Category Archives: Family

All the Cute: Tiny Hamsters in a Tiny Apartment

Meet Enoki and Bunapi, two Winter White Dwarf hamsters who are living the high life in their very own miniature apartment.

If you think you aren’t a hamster person then let us assure you, you are wrong. You just haven’t seen hamsters relax with a snack in front of the TV, take a dip in a sand-filled bathtub, and nap in their very own sleeping quarters.

hamster in apartment

And if you think tiny hamsters hanging out in a tiny apartment wasn’t cute enough, watch as little Enoki is tucked into a pink and white bed fit for mini royalty, complete with a matching polka dot blanket to keep them warm.

While these videos are undeniably adorable, let us quell some natural questions that arise with videos such as these.

The creator of these “Happy Hammy” videos, Jaieden Ace Shen, has clarified in the comments of both videos that their hamsters absolutely do not live in this “apartment” full-time. Enoki and Bunapi have a natural hamster habitat with proper food, water, bedding, tunnels, exercise toys, and lots of space. They are under no stress when placed in their apartment setting, as is easily seen with how comfortable and well-adjusted they are roaming around and utilizing the amenities.

Teaching Your Kids to Give: Establishing the Mentality of Lifelong Giving

youth volunteers
directrelief/Flickr

While raising kids has never been easy, it can be one of the most rewarding things that some people do — especially when children grow up to be productive, contributing members to society, and that includes knowing how to give back and enrich the communities in which they live.

When should children start participating in the giving process? As early as possible. Even if they are still toddlers, observing charitable acts that happen regularly and eventually understanding them will leave a big impression. Learning how to give and developing that skill set is a lifelong journey.

Giving is more than a task, it’s a mindset. A way of life, a way of looking at the world and asking, how can I help? How can I make connections between needs and time and resources? How can I bring awareness to specific needs and evoke action?

  1. Ask Your Kids How They Would Like to Help.

    If giving to a cause is new to your household, involve your kids as early as possible; tell them that your family has the chance to give back. Then, engage them in a conversation about the types of causes they may feel strongly about and ways they think they can help.This could involve helping families, working to save open spaces, caring for nature or a community garden, helping to save an endangered species, or helping those in need.

    Once you’ve identified key topics that your family is interested in (make a list, as this helps visualize everything) start researching specific local organizations (add them to the list).

    • Food kitchens
    • Pet shelters and animal rescues
    • Nature conservation efforts
    • Fundraising for various activities for low-income kids, like camp
    • Zoos, museums, and aquariums
    • Schools and local libraries (these days, even they need as much help as they can get)
    • Visitation of patients in hospitals
    • Visitation of the elderly in nursing homes
  2. Make a Game Plan

    Get creative about how your family can help the organization(s) you choose. Bake sales are traditional, but there are other ways to help. Talk it through with your family, map it out, and post the results somewhere in the home that is highly visible.

    Gamify it to some degree with tasks that turn into goals that turn into accomplishments, that result in stickers.

  3. Quick Tasks and Ideas That Can Make a Big Difference

    Clear the clutter. Every 6 to 12 months, have a household closet cleaning day (that includes the toy chest, and maybe even the garage). Get everyone in the family to help.

    Make a donate box. Put it out where your kids can add to it. Donate often, even if it’s small.

    Make detours to giving. When shopping, make a trip down the canned food aisle. Ask your kids to pick a can of food to put in your donate box at home.

    Find ways to raise money for donations. Hold a yard sale and give all or a portion of your sales to a selected charity. Do the same with a bake sale, an art sale, etc. Involve your kids at all stages.

    Associate getting with giving. For birthdays and holidays, aside from their other gifts, give your kids a hand-written gift “certificate of giving” with a specified amount of money that they can gift to their favorite charity. Take your child to the charity to donate that money in-person if you can. For non-location organizations, write a check and have your child include a letter.

    Volunteer time in your local community. From public gardens that need weeding, to historic buildings that need painting, or food banks that need help, find something age-appropriate that can engage your family.

  4. Growing the Mindset

    Tell stories. There are lots of real-life stories about kids or groups of kids who have found creative ways to give back. Encourage empathy. Share appropriate stories of struggle. Ask kids what they would do in a certain situation, and how they would want people to help them.

    Walk them through the cycle. If your kids are young, say, “We’re going to give this can of food/winter coat/gift to ______.” (Then explain the results.) “It will give them something to eat/keep them warm this winter/help them __________.”

