Is Your Teen Sexting?


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                   Just Say No to Sexting

Is your teen sexting or participating in the “hook up culture”?  Statistics show that 22% of teen girls and 20% of teen boys have sent nude or seminude photos of themselves over the Internet or their phones.  Why, they don’t think about the repercussions.  They want to show off their bodies.  Thinks about it, girls today are built like brick houses.  They want to entice the guys
they’re attracted to or they think they’re proving that they’re committed to the young man they’re dating.  In reverse, boys think it’s cool to approach girls via text using sexually graphic content.  Social grace is nonexistent.  There are sites set-up to give examples of how to send a sexting message. 

Times have changed and Teens are Sexting.  We live in a world that revolves around modern technology and it’s here to stay.  The teens don’t realize that the person they sent the picture or text to is now in possession of material that can prove damaging down the road.  Too many times we have heard about the text or image being sent to others or being posted on a social networking site.  Once it’s sent, you can’t retrieve it.  Both teenage boys and girls have forwarded the images to others.  They in turn have passed the image on which has lead to humiliation in school, parties or other social situations.  It’s hard to undo the damage.  If it’s not misused immediately, it can be used to damage the person down the road.  People are revengeful.  

Many teens have said they felt pressured by their boyfriend or girlfriend to send the picture.  Teen pressure is not unusual.  They feel the same pressures with drinking and doing drugs.  Sexting is just another social pressure.  What can you do to prevent your teen from sexting:

  • Set aside time to have a serious discussion on the damaging affects of sexting.
  • Let them know that they’re in control of their body and reputation.  They should never allow anyone to pressure them into sexting.     
  • Give them an example.  A great one would be the beautiful and talented Vanessa Williams.  She posed nude in college and the photos came back to haunt her when she won the Miss America Pageant.  She resigned her crown as a result.    Don’t want to use Vanessa Williams, Google to find other examples of teens who have been harmed. 
  • Set rules on phone use.  Kids need structure and guidance and a cellphone shouldn’t be an exception.
  • Discuss the meaning of privacy and intimacy.  Would they want family members or friends to see the photo?  If not, they shouldn’t want the world to view it either. 
  • Discuss dating etiquette and what’s acceptable.  You set the rules or assist your teen in setting rules.
  • Discuss the legal ramifications.  Since I am not an attorney, I would suggest that you consult a family lawyer in your state for advice. 

                                                             

Calendar Gift Ideas


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2014 Calendar

I just made a calendar for one of my daughter’s Christmas gifts at Shutterfly.  I had so much fun going through pictures and finding ones that fit perfectly into each month of Xavier and Zarriah.  Although it’s not clear, this is the cover of the calendar.  The picture was taken at Zarriah’s Christening.  About 20 family members from my daughter and son-in-law’s side of the family attended.  The picture is a beautiful memory. 

This calendar will make a beautiful keepsake.  I’m thinking of making another for my office.  For January I selected a picture of Xavier playing in his first snow.  It was a great moment, January 2009.  My daughter and her family were visiting for a week-end and it snowed.  Xavier had just turned 1 the previous September.  I had a great time watching him play and trying to figure out what that white stuff was.   

                                                                 

                                                                       

How could I leave out Zarriah’s first birthday party, August 2012, and her looking at the clown.  OMG, it was hilarious.  The pictures brought back so many memories.  I’m hoping the calendar will do the same with daughter and son-in-law. 

I’ve been thinking of this calendar for years as a gift, but never made the effort to complete the calendar.  Finally in 2013 I do just that.  The Shutterfly site is easy to navigate.  To cut down on time, I would suggest that you go through your pictures and make a note of which ones you would like to use for what month.  If you’re like me, you have thousands of photos to choose from, so it can become time consuming. 

Shutterfly is currently offering free shipping.  Use Promotion Code SHIP30.  Also, new customers get 50 prints free.  The free shipping offer ends 12/23/13.  This is a great idea for your mom, a friend or yourself.  The calendar comes in 2 sizes:  8 x 11 and 12 x 12.  I choose the 8 x 11 for $21.99.  The 12 x 12 is $29.99.  They have numerous designs and layouts to choose from.  Check it out. 


                                                                    

Cabbage and Sausage Recipe


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cabbage recipes

I love cabbage.  If you’re a fan, here’s a recipe that you must try.  Did you know that cabbage is great for your health?  It’s actually considered to be one of the best health foods.

