Is It Okay for a Mom to #BreakTheInternet?

Written on November 25, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Celebrity provocateur Kim Kardashian hoped to create an earth-shattering event when she posed for naked pictures in an attempt to #BreakTheInternet. (Warning: That hot link goes to her Paper Magazine spread, which includes nude photographs.) Her ample derriere was widely posted throughout cyberspace. Reactions seemed to range from disinterest to disbelief and astonishment.

Many people voiced concern about her seeming lack of seriousness related to her role as a mom and the potential long-lasting effects of images like this on her daughter. “Why would a mother want to pose like that?” some asked.

Yes, she is a mother. She is also being mothered by a woman who is her manager and obviously supportive of her recent photo spread.

For me, the underlying issue is not about her being open to displaying herself as a sexual being. She has the right to pose in any way that she chooses. There has not been any suggestion that she is abusive or negligent to her adorable daughter. The exhaustion of motherhood, with its additional responsibilities and time demands, can impact intimacy and sexual desire. Those are two situations that require process and communication—not a photo shoot.

The real issue is the way the media drives our consumption of knowledge around individuals who seemingly do not inject any sense of purpose or additional meaning into our lives. Enough. How great would it be if we could #BreakTheInternet with examples of kindness, generosity and overall goodness?

The positive news: According to the Wall Street Journal, the Rosetta spacecraft’s landing on a comet had more tweets then a champagne glass landing on Kim Kardashian’s rear. Score one for the comet and zero for Kim Kardashian. And that is really big, big, big news.

What do you think about Kim Kardashian’s attempt to break the Internet? Post a comment below and let us know.
 Janet Taylor, MD, MPH, a mother of four, is a psychiatrist in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @drjanet. Read more of her posts here.

Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email her at askdrjanet@familycircle.com.

 


The Most Important Thing You Can Teach Your Daughter

Written on November 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm , by

Being the parent of a teen girl has never been easy. But being a parent of a teen girl in this gadget-driven, video-vixen, text-versus-talk culture can be monumentally difficult. In this guest post, Sophia A. Nelson, author of The Woman Code: Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life, explains how to rise above pop culture, catty friends and blaring headphones to give your daughter the tools she needs to succeed.

As an aunt of one tween (age 12) and a bona fide teen (age 16), I take some pride in being very in touch with this new generation (Generation Text, Generation Connection or, more fondly, Gen Y) of young ladies. As a speaker, the author of two successful books about women, and a coach for women in corporate America, faith-based communities and universities, I cannot stress enough how important it is for us as moms, aunts, mentors and role models to boldly and honestly take back our girls by teaching them to know their value.

Of all the modern things we struggle with as women of our time, variations on one age-old question still determine how far we will go in life: “Am I good enough?” or “Can I be enough?” or “Am I worth enough?” Our girls struggle with this even more. They are constantly bombarded with images of beauty, overt sensuality and celebrities who make it to the top by way of YouTube—or worse. They experience the world far differently from us. And it’s up to us to be the bridge over turbulent waters to help keep them centered and focused on what matters most: their value.

How? you ask. It’s really simple.

We have got to reengage in old-fashioned conversation (that means speaking and eye-to-eye connecting) with our daughters. Make them put the gadgets down. We have to talk, not text. We have to stop trying to be a friend and start being what our moms and grandmoms were to us: teachers, advisors, protectors and disciplinarians without apology.

Here are five keys I use with my own nieces, and that I write about in The Woman Code. When put into practice, they shift the energy in our relationships as older women connecting with the next generation of young women.

1. Value yourself. Yes, we can tell our girls, daughters and nieces that their value is not defined on a TV set, a YouTube video or social media. We can drill home that it is defined from within. But know that they are also watching how YOU value yourself. So make sure you are teaching and leading by example.

2. Dare to engage in courageous conversations. Don’t duck the hard issues young girls face today. Be open and be willing to listen. You are the adult. Make sure they know you are there to protect and love them, and that you actually were their age once. It’s all about connection and conversation.

3. Teach your daughters to be authentic. Let them know who proper role models are: women like first lady Michelle Obama or singer Carrie Underwood. Teach them to live from their gifts from the inside out, not to be part of a crowd or a follower.

4. Share with your daughters the power of choosing the right friends early in life. I call it “know your front row.” If you see your daughters with the wrong crowd, intervene. Explain why these friends are not going to help them to win in life. Stress the importance of not engaging in gossip, bullying other girls or allowing themselves to be bullied. This is a favorite pastime of girls—tearing down other girls. And it causes great damage for years to come.

