Checklist for Choosing a Safe Day Care
By Madonna Behen
... Continue reading Checklist for Choosing a Safe Day Care.
Finding the right day-care center requires a balance of many practical issues: location, cost, hours of operation. And you of course also want a nurturing staff. "But bottom line, your child's health and safety is what matters the most," says Patricia Skinner, executive director of the Capital District Child Care Council, a resource and referral agency serving six counties in the Albany, N.Y., region. "After all, it doesn't matter how stellar the caregiver's interactions are if there's broken glass on the playground," she says.
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Natural Alternatives for a Wrinkle-free Complexion
by Kassie Kuehl
Think organically! Natural alternatives to anti-aging, wrinkles, toxins and modalities as we uniquely age.
One of the most difficult signs of aging to 'correct', wrinkles begin appearing on our faces in our 20s, and continue to deepen and multiply right through the rest of our lives. The fight against the innocent wrinkle has caused the rise of the Botox phenomenon ... but the insanity of injecting the world's most lethal disease into our body purposefully has given rise to the organic wrinkle-treatment ideology! If you like the idea of looking younger and healthier, but don't like the idea of paralyzing your face for it, read on. We examine the natural alternatives to Botox for a smooth, glowing, radiant complexion ... and for Beautiful Health.
What planet do wrinkles come from?
Unfortunately, we can't just send them back where they came from! Wrinkles are caused by several factors. Some of these are beyond our control, and some we can have an effect on. The following are the main causes of wrinkles:
Aging - The middle layer of skin, the dermis, begins to thin with age. The structural proteins that bind the dermis to the epidermis loosen and unravel, meaning that the epidermis sags away from the dermis. The extent to which your skin wrinkles as you age is determined genetically.
As you age, your skin also loses some of its ability to retain moisture, declines in elasticity, produces less oil, and takes longer to heal. All of these factors have an impact on how much your skin wrinkles.
Sun damage - Up to 80% of the wrinkles that appear on our faces have been shown to be caused by sun damage. UV light can damage collagen fibers in the skin, as well as causing excessive elastin production. Wrinkles from sun damage basically form when your skin has to heal the damage produced by the sun over and over again, resulting in minute scarring.
Contraction of the facial muscles - Habitual expressions, such as frowning, squinting, and even smiling, can cause your skin to droop and wrinkle
How the Sun Damages Skin
The skin gets its shape and firmness from a network of proteins outside our cells, made up of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans. Collagen gives the skin its basic structure, and elastin creates flexibility. The sun damages these proteins by triggering our skin's DNA to act in abnormal ways. The sun's rays degrade the collagen and elastin proteins that our skin cells produce in future . These degraded cells are less elastic and have a less-youthful appearance than cells which are not exposed to the sun .
What is Botox?
Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin, the most lethal naturally occurring substances in the world. It is used to correct wrinkles The popularity of injecting your face with a lethal disease seems to indicate some sort of mass insanity, but in 2007, Botox injections to smooth wrinkles were the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Botox will correct wrinkles such as:
• Forehead lines
• Crow's Feet
• Frown lines
Botox does not work on wrinkles caused by sun damage or by gravity. Its mechanism of action is to block the nerve signals from the brain to the muscle, causing it to relax and soften, rather than contract.
The side effects of Botox include:
• The inability to control the muscles which were injected. You won't be able to frown or raise your eyebrows.
• Having your eyelids uncontrollably dropping for up to three weeks after the procedure
• Temporary facial bruising
• Possible neurological or fetal effects in patients who are pregnant, or have a neurological disorder.
How to prevent wrinkles - Fighting off the invaders
Prevention is far more practical than a magic pill or 'quick cure'. In the case of creeping crows feet, in the early stages you should use nutrient rich skin care, sun care, and abundant hydration . These are the only ways to avoid these creepy invaders. Let's take a closer look at some things you can do to prevent wrinkles forming, and for beautiful health!
• Wear a sunscreen every day. Choose a physical block and chemical free brand, so that you minimize the amount of chemical you absorb through your skin.
• Don't take up smoking, or give it up as soon as possible. Smoking reduces the collagen production of your skin cells.
• Drink your daily allowance of water. Water is necessary to help the skin stay 'plumped'. Dehydrated skin sags noticeably more than well-hydrated skin.
• Try to include polyunsaturated fats, plenty of omega-3 and omega-6, and a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables in your diet. The free radical theory of aging is one of the most widely accepted (although it does have its detractors!). The theory states that oxidative stress is one of the main causes of aging and related conditions - such as wrinkles. Oxidative stress is thought to be caused by free radicals, which can be reduced in your body by eating foods rich in antioxidants. Blueberries, papaya and whole grains are good examples.
