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Reasons a Pet is Actually Good for Your Child’s Health (INFOGROPHIC)

By Emily Parker, Catological.com

When your children come to you asking for a pet, don’t turn them down so quickly. While it takes plenty of time and effort to care for a furry family member, more and more scientific evidence is beginning to point out the numerous benefits our four-legged family members give our kids.

For starters, let’s look at how owning pets will make your kids more confident and responsible. Based on studies from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, owning a pet that shows them unconditional love and support gives kids the confidence to try new activities as well as make new friends. Along with this, taking care of their pets each day by feeding, cleaning, and playing with them teaches kids the importance of keeping a daily schedule, making them more responsible.

And then there are the benefits pets provide in keeping your kids healthy. Based on studies found in the Journal of Pediatrics, having a pet in your home will make your child’s immune system much stronger. For children who had pets in the home from birth to age one, researchers found the children had over 30 percent fewer respiratory illnesses and over 40 percent fewer ear infections!

Need more? There are also studies showing pets help kids become better readers. By having a pet who sits quietly and listens to them read, your child will not only enjoy reading much more, but will also discover that it’s okay to make a mistake now and then, since the pet will be nonjudgmental and not criticize the child while they are learning proper reading techniques.

In case you want even MORE of a reason to get a pet for your child, check out the infographic below, or read the whole post on Catological!

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5 Tips For Traveling with Baby This Holiday Season

Just last Thanksgiving, 48.7 million Americans traveled over 50 miles or more and we can expect much more of the same this year. For those traveling with a newborn, infant or toddler, we know how stressful travel can be, especially when it comes to nap schedules.

However, for your peace of mind, Denise Stern, founder of Let Mommy Sleep, the country’s leading Baby Nurse and Postpartum Care service, is revealing a few fool-proof tips as you prepare your baby for travel during the holidays. In a guest post, Denise can share her Fool Proof Sleep Tips for Traveling this Holiday Season with a Newborn, Infant or Toddler, which includes:

1. Practice at home! Many times babies are not used to sleeping in a travel bed or pack-n-play. Put baby in travel bed or pack-n-play for naptime at home in weeks leading up to the trip.

2.  Keep sleep routine as close to home as possible to help baby feel safe and secure. If weather permits, dress baby in pajamas/sleepsack/swaddle blanket that he/she is accustomed to. If renting a full-sized travel crib from a hotel, bring bedsheets and breathable bumper from baby’s crib at home to recreate familiar sleep environment. Sing the same bedtime songs you sing at home and read favorite books.

3.Try to stay on baby’s time. If possible, try to keep naptimes and bedtimes as close to the same schedule as at home. When traveling across time zones, gradually adjust baby’s bedtime. Some parents like to travel at night so baby can sleep and wake up in destination refreshed. This can lead to an exhausting first day of the trip. If you can “tag-team” with your partner by alternating napping and caring for baby during the first day, then traveling at night could be a possibility.

4. While it is tempting to let a sleeping baby spend the night in a Once at the destination, do not rely on carseats for safe sleep. Car seat  or stroller, carseats can sometimes cause breathing problems in babies. Follow the recommendations of the American Association of Pediatrics and the “Back to Sleep” campaign by creating a safe sleep environment and putting baby on back for sleeping.

5. Slow it down – You’re on Baby’s Time! Don’t expect to have a jam-packed site seeing schedule. All the new sights, sounds, and experiences are very stimulating and exciting for baby. Baby could get fussy if overstimulated and too exhausted. Remember that sleep begets sleep. Keeping baby awake longer than his/her bodies need may work for one night or one nap, but fighting against baby’s natural rhythms leads to meltdown.

While it is nice to have alone time with your partner, caring for a baby can be even more exhausting than usual when traveling. We like to remind parents to not stay up too late too!

