Sunday, 30 August 2009

Families affected by the recession

family in recession - Low Cost Ways To Have Fun

Recession does not mean boredom for your family. You do not have to slump down at home trying to sleep the recession away; families in recession can still have fun - together.

Here are some recession proof ways to keep your family entertained without putting a a strain on your budget.

Recession proof family – Low Cost Way to Have Fun and Have Food

Gardening is one of the most productive and yet less-costly ways to entertain oneself. If you have the kids helping, you can double the fun. Just as long as you do not use high-maintenance, which are also usually expensive plants, you can have a ball growing vegetables and fruits that you can also use to make your own meals. This means more recession proof savings for your family!

Give Support to your local sports team

Kids enjoy watching sports. Support your local sports team by adding yourself and your kid as part of its seated cheering squad.

Partake in community events

Your local local colleges, city bulletin boards, newspaper listings, and libraries usually post special entertainment events that you can attend for free.

Host a Garage Sale

It’s high time to get rid of your old bags that only gather dust in your closet; many families in recesion are hosting their own garage sales. A garage sale is not just a way to earn you extra money, it can be highly entertaining, too. Getting the whole family to participate, from gathering the items, pricing and selling them can be very rewarding.

Go camping in your backyard

You do not need to travel miles to be able to enjoy camping. Your backyard can be one cheaper and less-stressful place to have camping with your family or friends. Just make sure to make the ambience conducive to camping. If you want, you can even invite your neighbors and friends to join in the fun.

Invest in annual passes

Amusement and water parks usually offer annual tickets that do not cost much. Take advantage of these offers if your family is into this type of entertainment.


Sing to your heart's content

If you do not have a karaoke microphone, you can borrow from your friends. There is also an online version of karaoke that you can also use as a form of free evening entertainment.

Start playing online games
There are millions of free online games that you can enjoy with your kids. Whether you want to play word games or puzzle games, the variety of online games is endless.

Have family fun days

The effects of recession on families; mean that many now play scrabble, go camping in their backyards as a from of enterntainment.

Other forms of fun inclued; watching online videos, setting a regular family day doing these simple and yet fun activities will condition your family to look forward to less-expensive ways of having fun. It’s a great way to bond with your family members, as well.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

New Mums & Camping with the Family

Family Camping Holidays

While getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life is one of the reasons families choose to go camping, for kids – it’s the ultimate adventure. If you are planning a family camping trip this summer, here are some tips that will ensure your vacation is both a safe and fun experience.

1. Pre-camping preparation. Being a new mum whether through marriage or biologically, camping with small children can be very difficult. I personally would suggest that you may want to select a tent that will accommodate all if you comfortably. On the other hand, if you are camping with older children, it may be a good idea to buy additional pup tents to give them some sense of independence.

Another great tip for new mums is to practice assembling the tents in your backyard so that valuable time is not wasted at the camp site.

2. Selecting a campsite. Depending upon whether you decide to “rough it” or choose a campsite that is close to amenities, you can research the many camp sites online that offer comprehensive information on the area. This will enable you to decide not only what equipment, clothing, and food you need to take, but the available hiking areas, as well as places of interest.

Ensure that the campsite you select is an official camp site area. Moreover, when researching camping sites it’s a good idea to look for those areas that are on the high ground. Believe me when it rains, the last thing you want is to become water logged.

3. Make a list. This is vital if you do not forget anything important, which could potentially ruin your family camping holiday. Among the items on your list, some of the more important items you will need are:

1. Cooking gear such as a frying pan, a few pots, a bucket, barbecue grill or stove, bags with a Ziploc, and cooking utensils. Additionly, food containers and canned goods are the most practical. It is also recommended that you prepare meals at home and package them in containers for the trip. Also bring water, a can opener, hot water kettle and coffee pot, and a cooler with a block of ice.

2. Packing the appropriate clothing is also essential. Depending upon the location, wearing light layers is a good idea as well as packing some sweaters and jackets for the evening hours. Extra socks, hats, and gloves may also be warranted. If you intend to engage in some hiking, proper hiking boots are necessary.

3. Sleeping bags, first aid kit, flashlights, cell phone, garbage bags, toiletries, sunscreen, ointments, a map of the area, insect repellent, games for the kids, and rainwear.

For a complete list on what to bring on a camping trip, there are many camping websites that offer a myriad of suggestions.

4. When you reach the camp site, choose an area to set up the tents. Ensure there are no rocks or debris where the tent will be set up. Most camp sites will post warning signs or instructions regarding specific animals and vegetation.

