Thursday 31 May 2018

Adorable Summer Clothes

With the days getting longer and brighter, there's even more time for fun in the sun! Stock up for warm weather with cool cotton hannas. Whether they're heading to camp or exploring their own backyard, these durable knits last through every moment of summer play. Plus, check out upcoming Memorial Day savings! Take up to 50% off EVERYTHING at Hanna Andersson, plus fee shipping on orders over $100. Valid 5/2418 - 5/28/18.

Easy, comfy, adorable in breathable combed cotton. Throw on the So Breezy Sundress over bike shorts or even a swimsuit - this is the versatile favorite she’ll reach for day after day.

Don’t be fooled by the ultra-soft feel of the classic Sueded Jersey Art Tee. It’s a longtime favorite of Hanna moms for its nearly indestructible construction.

Give your littles pure cotton comfort in the matching So Breezy Set. Snap-on top and stretchy bloomers are made for playgrounds and picnics. Messes wash out without worries!

Tuesday 29 May 2018

The Benefits Of Gardening With Kids

Gardeners it is time to get the kids in the garden and teach them where "real" food comes from. The expectations children have come up with for their food these days is insane! I consider myself a pretty healthy eater, even though I like my sweets, but I witness way too much processed junk going into our little ones faces! Kids thrive outdoors digging in the dirt and learning new things about nature, so encourage it and pass it on to the next generation!

What are some easy to grow veggies?
  • Carrots
  • Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Squash 
  • most herbs

These are super simple to start and keep growing until harvest no matter what your skill level and can be planted in large or small gardens! Depending on where you live you can always attempt to grow much more, find out what grows best in your area with this Planting Zone Map.

What kids learn from gardening?
  • responsibility
  • concept of cause and effect
  • self confidence
  • understanding of where their food comes from
  • how to become self sustaining
  • try new things
  • and much more!
Not only are your kids gaining all these benefits but they are also outdoors having fun the way kids should be, and depending on age this can be a daily chore list item of weeding and watering the garden creating responsibility that kids need!

If you have ample space you can take it a step further and plant a ton of different flowers and then have the kids setup a flower stand when they all bloom to sell bouquets creating a business opportunity.

If your flowers don't sell out completely you can take the leftovers and get them to give bouquets as gifts to friends and family as well as local nursing homes teaching another valuable lesson about sharing and community!

Everyday is a new opportunity to teach, learn and grow!

Unique Father's Day Gift Ideas

What do you get the man who seems to have everything? Sometimes, you can’t go wrong with a classic gift. Whether it’s a new wallet or tie, keep dad looking sharp this Father’s Day with a few wardrobe upgrades.
Here are a few of our favorite classic Father’s Day gift ideas from retailers you love.

Paul Smith Grained Leather Wallet
This slim and sleek wallet is perfect for everyday use or special occasions. Its classic bifold style and card slots make this a functional choice, while the bright blue interior adds extra interest traditional wallets might lack. You can’t go wrong with Italian-made soft grained leather, either.

Neon Stripe Tie
Loosen up dad’s button-down look with this bright neon stripe tie from Vineyard Vines. We like this tie not only because it’s 100% silk, but because it seamlessly adds a pop of color and interest into his wardrobe without being overly flashy. This tie is a great change for the warmer months ahead.
Coach Men’s Bleecker Brown Watch
Even the man who’s always on time needs a watch to complete his look. The traditional design he loves meets high-tech functionality with this sophisticated style. It features three sundials that display hours, minutes, and the day of the week, all surrounded by a gold-tone case and genuine leather strap.

Maternally Challenged

Moms, if you think your life is going to be perfect, I've got news: It's not happening. This book details the many curveballs life has thrown my way. - Wise words from Maternally Challenged: How My Special Needs Son Taught Me to Sack Up & Laugh by Kathy Chlan, who also runs the popular blog Unfiltered Mom.

Kathy knows first hand that the only thing you can expect when you’re expecting is, well, the unexpected. 25 years ago she gave birth to her first son, who would be diagnosed with developmental and learning disabilities by the age of two. She has since helped thousands of moms who are also “parenting by the seat of their pants” navigate the chaos of raising kids, and the challenges and joys that come with raising one with special needs. 

