Loading...
Browsing Category

Tips

DIY Celestial Themed Teen Purple Room Makeover {REVIEW VIDEO INSIDE}

During the current pandemic, a lot of people are using their extra time cooped up at home to do thorough cleaning of junk stored in their closets, attics, garages and basements and to redecorate and upgrade existing spaces or to expand and enhance their outdoor living spaces.

I am on that bandwagon and recently, I decided to finally upgrade the drab first floor guest room in my home which my daughter has been staying in as her personal bedroom. It lacked design and looked pretty rundown.

I wasn’t going to do it alone. My daughter had to put in some sweat equity into this project. I let her pick out the base color.

[HOW TO UPDATE YOUR DAUGHTER’ BEDROOM ON A BUDGET]

When I was a kid, my favorite color is purple and my daughter also considers that shade one of her faves so she decided that she wanted to have the walls painted purple. Purple is a color or royalty and is associated with celestial beings like the stars and the moon so we gravitated to that theme for the room.

The Budget

The total cost for the remodel: $500! Can you believe that?

My first investment was on good quality paint so  I invested in the PPG Timeless brand which can cost up to $100 per gallon but gets great reviews because you only have to use one coat.

The paint has a primer built in and is supposed to go on even and smoothly so you do not need to apply a second coat at all.  It was a little bit pricier than basic paint but still reasonable at $50, after shipping and tax for the gallon.

Next: Paint essentials!

Home Depot sells a reasonably priced paint kit that comes with a tray, liner, a couple of brushes, rollers and an edge brush for about $15! That’s a steal and while not professional quality, it was perfect for a small DIY job in a home.

Furnishings and Accents

We decided to keep some of the existing furnishings  in that  room or use some of the items I have picked up from Christmas bazaars and thrift stores here and there. Pre-Covid era, I used to like to purchase items that are heirloom quality or top quality when I see them when out and about thrifting or visiting yard sales on the weekends.

For example, I got the lamp and curtains in this photo above from a consignment shop nearby for about $7  each, or $15 total and I purchased the Ikea desk second hand for $20 from a local seller using Facebook Marketplace.  It was in perfect shape!

I had previously purchased a used office chair from the same guy and he offered me the desk though he hadn’t listed it at all. Sweet!

In lieu of just an accent wall, we decided to paint the entire room purple.

The Hiccup

Unfortunately, we discovered when we were done that the deep eggplant color was too overwhelming and too dark. My daughter and I decided to balance the dark wall with white or light colored linen and decorative accents.

I got a bed in the bag at Marshalls for about $60 and it included two accent pillows, a comforter, a flat sheet and fitted sheet, a sham pillow and a pair of pillow cases. We got it in queen size which is the size of the bed in that room. Kohls also sells these bed in bags for twin, full, queen and King sized beds starting about that the price I paid as well.

We diluted an entire wall by purchasing a white tapestry linen in a paisley print to drape that side of the room. It was only about $20 and was a popular brand, Ralph Lauren though Dormify sells plenty starting at just $11 for quality linen!

 

We let the celestial print in the bedding and tapestry drive the the theme and hung accent string lights from the ceiling and framed the wall and artwork framed in white with lights. The lighting also helped soften the dark colored purple walls too.

 

DIY Dresser Update

There was dark furnishings in the room before that we moved them out and to further lighten up the room via furniture, I decided to DIY spray paint a brown dresser in the room white. It was a bit of task because I did not have an electric sander and did not put enough energy sanding it with sand paper.

As you will see if you watch my video documenting the makeover, it was initially, a disaster because the first coat of chalk spray paint I purchased just ran over the sheen of the original paint job. Ugh!

I went to YouTube and found a video of a young lady, Desia Jean,who painted her furniture but who decided to skip the step of sanding it down first. I followed her lead and learned from her mistakes and subsequently, headed back to the store to pick up two more cans of semi gloss and that worked!

I really liked how the final paint job turned out. The paint was distributed evenly and without the blotches and sheer patches that were visible in previous coats. Phew! I had to have patience and trust the process!

I got new drawer pulls at the home design store that had a Victorian look to them for about $2 a knob (or $8 total) to tie in with the purple, mystical, celestial theme I was going for with this room makeover.