5. When preparing a campfire, if appropriate, ensure that it is set up further away from the family camping tents. After you have roasted the marshmallows, sang songs, and told ghost stories; douse the fire before going to bed.

Finally, enjoy the entire camping experience. Sleeping under the stars, communing with nature in the family camping tent, will no doubt bring your family closer together. Remember these memories of this experience will last a lifetime.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Dinner with the Family


When was the last time you had dinner with your family? As a new mum, life can be hectic. It is the meal we often miss because work commitments, the kids have sporting events or we get tired from daily activities. Bu believe me as a new mum, you don't want to be missing dinner with the family is detrimental to the family dynamic.

Family dinners are more than just a meal. It is about the only time that families have to share time through the week. Whether you sit down to the dinner table or enjoy a meal on tray tables and a movie in the family room, the important thing is that you are together.

There are some interesting facts surrounding family dinner time. For instance, teens that spend dinner time eating with their family are less likely to get involved in devastating attention seeking activity. This is a point many parents will find interesting. Out of all of the things you do as a new mum, is to try to keep your kids away from bad influences, so having family rountine is essential.

Why is dinner so important? For one thing, it is a time to share thoughts and feelings. All day, kids are influenced by teachers, friends and the outside world. At the dinner table, they get a chance to connect with their parents on tough issues like schoolwork, peer pressure, friendships and other things. They can each share and help one another with helpful suggestions. Parents can even talk about work or family finances over a meal.

The main point is that conversation is taking place. The average parent talks to their child less than 40 minutes a week. It takes a second to say “Hi” when you come in at night, but that isn’t effective communication. When dinner is shared by the family, you spend at least 45 minutes to an hour talking about everything and anything that may be on your mind. Even if you are watching a television program, engaging questions can arise from topics addressed in the program.

Young children learn how to communicate with their siblings and parents. They are the centre of attention with questions about their day and it makes them feel happy. You know that kids always want to be in the limelight when they are a certain age and this helps them learn to share the spot with others.

As a new mum you will see in time that once your young girl becomes teenage girl, body image is everything. Learning to prepare and eat healthy meals with their families is a sign that eating right will keep their bodies in shape and not avoiding food. Teen girls are less likely to become the victim of an eating disorder but develop a healthy view of food and their bodies when they eat dinner with their families.

There are many benefits to eating dinner with the family. It is a time for meaningful communication that leads to stronger self-images that resist the urge of drugs, alcohol and other destructive behaviours in your kids and teens.

Toddler Tantrums

New Mums & Tantrums - Tips that Really Work

New mums get scared when they hear stories about the “terrible twos.” Take courage, though, you will survive the toddler stage. It’s not easy to understand why your toddler has a tantrum but at such a young age, a child is consumed with thoughts of themselves. Everything is about them and how they feel. Until they are taught how to share, every toy or piece of food they see automatically belongs to them.

Toddler temper tantrums can have a variety of effects. Your first thought might be that everyone is focused on you and your screaming child, but getting embarrassed won’t diffuse the situation. Besides, as a parent, you have many more years of embarrassing situations to look forward to courtesy of your children. So worrying about what others think during this situation is simply going to stress you and make you feel worse.

Below are a few tips to help you cope during tantrums:

1. Ignore the tantrum. This method works best when at home. In public places, you don’t want to ever leave your child unattended as a form of punishment. Good behaviour in public begins at home. Ignoring a toddler is not harsh. If your child is squirming on the floor screaming for a cookie, continue to talk to them as if you never noticed. Eventually, they will get the hint and stop screaming.

2. Avoid instant gratification. In public, toddlers throw tantrums when they are denied something that they want. Some parents give in to keep their child quiet but a child learns quickly. Tantrums will continue if they know you will cave. Simply tell them “no” and keep moving.

3. Don’t get cross. When you scream and they scream the situation is wildly out of control. You’ll end up crying and your toddler will still be screaming. In any situation, raised voices mean civilized conversation has ended in favour of basic primal instincts. Don’t revert back to the days of early man. Keep using the same calm voice you use when they are behaving to get your child to calm down as well.

4. Praise your toddler when they behave well. Positive reinforcement is better than negative. In the absence of positive attention a child will behave badly just to get some attention at all. Acting out and throwing tantrums may be a cry for attention. Don’t let it get to this point. Clap and celebrate when they go to the potty successfully and when they put away their toys. Good manners such as saying “please” and “thank you” deserve a smile and a hand clap as well.

5. Run errands after nap time. Kids get punchy when they get tired. A toddler misbehaves more often if they are dragged around when they are tired.

