Monday, November 20, 2017

Finishing Touches for Thanksgiving

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com

Thanksgiving is coming in less than a week, and while I'm sure you've been making your preparations for the last few weeks, sometimes things slip through the cracks. Babbleboxx recently sent me a box of Thanksgiving goodness that will help you make sure you have all those last minute things ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Be sure to look for the discounts that are being offered to my readers on a few of these items.



Make your Thanksgiving Day better than ever this year with these last minute finishing touches.

Finishing Touches for Thanksgiving


Appetizers


Edible Arrangements are a great choice for Thanksgiving appetizers or Thanksgiving dessert. I was sent the Autumn Harvest Dipped Fruit Trio to try and it not only tasted delicious, it was beautiful. There were chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered bananas with caramelized hazelnuts, and salted caramel apple wedges (my personal favorite).

Red edible arrangements box containing chocolate covered fruit

These are a great addition to your Thanksgiving table because all you have to do is order them and they are delivered right to your house. Besides the boxed options, they have beautiful fruit arrangements that you can order depending on where you live (they are hand-delivered).

Chocolate covered fruit by edible arrangements


Edible Arrangements is offering my readers a special deal for Thanksgiving arrangements. You can order as late as November 22 to have your arrangements to you in time for feast day.

Use the following codes at check out to get your discount:

THANK17  $10 off $39+ (49+ in CA), valid through 11/22, unlimited use

FEAST $20 off $99+, valid through 11/22, unlimited use

Order your Thanksgiving Edible Arrangements here: Edible Arrangements

Beverages


Sipp Sparkling Organic Drink is a great option for everyone at Thanksgiving dinner. It can be mixed into another drink or used all by itself. I received the Mojo Berry flavor, which is blackberry, mint, and lime and I thought it was perfect as a standalone beverage.

Sipp drinks come in 6 different flavors, are all organic and each drink contains fruit, herbs and is lightly sweetened with agave. So good!

Purchase Sipp sparkling organic drinks here: Sipp Website

Sipp Organic Sparkling beverage mojo berry


Clean Cocktails is a new cookbook (what do you call a book full of beverage recipes? A drink book?) by holistic health coaches Beth Ritter Nydick and Tara Roscioli. They have put a health conscious and clean living spin onto mixology and their recipes use only anti-inflammatory spices, low-calorie spirits, and clean sweeteners.

Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist

My family does not drink alcohol, but even for us, there is a whole section of mocktails that look fun to try. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try something new and different to drink for dinner. I'm looking forward to making a couple of these mocktails for my family.

I also loved looking at the fabulous photography in this book!

Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist

Order the book here: Clean Cocktails for the Modern Mixologist

Don't forget the dog!


Solid Gold Superfood Chewy Dog Treats are necessary so your pooch doesn't feel left out. My dog will sit in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day just waiting to be given anything that she is smelling. These natural dog treats use Thanksgiving-inspired ingredients—turkey, sweet potato, and cinnamon—to make a dog treat my dog loved.

They are also grain-free which is something I look for in a dog treat.

Buy your dog treats here: Solid Gold Superfood Dog Treats

Get $1.00 off with this coupon: Solid Gold Coupon

Solid Gold Superfood Chewy Dog Treats for Thanksgiving


Petlanthropy gift cards are an amazing way to give back to your local animal shelters this Thanksgiving! I always like to have some sort of service project my family can do around this holiday of gratitude, and I love the idea of these gift cards.

You can purchase a gift card from Petlanthropy to give to the animal lovers in your life, who can then choose which shelter they would like to donate the money to. I think it's a fabulous idea and a great way to help your families become aware of the needs of their local shelters.

Cards are available to purchase now and redemption will open on December 1. I am excited to redeem mine for my local animal shelter!

Petlanthropy Gift Card

Take away some of your stress this Thanksgiving with these products and make your day the best yet!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Free Printable Christmas Service Advent Cards

A couple years ago, I started putting service ideas in our advent calendar instead of candy. I wasn't sure how my girls would like that since they LOVED fighting over a single piece of chocolate every morning, but it's turned out pretty well. Now they look forward to trying to do the simple service they pull out of the calendar each morning instead.

