Healthy Living, Parenting

Does Your Child Have a Cold or The Flu? How to Tell The Difference

From coast to coast, many hospital emergency rooms are teeming with people suffering from flu or flu-like symptoms, as experts warn this could be one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu and flu-like illnesses are widespread, now reaching most states; the outbreak is described as “high” in 26 states. The vast majority of these cases are from the influenza A H3N2 virus, which has been associated with a higher than normal number of hospitalizations and deaths among young children and senior citizens over the age of 65. 

Does Your Child Have a Cold or The Flu? How to Tell The Difference
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For parents sending their children to school during flu season, it may feel like you’re playing a game of Russian roulette with your child’s health. After all, children are one of the groups that have a high rate of influenza infection.  And with so many students in close contact throughout the school day, touching dirty doorknobs, sharing desks, and eating together at lunch time, it’s the ideal environment for an infectious illness to spread.

Many parents may not realize that the flu and a cold are not the same thing. They are caused by different viruses, and while they are both respiratory illnesses with a few similar symptoms, a cold is much milder than the flu, which can have serious complications. 

Typical flu symptoms include:

  • fever and/or chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • tiredness. 
  • In some cases, symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more likely to occur in children than grown-ups.

The flu ordinarily runs its course in a few days to a couple of weeks. But parents may not know that complications from the flu can land their child in the hospital, and in some cases, it can be fatal. Five-year-old Caroline Miller was one of the lucky ones; she survived, but her recovery from flu complications took several months.

Short of keeping your child in a bubble, the best way to protect your children – and yourself – is to get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a “Take 3” approach to fending off the flu – vaccination, healthy habits, and taking anti-viral drugs if prescribed by your doctor. Another resource for parents is Families Fighting Flu. This group has partnered with the CDC in its “Keep Flu Out of School” program to help raise awareness about the burden of influenza in schools. This helpful website and associated resources highlight ways to help schools minimize the potential for students to contract – or spread – illness this flu season.

If, despite your best efforts, your child does contract the flu, the CDC even offers useful advice to help you take care of your ailing student, and explains when it’s okay to send your child back to school. 

For more information, visit To learn more about helping your children avoid the flu bug at school, visit

Gift Ideas, Home, Star Wars

Personalized Gifts of Canvas and Wall Murals from Photowall

I have partnered with Photowall to bring you this review feature

Personalized Gifts of Canvas and Wall Murals from Photowall

It is no secret that personalized gifts are the most popular to give to those close to us. But, did you know that as long as you know someone’s interest you can create a stunning wall hanging or mural? Take a child you know already has plenty of toys and you want to get them something else, if they have a favorite movie or game just upload an image to Photowall and create them a canvas or wall mural. It is so easy and a hit even with 9 year olds like my son.

We have a Star Wars game room (see it here) so I uploaded the opening credit scroll to his favorite Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi and had it put on canvas. He loved it and now wants the scrolls to all of the Star Wars movies for the room.

It arrived in a box with assembly required. There was wood pieces and a bag of brackets. Those always seem so intimidating but the way that this frame assembles it is so easy and fool-proof! I had it together in under 15 minutes and was upstairs finding a spot of the wall.

Canvas wrap

assembling canvas board

There is a hanging bracket you easily install and use to get the right hang. The canvas is very good quality and we love it in the game room.

canvas from photowall (1)

Jedi canvas

There it hangs with the other Star Wars decor. It was such a great idea for Anthony to canvas the scrolls. I think it is a fun touch.

Photowall Star Wars

Promo Code

Want to create a canvas or wall mural? I have a savings code! Go ahead and browse Photowall’s unique designs or upload your own image and create a personalized product. At checkout you can enter the promo code: parentinghealthycampaign2018 and save 20% on your order. The code expires on February 19, 2018 so hurry! Shipping is free too!

