• Raising Girls

    3 Things to Look for When Choosing a Pediatric Dentist

    Few things bring joy to parents like their child’s smile. In order to keep that smile glowing, you’ll need the professional advice of a qualified dentist. Pediatric dentists not only need to be adept with tooth care, but they should also know how to treat kiddos.

    Keep these important factors in mind as you search for a pediatric dentist.

    1. Updated Pediatric Dentistry Technology

    Antiques can be charming in some settings, but they’re not appropriate in a dentist’s office. Technology has made it far easier for dentists to treat + examine patients.

    Before you commit to a dentist, you should get confirmation that the practice has the right kind of gear in place. Equipment should be up to date, properly maintained + used by people who know exactly how to operate it.

    Medical Futurist recommends that you should also keep tabs on developments in dental technology + inquire about when your child’s dentist will be implementing them.

    2. Patient Education

    Children have an innate sense of curiosity + visits to the dentist can be the perfect time to zero in on that. If they’re afraid of the dentist, it’s partly because they don’t know what to expect.

    Your child’s dentist should be able to calm their fears through teaching. Bender Dental Care explains that thorough patient education leads to improved health + decreased anxiety.

    In fact, the early trips to the dentists, starting anywhere from 12-18 months, is all about getting your child familiar with the dentist + the process. Children should to be guided through each step of the process + told why it’s occurring.

    They should also be given tips they can bring home with them about dental hygiene + cavity prevention. This kind of transparency can make going to the dentist a much more enjoyable experience for your child.

    3. Friendliness

    A good bedside manner is something all doctors need to cultivate. No matter how much textbook knowledge they have, they won’t be as good as they should be unless they can relate to patients.

    This is especially important when working with children because they can be easily frightened + frustrated by new situations. HealthyChildren.org explains that your child’s dentist should be able to gain your youngster’s trust + yours.

    While your child might need some time to warm up to the dentist, you should be able to form an objective opinion rather quickly. Before scheduling an appointment, take the time to speak with the dentist one on one. Ask about the strategies employed for making patients comfortable + determine whether this environment the best fit for your child.

    It can take time to find the right children’s dentist, but you won’t want to settle for someone who’s just good enough. You can do much better than that if you keep these requirements in mind as you research pediatric dental practices.

    Here are some other great articles talking about healthy family meals + overall wellness!

  • Raising Girls

    3 Kid-Approved Fun Summer Activities

    Summer is the perfect time for families to try new kid-friendly outdoor activities. You can have fun + help develop your child’s mind, too. If you’re looking for creative activities that make the most of the warm weather, check out these 3 inspiring ideas.

    #1 Dig for “Fossils”

    Digging for “fossils” is the perfect activity for sunny days. Although it takes a bit of preparation on your part, your kids will long remember the fun they had with this activity.

    Collect some plastic dinosaur toys + place them in shoe boxes filled with sand. Then, bury the shoe boxes in a sandbox or plastic swimming pool filled with sand. When the kids dig the “fossils” up, you can use it as an educational opportunity to teach them about different kinds of dinosaurs.

    Alternatively, you could fill the boxes with other animal toys or treasures to delight your kids.

    #2 Driveway Drive-In Movie

    Watching a driveway drive-in movie is a memorable treat on a summer evening. Consider inviting other children in your neighborhood to attend + you may even want to build “cars” out of cardboard boxes for the children to use as movie seats.

    In order to make sure things go smoothly, research what equipment you need ahead of time so that you can have everything ready. In particular, research the equipment you need to project the movie properly so that it can be seen easily.

    You might need a screen + a special projector that could be purchased or rented from home-supply or electronics stores. To make the night truly festive, serve classic cinema treats, like pizza, popcorn, slushies or candy + include some healthy options, too.

    #3 Scavenger Hunt

    A summer scavenger hunt helps you + the kids get in more outdoor time in the backyard + it’s the type of activity that you can make as easy or as complex as you want. You can also adapt it to the amount of time you have available. Scavenger hunts have at least two teams; consider pairing up a parent with a child if you have young kids.

