For Families

Families are busier now more than ever before.  As a mommy, my brain is overloaded with dates, times and logistics of my family's sports schedules,  school schedules, dentist appointments, birthday parties, and so on.  The list goes on and on and on.  It's impossible to keep track of everyone and everything without a little help.  Our family uses one electronic calendar to keep activities and appointments in order.  We find that it saves time, effort and importantly, our sanity. While wall calendars or bulletin board calendars can work well for a family calendar, I highly recommend using an electronic calendar, or e-calendar.  You can use the calendars built into your computer or phone or use a web based calendar, such as Google Calendar.  I find e-calendars are superior to physical calendars because:
IMG_1418I'm always looking for yummy, healthier dessert options for my family.  Chia seed pudding topped  with fruit is one of the easiest homemade desserts that my family loves to eat.  Not only is it tasty and refreshing, but the chia seeds offer a power-packed dose of fiber, omega-3s, antioxidants, protein and calcium.  Truth-be-told, I often make chia seed pudding the night before my son has a big test at school to get those omega 3s in his system and boosting his brain power (I like to think it helps).  
IMG_6708Have you ever been frustrated with your spouse because they forgot to do something that you asked them to do or been accused by your children that "you didn't tell me" about something that they missed out on (even though you told them five times)?  Does the following sound familiar? "You didn't tell me I needed to wear shoes!" or "You didn't tell me that today was Grandma's birthday!"  We've found that the majority of strife within families is attributed to miscommunication or no communication.  While the above examples are minor problems that can occur in families, ongoing miscommunication can lead to more serious issues, such as feelings of neglect and disconnect.  In these cases, family members may seek people outside of the family to fulfill their primary sense of care and understanding.   Strong families want care, understanding, respect and love to start within their unit.
CA 005 Vacation....ahhhh what a glorious word!  I live for vacations.  I plan months in advance, count down the days until I leave, write packing lists, and more.   Beyond making sure to pack an extra USB cable or reconfirming hotel reservations, here are six things you can do to before leaving that will help you to enjoy your time off even more.
Disney 2010 088Are you thinking about going on a family vacation? Does the thought of traveling with a group of people whom you're related to sound like fun, but at the same time to give you anxiety when thinking about all the different personalities involved (picture Kevin's crazy family in the movie "Home Alone")?  No worries!  I've spent most of my vacations since childhood traveling or going on camping trips with groups of up to 25 people, ages 2 months to 85-years-old. Along the way, I've learned what works (and what doesn't work) to accomplish smooth journeys and make the best memories.
family meeting Family meetings are a great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and anything from the daily routine to special events like vacations or birthday parties go off without a hitch. It's also a useful forum for having more serious, challenging conversations, such as discussing a family member's illness and care.  Follow these 10 rules for successful family meetings:
1.10 014We're big advocates of families sitting around a table and sharing at least one meal together each day because we’ve found that when we do this with our families, we’re able to reconnect, recharge and solidify our bond. It may not seem significant over the course of one meal or one week, but over a period of time, families are strengthened by this daily ritual. A home cooked meal enhances this experience. Home cooked meals express love, care, respect and well-being. Think about your favorite comfort food. Most likely, it’s a dish prepared by a beloved family member. Along these lines, home cooked meals often supplement the best memories and some evolve into family traditions.
OprahThe following is an excerpt from “The PR Fix for the Everyday Person” © 2014 by Jenny Fujita and Joy Miura Koerte. Being a host conjures up visions of throwing a party. That may be true but in general, being a good host is about making people feel comfortable, not only when you are a formal host of a gathering, but in everyday situations. When you’re the type of person who makes people feel comfortable, you become very attractive. People will literally flock to you because they feel at ease in your presence. These connections are great for building new relationships or deepening old ones.