Dec 01

Non-Slip Socks

Non-Slip Socks

Non-slip socks are the perfect DIY gift that your kid can make for friends and family. Don’t empty your wallet forking out money for your child’s gifts! With just a few inexpensive and readily available materials, your child can check a friend or relative off of his gift list. This delightfully simple non-slip socks activity results in colorful socks that prevent sliding on hardwood floors. The recipient of these non-slip socks will be ever so grateful, while your child will be proud to give away this thoughtful gift! Make a pair of non-slip socks with your kid for wholesome family fun.

What You Need:

  • Clean cotton socks, adult size
  • Fabric paint in assorted colors
  • Old newspaper

What You Do:

  1. Show your child how to wash and dry the cotton socks. This beginning step provides an opportunity to familiarize him with the laundry room!
  2. Make sure your child’s workspace is lined with newspaper. This painting involved in this project can get messy!
  3. Arrange the socks, bottoms up, with on the paper. Invite your child to paint the bottoms of the socks with fabric paint, either with a design or in a random pattern.
  4. Let the socks dry thoroughly, at least overnight.

Your child can easily wrap these fluffy socks up in a gift bag or with wrapping paper, making it a gift your child can make independently. He will knock someone’s socks off with this one!

 

non-slip-socks-bigthumb

 

Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Nov 04

Get Cozy This Fall With These 5 Warm Drinks

Get Cozy This Fall With These 5 Warm Drinks

Whether you want to soothe a sore throat, boost your energy or just cozy up with a hot beverage during these increasingly crisp, cool nights, these simple recipes are the perfect solution.

1. Steeped Mint-Fennel Tea

Recipe: Pour one cup of boiling water over ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons of mint leaf and 2-3 thin slices of ginger. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes.

Why it’s good for you: This aromatic blend will naturally stimulate your senses, giving you a boost of energy. Bonus: The strong scent of mint helps with nausea and stomachaches.

Steeped Mint-Fennel Tea

 

2. Warm Cardamom, Vanilla & Honey Milk

Recipe: Combine 1 cup of milk (or nut milk) and ½ teaspoon of brown cardamom seeds in a small saucepan until warm. Remove the pan from heat and add 3 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir and let steep for 5 minutes.

Why it’s good for you: Cardamom is a peppery spice known for anti-inflammatory properties. This spice has also been known to alleviate feelings of anxiety — perfect nourishment for a cold, blustery day.

Warm Cardamom, Vanilla & Honey Milk

3. Ginger-Honey Cayenne Tea

Recipe: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2-3 thin slices of ginger, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 lemon wedge. Add ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and stir.

Why it’s good for you: The honey and ginger mixture will help relieve sore throat symptoms, while the dash of cayenne pepper will be just what you need to clear your sinuses.

Giner-Honey Cayenne Tea

4. Warm Pineapple Ginger Punch

Recipe: In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup pineapple juice, 3 thick slices of ginger, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole cloves and a dash of pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Why it’s good for you: Pineapple is an excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme that alleviates indigestion and can even help clear your sinuses.

 

 

Warm Pineapple Ginger Punch

And Finally…

5. Warm Water with Lemon

Recipe: Combine juice of half a lemon with 1 cup of warm water.

Why it’s good for you: Don’t be fooled by this recipe’s simplicity. Drinking lemon with warm water can give you a boost of vitamin C and potassium, help with digestion and act as a natural diuretic.

Warm Water with Lemon

 

 

Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Nov 04

Make Up – Wear or not to wear

Make Up – Wear or not to wear

A few weeks ago, I decided to stop wearing makeup for awhile. If I were being partially honest I would say this decision was based on the hot weather and humidity, which caused any makeup I applied to promptly slide off my face in an unsightly Maybelline mudslide.

I thought my makeup hiatus would last a few days, but I ended up enjoying the barefaced lifestyle so much that I didn’t open my makeup bag for two full weeks. This might not seem like a long time, but I’ve worn makeup almost every day for many, many years. A makeup-free vacation, weekend, or random weekday wasn’t uncommon for me, but to give it up for 14 days in a row for no particular reason was definitely a major adjustment. I learned some things about makeup, and about myself, in the process…

“Getting ready” time is important, even if it doesn’t involve makeup. When I took makeup out of my “getting ready” equation, I discovered I could be out the door in about 10 minutes (get dressed, de-frizz hair, locate keys — Boom! Done!). But one thing I realized during my makeup hiatus was that even though it was nice to streamline my routine, I actually missed the chunk of time I spent in front of the mirror. Leisurely applying my powder and mascara allowed me ample time to wake up, have a few solo dance parties, and mentally steel myself for the day. Now I know that even if I’m not wearing makeup, I still prefer to give myself a generous chunk of morning prep time.