5. Prepare them to guard their hearts—not gate them, but protect them so that they will love the right men, surround themselves with the right friends and honor their deepest desires for marriage and family later in life.

 

Sophia A. Nelson is an award-winning author and journalist. She is a noted TV personality and thought leader on all things women. Her new book, The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life, is now in stores everywhere. You can tweet her @iamsophianelson.


Clean Your Home for the Holidays in Four Steps

Written on November 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm , by

With November upon us, we’re about to enter prime party season—you know, that time of year when guests are coming over and your home needs to look its holiday finest. No worries! Study up on these quick-clean tips, and your space will be on its way to sparkling in no time.

De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter. Before you even pick up a mop or vacuum, best to clear off any surfaces that look messy. Grab a basket or bin and go through the rooms where you’ll be entertaining, collect out-of-place items and stash them in a closet for the time being. Target the coffee table in the family room, and get rid of catalogs and old magazines. Wipe down your downstairs bathroom vanity. Clear countertops are a must in the kitchen, and never leave pots or pans in the sink for company to see. Load and run the dishwasher before the party, even if you don’t have the chance to put everything away. The latest machines, including Samsung’s new Chef Collection model, are whisper-quiet and could even be run during the festivities if need be.

Shine surfaces in high-traffic areas. Guests tend to congregate in a few key places during get-togethers: the kitchen, the family room, the dining area. Whatever your cleaning weapon of choice—microfiber cloth and hot soapy water, disposable wipes or all-purpose cleaner and a rag—the process is the same. You want to focus on any visible surface where dust and grime build up. In the kitchen, run a disinfectant over the counters, stove, sink and island. Do the same in the powder room, wiping the sink, faucet and toilet handle. Spend a little time on the toilet, swishing the bowl with a long-handled brush and disinfecting the seat. Dust off the coffee and side tables in the family room, and make sure you wipe down the dinner table before you set it or lay out a spread of food. Be sure to use clean cloths each time you attack a new surface to avoid cross-contamination. Some pro cleaners even designate particular rags or cloths for certain rooms or jobs—a few for the bathroom, a few for the kitchen and so on.

Fake it till you make it. If you have enough time to mop the floors and dust off all your downstairs light fixtures, ceiling fans and baseboards/moldings, by all means do it. But if you can’t, your best recourse is to vacuum area rugs and give the kitchen floor a quick once-over with a wet mop or steamer. Fluff pillows and cushions on the sofa, and buff away fingerprints on stainless-steel appliances and streaky mirrors. Put out fresh hand towels and a candle in the powder room. Empty the trashcans. It’s all about the illusion of tidiness—that is, until you can actually take the time to do a deep clean, post-party.

Make it fun. Cleaning is a chore, yes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complete drudgery. Bust out that wireless speaker before the party starts, and check out one of the many cleaning playlists on Spotify. Or crank your own. Make it a point to get through all the songs before you stop.

This post was sponsored by Samsung.  Opinions/content are Family Circle editorial. 


Five Top Parks for Family-Friendly Hikes

Written on November 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm , by

In honor of National Take a Hike Day, we’ve rounded up the top five family-friendly (and warmer-weather!) trail destinations with the help of Foursquare. Users rated the best spots across the country for lacing up your boots and having a good time hitting the trail. Our picks from among those top spots promise tons of picturesque views and lots of entertainment for parents and kids alike, thanks to sights that are a history lesson (see #2), vocab booster (find out what a hoodoo is in #3) and solid workout.

 

View of Stone Mountain in Georgia#5: Stone Mountain Park, Stone Mountain, GA

You’ll trek through woods, along lakeshores, past granite slopes, and by wildflowers on various routes in this park. Opt for the 1-mile walk to the top of the mountain and you’ll get a stunning glimpse of downtown Atlanta and the North Georgia mountains, plus there’s a snack bar and souvenir shop at the summit. After taking a stroll, head to The Great Barn, which has slides and trampolines for even more active fun.

 

View of Lake Austin#4: Covert Park at Mount Bonnell, Austin, TX

You’ll have to climb steep stairs to reach the top of this park, at approximately 775 feet above sea level, but the breathtaking sight of Lake Austin (a portion of the Colorado River) makes it totally worth it, as does the view of the city skyline on your way up. Bring a packed lunch as a reward for your (and your teens’) hard work, or head up later in the day for an ideal seat to watch the sunset.

