Nov 11, 2019

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Disclosure: I received a free copy of both books mentioned in this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.


Yes

Parents need to be talking to their tweens and teens about sex.


Why Tweens?

The reason I include tweens is because I hit puberty when I was in the 3rd grade, before it was even taught in schools. The worst part was it happened at camp. 

I was shy, or so I always told shy, but the truth was I probably had social anxiety even back then and was too scared to talk to anyone about what was happening. I used toilet paper and went through all my underwear. Even when I got home, I didn't say anything, just threw it in the wash in hopes that it was done and over with and everything would be alright.

The next thing I remember is my mom taking me to the doctor because she had found my dirty underwear. The doctor explained that it was most likely my first period (which I didn't really understand or know what that was, but it sounded normal so I was okay with that). It was another 2 months before it happened again, and this time my mom had provided pads and thus I entered womanhood. 

It wasn't until 4th or 5th grade that I got any sex education in school, but many schools wait till as late as 7th grade, which is late for many girls and leads to the first reason why parents need to talk to their kids about sex.


Reason 1: Schools Wait Too Late

As I mentioned in my personal story, I hit puberty before it was even taught in school, and my parents also failed to prepare me for what was to come. It was a scary experience as I had no idea what was happening with my body and I went through it alone. 

It would have been nice to have known beforehand what changes I would experience so I wouldn't have been so blindsided, and even nicer had someone explained a bit more than just here's some pads, you're going to bleed once a month now, welcome to womanhood. 


Reason 2: Sex Education in Schools Isn't Always Reliable

The number one reason and main reason parents need to talk to their teens about sex is because many schools only teach abstinence-only. This was especially true when I was growing up and it failed me.

I remember the videos of the body changes and discussing body parts and puberty, but no teacher actually taught or showed us how to use a tampon, so of course, a condom was out of the question. I think one teacher even told us to just "follow the package instructions."

Then, of course, there was the scare tactic of STDs and showing us real-life images. Basically, they did whatever they could to prevent us from having sex, rather than telling us or showing us how to have sex. 

So sadly, most of what I learned about sex was through friends, movies, and yes, porn And as we most of us know, these are not the best resources. 

Because of my lack of education, I was easily manipulated by an older guy when I was 18. I shared my #MeToo story last year, which you can read here. And because of that experience, I was more cautious when it came to sex and have only ever been with my husband.

It wasn't until I became a parent myself that I began to look into "healthy sex" as I don't want my daughter to experience what I had, which is where Shafia Zaloom's new book, Sex Teens, & Everything in Between, came to the rescue.


Talking to Teens About Sex


Sex Teens, & Everything in Between



Sex Teens, & Everything in Between by Shafia Zaloom is a must-read for every parent. Heck, even as an adult, I learned a lot from this book. 
Her book focuses on consensual and ethical sex (healthy sex), which is what I believe all sexual experiences should be. A lot of people like to make consent seem easy with "no means no" and "yes means yes," but there's more to it. Like I used to believe my first sexual experience, no penetration, was consensual because I did agree, but I was coerced into agreeing and the guy was older, so it actually wasn't consensual. 

Zaloom provides excellent tips throughout her book on how to talk to teens about sex. I love that she also includes examples and real stories to show what healthy and unhealthy sex looks like. Though the book is geared towards helping parents talk to their teens about sex and consent, I feel teens would benefit from reading this book on their own too. For a more teen-centered book, I highly recommend Planned Parenthood's book, In Case You're Curious, which I will discuss next.

I would have loved to have Zaloom as a teacher when I was growing up. Unfortunately, that time has passed for me, but now with the help of her book, I can be the teacher I needed for my daughter. I know sex education has changed in many schools from what it was when I was a kid, but I also know many still stick by their abstinence-only programs, so I can't trust the school system to prepare my daughter for healthy sexual relationships.

In Case You're Curious


Planned Parenthood's new book, In Case You're Curious, is aimed at teens, but I learned some new things myself from reading this book, mainly because as I mentioned above, schools didn't (and many still don't) like to talk about sex when I was growing up. 

In Case You're Curious goes through commonly asked sexually related questions by teens. Questions are unaltered to keep it authentic, so slang is used. Though it answers a ton of questions, like:
"What's an orgasm?"
"How long do periods last?" 
"Do babies come out of the butt?"
"How do I tell my family I'm a Lesbian?"

The book does not answer everything and encourages teens to talk to a trusted adult should they have any questions not addressed or want to discuss more of what they have read. There is also a list of trusted websites towards the end of the book that teens and parents can both visit for more information.