• Exercise regularly, to help ensure maximum vitamin and mineral flow to your skin as well as increase oxygen content.
Lifestyle choices to help reduce wrinkles
The preventive measures above are all lifestyle factors that can help reduce the number and intensity of your wrinkles, as well as helping prevent new ones forming. Here are some other choices you can make that will reduce the appearance of current wrinkles, and prevent new ones forming.
• Don't wash your face with tap water more than twice a day. Your skin needs its natural oils to prevent wrinkling, and washing (especially with soaps), strips them away.
• Avoid alkaline soaps and deodorants. Ask your beauty therapist about which organic soaps will clean your skin, while allowing it to retain moisture.
• Even if you will only be outside for short periods of time, apply sunscreen every day. Use moisturizers and cosmetic products such as minerals with sunscreen included.
• Don't drink alcohol before you go to bed. Alcohol increase capillary leakage, which ultimately makes your skin look saggy and puffy. This leakage is also exacerbated when you lie down.
Get results with natural products and procedures for wrinkle reduction
Antioxidant products - So popular it has almost become a meaningless buzzword, 'antioxidants' are a critical component of an anti-wrinkle skincare regimen. However, to reverse the affects of oxidation organic or all-natural products are recommended - many antioxidant products contain a wealth of additional chemicals that actually destroy your skin's health, rather than promote it.
Glycolic peels - These can be very effective at removing fine lines, scarring and discoloration from skin. Seek salon and spas that use a natural system of an 8% exfoliate formulation of the facial peel, which basically strips away dead skin cells and the outermost layer of skin, taking away lines to reveal new, fresh cells beneath. You can expect improvement in:
• Elasticity and firmness
• Tone, color and texture
• Moisture balance
• Fine line and wrinkle appearance
• Acne scarring and reduction of future acne
Moisture serums - Top organic salons recommend using a nightly treatment that combines highly effective fruit acids, also known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) made from organic sources.
Heal your skin while you slumber by using products formulated with natural fruit acids and light moisturizing to minimize wrinkles, acne, and age spots, and help improve many other skin conditions. Enzyme enhanced products also strengthens the skin's barrier against outside chemicals. You will notice much smoother skin after using this product.
A Beautiful Health Lifestyle: What to remember
Remember to focus on the prevention end of the wrinkle reduction scale, by stopping smoking, applying sunscreen every day, eating a healthy, varied diet, and exercising daily, even if it is only for a short period. When looking for wrinkle-reduction and skin improvement products, seek ingredients, think "long term", and go natural! Nature has provided all of the solutions you need to stay looking like your kids (or kid cousins!) ... ask your skin care professional for solutions unique to you!
1] Uitto J, Olsen DR, Fazio MJ. Extracellular matrix of the skin: 50 years of progress, J Invest Dermatol 1989; 92:61S-77S.
 Uitto J, Fazio MJ, Olsen DR. Molecular mechanisms of cutaneous aging: age-associated connective tissue alterations in the dermis. J Am Acad Dermatol 1989; 21:614-622.
 Timpl R. Structure and biological activity of basement membrane proteins. Eur J Biochem 1989; 180:487-502.
 Ryynanen M, Knowlton RG, Parente MG, et al. Human type VII collagen: genetic linkage of the gene (COL7A1) on chromosome 3 to dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Am J Hum Genet 1991; 49:797-803.
Kassie Kuehl is a professional stylist, specializing in ammonia free hair color, in addition to being a health and nutrition coach. Kassie opened Kasia Organic Salon, a chemical-free, natural and euphoric experience, located in Minneapolis, MN. Kasia Salon "gk: pure," believes that our hair and skin reflects the state of the body's health and looks its best when properly nourished and hydrated, naturally. Learn more about Kasia Organic Salon and Kasia Beautiful Health Skin Care at: www.kasiaorganicsalon.com.
... Continue reading Natural Alternatives for a Wrinkle-free Complexion.
Kids Eat Free!
We've updated the list! Momtalk.com tries to keep the listings as current as possible, but before visiting any of the following local restaurants, we recommend calling ahead to verify that a kid promotion is still in effect.
Have a 9-year old who eats like a horse? A toddler who only eats red food? Need a break? All of the above? These Twin Cities locales feed kids for free. Check the day and/or age restrictions and chow down.
Kids eat free 4-8pm; Dine-in only, one free kid's meal per adult meal purchased, adult meal must be a minimum of $3.00.
8251 Flying Cloud Dr # 3020
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Kids 12 and under* can enjoy a complimentary meal from our kid's menu.