 

View from the trails at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah#3: Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon, UT

Choose between easy, moderate or strenuous trails (for the super-fit family), each of which boasts Douglas fir and spruce forests, mossy overhangs and tall, natural rock columns called hoodoos. Turn your one-day trek into an overnight stay and you can also take a gorgeous moonlight hike, go on a horseback ride or stargaze with telescopes.

 

View on Lands End hike#2: Lands End, San Francisco, CA

You’ll want to start your journey at the Lands End Lookout—the park’s new visitor center, complete with historical background on this prime Bay Area locale. Then, stroll up the shoreline for photo opps of the Golden Gate Bridge, old shipwrecks and the Sutro Baths—ruins of large, privately owned swimming pools built in the 19th century.

 

View of the LA basin#1: Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA

With a whopping 53 miles of trails, you’ll never get bored. But for the best scenic route, start at the Griffith Observatory parking lot and climb to Mount Hollywood, the park’s highest point, where you can see the entire LA basin. You can also wander to the famous Hollywood sign for a frame-worthy family pic or make a pit stop at the LA Zoo.

Can’t get to any of these locales? Just slip into your sneaks and take a long walk in your own neighborhood. You’ll still burn calories and enjoy the mood-boosting benefits.

Got a favorite hiking spot of your own? Post a comment below and tell us what it is.

Photos courtesy of Foursquare


You Make It, We Post It!

Written on November 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm , by

This week’s featured chef is Instagram user @tina1sl who made our Cranberry-Glazed Turkey Breast with Roasted Fingerlings, Parsnips and Baby Carrots!

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FAMILYCIRCLEFOOD.

Categories: Made-It Monday | Tags:
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Putting an End to Negative Self-Talk in Kids

Written on November 11, 2014 at 5:51 pm , by

A little negativity can go a long way. So when you’ve got a kid who is constantly down on himself, getting him to listen to a positive perspective can seem like an impossible task. A few days ago, the following email from a parent with just this problem landed in the inbox of our parenting expert, Rosalind Wiseman. Here’s her advice for silencing negative self-talk.

 

Q. My 10 year-old son has such a defeatist attitude. He’s always saying, “I’m no good at this or I’m no good at that.” His so-called teammates and friends blame him when they lose games and they never invite him to anything after school. I always struggle to think of the right things to say that my son will actually take to heart. How can I help him?

A. I understand how frustrating this is for so many parents. You feel like there’s nothing you can say to make it better. And if you don’t say, “No honey, you’re great!” you worry that it sounds like you agree with him. So here are my suggestions.

1. Stop using “You’re so great” as your go-to response. It comes across as not listening to your child. Instead, what I find more helpful is to say something like this:

You: I’m really sorry. Will you tell me a little more about why you’re feeling this way? Are there specific things you’re feeling down about?
Your child: I’m so slow. I get teased all the time because I’m the slowest kid in the world. No one has ever been as slow as me in the history of my school.
You: Wow, that’s really hard. I can imagine how annoying that is because it’s not like you want to be slow, and then the kids who tease you make it even worse. There are a couple of things I want you to just consider, not necessarily agree with, but just consider. No one can be good at everything. But the same is true the other way. No one is bad at everything either. I want to make a list of the things you’re good at and the things you’re not so good at. Then you can choose if you want to work on something on your list you want to get better at. Like if you want to get better at running, you can work on that.

2. Consider who’s inspiring these comments. Since classmates or other kids on the team are feeding negative comments to your kid, you might add something like this:

“I know it’s a lot to think about but I want to talk about what’s happening with your friends too. If other kids are mean to you, there are two ways I think you can handle it. Maybe you can think of more. You can laugh it off. Like, if kids on the basketball or track team are teasing you because you’re not as fast as them, you could say: ‘Yes, I’m really slow.’ Sometimes admitting it takes away some of the teasers’ power. Or you could choose not to run in any races or play in any games until you feel more confident. What do you think is a good way to handle it?”

Then listen to your child as he thinks through what he wants to do to have a little control and dignity in this situation.

