16
Sep

Self-care Affirmation

Self-care, affirmation

Self-care Affirmation

Self-care is loving myself enough to not feel responsible for others.                          I am celebrating the person responsible for herself.
 
Additional information about Children & Affirmations is available at this website where more detailed informations and applications of affirmations can be used and applied for you and your child.
 
There are also Daily Affirmations available where this affirmation and others have been adapted for both parent and child.

 

Lastly, 101 Best Louise Hays Affirmations of All Time is an excellent resource.
 
12
Dec

Best Christmas TV Show Guide

Christmas, Christmas TV, 25 Days of Christmas, tv guide, Christmas TV Guide, show, family time, family fun, Chirstmas TV Shows, holidays, family, family time, movies, Netflix,
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Christmas Television Shows - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Best Christmas TV Variety 2018

The best Christmas TV shows are a great time for family time. There are multiple opportunities to get together, share, and talk about family values and learn some valuable life lessons while watching them.  There are many options to choose from: Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas, ABC, NBC, Disney Channel, Hallmark channel's Countdown to Christmas, AMC, Lifetime & even Netflix has stunning Christmas original programming!  With so many options, where do you start?  Which are age appropriate?  Moreover, Common Sense Media does great review that includes their recommendations for age appropriate viewing.  Therefore, I've included those links for many of the best Christmas TV shows and movies below.  Here's my guide!       

Netflix

The Christmas Chronicles

Netflix

Netflix

I'm going to start by telling you our first watched Christmas TV show for 2018.  I happened to see Netflix had a new Christmas show called The Christmas Chronicles starring a very entertaining Kurt Russel as Santa Claus.  I figured we'd take a chance with something new.   Plus it was an older brother & younger sister story.  Frankly, this was right up our alley as that is exactly our household sibling dynamic.  We LOVED it!  Why?  For instance, Santa rocks in the jailhouse while he has the brother-sister duo help save the very Christmas that they accidentally set on a course to be the Christmas that might not happen!  These siblings helping Santa while coming to some personal revelations about growing up & making us laugh along the way. 

Angela's Christmas

Then, there's Angela's Christmas.  It's a tear jerker about the family, loss, poverty & the chaos created when a little girl tries to warm the Baby Jesus, taking it from the church.  She had good intentions, but things go awry.  Above all, her family is there to help and support her.  My little girl really loved this one.  That is to say, she connected with special little Angela's her big heart and fierce determined personality.  

Other Netflix Christmas TV Originals

Likewise, some other entertaining Netflix originals include The Princess Switch and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding.  

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas

Above all, Freeform has the best Christmas TV show schedule that is includes Christmas movies too!  I really like that there is a great variety of non-Christmas shows & movies.  They are shown on the Freeform Channel, ABC & the Disney Channel.  What programming do they offer?  Here's a sampling with some of our family's favorites!  On December 11, 2018 they are showing Mickey's Once Upon a ChristmasMickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, & Disney's A Christmas Carol.  On December 12, 2018, there are some repeats & a few different options such as Call Me Claus, Deck the Halls & The Santa Clause.  To sum it up, their schedule is great with a lot of variety aside from the Holidays, such as Disney's Finding Nemo, Brave & Tangled.  The whole family has an opportunity to pick a couple of favorites.  

ABC

Elsa & Anna, Best Christmas movie, Olaf's Frozen Adventure, Christmas TV show

Elsa & Anna

ABC has their Christmas TV show  schedule that includes some very special kid shows that are great to re-watch.  Here's a sampling are some of my family's favorites!  On December 19, 2018, the Disney geek in me is happy to see Olaf's Frozen Adventure!  There will also be Dreamworks' Shrek the Halls.  On December 20, 2018 there will be the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas.  On December 23, 2018, they will air Disney's Prep & Landing and Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice.  To sum it up, I  can't resist those two elves.  One is funny & anxiety ridden & the other a bit of a daredevil in my opinion!                                                                          

NBC

It's a Wonderful Life, Christmas movie, family time

It's a Wonderful Life

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another absolute best Christmas TV show that NBC is scheduled to air on Christmas Day! To be honest, we own the cartoon original & the movie.  As a child, I was scared of the Grinch.  Then, my son came along.  As a result, I love the Grinch now.  Therefore, we plan to go see The Grinch movie soon too!  On December 24, 2018, NBC will also air It's a Wonderful Life.  This is the best Christmas show in Black & White.  And it never gets old!  It teaches so much about life, love, struggle, self-worth, self belief, community & that one person really makes a HUGE difference in so many unknown ways.  I grew up watching this one.  

