Here’s Why Fall Should Be Your Favorite Season

There’s something perfect about fall. Gone is the sweltering heat of summer, yet it’s not quite time for the long, dark nights of winter. Fall offers something special that you won’t find during any other season. Here are a few ways you can fully embrace the fun of fall with your family.

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A Taste Of Fall

Thanksgiving is still several weeks out, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to start cooking tasty fall favorites. Apples, pumpkins, and butternut squash are all favorite menu items this season. Why not serve up some flavorful butternut squash risotto or surprise your family with John’s Three-Layer Apple Cake after dinner? You can try your hand at all of these recipes and more as you look for a new favorite dish in Martha Stewart’s fall cookbook.

Spice Up Your Home For Autumn

Not into the spooky Halloween decor? You can still give your home a touch of seasonal flair. Invite fall inside with dry wheat wreaths, get playful with acorn lights, and learn new ways to use pumpkins beyond jack-o’-lanterns and pies. Good Housekeeping has tons of fall decor and craft ideas you can use to add some pumpkin spice to your home.

Favorite Fall Activities

With school and holiday planning filling the schedule, it can be tempting to let your family just lounge on the couch in their free time. Keep your family inspired with some great fall activities. Not into apple picking? Maybe eating apple cider doughnuts is more your style. And did you know that you can still plant flowers long after spring has passed? Create new family memories with this ultimate fall bucket list.

Just For Fun: Beyond Lattes: Best Pumpkin Spice Treats

Don’t be embarrassed to love pumpkin spice. It’s delicious! And it’s really only available until peppermint flavoring takes over in December. Relish this true fall flavor with special pumpkin-spice-flavored snacks.

May we all fall in love with fall,

Tim

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

With Halloween only a few weeks away, October tends to be a time when we’re more accepting of things that scare us. Many people go out of their way to find things that frighten them by taking trips to haunting houses, catching a scary movie, or reading a horror novel. To get into the spirit of things, we’re taking a closer look at fear, including where our fears come from, how we can overcome them, and why fear might not be so bad after all.

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Where Do Fears Come From?

Fears don’t make sense. Yes, being afraid of large, wild animals may keep you from being eaten by a bear, but not everyone shares the same fears. You may be terrified of flying while your sister can name off the best places to eat in airports across the country. We all experience different levels of discomfort or fear when exposed to certain stimuli. Understanding the psychology behind these fears can help you learn how to overcome them.

The Science Of Conquering Your Fears

Fear can serve a function. In situations where you are in real danger, fear can save your life. But some fears, like the fear of rejection, don’t protect us from real harm. In fact, certain fears prevent us from putting ourselves out there and enjoying life. This article outlines simple strategies you can employ to overcome your fears and live a more courageous life.

What Fear Can Teach Us

We spend a great deal of time trying to overcome our fears. To an extent, it is valuable to conquer unreasonable fears that can harm us. A fear of public speaking can prevent you from giving an important presentation at work, thus jeopardizing your career path. But fear does sometimes serve to protect us from harm. Author Karen Thompson Walker explores the connection between fear and imagination and suggests that learning to better read your own fears can help you make smarter choices and more successfully prepare for disaster.

Just For Fun: 21 Unusual Phobias

Being afraid of spiders or public speaking is pretty common, but have you ever met someone who’s afraid of otters? What about newspapers? Check out these unusual phobias you’ve probably never heard of. Warning: You may discover a phobia you didn’t know you had.

Here’s to not being afraid of the dark!

Tim

Why Is 24 Hours Never Enough?

So much to do, so little time.

Each day, we wake up knowing what we need to do and how much time we have, but rarely do we seem to get everything done before we have to call it a day. There’s just too much to do! If you have already mastered the art of organizing your time, please tell us your secrets! And if you’re still trying to make sense of your schedule, this week’s batch of articles may be able to help.

