Monday, February 20, 2012

Best Friends Help Improve Your Child's Health, Researchers Say

While you may be concerned about cutting out overly processed foods in your child's diet and making sure that he or she stays active to promote overall good health, what you may be needing to do is make sure that your child spends quality time with his or her best friend, especially when your child is down in the dumps. This is because according to a new study, having a bestie around when something "stressful" or "unpleasant" happens to your child can actually positively affect your child's mental and physical state.
A team of Canadian researchers from Concordia University tested more than 100 fifth and sixth graders, evenly divided by gender. What they discovered was that when a child was scolded by a teacher or got into a disagreement with a fellow classmate, the test subjects were less likely to release cortisol if they're best friend was near them. Cortisol is a stress hormone that while typically associated with health complications in adults (makes sense— adults are the ones to get stressed out more often) an excess of cortisol in children has staggering long-lasting effects: it can ultimately stunt development and growth as well as weaken the immune system.
The stress hormone is also linked to low self-esteem—too much can make children have a lower sense of self-worth, according to researchers. And naturally, low-self esteem can lead to more severe disorders like depression and eating disorders in the future.  So it's important to have a balanced level of cortisol as a child.
An earlier Concordia study even linked higher levels of cortisol to behavioral issues in young children. Those with too much cortisol were more likely to disrupt classrooms and be mischievous.
So if you have some bad news to tell your child or if he or she comes home upset because they didn't have a valentine this year, it might be best to invite his or her best friend over to cheer him or her up—their health depends on it. Not to mention that having friends can help children become more sociable (which can help them later on in life) and can even help them deal with bullies, some studies say.
The study, which is officially titled "The Presence of a Best Friend Buffers the Effects of Negative Experiences," is published in the journal of Developmental Psychology.
This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities advice.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Keep Your Kids Safe

One of the things we worry about the most as parents is keep our kids safe. We see so many instances in the news of the kidnappings and killings of children, of serial molesters and rapists, and of the rampant use of child porn.

Here are some scary facts:

· Over 2,100 children go missing every day, that’s one child every 40 seconds.

· 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 16.

· There are 728,345 registered sex offenders in the United State.

· The re-arrest rate of convicted child molesters is 52%

Now I don’t think we need to live in constant fear because that would not allow our children to develop properly but I do think that we, as parents, need to be aware. One great tool to help with that is to sign up at

If you sign up you will be able to:

1. Search, map, and view complete sex offender profiles.

2. Receive an instant email alert when a sex offender moves into your monitored area.

3. Safely monitor your children online.

4. Use their Emergency Response Profiles if your child is lost or abducted.

5. Learn your city’s true crime rate.

6. Use their learning center to stay up to date with critical child care information and resources.


Empower yourself to protect your children!

*I am a Kids Live Safe affiliate. 

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Fun Food

When you have a picky eater you’ll do ANYTHING to get them to try something new. One fun way to get kids interested in unfamiliar foods is by making the presentation exciting. If they are marveling at the creative design you made out of their meal they are more likely to try some, even if it’s just a bite or two. It many cases it’s a breakthrough if they even allow a new food on their plate. The point isn’t to get them to chow down on the new food; it’s just to acquaint them with it. The next time you serve that food it will be a little more familiar. The more familiar and nonthreatening a new food it the more likely your picky eater will take a nibble, or at least let it within arm’s length of their mouths.

Do you ever create designs out of food for your kids?

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Paint Swatch Calendar

One day I was browsing through Pinterest, when a picture of a paint swatch calendar caught my attention. Although I never actually ended up looking at the blog to see how it was done, I winged it and came out with this guy instead!

What You’ll Need:
-          Paper cutter (scissors work fine but the cutter speeds up the process)
-          X-acto knife (if you don’t have the paper cutter)
-          Ruler, pencil, scrap paper (for calculating measurements)
-          Paint swatches of your favorite colors
You’ll be cutting the swatches into 35- 2” x 2” squares, plus 7- 1” x 2” rectangles, so make sure you get enough!
-          Rubber cement or glue stick
-          A 16’ x 20” frame
-          1 piece of poster board (I stuck with a neutral – very light beige – it’ll be your calendar’s background)
-          Acrylic paint for the frame

-          First I ended up painting my frame. I chose a dark espresso brown that would blend with the swatch colors. This is the frame before it was painted.

-          Paint swatches - I ended up getting my colors at a local Wal-Mart (the Glidden paint brand). These swatches were on the large size, and when I got them I knew I could get two squares out of each one. I kept my color scheme rather neutral, and settled with three shades of three different colors – beige, pink, and blue.

   -  I cut off each of the color names first, which let me know exactly how much of the remaining swatch I was dealing with. It was over 4 inches, so I proceeded to measure out the first 2 inches, slice it, and then another 2 inches, and slice it. Then I picked up those pieces, turned them, and cut them.

-          Lay out your colors in whatever pattern you choose. I stuck with a repeated fading look, and spaced each swatch ¼” .

-          After this was finished I realized I still had some extra swatches, and decided to make seven 2” x 1” rectangles where I could write the days of the week. This is completely optional, but it was real quick and makes for a nice addition to the calendar.

-          To make the background of the calendar, use the frame’s glass to trace. Cut it out.

-          Before we can go ahead and glue on the swatches, we have to do some math to make sure the calendar will be centered:
o   Your frame is 20” wide
o   There will be seven columns of 2” x 2” swatches, altogether 14”.
o   There will be six gaps that are each ¼”. .25 * 6 = 1.5”
o   So lengthwise, you will be using (14 + 1.5) = 15.5” of space.
o   20” – 15.5” = 4.5”
o   4.5” / 2 = 2.25”, the amount of space that will be on either end of the frame. Lightly mark two lines, both 2.25” from the sides of the paper

-          The last bit will tell us how much space for the top and bottom of the frame:
o   Your frame is 16” high
o   There will be five columns of 2” x 2” swatches, altogether 10”
o   There will be four gaps that are each ¼”. .25 * 4 = 1”
o   If you choose to add the swatch for the days of the week, I gave a ½” gap between that and the 2” x 2” swatch. Add that to the 1” height, and you get an additional 1.5”.
o   Height-wise, the calendar will take up 10 + 1 + 1.5 = 12.5” of space.
o   16 – 12.5 = 3.5” of leftover space.

-          You want more space at the top of the calendar to write the month. With your pencil, lightly mark a line that’s 2.5” from the top, and another that is 1” from the bottom.

-          Now you’ll be able to see you have a faint (centered!) border for your calendar. Using rubber cement or glue stick, begin to lay each swatch just how you had it on your draft. Make sure the gaps are ¼“ on the sides of the swatches, and you’ll start seeing your calendar take form.

-          After you’ve glued everything down on the poster board and the pieces are dry, dust it off (I’m static-y lately so I was cleaning it for a while!!) I Windex-ed the glass probably three times before I mounted it, and voila! The only thing that’s left is to expo that calendar up and put it to use!

Before Writing

Paint Swatch Calendar

Now it's an official calendar!

By Danielle Lamoureaux
Follow Danielle on twitter!

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine's Day Fashion

Here is some cute items from Victoria's Secret to make you feel comfortable no matter if you're single or in a relationship.  Either way these will make you feel great when you're wearing them! 





Which of these is your favorite?

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jiving January Cash Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to the following blogs for participating this month: