Book Review: Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends: How to Successfully Navigate Your Daughter’s Tween Years

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Navigating the Tween Years with Your Daughter The tween years can be an uncertain time for both girls and their parents. Parents try to identify and sympathize with the mood and attitude changes of their daughters, they watch friendships change or come and go, and look on as mean girls take center stage. If that weren’t enough, temptations and negative influences are … [Read more...]

5 Fun, Family Flicks to Watch with Tweens

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Grab the Popcorn for Family Movie Night! "How about Shrek?" I asked my eleven-year-old son. I held up the DVD case splashed with the picture of the lovable green ogre. "Mom," he replied. "NO." "What's wrong with Shrek?" I queried. We were going through our DVDs, trying to pick G- or PG-rated movies that his class could watch on the bus during their sixth grade field trip … [Read more...]

Chocolate and Fruit Pizza Recipe

chocolate and fruit pizza

Chocolate and Fruit Pizza - YUM!! Why not? I love chocolate and peanut butter! I love chocolate and bananas! I love chocolate and strawberries!  Most importantly, I love pizza! BOOM! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:5] About Sara Pittman –  Sara is from sunny San Diego CA. She is a wife, busy mother of 3 and amateur chef stumbling through organized chaos on a daily basis using … [Read more...]

Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends Podcast with Debi Smith-Racanelli


Podcast with Debi Smith-Racanelli - author of Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends This week's podcast is with the author of Between Baby Dolls and Boyfriends: How to Successfully Navigate Your Daughter's Tween Years, Debi Smith-Racanelli and it's chock full of good advice and insight on what can often be tumultuous years. Some of the topics we discuss are: What is the … [Read more...]

6 Tips to Balancing Family Connection and Fun Screen Time

6 ways to unplug and connect this summer

Oh Delicious Summertime Remember last summer? You started out strong with fantasies straight from your ‘80’s memories of yummy giggling connection, nourishing sunshine, fresh fruit, and dusty barefoot tree climbing. But then there were closets to sort, kids to feed, and socks to wash . . . Everybody kind of drifted off, positioning themselves in front of their screens. When … [Read more...]

Teens Making a Difference Podcast: Ethan Fisher of SillyClipz and Steel Sole!

Teens making a difference Ethan Fisher

Meet teen inventor, Ethan Fisher in this week's Teens Making a Difference podcast! You are in for a treat with this week's podcast! Remember SillyBands? Well, today's guest, Ethan Fisher is the creator of SillyClipz as well as his newest endeavor, Steel Sole Inserts! Ethan claims that he's been in business and coming up with ideas since he started talking, and once you get to … [Read more...]

The Father’s Day Podcast with The Beer Dads

celebrating fathers day with the beer dads

Father's Day Podcast! This could end up being our favorite podcast to date. We're hosting Jon, Paul and Tim who host The Beer Dads. They're 3 dads who host a podcast about being dads while drinking craft beer. How much better can you get?! In honor of Father's Day, I get to ask them some tough questions such as: What's you favorite "dadism" that you've passed on to your … [Read more...]

Stop Whining: What to Expect When You’re Expecting To Move With Kids 

moving with kids and not losing your mind

Moving With Kids Before and after a move, there are plenty of rather predictable steps to make things easier. And then there are those other, more elusive things that only veteran moms can share. So stop and pay attention. After moving 22 times in 23 years of marriage, I’ve adopted several habits when faced with a move to help reduce the risk for emotional meltdowns—and I'm … [Read more...]

The Angry Grad Podcast – Alternatives to Big College Debt

the angry grad podcast

This week's podcast is with Leah Bell, the author of The Angry Grad: Your Guide to Student Loans, a Struggling Economy, and Becoming Your Own Boss. Too many of us graduate from college with more debt than we can handle. While the job economy may be getting better, it's still a challenge for today's graduates to find a job that pays enough to live on their own AND pay back … [Read more...]

Planning a Vacation with Teenagers

how to plan a vacation with teens

Teens and Vacation “Can I bring my Nintendo?” This was my then-14-year-old son’s first question when we announced that we were taking a trip to Malawi, East Africa. Traveling with teenagers is a completely different experience than traveling with children. Sometimes they seem like a whole different species. Yet you undoubtedly love your own teenager, warts and all—or … [Read more...]

