YouTube Content Not Rated

Dear YouTube,

My kids love you, and can learn a lot from you, so why don’t you make it easier for parents and rate your content where it’s easy to decipher?

Anyone with kids who use media probably understands my dilemma. Kids LOVE YouTube, and why not? It’s got everything from music, Minecraft, Shopkins, funny animals, and kids trying to be stars on it. Google almost anything and there will be a YouTube video available. Even some of the most educational pieces are found on YouTube.

But… there is one major problem with it… Nothing is rated. Here is a little example… My daughter loves sharks. She also uses YouTube. After shark week, she was full on obsessed with learning more about sharks so she did what any normal kid would do… she got on her iPad and opened up YouTube. Then, she entered sharks in the search field. Here’s what she found…

sharksonyoutube

If you look closely, you will see that searching for something as simple as a shark video yields a lot more than what my little one bargained for. For starters, video #1: “Is this funny or cute?” has NOTHING to do with sharks. Video #4: “Naked Science – Shark Attacks” scared the crap out of both of us!

Yes, there is an app called YouTube Kids which is GREAT, but my 8-year-old finds most of it boring and it definitely LACKS in terms of content; such as, you won’t find any Nationally televised gymnastics competitions my girls love to watch on the app, and that is just one little thing.

As a parent, I’m not asking for much. A simple rating system when uploading videos to YouTube shouldn’t be too much to ask for right? Questions like, is this video right for children, or the age videos are ok for would be a step in the right direction. YouTube wants viewers and more parents would probably allow their kids on YouTube, hence more viewers, if they felt it was safe for their kids. Just a thought.

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When You Parent Differently

“What is done in love is done well.”
– Vincent Van Gogh

This post is not getting me brownie points with anyone that’s for sure. It’s so hard when you don’t agree with someone else’s parenting. It’s even harder when your kids really want to play with their kids. So what do you do when it’s not the kids fault?

It’s tragic! I don’t want to take it out on a child. I don’t want to tell my children that I don’t want them playing with certain kids, but I also don’t want to feed them sorry excuses about why we aren’t having playdates with some of their friends. The truth is, it isn’t always the kid’s fault or their parents.

We all parent differently. I’m a little more strict and more disciplined with my kids than some parents I know. I don’t want my daughters thinking it’s Ok to behave the way some of their friends do, or that it’s an injustice that they aren’t allowed to do the same things their friends are.

Let Them Be Little

I take pride in how I choose to raise my children. Most parents do. I don’t want them growing up too fast. I don’t let them roam neighborhoods alone, and I like knowing where they are. I don’t let them choose all the clothes I buy them because I don’t always think they are making the right choices. I remind them (constantly) to be polite and respectful. It’s not that I’m not giving them room to express themselves, but I don’t think coloring their hair, or wearing 1/2 shirts, or dangly earrings, is how they need to express themselves. I also don’t think it’s my right to judge parents who do allow these things. Again, we have different parenting styles which make things even more tricky.

My daughter recently asked why she couldn’t do something a few of her friends were doing. I told her it was because I didn’t agree with it. I said it’s just not something I want you doing. She’s relentless, though. For days, she hasn’t quit asking me if she could do what her friends did. For days, I have said no. I don’t think the parents who allowed this are bad parents, and I don’t think they are in the wrong. It’s just not something I want my daughters to do. That’s what makes these situations so hard. I never want to limit the people my girls spend time with, but when they are with other kids whose parents views are much different from your own, sometimes it’s just easier to say no to playdates.

I want my girls to be strong, and I want them to be fierce, and confident. I know in my heart that what will make them that way has nothing to do with the choices I make for them now about petty things like the clothes they wear. Saying no to them wearing a short skirt is not going to stop my girls from being successful in life. It’s simply teaching them that there are boundaries in life, and until they make their own money, can support themselves, and are able to make good decisions on their own, I will be part of the decision-making. It may not always be what they want, or on their terms, but I want only the best for them.

What I won’t control is what’s inside them; Their creativity, willingness to learn, their thoughts, and of course, their opinions.

