Farmers Market Update: Marin County

Adults and children alike have fears. Fear is something we all experience because it’s a built in protective measure that helps us avoid or predict danger. But when your child has fears that interrupt sleep, or daily activities, what can you do to help? They don’t have to be severe fears to change the way your child behaves.

Helping Kids Overcome Their Top 5 Fears

The top five fears for younger children are:
5- Doctor
4- War
3- Personal Danger
2- Loss of a Parent
1- Divorce

And though your own child may display different fears, like thunder storms, scary dreams or TV shows, the way you help your child work through those fears can be the same.  By giving your child as much information about their fear as is age appropriate the better they will understand what is an imagined part of the fear and what is real.

Keep in mind however, that a young child who is experiencing the fear of something imagined is still having a very real emotion.

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Bath Time Beauty - The Products I Use to Pamper Myself 1

Hi ladies. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! You know when an idea for a blog post suddenly pops to mind and you start taking photos and jotting down your thoughts like a mad woman? Well, this is exactly what happened to me last night whilst having a Sunday night pamper. I don’t know about you but after a long week at work and a busy weekend, when Sunday rolls around, its the perfect time to wind down, have a long soak in the bath and a good old pamper. This is exactly what I did last night and and I felt so great afterwards that I just had to show you the beauty products I use to pamper and preen myself whilst soaking in the bath.

First things first, its time to run the bath. For me, baths are one of the most relaxing things in the world and if I could sit in one all day without turning into something that resembles a wrinkly old prune, I would. A bath isn’t complete for me without two things – bubbles and candles. I find bubbles add a nice scent to the bath water and cover my dignity whilst having a soak (surely nobody wants to stare at their naked parts whilst chilling in the bath?) and I love lighting a few candles to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere. My bubbles and candles of choice last night were Avon Soft Pink Bubble Bath and some bog standard Ikea tea lights. I’d of preferably had a nice scented candle flickering away but as I didn’t have any to hand, I improvised.

8 Simple Makeup Tricks for Flawless Skin

Executing Goals: Struggle and Success with weight lossTwo weeks ago I began my Mum Challenge. If you’re just joining me, please feel free to catch up here! If you’re all up to speed, let’s dive into week two…

Why is it that week two is always more challenging than week one?! Don’t get me wrong, I had some encouraging success this week. I saw the scale go down, I began tracking all of my food and I continued to work on my two goals from week one. I’d say that’s successful!

However, I did not get the workouts in that I wanted to. I had high hopes of getting two workouts in, but with a hectic schedule, that just didn’t become a reality this week. However, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up, it just means I’m rolling that goal over to this week, and no excuses, it will be achieved!! I’ll turn to the amazing repertoire of workouts on Skinny Mom for a little online pep talk, and will commit to doing this circuit this week.

On top of that, over the weekend we purchased an awesome new bike trailer to take our two little ladies for a nice long ride, so if the weather cooperates (lots of rain in our forecast this week), I hope to get out and about for a nice family ride to kick off the very chilly spring season here in Canada.

And to up the ante, I’ll add another goal for myself this week which is water, water, water! Some days I’m great at drinking lots of water, and other days I struggle. No real reason, I just don’t always make a conscious choice to consume the calorie-free goodness. This week, I will drink more water!


Winter Skin Care Tips: 3 Simple Steps

Summer is just around the corner and we all want to lose a few pounds to fit into the perfect outfit or swimsuit. I have listed a few foods with magical fat burning properties to help you with this dreaded task of weigh loss. Just remember – not one food alone can do the job. You have to have a plan and a purpose. Make sure you are eating the proper amount of calories for your body.

Tummy Tightening Foods for Weight Loss

Here are a few Tummy Tightening Foods to help get you on the right track to a slimmer summer:

1. Oats with Cinnamon– Oats are a great start to your day. They will help keep you full while the cinnamon has natural thermionic properties which may increase your metabolism. (Love this Skinny Slow Cooker Oats recipe)

2. Grapefruit- Grapefruit helps lower insulin levels which promotes weight loss and fast metabolism.

3. Red Peppers Peppers contain Capsaicin which can help with burning stubborn fat.

4. Almonds– Almonds are a great source of protein to help keep you full and keep your metabolism kicking. (Skinny Almond Trail Mix here)

5. Salmon-Salmon is loaded with Omega 3 Fatty Acids which is beneficial for fat loss. (Check out ourSkinny Caribbean Jerk Salmon or Skinny Blackened Salmon)

6. Avocado– While avocados are considered a fat, they are a healthy fat. Your body needs healthy fats to use as energy to promote fat burn.