Tampa Theatre

Ultimately, this year we're going to watch It's a Wonderful Life at the Tampa Theatre with showtimes are from Friday, December 14th through Thursday December 20th.  The Tampa Theatre is a wonderful experience is known as Tampa's Non-Profit Movie Palace & a National Historical Landmark.  My kids haven't been there yet, so this will be an extra special magical treat.   

AMC

Elf, Christmas movie, family time

Elf

This year, AMC has achieved a great trifecta!  They are exclusively showing ElfNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, & The Polar Express.  My family favorite filled with the magical ride to the North Pole is definitely The Polar ExpressElf is one of the best Christmas TV movie comedies that makes me laugh and laugh!  AMC has a Christmas movie lineup of over 40 movies sure to satisfy the Christmas movie fan!                                                                                                                                                    

Hallmark & Lifetime Original Movies

Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas lineup does not disappoint either!  They have a Christmas movie lineup of 22 new original movies!  Lifetime's Christmas movie lineup has 14 new original movies!   While I wouldn't call these the best Christmas TV shows, I would say they have some ice entertainment value.  In addition, they are family friendly which is a plus!

The Original Christmas Specials

Rudolph, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Christmas movie, family time

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Three of the best Christmas TV shows are Rudolph the Red Nosed ReindeerSanta Claus Is Comin' To Town (on Freeform Christmas lineup) & Frosty the Snowman.  A classic, Rudolph is the longest running Holiday special in TV history, broadcasting for 54 years!  I loved these every year since I was a little girl.  It was always special because I didn't get a chance to spend much time with my dad since he worked nights.  Christmas movies with my dad will never be forgotten!  They give my inner child a special warmth and a lifetime memories.      

FX

Christmas movie, Rise of the Guardians

Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians is another one of the best Christmas TV movies.  However, it seems the FX channel is the only one playing it.  Magic is in the air when Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth FAiry, the Sandman and Santa Claus need to save the world from Pitch Black, the Boogeyman, who is the nightmare maker.  Will the children still believe?  There are scary parts for the little ones.  Consider this before allowing to children to watch.  However, at the coreof the movie is Jack's search for his center  Santa's is his sense of wonder.  While watch, it made each of us think, 'What's my center?'

Family Time

In conclusion, what matters most about Christmas TV shows & movies is not just their content or quality.  Most importantly, too much TV is not a good thing.  Certainly, a few good shows is all it takes to have some memories & some good times.  The family time is the best part!  We have movie nights with popcorn, blankets, and all lights off, except for the Christmas tree. How do you create Christmas TV & movie memories?  Do you still believe?  While you're at it ... What's your center?  Please share it with yourself, your loved ones, and here as well.

18
Nov

Healthy Eating & Steps at Holidays

Thanksgiving healthy eating, teps, active, fit

Thanksgiving Steps & Eating Photo by Element5Digital

Healthy Eating & Steps During Holidays are important during Thanksgiving.  This is a time for eating and family, so it's important to be healthy on this holiday too!  Many people are trying to have a healthier lifestyle.  Then, Thanksgiving comes along and seems to ruin it all.  Then, before you know it, you're making yet another New Year's resolution to lose weight.  So how about starting your New Year's resolution early?  And how about not focusing on weight loss?  Rather, focus on your steps and healthy eating.

Tips on Staying Fit & Healthy Eating

Be Thankful

Extra Steps & Healthy Eating is great to remember on Thanksgiving.  Also, being thankful helps us to savor the food at a good pace.  The slower you eat, the sooner you'll feel full.  A Thanksgiving Affirmation will help you to remember how to be thankful on Thanksgiving.

Drink Water

Water helps your stomach feel full.  In addition, sometimes we feel hungry, meanwhile we are actually thirsty.  Our body will confuse thirst for hunger.  In addition, holiday time can mean eating rich foods and drinking alcohol, all of which has lots of calories.  Water helps flush out a lot of preservatives & sodium from our system.  Remember to drink lots of water every day you indulge.

