These 30+ Costco Deals Are About to Make Your Holiday Shopping So Much Cheaper

Costco just released its 2017 holiday savings catalog, which means your gift shopping is about to get a whole lot savvier. New deals will be available throughout the month, but here are 30+ standouts – from snacks and kitchen appliances to furniture and electronics – from the first round of sales. Many of the deals expire in a few days, so jump on the savings while you can!

How To Set Limits That Help Children Sleep

In this post on sleep issues, we talked about using play as a tool that helps children release the minor fears and tensions that hold them back from sleeping well. Sometimes those fears run deeper and play alone isn’t quite all that’s needed to let go of those fears.

How Setting Limits That Gently Insist on Sleep Work

boy in bed not sleeping in post about setting limits on sleepWhen a child sets rigid rules about bedtime, by requesting “one more drink,” after “one more drink,” asking for extra stories, or a specific routine that has to be “just so,” we can read that there is an anxiousness or uncertainty about going to sleep.

These rigid rules that a child sets are a way of saying “I’m not ready yet.”

If you are confident that a child’s physical needs are met, and you have tried some play, but a child still resists bedtime, try setting a gentle limit around settling to sleep.

Setting a limit on going to bed gives children the permission they need to get upset about whatever it is bothering them. Tears offer a profound way to clear stuck emotions, and so a limit, given firmly and lovingly, tells a child that the time has come to confront those fears.

In this Facebook Live about sleep, instructors Catherine Fischer and Yasmeen Almahdy modeled these two ways to set limits:

  • “I’m right here. You’re safe. It’s ok to turn the light off now and go to sleep.”
  • “I’m so sorry it’s hard. It’s safe here. I’m right here, and I’m going to turn the light’s off.”

For others ideas on setting limits calmly and simply read How To Set Limits In Five Words or Less

parenting, child, won't sleep, bedtimeWhen you set the limit you can expect whining, upset and even rage. These reactions look like they have to do with the issue of going to sleep, but what a child is resisting really are feeling the fears that stop them sleeping peacefully and well. If you have tried to sit with any kind of discomforting feelings yourself you’ll recognise this can be hard to confront.

But tears, like laughter, have the effect of clearing out the system, and with that, dissolving fear. So if you can stay with a child, hold that space with them, and become partners in the fear, a child will be able to work through the emotions safely and shed the tensions they’ve been holding onto.

With fears gone, children fall asleep easily.

Supporting A Child in Tears

As parents, it’s our role to support a child and let him know that he is safe in our care. As his fears overtake him, he may fight, or scream, beg you not to leave. And you don’t have to. In setting a limit, you introduce the idea of sleep rather than enforce it with immediate effect. We can stay close, as a calm and loving presence, as a child works through the feelings troubling them.

We don’t need to say much at all, but when we do, our words are like anchors.

  • “I’m right here.”
  • “You are safe here.”
  • “I hear that this is hard for you. I’m not going anywhere.”

These soothing words can sometimes have the effect of slowing the tears. Your child might grow quiet, or, perhaps, take them to mean that you are letting go of the limit. He might believe in that moment you will relent and he might not have to settle down right then. You’ll know, when you repeat the limit, softly and gently once more, if he is done working through his feelings. If he isn’t, he’ll become active again, resisting or crying or both.

Let the Goodbyes Linger

bedtime, set limits, parenting, gentleWhile our goal, as parents, is to ensure our children’s smoother transition to sleep, working on the issue can’t be hurried. The miraculous thing about the human system is that when feelings about a subject are fully expelled, the tears dry, the upset finishes, naturally, and on its own. Although it can be tempting to stop the flow, waiting helps a child work through those fears on his own and builds his resilience long-term.

A parent who stays close by, anchors a child in a calming presence of support and kind words, holding space for their child to feel all of their feelings.

How many nights this takes will depend on how deep fears have taken hold.

“Sometimes the crying subsides quickly, sometimes it takes longer. As the fear begins to dissolve, the crying will slow and there will come a point that your child will begin to settle and fall asleep peacefully,” says Catherine Fischer.

