Toddlers and Technology

One of Totsy's own Niece

Our kids will never know what a life without wireless devices and touch screens is like. Their future may very well be like that of the Jetsons. But what effect does all this technology going to have on their young development. Have you seen the YouTube video of the baby using an iPad? The video captures her clearly understanding the iPad’s touch capabilities. Then, she is given an actual paper magazine and she thinks it’s broken because nothing happens when she taps the pages.  It’s a cute video. Really.

And its also evidence of one of today’s challenges as a parent. The what and how of parenting with technology. How much is too much? Will not using technology enough make it harder for children when they reach classes that require it? Where does a parent come down on balance?

Just like t.v., video games and cell phones, today’s technology presents another opportunity for parents to use it as a learning tool, but not allow it to become a fixture that replaces other educational or physical development opportunities. And certainly, it should not be used as a substitute parent.

Parents will use their smartphones and other devices to calm their kids down or keep them distracted during long waits and in public situations where a little technology might prevent a meltdown. Like most things in life, it’s a matter of balance. Our Totsy team dug a bit deeper into the situation to give you some of both the positives as well as the negatives surrounding Toddler’s and Technology.

Pros

  • Fine-tunes motor skills: Pushing keys and manipulating a mouse gives those tiny toddler hands and fingers the same type of valuable workout they get from finger painting or doodling (though without the creative kick of more artistic endeavors). This form of “finger activity” also hones in on hand-eye coordination, which will pay off for years to come as your little one learns to catch a ball, use scissors, or put together a tricky puzzle.
  • Teaches Cause and Effect: When your child taps a button or swipes the screen, something happens, encouraging curiosity.
  • Apps Targeted to Toddler’s: The App store has a plethora of apps targeted at toddlers. From flashcards that teach numbers and the alphabet, to learning a new language, to games that involve shapes and colors, your smartphone or tablet can be turned into a classroom.

Cons

  • Not Enough “Face Time”: Kids who are glued to a screen throughout the day are less likely to interact with other kids or adults. As humans, we need to interact with one another, developing emotional and social skills.
  • Lack of Activity: Too much screen time may make your little less active, even later on in life. Toddler’s need hands on time, feeling and touching everything, developing their senses. Get them to play with blocks, get muddy in dirt, or finger paint. Can they do that on your smartphone? Nope! Toddlers also need physical play; it helps build strong muscles and it’s a primary way little kids discover what their bodies can do.
  • Too Much Stimulation: According to Natural News, research presented at SLEEP 2010, the 24th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, has revealed that children who use technology late at night are more prone to develop cognitive problems than children who have regular sleeping patterns that do not involve staying up late on their computers and cell phone. Or in other words, after using technological devices too close to bedtime may make them antsy and hyper, disrupting their sleep schedule. Their bodies basically have been told, “you’re not ready for bed.”

Tune in tomorrow as Totsy’s Chief Mom shares her thought via video.

10 Ways to Update your Wardrobe

New year, new you! Right? Dress up isn’t just for little girls, update your work wardrobe with 10 easy tips, even the most busiest woman can handle. No need to invest in entirely new wardrobe for the new year (unless that’s how you roll), but rather invest in some key pieces that are perfect for everyday. No fuss=a must for your daily routine.

1. Purge

Okay so this is a no brainer. Get rid of items you haven’t worn in years or are too big or too small. Narrow your wardrobe down to basics, key work pieces, night out items, and pretty much anything else you NEED. Don’t turn your wardrobe into an episode of Hoarders. Donate items that are still in wearable condition. Do this for the rest of the family and you’ll be amazed at what you find!

2. Necklace

 

Costume jewelry is a cute and inexpensive way to dress up your outfit. Or opt for a delicate, simple necklace with a small diamond on pendant that drops right at the collar bone for a classic look. Or pull a Carrie Bradshaw and don your nameplate necklace with pride.  Dig around your jewelry chest, you never know what you may find!

3. Capped Toe Pointy Shoes

The tapered toe may have fallen off fashions radar, but it is definitely making a comeback. They have the unique ability to visually elongate the leg, especially when paired with wide-leg trousers or a sleek pencil skirt. This season metal capped toes are totally in and add an extra oomph to any outfit. Black suede heel with a metal tapered toe is the way to go.

