Category: Family Life

5 Family Camping Essentials You Need to Know About

family camping essentialsIs that yearly family camping trip coming up soon? If so, you don’t want to forget any family camping essentials that might curb the fun.

The campsite is already reserved, all your camping gear is organized and you’ve made plans for some awesome family activities that’ll keep everyone busy. You’ve even found some great deals that’ll save you money.

You and your family have been looking forward to this trip for months. But if you leave certain essentials behind, the fun could quickly turn into long faces.

There are a lot of things to think about before your packing is complete. These 5 family camping essentials are ones you can’t miss.

Let’s take a look.

1. The Essential Ice Chest

A camping trip will come to an abrupt halt if food gets spoiled or drinks become warm.

To get the absolute best performance from your ice chest, make sure to pre-cool it with a lot of ice for at least six hours before you load it up with drinks and food.

When it’s time to get all your goods loaded, always use a fresh block of ice or frozen plastic bottles of water. These options last longer than cubed ice and will typically give you more room in the chest for drinks and food.

Lastly, always load your chest with refrigerated or frozen foods so you don’t waste ice on cooling down warm drinks and food.

2. A Place To Store Your Gear

You probably use plastic storage bins to store your camping gear in your home and keep it organized.

Have you ever thought that an empty storage bin next to your tent as a wonderful place to keep shoes when you go to bed?

Even if there aren’t any clouds in the sky, all of your gear outside the tent will probably be wet in the morning from overnight dew.

3. Headlamps Rock

For people who love to camp, flashlights are out. Headlamps are where it’s at.

They’re great because your hands are free and the light automatically points in the direction you’re looking.

If you’ve ever attempted to brush your teeth while fumbling with a flashlight then you’ll understand how much a headlamp can help.

4. Packing Clothing

If you want to make it easier for everyone to find their clothing, make sure everyone has their own duffel bag or backpack.

Bring a few large garbage bags for dirty laundry as well.

Keep in mind that the bathrooms and showers will probably be a good distance from your site. So everyone is going to need shower shoes and plenty of towels.

5. Sleeping Bag Care

During the day, unzip your sleeping bags so they’ll air out and stay dry.

Sleeping bags absorb a lot of body moisture during the night. If that moisture stays within the sleeping bag, it negatively impacts the insulation efficiency when you’re wrapped up at night.

Bonus Essential

If you’re camping late in the year and there’s a chance temperatures could drop below freezing, you’ll want to bring your NoFreezeWaterHose with you.

This is especially true if your water supply gets low and you need a fast way to get fresh drinking water from a spout at the campground.

Simple Family Camping Essentials That Make For a Great Trip

There you have it: 5 family camping essentials (plus a bonus!) that’ll ensure your next family camping trip is a success.

If you’ve got other great ideas, feel free to shoot me a line. Have a great time on your trip!

5 Benefits of Competitive Cheerleading for Teens

fotolia 34848772 subscription monthly mCompetetive cheerleading has a plethora of benefits for your youngster that will help them in there here and now, as well as in the future.

Cheering had over 4 million participants in 2016.

Why do so many young women love this sport? What are they getting out of it?

Keep reading because today we’ve got the top 5 benefits of what your child is going to receive from competitive cheerleading.

1. Physical


Competitive Cheerleading requires lots of tumbling. It’s a synchronized gymnast routine. To compete at the top level, everyone on the team has to be in shape.


Have you ever noticed the bodies of gymnasts? They’re nearly flawless. To be able to tumble with such speed and accuracy requires an immense amount of strength which constantly pushes the boundaries of what the human body is capable of doing.

Flexibility and Coordination

Competitive cheerleading can be dangerous if everyone is not completely focused on the task at hand. It requires not just gymnast-like flexibility and coordination, but also a laser-focus.

If you’ve ever seen a competition on television or visited Golden Dance & Cheer Academy, you’ve probably not considered how much flexibility and coordination are involved because everything happens so fast.

2. Leadership

Not everyone can be a leader. However, we all need them. We all have someone we consider a mentor.

Sports have a knack for bringing out leadership qualities in people and cheering is no different. Cheerleaders need to be cheerful. It’s part of their job.

Smiling and having a positive attitude are large parts of being a great leader. Getting a group of fans to continue to cheer on a losing team is no easy task.

3. Team Building

A cheer squad is only as good as its weakest link. Forming a great team means having a group that trusts each other.