If you'd like to know more insider tips, want a critique of a site you've created or if you are interested in starting a blog or website yourself but do not have the time, patience, bandwidth, know-how or ability to get it done, let me set it up for you and train you on how to keep it going with my "Do-It-For" you consulting service, Visit my Personal Consulting Site and Book a spot today! 

Try This Great Way to Display Your Family Photos At Home!

Sponsored Guest Post

8x8tileprints_2

When you’re thinking about decorating your nursery for your baby, redecorating and updating an older kid’s room or putting up some personal touches in your home, you might not automatically think of using something like Foam board or Gatorboard to mount your photos.

Those types of materials conjure up images of advertising and marketing businesses that use board prints to promote. But in fact, Gatorboard and Foam board printing is a new innovative and inventive way to present images.  This material is also superb for creating unique and quality homemade arts and crafts for your home.  True!

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Here’s the deal. Gatorboard is one of the toughest Foam boards. It is resistant to bending, denting, and crushing. Nice, eh?

Gatorboard printing holds a dense core that gives it more strength and durability than a standard poster or Foam board. It’s also stable and lightweight.

We’re thinking your kids artwork could have a lot of longevity on a piece of Gatorboard. Transform them on there and place in their room or in the basement wall to create a whimsical and unexpected effect to dazzle visitors.

But how is it made? Would a DIY solution work?

Gatorboard Printing

Maybe, but there are companies that are now printing onto Gatorboard and positioning the finest design resolution on to them as well.  For example, there is Signage print. This type of print is crafted and designed to give your photos the utmost transparency and durable finish. Place a dynamic piece of signage print behind a sofa, and it can be the center of attraction to your living room, or dining room. It can be a fab addition to a nicely decorated bedroom as well.

Also, Gatorboard printing can be built into a professional print. Printers accommodate  distinct inks on high-quality paper, and use custom-built frames and in a thick solid wood or aluminum frame to make mounting on a wall easy. Gatorboard printing converts into fabulous photo mounts that are designed and printed in full and vivid colors that will not fade or damage with a matte finish that will make an impression. Look at these below:

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Cool, huh?

Foam Board Printing

Another more economical material for printing is Foam board.  You can inexpensively print your family photos on this material. It can also be used to make various arts and crafts to decorate your home. From wall art, photo frames, holiday and outdoor décor to customized Foam board decorations. Foamboard printing is the best material to make any idea come to life. It is strong, flexible, durable and lightweight and can even be used for picture frames, paintings, and wall mounting.

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You can use Foam board printing to decorate your children’s bedroom, print some of your favorite artwork in the living room for your guests to admire or even craft unique collages to display some of your most memorable photos.

You can create natural and beautiful arts and crafts by using Gatorboard printing and Foam board printing. When using Gatorboard and Foam board, the results are amazing board prints that can be easy to mount, hang, and integrated into any area of your home.

So whether you  are a professional photographer or you are just looking to display professional family photos, Foam board and Gatorboard prints are an inspiring and attractive home décor. Both Foam board and Gatorboard are an ideal and excellent material for printing beautiful photographs, family depictions, and inspiring images and passages.

They come in  different sizes and materials but with Foam board printing and Gatorboard printing you can transform your home and give your walls some color and life.

Have it your way!

If you'd like to know more insider tips, want a critique of a site you've created or if you are interested in starting a blog or website yourself but do not have the time, patience, bandwidth, know-how or ability to get it done, let me set it up for you and train you on how to keep it going with my "Do-It-For" you consulting service, Visit my Personal Consulting Site and Book a spot today! 

Here is Your Family Biking 101 Guide

bike on beach

Biking can be a family activity. Not only is it a great way to get around by cutting down the cost of gas, car maintenance and other expenses, biking is also a wonderful form of exercise.

Unfortunately many new parents hang up their helmets because biking with young kids can feel overwhelming.  But with the right setup and a little know how, biking can be an enjoyable and safe way for parents to shuttle kids to run errands and go to parks, preschool, and school.