4 Ways to Squeeze in More Steps Over the Holidays:

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/4-ways-to-squeeze-in-more-steps-over-the-holidays

“A Stumble May Prevent a Fall”

Author Gretchen Rubin cites this as one trap that can send you into a cycle of negative thinking.  In other words, if you slipped up or had a day where healthy eating wasn't the priority, then you may be hard on yourself.  You may give yourself a harder time, ignoring all the good healthy steps and eating you have done.  So, don't forget the good.  Don't let a slip up erase all the good habits you have accomplished, formed, or develeoped.  A slip up is just that,  a slip up.  It doesn't have to be a slide or downward spiral.  In fact, the slip up may make you feel physically uncomfortable, thereby reminding you to go back to your good habits.  

Ways to Add More Steps to Your Day

  1. Set a Reminder to Walk – If you can add 15 min of walking during lunch & after work, then you’d be surprised at many extra steps you add into your week.
  2. Walk & Talk – Make a phone call during your walk time.  You’d be amazed at how quickly your walking time flies by, allowing you even to add extra steps too!
  3. Walk & Listen – While walking, download a podcast, an audiobook, etc.
  4. Walk Wherever You Can – Park the car farther away when you shop, pick up kids, run errands, etc.
  5. Partner Up – Walk with a Walking Buddy.
  6. Walk During Commercials – Walk around the room, the house, etc until the commercials are over.  You will gain steps & not be a coach potato.
  7. Make Things Inconvenient – Return the shopping cart to the store.  Skip the drive-thru.  Take the stairs.
  8. Cook – Standing & moving around while cooking burns calories.  Add steps in the kitchen while waiting for that water to boil, oven timer or the microwave timer to go off.  You’ll save money by eating at home.
  9. Clean – Even everyday household chores will add steps every time.  And your home will be cleaner

 

Cooking Healthy Sides

There are many ways that sides can add a lot of calories.  All the starches, all the butter, all the extra yummy pies - all add extra calories.  Try these tasty sides that are each under 250 calories.  They're a healthy and tasty alternative, especially if you're going for sceonds!

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/13-thanksgiving-sides-under-250-calories/

16
Apr

Test Anxiety Strategies

Are There Test Anxiety Strategies That Can Help?

test anxiety strategies, relaxation techniques, test anxiety, relaxation, guided meditation, affirmations

Test Anxiety Strategies - Photo by Tim Gouw

Yes!  There are many test anxiety strategies on how to deal with test anxiety.  First, I'm going to review the causes, the symptoms,  and who gets it before I discuss what test anxiety strategies to use for managing test anxiety.

 

What is Test Anxiety?

Test anxiety is a feeling someone gets before or during test taking.  It is a type of performance anxiety, that occurs when someone is typically concerned about getting a good outcome.  The result is physical and psychological symptoms that occur before or during tests.  Test anxiety can negatively affect learning and performance.  The good news is there are test anxiety strategies on how to deal with it.  

 

What Causes Test Anxiety?

It is caused by fear of failure, poor test preparation and/or problematic test taking history.  There is pressure to perform at your best level.  This can motivate the test taker.  However, it may also create fear of failure.  Good test preparation is important for a good test result.  It is also important to prevent test anxiety.  A calm test taker tends to know they've studied to the best of their ability.  They also tend to have studied over time, and not in just a few days or at the last-minute.  If the test taker has had a history of negative experiences with test or poor grades on test, this can also cause anxiety on future tests.

 

What Are Symptoms of Test Anxiety?

Symptoms are physical, emotional, and/or behavioral.  They range from mild or very intense. 

 

The physical symptoms may include: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fast heart rate, fast breathing rate, feeling like you can't breathe.  If the anxiety is severe enough, a panic attack may occur.  When someone is having a  panic attack, it is generally very debilitating.  A panic attack can make a person feel paralyzed internally or externally, like they can't move, can't talk, & they may feel like they're having a heart attack.

 

The emotional symptoms may include crying, feeling fear, feeling sadness, and helpless.

 

The behavioral symptoms may include negative self talk, inability to think clearly, and inability to function.

 

Who Gets Test Taking Anxiety?