* Two complimentary kids meal with every adult meal
The Sunshine Factory
7600 42nd Ave N.
New Hope, MN 55427
Kids 10 and under eat free after 4pm
4001 Co. Rd. 25
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Kids 12 and under eat free all day
Baja Sol Tortilla Grill
Kids eat free Sunday evenings and printable coupons offering discounts on purchases available on their website.
S Fremont Ave & Lagoon Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Kids 12 and under eat free 10am-2pm
7465 France Avenue South
Edina, MN 55435
Kids 3-12 eat for $.99 after 4pm
7730 Normandale Blvd. Bloomington, MN
Kids eat free from 4pm-10pm
Kids eat free
2401 West Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55116
From 5:30pm-10pm each kid under 12 eats free with a purchase of an adult meal
8010 Glen Lane
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
From 4pm-10pm 2 kids eat free with 1 adult entree purchase
790 W 66th Street
Richfield, MN 55423
From 4pm-10pm 2 kids eat free with 1 adult entree purchase
8418 Tamarack Village
Woodbury, MN 55125
For Every Adult Meal, 2 Kids Eat Free 6-9pm
Perkins (some locations citywide)
... Continue reading Kids Eat Free!.
Safe Winter Driving
Anyone who's lived in Minnesota for more than a minute is familiar with winter driving. Winter weather poses unique challenges. Before heading out onto snowy or icy streets, take a few minutes to refresh your memory on how to drive safely in wintery conditions.
- Make sure the gas tank is at least half full and the windshield washer fluid reservoir is full.
- Clear as much snow off of the car as you can, including the roof, headlamps and taillights. Scrape ice off of windows and side mirrors for maximum visibility.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- If you are going to drive a long distance, find out what kind of weather to expect. Visit the National Weather Service website at weather.gov to check the forecast.
On the Road
- Slow down. Tires lose their grip in slippery conditions, so accelerating, stopping and turning all take longer on snow-covered roads. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
- AAA recommends that the normal following distance of three to four seconds be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Accelerating slowly reduces wheel spin. If you're starting from a standstill on ice or slick snow, start in second gear if you have a manual transmission. Some automatic transmissions have a winter mode that automatically starts in a higher gear.
- Don't lock the wheels when braking. This can make the vehicle slide or skid. If your vehicle has an antilock braking system (ABS), depress the brake pedal firmly and hold it down. Do not pump the brakes. ABS usually send a vibration through the brake pedal - if you feel this, don't let up, it's normal.
- Do one thing at a time. Consumer Reports says that asking a vehicle to do two things at once - such as braking and turning, or accelerating and turning - can reduce your control. When taking a turn, slowly apply brakes while the vehicle is going straight. When it's at the right speed to take the turn, let up on the brakes and smoothly turn the steering wheel. After you're through the turn, slowly depress the accelerator to regain speed.
- Correct for a slide. If the rear of the vehicle begins to slide during a turn, gently let up on the accelerator and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide to straighten out. If the front end begins to slide, let up on the accelerator and turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go.
- Pay extra attention to other drivers - they may not be driving as cautiously as you.
For more safe winter driving tips, visit consumerreports.org, aaa.exchange.com or the Federal Citizen Information Center at pueblo.gsa.gov.
... Continue reading Safe Winter Driving.
When Should Kids Date--How Old is Old Enough?
by Deb McCleod
The day your child comes to you and asks if he can ask a girl out is the day when you realize he's not a baby anymore.
But is he old enough to date? When should he date? What happens if your girl accepts a date without asking you? What is dating these days anyway?
Don't panic, mom. There are answers to your dating questions. First, much has changed since we were in the dating world. As we hear so often, kids these days grow up much faster than we did. But that doesn't mean that we have to allow exposure to things we can control. We might not be able to control what kids hear on the playground at lunch, but we can control some of the experiences they have. That means, yes, you can control this aspect of your child's life, too.
It's important to realize that there are many factors that play into whether a child is ready to date. Sometimes the decision is made for him or her, as you might have religious or other beliefs that dictate the appropriateness of when a child should start dating. But assuming that you have no specific beliefs one way or another that will influence your decisions, how can you know when the time is right?
First, it's important to remember that many children these days refer to a date when in fact they aren't talking about a one-on-one date. Often, children 'date' in groups and that might bring you more comfort than picturing your child on a solo date with another child.
Second, there are no hard and fast rules, only guidelines. Ask yourself these questions:
♣ Is your child responsible?
♣ Does your child think for him or herself? Able to make decisions not based on what other children are doing, but on what's right for him or her?
♣ Does your child understand the concept of sex and understand that it's OK to say "no"?
