C’mon Get Happy: At-Home Fitness Options for Busy Moms

tips for moms to get back in shape after baby -- easy exercise to do at home

It’s not all about a lean belly and strong thighs; it’s about happiness and well-being. Exercise improves your body, yes, but it also enhances your mood and boosts brainpower. If you’re letting your busy life get in the way of 10-plus minutes of daily fitness, you’re missing out on some very important serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that increase with exercise. What are you going to do to get fit in the midst of being a mom? Don’t let time overtake one of your most … [Read more...]

Summer Swim Gear for Your Kids: A list of things to pack in your pool bag

list of things to bring in your pool bag -- a must have shopping list for moms

Before you know it, long school days and evening homework will be replaced with hours spent at the local pool. To help ensure that your kids have a fun and safe summer, make sure you have all of summer's essential gear ready to go.   Here are a few items to keep in mind: Buy a Buoy Public pools should have buoys and other safety equipment available on-site, but if you're swimming at a friend’s pool or even yours, have a basic safety ring of your own for peace of mind. Since even … [Read more...]

Social Media and Your Children: So much to consider

social media and tweens -- what you need to know

The current generation is growing to be known as the Digital Natives of the world. For the first time a generation is growing up without knowing what it is like to live without digital technology. Along with this comes the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and many more social networking platforms. But how young is too young for the responsibility, awareness, and safety required for social media? Next week, our elementary school invited guest speakers to engage the children … [Read more...]

Panorama Screening: How much do you want to know about your baby?

how did you reveal the gender of your baby

When I first learned I was pregnant and attended my first OB appointment (you know... when she is no longer your Gyno and suddenly becomes your OB), my husband and I made a quick decision: we wanted to run all the tests and know everything possible about the baby, except if the baby was a boy or a girl. The only thing we didn't want to know was the gender. And we were told that was fine, we had another 10 weeks to wait until it was time for that. Granted, this was 12 years ago and the … [Read more...]

What is Litter? Earth Day Activities for Young Children

Earth Day activities for kids to learn about litter. Great for preschool, kindergarten and elementary

In honor of Earth Day (April 22), here are several quick, easy lessons and activities to use with young children to tie-in to your celebration. These lessons are suitable for children in grades pre-kindergarten through second grade. What is Litter? Helping young children understand litter with The Wartville Wizard Prior to reading about litter with Little and her friends, I was surprised to learn that not all of the four year olds were familiar with the word “litter.” Together, we defined … [Read more...]

Here’s why we didn’t opt out of state testing (PSSAs)

here's why my kids take the tests -- why my kids don't opt out of the tests in Pennsylvania

After  years of posting about my frustration with required school testing, sharing articles on Facebook and viewpoints on Julieverse, I can certainly understand why people are questioning the fact that my third and fifth graders are taking the PSSAs this month. Opting out is certainly the thing to do. It's fashionable. It's on-trend. A nearby Pennsylvania school district, Lower Merion, is reporting 20 times an increase in students opting out. There are Facebook groups and pages of angry … [Read more...]

A Parent’s Pocket Guide to Caring for Sick Kids

3 key strategies for sick days- a parent's pocket guide at julieverse

That first cough, sneeze or complaint of a bellyache is enough to make any parent’s heart drop. Your intuition tells you that your little one is coming down with something, even though you try to remain positive and hope that’s not the case. It’s always tough to see your kids get sick, but it can be especially tough on working parents. Here are some tips on how to lovingly (and properly) meet your child’s needs while still holding everything else together.   Handle Health First No … [Read more...]

5 tips for visiting historic Philadelphia

visiting historic philadelphia

When visiting Historic Philadelphia, most visitors plan their trip around The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and then reach out on Facebook or through email, looking for must-see spots in Philadelphia. We take our kids to Philly a few times a year (we live in the suburbs) and I’ve lived here nearly all my life. I’m also an educator and was a 4th grade teacher (we study PA history in 4th grade.) I've seen many local suggest skipping the Betsy Ross house, but I have to argue. It’s a … [Read more...]

5 Classics to read with your kids

classic books to read with your kids

I love taking my kids to the bookstore or library. There are so many shiny new choices out there for kids to get excited about! But just as exciting as Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and Captain Underpants, are the books that made me fall in love with reading. Take the time to share some of your classic favorites with your kids and help them see what made you fall in love with reading. Classic Chapter Books to Read with Your Kids Stuart Little When I first introduced my kids to the adventures … [Read more...]