Tuesday, 30 January 2018

5 Reasons Why More and More People Are Saying ‘No Way’ to Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re in a couple or rolling solo, Valentine’s Day comes with expectation and pressure. With #CoupleGoals as a consistently trending hashtag, countless pictures of couples on social media, the obsession of celebrity break ups and make ups and TV shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette serving up contrived romance sprinkled with drama, the way we think of love and romance has changed. Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York Board Certified Neuropsychologist explains why so many people say ‘no way’ to Valentine’s Day and offers some alternatives that shift this negative mindset.
1. “Valentine’s Day is a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ and I’m still broke from Christmas.”
When money is tight many people may want to cut back on spending especially for things they feel are frivolous. “Financial stress is a common thing and when people are made to feel pressured to spend, they get resentful and want to claim their power,” explains Dr. Hafeez. Instead of boycotting all romance, put a $20 maximum on gifts and you’ll see how sweet, thoughtful and creative you can get.
2. “Every restaurant is crowded and the service is terrible.”
Nothing kills romance faster than crowds and a bad experience dining out. Since everyone goes out to eat on Valentine’s Day there will be a lapse in service. “One way for couples to celebrate is to call their favorite restaurant in advance and have a meal prepared they can pick up and heat up at home,” suggests Dr. Hafeez. “You can either break out the fancy dishes and dress up or you can put on sweats and eat while watching a movie, the important thing is that you enjoy yourselves and aren’t stressed,” she adds.
3. “We’ve been together for ages. Every day is Valentine’s Day! Do we really need to celebrate?”
“Celebrations and traditions are important in a relationship and when they fall away it’s usually a sign of trouble and disconnection. While you may not feel the need to do anything extravagant use the day to appreciate the love you have and life you’ve created, even if it’s in a small way,” Hafeez advises.
4. “I’m single so what’s the point?”
Rolling solo on Valentine’s Day again, all the more reason to turn it into a Self Love Day. Being single on Valentine’s Day can be tough for people, especially those still healing from a break up or divorce. “You want to really be kind and caring to yourself. Booking a massage, getting a haircut, or arranging a single ladies night with your single friends could be just what’s needed. Focus on creating your own happiness,” says Dr. Hafeez who often sees a link between break up depression and anxiety over holidays.
5. “I’m just to busy for love and romance and all that stuff.”
Some people are just focused on other things that are top priority in their lives. There are plenty of women who are turned on more by generating income for their businesses than concerning themselves with outside approval or validation. There has been a rise in female entrepreneurship with more millenials and Gen X’ers preferring to build empires than romantic relationships. For them it’s just February 14th the mid way point to a short month. “There’s nothing wrong with women wanting to focus on their professional lives. They often feel to focus on business, romance, which may cause them to lose focus, has to be shelved for a while, this is more common these days,” Dr. Hafeez shares.
While many say ‘no way’ to Valentine’s Day there are millions saying I DO.
According to a 2017 survey of 1000 people done by James Allen, an online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer, 43 percent of millennials say Valentines Day is their top pick for proposal day. November – February is considered proposal season.
Some other mind-blowing stats that clearly show Cupid isn’t going away anytime soon are.
In 2017, the National Retail Federation put the estimated total spending at over $18.2 billion. That's an average of $136.57 per person.
Jewelry is the most popular gift with 20 percent of consumers expected to buy jewelry, with a total of $4.3 billion on bling, the NRF said.
$2 billion will be spent on flowers, with roses being most popular. 250 million roses are produced for the holiday, the Society of American Florists said.
The American Greeting Card Association puts that industries pay out at 1 BILLION… yes folks $1 … for paper.

Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest and Instagram!

You may want to read this great article about Frugal Romantic Finds just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Try giving out green gifts this year if you decide to participate! Like these adorable growable and eatable cards!

About Dr. Sanam Hafeez:
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 
Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.