“As a mother of two sons, including one with a special needs, I know what it’s like to have a family that doesn’t fit the mold,” says Chlan. “But all mothers face adversities in life. My response? Laugh through it all!”

This message is at the foundation of Maternally Challenged. Serving as encouragement to mothers of all walks of life who are just trying to make it to bedtime, Maternally Challenged will help readers find that they’re not alone in dealing with family dysfunction and everyday parenting drudgery. Rooted in Chlan's guidance are methods to re-contextualize daily troubles for a new outlook on parenthood and life — and even start laughing through adversity.

Through heartwarming and hilarious personal accounts, in Maternally Challenged, Chlan touches upon topics including:
-Steps you can take when life throws you a series of unexpected curveballs
-How to stop dwelling on your mistakes and find time to appreciate life’s little victories
-How to teach your special needs child that using disability as a crutch is never an option
-How to put terrible days and tantrums into greater perspective
-And much, much more!
More on Kathy at,

Educating Children About Money

Teaching children about money is so much more than simple mathematics skills yet it’s something that’s essential for life.  
Your child is never too young to start learning about the role of money and how it’s used. The good news is that there are unlimited opportunities to help your child learn about fiscal matters without sitting down in front of a calculator.  

Here are some fun ways you can educate your child about money with different activities for each age range.  


At this age, it’s almost impossible to teach a true understanding of money but even young toddlers can start to learn the basic concepts.  
Good money skills involved delayed gratification; in other words, not spending all your money at once! This is one of the hardest things for a child to accept but you can start teaching it young, using sweets instead of real money.  
Have a large jar of sweets filled to the top, and at regular intervals allow your child to just have one or two. This provides the lesson that even when there is a lot available, you can’t use it all up at once.  

School age - Key Stage 1 

When children move on to school, they will have a burgeoning idea of the value for money and how it works. This may only be in the loosest possible terms but understanding that you need to have money to buy things is the first step.  
Playing pretend games such as “shop” can be really helpful for children to start appreciating the value of money, and how the different coins and notes are worth different amounts.  
Age 8-12 - Key Stage 2 

As children advance through their schooling, their math skills will improve which in turn will make it easier for them to understand how money works.  
However, by this age it’s not just about the role money plays in society, it’s time to start introducing more practical money management skills.  
At a very basic level this is as simple as receiving pocket money each week. Some parents insist that their child saves some of the cash while others leave it up to the child to decide. Whatever approach you opt for, you can help your child to learn by showing them what they could buy if they saved up, and how to enjoy little treats without blowing the lot.  


From age 13 onwards, children really benefit from being exposed to more decisions about how to use the available money, and how to budget.  
Practical experience is what’s needed to cement these skills and you can provide this by giving your child some responsibility. Take them around the shop and show them how to compare products to look for the best deals.  
As they grow older you can take this further by including household bills. A good way to start is mobile phone contracts as it’s something that many teens are interested in. Look at the deals available and shop around to find the best offer. 
As you prepare your child for college and university, you can sit down with them and help to figure out a budget for their cash. By this age you need to allow them to have responsibility for making some of their own decisions, but you can still support them by making sure they’ve factored in all necessary costs.  

Valuable life lesson 

Teaching children about money is something which should start from an early age and continue to evolve throughout their lives. A subject that’s often skipped past in school, practical money management and budgeting are essential for healthy finances and it’s never too soon to start learning.  

Emily Dick has recently graduated with an Honors Degree from the Open University in the field of social science. She currently writes for StarWalkKids, where she enjoys writing about a range of topics such as parenting tips and advice and reviewing the latest toys and games for children. Emily is currently raising her two year old daughter, and two pet cats.

Fun Things To Do This Spring/Summer

Spring is quickly transitioning into summer, and while the weather is heating up and the kids gear up for the upcoming “outdoors season”, the occasional rainy day still brings up the classic question: what can we do as a family while trapped inside the house, waiting for better weather? There are a number of different things that can be done to pass time on rainy spring days! I have provided a list of some of my favorite things to try out below!

Board Games
A classic rainy day activity. For younger kids, there are always the classics like snakes and ladders and candyland. These are great ways to teach kids a little bit of math (counting squares counts as math, right?) while having some fun. For older kids, games like risk can take up a whole afternoon, as your family turns into a little UN and the diplomatic negotiations start. Board games are an easy way to get the whole family around the table for some wholesome fun!