Luckily, I had already purchased some framed crafty cloth art work with green and purple in them which tied in well with the color scheme.

I went to Lowe’s and purchased a lamp shade a rustic old lamp we had in the basement for about $30 and we kept a steel grey side table that was in the room before because it blended in better with the new aesthetic than the old wooden chest and side tables that were in  the old version of the room did.

Decorating the Walls

While we were shopping for the linen and accent pieces, we found a large canvas sketch of a woman’s back and I thought it matched perfectly with a framed sketch of a ballerina’s back I had in my first apartment after college.

I fetched my old artwork from the basement and hung it up next to the white canva and framed it with the star string lights. Together, the grouping matched perfectly.

We got three other pieces of white framed artwork that cost about $15 each.

 

 

Finishing Touches

Finally, we picked up a couple of accent area rugs in white with a print and a light gray one at TJ Maxx for about $20 each and found the same brands online for similar price or slighty higher so I felt I got a steal, as usual!

I got wooden letters from the home modeling store and painted it white with the left over spray paint. The cost of the letters were abour $30 and the Command strips ran us about $20 for a few packs to hang up everything.

I got replacement blinds for about $40 for the pair at Home Depot as you can see in the video, the ones in the room in the before images was beat up and a hot mess!

The total output for the entire project is about $450 and maybe a little more. We love how it came out and it is a far cry from how it looked before! You’ll see it in the video of the project below but first a few other photos:

 

WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO

20+ Halloween MakeUp and Nail Design and Art Ideas

Halloween will be different this year so you may want to experiment with fun ways to dress up your face and nails to dazzle friends and those you encounter at work or while out and about. As I posted in my last post about Halloween for kids, another option is to just do a fun panedmic-era photo shoot and post up the photos on social media to share with famiy and friends.

Find design source from my Halloween Nails Group board HERE! 

My fave Halloween eye make up look is this one right here which includes bright sunset eyeshadow look that I found years ago and blogged about and shared in a now, popular and widely shared pin.

Finally, I assmebled 20 of my fave Halloween themed nail art designs on my group DIY and Nail Art Board (click here for source) and am sharing the images below to give you ideas.

You will need a base coat, a nice top coat from a premium brand like O.P.I., a precision brush with black polish and a set of nail art tools in a kit like Red Carpet manicure’s.

Next if you have, use or collect all the colors in the designs below, you’ll have everything you need to recreate these looks!



[1]

[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

[7]

[8]

 

[9]

[10]

[11]

[12]

[13]

[14]

[15]

[16]

[17]

[18]

[19]

[20]

Pandemic Halloween Family Photo Shoot: Baby/Toddler Costume Ideas

 

So… Halloween is probably going to be a lot different this year. The CDC is recommending that parents skip door-to-door trick or treating and even parking lot trunk or treat events.

Whether you try to do a low key gathering with just family, attend a socially distant costume parade or visit a haunted forest in lieu of  haunted house, as the CDC recommends, you can always just dress up the kiddies and take photos to share on social media.

If a familly Halloween photo shoot is in the plans this year and you’re thinking of ways to dress the baby in the family, there are tons of creative ideas on the Internet.

You can go with traditional like pumpkin, a store-bought costume or you could go brave and try a DIY costume based on pop culture.

POPSUGAR assembled a list of 60+ of the most searched costume ideas and among them are baby ideas like Starbucks employee, Harry Potter, Chuckie from the horror flick, Child’s Play, and Boss Baby!

See the entire post HERE!

And if you want an easy way you, consider buying one of these:

Infant Bat Costume

Nissin Cup of Noodle Costume



Baby Yoda Costume

Snow White Costume

Lobster Costume

Shrimp Costume

 

Puppy Costume

Taco Bell Burrito Costume

image source

Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy Costume

or HERE

Pope Costume

 

Starbucks Costume

15 Life Lessons and Life’s Truths to Embrace So We Can Move Forward

When Breast Cancer survivor,  New York Times Best Selling author and columnist Regina Brett turned 45, she wrote a viral article with 45 life lessons she’s learned  that she eventually updated with 5 more lessons when she turned 50.

The article was republished in the Cleveland Plain Dealer where she worked as a columnist.