Free printable Christmas service advent


Sometimes the service idea is for our own family and home—things like doing the dishes or organizing a family movie night with popcorn. Sometimes the service is for their friends, and sometimes it is for total strangers.

Christmas is such a busy time, and it is often difficult to find extra time to do large service projects, but I want to make sure my kids are thinking of others during the holiday season and this has been a great way to accomplish that. Because December is a crazy month, sometimes they don't get a chance to do every single service, but they sure try! I love seeing how they've caught the spirit of serving others during the holiday season—the joy it brings to them is inspiring to me.

Fun idea for helping kids to serve others this Christmas season—printable service advent cards to put into your advent calendar.


If you do Elf on a Shelf, it might also be fun to have your elf encourage the service ideas instead of putting them into an advent calendar. Any way you do it will help your kids to catch the spirit of the season!

I have teamed up with a few of my favorite blogger friends to give you a whole bundle of Christmas printables—including my service advent cards. You can download all 8 printables at the bottom of this post.


You will receive Christmas printables from 8 family lifestyle bloggers:

Nativity Coloring Pages from Katelyn at What's Up Fagans?:

Bring the true meaning of the Holiday season to life with these 12 fun Nativity coloring pages for kids (and adults)! Use them as a fun way to countdown to Christmas or as something to entertain kids during family get-togethers during the holidays.

Christmas Service Advent from Lara at Overstuffed:

Instead of putting candy in your advent calendar this year, try these cute service ideas and help your children catch the Spirit of Christmas by serving others daily!

12 Days of Christmas from Katie at Clarks Condensed

Use these fun 12 Days of Christmas printables to give secret gifts to your neighbors and friends this year!

Gift Organization Printable from Hilary at Pulling Curls:

This printable will keep your Christmas gifts organized by item, price, and even by hiding place.

Printable Candy Sleighs from Annette at Tips from a Typical Mom:

Use these adorable printables to make candy sleighs to hand out to your neighbors or to decorate your home this holiday.

Kisses Advent Calendar from Jen at Your Everyday Family:

Use these cute printables along with Hershey’s kisses and do the daily advent activities with your kids all month long.

Holiday Coloring & Activity Set from Sarah at Ruffles and Rainboots:

This holiday-themed set includes 3 coloring pages, a seek and find activity, 3 coloring bookmarks, an advent calendar, a printable coloring holiday card, and a “design your own ornament” set. This set includes fun for many ages but will be best for age 2-7.

Gingerbread House Candy Ideas from Lauren at Oh Honestly!:

The Gingerbread House Candy Ideas printable has 25+ items, divided into convenient categories that make it a breeze to decide exactly how you want to decorate your gingerbread houses.

The printables are in a 40-page PDF file. You only need to print out the pages you need.

You will be added to the email lists of each blogger. Each of them regularly send out great information about parenting, pregnancy, kids activities, homemaking, recipes, and saving money.



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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

5 Ways Kids Benefit From Music Lessons

Thank you Fender for sponsoring this post. Learn guitar at home with Fender Play!

Music lessons are a requirement for our children. Perhaps that's just what they get for being born to two professional musicians, but we actually don't expect them to choose a career in music if they don't want to. We require them to learn a musical instrument because music lessons benefit them in so many other ways.



Our oldest daughter is now a senior in high school and I have seen the years of music lessons she has under her belt benefit her immensely. And, while she is a talented musician, her college plans do not currently include a major in music—but they do include continuing to study music by playing in the college orchestras and taking some music classes where she will continue to reap the benefits of playing a musical instrument.

If you're uncertain about putting your child in music lessons because they might not be talented enough or because they won't want a career in music, these benefits may surprise you. Playing a musical instrument will help your child be more successful in almost every other area of their lives. Music is just that cool!

Be sure to scroll all the way down to the end of this post for the opportunity to win a guitar starter pack from Fender and learn more about Fender Play—a great way to get kids online guitar lessons.

Kids benefit from music in MANY ways—ways that help them in all areas of their lives.


