Tackling Toddler Sleep Problems

Troubleshoot your tot’s nighttime woes so you can all get the rest you need in your own beds.

Your 1-year-old cries so hard when you put him to bed that he actually throws up. Your 2-year-old still doesn’t sleep through the night. Your 2-and-a-half-year-old shares your bed, or perhaps your 3-year-old wakes in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder.

Sound familiar? If these toddler sleep issues don’t ring true yet, they may soon. While most toddler sleep issues are related to age and stage of development, sometimes underlying health or psychological problems may be at least partly to blame. Regardless of the nocturnal nuisance that’s disturbing everyone’s sleep, there are sound sleep solutions.

Waking throughout the night (again and again)

Getting your child to sleep through the night is a common and challenging toddler sleep problem. Susan Zafarlotfi, clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, says finding a solution for this one depends on your child’s age and whether your child not sleeping through the night has suddenly occurred out of the blue.

“Young toddlers may wake up from teething or they may be sick,” she says. “Parents need to step back and see what has happened in recent weeks in their toddlers’ lives. Is there a new bed? A new sibling? A change in caregivers? Is the child taking a longer nap?”

If waking up is just a habit and unrelated to teething or any other health issues or changes, Zafarlotfi says to intervene by delaying bedtime. Delaying by 15 to 20 minutes could make your toddler more tired, she says.

If your tot calls out to you during these middle-of-the-night episodes, Zafarlotfi advises going into the room to comfort your toddler with a lullaby, soft music, or any other soothing routine that you use at nighttime. “Assure them that they are OK and then leave their room,” she says.

If this scenario happens night after night after night, she says, you should delay going into the room to soothe your child by five minutes each night.

Crying at bedtime to the point of being sick

Should you really just let your toddler cry it out? Often called Ferberizing, this method may seem cruel to some parents, especially if the child cries himself or herself sick. Other parents swear by it.

“It’s very hard to do,” says Mary Michaeleen Cradock, clinical psychologistwith St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri. “But we know of no negative effects of using the Ferber method.” Often times, one parent can handle the wailing and the other one simply cannot, she says. “If you are letting your child cry it out, one of you may want to go to the gym or put on an iPod while the other deals with the crying.” If you choose this approach, you need to be prepared to stay committed to it for four to five nights.

Ferberizing is really all about changing your toddlers’ sleep associations, which should solve this toddler sleep issue. “If a mom rocks her toddler to sleep, this is that child’s sleep association. If the goal is to get the toddler to go sleep by herself, you need to shift the association to one that she can do herself — the Ferber method is one way to do that,” Cradock says.

If letting your child cry until she vomits seems too barbaric, go into the room after your child cries for a set amount of time, rub her back, and say, “Mommy is going to sleep, too,” and then walk away, Zafarlotfi says. You may have to do this a few times a night before your toddler is comfortable. If this cry-it-out method is not something that you or your partner (or toddler) can stomach, discuss alternative methods with your pediatrician.

The bedtime routines that never end

Sleep specialist Rafael Pelayo, MD, an associate professor of sleep medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, says, “The goal is to make bedtime a positive experience.” In two-parent households, bedtimecan become tumultuous. “Either one parent says, ‘I put her to bed last night and now it’s your turn,’ or one parent is better than the other at putting the kid to sleep and resentment comes in to play,” he says. “This is more related to family dynamics than the child. But kids pick up on their parents’ stressand anxiety around bedtime, and that gets them stressed out and prolongs bedtime.”

Pelayo recommends the following solution. “Both parents should go into the room, dim the lights, and chat amongst themselves for about 20 minutes or so because there is nothing more boring, yet more reassuring and safe, than having both parents there,” he says. “Instead of saying, ‘Let’s get this kid to sleep,’ just hang out, talk, relax, and think about how lucky you are to have such a great kid.”

Preferring your bed over his or her own

Some parents may enjoy sleeping with their children, but this can be a toddler sleep problem in other families. Sharing a room or sharing a bed may be primarily a cultural or economic issue, Pelayo says. “You can only put baby in a crib if you can afford a crib, and your baby can only have their own room if you can afford it,” he says. “It is really a cultural thing to have kids sleep in separate rooms or beds.”