Besides being delicious, here a few reasons to try this recipe:  

  • Cabbage contains the least fat and the fewest calories of any vegetable
  • It helps lower cholesterol
  • It’s loaded with Vitamin C
  • It’s a great natural source of fiber
  • It’s a great source of antioxidants  
  • It’s expensive to eat 

 Now that we have the health benefits down.  Here’s the recipe: 

  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pound polish sausage, sliced into round pieces (I use smoked sausage)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes  (Pull out a quart of your canned home grown tomatoes and chop) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 of chopped green pepper
  • few drops of hot sauce (optional)
  • chopped garlic clove (optional)
Melt butter in large skillet.  Add cabbage, onion, and green pepper and cook on medium high for about 5 minutes stirring to keep from sticking to pan.  Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.  Season to taste. 
Note:  I brown my sausage in the oven and have it ready to add to the simmering ingredients.  I found the recipe rather bland, so I added garlic.  Serve with diner rolls and apple sauce.   Makes about 8 servings.

Toddler Girls Garanimal Sets


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Garanimals Baby Girls' 2 Piece Graphic...
We found these adorable 2 piece Garanimal sets at Wal-Mart on-line.  I’ve been a big fan of Garanimals since Xavier was a baby.  I purchased these for Zarriah to knock around in on the week-ends or lazy days.  They’re great for everyday play wear and adorable enough to head to the mall or grocery store when you have to run errands. 

I have found that Garanimals hold up well on the playground, lounging around the house and through the wash.  This I’m so Sweet set include a fleece top and pants, so Zarriah will be nice and toasty this winter while playing with her Disney Princesses. 


Garanimals Baby Girls' 2 Piece Graphic...

I fell in love with the Double the Fun set too.  This set is made of fleece as well.  Both will look adorable with a pair of sneakers or flats if your heading to the mall or grocery store.  I purchased both sets for $7.76 each.  I ordered additional items, so I was able to get free shipping to my house.  I love a bargain, especially when I don’t have to pay a fortune for cloths that my little sweeties will grow out of in months. 

Great Find – Melissa and Doug Deluxe Standing Easel


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Melissa and Doug easel

Christmas is around the corner and Mother 2 Mother is in search of great finds.  I purchased Melissa and Doug’s Deluxe Standing Easel for my little Picasso Xavier for $57.00.  As a Prime member, shipping was free.  Xavier loves to paint, so this will be a perfect gift for him.  The easel is listed as one of Amazon’s 2013 best gifts for kids.  I agree. 


The easel includes extra-large chalkboard, dry-erase board, and easy-load paper roller.  You will need to buy the accessories kit for an additional $27.00.  The kit includes: 

  • 4 Bottles of Poster Paint and 4 Spill-Proof Paint Cups
  • Easel paper roll, chalk, paint brushes, dry-erase marker and eraser

  • The easel alone usually runs around $80.00, so this is a Great Find.  If your child enjoys drawing and writing, I encourage you to check out this deal and have Santa deliver this great gift Christmas Eve.  Your child can look forward to hours of entertainment on those cold, snowy, winter days.  This item is appropriate for ages 3 and up. 

    Free Letters To Santa


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    letters to Santa

    Stop, don’t pay for that letter to Santa.  Christmas is around the corner, and every child dreams of writing a letter to Santa with his wish list.  This year I will be helping Xavier write a letter to Santa and I’ve found the perfect site, The Christmas RegistryIt’s free.  I’ve seen sites that charge as much as $9.95 for a child to write a letter to Santa.  Personally, I think it should be free too.  I know that everyone is looking to make a profit, but off the dreams of little children. 

    This site doesn’t have a profit in mind, only the happiness and excitement of the holiday season and helping to make a child’s dream come true.  It’s full of activities for children which includes games, crafts, and recipes from Mrs. Clause.  One of my favorites during the holidays is Candied Almonds.   They have the recipe on the site.  I’ve made this recipe with pecans when I didn’t have almonds on hand.  Are you interested in making a gingerbread house?  Here’s a link to making a, Gingerbread House, the site has step by step instructions.

    I played several of the games while I was visiting.  Xavier who is 6, will enjoy the Crazy Santa Racer game.  I rather enjoyed it myself after I figured out how to play it.  I’m looking forward to playing it with my grandson.  Another game that I enjoyed was the Match Game.  Children will have to remember where they’ve seen various pictures to make a match.  

    A few additional things about the site and the letter to and from Santa.  You will be responsible for composing the letter and the reply from Santa.  The site does give suggestions to help you compose the letter; however, the return reply will be sent via email rather than through the post office from the North Pole.  Possible drawback, but remember the site is free.  You can look at things from another perspective, Santa is now technically savvy.  Sending an email cuts down on the number of trips that his elves have to make to the post office to mail letters and emails are much faster.  After all we do live in a technological world.   Don’t want to write a letter, it has a message option.  Santa can also reply with a message.  Oh, the letter to Santa is delivered directly by one of Santa’s elves, so you won’t have to make a trip to the post office or worry about it getting lost in the mail.   I like the idea of having direct access to Santa via elf.    

