Real Life Solutions

Subscribe

Archive for February, 2009

Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

February 28, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

I don’t know of many moms who are interested in finding some quick and easy dinner idea’s for their family.  With all that moms have to stay on top of daily, the last thing they want is to stuggle with putting food on the table daily.

We all know that kids love to snack and I find that keeping fresh cut vegetables in the fridge is perfect.  This way my family can munch on somethink healthy while you’re fixing dinner.

Here are some ideas of quick and easy dinners that your family might love:

* Homemade chili using canned vegetables is quick and easy. It is also a great, hearty meal for cold winter nights. Choose the type of meat you prefer in your chili; brown it and drain it before adding canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, whatever beans your family prefers, and season it as your family likes it. After the chili has been heated all the way through, bring out the shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped onions for each person to top their own bowl.

* Start your crock pot in the morning before you leave for work. You can create so many different meals that will be ready to eat when you get home. Warm up some dinner rolls, heat up vegetables, and you’re on your way to a great meal that didn’t take you too long to get on the table.

* Pizza is a quick meal even if you don’t order it for delivery. The pre-made pizza shells allow your family to create a pizza with their favorite toppings. Of course, anything you can buy that is pre-cut, sliced, or shredded will make your meal that much quicker.

When you make out your grocery list each week, it’s okay to put some convenience items in it, too. And you will save more time if you prepare as much food ahead of time as you can. These quick and easy dinner ideas for working parents can help you make healthy meals for your family and have them on the table in no time at all.

If you are interested in Meal Planning – Click Here. Family meal planning  is a life saver for most families.  Just imagine creating an easy meal plan and knowing what you are going to be serving up for meals each day of the week?  You will save time, money and your sanity

A Few Ways To Simplify Life

February 25, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization 1 Comment →

Here are just a few tips on how to simplify your life:

1 – Control your time. Take a good hard look at your dialy schedule and then begin to tweak it so that it is more manageable. You may have to say “no” more often. It is amazing how cutting out just 1 activity a
week can provide more down time for yourself.

2 – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. I know this is easier said than done, but learning to let things go once in awhile is key. So what if the house goes 1-2 days without getting vacuumed or the laundry is put on hold for an extra day. It is important to elieviate some stress that we put on ourselves to get ALL of those little things done at once.

3 – Get Help. If you get to the point where you are feeling overwhelmed with your personal and faimily obligations please get help. There are many places that offer babysitting swaps, you can hire a teenager to help with small cleaning tasks or go to a friend for support. Delegation of tasks is another way to get help. Be sure to use all of your resources and delegate some tasks out to others.

4 – Clear out the Clutter. I know you have heard this one before but I can’t stress it enough. Clearing out your clutter is a huge step in living a more simplified life. Make the time to go through your home and sell, donate, or throw out items that you no longer use. This is a large task, so don’t try to do it all in one day. Try to set a goal of doing some every week.

5 – Simplify your Meals. Start preparing dishes which will provide several meals. Stews, casseroles, and many other recipes are just as easy to prepare in large portions as they are to prepare in small portions. Meal planning is a money, sanity and time saver – what else could a busy person ask for? Learn how to create a great stree-free meal plan by reading this informative article on Meal Planning.

6 – Take Care of You. During the course of your day be sure to take out time to relax. Carve out at least 30 minutes a day to take a break, stretch or go for a short walk. Be sure that you are getting the proper amount of sleep so that you have the energy that you need to face each day.

Remember that your life is blessed with many different aspects. Keep them all in balance, and they will all be of much greater value to you.

Dealing with a difficult teacher

February 20, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Parenting No Comments →

Here are some tips on how to deal with a difficult teacher:

* Set aside some time to sit down and talk. You can discuss your child, but it may be best to try to resolve your own differences first.

* Do not be confrontational when you go to see your child’s teacher. Remember that they’re not the enemy; they are a vital component to your child’s educational success.

* Try to remember that communication is important. You can set aside your differences or difficulties for the benefit of the child in question.

* Use reflective listening. Allow them to say what they need to and then rephrase it back to them. Ask them if you understood correctly. Be sure to thank them for their input into your child’s life and for being willing to talk with you and solve the problems you may have.

* Offer to help in some way. It may be that your difficulty with your child’s teacher was just due to getting off on the wrong foot. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them – volunteer to make copies one afternoon a month or offer to call other parents if there is something important that needs to be passed along – this may go a long way to repairing your relationship.

Try to be patient with your child’s teacher. If there is direct animosity toward you or your child, there is a chain of command at the school. Go to the principal of the school to make a complaint but remember that you’re not to attack the teacher, just their actions. If nothing else seems to work, your child should only have that teacher for one year. They, and you, can make the best of a bad situation and look forward to having a new teacher the following year.