Fire 7 Tablet Giveaway


Giveaway Time, Come Enter to Win a Fire Tablet 7

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We want to start this year off right. What better way than giving kids the ultimate package to stay connected! Come enter to win 1 Year of Kids Email and a Fire Tablet 7. Contest ends 02/09/18.
What is Kids Email? 
KidsEmail.org  and Kmail.org was established in 2009. The concept and idea was written and designed to be a part of the solution to protect children and families online. KidsEmail.org was designed to provide safe email for kids. KidsEmail Blog is a place where we share the latest and greatest with keeping kids safe online and other fun things, thanks for stopping by!

Visit www.kidsemail.org to try KidsEmail for Free!
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Edushape Tips to Beat Cold Weather Blues!

The cold weather has hit a large part of the country, but staying inside doesn't have to mean being bored.  Edushape exercises a child's mind by supporting life long skills, growing imaginations, and developing social and sensory skills.  Here are some of our favorite toys to beat the cold weather blues!
My Soft World Includes Edu-Foam Wood-Like blocks and color blocks, plus Edu-Foam people, cars, trucks, trees and other city themed accessories. Packaged in a “tool box” style reusable container for easy clean up.
Magic Symmetry - Children love mirrors from the earliest age. Magic Symmetry takes this fascination with mirrors one step further using low distortion, child appropriate 90 degree mirrors to magically enhance their variously shaped, brightly colored creations. Included activity cards help to get quickly started, with progressive levels of endless fun which are abundant in educational and developmental qualities.
Shape 'n Shadows - Take Hand Shadows to the Next Level! The physics of a simple shadow has entertained children forever. Shapes ‘N Shadows builds on that fun, to give children enchanting shadow options which they couldn’t otherwise achieve. Includes the self-standing 13” by 11½” Theater Screen and 24 pieces which snap together differently to form ever changing shadow puppet creatures. Uses any available type of illumination i.e. window, flashlight, etc. Encourages role playing, storytelling, creativity, building skills and so much more.

5 Ways To Cope With The Death Of A Pet

The loss of a pet can bring as much grief as the loss of some human friends and family members.

This makes sense when you consider the role our animal companions play in our everyday lives. You cared for your pet’s every need and, because they could not speak, you learned to communicate in other ways. Such caring builds intimacy similar to that found between a parent and their infant; love without conflict, jealousy, or any of the other complications found in most relationships. So when a pet dies, the depth of your grief reflects your loss of a special relationship.

 “When we lose a pet, we lose a relationship unlike any other,” says Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio (www.greengateleadership.com), a family therapist and author of The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice From Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups.

“Many of us love our pets the way we love our children. But in the immediate aftermath of this unique loss, too often family members and friends say things like, ‘Just get another one.’ Instead of devaluing your grief over the loss of this important relationship, as others may advise, embrace your sorrow. Your grief is important, for it will lead you to healing and teach you important things about what matters most in life.”

Dolan-Del Vecchio offers these tips for those grieving the loss of a pet:

•    Share your grief with empathetic friends. Spend time with people who understand your closeness with your pet. Even some friends may be insensitive, so be careful to avoid “get over it” types of people.  “Unfortunately, many people see animals as if they were non-living objects,” Dolan-Del Vecchio says.

•    Attend a pet loss support group. Pet loss groups provide a concentrated dose of social support. Meeting with others who also grieve and share similar emotions can boost one’s healing greatly.

•    Keep moving.  Exercise is a healer. It boosts feelings of well-being and calm, improves sleep and brightens your mood.

•    Be creative. Whether you lean toward writing, scrapbooking, ceramics, photography or making collages, creative projects may contribute to healing.

•    Spend time in nature. Nothing quiets the mind and soul like a stroll through a park, nature preserve, or by the seashore. “The natural world brings special benefits when your heart has been torn by grief,” Dolan-Del Vecchio says. “The sights, sounds, and smells of nature connect us to eternal, circular stories of life and death in ways that go beyond our usual thoughts and feelings, and this experience brings solace to many people.”

“It’s important to care for yourself when you’re grieving your pet,” Dolan-Del Vecchio says. “This requires some planning and acts of will, as grief can diminish energy and motivation. You can lessen your distress through self-care. Above all else, be gentle with yourself.”

About Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio
Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio (www.greengateleadership.com) is an author, speaker, family therapist, and leadership and life skills consultant. His books include Simple Habits of Exceptional (But Not Perfect) Parents, The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice From Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups, and Making Love: Playing Power: Men, Women, and the Rewards of Intimate Justice.  Ken founded GreenGate Leadership® after retiring from his role as Vice President, Health and Wellness, at Prudential, where he was responsible for behavioral health services for the company’s 20,000 U.S. employees.

Friday, 26 January 2018

101 Classic Children's Books on sale for up to 90% off

There are 12 ebook collections of classic children's books on sale today for up to 90% off at Amazon! This is a great opportunity to acquire 101 ebooks featuring beloved characters like the Berenstain Bears, Curious George, Franklin the Turtle, and more, at a fraction of the price.  I have listed more details below with the links:

The Berenstain Bears
Three collections of ebooks from the beloved series that has sold more than a quarter-billion copies and been cherished by children for more than fifty years!

The Berenstain Bears Chapter Book Collection
On sale for $5.99

The Berenstain Bears Picture Book Collection Vol. 1
On sale for $3.99 

The Berenstain Bears Picture Book Collection Vol. 2
On sale for $3.99

Classic Franklin Stories 
Three collections of picture books starring Franklin the Turtle, from the series that inspired the TV show Franklin & Friends

Classic Franklin Stories Vol. 1
On sale for $5.99

Classic Franklin Stories Vol. 2
On sale for $4.99

Classic Franklin Stories Vol. 3
On sale for $4.99

Robert Munsch 
Two collections from the bestselling author of Love You Forever and The Paper Bag Princess (which is soon to be a major motion picture starring Elizabeth Banks)

The Robert Munsch Collection Vol. 1
On sale for $5.99
(Includes The Paper Bag Princess)

The Robert Munsch Collection Vol. 2
On sale for $5.99

Complete Adventures of Curious George
All the original storybooks featuring the cheerful, resilient monkey—and the mischief he gets into—in one special volume.
On sale for $3.99

Lois Lenski
Two collections from the Newbery Award-winning author

Lois Lenski's American Journeys Vol. 1
On sale for $2.99
(Includes the Newbery Award winner Indian Captive)

Lois Lenski's American Journeys Vol. 2
On sale for $4.99
(Includes the Newbery Award winner Strawberry Girl)

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The first Swago: Shopping Edition of 2018!

The holidays are over and the online rewards site Swagbucks has a smart and fun way for you to earn and save some of the money you spent.

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.

Click here to get started!

Here’s what you need to know to get your 25 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):
  • Click here to go directly to the Swago Page! If you're not a member yet, you can join here - it takes 30 seconds. Make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, January 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

Monday, 22 January 2018

How Moms Can Save Using A Balance Transfer

It’s a new year and after the presents and parties of the silly season, your credit card may have been a bit overworked. We all know Santa can be a drain on our finances. So how do you get back on track?