Healthy Living, Parenting

Want Your Kids To Be Healthy? Lead By Example

be healthy
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You may not realize this, but as a parent, you have a considerable effect and impact on your child or children and the way they live. We’re not just talking about at a young age either. Your actions and decisions today will affect who they are tomorrow and ten years from now. They will learn from you, and while it’s not always the case, a child can grow up to be quite similar to their mother or father. This is partially nature and partially due to nurture. The way you choose to raise your children will have an impact.

One of the most basic examples would be views of the world. You might remember, not so long ago, that a video of a child who had been bullied went viral. He was recorded by his mother on camera asking why he didn’t have friends and why people bullied him. Almost immediately, the support came flooding in to help this child. Celebrities joined in the cause, and it soon became a story known across the world. Unfortunately, it was then revealed that the child was bullied because he used racist language in school. Users online investigated the family to discover that the mother had a history of using racist language online and supported the federal flag. Support for the child quickly deteriorated but a few were quick to point out that the child wasn’t to blame for the family they had grown up around. They were right of course. At a certain point, a kid has to learn right from wrong, but that’s difficult to do when the parents are setting a bad example.

The same is true for healthy living. If you don’t lead by example, you can’t expect children to know the importance of looking after their health. So, how do you do this?

Explore The Different Diet Options

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These days from vegan to vegetarian to avoiding gluten to avoiding dairy, there are various types of dietary options to explore that may be beneficial to your family. We’re not suggesting that you force your kids to eat a certain way or avoid certain foods. If you do this, you’re just asking for trouble, and you could ultimately find yourself in a position where they simply look elsewhere to get the chocolate or even the meat that they want.

Be that as it may, it’s important that kids know that they have different options for their diet and that, once they reach a certain age, you support a healthy decision. For instance, your child might decide to go vegan. If that’s the case, you don’t need to go vegan yourself. But you do need to make sure that you are buying them the right food and learning to prepare it.

Cut Out Bad Habits

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You would be amazed how early on kids start to notice certain habits that may be damaging your health. Take salt as an example. Do you regularly add salt to your meals at the dinner table? If so, your child may have noticed this. Particularly if your partner has addressed the issue in front of them. The child may realise that salt is bad for you or they may follow in the footsteps of their other parent and add more salt to their food. Don’t forget that at certain ages throughout development kids see you, their parents, as superheroes that can do no wrong. They could certainly follow in your footsteps and not for the right reasons.

A more extreme example would be alcohol or smoking. If you think that either of these behaviours is bad for your health be aware that doing it will normalise this for your children. They will grow up thinking that there’s nothing wrong with it and even if you warn them of the dangers at a certain age the child will realize you don’t have a leg stand on. The reason for this is the question: Why? Why can they have it and I can’t? If you’re still researching how to quit drinking alcohol or how to stop smoking, it may help you to know that there are various methods online that could help you out a lot. It’s certainly not easy, and it can take a lot of work. But it’s always great to be able to show your kids that you’ve quit an unhealthy habit so you can encourage them to do the same.

Make Fitness Family Time

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There is definitely a struggle right now for parents who are desperate to get kids outside, exercising in the fresh air. Kids want to play on their computers; they want to stay on their phones or just watch TV. With even more tech than ever before, you have to drag your kids out through the front door, but at a young age, you do have an incredible opportunity. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging kids to exercise when they are little.

Even weight training has been shown to have a positive impact on their growth and their strength as well as their motor skills. The important thing is to make sure that fitness is as much about spending time with the family as it is staying healthy.

It’s also worth noting that the exercise in question does not have to be particularly strenuous. Instead, it can be as simple as going for a walk. Take a drive and take the whole family for a couple of miles on a walk around a lake. You’ll get just as much of an impact from this as you do from hitting the gym for a couple of hours with the kids. But it’s far more enjoyable. Don’t forget; you can also plan your family trips around the possibility of encouraging fitness.

Heading out camping or going an adventure holiday will mean plenty of activities that get the blood pumping and the body sweating. It’s a healthy alternative to the typical trip to a theme park or a relaxing vacation on a beach.