While there is a whole chapter devoted to questions about consent, it doesn't touch on ethics. So while this book is great at answering sex-related questions, I would still recommend Shafia Zaloom's book, Sex, Teens, & Everything in Between for teaching teens about and how to have a healthy sexual relationship.

You can find both of these books in my Amazon Shop.


Oct 30, 2019

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Being the mom of a 2-year-old, I have gone through a lot of shows to find ones that my toddler will enjoy and that we approve of. Here are our 15 favorites; the first 10 are available on Netflix and the last 5 are on YouTube.


Top 10 Netflix Shows For Toddlers


1. True and The Rainbow Kingdom

You may recognize this show as we dressed as these characters for Halloween! Our daughter is obsessed with this adorable show about a girl named True and her best friend, Bartleby, who solve problems with the help of magical wishes! True and The Rainbow Kingdom is very colorful, which we think is what originally grabbed her attention, and teaches some valuable friendship lessons as well as the importance of staying calm in a sticky situation.

2. Octonauts

This is another cute show on Netflix that focuses on a team of divers, called Octonatus, who help ocean creatures in need. The sea animals are what attracted our daughter to this show and we love the educational component to it as they teach fun facts about the sea creature in need, which is summed up in a fun song at the end of the show!

3. The Magic School Bus Rides Again

Our daughter went through a phase of loving cars and buses, so the "yellow bus" caught her attention! Plus my husband and I both loved the original, so we were excited to watch this with her. The educational component is also great, though often exaggerated.

4. Word Party

My daughter has been watching this since she was 1. It's aimed at toddlers as it's a show about babies who learn a new word in each episode. There are some great teachable moments in this series too. I really liked the episode about using the potty and think that one would be helpful for kids who are ready to be potty trained.

5. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

This one is honestly more for me than my daughter as I am a huge fan and have seen every episode. However, my daughter is obsessed with the Halloween and Christmas episodes! For some reason, those ones fascinate her the most. I thought she would love it more because of the bright colors and ponies (she loves horses), but this one isn't at the top of her requests. I love the friendship messages the show has, so hopefully, she'll become more interested in it as she gets older.

6. Titipo Titipo

Our daughter loves trains, cars, buses, anything with wheels really, so it was no wonder she would latch onto this cute show about a train. There are a lot of little life and friendship lessons in this show as well.

7. Tayo The Little Bus

From the same makers of Titipo Titipo, Tayo the Little Bus is about a bus, so of course, our daughter loved this one too. Pretty much the same as Titipo Titipo in the lessons it teaches, but just a different setting as it is buses and not trains.

8. If I Were an Animal

If you have an animal like we do, this show is for your little one! I have tried other documentaries, but they don't hold her attention as well as this one does. It's genius that this show uses two kids to talk about the animals. I think hearing the kids narrate, along with the cute baby animals, is what captivated our daughter. She's watched this series twice now!

9. Pocoyo

Our daughter loved this a lot when she was 1 and a half. It's a simple show with some interaction and she loved to narrate it for us. There are a lot of cute laughable moments too. Now that she's almost 3, she has lost interest in it, but still occasionally asks for it.

10. Charlie's Colorforms City

I'm pretty sure the bright colors attracted our daughter to this show. This one is interactive too, and love that it encourages kids at the end to make their own stories.


Top 5 YouTube Shows For Toddlers


1. Little Baby Bum

This is also on Netflix, but I added it to the YouTube section as there are tons more videos on YouTube. Our daughter has learned many songs from this, her favorite being 5 Little Ducks. Also pretty sure this is where she first learned shapes! Besides songs, Little Baby Bum also has its own show about a yellow bus named Buster, which of course, our daughter loves.

2. Blippi

Recommended to my husband by a coworker, we looked this up and our daughter fell in love. Blippi is basically an adult man who acts like a little kid in order to encourage them to learn. He goes to cool places, like zoos and museums, and talks about what he sees.

3 PinkFong!

The creators of Baby Shark! Every little kid loves Baby Shark, so it was no surprise that our daughter would too! They have a bunch of other songs as well, which she loves. Halloween Shark is her current favorite.

4. Super Simple Songs

Similar to Little Baby Bum, just slightly different animation. Our daughter loves singing, so she got really into the song videos.

5. BabyBus

BabyBus is another YouTube channel that does songs, but they do have some story like shows too that attracted our daughter's attention. 

Oct 16, 2019

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Terms and conditions for the giveaway can be found in the giveaway form. Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.



