Connecting to Earth Day through Family Activities

By Lisa Niver Rajna
Lisa NiverApril 22 is Earth Day. What will you do to celebrate our planet? With so many options out there, what will you choose? I’d like to share a few of my favorites that teach our children and show that we can make a difference. With snowfall last month in the San Fernando Valley for the first time in nearly fifty years, major earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, Santiago, Chile and Haiti in the last year, and other environmental issues like the enormous volcanic eruption of Iceland, science is everywhere and a part of everything; it just depends what lens you use to look through. (more…)

Specialty Summer Camps

By Devin Miller
DevinWith more than 6 million kids in the U.S attending camp every summer, camp remains one of America’s favorite pastimes. Yet there is a new camp experience that has dramatically increased in popularity over the last decade – and that is the “specialty” camp. Never before have kids and teens had so many one-of-a-kind camp options to choose from. (more…)

Gift Giving Etiquette

By Lisa Gaché
LisaBeing able to select just the right gift for someone is, well, a gift. Most people are fair at it and a few special individuals actually excel in this department. They seem to know just the perfect gift to present no matter what the occasion. Homemade or hand-crafted, purchased online or store-bought, professional or personal, gifts from family members, friends and acquaintances can be high and disappointment can set in when it appears that no real thought or effort was made. Here are 5 important etiquette tips to consider when giving or receiving gifts. (more…)

Fostering Resilience in Your Children

By Nathalie Kunin
NathalieResilience might best be described as the capacity to cope. We find this capacity in adults (Americans’ resilience in the face of the recession), in governing bodies (Haiti’s resilience in the aftermath of the earthquake), and even in Marvel comic book protagonists (Our resilient hero took on his twelve captors single-handedly!). But how often do we find, and foster, this capacity in our children? (more…)

Physical Science and your Child

May the Force be with You: Physical Science and your Child

By Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed.
Lisa NiverThe California Department of Education states “We are all born with natural curiosity about our world. Science is an extension of this curiosity. When we read about a new discovery, watch a bird fly, or think about how something works, we are doing science. When we pursue knowledge we are doing science.” Unfortunately many adults have at least one bad memory from Science Class. Others tell me, “I cannot volunteer in Science class, I am not good at science.” (more…)

The Benefits of Menu Planning

By Lindsay Harris
LindsayI have been grocery shopping for over 15 years. It’s a weekly chore and for some it is not a favorite task. I, however, love grocery shopping. It’s partly because it is a form of shopping (I’m a bit of a shopaholic), but mainly because the little organizer in me loves the whole process that leads up to the weekly shop. (more…)

Tips on Skin Rejuvenation

By Rebecca Casper
RebeccaQuestion:What special skin-care recommendations do you have for women ages 35 and older? How is their skin different from younger women’s and why would you recommend these practices?
Answer: By the mid 30s accumulated damage that has been done to the skin begins to rear its ugly head and we can literally wake up one morning and feel as though we’ve gained these changes overnight! Lines and wrinkles around the eyes, on the forehead, dark spots, dissipated redness and irritation are among common complaints. The truth is, you’ve had 30 plus years to gain this damage, but there is no time like the present to start repairing and protecting. As everyone has a unique set of circumstances and experiences that have gotten them to where they are today, it is wise to seek professional, individualized advice from a skin care therapist (Esthetician, not dermatologist) to address your specific needs. This way you can start saving money by getting on the right program and stop wasting your hard earned cash by trying every new skin care fad out there. (more…)

Creating Valentine Memories

By Erica Friedman
ericaValentine’s Day is always so sweet as it makes us take a moment to be grateful and acknowledge our loved ones. I find that doing the simple things always has the greatest impact. Make a card. Bake some cookies. Set the table for dinner and decorate the family room with hearts and kind words. To what extent you go, it’s all up to you. (more…)

The Importance of Family Meals

By Mariana Rossano
marianaRossanoCooking healthy meals requires a huge time commitment. It can be nearly impossible to keep up with everyone’s schedules. Most people would agree that time constraints on family time have become the norm. The world has changed since we were kids, and most moms don’t have the luxury to stay home and take the time to prepare healthy meals for the family.

One of the most important benefits to family meals is good nutrition. A balanced diet will help your child grow up healthy, and family meals are a great way to establish good eating habits. Family meals are much more than a time for kids to sit at the same table with siblings and parents. Kids take comfort in the family dinner ritual, and eating dinner together on a regular basis is a routine they can count on. (more…)

A Meaningful Valentine’s Day

Tips on how to make Valentine’s Day fulfill your expectations.

By Samara Fabrick, LCSW
samaraSo you’ve made it through the holidays. Your extended family has gone home; expectations, disappointments, fun and frolic are behind you. Just when you thought you could relax, BAM, here comes Valentine’s Day. For many of us Valentine’s Day is a chance to sit down with our kids to make cards for their classmates, think of fun ways to surprise our honey or have an excuse to eat that box of chocolates. However, for many Valentine’s Day is another opportunity to have a million expectations that are so often dashed by our clueless spouses and our inability to express our wants. Here are a few suggestions to make sure that your Valentine’s Day is a happy one filled with whatever your heart desires. (more…)