5 Ways Kids Benefit From Music Lessons


1. Music lessons can improve academic performance


There have been numerous studies showing how music lessons strengthens brain function. This study from Northwestern University found that children engaged in learning a musical instrument showed larger improvements in the way the brain processed reading and speech. Other studies have shown that kids who are studying music have better verbal memory and a heightened ability to learn foreign languages.

Music is inherently mathematical and can help kids to better understand mathematical principles as they learn how rhythm and other parts of music work.

2. Music lessons teach patience and discipline


Kids learn patience and discipline as they learn music in several ways. They learn to be patient as they start out only being able to play simple pieces and have to wait to play the music they really want to play. They learn patience when their practice sessions do not go the way they want them to. They learn discipline because they must practice often in order to improve.

They learn how to focus better both during lessons and practice. They learn the principle of hard work. Some kids may even learn to sit still for longer periods of time than they were able to do before they began to learn an instrument.



3. Music lessons help to develop physical coordination and motor skills


All instruments require a level of physical coordination in order to learn them. Usually kids will have to learn to do something different with each hand. The guitar, for instance, requires the left hand to finger the chords and the right hand to strum them. This type of physical coordination helps with brain development and coordination in other areas like sports or dancing.

4. Music lessons can boost self-esteem


Learning a musical instrument boosts self-esteem for kids in several ways. First, simply mastering something new helps kids to feel good about themselves. Having the ability to share those skills with others further improves their self worth.

Kids also learn to respond positively to constructive criticism as they take music lessons. Learning to take correction is an essential part of learning to play an instrument and the more they learn to do this with grace, the better off they are. Through this process they learn that correction is not a negative thing but a positive thing that only helps them to be the best they can be, thus improving their self-esteem.

Fender Play guitar lessons are a great way to help kids benefit from music lessons


5. Music lessons encourage creativity


Music lessons not only give kids a way to express their creativity, they also help them to feel more comfortable being creative. Music also helps kids learn to express their emotions in a way that they might not be able to do with words—"music is what feelings sound like" as my music professor husband likes to say.

Fender Play makes getting music lessons easier


I know that sometimes music lessons are not feasible. Maybe your kid doesn't have time for regular lessons, or perhaps it isn't in the budget. For my 17-year-old daughter, both of these have factored into her wanting to learn the guitar. I already pay a hefty sum for her violin lessons and she is so busy I don't see how she would fit in a regular guitar lesson anyway!

Fender Play online guitar lessons


Our alternative was Fender Play and it has been the perfect way for Bria to add guitar to her repertoire on her own time. I love that I hear the guitar from her bedroom in the evening after she has finished her homework, and I really love that I also hear her getting better and better.

Fender Play is an online music lessons system that allows kids to work and learn at their own pace and to play the songs they love to listen to. The videos break their favorite songs down to the basics and the song library is pretty extensive, so there are plenty of options each kid will love. The videos are also shot in a way that allows them to easily see what each hand is doing so that they can more quickly learn the coordination they need to play the songs.

Find out if Fender Play is for you by starting your FREE 30-Day Trial here: Try Fender Play for Free!

Enter to win an awesome Guitar Starter Pack from Fender using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.

Giveaway details:

Prizes: [15] Fender Guitar Squier® Strat® Packs, each containing a Short-scale 24" Stratocaster guitar in Black or Brown Sunburst, a Squier Frontman® 10G amplifier, a pack of picks, guitar strap, and a 10-foot instrument cable (ARV $199.99 each)

Dates: November 13 - December 8, 2017

Entry Options: Readers may enter the giveaway via the widget with the following options:

Sign up for the Fender Play email list [required]

Visiting Fender Play landing page [required]

Tweeting about the giveaway [optional]

Visiting Fender on Facebook [optional]

Following Fender on Twitter [optional]

Leaving a comment on the blog post [optional]

Notification: Winners will be randomly selected and notified by CLEVER and/or Fender by December 12, 2017

Terms & Conditions: The official Terms & Conditions are included in the widget; here is the high-level eligibility criteria:

Age 18+

US resident only

Only one winner per household
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Friday, November 10, 2017

5 Ways to Practice Hygge This Winter


This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com

I recently read the book A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell. That's where I first heard the concept of hygge, and I'm sort of in love with it.