They help each other to be the best cheerleaders they can be. They keep each other from slacking on workouts. Your child must be supportive, dedicated, and disciplined and so should everyone else on the squad if they want to be successful

Throwing an individual in the air for them to spin and flip means they need someone to catch them. If members of the team are being lazy or aren’t focused, a team member could be seriously hurt.

4. Confidence

Nothing says confidence like being in shape. Cheerleaders take pride in their appearance. Looking good and feeling good are proven self-esteem boosters.

Your child knowing they have the strength and stamina to do what they do will continue to make them confident as they get older. When they face challenges, instead of retreating, they’ll face and fight them head on thanks to the skills they acquired from cheerleading.

5. Building a Future With Competitive Cheerleading

Being a cheerleader sets your child up for success in the future. The strength, coordination, confidence, and leadership skills will take your child far.

Many cheer coaches have minimum GPA requirements to stay on the team and some units have mandatory study groups.

Being a cheerleader is all about the total package. They participate in fundraising and volunteer projects to give back to the community they cheer for. All of these efforts make for a stellar resume and look amazing on college applications.

All of the service projects, participation in the squad, and high GPA will only set your child up for success.

What do you think of today’s post? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts on competitive cheerleading.

5 Reasons a Pregnancy Spa Trip Can Help Both Mommy and Baby

pregnancy spaWhile pregnancy is undoubtedly a joyful time in a woman’s life, it can also be an extremely uncomfortable time.

There are a lot of physical stressors put on the body during pregnancy that can be hard to handle. These physical stressors coupled with the emotional rollercoaster of carrying a child in you can make for an extremely difficult pregnancy for some expecting moms.

Luckily, there are ways to deal with these physical and emotional stressors in a healthy, productive way.

One such way is to take a pregnancy spa trip. A pregnancy spa trip isn’t just good for mommy, but for baby as well. In this article, we’ll discuss the five reasons why.

Regulate Hormones

During pregnancy, your hormones soar to new levels they never have before.

For some women, this means experiencing heightened feelings of elation and joy. But, sometimes these hormones manifest in tears and anxiety and can make you feel like you are losing control. This is especially true in the last months of pregnancy when estrogen and progesterone levels are at their highest.

Luckily, research has shown that getting a massage while pregnant can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by increasing the hormones dopamine and serotonin.

And even better, pregnancy massages have been linked to fewer birth complications as well.

Better Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 78 percent of pregnant women experience sleeping problems that they did not experience prior to their pregnancy.

Sleep is extremely important for both the baby and the mom. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found links between the quantity and quality of pregnant women’s sleep and birth complications.

A trip to a pregnancy spa can help relax you and lead to a better night’s rest.

Better sleep will not only lower your risk of birth complications, but also help improve your mood, energy levels, and your brain function.

Reduce Swelling

Swelling is one of the most common physical symptoms of pregnancy.

In fact, in some cases, the swelling is so severe that it can be difficult for women to walk and to carry out daily functions.

A trip to a pregnancy spa such as Serenity Spa can help reduce the swelling. This is because massages help improve circulation and reduce swelling by stimulating soft tissue.

Alleviate Pregnancy Pains

Have you noticed new pains creeping up on you during your pregnancy that you never experienced before?

For example, many women experience back pain for the first time in their lives while they’re pregnant.

Luckily, the majority of these unfamiliar aches and pains can be alleviated with a pregnancy massage. Massages help to relax muscle tissue and relieve nerve compression. It can even help with the awful pain so many women experience on their sciatic nerve during pregnancy.

Increase Skin Pliability

It’s no secret that being pregnant means your body is going to expand.

To make the expansion process easier, skin pliability is important. A trip to the pregnancy spa can help improve your skin’s pliability, making it easier for you to deal with the discomforts of the body stretching.

Pregnancy Spa: Wrap Up

As you can see, a trip to the spa can work wonders for both you and your baby during pregnancy.

Of course, you want to be as comfortable as possible during your entire pregnancy, not just on your spa days. For tips on keeping comfortable during pregnancy, click here.

How to Prevent Kids From Being Afraid of the Dentist

Your pediatric dentist is used to it. You come in with your child, everything is fine, and as soon as he puts on his mask the kid has an embarrassing meltdown.
It happens. Kids freak out when they’re removed from their comfort zone.

Don’t worry. There are some easy fixes that can help your child (and yourself) make it through your next pediatric dentist visit unscathed.

Keep reading to find out more.

Play the Dentist

The best way to rid your child of their irrational fear is to play a game. Pretend to be the dentist.

Make funny drill sounds and joke around with your child about how you can tell they haven’t been brushing properly.