The folks at Fix put together a great summation of how to have a safe biking experience with baby and asked us to share it with you:

Introducing Baby to Bicycle

What’s the best age to take your tyke biking for the first time? Opinions vary, but the majority of safety experts recommend a new parent wait until a child turns one, can sit unassisted, and can safely wear a helmet. They point out that there’s little research on how the bumps and vibration inherent to cycling affect the newborn brain and neck muscles.

Lawmakers generally agree. While laws vary from state to state, New York state expressly outlaws cycling with a baby under one. A number of other states and some cities require riders and passengers under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. Helmets do not fit and are not recommended for babies who can’t hold their heads up. Thus newborns are effectively forbidden from bicycling, even when buckled into a car seat in a carrying device.

Once a child turns one, parents have all sorts of options to hit bike paths with kids. (read more of the article here and check out the infographic below)



Source: Fix.com Blog
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Father’s Perspective: ‘My Daughter is Becoming a Teen and is Challenging Me’

         

father chils
                                                                                                

Charles G Hanna

Challenges force us to correct, to improve, and to grow. More importantly, they are our Higher Power’s way of directing our attention to the areas that require immediate attention. It is like a self-monitoring system that tells when and where we need to change. No matter what that challenge or even devastation is, the outcome can and will always be better provided we are in the best frame of mind to tackle it.

My daughter is turning 12 and she is starting to challenge me.

She is finishing grade 6 and has to transition to a middle school. There are many options and of course I have a good idea of where I want her to go. She has other ideas and I am perfectly fine with discussing them and even open to a different school based on her input. However, this was not a logical exchange. She started with an absurd choice and defended it with outrageous assumptions. No matter how much I tried to listen and debunk her assumptions, she dismissed everything I said without listening and just volleyed back clearly nonsensical arguments. I began to get upset because it was turning into a needless confrontation, and it kept getting worse until I had no choice but to end it on that sour note.

This was the first time that my little girl confronted me just for the sake of confrontation. Later that evening she started to follow me as if looking for reconciliation, so we had a little talk. I told her that I was hurt because she did not trust my opinion and was not even listening when all I am thinking of is her wellbeing. Anyway, we both apologized and hugged as I was getting her to sleep. I would love to say it was a happy ending, but the same thing happened the next day. Her back handed remarks became more reflexive and without thinking. I remember getting so upset that I accused her of not having any respect for me or my opinion.

This pattern of confrontation followed by making up continued and it became harder to dismiss them as a misunderstanding. I remember being very upset like my world was shaken. My reality is being altered and my serenity threatened. I was visibly upset because my close relationship with her is one of the most cherished aspects of my life. I started to become overwhelmed with feelings of loss and facing the fact that her childhood may be coming to a quick and rapid ending. Even so, I had hoped that as she grew up she would still recognize my unconditional love for her and trust me for guidance.

I was consumed by these thoughts over the following few days and became worried that I am losing my serenity and could not see an easy answer nor acceptance of this friction. That is until I reflected on my writings on how when bad things happen there is always a positive side. The only way forward is to accept it and look at a positive outcome. What became quickly obvious to me is that her confrontation is simply her exploration of independence. She is growing and it is healthy and necessary for her to be able to start reasoning for herself with whatever experience and information she has available. Being right or wrong is secondary to her need to start breaking away if she was to become a strong adult. It is time to push and explore beyond her present limits. This has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her natural and healthy need to grow. In short I started to see the positive and it outweighs any negativity that I might have felt so far.

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That evening while the friction is still palpable between us I told her that I wanted to say something. She listened apprehensively as I said that even though I was upset about our arguments, when I had a chance to think about it I started to develop a genuine respect for her qualities. I told her that she it is perfectly healthy to challenge my ideas because it is an important part of growing up. I added that I also admire her strength of character and that it is important for her development to realize that she has a right to disagree and express it regardless of whether she is right or wrong. However I also told her that while I am completely ok with our arguments it does not change the rules.