I made an oath to myself when I had my children. The oath was to protect them the best I could, take care of them, provide for them, love them wholeheartedly and make sure I taught them all I could in life and guided them the best way possible until it was time to set them free. Until then, I will continue to guide them the way I see fit because first, I am their parent, and at age 7 and 8, they don’t always know if the decisions they are making for themselves are right or wrong.

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Live Today – Cherish Yesterday

They’re only 7 and 8, yet when I think back a few years, I almost forget what they were like.

It isn’t until I look at pictures that I say things like… “Oh yeah, remember when she did…” I don’t want to remember them through pictures. I want time to stop.
I want the time to stop so I can take in every bit of what is happening in front of me. I want them to stop growing… now.

I looked at my oldest daughter the other day and thought to myself that she looked taller. She must have grown overnight I thought. But she hadn’t. It was just another one of those things that creep upon us, that we don’t realize until it hits us dead smack in the face (which it did). She was taller. Definitely taller. We have been so busy that I hadn’t even noticed she was growing out of her clothes. I didn’t realize she wasn’t playing with half of her toys anymore. I didn’t notice that her American Dolls had been left to collect dust. I didn’t realize she was hanging out on her bed, listening to music and reading, more than she was playing dress up.

Life is definitely happening. It’s happening too fast and I just want to slow it down. But.I.Can’t.

Live Today… Cherish Yesterday… and never stop capturing moments with your children. You never know what you might forget.

Live Today And Cherish Yesterday

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Evernote Better Than Dropbox

Evernote1What Evernote is and why it is the BEST app on the market for anyone… I mean really, there’s got to be a good reason why more than 18,000 companies are using it and LOVE it!

Known as the workplace for your life’s work

EVERNOTE IS…
♥ my home away from home in the digital world.
♥ an extension of my life.
♥ my bookshelf.
♥ where I organize my thoughts.
♥ where I write my posts.
♥ where I store ideas.
♥ where I keep pictures.
♥ my password keeper.
♥ my daily journal.
♥ keep my kids school documents.
♥ where I save pieces of the internet I like.
♥ where I keep all of my documents.
♥ where I save receipts… and so much more!

Evernote

I used to use Dropbox for everything. I even had a pro account (which cost a whopping 9.99/month)… for a business account, I would have had to pay 15.99/month.
I am not saying dropbox isn’t great. Google drive and other similar programs are great as well. I use them all, but none are as simple and effective as Evernote. I do have a premium Evernote account which is billed to my apple account. They offer a basic (free), plus (24.99/year) and premium (49.99/year) account which can be billed monthly too. A free account has enough storage for most people. (I’m just an internet hoarder)

What I like more about Evernote than the “others”…

For starters, everything I need is on one screen for me to browse through. I organize everything in folders with titles like… Posts, User Names And Passwords, Business Contracts, etc.

Next, I love all the compatible Evernote apps on the market (a ton of which are FREE). My favorite is definitely the web clipper which works on my computer. I can clip bits and pieces from a bunch of websites before saving them to one note. This helps a TON when I am doing research.

Another great aspect is how it syncs with my calendar. I can write anything in Evernote, like to do lists or reminders and have them appear on my calendar. I also love that Evernote notifies me of my overdue items and reminders.

I can even forward important emails to my Evernote account instead of having to copy and paste what I want to remember. This is especially helpful when I am emailed jobs.

There is even an Evernote scanner and picture taker which immediately saves photos to my Evernote account. This is especially helpful when I don’t want to save paper business receipts.

I could literally go on forever about how amazing Evernote is but really, you need to see it for yourself! Writing about the app does it no justice!

*Photo Credits For This Post: Evernote

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When You Aren’t Black Or White

I can never find the right bra… “Nude” doesn’t come in my color. It’s almost impossible to find makeup for my skin tone… but I am not starting race war because of it.

When You Aren't Black Or WhiteI’m beige. That’s what I called myself in the 3rd grade when friends of mine were comparing their skin color in the back seat of my mother’s car. “I’m beige.” I said to them. They looked at me and nodded their heads in agreement. “Yeah, you are.” one friend said. And that was it. We were off to another topic without an eyelash bat.

