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If You Love Mini Eggs, You’ll Love These Colorful Cookies

If you love Mini Eggs, you’ll love these colorful Mini Eggs Cookies for Easter. We go crazy for the delicious candy-coated Cadbury Mini Eggs, so much so that you’ll debate whether to use them for making cookies. But these mini egg cookies are so beautiful and colorful for your Easter tablescape, it’s worth buying extra to use in this Mini Eggs Cookie recipe.

Mini Eggs Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups Cadbury Mini Eggs

Mini Eggs Cookies

Method

In a stand mixer, cream together butter and shortening. Add sugars gradually, creaming well. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Then, blend into creamed mixture.

Take half of the Mini Eggs and put into a plastic bag. Using a meat tenderizer, crush the eggs slightly. Add to the mixture and stir by hand. Chill the dough for a few minute.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease baking sheets. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful. Add 3 Mini Eggs to each cookie, pressing down slightly.

Bake for about 8 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy!

If You Love Mini Eggs, You'll Love These Colorful Cookies | amotherworld.com

125+ Free and Useful Educational Websites for All Kids

While our kids are out of school and staying home during this unprecedented time, there are many online educational resources for kids to continue learning as much as possible. Here are 125+ free and useful educational websites for kids to keep them learning and entertained.

125+ Free and Useful Educational Websites for Kids

Math

  1. Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry at MathScore.
  2. Interactive elementary – grade 6 math
  3. Math Games, Logic Puzzles and Brain Builders at MathBuilders.
  4. Motivate 1st to 8th-grade students to learn and practice math at Prodigy.
  5. Math and language games at Arcademics.
  6. Free printable K-8 Reading and Math printable worksheets.
  7. Math and logic problems grade 1 – 12.
  8. Great Minds Math on the go.
  9. Fun math and reading games at Abcya.com. 

Literacy

  1. Scholastic Learn at Home.
  2. Fave kids books read by famous people – Story Online
  3. Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions. Common Lit.
  4. Grammar practice for middle grades – Classroom Cereal
  5. Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 – SquigglePark.com
  6. Brainbox Games is your hub for educational technology.
  7. An online curriculum that builds better writers.
  8. Teaches students how to write a paragraph through an interactive online tutorial. 
  9. Into the Book for reading comprehension.
  10. News and more for kids at Youngzine.
  11. Work on the 8 parts of speech at Grammaropolis.
  12. ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12.
  13. Phonics worksheets for kids at Fun Fonix.
  14. Free stories online ages 3-12.
  15. Randomly generates 356,300,262,144 story starters.
  16. National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first-grade students. Read along!

Arts

  1. National Gallery of Art offers computer-based activities in art and art history.
  2. Crafts and educational activities at Education.com.
  3. Crafts, activities, printables at AllKidsNetwork.
  4. Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities at HighlightsKids.
  5. Art games, investigations and printables at Artsology.
  6. Courses and games for ear training and music theory.
  7. Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
  8. Play instruments online including virtual guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos.
  9. Chrome Music Lab is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments.
  10. Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators.
  11. Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design.

Science

  1. Space science for kids at NASA.
  2. Activities, animations, projects, simulations, videos at American Association of Chemistry Teachers.
  3. Science simulations, scientist profiles, and other digital resources for middle school science and high school biology.
  4. Collisions helps high school students visualize and interact with chemistry concepts through fun and challenging games.
  5. Empowering students to be authentic science problem solvers at Tyto Online.
  6. 3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects at Instructables. 
  7. Coding for ages 4-10.
  8. Science Journal for Kids and Teens.
  9. Homeschool science resources and printables.
  10. This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.
  11. K-5th Science lessons.
  12. K-12 STEM at Concord.  
  13. Innerbody teaches the internal mechanics of the amazing human body.
  14. Learn computer science and coding K-12.
  15. Science and math labs, simulations and videos.
  16. 80+ do at-home science activities at Elemental Science.
  17. Learn physics online at Positive Physics.
  18. Learn physics online at Physics Classroom.
  19. Science experiments that you can do at home.
  20. STEM Activities for Kids at Science Buddies.
  21. Everything needed to learn computer programming the fun way! Ages 5+
  22. Learn all about the periodic table. 

Geography/Travel

  1. Test kids’ geography skills. Using images from Google’s Street View, it puts players in the middle of the street and asks them to figure out where they are. GeoGuessr.com
  2. Free videos from around the world from grade 3-12 at Project Explorer.
  3. 35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world at Country Reports.
  4. Tour the Louvre virtually.
  5. Tour the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums virtually.
  6. Take an inside tour of the MET museum.
  7. Take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China.
  8. This educational website hosted by the Smithsonian Museum takes a deep dive into ocean life.
  9. Tour the British Museum.
  10. Tour Yellowstone National Park.
  11. Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.
  12. Learn all about earthquakes. 
  13. Farmer’s Almanac for kids! Learn about weather, moon phases and more.
  14. Interactive video earth science-based curriculum supplement.