Hygge is a Danish word that roughly means creating coziness in your surroundings, which I have found is of particular importance during the winter. I live in one of the snowiest cities in the US, and sometimes the winters are difficult for me, but I love the idea of hygge and look forward to putting it into practice this winter.

We just had our first major snowstorm yesterday, so my box of cold weather comforts from Babbleboxx came just in time! Everything in the box is perfect for helping me to add some Danish coziness to my home this winter.


Hygge is the trending Danish practice of coziness. It's a great way to make winter more bearable, and here are some ideas and products to help you implement the practice.

5 Ways to Practice Hygge in Your Home


Candles


The Danes love to have lots of candles lit around their homes to create the perfect hygge atmosphere. I enjoy candles, but I realize that I rarely actually light them because it's a hassle to do it with matches!

zippo flex neck lighter

This awesome Zippo flex neck lighter makes it super easy to get hard to reach candles lit. I went around my house and lit all the candles in no time at all. The flexible neck can get into jar candles that are almost burnt out, which my other lighters can never quite do without some gymnastics on my end. The Zippo flex neck lighter just got right in there and quickly lit my favorite jar candle that is almost done.

The zippo flex neck lighter makes lighting any candle a lot easier.


The Zippo flex neck lighter is also refillable, which is easy to do with the Zippo premium butane fuel.

Purchase your own here: Zippo Flex Neck Lighter

Chesapeake Bay mind and body collection


This candle from the Chesapeake Bay Mind & Body collection is made with essential oils and it smells SO good. Not only does it help create the hygge atmosphere with the candlelight, it enhances the coziness with the amazing scent.

When my 17-year-old daughter saw this candle, she said, "Mom! This is the prettiest candle I have ever seen." And it is really is a good-looking jar candle compared to others. The scent is also really strong and long-lasting compared to other jar candles I have used.

Get your own candle here: Chesapeake Bay Candles

Tea


I love tea. I especially love curling up and sipping some good tea during the cold winters—what could be cozier than that?

Tea forte warming joy holiday tea collection


This Tea Forte Warming Joy holiday collection of teas is the perfect collection of holiday teas for tea lovers. I loved the fun and unique pyramid design of the tea bags and the way they steeped. It just made them even better to drink.

My favorite tea was the spiced ginger plum herbal tea. I love the spicy blends and this one was SO good.

Tea forte warming joy holiday tea collection

This Warming Joy petite presentation box includes 10 pyramid tea infusers. It's part of a holiday collection that also includes a large presentation box, a tea chest, a petite tea tree, and single steeps—perfect measure single serve loose tea pouches. I love this idea for Christmas gifts for my friends, too. And I would love to receive one, too, so I can get all cozy drinking more tea!

Buy your own tea collection here: Tea Forte Warming Joy Tea

Get 20% off any Tea Forte purchase by entering code WJ20 at checkout. Valid through 12/31/2017

A good book


While I'm all curled up with my tea, I usually have a good book in hand. I love to read and I generally get a lot more reading done during the winter because life slows down. It's good for me to remember how much I love to read on stormy days because it helps keep me happy when the weather might otherwise get me down.

Links by Lisa Becker


If you like fun romance novels, Links by Lisa Becker is the perfect read to get cozy with this winter. It's a cute story about Charlotte—ugly duckling in high school—who runs into her old high school crush 15 years later. She's not an ugly duckling anymore, and Garrett is a pro golfer who is going through a tough time.

I enjoyed the way the author wrote from both character's perspective—a nice twist from the typical romance novels I've read where you only get to hear one person's thoughts. It made me root for the relationship a lot quicker!

Get your own copy here: Links by Lisa Becker

Better sleep


While sometimes it feels like all I want to do is sleep during the winter, I often have a hard time actually doing it. One of the reasons it can be difficult for me to sleep is because for some reason I often get stuffed up and have trouble breathing during the winters.

Stuffy Nose Strips


I've been using these Stuffy Nose Strips for the last week or so, and I really like them! They don't go on your nose like others I have used before—instead they go on your cheeks and they are really effective at opening your airway. They can open it up to 61% vs. 30% for normal nose strips. I don't know if I have allergies going on or what, but I have breathed much easier at night since beginning to use these.