I’m Indian. Born in India, my family and I migrated to the U.S. when I was 7. I am a mix between light and dark and I love who I am. My love for myself has nothing to do with my color though. People have said derogatory things to me because of my skin color and ethnicity. They’ve “joked” with me about being Indian… of course they were “JUST KIDDING.” I have even been called the “N” word. At the time, I didn’t know what it meant, but boy did it sting. Name calling always does.

Do you know that there isn’t a lot of makeup made for my skin tone? In fact, when I wanted to get mineral makeup for the first time, I was told it would be very hard to match my skin. Bras are not made in my skin color either. They are either too light, or too dark. You know what though… I never complain about it. It is what it is. I don’t consider it a form of racism. I definitely don’t think that “white” people or “black” people are against me because of it.

I didn’t get a job I applied for… because I was not qualified… NOT because of my color.

I didn’t get promoted once… because I didn’t work hard enough… NOT because of my color.

I couldn’t get a date with a boy I really liked… because he liked someone else… NOT because of my color.

A store clerk barely acknowledged me the other day… because he was busy… NOT because of my color.

I was overcharged on a restaurant bill… because my waitress made a mistake… NOT because of my color.

I didn’t make the varsity track team my freshman year in high school… because I wasn’t good enough… NOT because of my color.

Anything can be twisted and turned into a discrimination issue. Not everything is about discrimination though. Between the news and social media, color-related topics are dominating media. We are teaching our children it’s OK to be ignorant. We are teaching them that the color of our skin defines us. We are teaching them fighting is the norm. We are teaching them that we live in a world filled with hate. We are creating the fights, the hate, the ignorance. We are the ones fueling the fire that will eventually burn us down.

Only one person defines who I am… that person is me.

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A Great Place To Find Inspiration

Finding Inspiration Everywhere… Inspiration can be found anywhere… and one of my favorite places to find it is right around the corner.

FILLED WITH INSPIRATION

At least once a week, I love spending time in a local bookstore flipping through various magazines. With the digital age in full force, I think we sometimes forget about these lovely little bundles of paper filled with inspirational words, ideas, and photographs.

Magazines are like mini blogs with a bunch of nooks filled with goodness.

When I am going through a brain funk or a creative block, I look to the shelves filled with magazine greatness at my local bookstore and allow myself to get completely lost in them for hours. Some of my favorites are…

Bella Grace… Where life’s a beautiful journey

Happinez… A mindstyle magazine

Cottage Hill… Filled with beautiful goodness and lovely for wedding ideas

Mingle Magazine… Creative ideas for unique gatherings

WILLOW And SAGE… For the best in homemade bath and body

Where do you find inspiration?

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Summer – Work – And A Bit Of Inspiration

Oh Summer… You are here. It is so great to see you again, but every time you come around, you seem to make me forget about the things I devote myself to every other season.

It's easy to lose yourself to the summer. Work can suffer... but there is help... and it starts with the right morning routine.

As a stay/work at home mom, I love the freedom summer brings for my family and I, but… with summer, 2 pink bulldozers (better known as my girls) quickly appear, and run over my independence and writing time. I lose so much more than I would like to, but also gain a lot… like quality time with my girls, exploring, laughing and having fun. It’s so hard not to neglect my responsibilities when I am having fun, but this year, I knew something needed to change. I couldn’t let my hard work go to waste.

My Moment Of Inspiration

My inspiration came from a blog called MyMorningRoutine.com. I found it by default and was immediately hooked. Oddly enough, it was 5:30 am when I clicked on the link that would change my morning outlook forever. Each blog post was inspirational. Posts covered morning routines from influential and successful people. The one similarity I found was that everybody I read about got up early and started their day hours before most people I knew. Many even accomplished more during the wee early hours of the morning than most people I knew did in a whole day (including myself). So that was that. My morning routine had to change and I needed to stay consistent with it. My decision was made.