Get Them Cooking

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A lot of parents focus on making sure that they are giving their kids at least one home cooked meal every day. Some will settle managing it once a week. However, it is important that you do cook for your kids as regularly as possible. Processed foods are your greatest enemy. Remember, food that is processed tends to be packed full of sugar to add flavor to something that uses the leftovers and the scraps.

By giving them a home cooked meal, you can use organic produce and make sure that you include the best meats. You can also prepare the food yourself so you’ll get to decide what you cook it in. A tip would be to drain out the fat that builds up when cooking meat on the hob.

As well as this, you do want to get kids involved in cooking as early as possible. By doing this, you can make sure that they are invested in what they are eating and what they are putting in their bodies. You’ll soon discover that they are eager to make sure that they are eating right as they learn from you what is good and bad for them. Believe it or not, this is a far better trick than trying to convince young children that vegetables will make them super strong or provide them with night vision like an army cadet. We hope you see now that there are various options of how to lead by example when teaching your kids to be healthy. It is the best way to get them on the right path, even from an early age.

Disney, Movies

10 Upcoming Disney Movies for 2018

10 Upcoming Disney movies in 2018

From Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Lucas Films there is a lot of fun and adventure heading to the big screen for 2018 and I have your sneak peek at them all right here!

February 16, 2018 – Marvel Studios – Black Panther (learn more)

Black Panther

March 9, 2018 – Walt Disney Studios – A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle In Time

May 4, 2018 – Marvel Studios – Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War

May 25, 2018 – LucasFilm – Solo: A Star Wars Story


June 15, 2018 – Disney/Pixar – Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2

July 6, 2018 – Marvel Studios – Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp

August 3, 2018 – Walt Disney Studios – Disney’s Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin

November 2, 2018 – Walt Disney Studios – The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

The Nutcracker

November 21, 2018 – WD Animation Studios – Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Wreck It Ralph

December 25, 2018 – Walt Disney Studios – Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns

Giveaways, Open Giveaways

Sunday Sweepstakes Link-Up January 14

Sweepstakes Sunday

Sometimes you just have to STOP, grab a glass of wine (or cocoa) and enter some sweepstakes. It is mindless, gratifying and you could end up winning some great prizes too!

Why not?

You can’t win anything if you don’t enter!

These are sweeps I have entered so far……

Let’s share! Link up the sweeps you find below

Link Up Sweepstakes you find!
Rules: Must put an end date or link will need to be deleted! This will help me keep this link up clean and updated for everyone.

Food, Recipes

Pressure Cooker Recipe – Chicken Mexican Soup

Pressure Cooker Recipe - Chicken Mexican Soup

Pressure Cooker Recipe – Chicken Mexican Soup

Let me start by saying that when you take a spoonful of this soup it is so full of flavor you can just skip the extra carbs in toppings. I love topping chilis and soups like this, but I found myself not craving a bit of cheese or sour cream making this a very low carb soup in 30 minutes!

Soup Recipe

Loaded with nothing but beans, veggies, chicken and low-sodium broth it was a hit in my home. I looked over several recipes online and every one I saw included some sort of ingredient I didn’t have so I opened my pantry and started throwing things into a pot and magic was made. More recipes like this HERE!

Instant Pot Recipe – Chicken Mexican Soup
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Instant Pot Recipe – Chicken Mexican Soup


  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 can (2 cups) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 standard can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 standard can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 standard can of low sodium kernal corn
  • 1 standard can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 small jar or about 1 cup of black bean salsa
  • 1 packet mild taco seasoning
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Open all canned ingredients. Rinse and drain any and add into Instant Pot
  2. Place chicken breasts in pot sprinkled with a little S & P.
  3. Pour salsa and taco seasoning in then the broth. Give it a stir around the chicken, coating the chicken well so it is submerged.
  4. Set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 3 minutes. I like to natural release for 10-15 minutes but you can release right away
  5. Remove Chicken and shred then place back in pot and turn on Keep Warm mode until ready to serve

Instant Pot Recipe - Mexican Chicken Soup

What did I use to make this recipe a success?

Pressure Cooker Recipe - Chicken Mexican Soup