Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest Post- 5 Ways to Be a Better Parent

You’ve got kids. Surprise, surprise. Now what? Well, at least you are not totally ignorant, right? I mean, you were a kid once, and you had parents. So you have had at least a glimpse at both sides of the coin. But how are you going to be a better parent, or even as good of a parent, as your mom and dad? Well, here are five ways to be a better parent to your kids.
1.      Listen – Number one on the list? Listen. Active listening is vital to any relationship. Yes, I know children are often difficult to understand, but that shouldn’t matter. What matters is that you make the effort to really listen to what they are telling you. That’s what they will remember, and that’s what will make you and your child’s bond stronger.
2.      Talk –Don’t talk around them or over them or about them. Talk to your kids. Teach them everything you know. Talk to them about cars and planes, love and exercise, baseball and furniture. Whatever you know- share. Even if it seems they are too young to get it, it is not the important that they understand everything. Rather, that you are willing to share yourself with them.
3.      Spend Time –This is so important. It doesn’t matter if you only have fifteen minutes at a time to spend with them, spend it. Make it good. Enjoy it. They will know if you are just going through the motions. Fifteen minutes with a happy parent is worth three hours with a tired, cranky one. It is not the amount of time, but rather the attitude with which it is passed.
4.      Play –Your kids love you and want to be around you. Play with them. Life is more than learning and working. Enjoy being silly, making messes, and rolling in the dirt. Childhood is short, make the most of it.
5.      Relax–If you are always stressed and overworked, your kids will pick up on it. Take time for yourself and decompress before you spend time with them. You will be happier and so will they. Taking a moment to relax does not mean you are a bad parent.
No matter what age your kids are, it is never too late to start being a better parent. Make the most of the time you have with them. It may be cliché, but they do grow up fast. Enjoy the fun times, forget the bad times, and form lasting relationships. You and they will be glad you did.

Author Bio
Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, and Babysitting, nanny needed tips etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Second Annual “Fuel Your Dreams” Scholarship Competition

Last year I posted about this scholarship from 24sevenenergy, and it is that time of year again. If you can write an essay detailing your dreams for the future in 250 words or less, you could possibly win a $1,000 scholarship.

24sevenenergy is offering 2, $1,000 scholarships to the student of any age who writes the best essay. It's that simple.

In the past I've written a lot about the importance of scholarships. There really are so many scholarships available. If you are willing to take the time to research them and apply, you may end up saving yourself  from having a lot of student loan debt when you graduate. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

How Are You Spending Your Summer?

I don't know about you, but I love summertime! There is such a sense of fun, and freedom that comes along with sunny days and warmer temperatures.

The summer is also a great time to pursue goals like taking a vacation to a place you've always wanted to go, conquering a fear like learning to swim, or taking a class to learn a new language, or digital photography. The possibilities are endless.

For college students, summer is also a great time to accomplish things that will benefit you when you are done with school. In my latest article for Fastweb, I discuss "5 Ways to Get Ahead Over Summer Break".

So how will you spend your summer? Are you going anywhere fun or learning something new? How will you use your summer to get ahead?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Good Health Links

Getting healthy has been a goal for mine for a REALLY long time. Finally, I am on the right track, eating right and exercising. I must say that I haven't felt this good in a long time.  Are you currently working on your health, or thinking about starting a new fitness routine?

Here are some cool health links to help you on your journey:

There is nothing like some good music to get you moving! Check out The First Lady Michelle Obama's workout playlist.

Don't know what to cook for dinner? Here are 50 healthy recipes you could try.

Find out why the probiotics in yogart really are so good for you.

Lower your risk for colorectal cancer by eating these foods.

One diet change all women need to make.

Alzheimers can possibly be prevented by adopting these habits.

"The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.” ~Greg Anderson

Monday, May 14, 2012

Grandmother/Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader?

If Sharon Simmons, the 55-year-old grandmother of two has her way she will be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. 

Trying out to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has been a life long dream for Simmons. Even though she had to postpone pursuing her dream, due to life's circumstances, she never gave up.

