Potty Training Tips That Actually Work



Potty training is by far one of my least favourite things to do as a parent and caregiver. Kids are usually not interested in doing the deed and it is one of the messy and smelly portions of life that is kept private and now your being forced to share in the “joy”. I have learned some very interesting things that have helped me to potty train dozens of kids in my daycare and my own 3 kids as well. 

Every kid is a little different and not the same in any way shape or form so what may work for one may not work for the other. So what should you watch for to know when to start potty training?
  • Is your child hiding when they poop?
  • Can they tell you when they have to go?
  • Are they physically able to pull their pants up on their own?
  • Is your child performing routine poops? 
  • Are they not wetting many diapers?
Kids can potty train at different ages but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to start too early as you will be the one pulling up and down the pants and it kind of defeats the purpose. Most kids start between the age of 2.5/3 and it can take some time to get it mastered and some regression is bound to happen at some point so be prepared for that. This is the age and stage of lots of laundry, baths, and washing floors. 

Tricks to help potty train:

My Little Pony Pampers Easy Ups are a great potty training helper and can help encourage that big kid look and feel. Pampers Easy Ups are just like big kid underwear in the sense that they are easily pulled up and down for potty breaks but they can absorb all accidents without creating a mess or discouragement. You just rip the sides open when doing a bum change for a poop but you can easily pull them down and exchange them for a fresh one if it’s just a little pee. They come in all types of styles as well to ensure your big kid is wearing their favourite characters and loving their new undies. 



Girls and boys are completely different when it comes to body parts so why wouldn’t they be different when it comes to potty training? Girls are sometimes easier to work with not only because they are calmer and more patient but because they don’t have a fire hose to play with. 

Rewards and treats are a great way to encourage potty training. You can start a potty chart and let them put stickers on it every time they go on the potty, actually pee on the potty and when they take a poop on the potty. 





Celebrate the little wins like less accidents in a day, sitting on the potty more, and telling you when they have to go. Remember timing might be off for a bit and they could be telling you they have to pee right after they already went, take your time and celebrate the fact that they knew they had to go. Positive reinforcement works like a charm. 

Reading a book on the potty while sipping on some water for a while can encourage some peeing, girls are usually more intent and patient during this process but boys can also participate if you can get them to. 

We encouraged the open door policy with our own kids so they can see us using the potty when they are smaller. It helped to normalize using the bathroom and teaches them proper bathroom etiquette like hand washing, flushing, and generally going potty. 

For kids that I cared for in daycare we kept potties and potty seats around the bathroom for them to see and use if need be. You never know what a parent is using at home so communication is key if your helping another parent’s child to potty train. Open door policy obviously doesn’t work with other peoples kids so keeping them comfortable in your home when learning to use the toilet is essential. 

Have your boy sit down for the first portion of training as learning how to aim their stream can be a struggle. Tell them to point it down to the water in the toilet while they are sitting to ensure it doesn’t just spray all over their legs and the floor. 

When you are ready to stand and pee with your boy a good truck is to drop some cheerios or other cereal you have on hand in the toilet bowl and tell them to aim at it. This will help them to learn how to control where they are peeing.

Wiping is never a fun job and yes it can be messy. Many parents will opt in for a moist wipe for a while but apparently they can be bad for your plumbing even if they say they are washable, a good way to avoid a costly plumbing bill is to keep a garbage can lined with a bag and with a lid handy to place the wipes in there. Wiping takes practice and patience so for the first bit your going to be the designated wiper. Always teach the girls to wipe front to back to avoid getting their other parts dirty because this can cause infections. Teaching them how much toilet paper to use is also a very important step because they will use a an entire roll every time they go. 

Be prepared! Always pack extra clothes, wipes, and Pampers Easy Ups when your heading out and about. Even if your child has been wearing big kid undies for a while be ready for some regression. All of a sudden your big kid will decide they want to pee on their pants and there is nothing you can do about it. If your out at a party and this happens it’s nice to be able to slip them into a Pampers Easy Up after changing them into fresh clothes just to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Kids are very easily distracted and when it comes to playing it is always play before potty! Just be prepared it’s the best advice you could ever receive! 

Night time can be tricky even for a big kid that hasn’t had accidents in a long time during day time training. Don’t get discouraged if you have to use Pampers Overnights diapers it is a lot harder to get a kid out of bed at night to go potty and they are not ready to do it on their own yet. When they are ready to sleep in underwear expect accidents to happen so be ready to do laundry a lot and ensure you buy a mattress protector to keep your mattress from being destroyed. 