But if both parents agree that bed-sharing is a troublesome toddler sleep issue, “try telling them that mom and dad are happier when they sleep alone because children innately want to please their parents,” he says. “Or say, ‘There is no such thing as a three-person bed, just two-people beds.'”

Children may be scared to be alone, so you need to let them know that they are safe and secure wherever they sleep.

Breaking this habit can be hard, Zafarlotfi says. It usually starts innocently enough. “A child may have had an earache and slept in their parents’ bed and gotten used to it,” she says. “If they are accustomed to your bedroom, you need to reverse it and spend more time in their bedroom. Stay in their room on a recliner, dim the lights, and act as if you too are dozing off or relaxing at bedtime or naptime so they know that you are present,” she says.

Be positive. “Say, ‘Mommy needs her time, but she will come to your room for a while.'” While you are there, “play soothing music and have fun in their room so they know that their bedroom is not for punishment or abandonment,” Zafarlotfi says. “When they fall asleep you can say good-bye or sneak out.”

Consistency counts too. Zafarlotfi says, “You can’t take them to your bed one night and then not let them in the next night.”


“The first thing you can do is to look for any physical problems that may be disturbing their sleep,” Pelayo says. Snoringacid refluxheartburn, or even allergies may be waking your child up at night, not nightmares. “If there doesn’t seem to be anything physical causing them to wake and stir,” he says, “then it’s time to talk about the nightmares. Tell them that they are always safe and that nightmares and dreams are like paintings and drawings, meaning that they can paint a nice picture or scary picture,” he says.

Dream rehearsal may also help children take the sting out of nightmares. Here’s how it works: “Discuss what happened in the nightmare and come up with a new ending,” he says. If your toddler dreamed that he was falling off of a cliff, tell him to imagine that he can fly. Or if the nightmare involved a monster, perhaps the monster could be made of marshmallows, he suggests.

Night Terror

“Night or sleep terrors are not nightmares,” Pelayo says. These two toddler sleep disorders differ in certain important ways. “Sleep terrors occur in the first third of the sleep and nightmares tend to occur in the last third of the sleep,” he says. Sleep terrors or night terrors are characterized by a bloodcurdling scream, crying, a racing heart, and no memory the next day, he says. By contrast, a nightmare is a dream, and your child is reassured that it was only a dream when he wakes.

“The first thing to do for night terrors is to rule out snoring, because snoring destabilizes sleep, and this can make night terrors, or even sleepwalking, more likely. Destabilized sleep is not deep sleep,” Pelayo says. These toddler sleep disorders tend to occur in light sleeps. Once snoring has been ruled out, try waking your child 15 minutes after he or she falls asleep. “They will respond to this scheduled awakening by going to sleep more deeply,” Pelayo says. Abide by the 15-minute rule, though, because waking a child much after that may actually cause night terrors.

Toddler Snoring

This toddler sleep problem could be associated with sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition in which your child stops breathing repeatedly while asleep. Take your child to a pediatrician, who may recommend your child be evaluated by an ear-nose-and-throat (ENT) specialist.

Thrashing and banging with outbursts of sudden crying

“Safety is the first thing to look out for in situations like these,” Zafarlotfi says. “Make sure the crib or bed is as safe as it can be so children can’t hurt themselves. If this continues to the point that the child is disturbed, see a sleep specialist for a sleep study,” she says. There are many potential causes of this toddler sleep disorder. “It may be a psychological issue, it may be something that they will outgrow, or maybe they are having seizures while they sleep.” Depending on the cause and the severity, medication may be in order.

Trying to climb out of the crib

“It may be time for a toddler bed,” says Zafarlotfi. “If your child is really trying to climb out, they can end up hurting themselves so you have no choice.” This switch can be done in several ways. “Some parents make a big fuss and buy a huge bed, but some parents just buy the bed, place it in the child’s room and ask the child whether they want to sleep in the bed or crib.”

If your toddler won’t stay in his or her bed, “get a safety gate by the door that is too high to climb over and one that they can’t crawl under and catch their neck,” Zafarlotfi says. On average, children are transitioned to a toddler bed around age 2 or when they are 35 inches tall.


Best Mental Techniques to Improve Your Time Management

Beneficial time management is something most of us struggle with. In a world that certainly has no shortage of distractions, it becomes all too easy to waste away hours or even days on activities that are neither useful nor really all that enjoyable.