Movie Marathons
With the advent of streaming tv and movies through apps like Netflix, marathoning visual media has never been easier! Pop some popcorn, pick your favorite series of films, and cozy up with the family to watch some movies and those rainy days will fly right by.

Colouring and Crafts
A new fav for me and my family, colouring sheets can be printed online (there are a ton of great resources online for free printable colouring sheets). Crafts can also easily be found online, and many can be made with stuff you have lying around the house! To start you on your colouring adventures, Certified Cartridges have provided this spring themed printable, if you are looking to kickstart your new favourite rainy day hobby!

Have a Big House? Here Is How to Use It to Make Money for Your Family

If you find yourself in possession of a house that has more room than you need, you might be considering downsizing. Whether your kids have gone off to college or you just lost a job and can’t afford the payments, there is another option you can try before you put it on the market. Use the extra space you have to make money.

Rent Out a Room
If the kids have left and you’ve got a bedroom or two available, consider renting one of the rooms out to a boarder. On a month to month basis, you can charge a pretty decent rate for a single room, and generally people looking to rent a single room are single, only in the area temporarily, and won’t cause any issues. It can become difficult for some people to have someone in the house all the time, so make sure everyone in your family is comfortable with the idea.

Start a Business
You can also choose to turn your extra space into the hub for a new business. There are any number of things you can do, from caring for other people’s pets in your home, or putting your craft skills to work selling things on Etsy. If you have any particular academic skills, you can set up a tutoring room and take on students in your area.

Rent Space as Storage
A great way to turn extra space into cash with minimal effort on your part is to simply rent the space as storage. There are plenty of people out there that need temporary storage for things like furniture, office documents, and a host of other items, but don’t want to use a commercial storage facility either due to the price, or because they only need it for a short time and there is a minimum lease at commercial facilities.


Become an Airbnb Host


If you aren’t comfortable with having someone move in full time, you can also choose to rent out a room a few nights a month or just on weekends. Airbnb can be very lucrative for some people, and it affords you a lot more flexibility to decide when you’re going to have someone there, and when you don’t want to. The downside is that you can’t be certain who is going to show up or how they will treat your home.

Host a Foreign Exchange Student
Hosting a foreign exchange student can be a great way to make some extra money, and the terms are flexible. You generally need to fill out an application and explain how your home is an ideal placement for the student, and there are different levels of compensation depending on the program. It’s also a great opportunity to engage with someone from another culture and can be a rewarding experience.

Rent Out Office Space
If you aren’t comfortable sharing your home with someone but have some extra space, you can consider renting out an extra room as an office. There are freelancers and other professionals that prefer to get away from home to separate their work and home lives, or because roommates and family members make it difficult for them to get anything done. You can rent out the space during the day when you’re typically not at home and still have your house to yourself in the evenings.

Friday 25 May 2018

Budget Beating Activities For Summer Fun With Kids

It seems that these days kids are spending more and more time indoors. If they are not glued to the TV screen, they’re playing on a handheld device. While the ad for the Nintendo Switch showed kids and teens using the device outside, let’s face it, that was never going to be a reality. No, instead, kids sit upstairs playing on their device or chatting with their friends online. Indeed, thanks to Netflix kids can spend hours binge-watching shows, maybe without you even realising. It’s not that hard for a child to download Netflix and watch every episode of Alexa and Katie. So, what we’re looking at then is some of the best ways to get the kids outside. Here are some awesome activities that you can try.

Mountain Biking

Head to the wild outdoors and go mountain biking with your kids. This can be great fun, a real exhilarating ride and an excellent workout for everyone. It’s ideal for adventurous kids who love having fun in the sun and don’t mind the danger of a few bumps or scrapes. Of course, we suggest that you purchase all the right gear for protection incase they do fall off the bike. We’re talking elbow pads, knee pads and even a full head helmet. They’ll hate you for it, but you’ll be glad that they were fully protected if they do ever fall off.

As well as this, you need to get a great bike for them to use. It’s important to think about suspension as well as comfort when choosing a mountain bike for your child. The good news is that the best bikes are adjustable. As such, you don’t have to worry about buying another one every couple of years. So, it can be quite a cheap hobby.