But when those fears are released, when a child can see nothing has changed, he or she is loved and safe, then, you will find them more willing to turn off the lights and close their eyes.

For more insights into this transition to peaceful sleep, read Helping My Daughter Sleep in Her Own Bed.

Hand in Hand’s online, self-guided sleep course Helping Your Children Sleep will help you help your child sleep with confidence.


The post How To Set Limits That Help Children Sleep appeared first on Hand in Hand Parenting.

Stocking Stuffers for Teens and College Kids That Will Make Them Smile

When your older kid lumbers into the family room on Christmas morning, takes their stocking down from the mantle and looks inside, they begin to resemble their little kid self. Here are our favorite new and traditional stocking stuffers for teens, college kids and young adults.

We receive small amounts of compensation from purchases made through some of the links on this page which allows us to pay our writers. Thanks! 

NEW! See all of Grown and Flown top pics for holiday and grad gifts in one place. 

New Ideas for Stocking Stuffers for Teens and Young Adults

SPIbelt Pocket

Were do you put keys and your phone while working out? These ingenious no-bounce exercise belts work for anyone who goes to the gym or goes for a run and needs to keep up with their valuables.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Tile Mate – Key Finder. Phone Finder. Anything Finder

These ingenious little square tracking devices will help a distracted teen or college kid keep up with phones, keys, and other easy-to-misplace valuables.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

The Face Shop Facial Mask Sheets

This collection of tissue-thin mask sheets is perfect for any skin condition and leaves your skin silky smooth after application.

Stocking stuffers for teens and college kids

Having a fully charged phone is the very best way your kid can stay safe while on the go and portable chargers like this one are incredibly useful. This one has the bonus feature of a built-in flashlight which makes it one of our favorite stocking stuffers for teens and young adults.
Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

String Lights with Bluetooth Speakers

Sometimes a bit of whimsy goes a long way to personalize a drab dorm room and what could be more entertaining than these string lights that play your teen’s favorite music?

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Cartoon Kitty Cat Sticky Notes

These tiny cat sticky notes in a tiny box will fit perfectly in your cat-obsessed kid’s stocking.  Also available in puppies for those who prefer canine cuteness.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Sriracha Mini Keychain

Has Sriracha become your kid’s go-to condiment? They will appreciate this mini-size, portable, and refillable bottle so they will never have to suffer through a meal without adding their favorite spicy sauce.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Hydro Flask Sports Water Bottle

This bottle is super popular on campus now. Say goodbye to plastic bottles forever!

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Pup socks 

Is your daughter’s best friend your family dog?  We love these socks that can be custom-printed with the face of your dog or cat.  A percentage of each sale is donated to the Humane Society.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Cards Against Humanity

The hilarious card game for your adult kids only! 
Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Left Center Right

This one is for all age groups.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Sephora Gift Card

There is a reason why every Sephora store is always buzzing anytime I dip into one of their stores. It has absolutely every beauty product that your teen or college kid would ever need or want. This gift card will be put to good, and immediate, use!

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Uber Gift Card

Uber has revolutionized the way our college kids and young adults get themselves around town.  Here is another welcome gift card for a service that many of us are finding we can’t live without.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

HotHands Hand Warmer

If your kid is in college in cold country, these will be a little bit of luxury to slip into gloves or boots on days when they have to trudge through the snow to get to class.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

10 Ft Charging Cable

If you have a kid in college (or soon to be going) a long charger cord may be the single most useful gift you can give them. They can have their phone plugged in and charging overnight yet still close enough to their dorm bed to use as an alarm!