Thanks to the resourceful but not the best fact-checking culture called social media, her 50 lessons have been reposted, reshared, repurposed and remixed. Often times, in recent history, Brett’s tips have incorrectly been attributed to 90 year old model and fashion icon and fashion designer Iris Apfel. The article usually says 45 lessons from a 90 year old or what I learned at 90 that I wish I could tell my younger self.

You can find Brett’s original article here on the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s website.

15 of these tips resonated with me so much that I create a video explaining my interpretation of these 15. I recently published the video that I’m posting here:

And among them, here are my top 15 faves, many of which I try to practice daily and so they easily resonated with me (I missed one in my video):

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2.  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.

3. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

4. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

5. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

6.Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

7. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

8. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

9. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

10. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

11. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’

12. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

13. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d

grab ours back.

14. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

15. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Good stuff! Thanks Regina Brett!

 

17 Nail Colors That Flatter Dark Skin

Dark skin women nail inspiration images are hard to come by.

Before you head to the nail salon or purchase a nail polish color, often times you want to see how it would look like completely on your skin tone. Obviously, you cannot uncap a sealed bottle and paint your nails in advance. Therefore, you either have to guess and hope it comes out fine or, alternatively, you search online for images of women with similar complexion that you have in the colors in the nail polish you’re interested in purchasing.

As a person with dark skin who loves to switch up her nail color, I’ve found it challenging to find images of women with darker skin tones on Pinterest and other visual search platforms that feature fashion inspos.

As such, I decided to curate some photos and feature myself in the nail color in consideration of other women out there like me who similarly struggle in this arena.

1. Mint green or aquamarine

Mint or Aquamarine is a cool attention grabbing color. This shade contrasts well against dark skin and stands out for sure. It’s one of my faves to rock especially on vacation or during the Spring when looking to switch up the wardrobe for warmer months.

2. White

You gotta love the stark contrast of white against dark skin. It stands out as much as mint green but is not as flamboyant a shade. White looks classic and can be worn in corporate and traditional work settings.

3. Brown

With brown being so close a color for brown people or deeply tan and olive complexioned people, it makes sense that this hue complements well with their skin. This axiom is true for light brown to darker brown shades of this nail color. All aspects of the spectrum work!

4. Green

Dark green is also a complementary color to deep tan and brown skin so you cannot go wrong painting your toe and fingernails in this shade. It’s a wonderful tone for the Fall  and Winter months for those who live in seasonal climates.

5. Yellow

Sunny yellow can brighten the mood. It’s a bold color that is so vibrant it will steal all the attention. It may be too bold for conservative settings but for anyone who wants to mix up their style and elevate their fashion level, this is the perfect pick!

6. Grey

Grey is a natural and neutral shade that is still dynamic albeit in a very subtle yet classic way.  Grey also complements any skin color from pasty white to blue black. All complexions work well with grey.

 

7. Burgundy

Another earthy warm tone is wine, magenta or burgundy. This hue is beautiful and classically attractive and is a good shade for work and formal events. They work on short, medium or long nails.

8. Blue

I love the stark complement of a dark blue nail polish against the rich hue of melanin enriched skun. Whether your nails are long or short, this color is a beautiful shade for modern women.

9. Gold

You can wear a metallic gold or a softer matte or muted version of gold  and know you will look polished and well put together. Gold is an understated shade but can be ornate at the same time.

10. Turquoise

I love this shade of blue because it always turns heads. It makes me happy and lets the world know you’re upbeat and ready to capture the day. Okay, maybe that is overstating things a bit but turquoise is a wonderful color.

11. Pink

A traditional feminine color is pink and out of all colors, I think this hue of nail polish is the most vibrant for dark or very tan skin colors. You can match your make up easily in pink. Whether baby pink or hot pink or blush pink, try it in every shade.



12. Indigo

This is close to blue and purple and for that reason is  very fun shade of nail polish. In Autumn, indigo nails go well with your warm scarves, layers and boots weather.

13. Orange

Orange is another warm tone that I love. You can try lighter shades like Sherbet or mid range orange in Tangerine or super bright Neon orange. All shades complement well with melanin rich skin.