How to Deal with Working Mommy Guilt

February 18, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Stress Management 1 Comment →

Guilt is a common emotion that can be uncomfortable to deal with. It can also make you less productive both at home and at work. Here are some ways that you can deal with working mommy guilt if you’re facing this problem.

* Set your priorities to what works for you and your family.  Say for example, your child has an important activity that you’d like to attend and your boss asks you to stay late, don’t be afraid to tell them “no” if this is a top priority for you.  It may help to discuss with your boss early on what is and isn’t suitable for you both this way there are no surprises for anyone involved.

* Write down the reasons why you work outside of the home. You may need to work to help keep your home, you may love your job, or you may have started working when your children all started school. If your reasons for working have changed, don’t be afraid to make changes to your schedule or stop working altogether.

* Realize that you’re not Superwoman. It’s impractical to think that you can continue to do all of the things you did before you began working outside of the home as well as take care of your home. Working too hard will only result in your becoming burned out. Delegate what you can and then do what is left.

* Give yourself a break. Your house doesn’t have to be spotless. Reduce your standards a little bit and you’ll be able to breathe a little easier.

* Take care of yourself. This may seem like a strange statement when you already feel guilty, but if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of others or do the things you need to do.

* When you start to feel guilty, look at your circumstances and identify what the real problem is. What is it that’s causing you to feel guilty? After you’ve identified the problem you can decide how to best handle it.

If you’re beginning to feel guilty about the amount of time you’re spending away from your children, try to fit in some quality time together.  Quality time is more important than simply spending lots of time together.  And you don’t have to do anything fancy either, your children may simply want to snuggle and read books all day – keep in mind that sometimes quality time is more important than the quantity of time you spend together.  We all struggle with mommy guilt from time to time but ultimately you want the best for your children and keeping this in mind will help you positively deal with this guilt.

Tired of Feeling You Have to Be “Supermom” To Be A Good Mom? Here’s how to break free of The Supermom Syndrome…without the guilt. Click Here  stop the vicious cycle now.

Tips to Stop Bedwetting

February 16, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children 1 Comment →

Bedwetting is a fairly common problem in children under 7 years old.  It can be very frustrating for the parents, and embarrassing for the child.  It is important to remember that bedwetting is not normally a medical problem, and it is usually not associated with psychological or physical problems.  In the majority of cases, children simply sleep too deeply and do not feel the urge to go to the bathroom when they need to, and as a result they wet the bed.

Bedwetting will almost always go away on its own eventually.  But there are some things you can do to help your child stop sooner.  Here are some treatment ideas and general tips:

* Don’t give your child fluids for two hours before bedtime.  Let him have plenty of fluids up until that point, however, to prevent dehydration and constipation.  While this may not completely stop bedwetting, it may reduce its frequency.

* Make sure your child goes to the bathroom right before bed, and that he completely empties his bladder.  Tell him to try again once his bladder feels empty, just to be sure.  This is called double voiding.  If more urine comes out, have him try one more time.

* Some children’s bladders are simply too small to hold their urine through the night.  Bladder stretching exercises may help in these cases.  These simply require your child to hold his urine a bit longer than usual.  If he generally goes to the bathroom at certain times during the day, have him wait 15 minutes or so before going, then increase the time slightly each week or so.  This will take several weeks, and possibly months, so be patient.

* Take your child to the doctor.  There are some underlying problems that can cause or contribute to bedwetting.  The doctor can check for these and treat the problems he finds.  As a result, the bedwetting may go away on its own.

* Use a bedwetting alarm.  These have moisture sensing pads that go in the child’s underwear at night, sensing moisture when it first starts to dribble out.  The alarm then wakes the child with sound or vibration so that he can go to the bathroom.  After using an alarm for a while, children often become conditioned to wake up when their bladders are full, eliminating the problem.

* Consider medication as a last resort.  There are medicines that can help prevent bedwetting by slowing urine production or relaxing the bladder.  They do, however, have potential side effects.  Consider using them if the other methods fail, or perhaps keep some on hand to give your child for sleepovers or trips.

* Avoid scolding your child for bedwetting.  It’s not his fault, and scolding will only make him feel hurt and ashamed.

Digital Scrapbooking:

February 14, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Just for Fun No Comments →

Digital Scrapbooking:  What’s It All About?
Scrapbooking is all the rage in the craft industry these days.  From being considered a trend to being given its own holiday, scrapbooking continues to excite crafters and draws more people to it each year.  What is digital scrapbooking?  And will it change the craft for the better?

