Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Xbox Live Gamers Support Autism Awareness

There is a new website that is dedicated to recruiting people who enjoy playing video games and want to contribute to a good cause.

Gamers For a Cure is located at http://www.gamersforacure.com and is open to all gamers who are 18 and older. For a donation of just $10 USD, you can help further awareness of Autism. You can join in tournaments, win cash and support the Don Earl Early Childhood Development Center.

I am currently working to get in contact with the owner/admins of the site to bring more news to you. For now, you may sign up to join the community, but the site is very new and is only open for joining. As news develops, I will be posting more information.

Posted in Uncategorized, Special Needs | 4 Comments »

Enough with Winter, Already!

Winter seems to be dragging on this year. Here on Long Island, we’ve had a total of three inches of snow—maybe. We’ve also been treated to several 50-degree days in the middle of January and February. But the rest of the country hasn’t been so lucky.

Maine has received no less than 10 feet of snow in some areas. A friend told me that her mailbox is entirely covered in snow, and, if her German Shepherd were white instead of black and brown, she’d risk losing her every time she went outside!

Julie Fletcher has made the best of the weather by making snow angels. But at some point, you just want to say, “enough’s enough!? I’ve always suffered from a mild version of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It was much worse when we lived in a basement apartment, but even now, I’ve had it with the winter.

Five tips to cope with this long, long winter:

- Bundle up, get outside, and get active. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that boost your mood. But if you’re tired of the riding the same old treadmill as you stare at the television, get outside! Bicycling may be out of the question with the roads slick, but you can take a walk, have a snowball fight with your kids, or even go sledding. Pretty soon, all this snow will be gone and you’ll miss it—okay, maybe not!

- Let daylight in. We rent an older house with horrible insulation; we keep heavy curtains on our windows throughout the winter so less heat escapes. But sitting in the dark is not the best way to get happy. The days are getting longer; enjoy every last bit of sunlight you can get by tossing open those blinds and letting the sun stream in.

- Use full-spectrum bulbs. Full-spectrum lights, http://www.verilux.com/light-therapy-lamps/seasonal-affective-disorder often used to treat SAD, are pricey. But if you’re at your wit’s end with winter, the purchase may be well worth the money.

- Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep will make the lethargy of winter feel even worse.

- Remember, it’s almost over. Soon, the harsh winter days of March will give way to April showers and, finally, May flowers! Hang in there. In the meantime, prepare by getting a jump start on your spring cleaning, that way you can enjoy the nice weather when it rolls around, rather than being stuck inside reorganizing your closets.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Exploring Coffee Alternatives

After discovering I was pregnant, I became determined to give up caffeine. Not only was I aware of the dangers in consuming excessive amounts (and I drank coffee in excess!), but it make me feel queasy.

After enduring two weeks of withdrawal headaches, I had broken the addiction, but not the habit. I missed the taste, smell and experience of my morning coffee, and a cup of joe in the evening after a good meal.

A Google search led me to Teeccino, a caffeine-free, herbal coffee alternative. I called for some samples, but my expectations were low.

It was another few days before I finally brewed a cup. I wanted to wait until I had the mindset where I was simply yearning for coffee. Also, I was just afraid of being disappointed. Teeccino brews up right in your coffee pot, percolator or French press, just like any ground coffee.

I brewed the Original Flavor, which, the company says, isn’t the one most like plain, regular coffee, but a unique blend roasted carob, barley, chicory roots, figs, dates, orange peel and almonds. I added a little bit of low-fat milk and two sugar packets. It tasted like high-quality gourmet coffee! The orange and almond notes were most prominent behind a rich, dark roast coffee flavor. A winner!

Next, I tried the Java blend, which the manufacturer says is made “for the coffee purist.? That describes me. I don’t like flavored coffee or anything too fancy. Java flavor is supposed to taste the most like regular, rich, dark, black coffee. It did, more or less. In the back of my mind, the thought lingered, “But it’s not coffee!? Nonetheless, it stands out as a tasty morning or after-dinner hot beverage. I actually preferred the gourmet flavorings of Original blend better than Java. The company also offers a selection of flavored blends, from mocha to hazelnut.

