Tag Archives: parenting


10 Best Magazines for Halloween Ideas

HalloweenHalloween is just three days away, and that means it’s crunch time. Here are 10 go-to magazines for the best Halloween ideas on the block.

Sometimes Halloween sneaks up on you faster than a mummy in a haunted house. Boo! The big day is almost here and that means it’s time to think up a great dessert to bring to work, throw together a costume and buy some sweet stuff to hand out to the little bell-ringers who will be lining up at your door.

Where do you go for the best ideas of the season? This year, try one of these 10 go-to magazines for tricks and treats that will make it look like you’ve been planning for months (which we all know you haven’t).

Plus, to make things sweeter this season, check out the spooktacular savings we’re offering this season for $5 off these select magazines and more!

Martha Stewart Living

1. Martha Stewart Living - From spider-shaped pancakes to homemade costumes for kids, Martha’s got everything you need for a fun family fall.

Whole Living Magazine

2. Whole Living – In a season full of candy and cookies, this title offers a healthy and delicious approach to the season.

Family Circle Magazine

3. Family Circle - This magazine is loaded with family friendly tips like quick can’t-miss recipes and pumpkin carving ideas that will light up the night.

Food & Wine Magazine

4. Food & Wine - Get a more gourmet take on the season with this title, with chef-approved scrumptious menus for the season and party ideas that will make Halloween a holiday that even adults enjoy.

Everyday Food Magazine

5. Everyday Food - This title also comes from Martha Stewart, and if offers recipes on everything from the best cupcakes to new takes on comfort foods.

Parenting Magazine

6. Parenting - Halloween is a season full of kids, and you won’t want to brave it without the super creative ideas of Parenting magazine.

Midwest Living Magazine

7. Midwest Living - Pretzel sticks that look like ghosts? Butterfly-covered pumpkins? There’s no end to the fun Halloween-inspired things covering the pages of this one.

Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

8. Better Homes & GardensLet this magazine help you decorate your home to reflect the classy colors of the season.

National Geographic Kids

9. National Geographic Kids - This new title is chok full of facts and fun for kids of all ages. Find a costume idea or quiz yourself on some Halloween trivia to see how much you really know about the holiday.

Taste of Home Magazine

10. Taste of Home - Halloween recipes galore will have you tasting the best flavors of fall.


Parents Day photo_featured

Parents’ Day Lesson: Listening to Your Kids Can Be a Blessing and an Adventure

Gabrielle and her sister, Gracie Mae, walk hand in hand down the beach.

A Knoxville area couple took the message “a little child shall lead them” to heart, as their young daughter prepared them to adopt her Chinese sister–something they hadn’t planned.

In August of 2007, our daughter Gabrielle, who was four years old at the time, came to me and asked if I could teach her how to count to ten in Chinese. When I told her that I couldn’t, she asked if her daddy could.

He, of course, gave her the same resounding “no” that I had given her. A few days later, a friend of mine called to tell me that the Knoxville Chinese Christian Church was offering Mandarin classes for children and asked if I thought Gabrielle would be interested in learning the Chinese language.

I couldn’t believe my ears! I told her that Gabrielle had already expressed an interest in that language, and when I asked Gabrielle if she would like to attend the classes, she was beyond excited and couldn’t wait to start! God had—very quickly—given her the desire of her heart. She enthusiastically attended the classes and fell in love with the language.

About a year later, she came to me one day while I was in the kitchen and said, “Mama, God spoke to my heart and told me He’s going to give me a Chinese sister.” I was a little surprised, but I honestly didn’t think much of it at the time. However, it was not simply a passing thought for her.

Clearly, she was serious about this, and she wasn’t going to let us forget about it. Every couple of days she would ask, “Are you working on getting my Chinese sister?” Then she began to ask, “Are you praying about it?” That’s when my husband and I knew that we had better start talking to God about this ourselves.

We found an adoption agency in South Carolina that facilitates China adoptions, so we decided it would be a good idea to take Gabrielle there to let her meet the staff and learn what adoption is all about.

We wanted her to have a full understanding of what would be involved if we decided to pursue this dream of hers. But who were we kidding? She had been ready for months!

It wasn’t long before we were walking alongside Gabrielle on the road to adoption—the journey to her sister! In April of 2009, we started our paperwork. Anyone who has been through the adoption process knows that the paperwork alone is the hardest, most tedious task.

When we were able to view a list of adoptable children, Gabrielle knew right away which one was her sister—a little girl whom they said loved to sing, dance, and play dress-up, a little girl who is 7 months younger than her big sister Gabrielle, who adores her Chinese sister and who has loved her from the moment God spoke to her heart. In June of 2010, we traveled to China and brought home Gabrielle’s sister, Gracie Mae.