 Now Simmons who is a fitness author and actor has tried out for the squad. Although she does not know if she made the team, Simmons told the Dallas Morning News, "For me it has been about the journey."

This story shows me that even when the goal seems outlandish or unlikely (to others) it is still never too late to make it happen.

Click on the link to see Simmons' audition.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Preparing For Graduation

All across America students are preparing to walk across the stage for graduation. After such a long and no doubt challenging college career, it will feel great to be celebrated. 

In my article"10 Steps Every Student Should Take to Prepare For Graduation", I explore the many things a student can do in preparation for their big day and beyond.

Congratulations to all of 2012's graduates.

A special congrats to my aunt Liza who has fought through many obstacles to obtain her Master of Social Work degree. She never gave up!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Guest Post- Finding Ways to Succeed Even When Society Says You Can’t

Sometimes life deals us a rough deck of cards. Everything and everyone seem to be finding ways to tell us that we aren’t good enough for a certain job, that we’ll never amount to anything worthwhile, and that we’re generally just unlucky in life. But even when you’re dealt the worst of cards it doesn’t mean you’re bound to follow that path. Even when society is holding you back you can still succeed. You just need to use these tips as motivation to make it happen:

1.      Believe in yourself – This is arguably one of the hardest things to do. We can be our own biggest deterrents when it comes to changing our paths in life, and the first step forward is done when we actually believe that we can do something. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself you’re never going to convince anyone else to believe in you.

2.      Find any opportunity to pursue what you love – Maybe you’re trying to change careers, start your own business, or change your lifestyle… whatever the case it is never too late to start getting involved and pursuing your dream. You can do this by taking an online course about a particular subject matter, getting a part-time job in your desired field, freelancing to get your feet wet, or volunteering with a particular organization… the options are endless but you’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t find a way to get involved!

3.      Embrace failure, but don’t accept it – Some people try once, fail, and then give up under the pretense of “well, I tried”… but trying once is just that – it’s only one time. Instead learn from your failure, pinpoint what went wrong, and fix it so that the next time you find success in its place. No one ever succeeded by accepting failure… but almost everyone has succeeded by embracing it.

4.      Don’t take no for an answer – Be persistent. You will get doors slammed in your face (figuratively speaking… though depending on what you are trying to do maybe literally as well!) but you can’t let that hold you back. Like failure, you can’t just accept when someone says “no”. Keep trying and moving forward. Eventually you will find someone that opens the door and says welcomes you in.

5.      Commit to the cause – You can’t halfheartedly pursue something and expect to succeed. You have to wholeheartedly commit to what you want and fight everything and everyone trying to hold you back. Your undying commitment will see you through until the end, and it’s what is going to gain the respect of others.

Our paths are not predetermined for us. At any given moment we can change who we are and become who we want to be, no matter what the world may be saying to the contrary. It is our own self-acceptance and perseverance that will get us to the finish line – you just can’t ever give up!

Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for aupair jobs. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Best Self Play List

While visiting Rosetta Thurman's "Happy Black Woman" blog, I came across a post about 10 songs that inspire her to be her best self.

The songs listed on Thurman's playlist made me think about  some of my favorite songs that inspire me.
I tend to find inspiration in all kinds of music. My first love is theater, so a few songs on my list come from Broadway shows/musicals.
No Day But Today- RENT:  Because it urges me to live for today, to let go of past failures or hurts, and not to worry about a future that isn't even here yet. Anything I want to do, I need to begin it today.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow-Annie:  I sang this song at my kindergarten graduation and it has been with me ever since. This song reminds me that no matter how bad things look today, they can always turn for the better tomorrow.
I Just Can't Give Up Now - Mary Mary: This song reminds me not to give up, and that I'm not alone in my fight.

Still Got My Health- Bette Midler:  Ok basically any song from Beaches, or Bette Midler for that matter could go on my list.  I love this song because it reminds me to look at the bright side of all things, and not to take myself too seriously.
Beautiful- Christina Aguilera: This song, the title says it all. It is good to be reminded that I am beautiful, no matter what anyone else has to say about it.
What about you? What songs inspire you and why?