Halloween is just 2 weeks away! I have teamed up with TVStoreOnline.com to give away 1 Halloween costume of the winner's choice! 


*GIVEAWAY*

1 Halloween Costume From TVStoreOnline.com

Winner's Choice!


You can check out the costumes available here.
Sponsored By: TVStoreOnline.com
Hosted By: Forever My Little Moon

Open to US residents only. Must be 18+ to enter.
Giveaway runs: 10/16/19 - 10/25/19

Enter the giveaway by using the form below.

Oct 15, 2019

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Disclosure: Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.



Is your little one a Frozen fan? Are they excited for Frozen 2? Here are some great Frozen 2 stocking stuffers you can now find at Target!

Check out of my previous post for a list of my favorite Frozen 2 items that would make great Christmas gifts.

1. Frozen 2 Elsa & Anna Watches

 

Help your kid be on time with these new Frozen 2 watches! Get the Elsa watch here and the Anna watch here!

2. Frozen 2 Lip Smacker

Chapped lips are a common problem in winter, these new Frozen 2 Lip Smackers available at Target are the perfect stuffer to keep your kid's lips safe from the cold!

3. Frozen 2 Hairbrushes

Target has 4 different Frozen 2 design options for Wet Brushes! There are 4 different designs: Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Anna & Elsa. Perfect for girls with long hair, one can never have too many hairbrushes right?

4. Frozen 2 Bath Bombs

These are my favorite stocking stuffers! Target has 4 new Frozen 2 designs: Elsa, Anna, Elsa & Anna, and Olaf!

5. Disney Frozen 2 Cuffed Pom Beanie and Gloves Set


Hats and gloves are always a great stocking stuffer! One can never have too many, especially kids as a glove has a tendency to go missing. This Frozen 2 hat and gloves set is perfect for your Frozen fan!

6. Frozen 2 Earrings


 

Jewelry is a great stocking stuffer and these new Frozen 2 earrings are beautiful! Get the Anna set here and the Elsa set here.

7. Frozen 2 Mini Spatulas


This Olaf mini spatula set is too cute! A great stocking stuffer idea if your little Frozen fan loves baking!

8. Frozen 2 Pop Socket



Pop sockets are all the rage and this Frozen 2 one would make a great stocking stuffer for your Frozen fans!

9. Frozen 2 Cookies



The designs on these cookies are gorgeous! You can find the following 4 designs at Target: Olaf, Anna & Elsa, Anna, and Elsa

10.  Frozen 2 Hair Accessories



One can never have too many hair accessories! Target has a ton of new bows, scrunchies, and other Frozen 2 hair accessories available! You can find the scrunchies, snap clips, big bow, and elastics pictured above at Target along with many others!


Find these and more at Target!

Also, check out my favorite Frozen 2 gift ideas here!


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Disclosure: Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.



Are you excited for Frozen 2? Target has released a ton of new items! The perfect Christmas gift for your little Frozen fans! Here are some of my favorites:

1. Matching Family Pajamas

How cute are these matching Frozen 2 pajamas, featuring the loveable Olaf?! Available in men's, women's, kids, and toddler sizes.

2. Frozen 2 Crossbody Bag

This girl's crossbody bag is so gorgeous, I want it for myself!

3. Frozen 2 Kid's Bedding



This collection is so gorgeous! The Elsa blanket is my favorite!

4. Disney Frozen 2 Animators Collection Dolls


The new Anna and Elsa Disney Animator dolls are adorable! These are part of the Disney Store in Target collection.

5. Frozen 2 Girls Clothes

 

I really wish they did the sweaters in adult sizes because they look so comfy and adorable! Find the yellow hoodie here and the pink sweatshirt here. Also available in toddler sizes! Get the yellow toddler hoodie here and the pink sweatshirt here.

 

The "In My Element" Dress is just gorgeous! Also loving the "Elsa cape."  

I love that this new collection doesn't seem to be full of glitter (I loathe glitter). Loving that they are using foil print and graphics instead.

6. Disney Frozen 2 Salamander Mood Light

Frozen 2 is getting an adorable new character, a salamander named Bruni! He reminds me of Pascal from Tangled. This new Bruni mood light at Target is too adorable!

7. Disney Frozen 2 Anna and Kristoff Proposal Gift Set 2pk

This Anna and Kristoff doll set is too cute! But wait, is this a spoiler? Does Kristoff propose in the new movie? I can't wait to find out!

8. Disney Frozen 2 Arendelle Royal Family Fashion Doll Set 

This Target Exclusive is my favorite! I may have to add it to my collection. It's hard to find dolls of the queen and king!