3. Think about the benefits of being left out here. On the issue of those boys not inviting your son to things: take a step back. I know it feels bad when other children don’t include your child. However, in this case, do you want your son to be in a situation where they could easily ridicule him under the guise of joking around and playing? Overall, what he needs to do is work on the things he identifies for himself that he wants to get better at and then choose genuine friends who make him feel good instead of tearing him down. Even having one friend who treats him well is way better than hanging out with a group of kids who make him feel bad.

How would you handle a kid who’s down on himself? Post a comment and tell me.

Rosalind Wiseman is the author of the new best seller Masterminds and Wingmen as well as Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com. Read more of Rosalind’s parenting advice here

Do you have a parenting question? Email askrosalind@familycircle.com.

 

 


You Make It, We Post It!

Written on November 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm , by

This week’s featured chef is Instagram user @tjwookiee who made our Root Beer Pulled Chicken!

 Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FAMILYCIRCLEFOOD.

Categories: Made-It Monday | Tags:
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When Dads Need Help Understanding Tween Girls

Written on November 3, 2014 at 10:24 am , by

Carpools are supposed to make everyone’s lives easier, but this one ride may have caused more trouble than it was worth. Check out our parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman’s correspondence with a mom who was upset by a dad who made her daughter feel like an outsider.

Dear Rosalind,

The father on carpool duty picked up my daughter and his from dance class and then took them to a party my daughter wasn’t invited to. When he dropped his daughter off, the windows opened, everyone saw my girl and she was humiliated. She is rightfully questioning whether this girl is a thoughtful friend, while I’m left wondering how to talk to the parents about this so the same situation doesn’t happen again. It’s hard enough to navigate new friendships and the party circuit without parents undermining your kid.

Signed,
Disappointed by Carpool Dad

 

Hi, Disappointed,

I am not excusing his behavior, but I always try to understand why a parent would do something that’s insensitive to a child. Once I understand it, it’s easier to figure out how to talk to the parent so it doesn’t happen again.

In this case, I am guessing that the dad didn’t have a clue what was going on until it was unfolding. Even if he did, he probably did what a lot of us do in awkward social situations: pretend it’s not happening. Think about it from his perspective. He’s picking up carpool and when he realizes that your daughter isn’t invited, he’s between a rock and a hard place. If he had called you from the car, that would have been worse for your daughter. If he hadn’t put her in his car, he would have had to leave her at practice. So my question to you is: What would you have liked him to do?

And regarding your daughter’s friends who attended the party, unless they’ve been excluding her in other ways, they could have felt awkward about the whole thing too. I totally understand that your daughter felt terrible and left out. However, I think this is one of those times (unless there is a pattern where the girls are being mean to her) when you acknowledge how crappy the situation is but she’s strong enough to feel those bad feelings, admit them and then move on.

Look forward to hearing back from you and I hope at least some of my advice is helpful.

Best,
Rosalind 

 

Dear Rosalind:

Ideally, I would have liked the father to bring my daughter home before dropping off his daughter at the party. We have seven elementary schools that feed into three middle schools, so there are new faces right now, and new friendships forming/shifting. My daughter was upset not to be invited, but not devastated. She didn’t think much of her friend going on and on about the party in the carpool ride. She interpreted that as rudeness and thought her friend should know better. She was most embarrassed by being seen in the car by friends she did know who were already at the party. She hasn’t let it bother her since and has moved on—a good sign.

Anyway, I resolved this with the parents, by text, and I’ll paraphrase.

Me: With that party, last week was rough on my daughter, so just wanted to let you know that it’s not a problem to shoot me a text or call, even last minute, if it’s not convenient to bring her home, or if plans change, it’s easy for me to come down to the dance studio. I know how quickly plans change with tweens on a Friday evening!

Other mom: I’m so sorry about that. I was away when the last minute request came for my daughter to go to the party and I was trying to communicate everything to my husband but was busy and didn’t think about all the implications.

Me: I absolutely know there was no ill intention, just wanted us all on the same page for the carpool to work for all the girls.

 

Now, here’s my bottom line after the back-and-forth with this mom: What I love about this parent is that she’s role modeling appropriate involvement in her tween daughter’s life. She recognizes her daughter was upset but not devastated. She reaches out to the other parent to share her concern but is clear about wanting to move forward for all the girls. The only thing I would like even more is if the dad was involved as well. We need to bring dads into these situations more often, especially when they are directly involved, as this dad was. I get that this can be hard, but I’d like to encourage dads to be involved in the social dynamics that can come up.

How would you handle this carpool conundrum? Post a comment and tell me.

