When nature calls for a big snow storm, enjoy it with your kids.

A YOLO SNOW STORM

If you are living in the northeast region of the US, there is a great deal of snow outside. Hopefully you can work from home or take the day off when a really big snow storm hits. Have some fun with the kids! They will remember this time with their parents.

My Top 5 Favorite Things to do with the Kids in the Snow:

  1. Build a snowman
  2. Go sledding
  3. Make snow angels
  4. After playing outside, make hot chocolate
  5. Play board games and/or watch a favorite movie – Monopoly? “Frozen” anyone?

YOLO (You Only Live Once) – have fun!

 

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Take the time to enjoy the lights and decor of the holiday season with your family.

Christmas Photo

I absolutely love this time of the year! It’s so much fun to drive around and look at decorated homes and store fronts in the area where you live.

The picture in this post is near my home and I wait with anticipation every year to see it. It makes me laugh and smile with a childlike giddiness!

Every year, I try to map out 5-10 holiday decorated homes in my area. If you need help finding them, either google “decorated holiday or Christmas houses” in your area or wait for the listings in the local newspaper as it gets closer to Christmas. My husband and I enjoy this “holiday tour” as much as the kids do.

If you live in the area (Garden City, NY), the following light display should be a definite stop on your holiday light tour – go to www.lightstoabeat.com for details. This year the light display includes Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Feliz Navidad, Amazing Grace, etc. They are accepting donations for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Amazing!

If you are visiting NYC, check out the holiday store windows. They are all really good this year. I can’t say I have a clear favorite – www.mommypoppins.com  has a really nice description of what the decorated windows have to offer.

These are the eight holiday windows worth seeing:

1) Bloomingdales (59th and Lex Ave)

2) Barneys (61st and Madison Ave)

3) Bergdorf Goodman (58th and 5th Ave)

4) Tiffany and Co (57th and 5th Ave)

5) Henri Bendel (56th and 5th Ave)

6) Saks Fifth Avenue (48th-49th and 5th Ave)

7) Lord and Taylor (38th-39th and 5th Ave)

8) Macy’s (34th and 6th- 7th Ave)

PS – Don’t forget to stop at the Lindt chocolate store between 54th and 55th on 5th Avenue to enjoy some good chocolate to give you more energy to keep you going.

Have fun! YOLO (You Only Live Once)!

Easter, Halloween and the Dentist

An Easter Bunny

I first wrote this post when I started my blog last year and I think it is worth repeating. Easter and Halloween – one thing both of these holidays have in common is candy. There is no way to escape it – so let your kids enjoy it and then get the extra candy out of the house! One idea is to bring it to work, leave it in the pantry area and coworkers will gobble it up quickly. You know what they say: “A taste on the lips stays forever on the hips.” Not your kids’ hips – lol -:)

Helpful tip from a good friend of mine: Schedule your kids’ dentist appointments right after Easter and Halloween. Your kids have to go to the dentist twice a year so why not schedule them right after the big sugar feast?

My kids love going to the dentist ! We visit Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City. A beautiful office, a wonderful dentist ( Dr. Stacey Reynolds) and lots of fun prizes when you are done. I don’t remember ever asking my parents when I could go to the dentist again. I was just glad when the dentist visit was over. Who knew going to the dentist could be so much fun?

Teach your children how to explore a new place on vacation with their senses.

5 sensesWhen we went to India on vacation this time, I asked my kids to think about New Delhi, India with all of their senses instead of just the things they could see. This is the list of things we came up with together as a family.

It’s been a fun way to think about and remember things we did on vacation. Perhaps you will think about doing this when you go on vacation in 2014 !

Smell: calming scent of incense in India, yummy food being cooked

Taste: the different types of food you enjoy – spices, kebabs, dal, paratha, roti, butter chicken, kulfi, mango ice cream, gulab jamun

Hear: the honking horns singing together in harmony, peace, laughter yoga, music

India Motorcycle ride

See:  multiple people riding on a motorcycle,  beautiful paintings in the National Gallery of  Modern Art (New Delhi), stray dogs happily walking on their way, lots of people everywhere, organized chaos, monkeys, cows, lots of traffic

Touch:  the beauty of the temples, the warmth and hospitality of the Indian people, the elephant ride on Christmas Day, hugging family members we don’t get to see so often

Elephant ride on Christmas Day

Laughter is the best medicine…Try laughter yoga :)

30485512f35612816cLogo 2I feel so energized today. Still on our family vacation in India and had the opportunity to do a laughter yoga session at the local park in New Delhi.

Laughter yoga started in India less than 20 years ago when Dr. Kataria (the father of laughter yoga) was writing an article about “Laughter – The Best Medicine” for a health journal. He discovered many modern scientific studies, which described in depth, the many proven benefits of laughter on the human mind and body. For more information on laughter yoga and laughter yoga clubs in your area, go to www.laughteryoga.org

Laughter yoga is a breathing exercise where you pretend to laugh without purpose and it makes you feel happy and good. You don’t have to stretch your body into different traditional yoga poses, but just laugh and do what feels comfortable for you. Good hearty laughter gets rid of stress and worry. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It’s the same sense of overall well-being you get when you finish a workout.