    Explain why you are doing it and what you’re looking for. “We don’t need to store all this stuff when someone else could really use it.” Or, “I bet there is a kid out there who would really enjoy playing with that toy. I know you used to love it, but how about if you pass it along to someone else so they can enjoy it as much as you have?” Keep the focus on the people in need and your child’s ability to share an experience through an item. Establishing an impermanent relationships to “things” can help kids better understand the importance of relationships over acquiring goods.

    Develop a language of giving in your household. Find creative opportunities to incorporate it into regular conversation. Nothing is permanent. We are stewards of the planet, and the things we think we own. Everything is in change, and it is our duty to help those in need when we have abundance. If ever there is a time when we are without, we hope that others will think of us and help us.

Teaching children about the struggles of others not only develops a lifelong giving mindset, it also helps children understand how their words and actions impact those around them — a lesson that bears repeating.

This article has been republished with permission and provided to Woman Tribune by the authors. Read more about them below.

Jennifer L. Jacobson is the founder of Jacobson Communication and an advocate for organizations looking to make a positive difference in the world. She currently serves on the board of several influential nonprofits and organizations focused on conservation, education, and community. For more, visit www.jacobsoncommunication.com

Gretchen Barry is the Director of marketing and Communications for NonProfitEasy; the all-in-one data management software, created by nonprofits for nonprofits. From CRM and database management, to events, donor engagement, fundraising, and more, NonProfitEasy offers a one-stop, affordable, integrated software solution that is changing the status quo for the greater good. For more, visit www.nonprofiteasy.com

IfOnly Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Dad who Has it All

Father’s Day is just days away. If you’re still on the hunt for a great gift you know dad will actually love, head on over to IfOnly.

IfOnly connects individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields to share once in a lifetime experiences while supporting meaningful causes, nonprofits, and charities. The IfOnly Father’s Day Gift Guide is full of gifts unique from all the rest from $48 to $4,800,000 (wowza!) and everything in between.

Here are some of our IfOnly experience and gift top picks:

IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection ($125)

IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection

A collection of 35 total recipes created by a roster of star mixologists. The collection debuts with an elegant polished lacquered recipe box, a hand-signed recipe from Master Mixologist Dale Degroff, and 11 classic drink recipes. Each month, two seasonal recipes from master mixologists will arrive in dad’s mailbox to complete the collection. A truly unique gift for the cocktail connoisseur in your life.

Proceeds from the IfOnly Cocktail of the Month Collection benefit The Museum of the American Cocktail, a nonprofit dedicated to education in mixology and preserving the rich history of the American cocktail.

Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto ($3,000)

IfOnly Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto

Work side-by-side with Chef Jonathan Waxman for an afternoon at Barbuto. Learn to craft the casual, rustic Italian food that Chef Waxman is famous for and soak in the pace and rhythm of a famous kitchen. Leave the kitchen inspired to make your next great meal and return later in the evening with a guest for a celebratory dinner at the restaurant. Take home a personalized and hand-signed cookbook as a memento of your experience.

Proceeds from the Afternoon Apprenticeship at Barbuto benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an American pediatric cancer charity.

Shopping for dad is hard. The IfOnly Father’s Day Gift Guide makes it easier.

This post contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Give Mom a Memory: IfOnly Mother’s Day Gift Guide

We have been loving IfOnly since right before Christmas when we discovered their unique take on combining life lists and magical experiences with gifting and sharing.

IfOnly connects individuals with luminaries at the top of their fields to share once in a lifetime experiences while supporting meaningful causes, nonprofits, and charities. For both Christmas and Valentine’s Day, they offered up decadent candy collections created by award-winning chefs. True to form, their Mother’s Day gifts set the bar for sophistication and luxury even higher.

Whether you would like to gift your mom with an incredible experience that will last a lifetime or an extraordinary gift that can be wrapped in a beautiful box, the IfOnly Mother’s Day Gift Guide is filled with stunning and exciting gift ideas that any mom would be thrilled to receive on her special day.

Women Winemaker Collection Curated by Debbie Zachareas ($175)

IfOnly Women Winemaker Collection

Share the gift of wine and enjoy the best from wine country’s women winemakers with a hand-picked collection from Debbie Zachareas, one of the Bay Area’s foremost wine experts and buyer for Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.

Debbie’s selection includes three bottles of California wines representing varied styles from female winemakers who are at the top of their game. Your collection will arrive in a handsome tote bag with Debbie’s tasting notes.

Proceeds from the Women Wine Maker Collection Curated by Debbie Zachareas benefit Family House, an organization that provides temporary housing to families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital.