 While it might seem like flawed logic to pay off one credit card debt by using another, a balance transfer can help you accelerate your credit card repayments and consolidate your debt. By transferring the balance on your credit card to a lower interest rate credit card, you can get back in control of the family finances and start some serious saving.
What is a balance transfer?
A balance transfer involves taking the debt from one credit card – which often has a high interest rate – and transferring it across to a new card that has either a 0 per cent or ultra-low introductory interest rate for a period of 12-24 months. This means you pay no interest on this transferred balance for that period, which can save you hundreds of even thousands of dollars in interest. Sounds good, right?
It can be good, provided you do your research and use it responsibly. There are some factors to be aware of when it comes to choosing a balance transfer and you want to make sure you select the right card for you. A balance transfer credit card only makes sense if it’s going to save you money. These are some of things you should consider when making a decision about a balance transfer credit card:
● The balance transfer fee – there is usually a 3-5 per cent fee for the amount you transfer across. For example, if you transfer $8,000 to your new credit card, you might be charged $240 to secure the 0 per cent rate
● The balance transfer period – when the introductory rate expires
● The revert interest rate – the new interest rate once the balance transfer period ends
● Annual fees – any hidden or extra fees
All this information may seem overwhelming. If you’re a mom with kids and a busy schedule on your hands, you might not have the time or the energy to do a lot of research. Thankfully, RateCity can do the work for you. Its database compares different credit card interest rates and deals, so you can see the balance transfer fee, revert rate and the balance transfer period all at once and make an informed decision.
How can I make the most out of a balance transfer?
A balance transfer can be like fighting fire with fire, so it’s not without risks. The first step to making the most out of a balance transfer is using a financial comparison site to find the best card for you. All things being equal, you should go for a card that has a low balance transfer fee, a long balance transfer period and a low annual fee.
In order to maximise your savings and reduce your debt, you need to pay off your transferred debt before the 0 per cent introductory rate expires. Otherwise, you’ll be paying interest on the remaining balance and potentially getting yourself into more debt. To do this, be aware of the minimum payment you should be making each month by dividing the total transferred balance by the introductory period (for example if you transfer $8,000 onto a credit card that has 16 months interest-free, you should be paying off the debt at a rate of at least $500 a month). Make sure to set up a direct debit or automated payment to prevent you from falling behind schedule.
Keep in mind that these cards only remain interest-free when no purchases are made, so don’t use a balance transfer credit card to make purchases, and try not to spend on your old credit card either. Sometimes, this is easier said than done, so if you are tempted to spend, cancel your old credit card and use a debit card instead. The process of obtaining a balance transfer credit card means having a look at your spending habits and deciding how you can cut down. You can’t continue your normal spending while trying to reduce your debt through a balance transfer.
Once you’ve paid off your debt, you might want to cancel the balance transfer credit card as well. That way, you’ll be debt-free and won’t be tempted to accumulate more debt.

Save Money With These Green Tricks for Your Home

Some think being green is a privilege afforded to the few who can — well — afford it. The reality of eco-friendly living is simplistic and requires only a few lifestyle changes, conducted at small stages at any time you choose.

Living simpler stops you from prioritizing the clutter in your life and refocuses your attention on what really matters while saving you money in the process. Here are some easy, green ways to save money:

1.      Use Transportation Alternatives
Carpool with colleagues to work or with a friend to run errands. You'll feel less stressed and have someone to talk to while doing a boring routine.

If you live near your job, consider biking to work on good weather days. The bus system provides another alternative, depending on how often the buses travel hourly in your area.

2.      Ditch Paper for Cloth Napkins
Curbing paper consumption may be tough to beat for those who rely on paper towels for everything, but the benefit for the environment is better in the long run. Besides, paper towels never get all the barbecue sauce up, but cloth napkins do.

You'll become more conscious of when you really need to use a cloth napkin rather than thoughtlessly ripping off a paper square while saving money and lessening the amount of weekly trash.

The idea of reusing toilet cloth wipes leaves many feeling squeamish, but cleaning them is a breeze — without a poop smell. Leave neatly folded family cloths stacked in a box, and provide a sealed can containing vinegar, peroxide or a mix of essential oils.
These liquids keep the bacteria and smell at bay until you wash them.

3.      Prepare Homemade Meals
Grabbing a quick bite too frequently not only affects the environment but also your health and waistline. It takes more energy for industrial kitchens to package, store and prepare the food on your menu, and you don't always know what's inside that prepackaged food.

When you prepare homemade food, you know where and how everything is sourced, prepared and cooked. People appreciate meals made from scratch, and it doesn't have to take too much time. Get the family involved with easy-to-prep meals, chopping vegetables, mixing ingredients and making sandwiches for the week ahead.

4.      Cook in Bulk
The world places increasing demands and obligations on people. Cooking in bulk makes it easier to serve homemade meals every day.

Prepare meals that have larger servings as a team, and package the servings according to the recipe as you make the meals. Cook meal components to combine at a later time, adding sauces and dressings later to avoid soggy food. Designate a shelf in the fridge for prepared meals, and store the extras in the freezer.

5.      Eat More Fruits and Veggies
It takes a lot of energy to harvest and cook meat — from feeding and raising the animals to processing them to cooking at home. Meat and pasta make up the bulk of the typical American diet, but fruits and vegetables are important to be healthy and balanced.