    There’s a Wish List section.  You can help your child enter their wish list to Santa.  There’s also a Naughty/Nice Meter that you can play with.  It ranges from 1(Naughty) to 10(Nice).  This meter can keep your little ones on their toes during the holiday season.  You can adjust it accordingly. 

    Lets talk about setting up the accounts because it can be confusing.  You must register as the adult since you will be controlling your child’s activities on the site, but you must also create an account for your child.  When I was logged in as the adult, I was unable to access the games, recipes, or crafts.  It seems that only the child can access these activities.  Since they can’t cook alone or prepare crafts without assistance, this was somewhat confusing to me.  No worries though, the Activities Area is appropriate for children of all ages.  

    All in all, I think the site is great for composing a free letter to Santa and allowing the kids to play games.   I also like the Naughty/Nice meter.  Take a few minutes to check it out. 


    Note:  This review is my opinion, I was not compensated in any manner for this review. 

                                                                                          

    The Benefits Of Reading To Your Child


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    To prepare your child for academic success, expose them to books early. Studies have shown that reading is one of the keys to academic success. Xavier and Zarriah love for me to read to them.  I’ve started a library for both.  I’m all for downloading books and apps, but I love seeing shelves full of books in the children’s rooms too.  It’s amazing how far we have come with technology. 

    I read to my daughter when she was a child.  Her love for reading stayed with her.  As a child, she loved Strawberry Shortcake, The Berenstain Bears, and any classic bedtime story. As she got older she continued to read for hours. One of my fondest memories was our book fair excursions. We would plan a day where I would meet her at college and we would spend hours at the local book fair. Later we would discuss our finds as well as the latest happenings on campus over dinner. I do believe that our mutual love for books helped to create a strong mother – daughter bond.

    My daughter was an honor student, a member of Who’s Who in America, and a member of the Spanish Honor Society. I believe that her early exposure to books helped her to excel in her academics.  Start reading to your child at an early age.  It’ never too soon.

    reading to your child



    I’m hoping that our love for reading will be instilled into Xavier and Zarriah.  I know that habit must be taught, and it starts at home.  It’s a great way for toddlers to learn word associations.  I ask Zarriah, who is 2, to point to cars, ice cream or whatever happens to be on the page.  She loves both hardback and books on the computer.  Xavier, who is 6, still loves for Mawmaw to read to him.  He’s now reading to me as well  now.  Here, he’s reading his iPad.  We also download books to his Kindle.   

    early childhood development

    We’ve taught Xavier how to access various sites on the computer.  He’s astute at navigating the notebook, laptop, Kindle and iPad.  Zarriah mimics everything her big brother does.  He has taught her the ABC’s, she can count to 10, and she knows various colors.  Our preemie has come a long way.  She just turned 2.  

    Other Benefits of Reading to Your Child:

    • Reading together creates a bond.
    • Reading helps to build a child’s vocabulary.
    • Your child will learn to follow a story from beginning to end. (You won’t be able to fool them if you try to skip pages. If it’s one of their favorite stories, they will know it by heart).
    • Your child will have an appreciation for writing.
    • Builds a strong foundation for academics.

    Reading Tips:

    • Start reading to your child as early as 6 months.
    • Select reading material that interest your child and is appropriate to his/her age group. Toddlers love bright colors and books that are simple.  Board books are perfect.
    • Use different voices and pitches (vary your tone) when you read. Young children usually prefer to hear the same story over and over.
    • Purchase a personalized book for your child. They love reading about themselves.  I had a personalized book made for both Zarriah and Xavier.
    • PBS has great programs where they focus on words, spelling, and their meaning. Check out you TV Guide for time slots and programs.
    • Have your child turn the page when you’re reading paper or hard back book. This gets them involved.
    • Allow your child to ask questions, and be sure to ask your child questions about the story.
    • Allow your child to select books from his or her age group.  This will work with buying in a store or downloading. 
    • Take them to the local library for story hour.
    • Set an example. If your child sees you reading, they will follow.  I read my Kindle while my Xavier is reading his Kindle or iPad.   
    • Don’t substitute books on tape. The true bonding experience and benefits come from you taking the time to read to your child.


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    Girls Holiday Hair Styles

    With holidays on the horizon, you and your brood have plenty
    of parties to attend, and you know what that means—picture time! This holiday
    season, it’s easy to keep your little angel looking cute, coifed and
    camera-ready with simple yet stylish hair looks from Cozy
    Friedman, author of Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls’
    Hair
    .

    The French Braid Headband

    Besides being a great fuss free style, this braided band
    makes its own accessory. Girls can wear it with their hair hanging down in back,
    or with a ponytail. Complete this look for the holidays with fun beads or
    barrettes.