 

Animals

  1. Tour Canadian farms virtually.
  2. Play games and learn all about animals at SwitchZoo.
  3. Explore space, science and learn all about animals at National Geographic Kids.
  4. Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
  5. Watch live Alaskan Wildlife cams.
  6. San Diego Zoo Kids.
  7. All about Birds.

History

  1. Games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time at BBC Kids.
  2. Kids encyclopedia. 
  3. Canada’s History.
  4. Online history classes for all ages preteen through adults.
  5. Allows students to type in any city, state, or country to view an archive of historical photographs and other documents at What Was There.
  6. Learn about the U.S. government at Ben’s Guide.
  7. An interactive way to learn American history. 

Languages

  1. Learn French at DinoLingo.
  2. Resources for Spanish practice.
  3. Chinese learning activities.
  4. Music Based Spanish Learning
  5. Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin at Conjuguemos. 

 

Young kids

  1. Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing at Scholastic.
  2. Phonics skills at Starfall.com.
  3. Play with fave show characters and learn too at PBS kids.
  4. Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss.
  5. Free Printables for PreK-Grade 2.
  6. A large selection of fun songs to help teach preschool and kindergarten students.
  7. Online digital colouring pages.
  8. Free printables library with activities for children 0-6 at Little Spark Company.
  9. Phonics and learning to read at Reading Eggs. 
  10. PreK-5 games for all subjects at Turtle Diary.
  11. Quick and easy at-home projects curated for kids 2 and up.
  12. Resources, tools, ideas, and activities geared toward the healthy development of kids OT Toolbox.
  13. Education for kids all topics at Ducksters.com.
  14. Education for kids 3-11 at Oxford Owl. 

 

Full learning websites K-12

  1. PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials at PBS Learning.
  2. Quizlet is a student and teacher online community for every subject.
  3. Science, Math and Social Studies. 
  4. 2,500+ online courses from top institutions.
  5. Free and fun digital education for children.
  6. Printable worksheets and activities for kids.
  7. Online education program for kids through high school at Khan Academy.
  8. 7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas at HippoCampus.
  9. Educational digital games K-12.
  10. Daily lessons and educational activities that kids can do on their own.
  11. Digital learning content for preschool through high school.
  12. Test Prep for SAT, ACT, etc.
  13. Free homeschool materials covering phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography.
  14. BrainPOP is offering free access during school closures.

 

Fun games & activities for kids

  1. Wonderopolis is a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages.
  2. Tons and tons and tons of games some learning some just fun at Crazy Games.
  3. Learn how to type!
  4. Funbrain offers hundreds of games, books, comics, and videos that develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy.
  5. Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills.
  6. Online  jigsaw puzzles where you can set the pieces from 6-1000+
  7. Knowledge Kids games.

Happy learning!

125+ Free and Useful Educational Websites for All Kids | amotherworld

How to Work From Home Effectively

Many people who’ve been used to working in an office environment are now suddenly finding themselves working remotely. How to work from home effectively?

How can you make the transition smoothly? What are some tips to work from home efficiently and productively? I’ve been working from home for the past 15 years so I’m offering my tips on working from home.

How to Work From Home Effectively

Create a dedicated working space.

While it may be tempting to work from the comforts of your bed, it would help productivity to have a dedicated working space. A home office is ideal, or even an area set up in a part of a room, for example, a desk by your living room window will suffice. If you don’t have a home office, create a space at your kitchen or dining table that you can leave undisturbed when you’re not working.

Get up and stretch.

Because of my back issues, I must get up and stretch often, about every hour or so regardless of what I’m doing. When I’m working, I tend to switch work positions – I go from sitting at my desk to working from my standing desk, to working on my couch. During that stretch time, I’m always sure to grab another cup of coffee too!

Get dressed.

While it may be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, you will feel better by sticking to your usual morning routine of getting washed up and dressed in the morning. Obviously there’s no need to dress in business attire! But getting out of your PJs and slipping into clothes will help you feel more refreshed and ready to start your day.

Stick to your regular working hours.

Avoid burnout by sticking to a regular work schedule. While it may be tempting to check your emails after hours or early in the day, work will inevitably take over. Start at a proper workday time, and finish off at a reasonable hour. Don’t forget to take your lunch break as you would in the office. I like to use my lunch break to exercise. Working with a structured schedule will keep you motivated and productive. But…

Don’t worry if you don’t stick to a strict schedule all the time.

One of the benefits of working from home is flexibility, and there will be days when you sometimes you need to work later or in the evening or start early to accommodate a colleague’s time zone, personal appointments or your children’s schedule. Be gentle with yourself knowing that some days will require more work than others but that the number of hours of work will even out over the course of the week.

Keep the TV off.

You may be able to multi-task but don’t think that means you can put the television or Netflix on! You will likely end up being distracted thus leading to less productivity. Stick to your usual radio station or playlist as background music.

Stay in touch by phone or video call.