Skincare is more important than makeup. Before my makeup hiatus, I put minimal energy into taking care of my skin and maximum energy into covering up any skin issues that arose from my negligence. Going without makeup made me want to switch up my priorities. The more TLC I give to my skin, the less makeup I want/need to wear.

 Removing eye makeup is a pain in the ass. When I wore makeup daily, spending a few minutes every night removing said makeup was just a given. No matter how tired I was, I knew I’d have to prop myself up in front of a mirror and wipe away my eyeliner and mascara — and I couldn’t rush it too much either, because hello, eyelashes are fragile. You know what’s awesome? Just being able to splash your face with water and go to bed. I could really get used to that. In fact, I kind of did get used to it during my makeup hiatus, and now taking it off seems even more annoying/time-consuming than usual.

I love the feeling of the sun on my bare face. This wasn’t a huge epiphany, because I don’t wear makeup on beachy vacations, but it was so nice to feel the sun on my face while doing everyday things like running errands or taking walks through my neighborhood. (Oh, and just in case my dermatologist is reading this, of course I was still wearing sunscreen!)

There are two very different reasons I wear makeup. One reason is rooted in self-expression. I might have the urge to play with a fun eye shadow color or wake up feeling kind of vampy and want deep red lips to match my mood. The second reason is rooted in insecurity and the belief that I don’t look good enough without makeup. The two weeks I spent not wearing any makeup really highlighted the difference between these two motivators for me. There were days that I felt like wearing makeup because I wanted to define my eyes for a night out or just really missed my hot pink lip gloss, and there were other days when I wanted to wear makeup . Ideally, I’d like my daily makeup habits to be motivated by creativity and expression rather than fear and self-doubt. It’s a challenge, but I think I’m on the right track.

Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Nov 04

Planning Family Time

Planning Family Time

Busy families everywhere are settling into the school year. September is a time for everyone in the family adjusting to new and often hectic schedules, routines and activities. Here are some ideas to help you and your family prepare for smooth running days ahead.

With everyone having different schedules, and needs, it’s important to keep track of everything so that things don’t get lost in the cracks. Preparation and planning again are crucial to a smooth running ship. A few minutes here will save you many headaches.

The Family Calendar and Bulletin Board

For those of you who like to have the written calendar in front of you or on the go, there are number of styles to choose from that you can drop in your purse or keep on your desk. For those of us drawn to on line tools, setting up an on line family calendar using sites like Google Calendar may be the way to go. On line calendars like Google Calendar can be accessed from home, work and even phone, and can be shared with and updated by all family members, as well. Time is precious… so is your family and your job. Use available tools to plan your day and your week accordingly, and find time to spare, just for you.

Essential in keeping everyone’s schedule in one place to avoid those double bookings or even worse, forgetting/missing an important event. A family calendar and bulletin board center allows you to keep track of reminders for yourself, due dates, parents’ night, etc. Using a different color pen for each person’s obligations is a good way to catch your eye and help the younger ones to know their schedule. Keeping a family calendar up-to-date will not only help you stay on top of things.

Make Family Time a Priority by Scheduling it into the Family Calendar

Give it the attention it deserves! When you make a doctor’s appointment, it always gets written on the calendar. Well, your family is just as important, and sometimes you may simply need to schedule family time into your week and mark it on the family calendar to make sure it happens. Time passes quickly and if you don’t plan time to share with your family, it will continue to speed by and you will have lost opportunities to build and strengthen your family bond.

Some Tips:

Your children need to know you value them and that your time with them is a top priority for you . You make kids feel valued by spending regular time with them.Of course, with busy and sometimes conflicting schedules of family members, time together is not always easy to come by. One way to ensure that you and your children spend time together is to block out time on your daily and weekly calendars to be with them, just as you would schedule a meeting with an important client. Some families set aside a regular time each week for family get-togethers. For example, keep Sunday afternoons free for family outings, day trips, hiking, going to movies, a dinner out and the like. It will help you stay bonded together.

You might want to designate one evening a week as family night. Explain to your children that this is a time for family activities and conversation. Plan to feature something interesting each week. It might be miniature golf or a baseball game; other times it might be an evening at home with games and popcorn.

Carefully evaluate your family activities. Simply wandering around a shopping mall as a form of family entertainment on weekends can leave everyone feeling unsatisfied and put the emphasis on wrong values. Instead of the mall, substitute active, family-centered activities such as a trip to a museum, a walk in the woods or a visit to a park or arboretum.

