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New Year’s ’
Friday, December 20th, 2013
With Christmas on its way and New Year’s soon after, we bet there’s one thing you’re in for this season: travel. We had the chance to learn some expert tips from Bob Diener, president of GetARoom.com. Whether you’re flying or driving in the weeks to come, these strategies will help make your journey hassle-free now and for the future.
1. When in doubt, over-plan.
Making stops along the way might be necessary, but it doesn’t hurt to stock up on supplies beforehand. “Shop for food in advance at your local store. You can get much better prices than trying to pick things up at a convenient store,” Diener says. His trick to avoid paying $3 for water? Pack empty sports bottles to fill up at airports or rest stops.
2. Search for unconventional options.
Don’t be afraid to look outside the traditional hotel. “People gravitate toward big name chains, but those have more demand and higher prices,” Diener says. You can book vacation rentals for almost the same as a hotel with the bonus of having a kitchen and extra space. Though independent hotels may not seem as glamorous, reading customer reviews can help you find one just as nice as the usual.
3. Take advantage of surprise offers.
Flash sales also exist on travel sites and can offer rates 10 to 60 percent lower. The trick is booking within the sale window, anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. “Most people take a week to make plans, but flash sales require you to make a decision right away because the rate is so good,” Diener says. GetARoom.com also has unpublished rates from 30,000 participating hotels; just give them a call to find deals 20 to 60 percent less than what’s listed.
4. Be on the lookout for free stuff.
It’s important to consider amenities in your overall cost. Hotels or resort packages that include breakfast or internet can go a long way in saving . One low-cost way to keep kids entertained: Find a place to stay with a pool. “After a rough day of activities, you can take them there for hours,” Diener says.
5. Keep things sane with technology.
Yes, adding movies to your tablets prior to leaving guarantees entertainment. But it’s also good to download apps that will make your journey smoother. Diener uses the app of his preferred airport to keep track of delays and store boarding passes. His other favorite, Kayak, allows users to search multiple vendors at once to find deals on-the-go. Plus, you’ll need a weather app to know when rain or snow might dampen your day, or give you a white Christmas.
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GoodyBlog, Holidays, Time for Fun, Travel
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
Editor’s Note: In a post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.
New Year’s resolutions are a nice concept but risky business – if we don’t live up to those bold promises we feel like failures. For parents, this can be particularly tough, as we often make resolutions not only for ourselves but for our families, and this magnifies the chances of falling short and feeling guilty (We should have tried harder, done more).
For this New Year, I propose that parents avoid resolutions entirely and, instead, grant themselves absolutions. Absolutions are acts of forgiveness, amnesty from shortcomings real or imagined. The following New Year’s Absolutions are conditional upon your making one simple resolution – that you will always try to be the best parent you can. If you fulfill this resolution, you may hereby grant yourself absolution from any guilt associated with these inevitable situations in the coming year:
- Missing an occasional soccer game, dance rehearsal, karate match, or piano recital (no matter how hard you try to be at every one).
- Missing a PTA meeting or two, or failing to volunteer for the big school fund-raiser (how could they not have checked your calendar before scheduling?).
- Coming up short of a culinary masterpiece for dinner some nights (or maybe most nights!).
- Feeding your kids Pop-Tarts for breakfast in the car on the way to school on those rare chaotic mornings. (Rare?!)
- Allowing unavoidable work to occasionally interfere with family time.
- Letting some weekends slip away without accomplishing any of the planned family activities.
- Sneaking off to a far corner of the house to scream when your kids have pushed you to the limit.
- Caving in to your kids’ requests for more TV or video game time than you prefer, so you can have a little peace and quiet.
- Letting your mind wander to the dishes in the sink or the lawn that needs mowing when your kids are telling you the most important thing about their day.
- Catching yourself saying the same dreadful things to your kids that your parents said to you: “Because I said so” or “You’ll understand when you grow up.”
- Falling asleep before your kids during their bedtime story.
- Letting your kids out of the car in the school drop-off line before their hair is brushed (and is that the same shirt they wore yesterday?).
- Receiving a call from your child’s teacher telling you that your kid taped a classmate’s legs to the chair during arts and crafts.
- Doing more of your kids’ homework than you know you should, just to get it done and get them to bed.
- Believing that other parents are always doing a better job at everything than you are.
So this New Year, lose the guilt. Give yourself a break and be realistic about parenting; you’re doing a great job, most of the time. And, even when you wish you could do better, be wiser, and show more patience, that consciousness about your parenting proves your love and commitment to your kids. It is this love and commitment that will become your legacy as parents, for this New Year and beyond. Happy and healthy 2013 to all!
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).
Image: Multicolored balloons and confetti via Shutterstock
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GoodyBlog, Holidays, Must Read
Thursday, January 27th, 2011
It’s been almost a month now since you committed to your 2011 resolutions. So the question is, how are they coming along?
Have you stuck to your goals and self-promises?
If you need some help getting back on track, check out ChooseYou.com, a site by the American Caner Society that’s all about encouraging and motivating women to make healthy choices to not only reduce their risk of cancer, but to live an overall healthier and happier life. We asked Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity for ACS, for some resolution-keeping advice.
Start small Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and what you expect to achieve. Take large or long-term goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable goals: running a marathon may not be a realistic goal, but training for a 5K might be.
Write it down Many studies show that writing down your goals and keeping a journal on your progress toward reaching them can help keep you on track and motivated. If you set a goal that involves improving your diet, keeping a food diary will give you insight into not only what and how much you consume, but can help you uncover why you are eating when and what you are.