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults


Mini Bluetooth Animal Wireless Speaker

These adorable little speakers are cute and functional and are offered in a dozen different animals. Definitely a stocking stuffer toy for your grown up kid.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Ninja Outdoorsman 11 in 1 Stainless Steel Tool

You never really know when you are going to need a “Can Opener, Cutting Edge, Flat Screwdriver, Ruler, Beer Bottle Opener, 4 Position Wrench, Butterfly Screw Wrench, Saw Blade, Direction Ancillary Indication (Water Compass), 2 Position Wrench, Keychain or lanyard Hole (Amazon)” do you? Fits inside a wallet.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults


Oral-B Rechargeable Toothbrush

Giving your kid a new electric toothbrush is a great way to remind them to take care of their dental health.  These by Braun come in black or white.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Crazy Aaron’s Liquid Glass

This might remind your grown up kid of the silly putty of their childhood but this improbable stretchy  “liquid glass” and it will serve them well now as both a toy and stress reducer.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Tape Measure

Anyone who may be moving into a dorm or apartment in the coming year needs a few tools and a durable tape-measure will come in very handy.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

This is a classic gift with loads of functionality.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Bose Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

If your kid loves to have their music with them at all times, consider this small waterproof bluetooth speaker. Especially great for both outdoorsy types or those who live in dorms where sturdy construction is key.

Stocking stuffers for teens and young adults

Favorite Stocking Stuffers

Gift cards for restaurants, Starbucks, car wash, nail salon

Lip balm

Candy, gum, breath mints

Lottery tickets

Ear buds


Travel size toothbrush, shampoo, Kleenex, Advil, hand lotion





Deck of cards, UNO


Razor blades

Beef jerky


Hot wheels

Phone case

Head lamp

Stress or Koosh ball

Pens, pencils

Hand sanitizer

Rubik’s cube

Laundry stain stick

Gloves, mittens

Measuring spoons, kitchen gadgets

Hair ties

YoYo, Slinky

Kitchen magnet



Flip flops



Post It Notes

Silly String

Pez dispenser



Nail Kits

And finally, an orange or apple for the toe!


Awesome and Super-Popular Holiday Gifts for Him 

Holiday Gifts for Her That She Will Love 

Trendy Gift Ideas for the Holidays: Your Kids Will Love These  

Holiday Gifts for Teens: Fun, Popular and Practical

Holiday Gifts for College Students They Will Use Every Day 

Christmas Gifts for Grandparents 

Photo credit: Andrew Malone


















The post Stocking Stuffers for Teens and College Kids That Will Make Them Smile appeared first on Grown and Flown.

My 5-year-old says she has a twin who lives with another family

by Kelly Wilbanks posted in Parenting This sweet story about two unrelated girls who are so close they truly believe they’re twins was sent to me because my daughter has her own faux “twin.” Both she and her friend claim this twin-ship, which graduated from sisterhood because that just wasn’t close enough. When you ask… Read more »

Want to get the full story? Click on the headline above. And thanks for reading the BabyCenter Blog.

Selecting Toys to Encourage Your Child’s Learning & Development

Selecting Toys to Encourage Your Child’sLearning & Development_mini

Each Christmas brings a new crop of “must have” toys and games.  If your child has one of those on his/her list, check out reviews to see if it is worth purchasing.  Age appropriateness and the degree a toy taps into your child’s creativity are important to consider.  Toys that tap into creativity will likely keep your child engaged over a period of time.  It’s always a sad experience when a parent finds that their child is more interested in playing with the box than the toy or when the toy is used for a few days or weeks and then ends up in the toy box for good.

I think it is great when the number one toy on your child’s list is affordable and makes sense to you.  It’s a great feeling when parents can watch a child find the toy they have been longing for under the tree.  My suggestion is that you also select toys and games your child would like that also encourage creativity, learning or physical activity in addition to being fun.  These items tend to be used over and over again.

For infants and toddlers (6 months – 2 years) items such as stuffed animals, stacking and nesting toys, building blocks, simple puzzles, early ride-on toys, musical toys, and age-appropriate books and music are great.  These choices can produce many hours of fun activity that also stimulates intellectual, language, social and physical development.  Parents may need to guide the child at first to help them learn the tasks and once they get it use praise once in a while to spur them on.  Read books and sing along with the music to encourage language skills.  