James Beard Cookbook Hand-Signed by Alice Waters ($100)

IfOnly James Beard Cookbook

Own a piece of history as the James Beard Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary with a legendary cookbook featuring past Outstanding Chef Award winners. Includes delectable recipes, beautiful photography, and profiles of these culinary masters. Hand-signed by Alice Waters, this one-of-a-kind publication is the perfect addition to any foodie’s library.

Proceeds from the James Beard Cookbook Hand-Signed by Alice Waters benefits the James Beard Foundation and its mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.

Check out the IfOnly Mother’s Day Gift Guide for a wide variety of gift options mom will adore.

This post contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Reward Mom this Mother’s Day with a Bouquet from Teleflora — Coupon Code and Giveaway [Closed] #ad

This is a sponsored post and giveaway. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Teleflora Mother's Day

Mark your calendars: Mother’s Day is May 11th. Who am I kidding? Your calendar has been marked for weeks. Now all you need is a great gift to make your mom (or mother figure) feel as special as ever.

Spring is full of occasions for flowers. My grandmother’s house always smells of sweet lilacs throughout the season, starting on the very first day spring decides to grace us with its presence. This year’s astoundingly harsh winter only made my grandmother’s appreciation for lilacs greater, and the first morning when the weather seemed favorable and warm, my aunt ran out to the store for a great big bouquet.

Fresh flowers are a big deal and so is your mom.

Teleflora has a wonderful assortment of Mother’s Day bouquets starting at $29.99.

Bouquets that are oh so cute, like the Upsy Daisy bouquet:

Teleflora Upsy Daisy bouquet

To something more laid back and fun, like the Polka Dots and Posies:

Teleflora Polka Dots and Posies

The Sunny Day Pitcher Of Charm is a selection of pink roses and yellow daisies that stand in a decorative and multi-functional yellow pitcher:

Teleflora Sunny Day Pitcher Of Charm

For the lover of pink decadence there are the Blushing Lilies:

Teleflora Blushing Lilies

And for something truly sophisticated for the stand-up lady in your life, the Lavender Grace Bouquet:

Teleflora Lavender Grace Bouquet

Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for the flower business. Teleflora has same-day Mother’s Day flower delivery on all bouquets. Each bouquet is hand-arranged and delivered by a local florist, so you can be sure that the flowers you order will make it to their recipient fresh, beautiful, and on time.

Teleflora Everything Rosy Gift Bouquet

If flowers are just part of your Mother’s Day gift, Teleflora has also put together the perfect all-in-one Mother’s Day gift that covers roses and relaxation. You can couple your Teleflora rose bouquet with a $25, $50, or $100 Spafinder Wellness 365 eGift Card.

If you really want to go all out, there is the Everything Rosy Gift Bouquet (pictured above). This very special delivery includes a beautiful bouquet of bright and light pink roses, a Spafinder eGift Card of your chosen denomination, as well as a candle, body wash, and lotion packaged in a decorative rose basket.

Spafinder eGift Cards can be used at over 20,000 spas and wellness locations worldwide.

Save 20% at Teleflora

Woman Tribune readers can get 20% off Mother’s Day flowers at Teleflora with promo code BLOGS1R. Or you can click on the link above for the 20% to be automatically discounted from your order.

Gift code valid until October 16, 2014.

$75 Teleflora Gift Code Giveaway

Who doesn’t love fresh flowers in the spring? Teleflora has generously provided us with the opportunity to give one lucky reader a $75 Teleflora gift code. You can use the code for yourself or get a bouquet delivered to your mom, grandmother, aunt, sister, or any other inspiring, amazing woman in your life.

This giveaway is open to US and CAN entrants ages 18+ and will end May 7.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Corey and Topanga are Back! New ‘Girl Meets World’ Trailer

Corey and Topanga are all grown up and still as charming as ever in the “Boy Meets World” spin-off “Girl Meets World,” coming soon to Disney Channel.

Girl Meets World

We’ve heard rumors about “Girl Meets World” for a while now, and nostalgia-racked millennials (including myself) have been squeeing in anticipation. The Disney Channel is sure to have a laugh when they see the spike in viewers ages 24-30.

There is no release date set for when the new family comedy is set to premiere, but we do have the very first trailer featuring Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel as parents to their tween daughter, Riley, played by Rowan Blanchard. The trailer also introduces Sabrina Carpenter as Maya, Riley’s best friend. Because what is a “Boy Meets World” spin-off without the best friend who is treated just as good as family?