Don’t rely on willpower Temptation is all around us, but being proactive about reducing these temptations and creating an environment that makes it easier to reach your goal is the way to go. If you’re trying to quit smoking and you know that particular places are ‘triggers’ for you, avoid those places, especially early on.
Set up a support system Support from family and friends is an important part of making and sustaining healthy lifestyle changes. Begin to think of who is most supportive in your life and who can provide encouragement–and help you hold yourself accountable–along the way.
Reward your successes Treating yourself for milestones you achieve is another way to help keep you encouraged, motivated and on the right track. What’s important is choosing a reward that is right for you and that helps you continue moving toward your goals to live healthier (like new workout clothes or a bubble bath, instead of chocolate, when you meet your exercise goal for the week).
Well, how’s this for a reward? Women who make a new Choose You Commitment between now and January 31 will be eligible to enter the New Year, Choose You! sweepstakes for a chance to win a series of health-related prizes, including a celebrity fitness trip for two to Los Angeles with ExerciseTV, gift cards from spas and Walgreens, and more! Click here to learn more.
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Monday, January 3rd, 2011
Congratulations to the parents whose babies were born on January 1, 2011! The Executive Editor of Parents.com, Michael Kress, welcomed his own newborn daughter on an unforgettable date of the year. Read his recent post on anticipating his second child.
Our readers also took to Facebook (facebook/parentsmagazine) to share stories about welcoming bundles of joy (their own and their friends). Read the stories below:
My son is the first one to be born at the Northeast Baptism Hospital in San Antonio. He was born at 2:50 pm. – Brenda Ortegon de Oblitas
My son, Tyson Kruz, at 5:42pm! – Samantha Cox-Filtingberger
Victor was born at 6:27 am. He was the first baby born in Lawton, OK. – Allison Dirks Derrick
A friend had her son at exactly 12 am! So amazing and a great blessing! – Brandy Yantorn-Moore
My friends had their little boy Liam at 12:35 am. First baby of the area. They were on three different news stations! – Mica Ruhl Borden
A good friend of mine welcomed her third little boy! Asa Matthew was born at 12:30pm! – Karri Hodge Hollingsworth
My friend had twin boys at 4:11am and 4:12am in New Jersey! – Amanda Tiseo
My friend’s baby, Andrew Scott Jr., was born at 8:45 pm. – Elizabeth Northcutt
My best friend Drea had a baby girl named Brooklyn, and she was the first one born in 2011 at the hospital. – Rachel Braasch
My husband’s coworker and his wife welcomed their first child, Ryland Jack, into the world. They had such a hard time carrying to term that this New Year’s Day blessing was even more special for us. Congrats, Candi and Milton! – Kim Howell
Did you welcome any babies of your own on January 1? Did you hear other miraculous birth stories? Share them in the comments section below.
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Monday, January 3rd, 2011
How did you ring in the New Year?
Our readers shared on Facebook (facebook/parentsmagazine) how they made the first day of 2011 memorable: celebrating children’s birthdays, running errands and cleaning house, sharing breakfast and break time with the family. Read on for more fun ways Parents readers set the tone for 2011:
Following my Curves Diet and taking it easy…I refuse to stress over the kids and husband, and I’m the one that gets to nap today! - Debbie Smith Casto
Waiting for my son to arrive. He’s due in only six days! – Ashley Pabloff
Making black eyed peas and collard greens! – Nia Buckley Ledesma
Eating cheesecake and coffee for breakfast. – Angela Osborne-Huret
Celebrating my daughter’s 12th birthday and making cupcakes together. – Devan Vaughn
It’s my daughters birthday! She is 6 today! Since we celebrate it on New Years Eve, today we just are gonna cuddle and spend time together as a family. – Sandra L
Donating my hair to Locks of Love and spending the day with my one-and-half-year-old and his godmother. – Natalie Rodriguez
Working on day three of potty training our 21-month-old daughter. She is doing great. – Melissa Koch Formby
How did you and your family spend the New Year? Going forward, what are you doing to start the New Year fresh?
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Friday, December 31st, 2010
With 2011 starting tomorrow, what resolutions are you and your family making? Look no further than our guide to helping kids make and keep New Year’s Resolutions. We at Parents resolve to keep bringing you the best and most beneficial parenting news, personal stories, and product reviews. As you wave good-bye to 2010, take a few moments to look at the highlights of the year–the top news, toy recalls, trends, and more:
And as you welcome the advent of 2011, look to see what we predict for the year and what we have in store for January:
We at Parents also want to take a few moments to say: Thank you for continuing to be such avid readers of our magazine and our site. Because of you, dear readers, Parents had several amazing milestones this year. We reached over 100,000 Twitter followers, received over 150,000 “Likes” on Facebook, and we won a MIN Award in the “Editorial Series or Special Section” category.
We hope your new year will be bursting with brightness. Happy 2011!
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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Here’s a sobering statistic, and I hope we take that expression literally: SIDS–Sudden Infant Death Syndrome–spikes dramatically on New Year’s Day.
A new study finds that after a night of partying, too many parents, their judgment impaired by alcohol, are not taking the usual precautions in putting their babies down to sleep. As a result, infants are 33% more likely to die from SIDS on Jan. 1 than on any other day of the year, according to the UC San Diego study.
Remember, always put your infants to sleep on their backs. For more tips on preventing SIDS, click here.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe 2011!
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