    A scavenger hunt for children usually has a time limit of 15 or 20 minutes + teams are given a list of 10 to 15 items to find or things to do. To keep things simple, create the list from things that you already have in your backyard. For example, the team may need to find a smooth leaf or a pink flower. The team that finds the most items is declared the winner + awarded a small prize.

    These easy activities can help you + your family have fun in your backyard this summer. Best of all, these ideas are mostly free + easy to set up. Have a wonderful summer!

    Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it’s not going to rain! If it does rain, check out these rainy day activities for your kiddos.

  • Raising Girls

    A Family Trip Near Shenandoah: Where to Stay, Go + Eat

    I normally plan our vacations about a year out but I didn’t do that for this year so we were pressed for choices for Spring Break. My procrastination led to a gem that is practically in our backyard, Fort Valley in Virginia, which sits on the northeastern perimeter of the Shenandoah Valley.

    Where to Stay

    I always jump on Airbnb (you can save up to $55 on your first stay) to check out houses in the area where we’re heading. This time it was no different. For us, we can find an entire house to rent for about the same price as a night at a hotel but we get, well, an entire house.

    In this case, my search on Airbnb is what led me to find Fort Valley in the first place!

    We found an amazingly charming, warm + welcoming secluded creek side farmhouse to stay right in Fort Valley. We were in the country but were a short drive to towns like Luray, Edinburgh + Woodstock. Just a few miles up the road is a horse farm, where you can horseback tours of the valley.

    (Unfortunately, our kiddos were too young so we didn’t actually get to horseback ride but we did try.)

    Where to Go

    Fishing

    One of the first things my husband + kids did when we arrived was put their fishing lines in the creek. The fishing is plentiful there + in the surrounding areas. We stopped off at a fishing point on the Shenandoah River for a little bit one afternoon (river fishing to the left).

    We had a picnic at a small pull-off park along the side of the road in Luray. It had a creek complete ducks + all. We picnicked at one of the creek-side tables + then in the water the fishing lines went. (Unfortunately, we didn’t catch anything but it was still a lot of fun for my husband + the girls.)

    One of the charming perks of this area are the off-the-beaten path parks (mini-parks, really). It’s usually just a creek, a few picnic tables + ducks, really, but it’s so charming + green + natural.

    My husband is also determined to learn how to fly fish so he stopped into Murray’s Fly Shop in Edinburg. My husband enjoyed a conversation with the owner, learned about his upcoming lessons + bought one of his books on fly fishing + 3 t-shirts.

    Luray Caverns

    We also spent half a day at Luray Caverns. Talk about nature’s beauty. This underground cavern is ah-mazing. It baffles me that nature can create something as breathtaking as the caverns are.

    I have tons of photos but of course the photos do not do it justice–at all. Even the baby seemed to enjoy the hour long tour + stroll through the caverns. We bought our tickets ahead of time + the kids were free so we skipped the pretty lengthy line to buy tickets.

    Your tickets also get you into the museums that surround Luray Caverns, so a toy museum, car museum + Luray Valley Museum. I took some photos of these fascinating Indian heads while in the Luray Valley Museum.

    Edinburg Mill Museum

    The Edinburg Mill Museum is three floors of history on the Shenandoah Valley. They have old telephones (that my girls kept calling old cell phones) that the girls were fascinated by.

    They were also fascinated with a bee hive that was donated by a local couple from their property, all of the Red Cross uniforms + patches from throughout the years + the train village they have set up to help tell the story of the railroads in Shenandoah County.

    (My girls LOVE trains!)

    This doesn’t even begin to cover ALL of the wonderful items the museum has + all of the neat stories it all tells of Shenandoah County. On the bottom floor is a restaurant (see the Where to Eat section for more information).

    Hiking

    This area is full of national forests + hiking trails, including a section of the Appalachian Trail. We did spend a little time on a family hike through the woods, baby stroller + all. Since we were there in April for Spring Break, the weather was perfect for all outdoor activities — not too hot + not too cold.

    The Luray Zoo

    We also enjoyed a trip to the Luray Zoo. The Luray Zoo is a rescue zoo so the animals are either surrendered by their owners, adopted from other zoos, or abused animals. It also has a petting zoo where the kids can pet + feed the animals.