What happened next was wonderfully unexpected. She looked like she could not believe what she was hearing and hugged me. She felt her feelings were validated and I loved her the more for it. That period of confrontation passed and we seemed to enter a new chapter in her development and our relationship. We got a lot closer and she seemed to feel comfortable because I am not mad at her or think that she is stubborn or disrespectful or that her opinion does not count. She is becoming more independent and I feel that she includes me more than she would have otherwise. She is trusting me more with her thoughts and where we differ accepts my decisions more readily without feeling dismissed or defeated.

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It is interesting and noteworthy to mention that a couple of months later I was sharing this experience with some friends when she entered the room. She asked what we are talking about and I asked her, “do remember the time when I told you that I did not mind our arguments and that I admired your need to disagree?” and she replied, “No”. I had to laugh because she had no recollection of what I thought was ground breaking for her.

The bottom line is that this is parenting is all about. This was just another brick in her development. It is a good brick, but it is just one brick and as a parent I need to continue to add more and more of these positive and grounding experiences as she grows.

Charles G. Hanna is the author of Higher: Awaken to a More Fulfilling Life and a devoted father of three children. For more information, please visitwww.charleshanna.com, and connect with him on Twitter, @hanna_higher.

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4 Tips for Avoiding Couple Conflict over Money

CONFLICT OVER MONEY

Money may not have the power to buy happiness, but it sure can stress us out.

In fact, a survey by the American Psychological Association pinpointed money as the leading cause of stress for Americans, with 72 percent saying they had felt at least some stress about money in the previous month.

What’s more, about one-third of adults with partners said money is a major cause of conflict in their relationship.

Those survey results aren’t necessarily surprising, but there’s also no need to treat them as inevitable, says Cynthia Fick, author of the book “The Sisterhood of Money: The Art of Creating Wealth from Your Heart”.

“A lot of couples don’t like to talk about money, but good communication can play a big role in reducing both the stress and the conflict,” she says.

And it’s also important for couples to remember that, regardless of who makes the most money or who handles the monthly bill paying, it’s a partnership and both people need to be involved in financial decisions.

“A lot of couples simply don’t make those decisions together,” Fick says. “They don’t talk things out, they don’t try to understand their differing views about spending and saving, so that creates a situation where trouble between them can start brewing.”

Fick finds that many women feel less confident about their money acumen than do men, and so will cede financial decisions to their partner.

“Sometimes those negative beliefs come from traditional teachings that told women they were less capable of managing money,” Fick says. “That’s simply not true, so wives stuck in that thinking need to come to an understanding that money issues are not somehow beyond them.”

She has these tips to help couples avoid cash-induced conflict.

1. Accept your differences. Just because your spouse’s views about money are different from yours doesn’t make that person wrong and you right,” Fick says. “Sometimes different is just different.” It’s important to stay open to compromise and be willing to listen to the other point of view, she says.

2. Act as a team. You both have knowledge, experience and viewpoints to bring to the situation. Take advantage of that because when you work together you are stronger, Fick says. “Think of it this way,” she says. “When both spouses are big savers, they might not have as much fun. When they are both big spenders, they might put their future in jeopardy because they won’t have enough savings.”

3.  Don’t wait for a crisis to talk. Discussions about financial matters are best held when heads are cool and no major problem has erupted that would set stress levels spiking, Fick says. “You can set a regular time to talk about your money situation so, hopefully, it will be a more relaxed atmosphere,” she says.

4. If necessary, seek help. The two of you don’t have to go this alone, Fick says. If you need financial planning assistance, money management counseling or even relationship counseling, you should seek assistance from a professional. That person can listen to the concerns of both spouses and offer advice from an objective and knowledgeable standpoint, Fick says.

-Cynthia Fick Cynthia Fick, author of the book “The Sisterhood of Money: The Art of Creating Wealth from Your Heart”, is an investment advisor with more than 28 years in the field of finance and investing. Fick uses humor, honesty and expertise to challenge people to re-think their relationships to money and gain the financial life of their dreams. She lives in Phoenix, Ariz., with her two teenage children and her Goldendoodle, Buddy.