     

    The French Braid Headband

     

    Props:

    Wide-tooth comb
     
    Fine-tooth comb

    Ponytail holders

    Jaw clip

    Decorative bobby pins

     

    Step 1: Start with damp hair (either towel –dried or
    misted) and use a wide-tooth comb to detangle the hair.

    Step 2: Use a fine-tooth comb to draw a horizontal
    line across the crown from the top of one ear to the top of the other ear. From
    the line, comb the hair forward to the face. Pull the hair in back of the line
    into a ponytail holder or jaw clip so it stays out of your way.

    Step 3: Choose which ear you want the braid to start
    from. Tilt the head so the ear you’ve chosen is facing up toward the ceiling.
    With your child’s ear tilted up, being making the braided headband using the
    hair in front of the part.

    Step 4: Once you’ve reached the other ear, secure the
    braid with a ponytail holder. If you like, tuck it behind the ear and pin it in
    place with a few bobby pins. Remove the ponytail holder or jaw clip use in Step
    2 and style as you like. Finish by adding sparkly or decorative hairpins through
    different parts of the braid.

     
    The Heart Braid

    This is a
    must-have look for the holidays. To really make this look extra special add a
    clip to the end of the heart that coordinates your child’s holiday outfit. You
    can also use a colorful ponytail holder at the end or add decorative beads in
    the braid.

     

    The Heart Braid Compressed

    Props:

    Wide-tooth comb

    Fine-tooth comb

    Decorative hair clip

    Ponytail
    holders

     
    Step
    1: Starting with damp hair (either
    towel-dried or misted), use a wide-tooth comb to detangle the hair.  Then, using
    a fine-tooth comb, part the hair down the middle of the head.  Clip one side up
    right above the ear.

    Step
    2: On the other side of the part, use the
    fine comb to gather a thin section of hair from the crown.  This section should
    measure about 2 inches from the hairline to the top of the
    head.

    Step
    3: Divide this section into three, and
    begin a French braid starting at the crown and curving toward the temple, then
    toward the back of the head, like the top lobe of a heart.  You will be lifting
    hair into the braid only from this side of the part.  Leave no loose hair in
    front of the ears.

    Step
    4: When you reach the center part at the
    back of the head, secure the braid with a ponytail holder.  If the hair is very
    long, end the braid about midear; the ends will hang down the
    back.

    Step
    5: Unclip the hair on the other side of
    the part and repeat the process.  Secure with a ponytail
    holder.

    Step
    6: Join the ends of the braids together in
    the back with a decorative bow or ponytail holder to form the bottom point of
    the heart.
    Cozy Friedman is the creator of the So Cozy product line and
    founder of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids. She is an expert authority on cool,
    childhood style
    and recognizes – and celebrates – that children today are
    more style-conscious than ever. Decades ago, getting a child to take a bath was
    a challenge but now, thanks to places like Cozy’s Cuts for Kids and
    product lines such as So Cozy, children are embracing grooming from a
    very young age
    . Cozy has coined this trend the “metro mini”
    phenomenon
    and believes that encouraging it in a healthy way allows
    children to be expressive and self-confident
    .

     




    Boo – Happy Halloween!

    My adorable Minnie Mouse and Ninja.  Happy Halloween from my family to yours. 
                                                                                 

    Fabulicious Finds – Sports Tees for Boys


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    I’ve been a big fan of Boscov’s Department Store for the past six years.  I started shopping on this site when my grandson was born and I’m still finding great buys.  I like quality at a good price, and I’ve always been able to find it at Boscov’s. 


    My grandson is transitioning from Nick Jr. characters to name brand sports apparel.  Yep, at the ripe old age of 6.  What does a parent do, accommodate him.  I do, because I shop for quality items in my price range and I’ve always been able to find what I’m looking for. 

    I love Boscov’s because they offer fast shipping, their site always has items on sale, and they offer quality products.  I ordered 5 tees for my grandson all at half price, and he loved them.    Two are shown.  The market is flooded with adorable items for little girls, but shopping for boys can be difficult, especially if you’re looking for stylish items.

    My grandson is playing flag football and basketball now.  These tees where a great boost for him, and he sees them as being cool.  They’re made by Addias, so they’re quality items.  He loved the graphics and messages on the tees, Bring the Noise and Dominate the Game.  The other have Undefeated, Built to Win and Respect the Game. 

    Cool and affordable!  My kind of shopping.  If you haven’t checked out Boscov’s for your son or grandson’s apparel, you must pay them a visit.  The have soccer and baseball tees available as well.  I’m sure you’ll find a deal that you will love too.  Where do you find stylish clothing for your son/grandson?  Please leave us a comment so we can share with other readers.