Author Archives: Holly

About Holly

Educator ~ Organizer ~ Doer ~ Researcher ~ Scotch Drinker

Take Your Time, Don’t Rush Through the Basics with Kids

2 kids on the sand at a beach

You have to crawl before you can walk. We’ve all heard that before. Why? It’s an important step for kids in their developmental process.

Same applies when kids are learning a brand new idea or concept, especially when it comes to coding concepts.

Recently I taught a class that went over the very basic structure of a website. It was so watered down, BUT the kids understood it so well that they asked very insightful questions throughout my presentation. I was stoked!

I know it is tempting to rush through the beginning steps though. But it is vital to camp out a little longer on the basics so a strong foundation is set. Then, as we add on more complex concepts, it will be less of a struggle for the kiddos.

In fact, dare I say, that they will enjoy creating even more since they have a firm grasp on the basics!

photo: unsplash

Let the Floors Be Covered With LEGO

Carpet floor with LEGO's all over

Yes, it is SO hard to let a mess like this exist in your home, but the benefits out weight the annoyance.

My sons room has looked like this for years. But he builds amazing creations ALL the time. Some creations just blow my mind with how detailed and complex they are.

My kid will build a LEGO creation based on a character from a game he plays, containers for things like pencils, pixel art, weapons from games, etc. He often has his laptop out with a picture on the screen as he replicates that with LEGO bricks.

LEGO bricks are like a bunch of little paint brushes. They are out all the time just waiting to be used and to help build the ideas that are in our kids imaginations.

So, it’s tough to walk by this mess everyday but since I see it as more of his creative studio, it makes it easier to live with.

Even though days can go by that he may not touch them, I still want them to be there for when he has an idea.

Pit Yanker

Don't Just Stand there words on notepad

Being in Pittsville is not a good place to be. It takes us off our focus in life.

The extremely eye-opening article below will get in your face and make you realize that you are part of the reason you are in Pittsville and that you have the control to get out.

It really is a choice to not be miserable.

“You need to train people how to treat you.” by Jillfit

Excerpt from article:

When someone treats us in a way that we don’t like, we have a choice. We can feel bad for ourselves and go find other people to agree with us. OR we can take responsibility for setting the tone of the relationship. Not always the easiest thing to do because emotion gets in the way. And when we are emotional, we are also at our worst in terms of being able to see clearly. Emotions are valid, they are never wrong–but what I would challenge you to do is to RECOGNIZE an emotion as a trigger for YOU to do something differently and take responsibility for the future of the relationship–even in the face of feeling like it’s not your fault. And it’s not…really. And yet it is, because you have not yet established how the relationship should go. Many times we don’t know it even needs establishing UNTIL something happens that throw us. So, there’s really no blame to dish out–instead, it’s more to learn from the experience and move on in a positive way in the future.

image: unsplash

I Might Never Go to a Grocery Store Again!

Produce in basket

 

I have not stepped inside a grocery store in a month because of @shipt.

Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery service. I have groceries delivered from Publix once a week through Shipt and I absolutely love it!

They just came to Orlando in September and as far as I can tell, they are a hit. I know I am smitten with them! heart

Why use them you ask? I mean, how lazy can we be? To have someone shop for our food now?

Well, how about any of the following reasons:

  1. When you or your kids are sick. Then no one has to go to the store just to get tissues or medicine. A shipt shopper will get what you need and you can rest at home.
  2. When you have a busy, stressful day at work and you can’t muster up the energy to go shopping, you can simply place an order with them.
  3. You order less takeout. I know when I am overly drained I end up ordering a pizza or takeout. But since I have someone shop for me, dinners are fun to make again. Gasp!
  4. Using them saves you money because there isn’t any impulse buying. You are no longer in the store and become weakened when you see that key lime pie!
  5. It helps saves your relationship with your kids.  You no longer have to drag them to the store and try to shop as they whine and cry about something they think they need at the store.

So, how much is it you ask? First, the groceries are a little more using the Shipt service. You may spend $5-8 more just using them. But that’s not much to have someone shop groceries for us!

Also, I choose to give my shopper a tip, but it’s not required. There is a membership for of $99 for the year and I think it’s worth it!

They offer a trial period so you can give them a try before signing up. Here is a link that gives you a $10 credit just to try it out. Check out the FAQ’s and a the quick video below for more info as well.

Let me know if you try them out. I know I Shipt them so much!

 

photo: unsplash

Kids Are the Most Amazing People

2 little girls hugging under a tree

Kids are micro managed too much. They have too many expectations from their parents. We as parents see our kids as a reflection of us, so we don’t want to be seen badly. Well, we need to get over that for the sake of our kids.

Forget what others want for our kids and how they want them to be.

Our kids show us everyday what they love to do and the things that interest them. We just need to pay attention. Hone into our kids. Sit with them and listen. They will show us what they are really into and are excited about, without even telling us.

We gotta stop boxing them in or their growth can be stunted.

I think kids are the most amazing people. They are at times too honest, non-judgemental  and give love unconditionally.

But we gotta remove unnecessary expectations and get out of their way. Raising kids is a process that requires trust and change along the way. It’s not about us and what we want. All we should want is for our kids is to do and be what they love.  Period.