Pick on them about eating their fruits and vegetables. This will help to get them comfortable with the experience.

One Toy to Rule Them All

Nothing will settle your child like the comfort of having their favorite toy close by.

You know your child is in good hands at a place like David Satnick Dentistry, but your child doesn’t know anything about why a pediatric dentist exists.

They may think they’re being punished.

Having the favorite toy will not just calm them down, but will reassure them everything is okay and they aren’t in any kind of jail for children.

Reward Them After the Pediatric Dentist Appointment

The dentist’s chair is not usually a place we go to for a good time. For a little one, it can be pure misery.

Why not make up for it in another way?

Do they have a favorite playground or friend? You could give them the opportunity to go do something fun or have a special experience provided they are good for the dentist.

Do Your Part

Have fun and smile. Make jokes. Be silly with your child.

Take your son or daughter to the dentist one day. Introduce them to everyone in the office so they can see how nice everyone is and how there is nothing to be afraid of.

Joke around with the staff. They probably know the drill (pun intended) by now.

Tell them about how many other boys and girls go to this fine dentist and how they’re all ok.

Keep It Real

When all else fails, you may just need to have a serious conversation. Proper mouth care is important for your child’s overall health and will continue into their adult life.

They don’t have to like it. They just have to be good.

Explain to your child there is no getting around it. Compare it to going to school or another activity they don’t enjoy but have come to understand that they do not have an option.

Stay Away From Bad Words

Pain, needle, etc…

If you have a child who’s sensitive to certain words, just don’t use them when speaking about their pediatric dentist.

The introduction to dentistry and oral care shouldn’t be started with negative connations about what they will experience. And let’s be real, the average dentist appointment is painless and pleasant.

Do you have any tips on keeping a wee one happy at the dentist office? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

Where Can You Find the Best Baby Clothes?

best baby clothesFinding the best baby clothes for your little one can be an exercise in frustration. Babies gain up to two pounds a month, and by the time they’re one year old, they’ve usually tripled their birth weight.

Since your baby is going to grow like a weed, finding cute, comfortable clothes that won’t break the bank can be challenging.

Luckily, we’ve got all the best tips for finding baby clothes for your little miracle:


Target has a massive selection of baby clothes, and the clothes from the Cat and Jack collection are adorable. You can find adorable graphic T-shirts for just $3. Target is a great place to shop if you’re on a budget and the perfect place to find basics for when you’re spending time at home.

Tobias & The Bear

Born in 2013, this clothing line was started by two moms with a background in fashion. Both moms were discouraged by the lack of comfortable, cool offerings for their boys.

They launched a successful, well-known and collection of unisex leggings with a focus on cute prints. The fabrics used are kind for babies’ skin, and you’ll find that these clothes offer great value for money.


The Nickis baby range is adorable. The website sells brands from Gucci to Burberry. While these are unlikely to be everyday clothes for your baby, this is the place to pick up that perfect outfit for a special occasion.

If you look after these clothes well, you’ll get a lot of wear out of them, and can even pass them down to younger siblings.

Baby Gap

Baby Gap is a favorite for baby clothes for a reason. They can tend to be on the pricer side, but if you keep an eye out for sales, you can get some incredible deals. The clearance section is also a good opportunity to pick up some gorgeous clothes for a steal.

If you haven’t yet seen the baby girl dresses, you’ve been missing out. Check them out, and you’ll be wondering why they don’t have them in your size.


Believe it or not, but Amazon is a great place to find baby clothes. It’s particularly good for shoes, and you’ll find super affordable clothes in all sizes, colors, and styles.

Considering babies won’t even walk in their shoes and they grow so quickly, choosing a cute pair that won’t break the bank is a must.


Carters is another place where you can find some of the best baby clothes around. Not only are they super cute, but they’re almost always having sales. If you love dressing your kids as tiny adults, Carters is the place to go.

They also have gorgeous character outfits and tiny graphic t-shirts.

Where do you get the Best Baby Clothes?

There is now a larger range of baby clothes than ever before, with new designers constantly releasing lines.

Have you shopped at some of the above stores? Or do you have another great suggestion to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch!

The Easy Way to Create a Family Schedule

family scheduleDo you feel like there’s not enough time to breathe with all of the different obligations your family has scheduled?

You’re not alone. It seems like managing a family these days should be a full-time job, especially since kids are in so many extracurriculars at an early age.

One solution to end the madness is creating a family schedule. After you’ve taken the time to plan it out, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without one.