What this Mom Learned From The College Admissions Process

What this mom learned from the college process

Being a mother with a child going through the college process is a little like child birth — while it’s happening it’s sooooo painful, but when it’s over you look back and think it wasn’t that bad (but it really was!).  So if you’re a parent with a high school student, gather as much advice as you can. Navigating college admissions and financing is as much a rite of passage … [Read more...]

Your Middle Schooler Wants to Date – Now What? Podcast with Blanca Cobb

so your middle schooler wants to start dating

Is Middle School Too Young to Date? This week's podcast is on YOUNG teens and dating. Body language expert, Blanca Cobb joins us to discuss some of the ins and outs and "landmines" that you'll need to navigate with your romance striken middle schooler. We discuss points such as: When is it too early How parents can support their kids The lessons they need to be … [Read more...]

Please Stop Bashing Our Schools


I enjoy writing about things that are thought-provoking and relevant to the struggles that parents and kids today are facing, I feel that it is important to shine a light on these subjects. I don’t, however, like to be divisive or prod people into arguments, so I promise you that as I write this, I am not looking to be controversial. I am looking to move us in a positive … [Read more...]

Dear Kids: If I Die, Please DON’T be a Sh** head


Dear Children:  Should I die from heat stroke in hot yoga class I am being forced to take tomorrow by my alleged “friends” here is a list of ten of the most important life lessons I want you to remember. Love Mom 1) DON’T be a sh** head. Don’t be a sh** head is actually the only piece of advice you will ever need in life. A sh** head can best be summed up as a person who … [Read more...]

Wine and Cheetos Podcast – Three Moms Dish on Summer with Teens

chatting about summer with wine and cheetos

This was such a fun podcast to record!! Listen as Kristen, Kimberly and Jennifer grab a glass of wine and some Cheetos (okay, only Kristen had Cheetos) and chat about summer plans, teens and jobs, making them save their paychecks, the return of the college kids and more!  … [Read more...]

This Memorial Day Send a Thank You Tweet – #ThanksKindly

This Memorial Day, tweet your thanks to a soldier!

This Memorial Day, join the KIND Movement and Thank a Military Member or Cell Phones For Soldiers Thanking Troops with the Help of a Handwriting Robot If you had the chance to thank a military member, what would you say? Here’s your opportunity to do just that during National Military Appreciation Month– in 140 characters or less! Cell Phones For Soldiers, a nonprofit started … [Read more...]

Are You the Perfect Mommy or More Mommy Dearest


With the joyful carefree bike riding days of Spring finally here it’s time for me to come clean. Today I’m sharing a deep and dark McKenzie family secret. I am not perfect mommy. Ouch. Yes my two children have witnessed more than their fair share of their dear mother teetering dangerously close to Joan Crawford land. That of the wickedly evil mommy dearest. Fortunately … [Read more...]

Which Commercial is the Best on YouTube?


Happy 10th Anniversary to YouTube! Did you know that YouTube turned TEN this year?! Your kids probably watch it a lot more than you do, but you have to confess.. you can't get thru the day without seeing something thru YouTube - can you even imagine a day without it now? Where would you go to find stupid pet videos and an endless stream of "how-to" videos? Here are some … [Read more...]

Podcast: College Prep To-Do List for This Summer

college tours podcast

Summer to-dos to get your high-schooler ready for college In this week's podcast, Brenda Yoder gives you a few "college prep" ideas to make the most of the time you and your high-schooler have during the summer break! Summer is right around the corner and while each of us need at least a couple of weeks just to catch our breath (and a few extra zzzz's!) you don't want that … [Read more...]

Rejected Reproductive Health Unit Titles

Rejected Reproductive Health Unit Titles

The email from my son's middle school caught my eye. I opened it and read: "You are invited to come preview the lessons and teaching materials for Puberty: The Wonder Years." Puberty: The Wonder Years? What, is Kevin Arnold narrating the videos about the miraculous changes that happen to your body when Winnie Cooper walks by? Gawk! What a terrible title. Puberty and … [Read more...]