These are just some of the many ways I have learned to potty train over the years and yes they do work, try different things and see what works for you. Be patient and it will happen. I own my own daycare and have 3 kids of my own so yes these are tried and true methods that actually work! 


How Practicing Mindfulness Can Help You Sleep Better



Sometimes, our minds can be our own worst enemies when it comes to getting a full-night’s sleep. The stresses from the day can leak into our nights, resulting in hours wasted laying in bed, thinking about how tired we will be the following morning. The cycle continues until we exist in a perpetual state of exhaustion, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Dr. Gail Gazelle MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Master Certified Coach for physicians, offers insight on how insomnia can be harmful to people in many ways, and how practicing mindfulness can help us improve our relationship with sleep.

Insomnia affects 30-60% of adults, and is estimated to cost the US economy $63.2 billion per year. At the same time, the US sleep industry nets ~$28 billion/year and yet the problem, for many, persists. Sleep is critically important for all of us, as it has wide-reaching impact on brain, cardiac, and immune function, risk of obesity and diabetes, as well as emotional regulation, and overall well-being. Mindfulness can be a powerful alternative to medications, and numerous studies demonstrate that simple mindfulness techniques can greatly improve sleep,” says Dr. Gail Gazelle 

Here are Dr. Gazelle’s top 3 reasons for why mindfulness can improve sleep 

Reason #1: When we’re having difficulty sleeping, it is often because our body needs rest but our mind is overly active.
Too often, we lie in bed feeling exhausted, yet our mind is busy reviewing the events of the day, rehashing arguments, or planning for the future. With mindfulness, we learn how to quiet the mind, thus allowing the body to get the rest it needs.

Reason #2: Decreases entanglement with emotional stimuli
In addition to the busy mind, our sleep can be disrupted by unprocessed emotions. We can be awake worrying and fearful about our children, our job, our finances, scary world events, or even the fate of the planet. With mindfulness, we gain skills in working with challenging emotions so they don’t arise during the night in the same ineffectual pattern.

Reason #3: Interestingly, what we resist tends to persist.
When we have difficulty sleeping, we often start fretting about it. We start thinking “Oh no, it’s going to be another bad night,” or “How am I going to get my work done tomorrow if I can’t get rest tonight?” Sadly, the more we fret, the more the mind stays active; paradoxically, it only fuels the difficulty we have shutting off the mind and allowing the body to rest.

If you are interested in learning more, I’d be happy to connect you with regular media contributor, Dr. Gail Gazelle. Dr. Gazelle has been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox, Yahoo! News, NPR, AMA, AP, Univision, ACP, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Oprah Magazine and more.

Demo Reel: https://www.fox5dc.com/video/1022902 

Move Over Margaritas-Beer Salt For Cinco De Mayo Cocktails-#DressyourBeerRitual


Salt-rimmed cocktails are all the rage for Cinco de Mayo (margs, anyone?) but this year, we’re celebrating with another kind of salt, beer salt!

Twang is a San Antonio-based Latino-owned company that has pioneered beer salt’s acceptance for people all over the US, making “dressing your beer” a common practice. Well-known in border towns, it wasn't until Twang launched that it grew in popularity throughout the Lone Star State and beyond. 

Edmundo Macias, the Director of Marketing at Twang Partners says, “The ritual of putting salt and lime in your beer is well-known in Latino communities and a longstanding Mexican-inspired tradition. Instead of putting it inside, 

Twang combined it in their citrus beer salt and placed it on the rim of the drink, calling it "dressing your beer". Twang beer salts to add to the beer drinking experience and is especially good with Mexican beer and domestic lager. The "dressing your beer" ritual is quickly gaining popularity throughout the country” 

In 1986, out of an old garage, Twang’s lemon lime beer salt made with all-natural ingredients was born. Twang’s success has allowed them to expand over the decades into flavored salt for food, cocktail rimmer blends, michelada mix and more. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo from home using their cocktail rimmer blend, Twang-A-Rita, by making the cocktail below, a Twang partnership with B-Side Cocktail Lounge at Hyatt in Baltimore.



Visit https://www.twang.com/ to learn more about Twang and their products. 