The question we are most frequently asked is, “How did you prepare Gabrielle for your adoption?” I have to answer in all honesty and say, “We didn’t prepare her, she prepared us!”

Wired magazine June 2012

Wired Magazine’s Father’s Day Cover Flap Is Really Over No Major Faux Pas

Wired magazine June 2012 coverSome are quick to call foul over Wired’s nod to Dad for Father’s Day, though it’s about time he got his due. But any controversy here runs much deeper than this cover.

Poor Dad. Can the guy ever catch a break? If he’s not being typecast as an avid griller/golfer in Father’s Day gift guides, he’s getting another tie. So when Wired magazine tried to help him break out of that mold by celebrating its GeekDad concept on its June 2012 cover, it drew backlash from moms (and some dads).

GeekDad is Wired’s blog which focuses on puzzles, science experiments, building projects and techie stuff for kids and their dads, and this year—as a rare acknowledgement to Father’s Day—the editors placed it on the cover.

The special event companion to the cover is “GeekDad Day”—an admonition to celebrate dad in a way that doesn’t include grills or clubs or ties—through activities that help encourage a love of science and technology (even from-scratch baking) that, as an added bonus, make Dad look really cool.

But what about moms? Though they had their day last month, they took Wired to task for alienating women. And it runs deeper than the implication that women lack the tech savvy to be cool like dad; it’s also the way the magazine has portrayed women on its covers before—the infamous breasts cover, not to mention others featuring models and movie stars oozing with sexuality.

Dads of the world can counter that they’ve been treated as an afterthought for years in parenting magazines (any of them), save for a Father’s Day feature or mention around this time of year.

For publishers on both sides of the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately-in-print argument, it comes down to the almighty dollar. Moms read parenting magazines, dads don’t. And even though Wired is a general-interest magazine, guess who, based on its biggest customer base, reads it more often? Dear old Dad.

Despite recent commercials depicting dads as a little lacking in the diaper-changing department—which caused a healthy dose of controversy as well—plenty of dads are involved in their kids’ lives and plenty of dads care about parenting techniques, healthy eating and nurturing their little ones in their formative years. A Google search yields millions of blog results, by the way.

In the same vein, there are plenty of women—and moms—who love to geek out on the latest technology, science experiments and do-it-yourself building projects. To some extent, Wired has realized this with its introduction of its complementary GeekMom blog site.

It’s hard to knock Wired for acknowledging Dad in big bold letters on the cover of its June issue because, let’s face it, on what other magazine will he get his due for Father’s Day? The fear from moms and dads alike—and maybe men and women in general—that it perpetuates traditional gender roles that are more stereotypical than anything these days is understandable.

Fundamental changes in coverage and shifts in attitudes are needed, and they will come with time. But it’s not like Wired touted dads over moms for no reason. Is it too much to give Dad a break, at least in June? What do you think?

How to Exercise When You're Short on Time

How to Exercise When You’re Short on Time

Family Circle February 2012When life gets busy, exercise tends to get dropped from the docket. But with these tips from Family Circle, you’ll be out of breath–not time.

I’ve yet to meet a parent who had extra time to himself or herself during the day. If your days are like mine (and I’m sure they are), I’m on the go from morning to night. The only “me” time comes before my kids get up or after they go to sleep. Exercising is always on my daily to-do list, but it’s definitely the item I skip when time is tight.

An article I read in the February 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine, however, gave me the perfect motivation to fit a workout into my routine, even when my days are busy. “Break your training into three 10-minutes sessions throughout the day,” says Andrea Metcalf, a certified personal trainer and the author of “Naked Fitness.”

Metcalf offered a few ideas for routines, some of which allow your kids to join in:

Bend and stretch walking. Alternate with 20 lunges followed by 40 strides. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Jump rope for one minute. Stop and twirl the rope in a figure eight pattern for one minute. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Run or walk upstairs for 10 minutes. If you’re able, take two at a time on the way up and down.

Bust a move. Turn on your favorite dance music and shake it out for 10 minutes. (My kids would love this one!)

Bike it. Ride a stationary bike for three minutes. Continue pedaling and raise your arms to create letters: T (arms out the side), U (overhead press), V (arms extended), W (arms up with elbows close to the ribs). Lower arms and continue pedaling for two minutes.

Jack and jog. Jog for two minutes. Stop and do 10 jumping jacks. Continue alternating until you reach 10 minutes.

Ten-minute exercise circuits sound like the perfect solution to my no-time-to-work-out excuse. They can be done in my driveway while the baby is napping, or in my den while the older two work on their watercolors. Now, if only I could work out a way to shower and dress in 10 minutes too!