It’s been only a few days, but I can honestly say I feel better. I get up earlier, read up on the news, write my posts, and even have time to read for leisure before my girls wake up. At night, I make sure to empty my inbox too. Doing that leaves me feeling lighter in the morning. I no longer have things looming that I still need to get done (or dread doing). By the time my girls wake up, I am free to enjoy them and my day. What’s your morning routine like? Do you like to get up extra early to get things done or do you hit the snooze button until you absolutely have to get up?

Don’t forget to check out the MyMorningRoutine.Com site. It’s inspiring!

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Make Money Writing

If you want to make money as a writer, you need this now.

The “Write” Life Is Daunting To Say The Least…

“The Most Trusted Guide To Getting Published”

Fortunately, there are multiple websites, books, and other services readily available for aspiring writers, but none as comprehensive as the 2015 Writer’s Market. As the cover states, it’s “the most trusted guide to getting published.”

The book is chock full of resources for all writers. It teaches you how to build your writing career using social media, how to create a resume, how to pitch like a PR Pro, and even how to find a literary agent as well as access to tons of publishers for magazines, online sites and books. The book is FILLED with information for all types of writers.

If you decide to buy the book, you will also get a 1-year free subscription to WritersMarket.com, which is a robust website for writers. I wouldn’t recommend this book if I didn’t strongly believe it would benefit you! If you are interested in a career in writing, you need this book!

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How To Stay Connected When Disaster Strikes

Imagine your child missing for 7 months and not knowing whether he, or she is okay, or alive?

hurricanekatrina1

Hurricane Katrina led to 5000 reported missing children. The last child was connected with her parents after 7 months.

Did You know that 69 MILLION CHILDREN are separated from their parents every work day, yet DC and 18 other states DO NOT REQUIRE all schools and child care providers to have basic emergency plans? This is according to Save the Children’s 2015 Disaster Report Card. Those numbers are terrifying, and because of this, children in the U.S. are at unnecessary risk if a disaster were to strike.

Save the Children is determined to help prevent families from having to go through what victims of Hurricane Katrina and other tragic events in the past have. One of their goals is to ensure that parents and children are better prepared through their launch of Get Ready. Get Safe.

Get Ready. Get Safe. has been created to help keep your children safe when disaster strikes and help families stay connected. This important video is a must watch for all families.

Save the Children has also made it easy for you to create an emergency contact card for all your children. You can create your free cards here. I created mine and made multiple copies for both my daughters to keep in their bags. Having these cards already makes me feel more secure when they are not with me.

savethechildren2

They also created an amazing parent disaster checklist (shown below), that can be downloaded here.
ParentChecklist_Poster

Take the pledge and be an advocate for children! You can find more ways to help through Save the Children’s website. Share any of their videos and please share this post through your social channels! Every bit makes a difference!

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Quick And Easy Recipe : Healthy Breakfast Quiche

There is nothing I love more than a big breakfast, but I am not always up for making a huge meal… which is exactly why this recipe is sure to be a mouth-watering hit no matter how much energy you have!
QuickAndEasyBreakfastRecipe2They are healthy, delicious, take no time at all to make and are so darn cute! Say hello to the easiest mini quiche you’ll ever make!
healthybreakfastquiche

What You Will Need:

♥ 12 Cup Non-Stick Muffin Pan
2 Cups Egg Whites
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tomato
1 Onion
 4 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
A Pinch Of Salt And Pepper

Step 1… Pre-heat your oven to 375°

Step 2… Lightly Grease The Muffin Pan With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Step 3… Chop The Tomato And Onion Into Small Pieces

Step 4… Add The Egg Whites, Chopped Tomato, Onion, And Parmesan Cheese Together In A Medium Size Bowl And Sprinkle With A Pinch Of Salt And Pepper

Step 5… Pour The Contents Of The Bowl Into Each Slot In The Pan (Only fill the baking slots 1/2 to 1/3 of the way)

Step 6… Put The Pan In The Oven And Cook For 15 Minutes (I always check to make sure they are cooked well by checking my Quiche with a toothpick).

Just 6 Simple Steps And You Have A…

quickandeasybreakfastrecipe

I only wait a few minutes before serving although they are great hot or cold!
serve

Are there any quick and easy recipes you’d like to share? I’m always looking for new healthy meals to add to my weekly menu!

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