Working from home can be incredibly isolating! You’ll miss collaborating with a team, chatting with co-workers and simply being around other people. It’s important to stay in touch with your colleagues by phone or better yet, video conferencing.

If you’re working from home with kids? Here are 50 Fun Activities to do with Kids at Home.

I hope these tips on how to work from home effectively will benefit you!

How to Work From Home Effectively | amotherworld.com

50 Fun Activities to do with Kids at Home

Kids are home for an extended March Break. Parents are wondering how to keep their children busy and entertained, without screens the entire time? Here are 50 fun activities to do with kids at home to keep them from whining, “I’m bored!” These activity ideas will help families make the most of their time together.

50 Fun Activities to do with Kids at Home

  1. Make slime, oobleck, or play dough.
  2. Let the kids paint a picture on a poster board or canvas.
  3. Paint a large picture together on the floor. If you don’t have roll paper, tape construction paper together to make a landscape painting.
  4. Do a large 1,000 piece puzzle.
  5. Do crossword, Sudoku and word search puzzles.
  6. Find some notebooks and have the kids start a journal.
  7. Create a scrapbook for each child; have them decorate the cover and add the content.
  8. Create a photo book online together, choosing the best family photos.
  9. Go through old magazines, cut and paste pictures to create a collage of your favourite things or a vision board.
  10. Look through old photo albums, baby photos and watch old baby videos.
  11. Do a craft together; have a bin full of craft items handy for times like these.
  12. Have the kids go through their toys and find items to donate and sell.
  13. Clean out your closets and put items to donate and sell aside in separate boxes.
  14. Post your items to be sold online on Kijiji or Marketplace, have the kids take photos of the items.
  15. Play board games, charades, hide and seek, I-Spy.
  16. Learn new card games.
  17. Build something out of Lego.
  18. Create an obstacle course outside, or races in the backyard like hopping on one foot, crabwalk, potato sack races, tug of war, etc.
  19. Create a stop motion animation video using clay or playdough.
  20. Build a fort or tent out of blankets. Turn off all the lights and tell scary stories.
  21. Snuggle up and read books together.
  22. Bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies or Rice Krispies bars
  23. Put on a yoga YouTube video and do yoga together.
  24. Guide your kids through a meditation.
  25. Play video games together.
  26. Let your kids paint your nails, do your makeup and hair; take turns.
  27. Dress up in your best or silliest outfits and take pictures.
  28. Dim the lights and put on some fun music and have a dance party.
  29. Have the kids put on a talent show; they can sing, dance or perform a skit.
  30. Film some silly Tik Tok videos and have fun with Snapchat filters.
  31. Have a Karaoke party
  32. Create a movie script with the kids and film it, then edit.
  33. Have the kids draw pictures or write letters to a family member or friend and mail them out.
  34. Draw portraits of each other.
  35. Create email addresses for your kids and send them an email; let them read their first email from you.
  36. Set up an indoor scavenger hunt.
  37. Put on your pyjamas, make popcorn and watch a movie.
  38. Re-organize or re-decorate your kids’ bedroom
  39. Choose a topic kids are interested in and research it together.
  40. Get outdoors for some yard work.
  41. Get some old socks and have the kids create sock puppets.
  42. Find a large cardboard box and create a puppet theatre. Let the kids put on a puppet show using stuffed animals; make sure to record it.
  43. Go for a hike, collect rocks and then let the kids paint them.
  44. Play road hockey, basketball or baseball outside.
  45. Have a mini-stick hockey tournament.
  46. Play hopscotch indoors by using masking tape on the floor.
  47. Use food colouring or food scraps to dye eggs, then decorate them.
  48. Have the kids learn magic tricks through YouTube videos.
  49. Take a nap.
  50. Go outdoors for a walk.

 

50 Fun Activities to do with Kids at Home | amotherworld

50 Fun Activities to do with Kids at Home - amotherworld.com

 

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus

Kids are probably hearing things about the Coronavirus at school, and parents are wondering how to talk to them to ease their fears. How to talk to your kids about the Coronavirus? How much information should you be sharing to your kids about Covid-19?

I asked Sara Dimerman who is a psychologist, author and parenting expert, some questions about how to talk to your kids about the Coronavirus and ease their anxiety and fears.

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus

Q. How should parents talk to their kids to help ease any anxiety? Should they have a family meeting, individual conversations, talk to the school?

A.  I had a young boy in my office today who is generally anxious. But today he was especially so because although it appears that the teachers did a good job of reminding students of the importance of hand hygiene, he overheard a conversation between his teacher and another adult when they may have thought the students were otherwise engaged. He heard something about a frenzy at Costco and how nervous everyone is and buying all the paper products off the shelf. Although he couldn’t quite make sense of why paper products? Why Costco? He did know that they were talking about the Coronavirus and he could sense the panic in their voices and so this escalated his anxiety

So my advice to all adults – parents and teachers alike – be careful not only about how you are directly presenting information about this to children but be mindful about what you are sharing with one another in the presence of children. Whether you think so or not, they ARE listening!