  • Worriers - If your child has a tendency to worry, he/she is more likely to suffer from test anxiety. Even if your child is prepared, your child's worrying could cause test taking anxiety.
  • Perfectionists - If your child aims for self perfection, then he/she is more likely to suffer from test anxiety.  Even if your child does wll in school, the very thought of getting questions wrong, or getting less than an A, leads the perfectionist to have test taking anxiety.
  • Unprepared People - If your child has not learned the subject matter, not practiced with classwork/homework, and/or studied the material, then he/she is more likely to suffer from test anxiety.

 

How To Manage or Prevent Test Anxiety ?

There are many ways to help your child manage, prevent, and/or minimize test anxiety.  

 

    Talk About It

  • Ask your child what's making your child feel nervous.
    • Talking about their feelings make children have less anxiety.  Stay calm too as this helps your child stay calm as well
  • Accept mistakes
    • This can be a part of you child's life lessons.  Teaching your child to handle things when the outcome is not what they expected will help them in life, not just in test taking.
  • Boost your child's confidence.
    • Tell them how wonderful they are.  Ask them to give themselves compliments.  What do they like about themselves? About their great brains?
  • Always offer support.
    • Remind your child that you are always there.  Sometimes, they don't want a solution.  Sometimes being a listener is all he/she needs.

 

    Review Studying Habits & Test Prep

  • Have your child practice on sample tests.
    • Having experience with what the test will feel like will prevent anxiety.
  • Focus on test preparation.
    • Establish a routine for studying and preparing for the upcoming test is very helpful.  Studying a little bit at a time, over a set time period.  It is usually better than craming it in the day before the test.  It also also for better retention of the facts.  
  • Learn your child's best study habits.
    • When does he/she study best?  Is it morning, afternoon, or night?  
    • Does he/she need breaks? 
    • Could hunger be slowing his/her learning/studying? Consider snack breaks in between studying.
    • Does he/she need to do something physical or move around in between studying.
  • Review test taking strategies.
    • Teach your child what to do if they are stuck on a test question.  If they can't answer one, then teach them to mark the question and move on.  They can get back to it later.  
  • Help your child feel their best the day of an exam 
  • Review all methods and test after the test is complete.
    • What were your child's strengths on the test?  Where are their weaknesses?  How could he/she have improved test prep?  What did he/she do that was just right?  What can he/she do again the next time?  Or do differently?  Ask them to evaluate this with you.

    Sleep & Screen Time

  • Find your child's best number of sleep hours.
    • Does your child need eight (8) hours a night?  Ten (10)?  Twelve (12)? Try to make sure they get their best sleep before tests.
  • Monitor your child's screen time.
    • If your child has too much screen time, especially at night, or the days or week before an important test can do more harm than good.

    Relaxation, Guided Meditation & Affirmations

  • Practice relaxation techniques.
    • Deep breathing 
    • Taking a bath
    • Listening to relaxing music
    • Create art.  Drawing and/or coloring is fun and relaxing.
    • Play a board game that's fun with the family the day before the exam.
    • Watch a funny movie with your child.  Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.
  • Use Guided Meditation.
    • I recommend and use, I Am Peace, by Susan Verde.  This is a wonderful book.  It is geared for children.  I think it's a great book for any age.  The last page has a Guided Meditation.  I've read this out loud to my son while he is lying down with his eyes closed.  I must say that both he and I are relaxed at the end, every time.
    • The Balloon
    • Follow the Leader
  • Use Affirmations
9
Apr

E-Cigarette Cancer & Juuling in Teens

What Are E-Cigarettes (E-Cigs)?

E-Cigarette Cancer Increased in Teens unsafe

E-Cigarette Cancer Increased in Teens

E-cigarette cancer chemicals have increased in teens.  Before we get into the details, let's review the background of E-cigarettes.  E-cigs are electronic cigarettes that have liquids that contain many chemicals including nicotine, and fruity and other flavors.  They are battery-powered and mimic cigarettes, but don't have the smell of smoke.  The liquid changes into a vapor due to the heat in an e-cig.  Hence, it’s also called “vaping.”

 

What is Juuling?