For anyone who may be new to scrapbooking, here’s the basic idea.  You take photographs and mementos and save them in a book.  That’s the traditional use of a scrapbook.  However, the craft of scrapbooking includes using themed paper, stickers, journaling boxes, and more to make the page do more than display photos.  It also can tell a story.

Many people have digital cameras now rather than the kind that you have to have developed.  By having the photos in a digital format, they are much easier to manipulate and edit, and you don’t have to worry about ruining the photograph.  You can save changes made as a separate file, so you’ll always have the original version.

Another benefit of using digital cameras is that you can make multiples copies of the photographs that you can pass out to friends and family on CDs.  They may then choose to have the photos printed out, or they can use them as a screensaver on their own computer.  You have so many more options with digital photographs.

With digital scrapbooking, you can still incorporate your pictures into scrapbook pages, you’re just doing it all on your computer.  You may have to purchase a digital scrapbooking software program.  Head over to your favorite search engine and type in ‘digital scrapbooking software’ and you’re likely to find there are many.  Some of them are available for free.

Most digital scrapbooking software creates templates, or has templates you can use, that are already planned out and ready to put your photo into.  This is much easier than grabbing glue, paper, stickers, and other supplies to create a similar page.  With this type of software the possibilities are endless!

After you’ve completed your digital scrapbook pages, you can print them out in order to have a “hard” copy of your pages to put into traditional scrapbooks.  You can also frame them individually.  In addition, you can create CD copies of your digital scrapbook to share with loved ones who may live far away.

Besides software to create digital scrapbooks, you can also find a number of websites that are dedicated to sharing information about this type of craft.  You’ll find that others who are interested in scrapbooking, traditional or digital, are more than willing to share their knowledge with you.

If you’re thinking about starting to scrapbook, you may want to give digital scrapbooking a try.  Of course, you can try traditional scrapbooking first to see what the craft entails.  You may be surprised when you switch over, how much easier and how much cheaper digital scrapbooking is. 

Get Hubby To Help

February 12, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Pamper Yourself 1 Comment →

Seven Tips for Getting Your Husband to Help with Housework

Since the beginning of time, husbands have been viewed as the hunters and wives as the gatherers.  According to statistics, only 15% of husbands today help with housework. Although we may not have fully evolved into an equal partnership when it comes to the home, and while there is still an on-going debate as to how to encourage husbands to help around the house, here are seven tips for getting your husband to help with housework that may work for you.

Depending upon how your husband was raised, he may or may not know how to handle housework.  Therefore, the first thing you can do is teach him.

Every woman cleans their home in their own way.  They have a method which guarantees everything is spotless and in its place.  For men, however, they hardly notice if the house is clean or not, and so it is important to discuss housework and their role – not as helper, but one who can equally share the responsibility of keeping the house clean and orderly. 

Discuss housework with him.

More often than not, the husband usually takes out the trash and does “manly” work around the house, such as fixing and building or working in the back yard.  If you need your husband to assist you with housework, you will have to compromise a bit by asking what chore he would like to tackle.  Is he a good cook? Does he enjoy food shopping? If so, perhaps he can take over the meal preparation while you take care of the house.

Offer a compromise to him.

If both of you work, weekends are a time for rest and relaxation.  If one of you works at home or is taking care of children, you may find it even more difficult to get your husband to help with housework.  Talk to your husband about taking on one chore at a time, so that you can free up your weekends to spend more time with each other and the children.  Discuss a schedule of chores with him.

If you find that your husband will not lift a finger to help you, call in the guards.  Hire a cleaning service.  Perhaps when he sees the bill week after week, he may decide it’s easier to help rather than pay someone to do it.  Discuss the cleaning service with him. 

Now ladies, this next tip may be over the top, but in some cases it is needed to cajole your husband to help with the housework.  Simply tell him if he doesn’t help, he’ll be spending many lonely nights without your company.  Talk about a lack of lovin’ with him.

Finally, if any or all of these tips fail, your last resort is to do nothing.  That’s right, engage in a housework strike, and go out one Saturday leaving him to handle the kids and the messy house.  You can be assured that at some point he will get the message, and a dialogue will ensue where you can talk about your feelings and his lack of attention.  

Fun Things Your Family Can Do in the Snow

February 10, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family No Comments →

Children love snow; there’s no escaping that fact.  And while some adults may also enjoy outdoor activities during the winter, it seems this time of year is perfect for children.  This year, why not try some fun things the whole family can do in the snow?