If you would like to start getting more value out of the hours you’ve been given, check out these seven mental techniques for improving your time management.

1. Visualize your daily goals.

When you wake up each morning, decide then and there what you want to do with that day. What tasks do you want to accomplish? What activities do you want to enjoy? (It’s important to note that daily goals don’t necessarily have to be work related. Perhaps your goal for the day is to spend time with your family or enjoy a day on the golf course.) Then take a few minutes to visualize these tasks as already completed. How would you feel if they were already done? This sense of fulfillment will renew your drive to complete your tasks that day and not put them off any longer.

2. Avoid putting off tasks.

We as humans have this unfortunate tendency to spend more mental energy worrying about the tasks we have to do than we spend actually doing them. When you put off tasks, they’re always going to be in the back of your mind. It’s difficult to enjoy leisure time when you’re always either consciously or subconsciously thinking about the work you are putting off. To avoid wasting mental energy worrying about these unfinished to-do’s, always complete tasks as they come up.

3. Set deadlines.

Few things are more motivating than a deadline. Some tasks given to you will inherently come with a deadline, but for tasks that don’t, you stand to benefit a lot by setting one of your own. Deadlines have a way of breaking procrastination and can motivate you even when you have no desire to complete the task. It’s important, though, when you set deadlines for yourself that you actually stick to them. If you start ignoring the deadlines you set, then soon they will have little value to your time management efforts.

4. Make a to-do list.

One of the best time-management tools you can use is a to-do list. Something about writing out the tasks you have to complete on a piece of paper makes them feel more doable. It provides you with a visible, tangible way to see how much you have still to do and keep track of the things that you’ve already done. As an added bonus, marking an item off your to-do list is a feel-good reward in and of itself.

5. Stop multitasking.

There are a lot of people who feel as if they are really good at multitasking, but very few of us actually are. Studies have shown that we are almost always less productive when we are trying to accomplish multiple tasks at once. By learning how to prioritize, you’ll be able to get much more done than if you were multitasking. In fact, not only are we less productive when we multitask, it can also increase your chances of getting burned out, as it is both more difficult and more stressful than focusing your efforts on a single task. Instead of trying to get everything done at once, start checking things off your to-do list one task at a time, focusing all of your attention on that single task until it is complete.

6. Reward yourself.

When you complete a task, reward yourself! That doesn’t mean you have to throw a huge celebration every time you check something off your to-do list. For many people, the reward for finishing a task is something as simple as going outside for a breath of fresh air or getting a can of soda from the refrigerator. Just make sure that whatever rewards you give yourself are healthy and don’t take up too much of your time. For example, eating a box of donuts every time you finish a task probably isn’t a good idea, and neither is taking the next two hours off. When done right, though, small rewards can have a big effect.

7. Take time to relax.

If you’re like most of us, no matter how much you do, there will always still be tasks that you could be working on. Sometimes this feeling of never really being caught up can be overwhelming, and you may find yourself trying to compensate by working even longer and harder. There almost always comes a point, though, when you will burn out

. From that point forward, no matter how hard you try, the work you do is not going to be the same quality as it was before, and the time it takes you to do it is going to be increased. What’s worse, burning yourself out certainly isn’t healthy.

It’s important to know when to take a step back and relax—for example, working breaks into your daily goals and rewarding yourself with short periods of relaxation. However you make the time for it, just know that taking that time for yourself is every bit as important for good time management as taking the time to complete your tasks.

By following these mental techniques to improve your time management, you’ll be able to get more done faster and easier than you ever thought possible.


Waffles with Blueberry Maple Syrup

Yep, you can eat waffles and bagels and still lose weight! Begin your day with this healthy, low-calorie breakfast!


Make It
Microwave blueberries and syrup together for 2 to 3 minutes, until berries are thawed. Toast waffles and top with warm blueberry syrup. Sprinkle with pecans.

Watermelon Mint Lemonade


Watermelon juice-2 glasses
Mint leaves-10
2 pinches of salt
Lemon juice -2-3 table spoons


Prepare fresh watermelon juice. Now in blender take juice,mint leaves,2 pinches of salt,squeeze lemon juice and blend until fine puree.

Pour in glasses, refrigerate for some time and serve chilled.