Get yours here: Stuffy Nose Strips

Get 25% off by entering code XECS9243 at checkout

Better health


Right along with better sleep is better health in general. I don't know about you, but I tend to get sick more often in the winter. Nothing ruins the cozy feeling of hygge faster than being sick!

Zoganic vitamin supplements


Keep yourself and your family healthy with Zoganic, a powdered vitamin supplement that you can mix with water or with a smoothie. My kids don't love taking a bunch of pills, and these are a perfect way to help them get their vitamins and nutrients in.

I have just been mixing them with water and I think they taste great that way. But if you or your kids are particularly picky about taste, I tried it in a smoothie and didn't even notice it was there.

Zoganic

Zoganic comes in 4 flavors—each with a different focus. The orange flavor helps to boost immunity—especially important for wintertime. The pineapple flavor helps promote gut health. The multi (fruity) flavor is a multi vitamin, and the coconut flavor boosts energy. 

Get your own here: Zoganic Vitamin Supplements

The Danish are among the happiest people in the world, and the practice of hygge is said to contribute to that happiness in a big way. I'm excited to make my winters more bearable by thinking about and implementing this idea.

And drinking lots of tea while reading books by candlelight.

Hygge is the trending Danish practice of coziness. It's a great way to make winter more bearable, and here are some ideas and products to help you implement the practice.



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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

November 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout

As usual, I loved General Conference last month. This time around, listening to it made me realize I needed to step back and figure out my priorities and really start focusing more on my family. Not that I wasn't focusing on my family before, but I was letting less important things get in the way.

One of the things that led to the decision was the giant emphasis on service during this conference. Perhaps it was just what the Spirit needed me to hear, but I felt like almost every speaker at least mentioned the need for service in our lives. And I realized that my life is too full to do much service!

Even after stepping back, I am realizing that my time is best used serving my family first and then working in my calling. After that, I am hoping to be able to serve more and better—especially during this holiday season.

November 2017 visiting teaching printable handout. Quote from October 2017 General Conference: "God will use you to make the lives of others better." --Dieter F. Uchtdorf


The quote I chose for the printable this month is from President Uchtdorf's talk—the very first talk on Saturday morning—"A Yearning for Home." I loved the story of Bobbie the Wonderdog and the idea that we should all be yearning for home—yearning to put God first in our lives.

This priority shift is precisely what will allow God to help us be an instrument in His hands and use us to better the lives of His children.

"God will use you to make the lives of others better."

For me, that summed up conference. I want to be an instrument in His hands, and that is what I'm working towards now.

The download form is at the bottom of the post—Enjoy!

I recommend sending the file to a photo center such as Walmart or Costco if you don't have a good photo printer at home. I print mine on this Canon printer which does an excellent job. I print it straight onto 5x7 photo paper so it is ready to go into a frame for my sisters.

For more visiting teaching ideas, join us on Facebook!


November 2017 visiting teaching printable handout. Quote from October 2017 General Conference: "God will use you to make the lives of others better." --Dieter F. Uchtdorf

To download:



Enter your email into the form below. The visiting teaching printable will be sent directly to your inbox.

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This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to Raise Girls to Be Leaders—5 Ways to Help Your Daughters Thrive

Thank you to the Girl Scouts for sponsoring this post! 

This summer my eldest daughter, Bria, was approached about participating in a scholarship pageant. It was not an easy decision for her, because public speaking is not her favorite thing to do. She decided she wanted to do it, though, because she knew it would be something that would only help her become an even better version of herself.

As I watched my daughter walk confidently onto the pageant stage for her interview and answer questions eloquently with a clear voice and a smile on her face, I couldn't help but think of her very first pubic speaking experiences. Back then she could barely hold her tears back as she spoke so quietly nobody could hear her anyway.



It's really cool to see your children develop leadership skills like public speaking. It's amazing to watch them overcome their fears, take risks, and do hard things. The reason she was so poised at the pageant was simply because she had been given many opportunities for public speaking in her young life, and gradually overcame her terror of being in front of an audience.