7. Blueberries– While Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, they are also low in sugar and great for a healthy low calorie snack.

8. Green Tea– Natural caffeine can help speed up the metabolism and keep you energized to burn more calories throughout the day.

9. Chicken– Chicken is a great source of lean protein. By placing more protein in your diet you can lower the amount of carbohydrates you take in while promoting weight loss. (Check out our hundreds ofSkinny Chicken Recipes here and on Pinterest.)

10. Sweet Potato– Sweet potatoes are great for keeping your blood sugar levels stable while promoting a better, faster metabolism. (Click here for our Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes)


5 Ingredients of a Get-Skinny Supper


I’m crazy about fall foods. I love apples and squash and most of all I love… chili. I honestly could eat it every day. No exaggeration. In my book, EatingWell’s Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili, with a green salad on the side, is not only a perfectly wholesome, yummy dinner—it’s an ideal get-skinny supper because it contains 5 ingredients that research shows help with weight loss. Here are the 5 key ingredients of my favorite get skinny supper.

Beans, Beans…

They’re good for your heart. They’re also good for keeping you feeling full and—according to recent research—blasting belly fat. The secret? Soluble fiber. Researchers at Wake Forest Medical Center reported that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber per day, visceral fat (the more dangerous kind deep in your belly, surrounding your organs) dropped by 3.7 percent over five years. (Other sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, apples, okra, citrus.)

2. Chile Pepper

Research suggests that capsaicin, the compound that gives fresh chiles, and spices including cayenne and chipotle, their kick can boost metabolic burn. In other words, you can torch more   with spicy recipes (including chili)—so try a few new ones.

3. Salad Greens

Starting with a salad may prevent you from overdoing high-calorie fare later. In fact, research out of Penn State shows that eating a first-course salad can reduce overall calorie intake at a meal by up to 12 percent.

4. Vinegar

5. Whole Grains

Whole grains are also rich in fiber (soluble and insoluble!) so adding things like wheat berries or barley to your chili gives it even more staying power

7 Stress Busters: Soothing Foods and Calming Scents

Learn how to cope with stress by arming yourself with these stress-busting scents and soothing foods.

If you’re feeling stressed, take heart: what you eat and smell may help you de-stress. “The part of the brain that processes odors is very close to the [part that houses] emotions and memories,” explains Pamela Dalton, Ph.D., M.P.H., a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. So when you sniff something you like, you tend to breathe more deeply, your blood pressure lowers and your heart rate slows—all of which relax you. Eating some foods may help relax you too. So arm yourself with these soothing scents and tasty foods to cope when you are stressed.

  1. Sniff an Apple
  2. Sip on Tea
  3. Inhale Lavender
  4. Cut Into a Coconut
  5. Pack Some Peppermint
  6. Nibble on Chocolate
  7. Satisfy a Carb Craving

Create a memory box for the upcoming school year

A school memory box is a safe place to keep your child’s artwork, accomplishments and memories throughout each school year. There are many ways to make a memory box — from an easy organized space to a more involved DIY project, which is perfect for older kids and parents to make together.

memory box for the upcoming school year

This easy family tradition can be done yearly and becomes an organizational tool for you and your child to keep prized possessions from his childhood. Possessions you can both reflect back on as the year passes and as your child gets older.

Tip:If a school project is too large for the memory box, take a picture of the project, write the name of the project and the date on the back of the photo (with a photo-safe pen) and place the picture inside your child’s memory box. This can also be done with photographs from school events, recitals and plays. Read more at How to make a school memory box

Whatever You Do In 2014, Do NOT Try These Trends

Created in collaboration with Striking Beauties, the nation’s first 24-hour boxing gym designed exclusively for women, Boxing Boot Camp ($40, available at Kohl’s, Modell’s and Dick’s in fall 2012) is a maximized interval training workout that includes a cardio-revving jump-rope warmup and 12 rounds of boxing.