    We were able to see animals that I have honestly never seen in person before. We saw porcupines, a wallaby, an emu + a BENGAL TIGER! My favorite by far was Star (yes, that is her name) the Bengal Tiger. She was amazing. She was majestic. She was definitely a STAR!

    Where to Eat

    Sal’s Italian Bistro

    We checked into our Airbnb after 3 pm. While I got us settled in, my husband picked up takeout from Sal’s, a delicious Italian restaurant in Edinburgh, just a short distance from the farmhouse.

    Sal’s Italian Bistro offers genuine Italian cuisine made by Sal himself. I had a shrimp + veggie linguine. The kids had pizza + my husband had a grilled chicken salad. We also had homemade chicken soups + bread. It was delish!

    Edinburg Mill Restaurant

    I mentioned earlier that the Edinburg Mill Museum has a restaurant on the bottom floor. After our visit to the museum we stopped off at the restaurant for lunch. I had a delicious hot sandwich on a nice fresh roll + the service was amazing.

    Woodstock Cafe + Shoppes

    We had breakfast here one morning. My ham, egg + cheese croissant was delicious. So was my orange cranberry muffin. That is the extent of their breakfast menu — breakfast sandwiches + pastries — but it looked like they had a pretty extensive sandwich menu for lunch.

    (The shoppes part is mostly wine + some other goodies.)

    Southern Kitchen Restaurant

    My husband has a knack for finding great little, out of the way places to eat whenever we travel or are on vacation. Southern Kitchen Restaurant wasn’t any different + did NOT disappoint. It’s in New Market.

    They are known for their fried chicken + pie, which is indeed out of this world amazing. The ladies that work here are also amazing.

    They also have a fun old soda fountain where you can order shakes + floats. My husband liked this place so much that we ate there for breakfast, lunch + dinner (not all in the same day).

    Springhouse Tavern

    We picked Springhouse Tavern for our last dinner on our vacation + I for one am so glad we did. The food was the absolute best I had during our entire vacation.

    I had the sunburnt chicken pasta. OMG…It was so delicious. They give you a heaping portion so I was able to enjoy an encore for lunch the following day 🙂

  • Mom Blogger Resources

    How to Start a Mom Blog

    If you’re just starting out in the blogging world, your obvious first stop is to get your website/blog up + running.

    While it’s an exciting time, it can also be overwhelming.

    Fret not, you can do it my mama friend. All you have to do is start at the beginning + I’m here to walk you through step-by-step exactly how to do it.

    Pick a Domain Name

    Your first stop is to buy a domain name for your website (the website where you’ll also be building your blog). Usually, if you have a business behind the blog, you try to buy the domain name that is your business name.

    You can certainly go this route.

    If you need to buy your domain name, I suggest NameCheap. I buy all of my domain names from NameCheap . As their name suggests, the domain names tend to be less expensive than other places + I tend to keep my hosting (more about this later) + domain names at separate companies.

    This means that I buy my domain names from NameCheap but that I host my WordPress site with Siteground.

    Pick a Host

    The next step in setting up your website + blog is to pick a hosting company.  NameCheap  has an option for hosting, so you are certainly welcome to check out what they have to offer.

    I use + highly recommend SiteGround. I find them to be affordable (plans start at $3.95 per month) + to offer all the services I need to run my businesses online. You can host a WordPress site without a problem + they offer superior customer service when (+ if) you need it. I highly recommend checking them out if you are starting an online presence or looking to move from your existing host.

    In case you didn’t catch it already, I use + recommend you use WordPress to build your website + blog.

    Pick a Theme

    Next, you want to pick a theme for your WordPress site + blog.

    Generally speaking, you want to choose a theme that represents your wedding business. You can hire a designer to create a custom design for you but this is the more expensive route.

    You can also buy a theme, use it as it, or customize it as necessary.

    If you’re interested in buying a theme, these are the companies I highly recommend you check out:

    A Prettier Web: If you’re building a WordPress website for your blog or you’re looking to change the theme, but can’t afford to hire a designer to customize it quite yet, check out the WordPress themes from A Prettier Web.

