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Archive for January, 2007

You know I always like to let you know about FREE stuff that comes my way…here’s a free teleseminar to help you help your teen:

If you’re like most parents of teens, you want to do everything you can to help your teenager be successful in high school. But do you sometimes feel frustrated because you aren’t sure how you can help? You want to help with homework, but don’t remember algebra?

Linda Hinkle, a veteran high school teacher, is hosting a free teleseminar in which she will discuss various strategies parents can use to help keep abreast of their teen’s academic progress. You will also receive her free report “The High School Journey: What to Expect From Freshman to Senior” as soon as you sign up for the teleseminar. You can sign up and see all the details at http://www.parentsguidetohighschool.com

Check it out and let me know how it goes…

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Confidence is a crucial part of our lives – both as children and as adults. Without it, we are left with: low self-esteem; feelings of unworthiness; and we are vulnerable to the pitfalls life sometimes doles out. Confident moms = confident children and this, above all else, is the very foundation which will determine the future success or failure of your children. Here are some tips on how you can increase your child’s confidence:

Be a role model for your child. If your self-esteem is high, your child will pick up on that part of you and absorb it. Keep a positive attitude in everything you do. Think back to the happiest memories from your childhood, and use it as a catalyst in your own life. If you become worried or frustrated, avoid outwardly expressing it. Negativity in the home is unhealthy, especially for children.

Counteract their exposure to the unpleasant things in life by having frequent talks invoking the positive aspects. Help build your children’s self-esteem by giving them certain responsibilities around the home, and rewarding them for a job well done. Give them the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. Encourage them in anything they wish to achieve, utilizing a positive tone.

Be open to their thoughts and feelings. If they have been confronted with a particular situation, listen and be attentive and comforting. However, try not to tell them what to do but allow them to work it through in their own mind. This will give them the tools they need to learn how to interact with others. It is a crucial step in their development. Allowing them to solve their own problems will boost their confidence immeasurably and give them the independence that they need as they grow toward adulthood.

Be sensitive to their needs; don’t brush aside what may seem trivial to you. Remember when you were going through the same phase; be always mindful of it.

Children mirror what they see in their home lives and day to day activities. If you exude confidence, they will pick up on it and begin to display the same confidence in their own lives!

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Do you have a good relationship with your daughter? Do you wish it could be better? Here’s a great resource for you to take advantage of…whether you don’t know where to start or are trying to mend a broken relationship, this is the book for you.

A good colleague and friend, Sandy Heinz of Good 2ba Girl, put out this ebook – 4 Blocks to Building a Lifelong Relationship with Your Daughter – in 2006 and it is available to you for free!

In the book, Sandy describes in detail 4 essential blocks that help build the relationship you’ve been wanting between you and your daughter:

  1. Trust
  2. Communication
  3. Effective Listening
  4. Letting Go


Click here to get your free copy.

This book is among many “freebies” that Mom’s Niche has to offer. We have newsletters and ecourses, ebooks and reports…all for free. Check out the other FREEBIES available at MomsNiche.com!

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This is great for a cold winter’s day!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds boneless round steak (cubed )
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 small onion (diced)
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Directions:
Combine beef, mushrooms, onion, broth and teriyaki sauce in crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Approximately 45 minutes before serving dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons cold water. Add water/cornstarch mixture and broccoli to crock pot. Cover and cook a further 45 minutes.

Serve over rice and you’ve got a great meal!!

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Ways to Improve Your Memory

As we get older, we tend to forget things more and more. Sure, you don’t really need to remember the name of your third grade teacher, but it would be nice to know where you left your keys when you got home last night. If you feel like your memory is slipping away from you, here are a few tips to help you remember.

Prevention is the best cure. If you’re starting to forget things, you can take simple steps to improve your brain power. This can not only help you remember things, but also keep your from losing more information.

  • Give your brain a workout. Your brain is just like your body; to work properly, it needs regular exercise. Take a short time every day to do a cross-word puzzle, play a quick game of sudoku, or learn a new skill. It only takes a few minutes, but it will make a world of difference.
  • Stay in shape. Your brain is an organ just like any other. If you keep yourself in good physical condition, it will help improve brain function. You don’t need tons of exercise, a daily walk is enough.
  • Reduce your stress. Stress causes our bodies to produce more cortisol which has been shown to impair your ability to remember. Relax by taking baths or trying yoga. You should also get plenty of rest; sleep deprivation also increases cortisol levels.
  • Get emotional. Hiding or obscuring your emotions takes constant mental energy. If you express what you’re feeling, you have more brain power available to devote to memory.
  • Believe in yourself. If you doubt the fact you’ll remember something, you’re more likely to forget it. Instead of immediately thinking that you’re going to forget something, have confidence that you’ll remember it.