Rosalind Wiseman is the author of the new best seller Masterminds and Wingmen as well as Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com. Read more of Rosalind’s parenting advice here

Do you have a parenting question? Email askrosalind@familycircle.com.

 


Best-Dressed Pets Contest Official Rules

Written on October 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm , by

Official Rules

Void outside the 50 United States, District of Columbia and where prohibited. Do not proceed to enter if you are not at least 21 years of age and a legal resident of, and located within, one of the 50 United States, or the District of Columbia, at the time of entry. By participating, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this contest.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR ABILITY TO WIN.

CONTEST PERIOD:  Best Dressed Pets Contest (“Contest”) begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (“E.T.”) on September 2, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on November 2, 2014 (“Contest Period”).

SPONSOR:  Meredith Corporation, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa (“Sponsor”).

HOW TO ENTER:  During the Contest Period, there are two (2) ways to enter:

1)    Via Instagram: Using your web-enabled mobile device, launch the Instagram Application and follow FamilyCircleMag on Instagram or visit instagram.com/familycirclemag in an Internet browser to locate and follow “FamilyCircleMag” Then, using your mobile device, capture and upload one (1) photo of your pet dressed up to Instagram and include the hashtag #FAMILYCIRCLEPETSCONTEST to receive one (1) entry (“Entry”);

2)    OR Via Email: Send one (1) photo of your pet dressed up to pets@familycircle.com to receive one (1) entry (“Entry”).

There is no cost to enter. Entries are final upon submission.  Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means or practices, or by any means which subvert the entry process will be void. All Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. E.T. on November 2, 2014 to be eligible. Entries will not be acknowledged or returned.

Entry may not contain, as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, any content that:

  • is sexually explicit or suggestive; unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic; contains nudity;
  • promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing); promotes any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous; promotes any particular political agenda or message;
  • is obscene or offensive; endorses any form of hate or hate group; appears to duplicate any other submitted Entries;
  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about other people or companies;
  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others, without permission;
  • contains any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses;
  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media), without permission;
  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person, including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead, without permission;
  • contains look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures, living or dead;
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will to which Sponsor wishes to associate; and/or
  • violates any law.

Entry must be the original, unprofessional work of the entrant, may not have been previously published, may not have won previous awards, and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity.  If the Entry contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant, and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the Entry, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Entry by Sponsor in the manner set forth in these Official Rules, including, without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who appears in or is identifiable in the Entry. Sponsor reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to Sponsor from any entrant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render Entry null and void.  By submitting an Entry, entrant warrants and represents that he/she and any persons appearing or who are identifiable in the Entry consent to the submission and use of the Entry in the Contest and to its use as otherwise set forth herein. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to verify any element of any Entry or related materials and to disqualify any entrant whose participation may subject the Contest, Sponsor, or Sponsor’s advertisers, clients, or customers to controversy, negative publicity, scorn, or ridicule.

By submitting your Entry, you agree that your Entry conforms to these Official Rules and that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify your Entry for any reason, including if it determines, in its sole discretion, that your Entry fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion.

By submitting an Entry, entrant hereby grants permission for the Entry to be posted at http://www.familycircle.com or other websites. Entrant agrees that Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of Entries by third parties. Released Parties do not guarantee the posting of any Entry and reserve the right to remove any posted Entry at any time whatsoever and/or for any reason. Entrants agree that they will not use the Entry for any other purpose, including, without limitation, posting the Entry to any online social networks, without the express consent of Sponsor in each instance.

This CONTEST is IN NO WAY sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated WITH INSTAGRAM. BY ENTERING, You UNDERSTAND YOU are providing your information TO Sponsor and not to INSTAGRAM.

LIMIT:  One (1) Entry per person and per email address and per Instagram account throughout the Contest Period, regardless of method of entry.   Entries received from any person, email address, Instagram account in excess of the stated limitation will be void. You may only use one (1) email address and one (1) Instagram account to enter this Contest.

ELIGIBILITY: This Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, 21 years of age or older. Employees of Sponsor, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Contest and/or their respective parents, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members (regardless of where they reside) or household members, whether or not related, are not eligible to enter or win. “Immediate family members” shall mean spouses, parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, and their respective spouses.  “Household members” shall mean people who share the same residence at least three months a year.