Everyone’s needs are different, but there are some foolproof tips you can use no matter what your calendar looks like. Check out our easy way to create a family schedule!

1. Find What Works For You

If you have kids that are older, you might want to go digital so that you can have a shared calendar across all of your devices. That way, even a family member on the go can see where each sibling, parent, or child is no matter what.

Google Calendar is a great tool for this since it syncs no matter what you’re using.

If you’re more of a paper person, daily planners like a Kitlife are a must-have for any busy momma. Choose whatever you know works best for you!

2. Plan Out A Normal Day First

If your family has a schedule that’s constantly changing, planning out a master schedule can seem impossible. Start small so that you don’t get too overwhelmed.

When you first start making a family schedule, map out what a normal day looks like first. When do the kids have to get to school? When do you get off work? What do you have to get done each day no matter what?

That will help you get a sense of your basic structure. Then, you can go back and fill in all the random meetings, practices, or performances that might pop up on certain days.

3. Have Everyone Contribute To The Family Schedule

Some moms like to be the keeper of the schedule and are the only person in the house who updates it. If that works best, go for it!

If you’re still having trouble getting people to stick to your new schedule, try having everyone contribute instead. If your kids and spouse help to create the schedule, they’re more likely to follow it—and make your life easier in the process.

Whether you’re using paper or digital, having a master schedule somewhere everyone can see and edit it is a great way to do this. You can even get creative and color code by family member!

4. Stick To A Routine

Once you’ve created a schedule, stick to it. Younger kiddos especially benefit from a stable structure, so staying within a routine can actually help their behavior.

It might be tempting to linger an extra fifteen minutes in bed before hitting snooze or to answer emails while you’re at home, but that can throw off your entire schedule. Create a routine and you’re way more likely to consistently follow your schedule.

Want more tips on how to create a great family life? Check out our blog!

The Incredible Effects of Prenatal Massage

prenatal massageIf you’re not familiar with prenatal massage, it’s a type of massage that’s similar to regular massage. However, it’s customized to a pregnant woman’s needs.

A pregnant woman’s body is constantly changing. Prenatal massage helps ease sore areas, improves overall circulation and mobility and relaxes tense or sore muscles.

It also helps pregnant women “just feel good”.

A trained prenatal massage therapist adjusts their massage techniques to the needs of a pregnant woman, focusing on the neck, back, abdomen and shoulders.

They understand that a pregnant woman has very specific sore and swollen areas, and can help provide deep relief.

They’ll also know what areas to avoid.

Let’s take a further look into the benefits of prenatal massage, and find out if it’s right for you.

The Many Benefits of Prenatal Massage

There’s not a ton of high-scale research that’s been done on the overall therapeutic benefits of this type of massage. However, smaller studies tell us that prenatal massage can:

  • Lower stress and improve mood
  • Reduce swelling in legs
  • Help diminish anxiety and prenatal depression
  • Lower the risk of premature birth or low birth weight in babies of women suffering from prenatal depression

Prenatal massage also helps put pregnant women in a better overall mindset. It can help them cope with all the huge changes that are about to transpire in the coming months.

Remember to tell the massage therapist about any and all areas of the body that need attention. If anything is causing discomfort during the massage, don’t hesitate to let them know.

Find the Best Therapist Possible

Start out by getting recommendations. These can come from your hospital, healthcare provider, or friends and family

If you’ve used another massage therapist in the past and enjoy their work, find out if they have prenatal massage training or can direct you to a colleague who does.

Also consider visiting the American Massage Therapy Association. They have an online referral system that will show you recommended therapists throughout the US, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Virgin Islands.

If you’re in the Colorado Springs, CO area, Turning Point Medical Group is a great choice.

Some therapists will request clearance from your midwife or doctor prior to providing treatment. Make sure to ask about this as soon as you can.

Also, make sure to remind your therapist when you arrive that you’re pregnant.

How Much is it Going to Cost?

In general, a one-hour massage session will run anywhere between $60 – $150 (sometimes more depending on your location).

Keep in mind that some health insurance plans cover parts of the cost, even if you’re self-employed.

This is only true, however, if you get a prescription from a midwife or doctor that indicates massage therapy is needed for medical reasons (like severe back pain).

If you have a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account, you can pay for the massage therapy out of either and save money on taxes. All you’ll need is paperwork from the provider that shows the massage as a medically necessary procedure.

Have You Tried It Yet?

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this type of therapy and if it’s been beneficial for you and your baby.

Have you had a good experience with a prenatal massage? Let us know in the comments!