In a blind taste test, would either of these herbal coffees fool someone into thinking they are drinking “real? coffee? It’s hard to tell. If I was served Teeccino in a restaurant, I might simply think it’s a new brand of gourmet coffee—without the energy rush or resulting jitters.

In conclusion, if you had to give up caffeine for health reasons, or simply chose to, but still crave the flavor of a good cup of coffee, Teeccino is a tasty beverage that provides the pleasurable, indulgent experience of sipping gourmet coffee—with none of the side effects.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

A New Recipe, Diabetic Friendly

I just received a new book to review. I’ve been ill, along with the children, so it has been a rough time trying to get it reviewed! The book is actually a cookbook with some really tasty recipes. The press release had an interesting recipe in it, but I thought I would share the one I tried last night. It was really great and such a refreshing change of pace from the sandwiches and other quick to make foods of the past week.

The book is The Healthy Carb Diabetes Cookbook by Chef Jennifer Bucko, MCFE and Lara Rondinelli RD, LDN. If you or someone you love is a dibetic, this is a great cookbook to have on hand. Laid out in an easy to read manner, recipes placed in sections according to meals; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts.

Here is the recipe I tried. It is really good, plus you can tailor it to your tastes by adding in big chunks of fresh vegetables.

Sausage Lasagna

*Cooking Spray
*12 Strips whole wheat lasagna noodles
*1 lb turkey italian sausage
*1 large (2lb 13oz) jar pasta sauce
*1 ½ cups reduced fat, shredded mozzerella cheese, divided
*15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
*¼ cup grated Parmesean cheese
*1 egg, slightly beaten
*¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Spray a13×9x2 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt.

3. Cut ends of turkey sausage and squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings. Discard casings.

4. In a large saucepan, cook turkey sausage over medium-high heat until brown. Drain fat, lower heat to medium and add pasta sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, set aside to cool.

5. In a medium bowl, mix together ½ cup mozzarella (reserve one cup mozzerella), ricotta cheese, Parmesean cheese, egg, and parsley.

6. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce and sausage on the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange noodles side by side on top of the sauce. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles.

7. Repeat layering with pasta sauce, noodles, and cheese mixtures two more times.

8. Top with the remaining 3 noodles and 1 cup of sauce. Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake an additional 25 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden brown.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Choices, Choices

Parents-to-be face many important decisions. Breast-feed or bottle feed? Cloth diapers or disposable? To go back to work after the baby is born, or not? To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

For me, many of these answers were easy. Breast-feeding, disposable diapers, and continuing to work-at-home as a freelance writer after a short maternity leave.

Before greener readers condemn me for my diaper choice, let me point out that I do not have a washer-dryer in my home. My husband is lucky when he has clean socks.

The true sticking point for me was the “great vaccination debate.? Much to-do was made over news headlines and studies discovering a link between autism and the mercury found in some vaccines. Later studies debunked these findings, but the buzz continued.

Then the premiere episode of ABC courtroom drama Eli Stone brought it back to the forefront with a compelling, albeit fictional, storyline.

I’m not one to make a decision based on prime time television viewing, so I delved further into the evidence. I turned up enough long-standing studies from what I believed to be reliable sources to convince me that vaccinations are safe—at least in terms of vaccinations not causing autism.

Many parents eschew vaccinations for a variety of other reasons, including religion, a belief in 100 percent natural living with no chemicals or medications, or fear of other side effects related to vaccinations. Some parents believe the human body’s immune system grows stronger without intervention, and don’t wish to cause undue trauma and pain for the child by putting them through a series of shots. Parents who make this choice, whatever the reason, believe they are doing the right thing for their children.

In many states, parents can get a medical, religious or philosophical exemption from vaccinations, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy path to follow. Parents who don’t vaccinate their children should be prepared to face legal and social consequences.

Some parents who won’t let their children play with unvaccinated children. In some states, parents may face charges of neglect. Of course, there is always the risk your child will contract these childhood diseases, facing discomfort, pain and possibly dangerous symptoms and long-term side effects.

The decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child is highly personal; what is right for one parent is wrong for another.

Should you choose to vaccinate, speak with your physician and also research potential side effects and reactions so you can make an educated decision. Insist on getting a full list of ingredients in any vaccination. Knowledge is the key to making the right choice for your child.