Eating more fruits and vegetables doesn't have to be boring or tasteless.
Make cauliflower wings slathered in buffalo sauce — coat them in cornmeal and powdered Parmesan to get them extra crispy. Eat hummus with cucumbers and whole wheat, multigrain crackers. Start with meatless Mondays, and include these options as snacks throughout the day when you feel tempted to reach for cheese curls.

6.        Cook in the Microwave More
Many eco-friendly tips encourage you to use the toaster oven over the conventional oven whenever possible, but microwave uses at least 20 percent less energy than a toaster oven. Rethink the purpose of the microwave. Many quick meals can be prepared in the microwave, including chicken.

7.         Fix Leaky Faucets
At first, leaky faucets don't feel like a big deal, but over time, the water loss adds up. One faucet leaking a drip every second amounts to 3,000 gallons lost every year, or 128 showers for one person. Fixing a leaky faucet takes less time than the total number of showers you missed while saving water and money.

8.        Install an Eco-Friendly Garage Door
How does your garage door look these days? Older garage doors suffering from damage make a perfect entry spot for burglars and work as an escape point for heat and air.

Install an eco-friendly garage door to gain energy savings and low-maintenance repair. Manufacturers of green garage doors utilize recycled materials and environmentally conscious packaging and transportation methods. Besides, a new garage door ups your curb appeal instantly as a great way to give your home a makeover.

9.         Install Low-Flow Showerheads
Reduce water consumption by installing low-flow showerheads, which save 15,000 gallons every year per person, or 60,000 gallons for the average family annually. The installation reduces your carbon footprint and water bill, and low-flow showerheads provide several options, including a timer, steam control and pause.

10.   Keep Showers Under Five Minutes
Are you a fan of long showers? The odd long shower is a luxury, but when you do it every day, the environment suffers from your overconsumption of water. Try this rule of thumb — keep showers under five minutes long. After accomplishing the five-minute mark, make it a three-minute limit.

Need to shave? Ladies, move it to the sink. A smaller surface means you use less water, when not running the tap.

11.    Use Eco-Friendly Lightbulbs
Replace energy-sucking lightbulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or light-emitting diodes (LED).  While the sticker price is more expensive up front, you'll save more money in the long term. CFL and LED bulbs last three to 25 times longer and use 25 to 80 percent less energy. Here is a great resource on other energy saving lights! 

12.    Open Windows When Necessary
When running the air conditioner or heat, shut windows to save more money. Open windows when necessary, such as using the air flow in hotter months to reduce the impact of humidity.

13.     Unplug Vampiric Appliances

Leaving appliances plugged in sucks up a large degree of electricity over the year. Turned-off and plugged-in appliances still draw energy, but the difference is in the type of appliance. A table lamp's electric footprint is inconsequential compared to cellphones, TVs and certain kitchen appliances.

If you refuse to turn these devices off due to convenience, at least place them on standby mode. Stop leaving your charger plugged in after your battery is fully charged.

14.     Air Dry Clothing
Your grandparents likely installed a clothesline in the back of the yard, and you remember helping hang and fold the clothes. Today, the clothesline feels outdated and like a hassle compared to the convenience of a dryer, but imagine the money and water you'd save if you air-dry your clothes.

Air flow is important to avoid mold if air-drying thicker and larger materials indoors. Thinner materials dry more quickly. Start with delicates. Your fabrics will last longer.

15.   Stop Using Your Car as Storage

During the winter, it makes sense to store an emergency kit in the car. If taking a long trip, you want to stock up on snacks and water. When driving every day, it makes no sense to fill your car with useless clutter that weighs your vehicle down. Save on gas and stress, and declutter your car.

Going green doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Some changes do require upfront costs, such as switching to CFL or LED lights or replacing your garage door, but the long-term benefits outweigh the initial output. Most changes can be made today: declutter your car, cook from scratch or limit your shower time.

Going green isn't restricted to those who lead a wealthier lifestyle — everyone can do it. Small changes make a big environmental impact, and the more people who participate in doing their part, the more the environment wins in the long term.