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7 Tips For Managing Your Schedule Like A Pro

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you worked hard, but you have nothing to show for it? Yeah, we’ve all been there. It’s agonizing to watch your day slip through your fingers, knowing you’ll be twice as busy tomorrow as a result. The first step to addressing this problem is creating a routine. Here’s some expert advice on managing your schedule.

Make Sense Of Your Family’s Schedule

Managing your own schedule is hard enough. Trying to coordinate the schedule of multiple people with work, school, extracurricular activities, doctors’ visits, and every other family event is nearly impossible. When you have a busy family, it’s only a matter of time before the calendar becomes a chaotic mess of notes and missed appointments. Here’s a strategy to help you manage your family’s schedule and master a balancing act that would impress a tightrope walker.

Productivity Apps To Organize Your Life

Technology is supposed to help us be more productive — when we aren’t busy watching cat videos online, of course. There’s a wealth of tried-and-true apps that can help you organize your schedule and manage any area of your life. To-do lists got you overwhelmed? Try Trello! Need to make time to work out? MyFitnessPal can help. These apps won’t magically bring order into your life, but they can certainly help.

 Just For Fun: Daily Routines Of Famous People

Some people claim learning to manage your schedule is the secret to unlocking your true productivity potential. We don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is, maybe we can learn something from the routines of history’s most creative individuals.

Here’s to successful scheduling,

Tim

Soccer Or Ballet? Tips For Extracurricular Activities This School Year

The school year is back in session, and in addition to classes and tests, there’s also a load of after-school activities to worry about. Adding to the already-packed family schedule, parents start to ask, “How am I supposed to handle all this?” This week, we have a few tips for managing extracurricular.

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Extracurriculars And Student Development

Are extracurriculars and after-school activities really that important? What does a college recruiter care if my kid woke up every Saturday morning for gymnastics when they were 10? While a lot of value attributed to extracurriculars comes from how good they supposedly look on a college resume, the real benefits of after-school activities don’t manifest as scholarships years down the road. Being part of these activities can help kids develop in many different ways.

Which Extracurricular Is Right For My Kid?

When you’re competing with TV and video games, sometimes parents need to give their kids a little push to get them into a new activity. Fortunately, there are plenty of extracurriculars to choose from! Unfortunately, this adds to the pressure of choosing the “right” activity. Should you enroll your little athlete in a classic, like youth basketball? Or will they blossom more at computer camp? Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect extracurricular activity for your kid.

When Kids Want To Quit

“I don’t want to go!” This phrase could be the anthem of after-school activities. How often do kids get excited about starting something new, only to burn out after just 3 weeks? Attending practice or recitals was once great fun, but now, just getting out the door is a trial of wills. When kids lose interest in an activity, you have to decide whether it’s better to make them see it through to the end or quit while you’re ahead!

Just For Fun: Youth Sport Disasters (Video)

No one is an all-star at their very first lesson. Practice makes perfect, and these kids could definitely use a bit more practice.

To a successful balance,

Tim

Going Shopping? This Email Makes It Easier!

To some people, there’s nothing as exciting as walking into a store and coming out with some great new purchases, yet others are willing to wait until there’s only a bottle of ranch in the fridge before they’ll agree to go shopping. Wherever you land on the spectrum, there’s always room to make your shopping trips a little easier.

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Top 10 Grocery Shopping Secrets

For many of us, going to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon is as close to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle as we’re going to get. Modern conveniences enable us to feed our families without having to hunt or harvest anything. But while it may be convenient, that doesn’t mean shopping can’t be easier. Taste of Home has some great tricks to save money and time during your next trip to the grocery store.

Money-Saving Apps For Your Next Shopping Spree

Coupon clipping is one surefire way to save a few bucks on almost any purchase — but who has time to comb through the newspaper? Saving 60 cents on milk isn’t really worth it when you spent 20 minutes looking for that deal! Fortunately, technology swoops in to save the day again. These apps are perfect for finding the best deals online and offline.

When’s The Best Time To Buy?