14. Red

When I think of Winter, I think of candy apple red nail polish. This color looks great on any complexion and especially on highly melanated skin!

15. Peach



Peach is a lovely Summer color. It’s light and airy and complements darker hued inviduals perectly!

16. Neon Green

This exotic color looks great on dark complexions. It is so outrageous on anyone so don’t be afraid to be confident and go brave in this!

 

17. Nude
A clear top coat or a very pale pink that resembles the nail bed flatters all shades and colors.

There you go! Go brave or go natural! Have it your way, ladies!

Get Family Organized for the New School Year and All Year

Life will be so much easier this school year of distant learning and continued remote working if families get and dremain organized. I co-sign all of these tips from guest blogger Marty Basher, design expert with Modular Closets,https://www.modularclosets.com who explains how to get the entire family involved.

There’s nothing that promotes family unity more than both parents and kids sharing in household responsibilities. While it depends on the age and stage of the kids, here are a few tips that can help children learn to be more independent in their everyday lives while contributing to daily tasks.

Set expectations.

  • Even small children can learn to follow routines and do their ‘chores’. If anything, most kids thrive on a little routine. Figure out what they can manage in terms of household tasks, for their age, and set up a chart so they have a visual reminder. You can apply a rewards system for the reluctant helper, but ultimately, the goal is to get kids to understand that being part of a family means contributing to its well being.

Establish routines.

  • Getting kids to start to do the things you need them to do everyday is largely a matter of habit. If they get into the habit of hanging up their bookbags and coats when they walk in the door, rather than dumping them on the floor, over time you will have to remind them less and less until one day, they’re doing it all on their own! The key to that is adding some organization to the madness, which is addressed in the next point!
  • Some other routines that make a difference include: picking out clothes, making lunches and packing school bags the night before; putting all soiled clothes in a hamper; emptying out lunch bags in the kitchen and placing dirty cutlery or containers in the sink; putting all school related materials that you are meant to see in a designated ‘inbox’. By having designated spaces for items—hooks for hats and baskets for mittens in the entryway, for example—you can establish routines for ensuring that items get put away properly, rather than tossed willy nilly all over the house.

laundry detergent

Get organized.

  • In order to establish routines, it helps to be a little more organized so that everything that comes into the house has a home, and everyone in the house knows where to put things. An example that plagues many families: sports gear. If you have a designated storage space for each child—hooks, shelves, or even bins—to put sports bags and a laundry basket for soiled gear, all cleaned items can be returned to the appropriate storage area, so that they are always at the ready to be packed for practice. This all depends on how much space you have to work with, but a full closet isn’t always necessary: you could carve out a section of space in a mud room to accomplish the same thing. The key is that there is a designated spot for these items and everyone knows where that space is.

Establish a family center.

  • If you don’t want your kids asking what’s for lunch, or can you buy XYZ, or what’s for dinner, all the time, it’s a good idea to establish a family center. This is a spot, in the kitchen for example, where there is a board that shows everyone what’s going on in the family. I can include chore charts, a schedule of activities and appointments (monthly), a menu plan, a shopping list, as well as baskets for individuals to place important information, like school forms (see the point above on the ‘inbox’)! This way everyone has access to the information about who is where, who is doing what and what’s for dinner!
  • Speaking of organizing, playrooms and kids bedrooms can be a minefield, but you can make it easier for them to stay a little bit more organized, in age appropriate ways:
    • For small children, plastic bins with photos of what goes into each taped to the front makes it a lot easier for them to help with tidying the playroom. One for LEGO, one for dolls, one for trains… you get the “picture”!
    • Make sure that their closets are useful for their age. For example, having some hooks and baskets at a low level for a small child enables them to hang up their hat and put away their stuffies, while you put away items on hangers or in drawers. As they get older and taller, they can take over more and more of these tasks, getting into a solid habit of putting things away, rather than leaving them on the floor.

laundry detergent

    • A hammock in the corner makes a great stuffie holder and is easy for kids to see their ‘friends’ but keep them tidy. Another option is a hanging sweater organizer in the closet: for all the extras! Clear plastic shoe organizers that hang on the back of the door make use of a little used space, but are perfect for older kids and their collectibles, card collections, or even their supply of nail polish.

laundry detergent

    • Older children need aworkspace for schoolwork, as well as the supplies that go with that, so whether that’s in their bedroom, or in a den with a desk, make sure that each child has a way to store their materials, marked papers and so on. A shelf in a closet with a basket of their own makes perfect sense for this. Another great option is a rolling file folder / drawer unit, which they can move out of the way when it’s not in use.