Every once in a while, you might want to take your kids paintballing. This can be great fun and is guaranteed to be a hit with the kids. By paintballing, kids will have the opportunity to run around in an outdoor arena, and it even improves their motor skills. It’s all very safe too with different levels depending on the age of your child. Though paintballing is usually an activity for birthday parties, it can also be a fun adventure out on a summer day. If you can’t afford a vacation this year, heading paintballing every couple of weekends is sure to make the kids forget they’re not going on holiday.


Can you not afford a trip to your local water park? If that’s the case, then you may want to think about creating one in your backyard or close to your home. This is easy to do, and all you need is a water slide - a thin piece of plastic sheeting, a paddling pool and perhaps some water guns. All these are totally affordable at your local superstore. You can even get creative by putting the end of that toy slide from the backyard into the paddling pool. Just remember to be safe. On a hot summer day, this can keep the kids happy for hours.

We hope you have fun with these exciting possibilities that won’t break the bank and will get the kids outside.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

3 Hidden “Kid Dangers” in Your Home

When you’re a parent, there’s an automatic added level of stress to your life. It seems there are endless ways that kids have conjured up to get hurt. It’s a wonderful time when children are young and cute, but here are a few things to keep in mind in order to have a few less scares as a parent.

Air Quality

Medical professionals have been warning us of the effects of bad air quality in our homes for decades, but for some reason it hasn’t always resonated. Remember, adults sometimes let info go in one ear and out the other too! The air in your home should be one of the top, ongoing priorities to protect all who live there. The most obvious way to manage it is by always changing your air filter when recommended. Now I understand that there are skeptics about these numbers (some believe that they are just trying to sell more air filters!), but let’s be honest - a few bucks a year is going to be the only difference, and to me it’s worth it for my own sanity and the health of the children.


I know very few people who aren’t a alarmed at the site of a big spider. I’ve personally heard a few shrieks from the kitchen when a particularly large arachnid has been spotted. Depending where you live, there might be Black Widows, Hobo Spiders, Brown Recluse, and other dangerous 8-leggers around, but it’s up to you to take preventive action. Get a few sticky traps for your home so you can monitor insect and spider activity by what you find. If it’s empty every week, there’s probably very little insect traffic in your home, but if there is, at least you know about it. Also consider using a professional company like pest control solutions to come to your home and treat inside and outside. Most companies also offer free services in between regular treatments as well, so you’re always safe and bug-free.

Household Products

This is one that we don’t need to spend much time on, but by the time a child is crawling, their curiosity can be overwhelming. They will eat or drink almost anything, even things that make grown adults gag. You know your child best, but there are a multitude of options out there for “baby-proofing” your home. Consider using door knob twist grips, baby gates, wall anchors for shelves, and cord holders for wall chargers. You may feel a bit of stress once in a while from the kiddos, but if you implement these precautions, you’ll never regret it.

These Tips Should Ease the Transition From College to the Workplace for Recent Grads