Are you excited to see the new Matthews family?

Enjoy Life Moments without Going Broke with the Shopping Planner for New Moms Coupon Book #ShopperIncite #ad

I received a Shopping Planner for New Moms for review thanks to Just for Mom Savings and PartnersHub. Incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Shopping Planner for New Moms

Life with a new baby is an adjustment. Your daily routine is thrown into upheaval the moment you first walk into the door with your new bundle of joy, the hours in your day seem to rapidly decrease, and your shopping list grows just as much. There’s a reason why most every parent in history has at one time stood inside a florescent-lit store wearing sweatpants in the middle of the night with a pack of diapers under their arm.

Adding a new little person to the family is a special life moment, and with a whole host of new adjustments to get used to and early parenthood memories to make, worrying about saving money shouldn’t have to weigh on your shoulders. That is where the Life Moments Shopping Planner for New Moms by Just for Mom Savings comes in.

On average, new parents spend an additional $10,400 in the first years of their child’s life. The Shopping Planner for New Moms is part organizer and part coupon book designed as an all-in-one book to save new parents time and money. I recently had the chance to check it out, and it really is a great resource for any new parent. It is brand new, has lofty goals, and will only get bigger and better from here.

Shopping Planner for New Moms inside

On a quest to save new moms everywhere time, energy, and money, while avoiding errand anarchy, the Shopping Planner for New Moms keeps everything you need to keep track of in one convenient place.

With beautifully designed weekly calendars that will keep you organized for 11 straight weeks, there is ample space to write in meal plans, shopping lists, and important notes. At the bottom of each weekly calendar page, there is either a recipe or a helpful shopping or planning tip, which is a really thoughtful addition.

Shopping Planner for New Moms coupons

In each Life Moments book is a coupon section full of high value coupons from brands new parents seek out most, like Gerber, Lansinoh, and Baby Einstein. Other brands collaborating with Just for Mom Savings include Bio-Oil, Dolphin Organics, California Baby, and zulily, just to name a few.

Just for Mom Savings wants to spread the money-saving cheer far and wide with this savvy new resource for moms. While the coupon book is a little thin right now, it is still impressive with over $100 in savings. Of course, the more new moms who sign up, the more brands will follow.

Get a Free Shopping Planner for New Moms Coupon Book

The very best thing about the Shopping Planner for New Moms is that it is completely FREE. Each household that signs up will be mailed a planner each quarter full of high value coupons, tips, recipes, and a space to keep you organized when your brain fails; and your brain will fail from time to time.

You can sign up with Just for Moms Savings to start receiving the Shopping Planner for New Moms. You can also opt in to receive free samples! How cool is that?

No more clipping, cutting, and organizing coupons that expire before you can use them. The Shopping Planner for New Moms keeps them in one convenient place that’s small enough to take with you anywhere.

‘Toopy and Binoo’ Animated Series for Preschoolers and a Twitter Party #ToopyandBinoo

I received “Toopy and Binoo” products in exchange for this post. No other incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Toopy and Binoo DVDs

If you have a toddler or preschooler and haven’t heard of “Toopy and Binoo,” it’s time to change that.

“Toopy and Binoo” is an animated series that follows the adventures of best friends. Toopy is a tall, funny, and friendly mouse who is optimistic, impulsive, and has an insatiable zest for life, while Binoo is a short, lovable cat whose logic and sensibility makes him think before he acts. These two characters are devoted to each other and are both endearing in their own ways.

With each “Toopy and Binoo” episode, you can expect to see messages of kindness, respect, and gentle aspects of childhood friendship as these two characters explore and discover the world around them through their colorful adventures.

Toopy and Binoo drawing

“Toopy and Binoo” has been a hit animated series for preschoolers in Canada, and is now available for the first time to US audiences exclusively on the “Toopy and Binoo” TV YouTube channel.

The series inspires toddlers and preschoolers ages 2-6 to think creatively and build values that will aid them when making friends and displaying good manners.

Each episode is just 5 minutes long, which as any parent of a preschooler knows, is long enough to keep the little ones entertained before boredom sets in and they’re suddenly up and moving onto something else.

The “Toopy and Binoo” TV YouTube channel features more than 100 5-minute episodes sure to entertain and educate. The great thing about this series being so readily available via YouTube is that you don’t have to check your local listings or search for and record the show to your DVR. The adventures of “Toopy and Binoo” are ready to go in just a few clicks.

Check out “Toopy and Binoo” on YouTube!