These actions can help improve your overall memory capabilities, but what about remembering things your need to know now? Here are a few techniques you can use to keep yourself from forgetting specific things.

  1. Pay attention. Most memory problems are caused by not paying attention in the first place. Make a conscious effort to get information into your head. Instead of just throwing your keys down, tell yourself “I put my keys on the kitchen counter” as you do it.
  2. Make up a song. When I was a little girl in Sunday School, the teachers taught us a song to remember all of the books of the bible. Try putting things you need to remember, like phone numbers, to a tune you already know (867-5309). And who can forget the great SchoolHouse Rock songs? “Conjunction Junction” and “I’m Just a Bill” run through my head on occasion and also help me to help my kids learn about history and grammar… You’ll find these songs you make up will tend to stick in your mind longer make things a lot easier to remember.
  3. Connect what you don’t know to stuff you do. For example, use your body to remember lists. Associate the first item to your feet (I’m kicking my way through laundry detergent), then the next item to your knee (cantaloupe is shaped like my knee) and work your way up the body. Another method of this is by using the first letters of things you need to remember to make a word or sentence. For example: The name ROY G. BIV helps us remember the colors of the rainbow in order (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo and Violet).
  4. Write a story. Find a way to connect things you need to remember in your head. You can come up with a funny story, or just make a picture in your head involving what you need to remember.

These simple tips can help our aging brains get back in shape and hopefully stay there!

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Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures in life that make us happy. Pampering, even for just an hour, can make all the difference. If you’ve never had a pedicure, or it’s been ages since the last one; you’ll agree it is the most soothing and relaxing hour you’ll probably ever spend in a salon. However, you can also derive the same pleasure at home. Wait until the kids have gone to bed; and proceed to your bathroom. Then, follow these home pedicure tips for moms.

  1. Light an aromatherapy candle, and place it on the countertop in your bathroom.
  2. Fill your tub with warm water. Add either Epsom salt or your favorite bath salt.
  3. Using cotton balls, remove old polish from your toenails with nail polish remover.
  4. Soak your feet for ten to fifteen minutes.
  5. Using a pumice stone to rub the heels and balls of your feet to remove dead skin. If you have a soft brush, you can use that as well.
  6. Dry your feet thoroughly.
  7. Cut your toenails.
  8. Using your favorite moisturizer, massage your cuticles and both feet.
  9. Gently push back your cuticles with an orange stick, and remove the excess cuticles.
  10. Massage your legs with the moisturizer as well.
  11. One foot at a time, apply clear nail hardener.
  12. Apply your favorite color nail polish.
  13. Apply a second coat of nail hardener.
  14. Add cotton balls in between toes until nails are dry.
  15. Use flip-flops if you need to walk around, or simply relax in your scented bathroom until nails are dry.

Wasn’t that a wonderful experience? Do you feel relaxed? Home pedicures can be just as soothing as going to a spa or salon; the only difference is it doesn’t cost anything except the price of a small bottle of nail polish.

Want to learn some more easy beauty secrets? We’ve got 1001 Beauty Tips for you right here! Great beauty treatments give your mind, body and soul a complete makeover!

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It’s Thursday…time for another Thumbs Up! This week’s prize goes to Revka at Little Fun; Little Learning. Appropriately named because it is focused on the “littles” in the family – age 0-5. There are activities and other terrific resources for that age group.

I’m particularly intrigued because of my almost-3-yr-old. She keeps us hopping and this blog has some great resources!

I particularly liked Revka’s entry on Board Games – check it out here. She makes some great suggestions for the “littles” age group. Our family loves to play board games and now little Livvie is getting her feet wet with a new set of games she got for Christmas made by Leap Frog. The games include: memory mate (the pictures match, one card has the word in English, the other in Spanish); dominoes (see picture); and two card games – Alphabet Go Fish and Math Rummy.
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This dominoes game is a very cool learning tool! Her set came with about 6 different sets of domino games including colors, animals and even regular colored dots like real dominoes. There’s one set that includes pictures of objects with rhyming words underneath. We played not only matching up the pics, but also rhyming “cat” with “hat” and “bug” with “rug.” She caught on quickly and will surprise her older brother and sister today after school with her new skills!

Play some games with your kids – it can be a lot of fun and YOU might even learn a thing or two 🙂

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