Boxing Boot Camp comes with a 6-pound medicine ball, speed rope, two weighted gloves ergonomically designed for women, a DVD with a 28-minute workout (12 two-minute rounds), a bonus abs workout and a complete instructional section that teaches you how to harness the power of your own body through punches and combinations.

SheKnows got a personal preview of the intense workout with USA boxing coach Jaime “The Hurricane” Clampitt, a four-time world champion boxer who co-created and appears in the Boxing Boot Camp video. In 2009, Clampitt met Striking Beauties owner Dena Paolino, and the women partnered to create an authentic boxing program for women at all fitness levels. Clampitt also created an amateur boxing program at Striking Beauties, located outside of Boston, that has already produced several national champions. We asked Clampitt, who’s so fit she performed the boxing demo while pregnant with her second child, for a few boxing tips for beginners.

SheKnows: How can women get over feeling intimidated, and what’s the best way for a woman who has never boxed before to get started?

Jaime Clampitt: I feel this [Boxing Boot Camp] video will provide women with a great way to get started in the sport of boxing. The video is not only an amazing workout, but it also focuses on proper technique. Having the technique and the conditioning from the video will give women the confidence to go to a boxing gym if that’s something they would like to try.

SheKnows: How often should you use the Empower Boxing Boot Camp video or take a boxing class in order to see toning and weight loss results?

Jaime Clampitt: For most women, I would have them start with two to three times a week. I think that this is a great way to begin your training regimen so you allow your body to rest between sessions, but it will still give you weight loss and toning results. As they get stronger I would have them increase their workouts up to six days a week. The great thing about boxing is that the same workout can always get harder. As your technique gets better and your stamina builds, you can move faster, punch faster and punch harder. In the video we box two-minute rounds with 30-second and one-minute intervals so you can increase your punch output as you build your stamina.

SheKnows: What is the biggest benefit of boxing as a form of exercise for women?

Jaime Clampitt: Boxing is one of the best all-around workouts. This is a huge benefit because you work every muscle in your body, and boxing also provides an aerobic and anaerobic workout. I think it’s a great way for busy women to condition their whole body in one workout.

SheKnows: What is the most common feedback you hear from women who come to Striking Beauties?

Jaime Clampitt: The most common feedback is that they really feel empowered. Our members leave the gym with a sense of accomplishment after each challenging class. It’s amazing as a trainer to not only see their bodies change, but to see their confidence build.

Why does your college kid act that way?

Keep reading for why your college-aged kid is testing the limits and why you may need to change your frame of mind.

college kids

Remember what it felt like to reach your 18th birthday, or the first time you lived or traveled on your own? To a teenager who has grown up with rules, curfews and obligations to parents, that feeling of inching closer to grown-up status is indescribable. We can remember these feelings from our own teen years, but our view as a parent is completely different.

Who is this kid?

Parents may be shocked when their previously easy-going teen starts acting like a toddler again. Your teen’s behaviour may swing from moodiness and irritability back to being pleasant and mature. For parents who are expecting a young adult, the apparent regression can be unsettling.

“Although teens always need their parents — and even though that need may change over time — as teens get older, they may experience an inner struggle with it,” says Nancy Lamberty, LCSW-R and staff social worker in the Binghamton University Counseling Center. “On one hand, they want and/or need their parents’ involvement, advice and guidance but on the other hand, they want to be independent and are all too eager to cultivate a sense of not needing anyone.”… readmore.

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Olive Recipes

Olives come in all shapes and sizes. Green, purple, black; pitted, stuffed, spiced; Kalamata, Nicoise, Sicilian; they all have a unique and fragrant flavor profile. And while they’re very tasty and satisfying on their own — and even more so as a snack alongside an evening cocktail — they’re also well suited for taking your favorite dishes up a notch.

Planning on making fish for dinner? Dress it up with an olive and mint relish. In the mood for pasta? With just some olives and fresh herbs, dinner is served. Tired of the same old white rice on your dining table? Add olives and you won’t be able to get enough. Being that they’re packed-full of briny goodness, it’s in your best interest to keep some stocked in your fridge (or cupboard) at all times. You never know when they’ll come to your rescue and make your ordinary meal unforgettable.

With all the varieties to choose from, sometimes it’s difficult to know which to choose. For a helpful guide outlining the difference between these little fruits, check out Whole Foods’ helpful site.