Family time can also mean getting work done together. Rather than dividing up household chores, let everyone help cook dinner, clean up the kitchen or do yard work, laundry and maintenance projects around the house. Not only will your children get to spend time with you, but they will learn to do new things and observe their parents working.

 

Remember to also Make Time for Yourself

With all you’re doing, you need a break too! Make sure to set aside time on the calendar for YOU. What hobbies or things do you like to do? What gives you a little extra boost? Perhaps it’s a walk on the beach, a scrap-booking class, or an undisturbed soak in the tub. Whatever you do, just do it! Remember the age-old saying – “If mama ain’t happy — nobody is.”

Take a look at your schedule. Make sure that you pencil in time for “quality of life” things with your family, as well as for yourself. A few minutes of preparation will go a long way in terms of maintaining connections and fun along with all the other tasks of life. So, plan them out, put them on the family calendar and JUST DO IT!



Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Oct 29

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

With new diseases appearing each day, it’s important to keep your child’s hands clean and germ free. As a parent, you want to do everything possible to ensure your child stays healthy, especially when a contagious virus spreads. Instead of stocking up on hand sanitizer at the store, try this activity where you’ll make your very own personal sanitizer! It’s easy enough for your child to help you with, which means she’ll be more willing to use it and remain healthy.

What You Need:

  • ⅓ cup of rubbing alcohol
  • ⅔ cup of aloe vera gel
  • 8–10 drops of essential oil (such as vanilla, lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, etc.)
  • One small mixing bowl and spoon
  • Recycled liquid soap bottle
  • Funnel

What You Do:

  1. Pick out a scented essential oil with your child. Essential oils can usually be found at health, beauty product, or aromatherapy stores.
  2. Help your child measure out each ingredient and pour them into the mixing bowl. Hand her a spoon and invite her to stir carefully.
  3. Put the funnel in the opening of the soap bottle and pour the mixed ingredients into it.
  4. Screw the pump back on.

Now you’re ready to battle those germs with your own fragrant hand sanitizer!

Besides the concerns already mentioned, alcohol is drying to the skin. To make a healthier and safer product, use 1/4 cup witch hazel instead. This herbal liquid extract can be found at drugstores or health food stores. Then to boost the germ-fighting power, choose an antibacterial essential oil such as tea tree, thyme, lavender, or citrus.

 

Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Oct 16

10 Uses for Coffee Grounds

10 Uses for Coffee Grounds

Stash the leftovers from your morning pot of joe for these clever household uses

What this Brew Leftover Can Do

Once you’ve brewed your morning cup of joe, perk up around-the-house tasks with this surprisingly versatile leftover

1. Deodorize Your Fridge

Place a bowl of dry grounds in your refrigerator or freezer to neutralize odors left by stale or spoiled food.

2. Clean Tools and Dishware

Place a few teaspoons of grounds on a thin cleaning rag and use to scour away grease and grime. Finish with a thorough rinsing.

3. Hide Furniture Scratches

Dip a cotton swab into steeped grounds and dab on scratches in dark wood furniture to minimize them. Just test in an inconspicuous area first.

4. Give Paper an Antique Look

Dip paper or sheets of stationery in a soupy mix of grounds and water; allow them to sit a minute or two, then let dry and brush off the grounds.

5. Repel Insects

Mound grounds into a ring to create a protective border around plants that will ward off ants and slugs.

6. Grow Blue Hydrangeas

Work grounds into the soil at the base of mophead hydrangeas to increase the acidity level. This helps the shrubs absorb aluminum, which you can add to the soil to keep the flowers a vibrant blue.

7. Contain Ashes

Sprinkle damp grounds on fireplace ashes to cut down on airborne dust as you sweep them up.

8. Scrub Hands

Rub a scoop of grounds between palms as an exfoliant to remove dead skin and help eliminate smells from foods like fish and garlic.

9. Make a Cockroach Trap

Fill a can or jar with an inch or two of moistened coffee grounds, then line the container’s neck with extra-sticky double-sided tape. The scent will draw the roaches into the trap.

10. Fortify Plants

Give seedlings a nitrogen boost by stirring grounds into soil or a watering can.

 
Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Aug 27

My Top 20 Brain Foods

I have heard you talk a lot about the importance of experience in brain development but as a certified nutrition I think it is important to talk about food too.

Why is Brain Food good for you?

We know that the foods we eat affect the body.