4. Pop Lip Color

 

Stop hiding behind chapsticks and lip balms. Bold reds are great for any complexion, with millions of shades to match. Red is one of the most universally wearable lipstick shades, and it’s a classic way to add both impact and femininity to your look. “In general, reds that are more blue-based are flattering on all skin tones, and they make your teeth look whiter to boot,” says James Boehmer, international lead makeup stylist for NARS Cosmetics. NARS’ Red Jungle  is a great way to go!

5. Oversized style watch

Who doesn’t love an oversized watch? Even the most delicate of wrists can dawn these masculine pieces. Choose the face size based on the size of your wrist. Make sure the face isn’t taking up your entire wrist and you want it to fit nice and snug so it isn’t banging against anything.

6. Fitted Blazer

 

Spend a few extra dollars on a blazer that contours and fits your body perfectly. Black and navy blue are two must haves for every wardrobe. Whether you dress it up with a pencil skirt or silk slack or wear it with jeans, a fitted blazer is one of those essential wardrobe items. Bold and daring? Try a leather blazer.

7. The “It” Bag

Face it women practically live in their bags. From makeup to medicine to random items, our bags hold it all! But lets not treat them as garbage bags! A sturdy doesn’t have to be an expensive one.  Look for one that can be used as a brief case as well, like a shopper, with multiple pockets to keep you organize. Black of course is the way to go, but if you dare try a cobalt blue or a vibrant orange to add some life to any outfit.

8. Silk Pants

 

Nothing screams classy than a beautiful pair of silk slacks. Whether harem or skinny is your style, these are sure to be a fit in your office. Pair with pumps, flats or wedged sneakers for an edgy look. Retire your jeans and try something new! You’ll definitely be more comfortable at work.

9. Delicate studs

Delicate studs + a pulled back up do= classy chic for work or a night out. Need I say more?

10. Retro T-shirt

 

Remember that fitted blazer I mentioned? Well grab an old school tee with your favorite team, band or character and throw it on underneath! With a pair of skinnies and those capped toe heels, you’ll look laid back yet well put together. Oh don’t forget your oversized watch and new work bag! Accessorize according to your preference.

How To: No Sew Pillow Cases

[sourc:www.jandofabrics.com]

 

New year, new beginnings, right? Correct! It may be a little too early for Spring cleaning, but who’s to say your home doesn’t need some freshening up? Not all of us have the budget to completely redecorate our homes for the new year, but there are are few tricks to add a breath of fresh air to your living space. One of our favorites is the No Sew Pillow Case. Yes, you read correctly, “no sew.” What could be better than that? If you’re sewing machine challenged just as we are, this DIY is right up your alley!

What you will need:

  • Standard throw pillow (preferably without any embellishments) 
  • A piece of fabric 3 times as wide plus a few more inches and twice as tall plus a few more inches as the pillow
  • Pinking shears

Steps

Use pinking shears to cut the fabric to avoid fraying.

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Start by folding the bottom half of the fabric to the center of the pillow.

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Then fold the top down to the center.

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Fold the edges of each end as if you’re wrapping a present.

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Bring one side over the top of the pillow. Repeat for the opposite side.

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Tie the ends in a square knot. To tie a square knot you take the fabric over-under then under-over.

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Voila!!

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Images courtesy of organizeyourstuffnow.com.

Last weekend while visiting family up North, I had the chance to indulge in one of my favorite frosty beverages, the Ginger Basil Limeade. My family drank these around the pool at our reunion, the perfect drink to please a parched motley crew including an alcohol-averse grandma, a pregnant cousin and a toddler. Perhaps any of you that are crazy enough to be hosting a Mother’s Day brunch might enjoy whipping up a batch for your guests?!? For a quick how-to, check out my first video for our Totsy TV YouTube Channel. Countless varieties of this drink abound, so if you have a special version you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.

Ginger Basil Limeade

Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 3 key limes- cut in half
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger-grated
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 leaves fresh basil
  • 8 oz. sparkling water

Instructions:

  1. Squeeze limes into a pint glass or muddling jar, drop in two of the lime rinds as well.
  2. Add ginger, sugar and basil to pint glass and muddle mixture until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add sparkling water and stir gently.
  4. Into a highball glass filled 2/3 of the way with ice, pour the entire mixture.
  5. Garnish with basil, and enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us here at Totsy!

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