There’s so much being spoken about on the news, through social media, on the streets, that it’s impossible to shield your children from what is going on around them. Instead, use what you see and hear together as opportunities to talk more. Let them know, if they hear or see talk about it, that there are lots of very intelligent and caring adults who are working hard at making sure that people are safe. Are working at figuring out how to keep everyone well. Help them to feel that they are being taken care of, in other words.

I don’t recommend a family meeting because this can set an ominous tone, but instead, find appropriate times to remind them about the importance of washing hands regularly (show them how you wash yours) and why it’s never a good idea to put fingers in one’s mouth or up one’s nose, even at the best of times.

Wash Your Hands Properly Steps | amotherworld.com

Q. What are some age-appropriate strategies and tips we should provide our kids (from elementary through to high school)?

A.
For Younger Kids:

  • Remind them about good hand washing strategies
  • remind them that it’s important to wash hands before eating
  • Remind them about coughing or sneezing into one’s sleeves rather than into their hands
  • remind them about not sharing food or drink with others

For Older Kids:

  • Remind them about how germs can be spread through kissing and hand-holding. They don’t have to stop holding hands with people, but to be mindful about washing those hands before putting them near their mouth, nose or eyes. And not to take chances of getting sick by kissing someone who is.
  • Comfort kids of all ages with the knowledge that most people get well after they have the Coronavirus unless they are particularly vulnerable
Q. What are the most important things should we share with kids about coronavirus?
  • There are a lot of viruses but this is a new one, so people are still figuring out the best way to treat people who have it, and that’s why people are more concerned about this one
  • There are a lot of intelligent, helpful and knowledgeable adults who are working together to stop the spread of the virus and to help people who are sick with it
  • They have the power to stay well and keep germs away by doing things such as washing hands and not putting their fingers near their mouth, eyes or nose before washing their hands.

Coronavirus prevention Ontario government

For more information about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please click here.

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus | amotherworld.com

I Was Told I Needed to Lose Weight to Model

As young as I can remember, I wanted to be an actress or a writer.  I documented my dream job in my “All About Me” project in elementary school, listing the reasons why along with sketches of books I’d write, like a Sweet Valley High series.  I had always loved watching television and movies and knew I was going to either write or get into acting. In Grade 7, I wrote a script for our Junior High School play based on a Three’s Company episode, performing the comedy during a school assembly. At the age of 11, I was writing my first romance novel. By the time I was a teenager, I went down a deep hole of writing dark poetry on existentialism and analyzing my own mortality. I took drama from middle school throughout high school, with the hopes of getting into a University theatre program at Ryerson.

At that time, modelling agencies would often have casting calls in shopping malls. Approached by one around the age of 16, I was flattered but knew that at 5’7”, I was on the shorter side for modelling. But by joining a modelling agency, I could audition for commercials which could help me break into acting. Oh, the excitement and anxiety I felt leading up to that appointment. I prepared myself for the fact that my height was likely not going to qualify me to model. But never did I imagine that my size 6 frame was considered too thick. “You’ll need to lose weight”, the agent said. From where? I was already small enough, so I thought. In order to be representing by the agency, I would have to drop at least 10-15 pounds. I was already 125 pounds – a healthy weight for my height – there was no way I could drop down to 110.

Luckily I was confident enough in myself to reply that I wasn’t going to starve myself. A young impressionable girl with big dreams could easily be swayed to begin a low-calorie diet, become obsessed with exercising to drop the weight – leading to a possible unhealthy lifestyle and a potential eating disorder. I knew better and declined the offer.

Instead, I pursued acting through a talent agent and began going on auditions while taking acting lessons. Once I began auditioning, it became glaringly obvious – I always was the bigger one among the young women there. When I looked in the mirror and saw my size 6-8 frame, I felt as though I was slim enough. But when I compared myself to the others, the size difference was obvious. I mean, my ribs and wrist bones were larger than other girls, there was no way I could ever have a smaller waist, it was physically impossible unless I had a rib removed! There was no way I could compete with a size 0 girl.

I Was Told I Needed to Lose Weight to Model | amotherworld

I recall looking around, sizing up my competition and always feeling like I couldn’t measure up to what the casting people were looking for. Couldn’t they see that I was a healthy weight? Why did that even matter? Wasn’t my audition enough to sell my acting ability?  But the camera puts on 10 pounds so I’d never stand a chance. It seemed the casting directors or producers were always going to hire the slimmer one.

Disillusioned by the industry, I knew I was done. I didn’t want to put myself in constant situations where I’d feel less than enough. It wasn’t good for my mental health and I wasn’t going to suffer physically in order to be relevant. The TV/film industry is full of competition and rejection, causing anxiety and self-esteem issues for many. What we see displayed in various forms of media can have a negative psychological effect whether consciously or subconsciously.