6. Carry snacks with you,this tip alone can benefit new mums greatly; low blood sugar can lead to tantrums. If you are out longer than anticipated and lunch or dinner time is close at hand, let them eat a healthy snack to keep their hunger pains at bay and sugar levels stable.

7. Be consistent in your punishment. At home, you might use “time out” to deal with a tantrum for bad behavior. In public do the same. Sit your child on a bench for five minutes or take them to the car. Eventually they will learn that you are not a pushover and they will begin to behave.

You will survive the toddler years. Nip temper tantrums in the bud with the above tips.

Healthy Breakfast


Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast they say,is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, many of us neglect breakfast. And there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that your body and mind will suffer not work as brilliantly as they could do unless you have a healthy breakfast each morning.

You spend six to eight hours sleeping, by this time your body needs fuel to keep functioning. Without breakfast at home, your options to pick you up could be:

1. Too much fat
2. Too much sugar and too many carbs
3. Or worse still loads of fast food

If you are prone to skipping breakfast, here is a solution to starting the day with a good breakfast which will help you keep hunger in check as well as give you the natural energy boost to start your day.

1. Oatmeal – This food makes a good hot meal that contains lots of filling fibre to keep you from getting hungry later on in the morning. Depending on your taste, you can take five minutes to fix it on the stove or use the microwave for instant oatmeal. Kids tend to like the variety of flavours that come with instant oatmeal. The night before, put together a container of add-ins like blueberries, strawberries and bananas that can be tossed on top for a bit of antioxidant power.

2. Fruit smoothies – These are good any morning but particularly on a hot day. You’ll have to blend the ingredients together in the morning, but the prep work can be done at night. Cube your fruit and place it into a container. Instead of frozen yoghurt in the morning, use a cup of plain yoghurt. Add ice cubes, a little water and blend - lovely.

3. Egg sandwich – The eggs can be cooked the night before and placed in a sealed container. In the morning, warm up the eggs in the microwave. If you want, add some chopped veggies or shredded cheese. Serve on toasted wheat bread.

4. Yoghurt with granola and fruit – Some people like to eat yoghurt. But, yoghurt by itself won’t keep you from being hungry. Add some granola and a few blueberries to the mix. This makes a great breakfast idea for those mornings when you are running late. Keep small bags of granola and blueberries in the fridge next to the yogurt so you can grab them and run.

Are you fighting the breakfast battle? To get a filling meal you don’t have to opt for too much fat, calories or carbs. These quick and easy breakfast ideas can be made within minutes and are a much healthier alternative to skipping breakfast or grabbing a high fat alternative.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Declutter Home


Easy Steps to Declutter Home

When you first move into your home it seems like you have so much space. As the years pass, you might find yourself becoming a pack rat. What are you going to do with all the stuff you have accumulated? Perhaps it’s time to weed out the unnecessary items and to declutter your home.

Home organization is a step-by-step process. It will take more than a day or even a week to get everything to a manageable level, but once you do staying organized is an easier task. If you have a family, enlist their help. They can pitch in and learn a thing or two about controlling clutter in their life.

1. Start with the high traffic areas. The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house. Everything gets dropped on a counter or the couch in these two places. Concentrate on getting everything set up the way that you like it before moving on to another room.

2. Use storage containers. Over the years, the style of storage containers has upgraded to be pretty as well as functional. Instead of storing containers in stacks in the garage, purchase ones that match your d├ęcor in each room and integrate them so that no one would even notice they were being used for storage.

3. Divide items into categories. You can use heavy duty trash bags for this part. Everything that you find can go into a pile: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE. Items that will stay in that room are to keep. Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away. Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated and scheduled for pickup by the Veteran’s association or Goodwill. Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.

4. Remove everything from drawers and cabinets. This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around. If you line things up on the counter, someone else can help by putting the items in some type of order.

5. Make use of all of your available space. In the kitchen, for example, appliances or extra containers can be stored on top of the cabinets provided they don’t extend all the way to the ceiling. That’s extra storage space without benefit of a storage container. Also use the top of the refrigerator for cereal boxes and breakfast food like boxes of instant oatmeal or grits. In the bedroom, shoes and winter clothes can go into flat storage bins that slide easily under the bed or the dresser.

6. Label your containers. Use tape and a permanent marker to identify the contents of your storage containers. Avoid writing on the actual container in case they are reused and the contents are changed. Labelling also makes for easy identification if you decide to sell or give away a container of books or something. You won’t have to open each container to locate them.

Organizing your entire house takes time. But, once it is done, returning everything you use to its proper place will maintain that same level of organization.