There are so many activities that you can participate in together.  Here is a list of seven activities to consider:

1.  If you live in a large city, you may be able to find a horse-drawn buggy that you can ride.  Normally the buggy provides blankets to help keep you warm.  While this is an activity that the entire family can enjoy together, it’s also a great activity for Mom and Dad to do on a special date night.

2.  Build an igloo in your yard if the snow is deep enough and packs well.  You can build an igloo by cutting out blocks of packed snow or you can shovel your driveway and sidewalk, maybe even your yard, into one place.  Be sure the pile of snow is packed down along the way and reaches at least as high as an adult’s knees.  Then hollow out the center of the pile of snow to create the igloo.

3.  Make snow cream.  After a fresh snowfall, go out to the yard to get a large quantity of snow.  Mix together two cup of whole or evaporated milk, two teaspoons of vanilla, and 1 cup of sugar.  Mix it together with the snow and enjoy.  If you aren’t able to get large quantities of fresh snow, reduce the recipe by half.

4.  Create snow animals.  Everyone tries to make a snowman, and they’re fine for beginners.  But why not work together and try to create a snow penguin, snow cow, or some other animal.  Mix together water and food coloring to make your snow animals look different and more colorful.

5.  Bundle up and take a winter hike.  While you’re out, see if you can find and recognize any animal tracks.  You may be able to find rabbit, squirrel, and some bird tracks as well as those from cats and dogs.  If you live in the country, you may also be able to find deer and raccoon tracks.

6.  Act like a kid again.  Get down on the ground and make snow angels with your children.  In fact, why not make an entire family of snow angels where your neighbors and friends can see them when they come to visit.  Use a squirt bottle with colored water and write “Welcome” near the snow angel family.

7.  Take your dog out to play in the snow.  Be sure to bundle everyone up before you head out the door.  Bury your dog’s favorite ball in the snow and see if they can find it.  Pay attention where you’re burying their ball, however, because later they may want to play with it in the house where it’s warm.

It doesn’t matter if you use one of these activity ideas or choose another entirely, it’s important to find fun things your family can do in the snow.  Take the time during winter months to reconnect with your children.  You may be cold when you come back in, but you’ll be glad you spent the time together.

Tips for a fun exercise routine

February 08, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

Just thinking about exercise probably makes you shudder. Let’s be honest—exercising is boring for the most part. But creating a fun exercise routine can be the answer for you.  

Try these tips for making exercise fun:

1. Plug in your headphones. Grab your favorite CD before you head to the gym or go for a walk. Listening to music or audio books will make the time fly by. Before you realize it, you will have exercised for an hour.

2. Enlist an exercise buddy. Studies have shown that people who exercise alone usually do not keep their exercise routine. Ask a friend to join you in exercising. Create a plan that will work for both of you. Exercising is so much easier and fun when you have a buddy to chat with while you sweat.

3. KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweetie). If you are starting a new exercise schedule, don’t get fancy with it. Start out with a simple routine you know you will be able to follow. Walking and step aerobics are two really easy and simple exercises you might consider.

4. Get silly. Whatever you do, don’t let exercising become boring. If you do, you’ll never stick to it. Get silly with it. If you’re walking, listen to music with a faster tempo to put some pep in your step. Add a little dance to steps. Just don’t let it get boring!

5. Be nice to yourself. The best way to make exercise fun is to reward yourself for a job well done. Set a goal. When you reach that goal, reward yourself. If you have to, bribe yourself. Make a goal to walk thirty minutes per day, three days a week for one full month. Promise yourself that new handbag you’ve been dying for, but only if you meet your goal.

So, try to pull together a fun exercise routine to add a little spice to your health. Visit Real Life Solutions for more free healthy tips

How to deal with a childs temper tantrum

February 06, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

Ahhh the joys of parenting.  Most parents have witnessed their little bundles of joy in the throws of a temper tantrum.  Even the most dignified parent has been left red-faced and wanting to be swallowed into the ground while their toddler is having a public meltdown.

Here are a few easy ideas for avoiding temper tantrums:

Don’t Let Your Child Get Over Tired – Don’t let your child become too tired.  Set a regular nap routine and try to stick to it, and make sure your child goes to bed at a reasonable time and gets enough sleep during the night.  Tiredness is often the first reason for a tantrum. 

Give Them Time – Allow enough time for activities like getting dressed, brushing their hair and getting in and out of the car.  Your child will want to do a lot of these things on his own and rushing him is a sure way to start a tantrum.  Give him a little extra time and let him try to be independent by allowing him to do certain things for himself.

P.S. Want more information on how to deal with your childs tantrums? Visit http://reallifesolutions.net/family/tantrums.html