WINNER DETERMINATION:

 

Judging: On or about 11/7/14, a panel of qualified judges selected by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, will judge all eligible Entries received throughout the Contest Period based on the following criteria: Creativity (40%), Uniqueness (30%) and Adherence to Contest Theme (30%). The thirty (30) Entries with the highest total scores will be deemed potential finalists and will advance to the voting round. In the event of a tie, an additional, tie-breaking judge will judge the tied Entries based on the criteria above to determine the potential finalist. Sponsor reserves the right to select fewer than thirty (30) potential finalists if, it determines in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries.

 

Potential finalists will be notified via email, phone, mail or Instagram and may be required to complete and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Ownership, IRS W9 form, License of Work and Release of Liability/Publicity within ten (10) days of date of notification or an alternate finalist may be notified. If a potential finalist is notified via Instagram, he/she must follow the instructions provided by Sponsor to contact and provide Sponsor with his/her full and complete personal information. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a finalist notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact a potential finalist or a potential finalist is not in compliance with these Official Rules, an alternate finalist will be notified at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

 

Voting Round: From 12:00 a.m. E.T. on November 10, 2014 to 11:59 p.m.  E.T. on November 14, 2014 (“Voting Period”), the thirty (30) finalist Entries will be posted on Facebook for public voting.  Limit one (1) vote per person and per Facebook account per day throughout the Voting Period.  The three (3) finalist Entries with the highest total number of valid votes will be deemed the winners, subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. In the event of a tie in the Voting Period, the finalist Entry among the tied Entries with the highest score in Creativity from the judging round will be deemed the winner, subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. All results are unofficial until verified by Sponsor.

 

VOTE COUNTS DISPLAYED ONLINE MAY NOT BE ACCURATE. RESULTS ARE UNOFFICIAL UNTIL ALL ONLINE VOTES HAVE BEEN TALLIED AND VERIFIED BY SPONSOR. VOTES RECEIVED IN EXCESS OF THE STATED LIMITATION WILL BE VOID. ENTRANTS ARE PROHIBITED FROM OBTAINING VOTES BY ANY FRAUDULENT OR INAPPROPRIATE MEANS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, OFFERING PRIZES OR OTHER INDUCEMENTS TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, AS DETERMINED BY THE SPONSOR IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION.

 

PRIZES (3): Grand Prize (1): A $1,000 Petco Gift Card; Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $1,000. Second Place Prize (1): A $500 Petco Gift Card; Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $500. Third Place Prize (1): A $200 Petco Gift Card; Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $200. Total ARV of all prizes: $1,700. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by Sponsor. Winners may not substitute, assign or transfer a prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided. Gift cards are subject to certain terms and conditions as specified by issuer.  The awarding of any prize is contingent upon full compliance with these Official Rules. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

 

PRIVACY:   When you enter the Contest, we collect personally identifying information about you, including your name, complete mailing address, and email address. Your information will not be sold or rented to third parties. Entrants must fully complete and submit all non-optional data requested on the entry form to be eligible. Incomplete Entries are void. Entrants may be given the option to receive commercial e-mails from Sponsor; however, such emails are optional. Eligibility to participate in the Contest is not dependent upon entrant’s consent to receive e-mails and such consent will not affect entrant’s ability to win. For more information about how Sponsor uses the information you provide, see Sponsor’s privacy policy at http://www.meredith.com/privacy.html.  IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SHARE YOUR INFORMATION, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST.

 

LICENSE FOR USE OF ENTRIES: By submitting an Entry, each entrant grants, and represents and warrants that the entrant has the rights and authority necessary to grant, Sponsor an irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully sublicensable license and right to exploit, edit, modify, and distribute the Entry and all elements of such Entry, including, without limitation, the photo and the likenesses of any pets, individuals and locations embodied therein, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity without compensation, permission or notification to entrant or any third party.

 

ARBITRATION: Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this Contest, entrant agrees that:  (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and exclusively by final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and held at a AAA regional office in New York, NY; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages including attorney’s fees or any other damages, other than for entrant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this Contest), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

 

RELEASES:  By participating in this Contest, entrants agree to release Sponsor, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., Instagram and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Contest and each of their respective parents, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees, as well as each of their respective successors, representatives and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any and all actions, claims, injury, loss or damage arising in any manner, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation in this Contest and/or acceptance or use of any prize.