    Restored 316: Restored 316 offers a variety of feminine WordPress themes, which is perfect for wedding planners most mom blogs (depending on your taste + the style of blog you’re going for). All of the themes are pretty affordable. If you’re looking for a custom design, Restored 316 offers custom site-building too.

    BluChic: This is one of my fave places to buy feminine website templates. BluChic offers WordPress templates that are perfect for any business + this includes a mom blog. I also find their templates to be super affordable, easy to install + simple to personalize + customize to fit your mom blog. BluChic also offers other types of templates so check them out to help you create your online brand + presence.

    How to Set Up Your Mom Blog

    Now, you’re ready to set up your blog.

    So, here you are.

    You have a domain.

    You have a WordPress site.

    You’re ready to set up your blog + start blogging.

    Step #1 Login to WordPress

    Step #2 Set up Your Blog Page

    Once you log in to your account, your Dashboard opens.

    From your dashboard, click on the Settings Link on the left + then Reading option in the dropdown menu.

    You have the option of having a static home page or having your blog posts as the “home” page. If you want to keep your home page static, then choose the dial button that says “a static home page.”

    Then, choose the home page from the drop down menu next to Front page. From the posts page drop down menu, choose your blog as where to publish new blog posts.

    If you want your blog posts to be your home page then make sure the dial button is checked for “your latest posts” to be the front page displays.

    (This is the default option so you should not have to change it unless you are changing a previous setting.)

    Congrats! Your blog is now set up on your website.

    Woot! Woot!

    Now, you’re ready to start blogging.

    How to Blog

    Now that we have your mom blog up + running, it is time to write blog posts, promote blog posts to attract the readers you want.

    Mommy Business Blogging is my ultimate resource for mamas to blog your way to more readers, business + sales.

    It covers all the HOW to blog in a very step-by-step process so that you can build your blog, write + promote your content. 

    If you answer “Yes!” to any of these, this ebook is for you!

    • You sit down to write your blog post + you end up staring (for hours) at a blank screen.
    • You scour your site analytics, so you can see that your peeps are visiting your blog, but they are NOT hiring or buying from you.
    • Your bank account is low on funds or empty
    • Your content is FAB (or not so FAB), but (+) it’s definitely not reaching the right people for your biz.

    HERE IS WHAT’S COVERED

    BUILD YOUR DREAM VISITOR

    Start off on the right stylish flat by getting to know the people you want to attract to your blog so you can write content that attracts them (like a MAGNET).

    FIND TOPICS THEY CARE ABOUT READING

    Stop struggling with what to write about. Use my step-by-step tips to uncover topic after topic that your audience wants to read–keep them coming back for more until they buy from you or hire you.

    PLAN + SCHEDULE POSTS

    Learn the step-by-step process to planning out your blog posts + scheduling your posts, so you stop scrambling to post on your blog + you continue to attract new readers with your content (+ keep your existing readers coming back for more, too!).

    CREATE FABULOUS CONTENT

    Discover how to create fabulous blog posts. I walk you through how to write the content, create pinnable images + how to get readers to click, buy from you or hire you after they read your posts.

    SEO + GET YOUR CONTENT INTO THE UNIVERSE

    Finally tackle the “S” word (search engine optimization) so that each blog post helps you rank in the search engines, grabs the attention of your dream clients + gets them to your blog (+ one step closer to hiring you or buying from you).

    Uncover exactly how + where to promote each blog post so that your content gets in front of the right people–attracting them to your business + to you.

    It’s a super-comprehensive ebook that covers everything a mama needs to know about blogging.

    Did I mention it’s ONLY 27 BUCKS?

    (Don’t let the low price fool you. It’s all the info you need to successfully blog for your wedding biz.)

    Want in on it PRONTO?

    Sign me up, Buttercup!

    Have any Qs. I’ve got As. Email me or leave a comment below. I personally respond to all of the emails that land in my inbox or to comments on blog posts.

  • Mom Blogger Resources

    Some of My Fave Marketing Blogs

    I admit it. I’m a marketing junkie. I love pretty things that glitter and shine. I’m addicted to shows like Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, and Outlander (don’t judge me). You can find a People magazine in my hand from time to time (and I do read it cover to cover).

    But, back to the marketing junkie confession. These are some of my favorite marketing blogs. Reading them helps keep my up to date on the happenings in my world (and probably yours if you own or run (or own and run) a business.