♣ Is your child amenable to having a chaperone? This is one way to let your child date earlier than you might otherwise feel comfortable. You simply accompany him or her on the date, but do so in an inconspicuous way. For instance, take them to the multi-plex but sit apart from them or see a different movie altogether. But then you're there to collect and drive them home. You might also allow your child only to have "dates" at home-- watch movies, enjoy a snack, and listen to music. You can easily keep an eye out that way.
The general rule about dating for most parents seems to be that kids can date around age 14. Many kids will feel as if they have had dates before that if they, say, head to the movies in a group of other kids and one boy or girl they particularly like, but dates alone often begin at 14 to 15. Some parents believe that their kids shouldn't date until they are old enough to drive.
... Continue reading When Should Kids Date--How Old is Old Enough?.
The decision on when your child should date doesn't come quickly or easily for most parents. It is usually arrived at after a good deal of examination over the child's emotional and physical maturity and your own standards of appropriateness. It's also not a one-size-fits all proposition. If you have several children, you might decide as they come of age that they are ready to date at different ages.
Have a Mother-Daughter Spa Day
by Nicole LaMarco
Catch up with your daughter and spend some quality time with a spa day. You have two options with having a mother and daughter spa day. One, you could spend a day at a local spa, or you could have your own spa day at home.
How to Have a Spa Day with Your Daughter Locally
If you want to have a spa day with your daughter at a local spa you will need to call around to local spas and ask about a mother and daughter spa day package. Most spas now have these packages. Ask about refreshments and meals, considering you will be there for the day. Ask to have all of the details of what is included in a mother and daughter spa day in writing. Once you choose a spa schedule your appointment at least two weeks in advance.
How to Have a Spa Day with Your Daughter at Home
Now, if you want to get a little more creative and involved with your spa day you can have one at home. This will take more time, but is definitely more fun. Plan your spa day when you have the time and your daughter will be available. Start the day off by going to a local pharmacy or discount store and searching for spa items.
15 Items for a Home Spa Day:
1. Manicure Set
2. Pedicure Set
3. Deep Hair Conditioner
4. Facial Masks
6. Aromatherapy Candles
7. Movie for you both
9. Comfortable Pajamas
10. Foot Spas
11. Snacks and Meals
12. Bottled Water
13. Eye Gel Masks
15. Nail Polish
You don't have to get everything on the list. You might only have time for a half spa day with your daughter, and that is fine. Choose the items that you and your daughter will enjoy. Plan ahead and make your meals the day before. Take your daughter with you when you go shopping so she can have some input on the items to buy, unless it will be a surprise spa day!
Spa Day Schedule
Morning: Eat a light breakfast and take showers. Use deep conditioner in the shower. Put on comfortable pajamas, robes and slippers.
Mid-Morning: Give each other manicures and pedicures and talk. talk. talk.
Noon: Eat lunch.
Early Afternoon: Time for face masks, eye gel masks, and a foot soak in the foot spas. Put on some relaxing music and talk some more. Remove masks and have a light snack.
Late Afternoon: Put on the movie (comedy recommended) and enjoy.
Evening: Have dinner together and talk openly.
The best part about having a home spa day is that you get to do it any way you want to. However, if you don't have the time to shop and plan, then go for the spa day locally. It will be a great bonding experience and give you both time to catch up and talk. You can even make mother and daughter spa day a regular thing!
Many spas in the Twin Cities will create a special spa day package for your mother-daughter day or customize services for the two of you. Check out some of these Minneapolis-St.Paul spas.
Aveda New Reflections (2 Twin Cities Spa Locations)
Plymouth Town Center,
3530 Vicksburg Lane
,Plymouth, MN 55447
Maple Grove Fountains at Arbor Lakes
11620 Fountains Drive
Maple Grove, MN 55369
New Reflections Salon offers full spa services available at the Plymouth and Maple Grove locations. Create a custom mother-daughter day spa package to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect.
Accolades Salon | Spa
2065 Randolph Ave,
St Paul, MN 55105
Prepare to be pampered at Accolades Salon | Spa in St. Paul. Let the friendly and professional staff at Accolades help you design a mother-daughter spa package complete with facial, massage, manicure, pedicure and more. Both of you deserve a day of luxury at this premiere spa.
600 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 150
, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Located next to the grave 601 hotel in Minneapolis, Jewel Spa offers spa services in a calming environment, complete with 5 star treatment.
Enchantment Retreat Day Spa
582 Prairie Center Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Customize a mother-daughter spa day at the Enchantment Retreat Day Spa in Eden Prairie. Enjoy a wide range of relaxing spa services, all while sharing special moments laughing and visiting with one another.