We’ve seen some great strides in body-positive on social media; some innovation campaigns with inclusivity in fashion, with models like Ashley Graham leading a body positivity revolution. We’ve also seen some gorgeous “plus-size” models – and I use quotes as these women are considered plus-size in the fashion industry but are average in real life – like Crystal Renn and most recently, Jill Kortleve for Chanel strut the runways.

But in Hollywood? Not even close.

Search up “more body inclusivity in movies” and you’ll read headlines like “In a Body-Positive Moment, Why Does Hollywood Remain Out of Step” and Hollywood’s enduring size inclusivity problem and 20 Celebrities Criticized for their Curves and 9 Hollywood Actresses Who Were Told They Weren’t ‘Pretty Enough’ To Make It In Hollywood.

How has being in this toxic industry affected my own self-esteem and body image? Stay tuned for my next post where I share how that experience influenced me much deeper than I ever cared to admit to myself.

 

The Best Chili Recipe People Ask Me to Make

It’s National Chili Day! Happy Chili Day!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’m sharing the best Chili recipe people ask me to make for them throughout the winter months. It’s sure to fill your belly with its hearty, lightly spicy warmth.

The Best Chili Recipe People Ask Me to Make

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large sweet green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp onion and garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper, each
  • 2 cups tomato puree/ strained crushed tomatoes
  • 1 -2 cans of pinto and/or red kidney beans, depending on how hearty you want your soup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • coriander leaves for topping

 

Method:

  1. In a large pot, brown beef over medium heat, breaking up with the back of a spoon until no longer pink.
  2. Reduce heat to a minimum. Add chopped onions, garlic, pepper, carrots, celery, and spices. Stir and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, beef stock and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for at least a half-hour.
  4. Add the beans; cover and simmer for another half hour or more.
  5. Taste and add more chili powder if necessary.
  6. Top with coriander leaves, and serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

The best chili recipe people ask me to make | amotherworld.comsk me to make

The best chili recipe people ask me to make | amotherworld.com

5 Date Ideas For You And Your Special Loved One

When was the last time you went out on a date with your special loved one? Watching a movie together after the kids have gone to bed is a common and easy “date night” — if you manage to stay awake. There have been many times that my husband and I intend to have a movie night but one of us (or both) end up catching flies! I’m talking about hiring a babysitter, dressing up, and going out somewhere for romance and/or fun?

Dates don’t happen often for many parents, if ever. Who has the energy (let alone the time) to go out with your significant other? A parent’s busy and active lifestyle likely puts romantic date nights at the bottom of the priority list. Often, it is not even on the list. Dating is simply overlooked because of all of the other obligations and responsibilities that come with work, home life, parenting, kids’ extra-curricular activities, etc.

But that can be easily remedied! By putting a little bit of planning and carving out some free time, you and your loved one can enjoy a date once in a while. You must schedule dates or date nights when you’re married with children, just as you would schedule any other appointment or meeting. Dates are crucial to maintaining a strong relationship because quality couple time is just what you need for a healthy marriage.

Dates or date nights help to rekindle the romance that is often put on the back burner when you’re tending to the day-to-day bustle. If it’s been longer than two months since your last couple’s outing, then you need to change that immediately. Book a babysitter or get your mother-in-law to come over to watch the kids and go out as a couple. You both deserve a little fun!

Here are 5 date ideas for you and your special loved one:

5 Date Ideas For You And Your Special Loved One

Get Your Body Moving.

Skip the routine dinner and a movie, and do something different and fun. Go bowling or skating on a weekend afternoon. Find a roller-skating rink and remember what it was like to moonlight in seventh grade. If you have only a couple of hours during the weekend to get out without the kids, hop on some bicycles and go outside for a ride together. Or throw on your running shoes and go for a long walk and finish off with a coffee at your local shop. Keep it simple and close to home so you don’t have to worry about being away from the kids too long.

Grab a book.

If you’re not the type to get active on a date (I don’t mean that kind of active – that’s later!), grab your loved one and head to the bookstore. Pick up a couple of lattes and some biscotti, find a corner in the romance section, and read each other some poetry. Find a steamy romance novel or Kama Sutra book and take it home with you to read together in bed.

Have a picnic.

Can’t get out during the evening? No problem! Plan a romantic afternoon picnic at your favourite outdoor park, even if it’s the one by your house. Lay out a blanket, feed your partner some cheese and grapes, and share a bottle of wine. Wintertime? No problem! Bring the picnic indoors in the middle of your living room floor. Don’t forget to turn on the fireplace and play some soft, sensual music . . .  as long as it’s not Michael Bolton. Please!

Share an experience.

Married couples don’t need to worry about looking cheap. Hey, having kids is expensive! Search the internet for group-buying coupon companies that offer great deals on entertainment experiences. You can find yourself saving up to half price on museums, wine tastings, restaurants, and even massages or pedicures—now that’s a date!

Get a hotel room.