Toopy and Binoo big race

To celebrate the “Toopy and Binoo” arrival to the US, there is a special Twitter party going on to help spread the word about this awesome, educational series to other parents of preschoolers.

Join the “Toopy and Binoo” Twitter party TODAY at 1pm ET hosted by @ResourcefulMom to learn more about the show. You could also win some wonderful prizes. Who doesn’t love prizes? To participate, follow and tweet with hashtag #ToopyandBinoo.

To stay up-to-date with everything “Toopy and Binoo,” be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s Chime Time! New ‘Tickety Toc’ Toys are at Toys”R”Us — Giveaway [Closed]

Tickety Toc

Did you and your preschooler tune in to the special holiday “Tickety Toc”episode, “Christmas Present Time,” last Saturday? If you missed it, it will be re-airing on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so be sure to check your local listings for show times and enjoy the fun-filled festive adventure of Tommy and Talulah as they work together to save Christmas for all of Tickety Town.

The special Christmas episode isn’t all that “Tickety Toc” has in store for young Tick Tocketeers this holiday season. The first-ever toy line based on the top-rated Nick Jr. series has arrived in Toys”R”Us stores straight from Tickety Town!

Starring twins Tommy and Talulah, and featuring all of the show’s colorful friends, the brand new “Tickety Toc” toy line includes interactive playsets and trains, huggable talking dolls and plush toys, collectible figurines, and more. Encompassing a wide variety of playthings that perfectly capture the charm of the popular “Tickety Toc” TV series, this line of toys makes play time, travel time, or any time, a memorable and fun adventure.

The new “Tickety Toc” toy line is suitable for children ages 3 and up, and features a standout assortment of imagination-inspiring toys.

‘Tickety Toc’ Clockhouse

Tickety Toc Clockhouse

Preschoolers can recreate exciting “Tickety Toc” adventures with this special playset. Young fans can give Pufferty a push around the track, take the twins on-board, and turn the special cogs to open the Clockhouse doors, unlocking more fun inside. With endless escapades to embark on, this playset is “right on time” to deliver tons of fun for young Chime Timers.

Includes: Clockhouse, Tommy and Talulah figurines, Pufferty mini train and track system

‘Tickety Toc’ Musical Pufferty Train

Tickety Toc Musical Pufferty Train

Children can press the smoke stack on the playful Pufferty train to hear the “Tickety Toc” theme song as they take Tommy and Talulah for a ride. The rocking see-saw and spinning seat help keep the non-stop fun going “full steam ahead!”

Includes: Pufferty train and figurines of Tommy, Talulah, and their friend, Tooteroo

These “Tickety Toc” toys and others are available now, exclusively at Toys”R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com.

‘Tickety Toc’ Toys Giveaway

TWO lucky readers will each win one of the “Tickety Toc” toys above. The first winner randomly drawn will receive the “Tickety Toc” Clockhouse and the second will receive the Musical Pufferty Train.

This giveaway is open to US entrants ages 18+ and will end January 4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was made possible thanks to Grand Communications. No incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

Don’t Miss the Special Holiday ‘Tickety Toc’ Episode ‘Christmas Present Time’ on Nick Jr.

Tickety Toc Christmas Present Time

It’s time to celebrate the holidays with “Tickety Toc,” Nick Jr.’s hit TV series for preschoolers.

Through the madcap adventures of 6-year-old twins, Tommy and Talulah, “Tickety Toc” explores themes of teamwork, social responsibility, and problem solving as the twins work to “chime the time” and keep everything running like clockwork in Tickety Town.

If you have young Tick Tocketeers, they will not want to miss the special “Tickety Toc” holiday episode, “Christmas Present Time.”

Tickety Toc Christmas Present Time

As Christmas Eve falls upon Tickety Town and all the townsfolk are busy putting their final preparations together for a Tickety Christmas, a sudden crash landing by Santa throws everything into turmoil. The reindeer have caught a chill, Santa’s sleigh is broken, and all the presents are spread across Tickety Town. It’s up to Tommy and Tallulah to work together “quickity tickety” and come up with a plan to save Christmas before it’s too late!

The festive, fun-filled special also features a Christmas song that will have the whole family singing along.

Tickety Toc Christmas Present Time

Families coast-to-coast can join their favorite comedic twin stars, Tommy and Talulah, and all of their adorable Tickety Town friends for non-stop seasonal fun in “Christmas Present Time” premiering Saturday, December 14 on Nick Jr. If you miss the premiere, don’t worry, the holiday special will re-air on Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25. Check your local listings for show times.