Parenting life lesson: Whether you are doing laughter yoga or laughing for another reason, it will lift up your spirits and generate positive energy. If you’re happy and less stressed out, your kids will benefit and be happier too. Ho…Ho…Ha…Ha…Ha…

Make it a day filled with laughter!

Take the time to enjoy the lights and decor of the holiday season with your family.

Christmas PhotoI absolutely love this time of the year! It’s so much fun to drive around and look at decorated homes and store fronts in the area where you live.

The picture in this post is near my home and I wait with anticipation every year to see it. It makes me laugh and smile with a childlike giddiness!

Every year, I try to map out 5-10 holiday decorated homes in my area. If you need help finding them, either google “decorated holiday or Christmas houses” in your area or wait for the listings in the local newspaper as it gets closer to Christmas. My husband and I enjoy this “holiday tour” as much as the kids do.

If you are visiting NYC, check out the holiday store windows. They are all really good this year. I can’t say I have a clear favorite – www.mommypoppins.com has a really nice description of what the decorated windows have to offer.

These are the eight holiday windows worth seeing:

1) Bloomingdales (59th and Lex Ave)
2) Barneys (61st and Madison Ave)
3) Bergdorf Goodman (58th and 5th Ave)
4) Tiffany and Co (57th and 5th Ave)
5) Henri Bendel (56th and 5th Ave)
6) Saks Fifth Avenue (48th-49th and 5th Ave)
7) Lord and Taylor (38th-39th and 5th Ave)
8) Macy’s (34th and 6th- 7th Ave)

PS – Don’t forget to stop at the Lindt chocolate store between 54th and 55th on 5th Avenue to enjoy some good chocolate to give you more energy to keep you going.

Have fun! YOLO (You Only Live Once)!

Holiday shopping : Buy games which promote time with the family.

Game PhotoIt’s Cyber Monday. I realize that, but you all know what you need to do. Look at your holiday list, find deals, shop online and spend more time with your family.

My blog post focus for today is to share with you my top 5 favorite family games:

1) Table Topics – set of 135 clever questions cards that ask a different question, from lighthearted fun to thought-provoking. No rules, just great conversations! (I have multiple versions of this game – I bring it out at family/friend gatherings, road trips, wine and cheese parties – it is always lots of fun and you really get to learn wonderful things about family and friends)

2) Apples to Apples – game of hilarious comparisons ( We just played multiple rounds of this game at Thanksgiving. It’s great fun!)

3) Sorry – excellent board game that is simple to learn and play, but is also fun for people who like complex strategy. ( Always an “old school” favorite. It is a simple and easy game to play in a reasonable amount of time. )

4) Yahtzee – The object of the game is to score the most points by rolling five dice to make certain combinations. ( I love this game because it is so compact and easy to take with you when you travel. When I was a child, we used to play this game at the beach. It is also a great game for teaching math skills.)

5) Monopoly – I think everyone knows this game . One goes around the board buying properties, building houses and hotels on your properties and trying to drive other players to bankruptcy. (It is great for teaching math skills using the play money, but the game can take forever to play. You can always put a time limit on it.)

During this holiday season, think about purchasing an actual board game vs a $25 gift card to purchase online games. You choose: Load games on an electronic device and have your child sit in a corner to play video games by themselves or interact and play a game with others? Family time is precious. Enjoy the gift of time. Play some games and laugh with your family and friends!

Halloween, Easter and the Dentist

HalloweenHalloween and Easter – one thing both of these holidays have in common is candy. There is no way to escape it  – so let your kids enjoy it and then get the extra candy out of the house ! One idea is to bring it to work, leave it in the pantry area and coworkers will gobble it up quickly. You know what they say: “A taste on the lips stays forever on the hips.” Not your kids’ hips – lol -:)

Helpful tip from a good friend of mine: Schedule your kids’ dentist appointments right after Easter and Halloween. Your kids have to go to the dentist twice a year so why not schedule them right after the big sugar feast?

My kids love going to the dentist ! We visit Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City. A beautiful office, a wonderful dentist ( Dr. Stacey Reynolds) and lots of fun prizes when you are done.  I don’t remember ever asking my parents when I could go to the dentist again. I was just glad when the dentist visit was over. Who knew going to the dentist could be so much fun?

Create family memories with credit cards: Starwood American Express Card is my favorite.

Starwood Card

Having worked for a credit card company, I always put everything on credit cards – it is all about getting something for spending… be it cash back, miles or in my case Starpoints.

I love my Starwood American Express Card and a lot of it has to do with the great loyalty program Starwood has. There are no black out dates, you can use points as currency and they have beautiful properties all over the world. We have enjoyed free nights or reduced rates all over the place… from a staycation in NYC and a beautiful resort in Vermont to places abroad (India, London, Turkey).

Most people spend money on every day necessities like groceries, gas, etc. If you put it on the Starwood American Express Card, the Starpoints will add up quickly. The beauty of this card is that you can redeem for free nights at some properties for 3,000 points ( a much lower redemption than many other hotel chains). An up to 25,000 points acquisition bonus gets you on your way to free nights after your 1st purchase.

If you have to spend the money anyway, use your credit card for all purchases and save money on your next family vacation… 🙂