Ahh, the days when you couldn’t get your hands off each other, and your friends would shout, “Get a room!” Remind yourselves of the days pre-kids when you could fully enjoy each other without any interruptions, and not in the back seat of your car! Book a hotel room, order room service and a bottle of champagne, and enjoy every moment of intimacy – even if you can’t spend the whole night.

 

You don’t need much time or have to spend a lot of money to reconnect with your partner. Even just a couple of hours alone with your loved one can do wonders for your relationship.

 

5 Date Ideas for You and Your Special Loved One | amotherworld.com

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter

Need a warm winter escape this winter? I do too! Our winters can feel endless so here are 15 best warm resorts to escape to this winter.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa – Saint Lucia

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa is Saint Lucia’s most popular Premium All-Inclusive and a wonderful choice for families with travelling with children from infants to teenagers. The resort is ideally located to the island’s world-famous Pitons and the Drive-In Volcano, and minutes from the airport. Coconut Bay boasts a 50,000 square-foot kids’ club up to age 12 and all included in the resort’s rates.

Kids can learn about Saint Lucia’s history from pirates to current customs, culture, ecology and native wildlife of Saint Lucia through arts and crafts, nature walks, and hands-on culinary activities, There is also a teen program too. The CocoLand Waterpark is the islands largest featuring big fun for everyone from tubing around the Lazy River to twisting through the Coconut Coaster waterslide.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter - Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa - Saint Lucia

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort – Florida

Located in Marco Island in southwest Florida, the  JW Marriott MarcoIsland Beach Resort offers soft, sandy beaches and calm waters on the Gulf that are ideal for families with members of all ages. Many families choose the Lanai Suites, where rooms spill right out onto the beach. The resort offers a main pool and a Tiki Kids pool complete with waterslide and waterfall. The resort offers a day camp for kids 5-12, a complimentary yoga program for kids and teens. End a sun-kissed day by watching the resorts sunset celebration, a live Fire Dancer show which pays homage to the Balinese inspiration and design aesthetic of the resort.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter -JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort

Crane Resort – Barbados

With 252 rooms, The Crane Resort attracts families with its relaxed atmosphere, unparalleled on-site amenities and spacious, luxurious accommodation. Surrounded by natural beauty and tranquillity, families can spend quality time together lounging, swimming at award-winning Crane Beach or by the several pools overlooking the ocean. The main attraction is Calypso Kids Club where kids can learn about Bajan culture and create arts and crafts while adults enjoy Serenity Spa.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter Crane Resort Barbados

San Ignacio Resort Hotel – Belize

San Ignacio Resort Hotel is Belize’s premier local family-run establishment. Their on-site personalized tour company, Cayo Gial Tours, creates itineraries that showcase Belize’s natural beauty, culture, thrilling landscapes and history. Ideal for multigenerational travel, experiences include visiting a Maya Temple, birdwatching on a private reserve, taking a guided rainforest hike, touring Belize’s botanical gardens. The resort’s new River and Jungle View Suites boast large outdoor living spaces with lounge chairs and dining areas designed for guests to come together and enjoy scenic views of the Macal River, its surrounding rainforest valley and Belize’s natural jungle setting.  Dubbed as “the only jungle in town”, guests can also get up-close and personal with iguanas as part of their Iguana Project.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter San Ignacio Resort Hotel - Belize

Rosewood Bermuda

Rosewood Bermuda is the island’s premier ultra-luxury resort with plentiful activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving, golfing on the 200-acre Tucker’s Point Golf Course, or a pro-led tennis lesson. Adults looking for a unique activity can indulge with a rum tasting masterclass at their renowned Conservatory Bar, led by Bar Manager John Lake.   Children can make new friends at the Rosewood Explorers Club, offering a host of activities from tennis to science experiments to locally inspired arts and crafts.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter Rosewood Bermuda Palm Court Pool

Las Brisas Huatulco  – Mexico

Las Brisas Huatulco is nestled into a coastal hillside is surrounded by 50 acres of lush tropical gardens along the coast of the western side of Tangolunda Bay. It boasts 484 rooms across 4 villages, and a variety of activities for all ages, making it the perfect destination for a family vacation. This village-style resort offers something for the whole family: a kids club with a separate pool, tennis courts, kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing, mini golf, dance lessons and more. The resort offers 5 different restaurants with Arabian, Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter - Las Brisas Huatulco

Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale – Arizona

For a warm escape for a family vacation with older kids, the Boulders features 160 guest Casitas and 61 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas, five restaurants and a lounge, two championship golf courses, eight tennis courts and a full-service Spa.