      [COPY THESE HOMEWORK STATIONS]

    • Get into the habit of doing a seasonal switch, where out of season clothes are sorted (piles for those that need to be cleaned, repaired, handed down or tossed out) and the ones that are being kept or handed down get moved to a storage area—a closet in the basement or garage works well for this—so that only the items that are immediately useful are occupying space in the kid’s closet. It’s much easier to put things away if there is space to do so!
    • Finding furniture that serves double duty is a good way to maximize your storage.

laundry detergent

For example, a bench to sit on that also is a storage unit under the lid is perfect for toys that get less use, extra blankets or other things that you want to keep handy. Having these in other parts of the house also makes it easier for kids to get used to putting their things away in communal spaces. That way, the family living room doesn’t look like a toy store blew up in it at all times!

Good luck, parents!

Celebrate Baby’s First Birthday Gluten Free with These Options

Yesterday was my birthday so I thought I’d reshare this old post for those new moms out here who are already preparing for their baby’s first birthday and want to have a gluten-free option. Enjoy!

I was in my generic chain local drug store the other day on a hunt for vegan snack options and bumped into an entire section filled with paleo, whole 30, keto, vegan, GMO and gluten free options. The fact that many conventional stores are accommodating people with varying dietary restrictions made me smile.

I am always sad for kids who cannot partake in birthday celebrations at school because of a peanut or gluten allergy and because of innovation in foods, they have more option.

Whether you’re going for custom cakes at your local grocers, a large heavily discounted Costco or BJs wholesale market cake, or a specialty baker, you can now request these larger outlets create a yummy cake without the offending items!

Parents may have a challenging time finding alternatives to the traditional birthday cake for a child who is gluten intolerant. However, with some creativity, a sense of adventure in baking, or a willingness to try the unusual, it doesn’t need to be a challenge at all.

Here are some fun alternatives that kids are sure to enjoy.

Chocolate Mousse

For the chocolate lovers, serving chocolate mousse in cute little dessert dishes with sprinkles on top is just the ticket. Use candle numbers and secure them to the serving plate. Arrange the individual dishes around the candles.

Ice cream parfaits with gluten free cookies

Using parfait glasses or clear dessert dishes, layer different flavors of gluten free ice cream on top of each other. You can add fruit and/or nut layers for even more variety. Add a candle for the birthday child and you’re all set.

Sundaes

Set up a table with all the fixings for sundaes and let the kids build their own. For birthday flair, you could bring out the ice cream bucket with candles lit and sing birthday greetings to the lucky child. Make sure that the ice cream you choose is gluten free. Some ice cream products do contain gluten, but that information should be listed on the container.

Chocolate fountain

Kids and adults alike love chocolate fountains. You can use fruit, marshmallows and gluten free cake squares for dipping. When deciding what type of chocolate to use for the fountain, check to make sure it is gluten free. Chocolate is gluten free, but some companies use additives that include gluten.

If the information is not on the package you can go to the company’s website to find out whether or not the product contains gluten.

Shaved Ice

Party on a hot day? Serve shaved ice in a variety of flavors. Kids love shaved ice, and on a blazing summer day it’s the perfect birthday treat. You can get creative and make rainbow ices by putting different color syrups on the ice. You can also use two colors to make three by using colors that mix; for example, use yellow and red on each side and an orange strip will appear down the middle where the syrups meet.

Garnish servings with gluten free cookies.

Chocolate covered fruit

If you don’t want to go the route of the chocolate fountain, you can get or make chocolate covered fruit. Strawberries and pineapple are perfect for dipping. You can purchase readymade treats or you can do it yourself. If neither of those appeal to you, consider using a fondue pot and let the kids dip their own fruit in the chocolate.