 

MISCELLANEOUS: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, undelivered, garbled or misdirected Entries, photos, hashtags, and/or votes; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing of Entries, photos or hashtags, the announcement of the prizes, the tabulation of votes, or in any Contest-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to entrants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or use of the website.  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the web site or otherwise in violation of these Official Rules. In the event of cancellation or termination, Sponsor reserves the right to determine the potential finalists and/or potential winners from among all eligible, non-suspect Entries received prior to date of cancellation or termination using the judging criteria detailed herein.  In the event of a dispute regarding online entry, Entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail account associated with the Entry and he/she must comply with these Official Rules.  The authorized account holder is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE  LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

 

Except where prohibited by law, entry constitutes permission to use each entrant’s name, hometown (city and state), voice, biographical information, likeness, photograph and any statements regarding this Contest in all media now known or hereafter discovered, for any purpose, including without limitation, in connection with, and to promote, market or advertise, the Contest, in whole or in part, without review, approval, credit or attribution, notification or payment from or to entrant or any person or entity, worldwide, in perpetuity, or on a winners’ list, if applicable. Contest is subject to all applicable U. S. federal, state and local laws and regulations.

 

WINNERS’ NAMES: For winners’ names, available after November 24, 2014, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winners’ List, Best Dressed Pets Contest, 805 Third Avenue, c/o Family Circle, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10022.

 

 

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Save Money on Eyeglasses

Written on October 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm , by

 

Right after my son Cole got his driver’s license, he realized glasses were a must if he wanted to drive after dark. Dutifully, I took him to the eye doctor, and an hour later, he had picked out great-looking frames. Unfortunately, I was down hundreds of dollars. Next time, buying online will be a no-brainer. Should anyone in your family need glasses or contact lenses, take advantage of my research.

Warby Parker: If you question the whole buying-without-trying thing, Warby Parker’s Home Try-On kit is the answer. Choose any five pairs of the company’s fun, fashion-forward frames and they’ll ship them to you—free—in an easy-to-return postage-paid package. If something appeals to you, just upload a prescription and order your specs. Most eyeglasses run $95 per pair. (Progressives cost more.) Plus, through the Buy A Pair, Give A Pair program, glasses are donated to people in need (a million pairs and counting). warbyparker.com

EyeBuyDirect: This site boasts a surprisingly large selection of eyeglasses under $10—from there, you add prescription lenses, special coatings for computer and gaming use and other options. (Also worth noting: There are over 200 frames specifically made for kids.) The nifty EyeTry tool allows you to upload a photo, then virtually play around with and compare frames ad infinitum. eyebuydirect.com 

Goggles4U.com: Among the many basic frames are various chichi designer options (hello, Calvin Klein, Nicole Miller, Versace) and any kind of lens you could want: distance, reading, bifocal and progressive. You can get a pair of prescription glasses delivered for under $15—at that price, consider stocking up to soften the blow against seemingly inevitable loss or breakage . goggles4U.com

Glasses.com: When only big-name frames will do, there’s a huge selection of more than 90 well-known brands. Ray-Ban, Oakley, Smith Optics and similar high-end picks still don’t come cheap, but thanks to the Unbeatable Price Guarantee, you’re sure to pay less for them here than anywhere else. With many glasses, you pay only for the frames— prescription lenses are on the house. glassses.com 

ReadingGlasses.com For anyone who’s struggling to see fine print, this site is the clear choice. Shop more than 50 brands that range in magnification from +0.75 to +4.00. readingglasses.com 

Vision Direct The more you buy, the more you save at this virtual superstore for contacts, owned by Walgreens. Bonus: You automatically get a 5% discount on most products every time you shop. Best-known brands include Acuvue, PureVision, Dailies and SofLens. visiondirect.com

 


Tips for Handling a Breakup as a Parent

Written on October 10, 2014 at 11:15 am , by

Breaking up is (especially) hard to do when you’re a parent. You may not be hitched to your ex anymore, but you’re connected through your kids. Communicate while keeping the peace with these smart strategies.

Set talk terms. If face-to-face is too painful, go with emails, texting or phone calls.

Stick to  ground rules. No bringing up past incidents, no cursing and no threatening.

Organize your thoughts. Write down topics that need to be discussed before you pick up the phone, checking off each item as you address it.

Put the kids first. Their welfare is the priority, so avoid placing them in the middle of situations. When in doubt, ask yourself: What’s best for them?

Choose words carefully. Replace phrases like “you always” or “you never” with “I feel” or “maybe we should consider.”