Adventurous families (likely not for little ones) will love rock climbing, desert fly fishing, horseback rides, desert hikes and Jeep excursions. Home to some of Arizona’s most dramatic landscape, The Boulders bicycle trails are ideal for active families to exercise together while taking in the breathtaking scenery. Exhilarating hot air balloon rides are offered at sunrise and sunset and include breakfast. Families can take a Desert Seaplane Adventure with extraordinary views of the golden canyons of Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Haystack Island and the lime cliff of the “Painted Desert.”15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter Boulders Resort and Spa Scottsdale Arizona

Jewel Runaway Bay – Jamaica

Jewel Runaway Bay is an all-inclusive resort surrounded by Jamaica’s lush foliage, scenic views and exotic adventures. Guests can enjoy innovative swim-up suites, an array of authentic dining venues, and world-class spas. The Jewel Lagoon Water Park is right on site. The resort includes seven casual and formal restaurants serving delicious cuisines. Families can venture outside the resort on a tour to explore the Green Grotto Caves, swim with dolphins or zip-line through canopies.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter - Jewel Runaway Bay Jamaica

Westin Mission Hill Rancho Mirage – California

Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa is a AAA four-diamond resort nestled in the heart of the Greater Palm Springs. Spread out over 365-acres, the resort offers three pools, a 75-foot waterslide that kids (and adults) will love, two bubbling spas and pool-side ping-pong and pool tables.

The Westin Kids Club Discovery Room is available for children ages 3-12 and provides activities such as movies, music, arts & crafts, games and storytelling, pottery, sand art and t-shirt making. Parents can enjoy a cocktail on the patio overlooking the resort’s lush plant-life and fountains before heading to dinner at the signature Italian restaurant, Pinzimini. Guests can try their hand at one of the resort’s two championship golf courses or seven tennis courts and then unwind at the intimate spa after a full day of activities.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter - Westin Mission Hills Palm Springs

Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort

The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort is situated on the scenic Seven Mile Beach and offers families endless activities. Families can enjoy water sports such as snorkelling, paddle boarding and swimming with stingrays, or relax by the beachfront pool. The multiple on-site restaurants allow for easy meals for families and the upscale rooms and suites are perfect for a relaxing night in.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort

Eden Roc Miami Beach

Eden Roc offers guests an exhilarating atmosphere, an international perspective and a fresh take on luxury centrally located in the heart of Mid-Beach. The hotel boasts 415 spacious, oceanfront guest rooms, three refreshing pools, 22,000 square feet of spa and fitness facilities, and 70,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The hotel also offers a kids program that focuses on activities that allow children to learn more about beaches, marine life and local culture.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter - Eden Roc Miami

Turtle Beach Resort   –  Barbados

Like the turtles that come to nest on the 1,500-ft. stretch of warm, white sands, Turtle Beach is a vibrant all-inclusive in Barbados that exudes an energetic, playful vibe. Guests can catch a wave while boogie boarding or sailing (all watersports are complimentary), and learn how to surf in Aqua School with Captain Sam along the south coast. After enjoying some island delicacies like macaroni pie and flying fish at Sand Trap, the new beachfront eatery, guests can learn a few words of Bajan slang with dialect lessons, jump in for a game of beach cricket, or take a pastry class. For travellers seeking a little more excitement, they can party at the St. Lawrence Gap, the island’s hub for dining, shopping and nightlife.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter - Turtle Beach Resort - Barbados

Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo – Costa Rica

The Andaz Costa Rica embraces the Pura Vida philosophy and makes you feel welcome as soon as you enter through the resort gates. The sprawling property sits right on the 1,400-acre Peninsula Papagayo in its own private oasis. The rooms are designed with natural elements such as wood, bamboo, and stone, so you always feel you are one with nature.  The resort offers (for a fee) Barista and Mixology classes, pottery painting, dancing lessons, yoga, and more. The resort also offers golf, tennis, and a kids’ program. Andaz can also assist you in making arrangements for day trips including ziplining, horseback riding, and hiking. The Andaz features three restaurants; Rio Bhongo which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner; Chao Pescao that features tapas and live music, and Ostra which is the resort’s upscale restaurant.

Andaz Costa Rica Peninsula Papagayo Infinity Pools

Key West  Parrot Key Hotel & Villas  – Florida

Nestled along the Florida Bay, a short drive from historic Old Town Key West, Parrot Key Hotel & Villas is surrounded by lush landscaping and gardens. Like much of Key West and the rest of the Florida Keys, Parrot Key suffered damage from Hurricane Irma. Since then, the property has been completely redesigned with a brand new, refined, and completely refreshed look. Guests can go for a swim in one of the 4 outdoor pools, participate in watersports right onsite and, then enjoy a snack from the poolside The Grove Kitchen & Bar. Downtown Key West and famous Smathers Beach are a quick shuttle ride away.

15 Best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter Parrot Key Hotel Key West Florida

Velas Resorts Riviera Nayarit – Mexico

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is uniquely situated where the jungle meets the sea and provides tourists with a picturesque landscape that is unique among Mexican resort destinations. Guests will find all of the usual beach activities such as jet-skiing, parasailing, surfing, boogie boarding and sunbathing. But there are other unique activities to experience including tropical jungle expeditions to learn about the flora and fauna indigenous to the area, as well as ziplining. Guests can also get a traditional taste of Mexican culture by touring nearby towns and learning the area’s history and traditions.