Leaving home for college got you out into the world on your own for the first time. Now that you’ve graduated, you realize that being on your own means something else entirely.
In college, you had a myriad of support systems in a microverse focused on helping you to harness your potential. Resources were at your fingertips. You’ll leave papers for reports, but transitioning into the workplace from college signals the shift into adulting in a completely new environment with high expectations.
The economy isn’t helping — Millennials still have a tough time finding a job, with unemployment at 13 percent for their generation, higher than the national average of five percent. Is the job search still going, or have you secured a job? Here are a few tips to ease the transition from college to the workplace.
1. Develop a Healthy Schedule
Working an eight-hour day or two jobs takes a toll on the mind and body. It’s not like taking classes with periods of time between. You won’t have time to meet up with friends for a drink or day trip like before. Staying up too late will affect your performance at work, and too many mess ups adversely affect your job security.
Develop a healthy schedule from the start. Have a transition time before and after work periods, and treat your time out as self-care but with responsibility. Create a well-rounded life that adds to your life satisfaction and gets you on the career track you most desire. A healthy work-life balance is vital.
2. Clean Up Your Nutrition and Save With Meal Prep
Coffee is forever — it got you through student days and will get you through your workday. But you need whole food to lead a healthy, long life. Meal prepping is the way to go without having to worry about one more thing on your plate. Focus on eating the nutritious and delicious food on your plate instead. You also won’t overeat and overspend.
Meal prepping isn’t hard. With the help of apps, find recipes and shop for various dietary needs. Create grab-and-go breakfasts, like spinach and ham egg bakes — chop the ingredients, sauté the vegetables and bake inside a muffin tray with eggs to bind it all together. Variate — turn a whole chicken into fajita wraps and chicken soup. Stock up on basics, like beans and rice. Take your shopping week by week, and buy what you can in bulk.
3. Tidy Your Social Media Presence
Remove or make private your college party photos, and do the same with other questionable images. Untag yourself from these photos on profiles of friends. Do the same with other posts, and unlike and unfollow unprofessional pages and groups. Arrange your settings so that you must approve all photo tags and postings. You can also make your profiles unavailable to public searches and adjust other privacy settings.
Focus more on LinkedIn than other social media profiles right now. Fill in your experience. Get relevant endorsements and recommendations. Expand your online professional network.
Don’t use the same email on your resume that you used to sign up for social media. Tidy up your online presence to look as professional as possible.
4. Make and Follow a Budget
Your first real paycheck will make you light up and get ready to do some celebratory spending. You say you won’t overspend, but it happens.
You have goals for that check: a drink or two with friends over a nice dinner, an outing with your parents, a deposit on a nice apartment, better clothes and travel goals. At first glance, all of these appear reasonable, but it adds up quickly. You don’t want to find yourself behind on two months of rent or power.
Your disposable income gives you a measured overview of your household’s financial resources. This amount is what you have left over after income taxes save, spend or invest. Your discretionary income takes into account life's necessities, such as rent, utilities, clothes and food. This income is the type you grow your budget from to judge reasonable spending for excesses such as lattes and entertainment. Carrying cash and leaving your card at home is an effective way to stop overspending your budget.
5. Contact Student Loan Providers ASAP
When you graduate, you have a small grace period before you must pay up with interest. Know what your interest rates are for various loans and when your due date is so that you will make on-time payments.
Don’t fret if you haven’t found a job yet or are struggling with the workplace transition. Contact your student loan providers as soon as possible, and don’t let late fees and payments pile up. You’ll risk defaulting on your student loans — 3,000 individuals default daily on student loans. If that happens, you have a shot at rehabilitating your loans, but your credit score has already decreased dramatically. Call student loan providers to go into forbearance, agreeing to put off payments due to hardship, or find a better payment plan.
6. Track Business News in Your Industry
Some professionals know exactly where they want to be in 10 years, and others are still figuring that out by getting their feet wet in the field. Track industry news to remain informed. If you have an eye on a new city, always check the business section of the newspaper or local business journal to determine company growth and how that affects your career.
7. Follow the Dress Code Fashionably
You must follow your work’s dress code, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show off your personal style. Stock up on professional basics in cuts that flatter you, but look inside your closet before you go shopping. Choose your professional power item, like a tie or lavender heels. Choose two or three neutrals, such a gray pencil skirt and a black blazer. Select a color or two for accents, and you’ve put together a professional outfit that reflects your personality.
The dress code is your template to improve upon. Play with length, neckline, prints, color and layering to create versatile and fashionable outfit choices. A tailor improves many clothes that look baggy or cheap and do not fit in the best way.
8. Work Hard but Remain True to Yourself
In college, if a class or professor wasn’t working out, you had time to switch. In life, the stakes are higher, but that doesn’t mean you should stick with a job that conflicts with your values, morals or needs. Do due diligence for yourself first, and make sure your job is the right fit. Ask yourself: Will I be happy here? How will it grow my skills? Are there opportunities for advancement? Are the pay and benefits what I need? Work hard, but remain true to yourself.
Start saving in case you change your mind later, and if you do, give proper notice. This isn’t your last job, and recommendations from past employers matter.
Transitioning from a college career to begin the career you prepared yourself for feels as overwhelming as it is exhilarating. You must establish a reasonable pace and set of expectations for yourself as you move forward with this phase of your life.

Keep a work-life balance along with a budget and meal plan. Stay on top of student loans. Tidy up your social media presence. Research the company you plan to work for, and ask yourself hard questions before accepting a role. Work hard, but realize that life is more than work — it’s something to live with meaning.