com.  Now...my nitche is the parenting arena.  My posts are about the real lives of parents (including mine).  However,  I do know that many of us parents are interested in losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle.  Since modeling proper behavior to children is something that I strongly believe in....perhaps this article may inspire my readers to model healthy eating and exercise habits to their minni-me's!  Enjoy the post, and be inspired to get up, get out, and live a healthy lifestyle:) 


Happy (Healthy) Parenting,
_________________________________________________________________________

Dieting is big business! Watch only a few moments of late night television and you’ll be barraged with ads for fat burning creams, diet pills and the latest craze in exercise gimmickry. Don’t be fooled! You can successfully slim down this summer without spending money on needless items with our 5 savings tips for weight loss.

1. Skip the gym, hit the pavement. Gym memberships are expensive and they can be almost impossible to cancel without having to pay a large early cancellation fee. Skip the gym, throw open the front door and get outside! During the warmth of summer, your exercise activities are nearly endless. You can walk, run, bike, play badminton, throw a Frisbee around, swim, play croquet, garden, mow the lawn, or take a hike. All of these activities are free! Playing tag with your kids in the backyard burns up to 200 calories an hour. The only thing you have to lose is a little of you. Get moving! If you feel you must join a gym, watch for free membership trial periods offered by local gyms and specials on memberships. Also, check out your local YMCA and YWCA.

2. Join an online fitness support group. Research has shown than some people are more inclined to lose weight using the buddy system. Online fitness support groups will help you log daily food intake, make exercise goals and connect with other people who are also trying to shed pounds. Check out these free online support groups Spark People, Daily Burn, and My Fitness Pal.

3. Buy used fitness equipment. Exercise machines don’t have to be expensive. Shop Goodwill, yard sales, Craigslist and Freecycle for used weight benches and free weights, bicycles, trampolines, stair climbers, and more. Even better, swap equipment with friends and family members! Do you have an old bike that someone in your family has outgrown? Trade it for an exercise bike.

4. Buy in season. Buy vegetables and other produce items only when in season. Produce will be cheaper, fresher and more nutrient rich. Visit your local Farmer’s Market for weekly sales, join a food co-op or meet a local farmer who will deliver items right to your door. When you must buy out of season, always purchase frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned goods. Frozen vegetables retain their nutrients, have no added salt or preservatives and can be kept for long periods of time in the freezer without spoiling.

5. Use your library. Take a trip to your local library for exercises DVDs and videos, healthy cookbooks and weight loss magazines and books. If you find a DVD or cookbook you like, you can always buy it later. Sample for free! Now, what are you waiting for? Get moving!

5 Savings Tips for Losing Weight was originally posted on the Savebrite.com blog.




An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Can a person that was in a abusive relationship that was the abuser change and truly be sorry for the actions they took against another person?

Thanks for reaching out to me by asking such a complex question:) Interestingly, I recently wrote an article about this very issue...

As a psychologist, I believe that change (in any way) is possible. However, the individual has to first recognize a desire to change. That desire has to be fueled by a realization that something is wrong. Then...that person HAS to be willing to put in A TON of work (emotionally, behaviorally, and cognitively) in order to effect the change. This last part is what causes people to repeat a cycle of abuse. In other words, although an abuser may recognize that their behavior is wrong, they are not willing or capable of identifying and coping with the root cause for their abusive behaviors.

I recently spoke with a man who was able to make that change from abuser to loving husband and father. He is now an outspoken leader on this subject. His name is Yahanseh Nyghtstorm, and he was the inspiration for the article that I wrote. (http://timesupblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/possibility-of-change.html)

I hope that I answered your question, but please don't hesitate to reach out again if you'd like:)

Blessings,
G

Have a Parenting Question? Ask G!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Possibility of Change

Can people change? Can an abuser change their ways? Can an addict ever stop abusing drugs or alcohol? These are questions that I am often asked in the line of work that I do. These questions have also been hotly debate for years, as it seems that everyone has their own opinion. So…here’s mine.

Yes, people are capable of change. I certainly would not have embarked on a career as a psychologist if I thought any differently. However, there is a caveat, so allow me to rephrase my statement. People are capable of change…if they recognize their behavior as problematic, and they want to change.

Yahanseh Nyghtstorm is an example of this, as he is someone who has defied all odds and was successfully able to change his pattern of behavior. His story is quite remarkable and also inspirational, because most people who would have experienced a fraction of what he has might have become a statistic.

Yahanseh was reportedly raised in a home that he describes as “abusive.” In addition, he shares that he was raped by a camp counselor at age eleven, and became homeless by his late teens. Consequently, he battled depression and post traumatic stress disorder in his adulthood. He attempted suicide, was admittedly a batterer, and was twice divorced. No doubt, Yahanseh made countless mistakes as a husband and father.