    Quick Sprout

    Honestly, I receive Neil Patel’s emails, which is Quick Sprout’s founder and blog writer, to alert me when a new post is up on the blog. In other words, I don’t go specifically to the blog every day. I read his email intro and click on the link if it’s something of interest to me.

    I wouldn’t say what he offers is cutting edge stuff to someone who has been online or working in the world of marketing recently. What he does offer is great reminders on what we all SHOULD be doing with our marketing online. If you’re a novice, you’ll think he’s a genius, however. (AND, he might just be one since he has helped some major players turn their businesses into forces to be reckoned with.) From time to time, he does offer some great suggestions on apps or sites to check out for your marketing efforts.

    Digital Marketer

    Digital Marketer is another great one to follow. They share some pretty intriguing ways to drive traffic to your site. They share a ton of info about converting your visitors into buyers. They are obsessed with putting systems into place to create a sales and marketing funnel that works for your business.

    I’ve picked up some great tips—some that I definitely use in my daily content marketing and online marketing antics.

    Melissa Cassera

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Melissa. She talks a great deal about your business being your guilty pleasure and about having a business crush. I am pretty sure that I might be crushin’ on Melissa. Anywho…

    Melissa puts a public relations and sales spin on marketing. She delves a bunch into content marketing, but she focuses her attention on teaching you how to create RAVING FANS that cannot get enough of you and your business.

    I completed her 5-day business challenge, Obsessed. And I’m about to dive face first into her guide The Irresistible Business Challenge. Yum-my! Delicious content that I can eat with a spoon.

    What Do You Read?

    Do we share any top fave business blogs? What are your favorite blogs to read?

  • Girl Mom Reviews

    A Girl Mom Review of Hello Fresh

    I’m all about making my life easier. It’s why I use Instacart for Aldi for my weekly grocery shipping, Honest Co. diaper + wipes subscription, Kids on 45th for girls’ clothing, Amazon Prime subscription for overnight pull-ups + Amazon Prime in general.

    If it can’t be delivered to my door, I’m pretty convinced that I don’t want it or need it. I mean, dragging three small kids through any store is not my idea of a good time.

    I love to cook (or at least I did prior to doing it while three kiddos hang from me, climb me + whine at me while I’m doing it) + we mostly eat at home.

    We tried Sun Basket in the past so I thought that I would give Hello Fresh a shot. I received my first box + cooked my first meals.

    Here is what I thought.

    What I Loved

    The menu choices are amazing. So amazing that I had a hard time choosing the two meals I wanted for the week!

    (I ended up with a Tuscan Chicken Spaghetti + Cheesy Chicken Fajitas.)

    We’re going away for Spring Break so I knew ahead of time that I would want to skip that week. I LOVE, LOVE. LOVE that Hello Fresh allows you to skip weeks ahead of time so you don’t have to wait to the week before to skip your box.

    Ditto on choosing your menu. You can choose your menu options weeks ahead of time so that you don’t have to wait until the week before to decide. I’m a planner at heart so I like knowing far advance rather than choosing just a few days before my box ships.

    (You always have the option of making changes, though.)

    The food is delicious. Every single member (all 5 of us) ate it (with minimal complaining from the 3-year-old). The ingredients themselves were nice (the lemons, the fresh basil, etc.).

    I thought the pricing was pretty good, too. I had a coupon so I ended up with $80 off of four weeks worth of meals (+ I opted for two meals per week). For two meals per week, the cost was about $40 dollars so cheaper than eating out even one time.

    Without the coupon, the pricing would have been roughly $60 for the two meals so still cheaper than us eating out one time.

    What I Didn’t Love

    The delivery driver left the box in the middle of our driveway. I’m not sure if the drivers are contracted or actually work for Hello Fresh but I didn’t know the box had arrived until I walked out to get my oldest daughter from the bus + it was sitting in the middle of our driveway.

    The chicken (4 packets) comes sealed in bags. The bags leaked all over the bottom shelf of the fridge, including all over the bottom of the paper bags that held all of the ingredients for the recipes.