But they may have even more of an influence on how the brain works—it’s general tone and level of energy and how it handles its tasks. Mood, motivation and mental performance are powerfully influenced by diet.
The brain is an extremely metabolically active organ, making it a very hungry one, and a picky eater at that. It’s becoming pretty clear in research labs around the country that the right food, or the natural neurochemicals that they contain, can enhance mental capabilities—help you concentrate, tune sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated, magnify memory, speed reaction times, defuse stress, perhaps even prevent brain aging.

According to the most current research, a brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol. Like the heart, the brain needs the right balance of nutrients, including protein and sugar, to function well. A brain-healthy diet is most effective when combined with physical and mental activity and social interaction.

But Add these ‘super foods’ to your daily diet, and you will increase your odds of maintaining a healthy brain for the rest of your life.
My Top 20 Brain Foods.
1. Beans
2. olives
3. Yogurt
4. Whole Wheat
5. Oranges (Note Must Be Organic)
6. Broccoli
7. Almonds-Walnuts
8. Apple (Note Must Be Organic)
9. Avocados (Note Best in Antioxidant)
10. Bananas
11. Berries (Note Must Be Organic and Best in Antioxidant)
12. Carrots
13. Tomatoes
14.Spinach (Note Must Be Organic and Best in Antioxidant)
15. Tuna
16. Red Bell Pepper (Note Must Be Organic and Best in Antioxidant)
17. Asparagus
18. Oats
19. Peas
20. Plums (Note Must Be Organic and Best in Antioxidant)
I forgot chocolate now it is list as one of the best brain foods.

 

 
Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Aug 01

Are you ready for a dog?

Are you ready for a dog?
I would said in time I will be ready for a dog. I need to move into a bigger place than what I live in now. I have to wait to get a new dog. I want one that will fit into my new life. I still what a Rat Terrier.  I was going to get another girl one and she will be smaller than my Lucky baby. What I know about Rat Terriers is that it needs a lot of exercise, and training.

Here is some information that will help on choosing a dog.

A dog will do his best to please you and keep you smiling. He will curl up with you when you are feeling down or need some serious relaxation. He won’t hold your mistakes against you or prejudge you for your looks, faults or lack of know-how. He’ll be your unconditional friend and will play ball with you as long as you wish. He’ll forgive you for all your mistakes, never holding them against you later. Sleeping at your feet and loving to please you, he will enjoy just spending time with you. He’ll do his best to protect you, because you will be his master.

However, a dog also relies on you for everything—from his food, water, shelter, leadership, exercise, grooming, to his training, veterinary care, companionship and protection.

Know what you are getting into.
Are you prepared to spend the next 10-15 years of your life taking care of your dog? That is about how long your dog will live. Can you afford the added expense of a dog? When you get a dog, it is a life-long commitment, and should not be treated like a piece of furniture that you can just “get rid of” when you get tired of it. After all, this dog will be part of your family. Would you get rid of your children because you were tired of them wetting their beds? Are you prepared to accept the fact that dogs are not little humans and invest some time into learning how to properly treat your dog in order to keep him or her balanced?
Before you bring a dog into your home think long and hard. Are you prepared for the responsibility? Do you understand natural dog behavior? Do you understand what makes a dog tick and what it institutionally needs as a canine animal? Are you willing to invest the time it takes? A dog’s temperament is a direct result of the owner’s ability to understand him and give him what he institutionally needs as a canine animal.

The decision to get a dog needs to be carefully thought out.
Do you honestly have the time to take care of a dog? Are you prepared to walk it every day? Are you prepared to show the dog consistent leadership, putting your emotions aside and seeing it as a canine? Are you prepared to train it? What kind of dog should you get? Some people think a dog is a dog. I hear them say they don’t care what breed of dog they get. There are many different breeds with many different needs. Honestly think about it and do your homework. Think about your family as it is right now, and how it will be in the future.

Every family has its own needs, schedule, personality, medical problems, space and time limitations. If you take a good hard look at your family’s situation, you can match a dog that will fit into your lives nicely and not just make things more awkward and difficult.

Is anyone in your family allergic to dog hair? Are you bothered by hair on everything from your clothes to your toast? Some breeds are heavy shredders, while others hardly shed at all. Do you have children? Are you going to have children in the next 10-15 years? Do you have friends who visit your home who have children? Are you prepared to learn how to teach your child how to display leadership toward the dog? Do you mind holes being dug in your yard? Some dogs like to dig if they hear something moving underground, while others are less likely to dig.

Do you mind if your dog has a tendency to wander away from home, or would you rather have a dog that would be more likely to stick close to home? Some hunting breeds will roam if they catch a scent of another animal; it is in their nature, while others have a strong instinct to stick close to home.

All dogs, regardless of breed, size or energy level need to be taken on a daily pack walk.

