Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for love, but the other 364 days are great for that, too. As a parent, you have the double-duty of wanting to make your spouse and your kids feel special – and all the more so on Valentine’s Day.
To embrace your kids with Valentine’s love, try these three powerful ideas that will leave no doubt they’re the apple of your eye.
• The power of kind words
Despite what’s said about “sticks and stones”, words can have a huge impact on how children see themselves. Think about the potentially negative impact of a phrase such as, “You are always doing stupid things!” Or, “You act more like a baby than your little sister.” We all know that raising a child can be frustrating (our words sometimes reflect that frustration), but let this Valentine’s Day serve as a reminder of the positive power of our words. Make a commitment to use your words to develop your children’s self-esteem. Praise their accomplishments, no matter how small. Let them know you’re proud, for example, of the A+ they got on their spelling test or the improvement they’re making in whichever subject. Talk about the beautiful colors they used in their drawings. Tell them how excited you are to see them when they arrive home from school.
With so many parties and so much great food, the holidays can be a challenging time of year if you’re trying to watch your weight and your waistline. How can you treat your taste buds without sacrificing a good time?
Eat sensibly on the day of your holiday dinner. Be sure to have a moderate breakfast or brunch before the big dinner arrives. This will help make sure you don’t come to the main meal with a full appetite and a fuller plate.
Eat the right appetizers. Those hot dogs in a blanket and miniature egg rolls are certainly tasty but they can really pack on the pounds. Each bite contains about 100 calories or more. Choose to eat fresh vegetables instead (without the dip, of course) or, if that’s not an option, simply limit your portions.
Keeping the holidays festive without spending a pretty penny doesn’t seem possible sometimes. Even though we’d all love to make “big” purchases, the budget isn’t always willing. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to keep your costs down without losing your holiday spirit.
- Make a list and check it twice (at least) – Decide on a budget you can comfortably live with for food, gifts and decorations. Having a specific amount in mind will help you avoid overspending. Also, be sure to watch for coupons or grocery flyers for food items that are on sale. Keep an eye on department store sales and online offers for gifts and decorations. By planning even a week or two ahead, you can tap into sales on just about everything you might need, at discounted prices.
Before you begin reading the articles in our Blog about Thanksgiving, take a moment to see how much you know about the holiday. Here are 5 questions to test your knowledge:
- Which U.S. President officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving?
- The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in what year – 1911, 1920 or 1939?
- The average weight of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving is how many pounds – 15, 17 or 19?
- The holiday shopping season traditionally begins on the day after Thanksgiving. What is the name of that day?
- What percentage of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day – 71, 81 or 91 percent?
And let’s ask one more question: Who can have a happier, healthier and truly thankful Thanksgiving by reading the articles in our Blog?
- Abraham Lincoln
- Black Friday
For many families, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and the spending spree that comes along with it. It’s not uncommon for some moms, dads and kids to head out bright and early on “Black Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving – with the hope of finding the best deals on those wish-list items.
No matter if you’re a Black Friday early-riser or wake-up-at-noon super sleeper wouldn’t it be nice to have a fatter wallet (not just a fatter stomach) once Thanksgiving is over? You can, with the help of these money-saving tips:
- Plan your menu early – Know what you’re going to serve for Thanksgiving about five weeks ahead of the big day. Many supermarkets have lower prices on traditional Thanksgiving items in the month leading up to the holiday, so check the store circulars for the lowest prices – and make sure to look for matching coupons. For a small weekly fee, websites such as www.thegrocerygame.com will help you find deals and let you know if there’s a coupon to lower the cost even further.
- Don’t overbuy – The tendency for many Thanksgiving cooks is to prepare more food than needed. Often, however, the extra food (and the extra money spent) may be wasted. To make sure you don’t overspend and over-prepare, go online and search for terms such as, “How much food do I need for Thanksgiving” or “How much turkey do I need for 10 people.” You’ll find lots of sites that can help you to determine an appropriate amount of food.
- Use leftovers – A meal with leftovers can be just as satisfying as the original feast. Be sure to save more than just the turkey. Cranberry sauce can be used again, vegetables can be used to create soups and dips, and mashed potatoes can be shaped into patties for frying.