 

If you'd like to know more insider tips, want a critique of a site you've created or if you are interested in starting a blog or website yourself but do not have the time, patience, bandwidth, know-how or ability to get it done, let me set it up for you and train you on how to keep it going with my "Do-It-For" you consulting service, Visit my Personal Consulting Site and Book a spot today! 

Back To School: Hidden College Costs Parents Need to Know

 

Guest Post

college bellyitchblog.com

At my fifth and last child’s high school graduation, I settled into a seat next to a gentleman who was the father of another graduate.

When the ceremony ended, most of the parents excitedly rushed forward to take photos of their sons and daughters. But this fellow just sat there in a classic dejected pose, his hands on his cheeks and his elbows on his knees.

He appeared numb rather than jubilant, not what you expect from a proud parent of a child who just earned a high school diploma.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“Have I ever messed up,” he replied. “This is the first moment it’s hit me that my little girl will be headed to college in a few months and I have to start paying for her college education.”

I couldn’t do much more than wish him luck, but the encounter left me wondering just how many parents wait until the day of their child’s high school graduation to start the financial planning for college.

And whether they start saving early or late, my bet is that a great majority of parents focus mostly on the costs of tuition and a dormitory room. That’s understandable. Those costs alone seem staggering these days.

Just think of it. The College Board tells us that the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014–2015 school year was $31,231 at private colleges, $9,139 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

The average cost of room and board ranges from $9,804 at public schools to $11,188 at private schools.

All that money gets you through just one year.

But college expenses go far beyond tuition and a place to sleep. Parents and students need to prepare themselves for what I think of as the hidden trapdoors of putting your kids through college.

These extra expenses can be killer, especially for parents who are not wealthy.

Let’s take a look at a few of them:

•  Computers and printers. Your child may have survived high school by using your home computer and printer, but if he or she is heading out of town to college that’s about to change. A laptop and a printer are necessities in today’s higher-education world. If you are undecided on a high school graduation gift, this could be the ticket. It’s money that will be spent anyway. Sure, a student can use a computer in the college library or possibly in computer labs scattered around the campus, but they aren’t always available or convenient.

Costs vary greatly, of course. A budget laptop can be had for $400 or $500; maybe less in some cases. High-powered models can easily top $1,000. The additional problem with computers and printers is that they eventually need to be replaced. Your student might not make it through four years (or more) of college without having to buy a second one.

•  Textbooks. This is one expense many parents may have thought about, at least briefly. But it can still be sobering to actually view the prices. In some cases, a single book can cost a few hundred dollars. The College Board estimates that the average student spends about $1,200 a year on books and supplies. (Some parents probably spent less than that on tuition back in their college days.)

•  Fraternities, sororities and other social activities. Granted, this isn’t a necessity, but let’s face it. No student is going to study all the time. Part of the college experience is involvement in campus activities. Some of those are cheap or free, which is good. But some come with costs attached. USA Today reported last fall that fraternity and sorority members can pay from several hundred dollars to more than $1,000 a semester for the privilege of being part of their organizations.

•  Other necessities and extras. Transportation, clothing, entertainment and other miscellaneous expenses will add to the bottom line on that college bill. Some of those will be more relevant – and costly – than others, depending on the student. At least there is room for being frugal here.

Keep in mind that none of this means every dollar needs to come out of mom and dad’s wallet.

An intrepid college student should be able to find a job on or around the campus, whether working at the college book store, handling duties around the dormitory or bagging groceries at a nearby supermarket.

Unfortunately, those financial trapdoors can’t be avoided. But a little awareness and good planning should have you prepared for the moment when they’re flung open in front of you.