One of the favorite things preschoolers (3 years to 6 years) like to do is pretend play.  Stuffed toys, dolls and action figures are great items for these guys.  Also, play sets let them imitate adult activity.  Art supplies are also welcomed along with more advanced building toys.  Continue with music for listening and more realistic instruments for playing.  Preschoolers will also be able to use a more advanced ride-on toy.  Other outdoor toys such as sport’s equipment, sandbox, playhouse and swing sets are great for keeping them outdoors more and having fun.  Books, card and board games, and a few video games or other digital items are great to help them develop basic learning skills as well as lead to quality one on one time with parents and family fun too!

School-age children (6 to 12 years) are more likely to be influenced by their peers and advertising to as to what toys and other gift possibilities are cool.  Again, check them out to be sure they would be right for your child.  This stage of development is a great time to expose your child to toys and games that support the acquisition of skills and knowledge associated with what is known as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).  Again, video games and other digital items in moderation are great.  Know is a good time to expose your child to possible hobbies they might like.  Sports equipment and more advanced ride on items are really helpful to motivate for exercise and being outside.  Action figures and items such as vehicles or buildings that go with them encourage creativity, imagination, and social development.  Games that can be played with parents, sibs, friends and family encourage the development of social skills and encourage connecting with others. Books and music, as well as educational electronics, can make learning easier and more fun.  Consider a subscription to an age-appropriate magazine related to their interests or audio books can encourage independent reading but be sure to discuss them with your child as well.

I hope the suggestions provided will help you select the right gifts that will bring joy and excitement as well as encourage growth and development along with fun and spending time with others and getting outside more.  Below are some sites that can provide further guidance for you.

Toy Safety from Kids Health

Guide to all types of media (movies, TV, books, games, apps, websites) form Common Sense Media

Robert Myers, PhD

About Robert Myers, PhD

Dr Bob Myers is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist. He is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Dr Myers has 30 years of clinical experience and specializes in developmental, behavioral and emotional disorders in children and adolescents. He earned his PhD from the University of Southern California. He is the author of Total Focus (a multimedia program for children with ADHD. He has been a radio talk show host.

Hours of excitement! Almost time for the count down. – New Years Eve Ideas

new years eve ideas

New Years Eve Ideas

Are you getting ready?  Another holiday after yesterday’s holiday is coming up!  Hummm…how about a fast, CHEAP, last-minute idea for the New Year’s Eve celebration?  Not a lot of thought is required… promise.  On to New Years Eve Ideas.


new years eve ideas

Items needed:

  • balloons (12)
  • 12 strips of paper
  • 12 easy fast ideas…
  • Easy things found around the house

new years eve ideas

Your kids will think you are cool.

new years eve ideas

Take the 12 strips of paper and write ideas on them.  Here are a few:

  1. ‘Paint’ with shaving cream
  2. Have a snowball fight
  3. Eat a cookie
  4. Read a story in front of the fireplace
  5. Have a thumb war
  6. Sing a song
  7. Clean the bedroom (ya have to have one chore in there)
  8. Balloon Volleyball
  9. Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows.  YUM.
  10. Call Grandma and wish her Happy New Years!
  11. Turn on the music and dance like it’s 1999
  12. Tell a favorite memory from 2010new years eve ideas

Roll up the strip and place it in the balloon.  Blow that sucker up and tape it to the wall.  Any wall will do…even on the top of family pictures (note: I covered up my kiddo’s pics with balloons.  They thought it was fun to discover who’s picture was under it.)new years eve ideas

Write on the balloons a time starting at 1 pm and counting down to midnight.   On each hour have the kids pop a balloon and discover the ‘game’.

FUn.  FuN.

new years eve ideas

Note:  **Be careful with the balloons.  They can be a choking hazard for those little one who put things in their mouths.**    I know you know this, but just to sound like your mother I  thought I’d add it!

new years eve ideas


new years eve ideas

The post Hours of excitement! Almost time for the count down. – New Years Eve Ideas appeared first on How Does She.