Listen harder. Sometimes instead of reacting, just reflect. Consider saying, “Let me think about that and get back to you.”

Forgive. Let go of old offenses and accept an “I’m sorry”—or be strong enough to offer one.

 Janet Taylor, MD, MPH, a mother of four, is a psychiatrist in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @drjanet. Read more of her posts here.

Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email her at askdrjanet@familycircle.com.

 


Modern Life: Two Dads, Two Kids and Two Dogs Make a Happy Home in the Heartland

Written on October 8, 2014 at 10:13 am , by

 

Mornings that begin with a big family hug are a sweet way to start the day for Chris Osner-Hackett, his husband, Bob Osner-Hackett, and daughters Cai and Ava. Their busy schedules are tempered by calm weekend activities like Friday movie night, long walks with their two dogs, and jaunts to the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market.

Questions answered by Chris Osner-Hackett unless otherwise noted.

Which three words best capture your family?
Loving, grateful and supportive.

How would you describe your parenting styles?
Bob and I have completely different parenting styles. While we’re both supportive of our girls trying new things, Bob is by far the adventurer while I lean toward measured caution. Chris is the worrier and Bob is the encourager. We share the role of disciplinarian. Our styles, for the most, complement each other.

Have you felt accepted by your community?
Yes! First and foremost, we have a truly supportive network of family and friends who love and accept our family unconditionally. We have truly felt welcome wherever we have lived—whether Ohio, New Jersey or Michigan. We like to think it’s because once people get to know our family, it doesn’t matter that we are gay dads. Or it could just be that everyone loves Bob. Sure, there’s an occasional stare where you know someone’s thinking, “Must be dads’ night out with the kids” or “What is the dynamic of that family?” It really doesn’t faze the girls or us.

What surprises you most about parenthood?
How two children brought up in the same home could be so totally different. We have a serious and logical 8-year-old with a dry sense of humor, and a three-and-half-year-old who is animated, boisterous and keeps us laughing.

What are the biggest challenges that your family faces?
Finding time to have a sit-down dinner together.

No different than any other family—balancing the needs/wants of both a three-and-half- and an 8-year-old. We do believe we may face tougher challenges in the years ahead as we deal with questions around adoption and our nontraditional family. —Bob

What is the best moment of the day?
When Ava, our three-and-a-half-year-old, initiates the morning family hug.

What happens on a typical weekend?
The kids love Friday movie night. Saturdays are usually filled with dog walks around the lake, the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market and lots of outdoor activities, like bike riding and tennis.

What are your tips for balancing work and family?
We are fortunate that Bob is able to be a stay-at-home parent. The benefit of having him home with the girls cannot be measured. As for me, I’m fortunate that my employer allows for good work/life balance, allowing me to prioritize the kids’ activities (sports, plays, lessons).

What is dinnertime like at your home?
Organized chaos—while our goal is to have a sit-down family meal, it doesn’t always go that way. Dinners are often preempted by an 8-year-old that, like daddy, is a picky eater, and a three-and-a-half-year-old who would rather play than eat, and the uncertainty of Chris’s arrival time.

Are you cooking this Thanksgiving? Any specialties?
Chris likes to boast about his homemade pumpkin pie, which he claimed for years was a family recipe until one year when he learned that “the secret family recipe” could also be found on the side of the Libby’s Pure Pumpkin can! —Bob

 

How did you feel when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down and you were able to make your marriage legal? What was that moment like?
A big step forward, however, there’s still a lot of work to be done at the individual state level. We’ve been together for 14 years and have considered ourselves “married” since our June 2003 commitment ceremony in Maui. We then filed for a domestic partnership while living in New Jersey, and finally had a legal wedding in Toronto in September 2013, post-DOMA. The striking down of DOMA, while momentous and exciting for the LGBT community, didn’t change the way we felt about each other. We had felt married for 10 years.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about homes with same-sex parents?
The biggest misconception is probably that children need parents of both genders; that with same-sex parents a kid is missing out by not having both a mom and a dad present. We believe this to be false for many reasons. Our daughters know of their circumstances. We’ve been open and honest about their adoptions and the fact that not all families are alike. We have also surrounded them with strong female role models—they have three grandmothers plus godmothers and many aunts/great-aunts/surrogate aunts that are very active in their lives. As long as kids are shown love every day and have a committed person in their lives dedicated to providing them a safe, loving environment, it shouldn’t matter what their gender is. In the end, love makes a family.