I asked her about it, and she attributed a lot of it to Girl Scouts and selling cookies to the students in her dad's university orchestra—her very first public speaking opportunity.

During her first year of Girl Scouts, I realized that a great way for her to sell more cookies would be to go stand up in front of an orchestra rehearsal. The first time she did this, she was nine years old and scared to death. I practically had to push her into the room where she slowly went up to the front and very quietly mumbled her prepared speech.

Luckily, it didn't much matter if her speech was good or bad because everyone wants to buy Girl Scout Cookies. And the fact that so many people in the orchestra bought from her boosted her confidence just enough so that the next year it was easier, and it has just continued to get easier each time she speaks in front of an audience—whether it's to sell Thin Mints or to participate in a scholarship pageant.

This conversation got me to thinking about just how grateful I have been for the Girl Scout program. I have three daughters—all Girl Scouts—and I was my youngest daughter's troop leader for several years, as well. I love that the program is designed to help girls develop leadership skills and help them take the lead in their own lives and their communities starting from a very young age.



The Power of G.I.R.L (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) is apparent in my own daughters, as well as the girls in the troops I have led and helped with. I have loved watching them develop confidence and the power to speak up and lead others over the years.

5 Ways Girl Scouts Helps Girls Thrive


5 ways girl scouts helps to prepare your daughter for a lifetime of leadership


1. Girl Scouts helps girls to develop a strong sense of self


I know that I have watched my own daughters develop more self-confidence as they have participated in the Girl Scout program, but I decided to do a quick poll of my Facebook friends about their experiences with Girl Scouts. Over and over I heard the same things:

"She learned how to be independent and I watched her confidence grow."

"My daughter has grown more confident and has improved self-esteem which makes her much less scared to take charge and organize those around her."

"Girl Scouts has also helped my daughter to increase her self esteem. She is less shy and able to speak up when needed. She has become more confident about herself."

"It improved her confidence as an independent woman having been given a panel of successful women to look up to who were always encouraging and motivating."

"Participating in Girl Scouts encouraged her to get involved in school stuff and gave her the confidence to join extracurriculars like band and ROTC."

Girl Scouts is about much more than just selling cookies. Girl Scouts gives our girls the tools to become lifelong leaders in their homes, schools, and communities.
My daughter Chloe selling Girl Scout cookies at a local grocery store. Cookie sales is a huge confidence builder for the girls as they set selling goals and work hard to achieve them.

2. Girl Scouts teaches girls positive values


At the beginning of each meeting, the Girl Scouts repeat the Girl Scout Promise and Law. As leaders, we try to incorporate these principles into everything we do as a troop. These values then become a part of the girls and their lives.

They learn to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, courteous and kind, to respect authority, to be responsible for what they say and do, and much more. These are the same values I try to instill in my children at home and I am thankful for the way Girl Scouts has helped to reinforce their importance.

All of the values that are repeated in the promise and law are essential in a leader. As the girls learn about and internalize these values, they are becoming better leaders—almost without realizing it. Not every girl who joins a Girl Scout troop is a natural leader, but nearly every girl who participates in the program comes out of it having learned leadership skills that will serve her for the rest of her life.

3. Girl Scouts helps girls to welcome challenges and learn from their setbacks


I have watched my daughter Bria go from someone who was literally afraid of everything to a person who truly welcomes challenges in her life. As I mentioned before, I know that her experiences with the Girl Scouts have been a huge part of that. Not only has she had to learn how to speak in front of larger groups, she has learned many skills through her badge work that continue to serve her well.

All of my girls have had to learn to plan their own Girl Scout trips and solve problems as they do so. It's a challenge to work with your whole troop and come to an agreement and the girls learn the challenge of compromise and not always getting their own way.

Girl Scouts is about much more than just selling cookies. Girl Scouts gives our girls the tools to become lifelong leaders in their homes, schools, and communities.

4. Girl Scouts helps girls to form and maintain healthy relationships


One of the things my girls all love most about being a Girl Scout is the friendships they have made. Bria mentioned to me that her favorite part of the Girl Scout Law is the part about being a friend to every Girl Scout. She loves how friendship is valued and feels it is an important leadership quality.