I should add that Julie Fletcher, chief blogger here at FR, wrote an article for the upcoming March/April issue of theWAHMmagazine, which further explores the vaccination debate, points to evidence that there is no proven link between autism and vaccines, and talks about food-related causes of autism. This Web-only, interactive publication hits cyberspace March 5, so be sure to check it out.

Posted in Uncategorized, Concerns and Expectations | No Comments »

Finding Energy During Pregnancy

The dangers of caffeine for pregnant women has been all over the news lately. The latest study was released shortly before I found out I was pregnant—because the Universe loves a good joke!

The latest study, published in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, claims that even 10 ounces of coffee a day might double the risk of miscarriage in the first four months of pregnancy. I’m typically skeptical of new studies—particularly when they contradict multiple studies done in the past—but I also find myself being more cautious with a growing baby inside me.

It’s all a moot point for me, anyway, as the taste of coffee makes me nauseated. So does chocolate, tea, green tea or anything with even small amounts of caffeine. So what can a former coffee junkie do to keep her energy levels up during pregnancy?

- Go to bed earlier.
There’s no way around it—pregnancy makes you tired, especially in the first trimester. You may have to shift your sleeping schedule to go to bed earlier or wake up a bit later (if possible) to accommodate your need for extra sleep.

- Create a new morning ritual.
I have always been slow to wake up, and my morning coffee was a physiological and psychological signal that my day was beginning. I’ve replaced that ritual with a small breakfast and some VitaminWater, savored while I read my morning e-mails. After a few weeks, my body became accustomed to this new signal, and now, after breakfast, I’m ready to face the day.

- Exercise!
Regular exercise keeps your energy levels up, but there’s nothing like a walk or a workout session in the middle of the day to rejuvenate you immediately!

- Take a nap.
When all else fails, 20 minutes of shut-eye can work wonders.

- Eat a balanced diet and take your prenatal vitamins.
This is more of a long-term affect, but I do feel more alert when I eat healthy foods and remember to take my pre-natals.

There is no safe, “magic energy solution in a can? for pregnant women, unfortunately. But these coping techniques have helped me stay awake in a world without coffee.

Posted in Uncategorized, Pregnancy, Nutrition | 2 Comments »

Hold Yourself Accountable

This has been on my mind lately. In fact, this has been gnawing at me quite a bit.

Why do some parents not take responsibility for the action of their children?

I experience this quite a bit. A person I know refuses to ever hold themselves accountable for anything their children may do. If their child breaks something that belongs to someone else, this person refuses to replace it. I asked them why they think that they should not and the answer always is the same: “I didn’t do it.?

What? It is beyond me how anyone could not understand that if their child does something wrong, it reflects on them as a parent. Most parents I know would fall over themselves apologizing, punish the child if the behavior was intentional, then replace the item. Accidents are another matter, which punishment should not be given, but a good explanation of why the accident resulted in the break,injury, or other damage.

Recently, an expensive gaming platform of ours was damaged by this person’s child. We barred them from touching it again, and the parent thinks we are being unreasonable. This person also lies, refuses to believe in consequences for any of their own actions, then wonders why the children they have raised do not behave in a normally acceptable fashion

As parents, we need to hold ourselves accountable for our children’s actions and behavior. But, before we can wonder why our children behave poorly (if they do), we need to take a good look at our own behavior. Are we setting good examples?

Children learn by watching their parents. It sounds simple enough, but some parents do not understand this. I don’t know why, perhaps there is something missing in their thought process. We all know these types and at one time or another, we’ve all been as flabbergasted as I am now.

So, for those who are not quite sure on how to avoid setting a bad example, here are a few tips. Those of you who know what I mean, smile with me.

1. Lying.
If you lie, your children will as well. More than likely, to you.

2. If you act as if you’ll never have to pay a bill, your children will probably live with you until they’re 50.

3. Commit a crime, then act like it was a joke? Be prepared to share a cell with your child one day in the future. He’ll never take authority seriously.

4. Did your child break something and you won’t replace it? Then don’t get upset when she breaks YOUR stuff.

5. If you can’t keep a job, don’t complain about how your son and wife move in with you later on down the road. He’s only living as he learned.