    Ewwwwww…so with a baby in one arm I had to clean up the ewwwwwy-gooey mess that chicken juice makes. The meat we received from Sun Basket was sealed in similar bags but never leaked so I wasn’t prepared for this.

    I wasn’t in love with the packaging in general. The individual packaging of the Sun Basket ingredients was more recyclable than that of Hello Fresh. The outside packaging + cooler packs, however, were similar in being recyclable.

    While I found the prep to be faster + easier than Sun Basket, I did not find the prep to be fast + easy. The prep time said something like 5 minutes + it took me a lot longer than 5 minutes to prep.

    Finally, Hello Fresh offers family meals, which end up costing you more ($5.99 per person) so you have to be careful about choosing those price wise. While $5.99 for one person doesn’t equate to a lot of money, when it’s for a family of 5, it’s almost $30 extra for one meal!

    Grade

    Say yes to Hello Fresh! Overall, I give it an A. I think all of the positives of Hello Fresh definitely outweigh the negatives.

    If you use my link to try out Hello Fresh, you save $40 + I get $20.

  • Girl Mom Reviews

    A Girl Mom Review of Imperfect Produce + Save $10

    We have been using Imperfect Produce for a couple of months now. My husband thinks it is the “bees knees.” I’m going to tell you what I think of it but first let me give you an overview of what Imperfect Produce is, in case you’re not familiar with it.

    What is Imperfect Produce

    I think of Imperfect Produce as an advocate for the different, ugly + otherwise tossed away fruits + veggies of the world combined as a subscription box (+ I have to say that I LOVE subscriptions!).

    You can choose the size + type of subscription box you want to receive. Once a week, you customize the box + each Friday the box lands on your doorstep.

    Now that we have that out of the way, this is what I think about Imperfect Produce.

    What I Love

    I love that I am able to receive + use fruits + veggies that would normally become part of the landfill just because they are a little bog or a little small or not the right shape to make it into the produce section of a store.

    I adore that I can customize it for the week. It allows me to pick + choose what I can use + what my family is likely to eat. It helps me to plan my menu for the week.

    It also makes me happy that it arrives on my doorstep + I don’t have to step foot in a store. (Although, to be totally transparent, I don’t step foot in a grocery store for my weekly groceries, either. I use Instacart for Aldi.)

    The taste of the fruits + veggies is so much better than what we buy in the store. I am not sure what it is but it’s true.

    We are also able to get our hot little hands on stuff that I don’t always see in the grocery store, like purple potatoes (yum-my).

    Finally, the pricing is pretty good. We mostly choose organic for our box, which can be pretty expensive in the stores. I find that the pricing with
    Imperfect Produce is comparable or less expensive than most grocery stores.

    What I Don’t Love

    My kids + I had expectations of funny shaped fruits + veggies. Heart shapes. Veggies twisted like pretzels. You get the idea. To our dismay, we have not received one funny shaped fruit or veggie yet.

    This may change as the seasons change but I also wish the fruit variety choices were a bit more, at least for the fruits we eat. We’ve been able to get blueberries but no strawberries or raspberries or blackberries. The veggie choices seem to be abundant but I don’t feel like the fruit choices are.

    Grade

    I give Imperfect Produce an A-. The positives definitely outweigh the things we don’t love about Imperfect Produce so we will definitely continue to use it as a way to conveniently receive delicious tasting fruits + veggies. If you give it a try with my link you save $10.

  • Raising Girls

    Celebrate Earth Month With Green Kid Crafts

    Get your green on this Earth Month + get 3 FREE STEAM boxes (a $60 value!) on any Green Kid Crafts subscription!

    Act fast to lock in savings on a longer term subscription + get Discovery Boxes year-round for less than $15/month.

    Use offer code PLANET12 at checkout to get $60 off any 12-month subscription.

    Green Kid Crafts’ award-winning Discovery Boxes pack a lot of fun + learning into affordable + convenient packages. Each box contains up to 6 STEAM science + craft kits, extension activities + a free STEAM magazine.

    Junior boxes are designed for ages 2-4 and Discovery boxes are great for ages 5-10+. Offer excludes sibling add-on options. 