Is it better to buy a new laptop in August, when the college kids are going back to school, or in November, when Black Friday rolls around? When is the cheapest time to buy a new mattress? And should you wait until February 15 to stock up on chocolate? Getting the best deal is all about timing, so Nerdwallet crunched the numbers to help you save money and plan your shopping strategy all year long.

Just For Fun: Biggest Online Shopping Fails

Considering how exhausting shopping can be, it’s no wonder online retailers like Amazon have become so popular. But there’s a downside to this convenience. As these shoppers learned, sometimes what you see online isn’t what you get.

Here’s to your next successful shopping trip,

Tim

Have You Mastered These Valuable Skills?

Every year, when the kids go back to school, those of us who already have our diplomas breathe a sigh of relief. No essays or pop quizzes for us! But just because we’re free from the classroom doesn’t mean we stop learning. Life is a series of lessons and opportunities to learn and grow.

Let’s look at a few valuable skills you can learn outside of a classroom.

Don’t worry. There won’t be a test later

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Learn A New Language

While the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in the culture, most people can’t leave home for three months to learn French in Paris. Fortunately, there is no end to the amazing apps and websites dedicated to helping you learn a new language. The secret to becoming fluent in a new language is practice, so if you can talk someone into learning with you, odds are you’ll both have better luck in the long run!

Build A Better Budget

There’s a reason even successful business owners need financial advisors to help handle their finances. Managing money is a tricky business, but you don’t need to know all the intricacies of fixed annuities to better manage your finances. You just need to know what you’re doing with your money. Finance expert Dave Ramsey has some excellent advice for tackling the first step of financial security: creating a budget.

Take Better Photos

Once upon a time, when you took a photo, you had to wait until the film was developed to see how the image turned out. Was there anything worse than waiting weeks to realize half the photos from your birthday party were blurry? Today, you can check your pictures the moment the flash goes off, but blurry photos and bad lighting are still big problems. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture those special moments. A little knowledge about photography basics can make all the difference.

Just For Fun: 12 Weird (But Awesome) Classes

Did you know you can take a class on how to start a revolution? Or learn about the science of the Harry Potter books? These are just a few unique classes that have been offered at actual colleges! Which ones would you enroll in?

To always learning,

Tim

How To Spot Cyber bullying Before It’s Too Late

When parents think of bullying, they may picture jocks stealing lunch money or stereotypical mean girls spreading rumors in the school library. But thanks to social media and the digital age, kids today are faced with a more aggressive and constant form of bullying their parents could have never imagined.

Cyber bullying, or the use of electronic communication to send cruel or threatening messages, has become rampant. All too often, cyber bullying ends in disaster. As kids start to go back to school, here’s what parents need to know about cyber bullying.

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5 Signs Your Child Is Being Cyberbullied

The most difficult part about addressing cyberbullying is that the attacks are invisible. Cyberbullies thrive in cyberspace, using social media to spread hateful messages about their target to the world or sending cruel messages directly to their victims over texts, emails, or instant messages. Children and teens often tried to hide cyberbullying from their families, but the signs are there. It is so important that parents be made aware of the situation before the bullying escalates.

How Parents Can Help Stop Cyberbullying

If you suspect your child is being cyberbullied, don’t brush it off as something that’s not a big deal or wait for them to come to you. Elementary school children have committed suicide due to the trauma of cyberbullying. This is a serious threat to a child’s life, and all parents should take the time to learn how to appropriately address cyberbullying when it happens.

Is My Child A Cyberbully?

What are parents supposed to do when they find out their child is bullying someone online? This is an unpleasant topic. When confronted with the information, many parents can become defensive, insulted, and deny the situation altogether. But just as it is important for parents to protect their child from cyberbullies, it’s equally important for parents to protect their children from themselves and the repercussions of bad decisions. The Cyberbullying Research Center offers advice to help parents who find themselves in this difficult situation.

Bonus: 5 Movies To Start Conversations About Bullying

It can be difficult to talk to kids about cyberbullying, especially if they shut down when they feel a “talk” coming on. Let these powerful movies about bullying start the conversation for you.

To eradicating cyberbullying,