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting | 2 Comments »

Total Mom: Total Advice for Today’s Women

The bookstore is stocked with more self-help books than anyone could possibly read in a lifetime. But every once in a while, a book fills an important niche in a way no titles before it have. Such is the case with Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover. Subtitled The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life, this book promises a lot—and delivers.

Keeley, a gorgeous blonde with a psychology degree and seven kids whom she home-schools, is a bundle of inspirational energy. “Average? women may wonder how they’ll find the time, energy, or confidence to execute her life improvement plan. But the book lays it out in such easy-to-follow baby steps that anyone, no matter their situation, should be able to see how small changes build on each other to make a big difference.

Drawing on her psych experience, Keeley takes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and transforms itinto a pyramid custom-made for moms, building up from Starter Mom, to Basic Mom, Secure Mom, Nurtured Mom, Confident Mom and finally, Total Mom. Daily exercises and weekly plans help readers climb the pyramid gradually.

In Week 1, readers develop a vision of what they want their lives to be like. Keeley breaks it down into four areas: Home, Health, Family and Life.

By Week 2, a mom’s “basic? needs (for food, clothing, and shelter) have been met, and it’s time to work on meeting these needs in the best ways possible—with the healthiest food and clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. You’ll even begin to get your house in order, making it the home you’ve always wanted to live in. I found the home organization tips particularly useful!

Each lesson builds on the ones before it until you reach Week 6. Here, readers are urged to fulfill their spiritual side to reach “Total Mom? fulfillment. Keeley also presents tips to keep the program going long-term, to continue living the life you want to live everyday.

Don’t believe it can be done? Think six weeks is not enough time to improve your life? One of the tenets of the program is to maintain a journal and to communicate with friends and family about your plans. Jenn Hollowell, a mom in Richmond, Maine, is taking it further and inviting blog readers to hold her accountable for her progress, or even to join her in the Six-Week Total Mom Makeover.

Why not give it a try?

Posted in Uncategorized, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

Snow Angels!

Winter is still going strong here in the Northeastern U.S. and being from the Southeast, the snow each year is a treat. My children enjoy bundling up then making snow angels. I think that is their favorite part of playing in the snow. Last year we had a giant fort, complete with a snow slide!
I thought I would share a few pictures of my children making snow angels.

ambisnowangel1.jpg
That’s Amber, she has already made 6 or 7 snowangels by the time I had snapped this!

Teesie
That’s Terisa. She’s 3 and if you look at her boots, you’ll notice they’re on the wrong feet. Ah, toddlers and their ‘I can do it myself’ phase.

We came inside and had some hot chocolate after this afternoon of winter fun. What does your family do in the winter for fun? Care to share?

Posted in Uncategorized, Outdoors | 1 Comment »

Concerning the Post On Romania

*Edit*

The picture has been replaced. I do not have the authority to remove it. If you still disagree with it’s placement, then please contact the people who placed it on the internet in the first place. Family Resource did not take the photo, but this site has a right to display a link to the story.

If you feel the need to comment on this post, feel free to do so. Insults and threats will NOT make it through the moderation process, but you can feel better knowing that I’ll see them. I’m not going to lower myself to replying back to them. See you guys later, I’m off to buy some more rolaids.*end edit*

Ok, I have been getting a lot of comments, threats, insults, and everything imaginable about the post on Romania.

I have said over and over, I did not write this post. I did not remove it because it was written by another author. I did not feel I had a right to do so. I’ve wrestled internally with this, BUT:

Another writer placed it, I cannot and will not take the blame for it any longer. I am sick of not wanting to come to this blog and write because of threats that people who think I own the site or wrote that entry or the stupid ‘article’ on Romania (from the other site)make to me. The other site is a christian ’save the world’ type site.

I want those of you who keep writing me about how evil I am to have written such a post to understand, I DID NOT WRITE IT. If it makes you feel better, I will happily write a post on how Romania has improved in recent years. Just provide me with information based on a real world view so I do not need to rely on links from people who do not know the country.

Is that fair?

And to the person who mentioned I need to take a writing course, thank you for the critique. I appreciate your opinions and input. I will forward that to my editors who think I am ok enough at writing to pay me to do it.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

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