  • Raising Girls

    4 Tips to Prep for Your Disney Trip with Your Kids

    A trip to Disney World is a rite of passage for many families. The scope of a Disney vacation necessitates some advanced planning + preparation. To fully grasp the magic of Disney, here are 4 tips to keep you from going insane (in the membrane).

    #1 Prepare Your Kids in Case They Get Lost

    Disney is the happiest place on Earth + it’s all fun + games until someone ends up missing. A trip to Disney World can be overwhelming for young kids. The throngs of people increase the risk that your child may get lost.

    It is a good idea to talk to your kids before the trip to equip them with the knowledge + tools that will help them stay safe if they become separated from you. Instruct them to find a Disney cast member if they get lost.

    If your kids are older, you can find a landmark in each park to meet in the event that members of your party become separated.

    #2 Choose Rides and Attractions Before Getting There

    Disney World has four theme parks + two water parks. It’s a very large place + extremely easy to get overwhelmed. There are guides on the Internet to specific parks to check out that can help you devise a plan of attack.

    Disney even has FastPass selections for rides + attractions ahead of time so you can skip ahead of the lines for your top ride selections.

    #3 Make Advance Dining Reservations

    Disney boasts a myriad of fun + unique dining experiences that you might not want to miss. From character dining to a host of ethnic foods, there is something for every taste + palette.

    Many of the most popular restaurants book far in advance, which means you’re going to need to make your reservations ahead of your trip.

    #4 Take Breaks

    Taking afternoon breaks is an ideal way to beat the crowds + the heat. To get the most out of your park experience, head to the gates early in the morning when they open so that you can avoid the crowds that form later in the day.

    Heading back to your hotel for an afternoon swim or nap can leave you feeling refreshed + ready to tackle an evening back at the parks.

    With a little research + planning, you make the most out of your Disney adventure. A magical time awaits you if you follow these four pointers (but still leave room for spontaneity in your days)!

    Don’t forget to visit the Girl Mom Chaos shop before heading out on your vacation so that you can have stylish + fun t-shirts for your trip!

  • Raising Girls

    3 Ways to Model Appropriate Behavior for Your Daughter

    You are a role model for your daughter. You are their first teacher. Your role is to provide them with the tools they need to deal with various situations at different ages + stages in their life.

    You want to help them come up with appropriate responses to situations so that it leads to positive outcomes. Your role model status becomes even more important when you have a defiant daughter. Modeling appropriate behavior can make things easier on you + your child.

    What Makes Defiant Daughters Different

    A truly defiant daughter may suffer from a condition called Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). This is more complex than just being stubborn.

    A daughter that suffers from ODD is disagreeable in the extreme + defiance is on a daily (or almost daily) basis rather than the occasional defiance some children exhibit. Defiant daughters tend to break the rules, talk disrespectfully + repeat annoying behaviors on a regular basis.

    Traditional types of discipline often fuel the anger + irritability of a defiant daughter. Parents often find themselves on a perpetual search for new ways of handling the situation.

    Here are three ways you can model appropriate behavior for your defiant daughter.

    #1 Practice what you preach

    To help the help the defiant daughter + her family, behavioral disorder professionals can offer effective methods to help parents problem-solve, decrease negativity, manage anger + increase social skills. There are also family sessions to discuss how the issues affect each household member.

    In addition, parents can make things better by modeling the behaviors they want their daughter to emulate. Defiant daughters have a problem dealing with their emotions. Looking at their parents examples can assist them in making the best choices.

    #2 Practice handling adult conflicts

    You have many opportunities to practice conflict resolution with the adults around you as a way to model this behavior for your daughter. If your daughter hears you yelling at the customer service person when you have an issue, your daughter won’t think twice about yelling at you + others when an issue arises.

    Instead of becoming loud or aggressive, learn to communicate with others calmly + quietly.

    #3 Wait patiently + quietly

    Have you waited in line for a long time because of a slow checkout person? Don’t mutter about them under your breath + then smile at them when you get to the head of the line. Resist giving people dirty looks as well. Waiting is a part of life.

    Practice waiting patiently + quietly. You feel better in the end + you set the standard for your child when you model the behavior you expect to see in them.

    The earlier your child learns + masters this skill, the better off she is going to be.