15 best Warm Resorts To Escape to this Winter - Velas Resorts Riviera Nayarit Mexico

 

15 Best Warm Resorts to Escape to This Winter | amotherworld.com

Here Are 6 Expert Ways To End Bedtime Problems In Young Children

Written by: Dr. Pamela Mitelman and Dr. Nicky Cohen

 

Bedtime problems are a common complaint among parents. Many children between the ages of 3 and 6 will resist bedtime – doing anything and everything to delay the process! If you are a parent of a child this age, likely you are familiar with ‘curtain calls;’ those times when you thought you were finally out the door only to be called back for water, one more hug, food, or a variety of other creative requests. Curtain calls – once in a while – are to be expected and perhaps likely tolerable. However, when one becomes many and once in a while becomes all of the time, bedtime can become unpleasant and delayed, and a source of stress.

What can you do to end bedtime problems? Here are 6 expert ways to end bedtime problems in young children.

6 Expert Ways To End Bedtime Problems In Young Children

Develop a set bedtime.

Decide on an age-appropriate bedtime and be consistent about it. When deciding on the bedtime, you want to consider factors such as the age of your child, presence or absence of naps, and your child’s individual biological clock. For example, some children have a difficult time with an early bedtime while others have a difficult time with a later bedtime. If your child is napping, it is fine to have a bedtime that fluctuates within a 1-hour period or so, depending on when the nap ended. Bedtime is best based on what time a child woke from the nap and how long he/she needs to be awake, in order to be tired enough at bedtime. To avoid early morning wakings, be sure that your child is not going to bed too early at night.

Develop a calming bedtime routine.

A consistent and predictable bedtime routine will prepare your child’s body for sleep. A bedtime routine is best when it includes calming and enjoyable activities such as bath and storytime. Avoid screen time in the 1-hour period before bed. A bedtime routine should be done in the room where the child sleeps and in low-level lighting.

Ensure an optimal sleep environment.

A sleep environment that is conducive to good sleep is essential for a healthy night of sleep. Children (like most adults) will sleep best in a dark, quiet room, with the temperature on the ‘cool side of comfortable.’ If your child is requesting a light be left on, be sure to allow only 1 source of very (very) low-level lighting as too much light can be a sleep disrupter.

Set limits on unacceptable bedtime behaviours.

Children benefit from limits, during the day and at night. It provides them with a sense of security, understanding, and mastery over their environment. If a child’s bedtime process does not have structure or predictability, a child is likely to resist, stall, or delay going to sleep. Most children are still developing self-control and benefit from the structure of the limit setting that parents offer. A visual bedtime chart can be helpful if a child is having difficulty following rules around the bedtime routine.

Limit or eliminate napping.

Most children stop napping between the ages of 3-5; however anecdotal evidence suggests it may be closer to age 3-3.5 years. If your child is napping and having difficulty falling asleep by 8:30 pm or so, it may be helpful to limit or eliminate the nap. In some cases, preschoolers are scheduled to nap, even when their bodies may no longer require it. In a daycare setting, for example, preschoolers may be placed to sleep as part of the daily curriculum. As a result, the child may not be tired enough to sleep at their bedtime. In such cases, a later bedtime is recommended.

Address nighttime fears (if present).

Some children show signs of being fearful at bedtime. Nighttime fears are common at this age and are usually just a normal part of development and becoming more aware of the world around them. Common fears at this age include fears of the dark, fears of monsters, and fears of harm to themselves or loved ones. Listening to your child’s fears, offering reassurance, using a very low-level night-light, and introducing a security object to sleep with (such as little blankies) are some of the recommended strategies to help your child cope with their fears.

Pleasant dreams!

 

Dr. Pamela Mitelman is a Montreal based Licensed Clinical Psychologist working in private practice. She received her Psy.D. from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Her interest in pediatric sleep disturbances was peeked while assessing children for learning difficulties and was further solidified after having children of her own. Dr. Mitelman is passionate about educating families on the importance of healthy sleep practices.

Dr. Nicky Cohen is a Registered Psychologist in private practice in Toronto. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from York University and developed an interest in parenting issues related to children’s sleep disturbances after having her first child. She is active in the community disseminating information on healthy sleep practices and increasing awareness of the importance of making sufficient sleep a family priority. Dr. Cohen’s book PARENTING YOUR CHILD TO SLEEP is now available in Kindle ebook format and paperback on Amazon.

 

The information provided by Dr. Cohen and Dr. Mitelman is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Individuals are encouraged to speak with a physician or other health care provider if they have concerns regarding their child’s sleep and before starting any treatment plan. The information provided by Dr. Cohen and Dr. Mitelman is provided with the understanding that they are not rendering clinical, counselling, or other professional services or advice. Such information is intended solely as a general educational aid and not for any individual problem. It is also not intended as a substitute for professional advice and services from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your unique facts.

6 Expert Ways to End Bedtime Problems in Young Children | amotherworld