Red Clay

1 serving


Ingredients:

- Twang-A-Rita Safari Spice

- lime

- fresh juice of 1 lime

-.5 oz simple syrup 

-.5 oz Cointreau Orange Liqueur 

- slice up a quarter of a red bell pepper 

- 2 slices of Serrano pepper

- 1.5 ounces reposado tequila

- dehydrated lime wheel  


1) First pour Twangarita Safari Spice ( Spicy Mango salt) onto a plate

2) With a lime wedge, wet the rim of the entire cocktail glass

3) Dip the rim of the glass into the salt and rotate until the rim is fully covered

4) Add lime juice, simple syrup, Cointreau Orange Liqueur, red bell pepper and Serrano pepper to shaker and muddle extracting the pepper flavor

5) Add tequila and ice then shake vigorously and strain into the rimmed cocktail glass

6) Garnish with dehydrated or fresh lime wheel


Recipe credit to B-Side Cocktail Lounge, Hyatt in Baltimore


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ABOUT TWANG

In 1986, Twang Founder Roger Treviño left his career to embark into the food industry, where he experienced an epiphany on a business trip in Mexico. While visiting a Mexican street vendor selling citrus salt, he was reminded of his childhood growing up in San Antonio with an abundance of Latino flavors. Treviño returned home inspired to create a variety of flavored salts to share with friends and family. His first product and claim to fame was beer salt, an integral product of the Southern trend of dressing beers and other libations. Twang started out of his garage with the Treviño children enlisted to help.


If you love the taste of pickles Twang has got you covered in so many ways! The rimming salt and beer salt in pickle flavour are just like sucking on a big crunchy dill pickle!


I sat down and enjoyed a nice cold Corona with a few different salts and never wanted to continue drinking more in my life. The flavours were out of this world and you can create so many amazing cocktails to suite everyone’s needs.


I am especially excited to try their rimming sugars to make some sweet drinks when the mood strikes! This looks like an amazing way to get started:






Simply rim your glasses with sweet and salty Twang rimming salt and add drink ingredients to a cocktail shaker.

Carefully pour and sit to enjoy! 

There are so many amazing drinks I am going to try this summer thanks to the arsenal that Twang has provided me, I am very excited. 

City On The Edge Of Forever Hike West Kelowna B.C.



We love to explore everything our beautiful Okanagan home has to offer. We have gorgeous weather, huge mountain ranges, lots of wildlife, and plenty of other sites and sounds to discover around West Kelowna and the surrounding areas.  There are literally hundreds of different hiking trails we can explore every weekend and we try to get out as much as we can. 



Our latest adventure was near Rose Valley in West Kelowna on a trail called The City on The Edge Of Forever! It was about 3.5 hours with kids ranging from 7 to 12 years old. We packed a bunch of snacks and some drinks and made it up and back down without any issues. 



You can see the entire city of Kelowna from the peak and the Rose Valley reservoir. The weather was beautiful but it does get quite windy all around the mountain. We did have at least one tick on us during our hike so always do a check when your done as well as while your hiking and stopping for breaks. 



There is a vet near rock arch you walk under on this trail as well as some cool looking trees that have created optimal photo stops! 



There are multiple trails you can take ranging in difficulty,  this one was a double black diamond and we made it just fine. 











With proper footwear, lots of drinks and some snacks you should be able to make it up the mountain with your family as well. There are a few mountain bikers to watch out for once in a while as well as people with their puppies but other than that it was smooth sailing the whole way through. 

Take a look at the info on Alltrails to see if it’s up next on your Okanagan bucket list! 

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Best Places to Raise a Family in Colorado

We can agree that Colorado has a lot to offer! It is a state known for its breathtaking landscapes. Everyone who enjoys spending time in nature will be amazed by its forests, mountains, dunes, and hot springs. Whether you want to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park or ski in Vail, you’ll have an unforgettable experience! So, if you are a family with a taste for adventure, many places in Colorado will check at least one of your boxes. However, we know that when choosing a place to raise a family, there is a lot more to consider. Crime rates, education, affordability, and cultural scene determine whether an area is family-friendly or not. If we consider all of these factors, several towns and cities will appear suitable. So, what are the best places to raise a family in Colorado? In this article, we are going to present you with several choices. 

Caption: The state of Colorado is known for its breathtaking landscapes!


Our top picks of the best places to raise a family in Colorado

When choosing a family-friendly place to relocate, everyone will have similar requirements but different priorities. Of course, you'll want quality education for your kids, but not all locations will be affordable enough. Some parents believe that kids should be raised in small, family-friendly towns. Others think bigger cities offer more opportunities (such as cultural scene and higher-paying jobs). However, it is not an either-or situation. There are rich cultural scenes and good schools in small towns, as there are affordable rents in big cities. Since there are so many variations, there is no definite answer to the question, "What are the best places to raise a family in Colorado?" It all depends on your preferences and the ideal combination of requirements.


Suburbs of Denver, CO 

The Denver suburbs are among the best places to raise a family in Colorado.   

