Dyeing Easter eggs in a family fun and safe way

Although we haven’t done eggs in a while – our kids are a bit too old for this kind of Easter fun – here are some great tips on dyeing eggs. Personally, we celebrate Orthodox Easter, which is only the same time as Catholic Easter every 4 times, this year its in May. On Orthodox Easter, we dye eggs too, but only in red, and we use this crazy dye we can only get from our local Mediterranean market, which requires boiling in the dye.

The warmer weather means one thing: Spring will soon be here! And that means that Easter is only a few days away. Are you planning an egg hunt for your family this year? Normally, when we think of egg hunts, we think of young children. But many families continue this tradition even after their young children become teens and young adults. After all, what’s more fun than an egg hunt? And you only do it once a year, making it special.If you havent colored eggs for an egg hunt in a while, consider doing it this year. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Schedule a time when your kids or grandkids can help out, making it more fun. Use egg dyes or regular food coloring and follow package directions. Since the dyes and food colorings could stain your countertop, make sure that you protect it with paper towels or newspapers.

via Tips and tricks: Dyeing Easter eggs in a family fun and safe way | www.pegasusnews.com | Dallas/Fort Worth.

Why Exercise May Do A Teenage Mind Good

Two of our three kids are doing daily physical activity. They are both doing mixed martial arts are doing quite well. The third unfortunately is a bit more of an academic and not really interested in physical activity. No matter how hard I tried to explain to him that physical activity helps mental acuity it hasn’t sunk into him yet. I think he’s starting to see the light. Sometimes I see him on our exercise bike and he does get burst of energy afterwards. Hopefully he will be able to stick with it.

It’s well known that routine physical activity benefits both body and mind. And there are no age limits. Both children and adults can reap big benefits.

Now a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores whether certain factors may help to explain the value of daily physical activity for adolescents’ mental health.

Researchers from the Trimbos Institute in the Netherlands looked at two possible explanations for the link between exercise and good mental health. One was positive self image and the other was winning friends. They surveyed 7,000 Dutch students, ages 11 to 16.

via Why Exercise May Do A Teenage Mind Good : Shots – Health News : NPR.

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done

If your household in anything like ours, then you probably have a giant list of things to do every day – not to mention the weekends when you think that you would just be able to relax and watch the game but no. Don’t you sometimes feel like that old joke in the cartoons about the husband and his “job jar” – whether you are a husband, wife, partner, mother, brother, sister or kids, its pretty likely that you have procrastinated once or twice – or many times in your life – and your job jar – whether its real or virtual – is likely pretty full or overflowing. Well, if you are sick and tired of not getting things done, now is the time to start. Your first stop is buying this book: Getting Things Done – doesn’t matter if you get the Kindle version or not. This book will, literally, if you follow even some of it, change your life – well at least when it comes to Getting Things Done. I’ve read it cover to cover and implemented many of the strategies in here. My favorites are:

  • If it will take less than 2 minutes, do it now
  • If it takes more than 2 minutes, schedule a time to do it
  • At the start, allocate 1-2 days to just list absolutely everything you need to do, then work through it and prioritize

I’ts a great book, for anyone who feels inundated! Get it here…

How To Get A Great Workout – Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts

Our kids were just not that interested in team sports – while all of the other kids got into football, soccer, basketball, baseball our kids were really not all that interested – neither my wife or I really played sports (even though I used to be a huge hockey fan and now can never even watch again for medical reasons – I just get too annoyed when my Maple Leafs just keep on losing 🙁 )  So we went on the lookout for a challenging sport and workout combination.

The cool thing about MMA is the variety: there are plenty of styles of fighting and the conditioning is all over – you don’t get all muscly, just incredibly strong and fit, without all of the negative aspects of something like Crossfit. So its great for men, women, boys and girls…

It just so happens that we live fairly close to one of the best MMA gyms in the US – little did we know that San Jose is a center for some of the best MMA fighters in the world. So we enrolled first my older son at 13 – he was just starting to show sings of being a flabby couch potato (much like his Dad at the time – I’m better now 🙂 ) but now after a bit less than 2 years he is very strong and can easily do something like 7 pullups in a row, something I can only aspire to! I’m hoping to join them at MMA sometime soon for some classes of my own so I can shave off those last 20 pounds as well.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles.

