What's the Word?

4 Summer Boredom Busters

Summer is a fun time for most people, young and old. Kids look forward to this time of year most as they are out of school and they get to relax. They might get to sleep in later and stay up later at night. They probably get more free time and no homework. This is a fun time. However, every parent knows the inevitable boredom that will come.

Here are four summer boredom busters that can help prevent this common issue:

Give them chores – Seriously, it’s not meant to be a punishment. Assigning them chores when they are bored will also teach them responsibility. It gets things done that are going to need done and it keeps bored kids busy. Of course, the chore assigned should be age appropriate and if you can make it fun or into a game, the "complaining" will be a minimum.

Redecorate or redesign – Are there places in your home that you can redecorate or redesign? Could your kids do something different in their room? This is a great way to do a little summer redesign and also keep boredom at bay. It's also more received when it's the kids "idea" rather than the parents.

For our craft we decided to make different sized tutu balls to hang from the ceiling. They were very inexpensive, quick, and easy to make!

Arts and crafts – There are projects that work for any age group and this can be a great deal of fun to pass time in the summer months. You can look up arts and crafts online and print them so you always have fresh ideas ready if someone says they are bored.

We came up with the idea of doing a craft for someone else. The boys decided they wanted to make pictures for their sister. Since the sweetness doesn't come around that often, I framed and hung them up in her room. Now she has adorable keepsakes from her big brothers.

Get cooking – You have to eat, right? Cooking together is a great way to prevent boredom and if your child is old enough, you can also teach him/her things to make on their own. Maybe have a bake sale, a cooking contest or another way to make it fun and interactive.

I subscribe to Blue Apron and they've recently started a Kid's Cooking Camp which helps gets kids involved.

Now that you have these ideas for summer boredom busters, you can be prepared the next time your kids start to complain that they don’t know what to do with all this free time they have been given.

Have more boredom buster ideas? Leave a comment letting me know because I'm ALWAYS looking for more ideas!

When It's Okay to Ask ----- Are You Pregnant?

People are curious by nature. We want to more about those we're around or associating ourselves with:

  • Where are you from?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • What do you do for a living?

These are simple questions that, yes, could be appropriate to ask if they go with the context of the discussion.

But, when is it appropriate to ask a woman if she's pregnant? NEVER!! The answer I WANT to give is never. It's never the appropriate time to ask a woman if she's pregnant but then I realized there may be ONE "right" time.

If you happen to be with a woman, who seems to be in some sort of discomfort, AND you start to see what looks like another human coming out of her vagina then....THEN is the appropriate time to ask someone if they're pregnant.

Unless you are 100% sure that someone is pregnant, don't ask! And especially don't ask someone that to their face!! Just avoid the humiliation (for who you're asking and yourself) in case the answer is no. That's just best for all parties involved!

 

(Yes, this happened to me recently and guess what? No, I'm not pregnant -- unless you want to consider the tacos and guac I ate earlier a baby. Then, yes...I am pregnant with the best food baby ever!!)

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccoli

I do love vegetables but I feel like I went outside of my comfort zone with this recipe and I'm SO glad I did! This low carb recipe is the perfectly healthy alternative to your favorite casserole. PLUS - I hate cooking and this recipe was SUPER easy!

Yield: 4 servings | Active Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

1 2 1/2 to 3 pound spaghetti Squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch broccoli, chopped**

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

2 tablespoons water

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Preparation

1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F.

2. Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish; add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on high until the flesh is tender, about 10 mins.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli, garlic, and red pepper (if using); cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring, until the broccoli is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.

4. Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl. Place the shells in a broiler-safe baking pan or on a baking sheet. Stir 3/4 cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into the squash mixture. Divide between the shells; top with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

5. Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler on high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes.

**don't like broccoli? Try substituting with spinach or broccolini

 

So try it! Let us know, did you like it? Did you substitute anything? We are always looking for healthy alternatives to our favorite meals!

Nutrition per Serving

calories: 194 | fat: 11g (5g sat, 5g mono) | cholesterol: 20mg | carbohydrates: 13g | protein: 12g | fiber: 2g | sodium: 587mg | potassium: 334mg

From EatingWell November/December 2014