1. Holly Hills 

Holly Hills is a smaller suburb of Denver with a population of 2. 835. With top-ranking public and private schools, excellent employment rates, and low crime, it is one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in Denver. As it is a suburb, you are close to the city and everything it has to offer (restaurants, museums, theaters, etc.). However, while you can obtain a good job and earn way above the national average, it is not affordable for everyone. The housing is expensive, and the costs of living are high.

2. Cherry Creek

If you're looking for a slightly bigger community, Cherry Creek is the right choice (population 12,496). As with Holly Hills, this neighborhood has excellent schools and solid employment rates, and it is safe. With the city close by, a quality cultural scene is guaranteed. It is a bit more affordable than Holly Hills but still among the expensive communities. 

We can agree that the quality of life for your family has no price. If you choose to move to a neighborhood such as Holly Hills or Cherry Creek, there are always ways to handle finances. Be sure to teach your kids to save money as well.

Caption: Suburbs of Denver rank among the best places to raise a family in Colorado.


Neighborhoods in Aurora, CO

If you’re looking for a city smaller than Denver but with a bit of an urban feel, Aurora is a great choice. 

1. Tallyn’s Reach

It is a neighborhood in Aurora with a population of 11. 974. As it is one of the most important things to look for when searching for the best places to raise a family, we can tell you that the schools in this neighborhood rank among the best in the state. It is a safe and affordable place to live. Since Aurora is not as big as Denver, the cultural scene is not as colorful, but you can always find something to do.

It wouldn’t be surprising if you fell in love with this place upon the first visit and decide that this is the right spot to raise your family. If this happens to you, all you would need is to find a perfect home, hire a moving crew, and relocate. A reliable moving company will speed up the process, so you can enjoy your new life in no time. 

2. Prides Crossing 

This community in Aurora has a population of 13. 245. Like Tallyn’s Reach, it is a peaceful suburban and family-friendly place. It is very safe, has great schools, and it’s affordable. It is perfect for families who enjoy small community vibes. Living in these family-friendly places can also teach kids about community and the environment.

Caption: Suburban neighborhoods of Aurora are safe, family-friendly, and affordable.


Suburbs of Colorado Springs, CO   

As well as Denver and Aurora, Colorado Springs also boasts great suburbs for raising a family. 

1. Woodmoor

It is a typical suburban community mostly known for its safety. If low crime rates are your priority, it is a place to consider. It has good schools, and it's overall affordable. If you need a change of scenery and something more urban, you can visit Colorado Springs. Many available outside activities, such as hiking and camping, are a big plus. Outdoor activities are also among the best summer activities for kids’ growth and development.

2. Gleneagle

Gleneagle is another peaceful and safe suburban community (population of 6. 885). It is one of those places where you can know almost all of your neighbors. Gleneagle is affordable, with good schools and a lot of outdoor activities.


Next step: long-distance move 

Congratulations, you probably found your ideal place to raise a family! In addition to looking for a perfect home, you also have to organize the move. Keep in mind that finding a good and reliable moving company is among the most important things. Their job is to make your experience less stressful and more enjoyable.

Caption: Choosing a good and reliable moving company is one of the most important steps.


Yes, there is a lot to consider if you want your belongings in good hands! Moving companies associated with bestlongdistancemovers.com advise that you should take your time and carefully pick the company that is right for you. After all, your needs and requirements are a priority.

Conclusion

Raising a family is a challenge! Ask any parent, and they will tell you how much they have to juggle. You are constantly deciding something. Is this school the right choice? Do they have enough physical activity? Although numerous parenting books will try to convince you there is a right parenting style, the truth is, there is none. It is a combination of many. However, relocating to a family-friendly place will help you through this challenge. Hopefully, with our top picks of the best places to raise a family in Colorado, you will find the perfect home. 


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Photo sources 

https://unsplash.com/photos/PqEEJbNrvn8

https://pixabay.com/photos/denver-skyline-colorado-downtown-3737431/

https://pixabay.com/photos/residential-home-dwelling-2729098/

https://unsplash.com/photos/x6pnKtPZ-8s 





Best Mother's Day Flowers + Deals!



Mother’s Day is May 8th, and you can’t go wrong with flowers. However, ordering flowers online can be expensive and it's sometimes difficult to know if the flowers being delivered are as beautiful as the picture on your screen.


Shannon Dwyer from RetailMeNot is sharing the best online delivery services for flowers and plants, but also deals you can snag for each! Sharing them all below. 

1-800-Flowers.com

For over 40 years, 1-800-Flowers.com has been making people smile on a birthday, anniversary or Mother’s Day with lovely, prompt delivery of flowers and small gifts. This company works with local florists in the delivery area, so the flowers are fresh. Floral arrangements fit any budget from as little as $15 to $20 up to enormous sprays into the hundreds. 

