Blog Posts by Parentables

  • No Time for Exercise? You'll Love This Trend

    Image: Ms. Phoenix/CC BY 2.0How many parents do you know who would like to be fitter -- but can never find time in the day to start a regular exercise routine? Or perhaps you have tried aerobics, spinning, CrossFit, Zumba, Yoga/Pilates...or any other exercise trend you can name...only to fade into defeat as you failed to achieve the improvements you hoped for.

    Read More: 3 Easy, Completely Doable Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Day

    You are not alone. Scientists have found that among people who stick to a supervised endurance training program, "20% of subjects show no change in fitness and 30% demonstrate no improvement in insulin sensitivity." And that is not to mention the stressed-out masses trying to hold jobs and family together, who never find time for any exercise -- at the cost of their own health.

    The newest trend in exercise may be worth a look. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is gaining credibility in scientific circles. You may have encountered the concept as "Fartlek training" if you participated

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  • A Magic Parenting Word that Can Help Us All

    Photo: Katherine MartinkoI have come to think that parents are the most competitive creatures in the world. Parents are constantly comparing their children's development to other kids' progress. Parents are very possessive about their preferred child-raising techniques and tend to judge others for choosing different styles of upbringing. Parents worry excessively if their kids aren't meeting whatever milestones are considered to be the norm and are quick to use labels for why a child isn't precisely "on track."

    Read More: Adjust Your Parenting Style to Suit Your Child's Personality

    Some are hands-on, some are hands-off, some love discipline, some prefer freedom. It's a real Wild West of child-raising philosophies out there, so it's no wonder it feels like a giant competition all the time - to see whose kid turns out "best."

    All this competitiveness is utterly ridiculous because there's no way every child can be assessed by the same criteria, nor will every child respond identically to the same upbringing. As any

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  • What to Do when You're Reaching Your Breaking Point

    Image: Ben Werdmuller/Creative CommonsToday is one of those days that as soon as I woke up, I already felt completely overwhelmed. I knew my to-do list was already excessively long, I was anxious about the rain that is headed our way because our basement hasn't stopped flooding yet from the last two rain storms we've had this week, and it's my son's seventh birthday. Mom bloggers, and especially ones that double as party planners, are supposed to have balloons ready to burst through the bedroom door when their child opens it the morning of their birthday, aren't they? Instead, last night my son asked me what I was bringing in to his class today and inside my head, I said, "Oh crap. I hadn't planned on that."

    Read More: 5 Fast Stress Busters for Instant Relaxation

    Doing it All
    It's not that I hadn't thought about his birthday at all. We have dinner plans with a friend to celebrate tonight, and I tried to get my super sports fan tickets to the Stanley Cup finals. If I hadn't been distracted by the contractor (our kitchen is

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  • 5 Unconventional Weight Loss Tips that Really Work

    Photo: Scott / Creative CommonsI recently lost 20 pounds and people have been curious about how I did it. Normally you think the answer would have to do with diet and exercise, am I right? This time I did things a little differently. The process was easier, and I believe my weight loss has the potential to last for the rest of my life. Here's how you can lose weight and keep it off.

    1. Journal your emotions and problems on paper.
    Here's the situation. Your boss won't get off your back, the kids are running around like lunatics, the dog rolled in a dead animal, and your mood is getting blacker by the second. You just can't deal with all this nonsense. Rather than do anything about any of it, you pull a bag of chips out of the cabinet, park your butt on the couch, and flip on the TV.

    Read More: 5 Surprising Secrets of People Who Have Extraordinary Willpower

    This is a seriously common scenario. We feel crushing pressure or mounting annoyance, and our response is to retreat inside a box of doughnuts. If you're trying

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  • 5 Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Grocery Store (For Real!)

    Image: qmnonic/Creative CommonsGrocery shopping is not one of my favorite tasks despite the fact that my husband seems to think it is my version of a day at the spa because it takes me so long to accomplish on a typical Saturday afternoon.

    Read More: 7 Tips for Navigating the Grocery Store, Stocking the Pantry, and Saving Money

    I generally leave the kids behind because well, you all know why. There is nothing fun about grocery shopping with your kids. However, yesterday I had no choice but to bring them with me on an after school shopping trip because we were desperately in need of a few things, and as we were checking out I thought to myself, "Grocery shopping is a really good thing for kids to do."

    Read More: Easy Steps to Reduce Your Grocery Bill by 40 Percent

    Now, don't get me wrong, if you've got really little ones, by all means wait until your partner is home, hire a sitter, or beg your neighbors to watch them, but if you've got school-aged kids the grocery store is a place they should visit at least every once in

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  • Glued to the Premiere of the Bachelorette...Hanging On to Love on TV

    Photo: Cogdogblog/ Creative CommonsI am a closet romantic. I watch every season of the Bachelor, cursing out the contestants for the false pretense they don't see right in front of them. Of course my husband would argue the whole thing is a false pretense.