Not only do they learn to form relationships with their peers, they also have many wonderful women leaders to look up to and have a relationship with. One of my friends on Facebook talked about her own Girl Scout troop leader from when she was a Girl Scout:

"My Girl Scout leader is one of the women I most admire. She taught us the value of volunteerism and to have high expectations and respect for ourselves. I loved the outdoor activities best; from canoeing rivers, cemetery cleanups, and camping on a beach under the stars at the mouth of the Huron River. Whenever someone asked "if" or "can we?" Mrs. Work's reply was always 'why not?!'"

5. Girl Scouts helps girls learn to identify and solve problems


Some of my favorite times as a Girl Scout leader have been watching the girls solve problems and put forth their own ideas. Whether it's for an activity or a trip we are taking as a troop or a service project, it's fun to see them begin to problem solve and become their own leaders as they go from little Daisies to confident Cadettes and full-fledged Scouts.

It's fun to watch them decide how the troop cookie money will be used. It's fun to hear their ideas for how we will serve our community. I really love watching these girls blossom as they are given these opportunities to lead their troops and later become better leaders in their classrooms, schools, and larger communities.

I am thankful for what the Girl Scouts has done and continues to do for my daughters.

Want to know more about the impact of Girl Scouts on girls and leadership? Click here for an awesome study: Girl Scout Impact Study


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See the linky parties I link up to here.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Help Busy Teens Get the Homework Help They Need

Thank you Yup for sponsoring this post. Provide your child with instant homework help, 24/7 and get homework done!




High school can be stressful—these kids are often working, involved in sports and other extracurriculars, and are also expected to keep up with difficult college preparatory classes. This is what my daughter Bria is feeling right now. She is a senior in high school this year and is taking an AP English class plus two classes at the local university on top of the other required classes. She is also running cross country, singing in the school musical, and playing violin in the university orchestra. The girl barely has time to clean her room or say boo to me at night.

If your teen is struggling with math or science and the tutoring hours are too restrictive or too expensive, try Yup—a tutoring app designed to help teens get the homework help they need immediately.

On top of all that she is trying to complete an online algebra 2 class. She is struggling with this class right now, but she doesn't have time for a tutor (and barely has time to work on the class). I've offered to get a tutor for her many times, but trying to arrange her schedule for regular tutoring has been more difficult than I anticipated. I had to give up.

Enter Yup online tutoring.

Not only are high school kids busy, they live in a digital age. Yup is a tutoring app that can tutor kids on their schedule and in their language. Bria was a little anxious about using it at first because she thought she might have to FaceTime a perfect stranger. But when she found out it was all done via texting, she relaxed and was willing to try it.

Yup tutoring app review


To start a tutoring session, the student simply has to take a photo of the problem and the app will quickly match them up with a tutor. It was past 10:30 pm when Bria started her first tutoring session and a tutor was available within 30 seconds for her. Other tutoring sessions she's done have been at more normal hours, but it's nice to know that you have 24/7 access to Yup's elite tutors if the only time you have to work on math is midnight after a cross country meet and a play rehearsal!

The student will have the opportunity to rate their tutor at the end of the session. If they really liked that particular tutor, the app will try to match them up in future sessions, if possible.

Yup tutoring app review


As a parent, I love how the Yup tutors are excellent at helping Bria find the right solution without giving her the answers immediately. Because of their help, she was able to solve other similar problems without help even though she had been completely stuck before her tutoring sessions.



Bria mostly just liked knowing that help is immediately available when she gets stuck on her math homework. She also wishes she would have had access to Yup last year when she was taking chemistry and could have used a lot of help.

Yup is made especially for students ages 13-18 and focuses specifically on math, chemistry, and physics. We have been really impressed with our experience so far and I highly recommend this app if you have a busy teen in your home who could use some math or science support.



Want to try Yup for FREE?

My readers will be given 30 minutes of free tutoring! Download the Yup tutoring app and enter the code LEARNINGS—no credit card required—to get your free trial. See if this is a good fit for you and your kids!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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