About Jim Chilton

Jim Chilton is the founder and chief executive officer for the Society for Financial Awareness, or SOFA (www.sofausa.org), a non-profit public benefit corporation with a mission to provide financial education across America. SOFA conducts free financial workshops and seminars to individuals, companies, and organizations on such topics as “Getting Fiscally Fit,” “Financial Blunders,” “Exploring Your Options for a Quality Retirement” and “Solving Debt.” Chilton is a San Diego, Calif., native and alumnus of San Diego State University. After college, he became a high school teacher and coach, but later joined the financial services industry. After achieving a desirable level of success, Chilton felt the need to do more for the community and in 1993 founded SOFA.

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5 Ways to Prep your Baby’s Nursery for Summer

prep baby's nursery

Even new parents quickly realize that an uncomfortable baby is an unhappy baby. In the summer when homes start to heat up, many parents let their young children sleep and run around during the day in nothing more than a diaper to keep them cool and unfussy. To help keep a nursery cool during the summer so baby sleeps well and does not spend nap time and most of the night crying, there are several steps parents can take including removing excess bedding from the crib. Go Mama Go designs offer up these five suggestions to show parents how to create a cool sleeping environment that would also reduce fussiness:

For starters, parents should work to make the nursery as cool as possible by blocking direct sunlight from streaming into the room.

1. Black It Out – If the nursery is on the west side of the home or receives direct sunlight for the majority of the day, black out curtains can help block heat transfer from windows.

2. Swap Screens – Another option for reducing the amount of heat coming through windows is to install specialty sunscreens on the exterior of windows. This type of screen can block up to 95% of sunlight and can be easily removed and stored in a basement or garage for winter.

Once the source of summer heat has been addressed, the next thing parents want to check in the nursery is airflow.

3. Lose the Stuffing – Cribs filled with teddy bears, blankets and crib bumpers might look cute and seem to create a cozy place for baby to sleep; but having all that extra fluff not only blocks airflow, it can be a suffocation risk. To keep baby feeling comforted and protected choose a crib guard that leaves space to allow air to flow freely into the crib through the rails like Wonder Bumpers.  They are soft, yet stay safely secured (even loose thin bumpers are dangerous) and mimic the natural design of the crib.  A light swaddler or sleep sack will keep baby cozy and happy. Put everything else away.

4. Counter Rotate – During the summer months, ceiling fans should be set to rotate counter clockwise. This pushes air straight down to cool the room. The warmer it is, the higher the speed should be.

5. Call A Pro – Clogged and dirty air ducts can reduce the flow of A/C into the nursery, especially if the room is far from the central unit. An HVAC company can measure airflow coming from vents in the nursery and help determine if a duct cleaning is needed or if the A/C unit needs servicing.

Good luck, parents!

 

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How to encourage your child to learn a second language