Gluten free Peter Rabbit carrot cupcakes

A Peter Rabbit themed party is perfect for spring or for kids who love Beatrix Potter. For something a little different, try making these cute gluten free cup cakes.

laundry detergent

Crispy rice cake

Rice Krispie Treats are a long time favorite of kids, and now Kellogg makes a brown rice gluten free product for those who have allergies. This product is also Kosher. Making the marshmallow treat in a cake shape and adding frosting makes a nice alternative to the traditional birthday cake. Erewhon also offers a gluten free brown rice crispy cereal that is available at Whole Foods.

laundry detergent

Cupcake tree

If you have a good gluten free cake recipe, you can make cupcakes and arrange them on tiered serving plates. Some moms make regular and gluten free varieties and place designs on each to signify the difference.

laundry detergent

Gluten free pound cake

If you really need a cake and it has to be gluten free, there is a great pound cake recipe at cookingglutenfree.com. This recipe includes instructions for making the cake and a recipe for making gluten free flour substitute.

Birthday cake alternatives are becoming popular for all kinds of reasons. From ice cream cakes to birthday pies, the list of alternative desserts continues to grow. If you have a child that’s gluten free, these 10 options will ensure that he still has a birthday filled with treats, despite being gluten intolerant.

Do Pandemic Mental Health Checks With Your Teens in These 8 Ways

A new study says the COVID pandemic is taking a toll on our collective mental health.

Per NPR:

Nearly a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, according to a study published Wednesday. That’s nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

And those with a lower income, smaller savings and people severely affected by the pandemic — either through a job loss, for example, or by the death of a loved one — are more likely to be bearing the burden of these symptoms.

When a population experiences something traumatic, such as a pandemic or a natural disaster, researchers usually expect a rise in mental illnesses in the weeks and months following the event.

But the mental health toll of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be far greater than previous mass traumas, says Catherine Ettman, a doctoral student in public health at Brown University and an author of the study, which was published in the current issue of the American Medical Association journal JAMA Network Open.

The impact for teens can be devastating.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens, but experts are fearing the worst as young adults prepare to face unknown challenges that the return of school may bring – from coping with varying curricula, stressing over grades, and continued social isolation from friends and trusted teachers.

In Raising Global Teens, Dr. Anisha Abraham analyzes key subjects facing today’s teens, in the context of our modern, mobile world. Dr. Abraham shares some real-world examples with practical solutions, drawing on her latest research and personal experiences to help teens thrive in school despite COVID-19 and the eradication of their daily lives.

Some  points from the book include:

1.  Stop Comparing – Remind your teens that no one is perfect. Everyone is “uneven”, meaning they excel in some areas, but not others, and that is OK.

2. Time Management – Encourage your teen to set goals, prioritize tasks, break large assignments into smaller steps, work for designated time periods and take  breaks, and use a reminder system for deadlines.

3. Unwinding – Make sure your teen is taking time to fill their “anti-stress toolbox” with healthy ways to unwind. This could be as simple as talking to trusted friends or watching a funny show.

4. Mind & Body Care – Ensure your teen is getting adequate sleep, eating well, and exercising to regulate mood and energy levels.

5.Resilience – Support your teen during these times of uncertainty and  help them to build resilience and get “bounce”

6. Conversations – Have important conversations with teens about challenging topics such as pubertal changes, sexting, vaping, planning for the future and more

7. Signs of Depression & Suicide Risk – Understand warning signs which include: mood swings, withdrawal, poor sleeping or appetite, trouble with memory and concentration, talking or writing about suicide, and giving away belongings.

8. Get Help and Support. Know when and where to get professional support  if you believe your teen is depressed or suicidal. Each city, county, state and community have resources, some free, some paid that are available. Don’t wait too long. Do some research online and get help sooner than later. It could mean the difference between life and death.

Mental health is a serious thing to consider especially in this pandemic era. Consider these tips and purchasing Dr. Abraham’s book at Amazon here!

We are all in this together.

Back to School: How to Help Your Child Manage Bullying

Kids dread returning to school for a number of reasons.

Some kids worry about returning to school out of fear for facing their bullies, not being included in activities or social groups, or both. But what can parents do to help kids build mental strength, reduce anxiety, and avoid bullies and social distress?