9. Disney Frozen 2 Anna & Elsa Dolls


Of all the Elsa and Anna dolls available at Target, these two sets are my favorite. I think any little girl or collector would love these! Get the Anna set here and the Elsa set here.

10. Disney Frozen 2 Fashion Doll Sets

For the girls who love dressing up their dolls, this Target Exclusive bundle is the perfect gift! It comes with outfits from both Frozen and Frozen 2!

I also really loved these two sets. I can't wait to learn more about the Nokk in Frozen 2! Get the Kristoff and Anna set here and the Elsa and Nokk set here.


You can explore more of the Frozen 2 collection at Target!

Also, check out my favorite Frozen 2 Stocking Stuffers here!


Are you or your kids excited for Frozen 2? Which new item is your favorite?

Oct 7, 2019

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Disclosure: I received free copies of the "The Emotionally Healthy Child" by Maureen Healy, "Trust Your Intuition: 100 Ways To Transform Anxiety And Depression For Stronger Mental Health" by Jill Sylvester, and "Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self" by Jennie Marie Battistin, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.


Since October 6 - October 12 is Mental Health Awareness Week, I decided to share five of my favorite books that focus on Mental Health.

Three of the books provide tips or exercises on how to manage our mental health for various age groups and two of the books focus on digging into our childhoods (as well as society) to see how it has affected our mental health growing up and today. 

1) The Emotionally Healthy Child by Maureen Healy


While Maureen Healy's book, The Emotionally Healthy Child, is meant to provide parents the tools to help their kids handle their emotions, I feel anyone can benefit from reading her book.

Many of the tools she provides in her book are ones my therapist has even recommended for my anxiety, such as deep breathing.

To read my full review of The Emotionally Healthy Child by Maureen Healy, check out this post, and to purchase your own copy, head to my Amazon Shop.


2) The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self by Alice Miller


First, it's important to note that the term "Gifted"  in the title of The Drama of The Gifted Childrefers to all children who survived an abusive childhood.

This was the very first Alice Miller book I read and it's so eye-opening, so many of us had abusive childhoods, which has affected our mental and emotional health, and the first step to healing is to recognize and deal with that pain, this is the purpose of The Drama of the Gifted Child.

"The damage done to us during our childhood cannot be undone, since we cannot change the past. We can, however, change ourselves." - Alice Miller.

Get your own copy of The Drama of The Gifted Child by Alice Miller in my Amazon Shop.


3) Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth by Alice Miller


This was the second Alice Miller book I read and my favorite. In Breaking Down the Wall of Silence, Alice Miller looks into childhood trauma and it's effects on the world by looking into some of the biggest "villains" of our past, such as Hitler and Stalin.

Her book shows how childhood abuse comes back to affect us as a whole and is a cry for help. We need to rethink the ways we are raising our children. Our past methods are too damaging to our children's mental health and emotional wellbeing.

To learn and read more, get your own copy of Breaking Down the Wall of Silence by Alice Miller on Amazon.


4) Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self by Jennie Marie Battistin, MA, LMFT


Jennie Marie Battistin's new book,  Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self may be geared towards teens, but I believe this book is a great resource for anyone struggling with mental health.

Battistin provides 60 exercises that take 10 minutes or less to help teens develop mindfulness. The exercises are broken up into 4 categories: calming, focusing, reconnecting, and responding.  Calming ones are designed to help with stress, focusing activities help with concentration, reconnecting exercises teach how to handle and accept your emotions, and the responding tips teach you how to recognize negative emotions and think positively.

You can find Jennie Marie Battistin's book, Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self on Amazon.


5) Trust Your Intuition: 100 Ways To Transform Anxiety And Depression For Stronger Mental Health by Jill Sylvester, LMHC


Trust Your Intuition: 100 Ways To Transform Anxiety And Depression For Stronger Mental Health by Jill Sylvester, LMHC is what I like to call "the adult version" of Mindfulness for TeensSylvester provides 100 different ways or techniques you can try to help combat your anxiety and/or depression, such as listing what you are thankful for every day when you get up and go to bed or taking time to meditate.

I loved many of the methods she mentioned (many of which I use now to help with my anxiety), however, she does mention God or a higher power (like the universe, whatever you believe basically) a few times, while I do believe in God, I don't really believe in "surrendering" to him, which she mentions in some of her methods. However, I have come to interpret it to mean that sometimes you just have to accept you have no control, things just happen because well that's just life, so basically letting go, rather than surrendering. That's probably just me being picky about her words.

You can also find her book in my Amazon Shop.