Guest post
Children in high-achieving countries around the world spend an average of 200 days in the classroom each year. In the U.S., the average is 180. And while time at school isn’t the only factor at play here, it undoubtedly has a role.
The good news is that as parents, we easily make up for that lost time and help our children be more academically competitive – not by taking weeks off of work, but by encouraging our kids to learn in fun 15-minute intervals. Best of all, those snippets of learning can take place during what we normally consider as “wasted time” – in line at a store, in the car, or waiting for a sibling’s soccer practice to end – those times when boredom and whininghave a way of putting everyone on edge.
With the digital devices we carry with us all the time, we can provide our kids with hours and even days of extra learning and skill-building. Researchers on mobile learning have found that small increments of academic practice or game-playing is beneficial to students by ensuring that “only a few points are made at a time. This leads to enhanced retention, probably as a result of minimizing cognitive overload.”
To encourage our own kids to take advantage of lost time, we instituted the following deal: “15 for 30 up to two.” If they read or play an educational game for 15 minutes, they can earn 30 minutes of their favorite electronics up to a maximum of two hours a day. “Despite their repute as mind-numbing toys, digital games have been shown to help children gain content and vital 21st century skills, from literacy to complex problem solving.
Educational digital games offer a promising and untapped opportunity to leverage children’s enthusiasm and help transform teaching and learning in America.” Fifteen minutes worked well to get them in the habit of filling lost time with productive play.
To get ideas for what would be most valuable, we talked with our kids’ teachers to find out what they were studying in the classroom that year and then searched for tools, apps, and games that reinforced those concepts. For example, when my son had to learn the U.S. states and their capitals, we found an app that not only helped him memorize the information, but also showed the shape of the state and where it was located so he learned a little geography. 
Younger children learning Spanish and working on their reading skills can subscribe to the Wonderful World of Maggie McNair to have six to nine pages pushed to their parents phone a couple of times a week. These humorous bilingual stories not only teach a second language, but also help kids learn good habits and fun science facts.
With mobile learning tools in your pocket you never have to worry about leaving the book at home. When done well, kids get so engaged with the games and devices that they easily go beyond the 15-minute challenge, making it easy for you to help them achieve another 20 days of learning in a year.​
Cindy Davis is chief marketing officer for Muuzii, a pioneer in real-time language translation technology and services. www.muuzii.com  
If you'd like to know more insider tips, want a critique of a site you've created or if you are interested in starting a blog or website yourself but do not have the time, patience, bandwidth, know-how or ability to get it done, let me set it up for you and train you on how to keep it going with my "Do-It-For" you consulting service, Visit my Personal Consulting Site and Book a spot today! 

7 Ways to Save on Halloween Candy, Costumes and Fun

Halloween is now reported to be the send most expensive holiday of the year! Even though we don’t exchange expensive gifts on Halloween, it is easy to rack up big bills on costumes and candy. The good news is that there are many easy ways to save money on Halloween expenses without compromising on the fun. 
Stephanie Nelson of www.CouponMom.com offers these 7 tips on how Halloween costumes, candy and fun:
1. Be creative. It can cost $35 to $50 for many popular children’s costumes at party stores, which adds up quickly if you have more than one child. With a little creativity, you and your children can make easy costumes with items you have around the house. You can also shop at a local thrift store to buy vintage clothing to use as costumes.
2. Research ideas on-line. My favorite costume idea resource is FamilyFun.com, which lists 100 easy and inexpensive costumes you can create at home — whether you have a few hours or only a few minutes to put an outfit together. 
3. Don’t overbuy. If you live in a neighborhood, you will most likely be buying candy to give out on Halloween night. The challenge is to avoid overbuying — who wants bags of leftover candy when the kids come home with far more than they need?  If you are nervous your stash won’t last, consider buying Hershey’s Kisses or similar chocolate candy that you can use later for holiday baking. 
4. Look for coupons. You can also save money on candy and costumes by watching for store sales and coupons in the Sunday coupon circulars or in your mailbox. Find coupons in the Sunday newspaper ads throughout October. 
5. Carve a pumpkin. The easiest decoration that is also fun for kids is carving a pumpkin together. For just a few dollars, you can create a memorable annual tradition with your child and decorate your front porch or window at the same time. Save the seeds and find a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds, as well. 
6. Get crafty. You can find plenty of inexpensive Halloween decorating projects from books in the library, local family magazines distributed free at libraries and schools.  Easier projects include making ghosts to hang in the window made out of string, glue and waxed paper. Doing a project with your children will be much less expensive and far more memorable than shelling out $100 for decorations at the local party store. 
7. Save on admission. This is the time of year for pumpkin festivals, Halloween fairs, hayrides, haunted house tours and more. Many schools and churches offer free festivals and fairs as family-friendly alternatives on Halloween.Prices for these family events vary widely, from free to as much as $20 a head. Check the local event websites or the calendar section in community newspapers and magazines to find inexpensive events. 
 Be on the lookout for admission coupons in your local paper and check the web sites of Festival sponsoring organizations to find printable coupons for reduced admissions.  Your local grocery store may sell discounted tickets for these events either on their Web site or at their customer service counter in the store.

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