That was then. Today, Yahanseh is a changed man. It took hitting an undeniable low, however, to get to this point. He sat in a hotel room, alienated from his family, and it was then that he made the grim realization that he was alone and unliked by those who mattered most to him. Thus began his impetus to change.

Since that moment of clarity, Yahanseh began the long process of mending the ties that were once irreparably broken with his kids and ex-wives.

He writes…

[I] had to stop the abuse cycle and change the way he reacted to life’s' challenges and disappointments. [My] change had to be so prolific that it would be undeniable by all that knew [me]. [My] honest and difficult self analysis manifested itself when [my] former second ex-wife and [my] children, nominated [me] for the "Unsung Heroes' Award" for Fatherhood.

What Yahanseh managed to do was no small feat. In fact, it’s something that most are incapable of doing! However, changing himself was not all that he was inspired to do. He is on a quest to help other men make the necessary changes for the sake of their families as well. His book, 7 kids and 2 Ex-Wives! How fixing "ME" fixed my Broken Family was written to help men change through self-analysis, and by offering a “blueprint of sorts, on how to begin to change the way they interact with their former wives or girlfriends for the betterment of their children.”

His correlation between fatherless homes, child abuse, and domestic violence fuels the seminars that he provides largely for free to the community. The premise is to encourage men to "fix" themselves for the sake of their families. Yahanseh leads by example, and uses his own story as a testimony that change is possible. One point that he eagerly shares with his seminar participants is that he is thankful that he was able to mend his relationship with his oldest son prior to his sudden death. Had he not changed, “the precious time and experiences he had with his son, teaching him positive life lessons and building a loving relationship, would have been lost.” Thankfully this was not the case!

No…change is not easy. It requires a continuous process of self-analysis that may, at times, be uncomfortable. However, as Yahanseh discovered…in order for people to see you differently, you have to behave differently. I hope that everyone, man or woman, is inspired by Yahanseh. However, more than anything…I sincerely hope that the inspiration leads to a desire to make any necessary changes…before too late.

Sincerely,
For more information about Yahanseh Nyghtstorm including how to order his book, please visit http://www.nyghtstorm.com/ 

This post was written for the Time's Up Blog (http://www.timesupblog.blogspot.com/) which is a collection of bloggers who are champions for victims of crime. The purpose of the blog is to bring awareness to the injustices to victims, and to search out solutions with an SOS to those in the capacity to make changes happen.



An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!

Summer Fun on A Budget

It’s that time of year again when the kids are on summer vacation. While your kids are undoubtedly excited about their upcoming weeks of “freedom,” many of you are a bit stressed about what to do with them. After all, camps can be costly. Yet, letting your kids sit idle over the course of the summer is boring and nonproductive. So here are a few ideas that might interest you!

  • 1.  Kids Bowl Free is one of the many free activities for children available this summer. This is a program where participating bowling centers around the United States offer children (within a particular age limit) the opportunity to register for two free games a day, all summer long! You can also check with your local skating rinks for similar types of free activities or even suggest one if it is not already available in your area. Visit http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/ for detaills.

  • 2.  Movies can be costly, especially when you add in the price of popcorn, a drink, and some candy! However, your wallet will be spared this summer because AMC Theaters offers a summer movie camp for children on Wednesdays at 10:00 AM. All tickets are just one dollar, and the proceeds go to charity. Get there early because camps frequent these free summer activities and the tickets generally go very quickly. Check their website for movie line-ups and dates.

  • 3. Plan to visit the Children's Museum in your city. The Children's Museum has partnered up with Target and offers a Target Free Tuesday every month for children to visit the museum. Free tickets are available for pickup at the museum on the day of your visit. It is good to get in line early because tickets are given out on a first-come, first-served basis and these types of free activities get very busy during the summer. The times vary at each location so check with the Children's Museum in your city for complete details. There are tons of activities for children to do at the Children's Museum!

  • 4. Check with your local library for their schedule of free activities for children and summer events. They often include puppet shows, story times, arts and crafts sessions, live theater, reading challenges, and book festivals. They are just about always free and can be lots of fun. Many times they will have their schedule of activities posted on their website.

  • 5. Learn from college athletes, their coaches and even professionals in the sport. Free sports clinics are usually held on college campuses for a limited amount of kids. Each free sports clinic has its own rules but many allow children as young as 4 and up to 17 years of age.

  • 6. Many parks and recreation departments set up a summer schedule of day-long activities. So check your city's local parks and recreation department website to see what activities are planned near you!

The free and affordable possibilities are endless!!! All it takes is a bit of creativity and investigation, and you’ll be surprised by how much your town has to offer. However, while your kids are enjoying these fun activities, make sure that they continue to read daily for at least 15 minutes. This will keep them academically sharp and prepared for the first day of school.…which is right around the corner;)

Happy (affordable) Parenting,
An open and honest blog about what matters most....children and families!!!!