There is a new teen trend called “Juuling.”  Juuling is an e-cig that is thin, looks like a flash drive, and charge in a USB port.  A juul produces less smoke which disappears more quickly. Hence, teens are able to juul at school and home without parents’ knowledge.  In comparison to smoking cigarettes, one juul pod (cartridge) has as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

 

What are the Signs if Your Teen is Juuling?

The signs of e-cigarette smoking & juuling are:

  •     Increased thirst
  •     Sore throat
  •     Caffeine sensitivity - they decrease their caffeine intake.
  •     Nosebleeds
  •     Higher rates of pneumonia

 

E-Cigarette Cancer Causing Chemicals

Juul Looks Like a Flashdrive

Juul Looks Like a Flashdrive

They’ve been advertised as a safe alternative to cigarettes.  They’ve also been advertised as an aid to stopping smoking.  Since e-cigs don't burn tobacco, they don't burn the same amounts of tar ans carbon monoxide.  However, e-cigarettes are unsafe, contain high levels of nicotine, and do not help in smoking cessation.  E-cigs and juuls have many cancer-causing chemicals (acrylonitrile, acrolein, acrylamide, benzene and ethylene and propylene oxide, and crotonaldehyde).

 

Study Showed E-Cigarette Cancer Chemicals Increased in Teens

 

In a recent study of 100 teens from the San Francisco Bay area by the University of California-San Francisco study: 67 teens used e-cigs only, 16 used both e-cigs and conventional cigs and 20 didn't smoke or vape at all.  Urine and salivary gland fluids tested positive for cancer-causing chemicals in teen smokers.  It revealed that teens who used e-cigs and cigarettes had three (3) times higher amounts of these e-cigarette cancer causing chemicals in their body fluids as compared to the teens that used only e-cigs.  It revealed that the teens that used e-cigs only had three (3) times higher amounts of these e-cigarette cancer causing chemicals in their body fluids as compared to the teens that didn't smoke at all.  Lastly, the study also showed that teens who used fruit-flavored e-cigarettes had significantly elevated levels of acrylonitrile as compared with those who used other flavors, such as menthol. 

 

Is Advertising Increasing E-Cig Usage by Teens?

The CDC has reported that teens view ads for e-cigarettes more than before; the exposure increased from about 69% in 2014 to about 78% in 2016.  Retail stores have exposed teens to e-cigs the most in comparison to other ads like those found on TV, internet, or magazines.  Since studies show that ads for tobacco products show increased use by teens, it is very likely that ads for e-cigs are also increasing use among teens.

 

FDA Sued for Delay in E-Cig Regulations

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its Maryland chapter, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, four other public health groups and five pediatricians filed a lawsuit against the FDA for delaying submission product-review applications for cigars and e-cigarettes until August 2021 and August 2022, respectively. This leaves children at increased risk of cancer and other negative side effects from e-cigs.

 

Learn & Talk About the Risks of E-Cigarettes with Your Kids

 

It is important to learn all about the signs, symptoms, and risks associated with e-cigarettes.  The U.S. Surgeon General has created a website with lots of information about e-cigs and how to talk to your kids about this.  Remind them to respect their bodies and care for themselves.  Positivity goes a long way.  Talk to them today about e-cigarette cancer in teens. 

22
Jun

Faith Affirmation

My faith lifts burdens off my shoulders.  I trust in the Devine.  I will be still and receive His grace.

15
Jun

Fun Affirmation

I nurture the child in me.  I choose to have fun.  I play.  I live happily.

Fun Affirmation

Fun Affirmation:

I nurture the child in me.

I choose to have fun.

I play.

I live happily.

 

There is more information on Children & Affirmations on this website.

There are other Daily Affirmations available as well.

8
Jun

Be You Affirmation

Be bold.  Be beautiful.  Be the one and only you.

1
Jun

Unfolding | Unbroken Affirmation

Unfolding-Unbroken Affirmation:

You are more than your feeling of overwhelming brokenness.

Rise above the dispair.

For you are not borken.

You are forever unfolding.

Gradually, slowly, wonderfully, and magically,

you unfold every day into someone uniqu, new, and powerful.

 

There is more information on Children & Affirmations on this website.

There are other Daily Affirmations available as well.

15
Jan

I Am Everything Affirmation

I Am Everything Affirmation

I Am Everything Affirmation
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