Best Summer Sandals 2018

Walk on eggshells with Loewe, get graphic with Jacquemus, and head beachside with Madewell: Ahead, a massive edit of the summer shoes we’re so ready to wear.

Non-Matchy Matchy

These sculptural heels are so good, they don’t need to match.

Jacquemus Les Sandales Bahia, €555; jacquemus.com








Designer Hypebae

We all know these are the sneakers of the year.

Louis Vuitton LV Archlight Sneaker, $1,090; louisvuitton.com









Daily Mule

This shoe will work with everything from formal LBD’s to Daytime LWD’s.

Mango Heel Leather Mules, $80; mango.com









Metallic Mod

Go-go boots made a silver streak at the ’60s-inspired runway at Christian Dior.

Dior Naughtily-D Lace-Up Boots, $1,650; Dior.com









Summer Essentials

Palm trees and pina coladas are all we need.

Vincenza Metallic Palm Slide Sandals, $118; anthropologie.com










How to Work Less?

The traditional structure of nine to five is no longer, and the average American works 47 hours a week. We’re working over the recommended limit and conversely, sleeping under the 7-9 hours per night that research suggests for optimal health. This is a tradeoff that does not have to be the norm. Who wouldn’t love a little more time to spend with the kids, read, cook, and play outside before sundown? Over the past five years of running a startup while still sleeping 8+ hours a night and working out everyday, I’ve developed a few habits to help me make every work hour count.

Pen, Paper, Priority

While technology has provided us with enough multitasking tools and productivity apps to schedule the rest of our lives, I find that my favorite productivity “app” is a pen and paper. The tip to productivity is priority. I spend each morning writing down the top three things that I want to accomplish that day, ranked in order of priority. Most people are the most productive in the morning, and I’m no exception. Instead of diving straight into my email, I pick the hardest task on my list and finish that first. I keep that list in front of me the whole day and it helps me to focus when meetings and emails try to pull me in different directions. Though many people keep lists in their notebooks, I love writing them on pieces of scratch paper so that I can  cross off, crumple and slamdunk my list of tasks into the recycling bin at the end of the day.

Timeblock your Tasks

On Sunday evenings I make a list of everything I want to get done in the coming week. Then I block out times in my calendar for the larger tasks that I know will take multiple hours of focused attention. Kuli Kuli has a shared google calendar and we encourage everyone to block off time as they see fit. My team knows that if I block off “HOLD for Investor Update” in the calendar that I’ll be focusing on that task but they can schedule over it if something extremely time-sensitive comes up. I also find that these time blocks make it easier to do tasks that I have trouble making time for. For me, writing articles for Forbes or other outlets is one of those tasks that takes hours of focused attention, but it’s often an activity that’s difficult to prioritize as it never feels as urgent as the day to day fires of running a startup. However, when I have a clearly delineated time in my calendar, it feels less daunting to spend a few hours away from the emails and meetings to try something more creative. And better yet, often I finish my tasks early, leaving time for breaks!

Bursts to Breaks

I drink more tea at work than most people drink water. Part of this comes from the fact that I enjoy tea but the other, larger part is that I enjoy the ritual of heating up the water, waiting for the tea leaves to steep and then composting the leaves once the tea has reached the perfect richness. This ritual serves as the perfect 15 minute break for me and I do it 4-6 times a day. Everyone has different ways that they take breaks. There is lots of research out there about the “right” balance of focus and rest, from the Pomodoro Technique of 25 minutes of focus and 5 minutes of rest to the suggestion of many social scientists to work for 52 minutes and then play for 17. Every person is different and I suggest finding activities that you enjoy — whether its a tea/coffee break, a walk outside or a stretch — and building that into your work routine.

Work to Workout

At Kuli Kuli, we’ve built in an optional stretch break that also serves as a team bonding time. If you step into our office at 2:30pm, you’re likely to see half a dozen people doing push-ups or crunches as part of our team FitDeck stretch breaks. We also have a weekly team running club on Friday afternoons and a monthly pickup soccer game that we play against another startup. Research shows that exercising during the middle of the workday stimulates creativity, relieves stress, and increases alertness. Fitting in exercise is immensely positive in every possible way. After a workout, when I’m back at my standing desk, I’m always less antsy, less distracted, and more productive than when I started.