    Read More: Made for TV Products My Kids Just Have to Have

    And in TV-land, I am a total sucker for old flames whose romances seem doomed to fail. I kept pulling for Ross and Rachel, even as they cycled through relationships with partners who were probably better for both of them. And years after everyone else on ER had moved on, I was still holding out hope for George Clooney and Julianna Margulies. I must not have been alone, because in the end we find out they've moved to Seattle and are raising a family.

    Read More: MTV's Teen Mom Shows Viwers What It's Like to be Young, Poor, Pregnant...Then Famous

    In real life, the only reunions with old flames I've experienced have been friendly and a little awkward, so I'm pretty sure I learned this storyline from television.

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  • Michelle Duggar on Healthy Changes for the Whole Family

    Photo copyright DCLQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: Has Jim Bob's change to a healthier lifestyle affected mealtime for the rest of the family?

    Jim Bob is definitely eating a lot more fresh vegetables, fish and chicken and trying to stay away from fried foods. He's really eating smaller portions and avoiding the junk food. The family's food has changed a lot along with Jim Bob's. My kids really love fresh vegetables and fruit. When we can keep it in the house and get it at a good price, we really stock up. Right now, we have our whole counter and refrigerator full of produce that we were able to get really reasonably priced at the store and at the farmers' market. We're trying to get healthier in our choices by eating more fresh stuff. Then if we can't get fresh, I buy frozen because that's next to the best in the fruits and veggies category.

    Read More: Why the Duggars Are Embracing Raw Food

    Our new garden is another step in the right direction. We have tried to garden before and never

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  • 10 Ways to Save on Father's Day Gifts

    With Father's Day coming up this weekend, many are scrambling their pennies together to find a gift worthy of the special guy in their life, but you don't have to spend a lot of money to show dear old dad how much you care. Here are ten ways to give dad a great gift without having to spend more than you can afford.

    Read More: Great Gifts for Awesome Dads

    1. Unplug and Head for the Hills

    family hiking
    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    One of the best gifts you can give to dad is your undivided attention. Turn off the cell phones, video games, computers, and televisions, and pack the family into the car for a trip to the local hiking trails or beach for some quality family time without any distraction. Other than the gas money to get you all there, this gift is free and is sure to be a day that he'll remember forever.

    Read More: 10 DIY Father's Day Gifts for Every Kind of Dad

    2. Peace and Quiet

    dad relaxing
    Photo Credit: Stuart O'Sullivan/Getty Images

    What would dad do if he had a block of time to himself? Read a book?

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  • 5 Surprising Secrets of People Who Have Extraordinary Willpower

    Photo: Alaskan Dude / Creative CommonsWillpower: I've spent much of my life curious about why some people have it, and some people don't. Some people say they're going to lose 10 pounds, and they do. No struggle. No yo-yo. They simply obey their own minds. Some people decide on an early bedtime so they can get up early. And they do! No arguing with themselves over getting into bed at night, and no snooze-alarm-smack-fest in the morning.

    The rest of us struggle to some degree. Should I have the fries or the salad? I'll go to bed, but just one more sitcom episode first. We argue with ourselves, and we feel like we're two different people living in the same body. It seems like the angel and the devil on our shoulders are in cahoots to keep us going in circles.

    Finally, after more than two years of research, I cracked the code. I lost 20 pounds. If I stay up late, it's because I've chosen to do work - not because I'm mindlessly surfing on the computer. And about that work - it's work that I love, not work that I do because I

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  • 5 Smart Date Night Ideas for when You Can't Afford an Expensive Dinner

    Photo: Bicycle Bob/ Creative CommonsI love cozy nights, walking in sock feet from the dinner table to the couch to watch movies or snuggle and talk. After darting around to work events all week, volunteering at school and running to soccer practices, most of the time I just want to stay home.

    Read More: Schedule a Regular Date Night with Your Sweetie

    Since Trey and I blended our families five and a half years ago, he's been resolute about the necessity of date nights. No excuses, once a week. Over the years I've become a believer. Date nights are vital to our marriage. We reconnect and talk to each other without our conversation being drowned out by whining. Yes, we talk about the kids, but we also talk about our future and our work. Here are five tips for figuring out date nights even when the odds are stacked against you.

    Read More: 10 Cheap and Easy Kid-Free Date Night Ideas

    1. Consider a babysitting swap. If a few willing girlfriends team up, you can alternate who gets to stay home with the kids and who goes out.

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