Within each and every litter there are pups born with different energy and dominance levels. You need to choose a dog whose energy level matches or is lower than your own. If your family is not very active, do not choose a pup with a higher energy level. If you are a laid-back family, do not choose a pup with a higher dominance level. The degree of exercise varies. Some dogs need daily vigorous exercise and you would need to take it out every day for a run and a nice long walk, while others will get enough exercise with a shorter walk and by running around the inside of your house. Some dogs need a job to do or they will become restless, bored, very destructive and unruly. Other dogs will settle for just a short walk. Some can be highly obedience-trained, while others cannot.

Get the point? All dogs are different, and all families are different.

Find a dog that fits well into your family, so you and your dog can live in harmony.

While it is important to choose the correct breed for your family’s lifestyle, it is even more important to understand a dog is a canine, not a human, and treat him accordingly.
For a clear understanding into a dog’s brain check out Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer). You will find that any dog can be your worst nightmare or your best investment; it all depends on the owner and their understanding of the canine and their willingness to give the dog what he truly needs. Cesar is an excellent guide to communicating with, understanding, and controlling your dog.

It’s your choice. Do your homework.
Research the different kinds of breeds and take a long, hard look at your life and don’t forget, that cute little puppy does grow up to be an adult dog. Never adopt a puppy, or adult dog, solely on looks. If you are looking to adopt a dog, don’t forget to visit our Rescue section. There are many great rescue groups and organizations listed who have wonderful homeless dogs just waiting for someone like you to take them home and love them. If you are looking to adopting a rescue dog please read Successfully Adopting a Rescue Dog.


Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

Jul 27

Here is my favorite dog. The Rat Terrier.

My favorite dog is the Rat Terrier. My Next dog will be a Rat Terrier. I had a Rat Terrier for thirteen years, her name was Lucky. She made me laugh all the time. I have two pictures of Lucky. One she killed a rat at the park by our place in Californian and one in Texas. My ratter had the tri-spotted color. I didn’t know ratters came in some many different types. My friends and family would call Lucky a spaze all the time.
rat terrier kills a rat

Here are some description of Rat Terriers.

The Rat Terrier is a well-muscled dog with a deep chest, strong shoulders, solid neck and powerful legs. Its body is compact but meaty. The ears can be upright or tipped and are carried erect when the dog is alert. It can be born with a short or full-length tail, each being left in its natural state or docked at two days of age. The coat colors include pearls, sables, chocolates, red and white, tri-spotted, solid red, black and tan, blue and white and red brindle. Breeders concerned with working dogs are not as fussy about the specifics of the looks.

Temperament

The Rat Terrier is an intelligent, alert and loving dog. It is very inquisitive and lively. This affectionate dog makes an excellent companion for those who will enjoy an energetic dog. They are good with children, especially if they are raised with them from puppy hood. They are, for the most part, friendly with strangers. Rat Terriers make good watchdogs. These dogs are quick, very playful and are not yappers. The temperament of these dogs is pure terrier. The lively, feisty, fearless nature can be found in the best of terriers. They are eager to please and respond and pick training up faster than most dogs. The Rat Terrier is a very well-mannered, well-rounded dog. It is easy to train, very eager to learn and to please its owner. They love to go with you and to do what you do. They are also very good swimmers, not bashful or afraid and have no problem with the water. They make good farm dogs as well as excellent family dogs for pets and companionship. This hardy dog is used for hunting expeditions as well as terrier work. Adult dogs can adjust easily into families with or without children. Make sure you are this dog’s firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behavior problems that can include territorial issues. Always remember, dogs are canines, not humans. Be sure to meet their natural instincts as animals.

I thought there was one type of Rat Terrier. Now I know there are more than one type.

Lucky, my old rat terrier

Lucky, my rat terrier, sleeping

Origin

Named by the perceptive Teddy Roosevelt, the Rat Terrier was developed in Great Britain originally from the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Manchester Terrier in 1820. It was brought to the USA in the 1890s. At that time they were all their original color of black and tan. Life Magazine showed President Roosevelt with three black and tan Rat Terriers. American breeders crossed them again with the Smooth Fox Terrier as well as the Beagle and Whippet. The Beagle increased bulk, trailing and hunting ability, along with the red color. The Whippet contributed the speed and agility and probably the blue and brindle colors. The smallest variety was derived from the Smooth Fox Terrier and Chihuahua. The Rat Terrier proved to be one of the best in the rat-baiting pits. One Rat Terrier is reported to have killed over 2,501 rats in a span of only seven hours in a rat infested barn. The Rat Terrier is a hard-working farm hand, able to rid an infested barn of vermin with no problem.


Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.