2910 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Named one of the Twin Cities premiere salons and spas, the friendly staff at reVamp! Salonspa invite you to build your own spa package to make your mother-daughter spa day perfect.
Sanctuary SalonSpa (4 Twin Cities Locations)
995 Prairie Center Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
1201 Harmon Pl.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
16506B West 78th Street
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
5615 Manitou Road
Tonka Bay, MN 55331
Tranquility awaits you at Sanctuary SalonSpa. All types of spa services are available and most treatments can be set up for two people in the same room at the same time. Perfect for mothers and daughters to spend time together at the spa.
1125 Wayzata Blvd E
Wayzata, MN 55391
Pamper yourselves and strengthen the mother-daughter bond at Juut Salonspa. A multitude of spa services can be found at Juut, making a spa day together a wonderful time to relax and enjoy each other's company.
8375 Seasons Pkwy
Woodbury, MN 55125
3909 West 49 1/2 St at 50th and France
Edina, MN 55424
600 Market St Suite 270
Chanhassen, MN 55317
952-915-2900 (all locations)
As you walk into Spalon Montage, you first experience a calming atmosphere with soft music. This sets the stage for a wonderful and relaxing mother-daughter spa day that neither of you will soon forget.
... Continue reading Have a Mother-Daughter Spa Day.
Parents in Love: How to Model a Loving Marriage for Your Children
by Jean Tracy, MSS
Marriage and parenting require modeling listening skills. When your partner speaks, do you listen, interrupt, or walk away? What do your children see? Look inside to find out what one successful couple did.
Ed and Marilyn, married over 25 years, meet my husband, Jim, and me at a fancy restaurant every year for a holiday dinner. Our conversations flow easily as we play catch-up. We discuss the events of the past year, our children, and movies each other must see.
At our last dinner I asked, "What is the bond that keeps you together?" Ed looked down, took a bite of herbed chicken and said, "We worked in a hospital running therapy groups before we fell in love. We already knew the importance of communication."
Marilyn reminded Ed about something he told her before they married. Ed had confided that whenever his mother brought up problems, his father left the room. Marilyn told Ed, "If you ever do that to me, "I'll go further and stay longer." Ed knew exactly what she meant.
Marilyn smiled, "Ed has never walked away."
Ed added, "We solve our problems together."
Listening well takes love, patience and respect. Below are 3 listening tips to show respect, increase patience, and show love for each other.
1st Marriage Listening Tip: See Things from Your Partner's Perspective.
You don't need to argue. You don't need to agree either. You do need to know your spouse's viewpoint by listening well. This takes patience because you'll be putting a stop to thinking about other things while your partner is talking.
Your gift: Your partner will appreciate you and feel respected. Your children will realize not everyone has the same viewpoint.
2nd Marriage Listening Tip: Repeat What Your Spouse Says In Your Own Words -- You'll need to develop a listening ear. To do this you'll have to focus on your partner's words. You might have to struggle to pay attention.
The next step is to repeat what your partner just said. If you get it wrong, ask your mate to repeat it and try again.
Your gift: You won't be walking away. Your partner will know you care. Your children will witness your listening skill.
3rd Marriage Listening Tip: Ask Your Partner Questions to Show Interest
Asking your partner questions doesn't mean cross-examining. It does mean showing genuine interest in your partner's thoughts. Giving your spouse the attention that good questions offer, will increase the bond between you. Why? Everyone wants attention. Everyone wants to be heard.
Your gift: With your questions you'll make your partner feel important. Don't be surprised if your children begin to model this skill from your example.
Conclusion for Modeling a Loving Marriage and Becoming Parents in Love: The above story about Ed and Marilyn is an excerpt from my eBook, Parents in Love -- 121 Dating Ideas. Ed and Marilyn learned how not to communicate from Ed's father. They modeled how to listen for themselves and their children. Ed and Marilyn are still deeply in love. Your efforts to listen will give your partner, you, and your children priceless gifts that bond you together.
Remember to see things from your partner's viewpoint. Repeat what your spouse says in your own words. Ask your partner questions to show your interest. If you do you'll be respected, your children will learn to communicate, and your spouse will feel close to you. Listening well is a great way to give, model, and receive love.
Have some thoughts about marriage, sex and romance? Discuss it in our forums
Jean Tracy, MSS shares stories, tips, and the secret formula all lovers need in her eBook, Parents in Love. With 121 low to no-cost dating ideas and 89 dating coupons, you can laugh, play, and cherish each other forever. Find out more at Parents in Love and become parents in love today.
... Continue reading Parents in Love: How to Model a Loving Marriage for Your Children.