Best-selling author, family therapist, TEDx speaker and Psychotherapist Jodi Aman, LCSW, has a few tips on how to help their kids navigate these onerous social experiences to mitigate their negative impact.

Here’s Jodi’s top tips to help parents prepare for their children returning to school when faced with anxiety and bullying:

  1. Go over some bullying scenarios with your kids and make them come up with ways to respond to each one. This brainstorming will open their problem-solving mind so when they are in a situation they will trust themselves and be able to think their way out, rather than freezing or doing something unsafe. Remind them where to go for help at school and that they can always talk to you when they get home.

 

  1. Let them know why kids bully. Just saying that “they are jealous” isn’t enough to understand why someone might be jealous. Explain that miserable people are mean because they don’t like themselves. Go over examples from TV or movies so they understand this concept. This will help them not take the mean comments into their hearts.

 

  1. Some friend groups have cultures of drama and this may not be the best place for your child’s tender heart. If your kid is being excluded have them use their noticing skills to find the nice kids. They are always there and may be just the friend group your child is looking for.
  1. Ask your kids about helping their friends when they are bullied. Do they stand up to them? Do they check in with them? Make sure you go over these options for how not to be a bystander.

The bottom line is to be active! Good luck, parents!

Tips for Balancing Remote Work and Full-Time Parenting During COVID-19

balancing parenting and working

By: Sheyla Scaffo, People Experience Associate & Executive Business Administrator at Bunny Studio

Many parents are currently navigating an entirely new normal: Working from home while taking care of their kids full-time. As school picks back up and many kids remain at home for remote learning, figuring out how to balance their schedule and a full-time job sometimes feels totally unmanageable.

Most parents have had experience working remotely in one-off, unplanned situations. However, working at home day in and day out for the foreseeable future while also caring for (and in some cases, teaching) kids at home proves to be a major struggle without careful planning where needed and flexibility when possible.

Read on to learn how to create better routines and habits that can help parents maintain a healthy work-life integration:

1. When possible, keep things flexible

This is often easier said than done. However, when you do have the ability, consider getting creative with your work schedule to base your hours around your kids’ schedules. Giving yourself the flexibility to work differently during this time is crucial to maintaining work-life balance.

This can work in a variety of ways. For example, if you’re an early morning person or a night owl, or you are used to commuting a long way, consider working on projects during these times when kids are usually sleeping. Of course, there will always be vital tasks and meetings that require collaboration with your colleagues during regular work hours, but finding ways to give yourself time for small breaks during the day will help you and your kids stay on track.

2. Establish a kid-free zone

There will be times when you need to hunker down and complete work items free from distractions, which is why it is important to establish an area of the house where you can separate yourself from your family.

Not only is it important for this space to be free from other people, but it also needs to be free from other distractions such as dirty laundry and other messes. Keeping the area clean and organized will keep you from wanting to disengage from work to complete other tasks.

3. Clearly communicate with your family

If you have a partner who is also working from home and sharing kid duties with you, it is crucial to communicate the times you can and cannot help out during the day. Setting these expectations will allow for a much smoother daily routine.

It is also important to communicate with your children if they are old enough. Set expectations for when there will be breaks in your day that you can check-in, whether it be a quick snack break, lunch, or even hourly check-ins.

4. Utilize special toys and screen time during work hours

Set aside designated toys and other gadgets, as well as movies or TV shows, to be used when you need to focus-in during the day. This will give your kids something to look forward to and will allow for some distraction-free work time.

 

5. Don’t overwork

During this time, it can be easy to feel like we need to push ourselves to work extra hours, but the reality is that taking the time to unplug and reset each day is critical to success as a parent and an employee.

With schools and offices closed, parents are likely finding themselves faced with a to-do list that has only grown. Although many of us have now had a few months to settle into fully-remote work, that does not mean keeping up with distance-learning while figuring out the best way to accomplish your work has gotten any easier. Designing a schedule that fits your needs is easier said than done, but following the above tips should help ensure you are on the right track.

Should you find yourself out of work during this time, consider that there are other work options out there, such as freelance and contract work, that may help you meet your scheduling and finance needs. Freelancing is also a great source of supplemental income for people while they look for new full-time employment. Just make sure you choose the right platform to help you get the right kind of projects, such as Bunny Studio.