1-800-Flowers.com also has gift baskets with candies and small stuffed animals, either as a standalone package or part of a floral gift. One of the best things about 1-800-Flowers.com is their selection of plantable flowers, perfect for the person with a green thumb to plant in the yard and enjoy for years to come. 

Deal: Save now with 1-800-Flowers promo codes.

SHOP 1-800-FLOWERS.COM



UrbanStems

UrbanStems is ideal for people who embrace a sustainable lifestyle. All flowers here are sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, with a rotating selection depending on what’s in season and which flowers remain sustainable. Customers also have the option to add on high-end goodies, such as Sugarfina candies and Nest candles. 

The selections at UrbanStems vary from month to month, meaning you will always find something fresh and special. Unlike other online flower delivery sites, UrbanStems doesn’t offer customizable bouquets. Still, a quick search of their website makes it obvious that you won’t want to—bouquets here are inspired by high-fashion runway trends and the latest in interior decor. 

Deal: Save 15-20% off with UrbanStems promo codes and cash back from RetailMeNot.

ORDER FROM URBANSTEMS


The Sill

The Sill rules the houseplant delivery business, with a range of lovely potted plants to suit anyone from the beginner to the expert plant parent. You can order a one-time delivery for Mother’s Day (or any occasion) or enroll in The Sill’s Plant Parent Club. The Club has a discount on plants, free delivery and a sneak peek at new offerings. The company embraces the latest trends for houseplants for something new and fresh each month.

Deal: Save 10-20% off sitewide with RetailMeNot.

ORDER FROM THE SILL


The Bouqs Co.

Another sustainable flower delivery service is The Bouqs Co. This company offers cut-to-order flowers, which means that your mom or loved one will get only the freshest, in-season blooms. 

The Bouqs Co. orders from sustainable farms and those that use eco-friendly processes. Bouquets are designed by artisan florists, or customers can customize their own. Plus, houseplants are available for lasting enjoyment. Same-day and next-day delivery services are available. For a fantastic year-round gift, consider signing up Mom for monthly delivery, giving her something seasonal and fresh to look forward to all year long. 

Deal: Get 25% off for first customers at The Bouqs Co. with RetailMeNot. 

SHOP THE BOUQS CO.


Bloomscape

Bloomscape makes it easy to start an indoor houseplant collection. Each plant ships in a lovely decorative pot, with selections to match any aesthetic. Sizes range from small to extra-large, and selections range from beginner-level easy-to-grow plants, such as monstera, to delicate orchids that require a gentle, expert touch. 

Each plant comes with how-to instructions to keep it growing and thriving, including watering and sunlight guidelines, and whether it’s toxic to pets. For specific questions, the website has a dedicated “Plant Mom” to answer questions and make recommendations for additional plants for the home.

If you don’t order in time, you can still send gift cards with a personalized gift note from $50 to $200!

ORDER BLOOMSCAPE


Farmgirl Flowers

Farmgirl Flowers sources from ethical growers, including those who use organic growing practices, sustainable plants and flowers, and those that pay their workers a living wage. For families who embrace this type of lifestyle, Farmgirl Flowers is the leader in the floral industry. 

Each bouquet is fresh-cut and wrapped in their trademarked burlap wrap (another sustainable packaging material) and delivered the next day anywhere in the lower 48 states. Designer quality and a commitment to freshness mean that selections rotate seasonally and highlight the freshest and highest-quality plants. A small selection of houseplants and chic vases are a nice alternative to the trademarked burlap bag. Special goodies like gourmet treats and a mani-pedi set are available to add on to each item.

SHOP FARMGIRL FLOWERS


Bloom & Wild

For friends and family in the U.K., Bloom & Wild offers a wide selection of cut flowers and houseplants. Cut flowers are packed gently in a sturdy box, with arrangement instructions to give the receiver a couple of different options for display—definitely fun and interactive. 

Several different subscription packages allow you to gift Mom with something new each month, so she always has freshly cut flowers to brighten her home. Houseplants in small baskets and pots are a sustainable gift and are also available for subscription delivery.

ORDER FROM BLOOM & WILD


From You Flowers

Make Mom smile with Mother’s Day flowers! Send mom one of the popular Mothers Day flowers including carnations, lilies, roses and tulips with Sunday delivery available! When May blooms, you know it’s time to find the perfect flowers for Mom with From You Flowers.

Deal: Get 20% cash back and more deals with RetailMeNot!

ORDER FROM FROM YOU FLOWERS


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