Successful Menu Planning Tips for Busy Moms


Dinner is the last meal of the day and a time when families can catch up with one another. It is also a hectic time preparing a meal when you are feeling more tired than ever. If you are a busy mom or you know other busy moms, below are some menu planning tips to help make dinner meals easy and even fun.

1. Try to plan your family's meals a week in advance. This is one of the most important planning tips for meals. Knowing what you are going to eat throughout the week means less chance that you will stop off at the closest takeaway place for a convenient, but junk laden meal. Decide on the last day of the previous week (let’s say Saturday for the sake of argument) what the menu will be for the following week. Create your shopping list from the list of ingredients to avoid buying what you don’t really need.

2. Become an avid bargain hunter, collect coupons, read advertising circulars and the like to decide where the best grocery to shop is for your menu items. If one ingredient is a common denominator in many meals, consider buying in bulk to save valuable cash. Common staples like milk, eggs, bread and sugar can sometimes be purchased in bulk - again saving you money. Some stores have on-going sales promotions which can only be good news for your pocket book.

3. Get recipes off the internet. Even the most adventurous cook can get stuck in a rut. The Internet is filled with new and exciting recipes, all you have to do is put your own unique spin on each recipe.

4. Have a leftover night. After preparing meals for five or six days, there is bound to be some food left over. Designate one night to be leftover night and let everyone mix and match for dinner. It saves mom from chucking away any food.

5. Cook your meals in advance. After deciding on a menu plan for the week, go ahead and cook and freeze as many meals as you can. Choose a day when the entire family can help like Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. Each person can take one meal and fix it for the following week. Once everything has cooled, store it in sealed containers or casserole dishes to be frozen until the night it is needed.

6. Do prep work in advance. All of the meals can’t be cooked at once. Some foods just taste better freshly prepared (even my children know that!). For them, so as much prep work in advance as you can. Enlist your kids to help chop vegetables, dice cooked meat and mix together dry ingredients. The night of the meal, all that is needed is to add the wet ingredients and then simply bake.

Meal time doesn’t have to be all down to mom, the family can get involved, helping with dinner so that some pressure is lifted off mum's shoulders.

New Moms can Make Money Helping other Moms

If it’s one thing moms can do it is stick together. Making life run smoothly with kids, home and career can be overwhelming at times. Communicating with other moms helps to ease your stress levels. If you are looking for a business venture, why not make money helping moms just like yourself?

Your First Steps to Work From Home

What will you offer to these moms? Well, your product is as close as your memory. Your expertise is the product you can market to moms everywhere. There are situations that you have encountered and overcome as a mom that other mothers are experiencing too, perhaps they are new single moms. They could benefit from what you know to make their life run a bit smoother.

Packaging your Product – EBooks

Put your advice down on paper. You probably have a lot of good advice to offer but it won’t sound like much unless you can get it out of your brain and into a legible format. If you have a talent for writing this will be less of a challenge for you. Take a writing course to hone up on the finer points of writing outlines and organizing your thoughts on paper.

Your format for these organized thoughts is an eBook. Everyone has heard of them but might not know exactly what they are. An eBook is essentially a book in digital form. You can create and publish them yourself. For the work that you put into the project, you are greatly rewarded with pure profit.

The first consideration is the length of your eBook. A typical eBook can have as few as 20 pages or as many as 150. Generally, people will pay more for longer eBooks.

Your First Steps to Work From Home

EBooks are popular media because they can be downloaded or printed in an instant. As soon as the payment is processed, the customer gains access to the eBook. No storage space other than what is on your computer or flash drive is needed to house the eBooks you buy.

Selling your EBooks

Consider your market – other moms. Let’s say that the subject of your eBook is getting a toddler through the terrible twos and threes. Fill your eBooks with information that moms want to know:

• Tips for bedtime
• Disciplinary tips
• Going out in public
• Dealing with mom stress
• Testimonials
• True life examples

All of these ideas can be used to fill your eBook. These same bullet points can be selling points for your eBook. When creating the eBook website page, use snippets from stories in the book, testimonials from others who have read the book and a partial list of chapters in the eBook as advertising on the page.

Condense chapters into enticing articles that you submit to article directories. Don’t give away too much because you want moms to buy your eBooks. Supply a link to your website in the resource box.

As a mom you can join online forums to share your helpful advice with other moms. Use a link to your eBook page in your signature line for easy access. As you develop a following on these forums, other members will visit your site and see your eBooks.

EBooks can be used to share information that you have learned as a mom with other moms. They are easy to create and with a marketing strategy, can bring large profit to your business.

Your First Steps to Work From Home