We can help steer their passions and fuel their desires. It starts with just simply seeing them as people and seeing this amazing opportunity we have to mentor and shape who they already are.

It’s a ridiculously awesome job if you ask me!

 

How Sharing Passions, Coding, and Treehouse Changed a Life

treehouse coding site showing on a laptop with coffee cup

“It’s amazing how crossing paths with you has totally changed my son’s trajectory in life.”

In January I met a gal, Mary, while staying at a local Bed and Breakfast. I love B&B’s because you basically are forced to have breakfast with the other guests. But I love that! Meeting new people and hearing their stories is the best!

Mary and I got to gabbing and I, of course, told her about one of my passions: Coding! That evening I saw her son, Joseph, who was a senior in high school, and I told him about coding and about one of my favorite coding sites, Treehouse.

He sounded pretty interested so I told him I would send him a couple other sites and tips about the world of coding.

About a week after meeting Mary she emailed me and said, “Joseph is LOVING Treehouse.  I’ve never seen him followup on suggestions like that with so much enthusiasm so I can’t thank you enough!!  Joseph is on Treehouse everyday.”

Last week I got another message from Mary saying  Joseph started college last week and that he was going into coding!  She thanked me again for the introduction to Treehouse as it was life changing for her son.

I am extremely humbled to have played a small role in Joseph’s life. The web development community will greatly benefit from this go-getter.

So get out there and share what you know. Share what you love. You just never know whose life you can enrich!

photo: unsplash

Reading Fiction Can Help Us Empathize Better

Harry Potter Book Cover

In the article Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction,  it stated that “fiction readers make great friends as they tend to be more aware of others’ emotions.”

I have found this to be true. It also talked about how kids who read the Harry Potter Books tend to be better people. It seems when kids can empathize with characters, it helps them better understand people and themselves. That’s pretty cool.

We took our love for the Harry Potter books one step further and added an educational aspect to it.

My hubby came up with ‘Vocabularis Profitus’ to encourage the kids to look up words they don’t know as they are reading and he would pay them $.50 each for each word. And $.10 cents more if they use that word to make a funny sentence. 

My son is up to $35!! We might want to put a cap on this activity. #CoolDad #MakeLearningFun 

Here is the PDF if you want to check it out and use it.

Happy fiction reading everyone!

Train Kids and Stop Blaming Technology for Bad Behavior

Mac Computer Screen, keyboard, mouse and iPad.

Ever play a card game or board game with your adult friends and someone gets really annoyed you made them lose?  Some perhaps even show their displeasure with colorful words.

I was once at a Christmas party and a guy got so mad that he didn’t get what he wanted during a white elephant gift game, he stormed out and left. Umm… adult tantrum.

Kids can do the same when they are playing board/video games together too. Emotions get very heightened when in competition mode. It happens to all of us.

BUT too many keep blaming electronics for their kids outbursts. Instead we need to do that parent thing where we talk to them about how the feelings they have are normal but teach them the right way to respond. Even do some role playing with them so they are more prepared.

I recently listened to a podcast that said screen time can cause brain malfunctioning, tantrums, addictions, that it stops the thoughts in kids heads or causes them to lose control of their bodies.

That is what you call fear mongering.

Teaching people to fear and restrict stuff is not the answer. Blaming is a distraction. It’s a lazy approach.

Parenting is just plain old hard work. And people have to level up to the responsibility they have and stop blaming electronics or anything else for their child’s behavior.

We have the greatest insight into how our kids think/feel because it’s just like ours. So, honestly thinking through how we ourselves would feel in the scenarios our kids find themselves will greatly impact how we respond and train them.  And that is how we will best help our kiddos.

Photo: Unsplash

My 5 Simple Tips for Marriages to Stay Fresh and Not Expire

Picture of a couple in the mirror view of a car

After people divorce, why do they start going to the gym, or start taking that class they always wanted to, or start going out with friends more, etc.

They feel like they lost who they were during their marriage and now it’s finally their chance to do and be whatever they want.

BUT, hello, we can do those things while still married!

It boils down to this: We stop being individuals in our marriages.

These are my 5 tried and true marital tips so we thrive as individuals (and stay married!)

  1. Treat each other like individual people. We are individuals FIRST, then a spouse/parent.
  2. Have separate interests/things to do. This gives us stuff to talk about to each other. And being interesting is very attractive.
  3. Go to see movies separately sometimes. There is something exciting about waiting for your spouse to go see a movie you have already seen, just so you can talk to each other about it. Give it a try.
  4. Go for a weekend trips alone. That sends ourselves a message that we are separate individuals and it allows space without each other. We also have separate experiences, which makes us more interesting too.
  5. Put yourself in new, uncomfortable situations. Like go to a local event by yourself. Stretching ourselves in this area helps us to grow as individual people.

I guess you could say working on self-improvement is a gift to ourselves and our spouse. It’s a gift that keeps on giving too.

And dare I say, if we have those things going on in our marriage, we may feel like we are dating our spouses again.

Put yourself on the line, have experiences, be courageous with your life! And a thriving marriage will be a by-product.

photo: unsplash

Do What You Want

Grown ass lady print from emily mcdowell.com website

Living up to others expectations can feel like we are walking on eggs shells all the time. And we really can never make everyone happy, so I say, stop trying and do what you want.

“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to.”

 

image: emilymcdowell.com