via Mixed martial arts – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

How To Destinkify Gymbags

Powerful Stuff

I’m not even sure that really is a word, but it definitely is something that you need. My kids now both take an MMA class each day – that means a gym bag with headgear, boxing gloves, shin pads, a cup, mouth guard and Gi each. And boy, is it ever a good workout – they get home dripping with sweat and like all teenage boys, a bit ripe. For the longest time, we had a tough time getting the smell out of the gymbags, looking high and low for some solution which works – we eventually came across some sneaker balls which did not look up to the task of destroying the odors emanating from those bags. I mean, you had to drive back with the windows open – if we could have strapped them to the top of the car we would have. But then while we were looking at the sneaker balls we thought – what else is rank? Being a few years separated from diapering duties, we’d completely forgotten about nursery deodorizers, so we picked up a pack of these Munchkin Nursery Fresheners, Baking Soda with Lavender Scent, 5 ct. and thought maybe we could put three in one bag and two in the other and see if it worked. We didn’t even need that many – one of these bad boys in each bag did the trick.

One Thing I Learned From My Father

me and dad

My best childhood memory was with my dad.  Always daddy’s little girl! My dad worked so hard for the family.  His family arrived in Canada from Japan in the late 1800’s… they were interned in BC, Canada during World War 2 and when the war ended headed to Toronto to start their lives again.  His strong character always believed in helping people.  He believed that you “needed to teach people to fish” and to not “just give them the fish.  This is how I was raised.  I am trying to raise my son this way.  I am not “wise” yet in his eyes…I must earn this…I cannot be wise and be respected for my age or position.  I realize this and thankful I have time…If its not my “wisdom”…. it will be the what I gained being with my dad that my son will gain.  My dad gave me silent strength and my strong belief is doing what is “obligation” and “pleasure”.

Look at your parents…they are either being reflected, admired, examined by you.  Take from them…”good” and “bad” and wear your “make up” well.


How To Properly Stock Your Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Cabinet necessities

Are you one of those parents that have been in a car at 3am looking for a pharmacy that had cold remedies for your sick child. Worst is when they are with you because you can’t leave them at home alone. The solution??? Keeping a stocked medicine cabinet at all times… cold season or not.

This exercise will save you time, energy and money.  Time and energy because you are not going out at 3am. Money because you can purchase and stock up when the items are on sale and not purchased at a premium price at 3 am.

My experience as a single mom a few years back made me realize that I was alone one night with a sick child and very little money. I felt desperate and not in control. From that point on I told myself I wouldn’t put myself or my child in that situation again.

Now newly married and 2 more kids in tow, I find that being prepared is an absolute necessity.


Supplies needed for adults and children:

  1. Tylenol or Advil – for all age ranges in the household
  2. Cough syrup and cough drops – for all age ranges in the household daytime and nighttime formulas
  3. Antihistamine for allergic reactions for all age ranges
  4. Wound cleanser – non stinging
  5. Antibiotic cream for cut and burns
  6. Maalox for all age ranges in the household for diarrhea and heartburn
  7. Band-Aids – assorted sizes – non latex
  8. Gauze in a roll and prepackaged squares
  9. Eye drops – tear maker type for cleansing
  10. Aleve – anti inflammatory for sore muscles
  11. Oral rinse
  12. Sunscreen 30 SPF
  13. After sun cream
  14. Vaseline
  15. Lip balm
  16. Hot water bottle

Also, any medication that is needed for anyone in the household…ie. inhalers and nose spray for asthma/allergy, epinephrine (EPI) pens for allergies etc. (check the expiry dates at daylight saving time to keep track of these items)

Try to purchase from only one pharmacy.  The pharmacist can check drug intervention at time of renewal or new prescriptions being added.



How To Get A Workout At The Movies

Movie Workout

My kids and I used to have a ritual – actually two rituals. If there was some movie that they wanted to see we would get up really early on Sunday morning and pile into the car, drive to the movie theater in the mall and catch the latest pic they wanted to see – lately since they are getting older its usually fun for me too. Being the cheap dad that I am, the first weekend showing is even cheaper than the rest of the matinees, we used to get in for 6 bucks a head, now it’s 6.50. Still a great deal when you add it all up. don’t even get me started on 3D and XD. Next time.

We’d also, on other days, bike to the nearest park and hang out there for a while, swinging on the play structure – yes – even adults can get some pullups in on the monkey bars you know.

One day, I had a brain wave: I calculated the distance to the park and Google Mapped out the distance to the mall. Guess what – pretty much the same. So now we combine it – we get up even earlier and jump on our bikes for an early morning ride to the theater, catch a movie, grab lunch and head back. It’s a great way to insert fitness into your, and your kids, life.