Eat Well, Hydrate, Meditate

Food is medicine, water is fuel and meditation brings clarity. I never understand people who say they’re too busy to eat breakfast or stop to eat lunch. I’m too busy to not eat breakfast! Staying focused, efficient, and productive is a form of being in shape, for both the body and the brain. You need stamina and nourishment to make it through your optimal work day and mental clarity to tackle each task with intention. Of course, running a moringa company means that I’m partial to superfoods but there are many different “brain foods” that can help you perform at your best. I make sure that our office is stocked with lots of healthy snacks. I also keep a water bottle (and a mug for tea) next to my desk at all times so that I stay hydrated. And of course, pee breaks are another good excuse to step away from your computer. I also spend 5-10 minutes meditating at both the beginning and end of my day, which helps me begin and end each day with intention.

Cater to your Creativity

I often like to theme my days. Mondays are my meeting days, Wednesdays are my “maker days” and Fridays are my call marathon days, which I often take while walking around the lake near our office. Though I like scheduling similar types of activities on certain days, I also leave a lot of room for flexibility. I travel around every other week and find that I often to get creative about the places and types of work that I’m doing. Often when I’m attending conferences I’ll intentionally miss the morning sessions in order to get in a run and one task finished before I engage in the sessions. With the more flexible and remote nature of many careers nowadays, it’s become easier than ever to set the work schedule that aligns with the times you’re most productive. Not every day has to be the same, and changing it up will keep you engaged and help dodge boredom and monotony. When you plan out the tasks of the day, determine which environment will foster the most creativity and efficiency so you can produce your best quality of work.

Check Out at the end of the Checklist

The above tips should help you to avoid burning out from all that great work you’ve accomplished, but there’s one more essential step – quit while you’re ahead. It’s important to leave today’s work on a high note so that you’re ready to roll tomorrow. When you’ve finished everything you’ve set out to do to the best of your ability, step away and call it a day. Have a bunch of tasks that could come next? Create tomorrow’s list and feel good about having finished today’s and taken tomorrow’s first step. By the end of the week, as long as I’ve completed all the work I set out to, I can walk away guilt-free.

Most Importantly, Actually Sleep

If you want to sleep more hours than you work, you should make sure you’re sleeping at least eight hours. But just as you can be creative with your work hours, sleeping hours don’t have to be amassed in the eight-hour blocks that we think they do. All over the world, siestas, repos, and naptimes allow adults to reach their full eight hours of shuteye and wake up feeling refreshed and refocused. Even Google offers nap rooms, recognizing it increases techie productivity! If you’re more partial to the traditional nighttime slumber however, try setting a timer rather than an alarm, counting down from an ideally uninterrupted eight hours at lights out.

After trying these steps, you might find you have more time on your hands than you did before — congratulations, taskmaster. Now, get outside and enjoy that sunshine!


Japanese Parenting

Are we missing something in this common struggle of parents called discipline? Children are fascinating but growing them right takes work, lots of hard labor and tough love.

Yes, they are adorable creatures, but they can get headstrong and unpredictable.

As you might have figured by now, they come into the world without an instruction manual. We can either let them grow by default or mold them into the right direction.

But how?

More and more children are starting to be uncontrollable as time goes. This trend is not just confined to a country border but is slowly spreading around the globe.

It’s about time that we ask our super-parent selves if we are doing things right. Child-rearing traditions may greatly vary from country to country and from town to town, but one culture seems to excel when it comes to effective discipline.

It is none other than the Japanese people that have mastered the game of independence and self-control.

What is it about Japanese parenting that makes it stand out from the rest? What are the key takeaways that we may learn from them?

It Takes A Community To Raise A Child

Japanese children are tended by the mother but are grown by the whole community.

In Western culture, children are raised by their parents but in Japan, children are cultured collectively. While their Western counterparts are accustomed to driving their kids daily, Japanese parents let kids as young as five to wander and travel to school using public transportation.

Elsewhere, children are trained not to trust or talk to strangers. In Japan, a lost child is usually instructed by his parents to ask nearby elderly for directions. With Japan’s low crime rate and safe neighborhood, parents entrust the child to the community, starting in the morning when her child exits the door.

Our Western culture has a collective paranoia about letting children go about without an adult companion. It is not the case with Japanese, as they are keen to let small kids explore and have it their way.

What can be learned with how the Japanese community cares for its children?

1/ Complete autonomy but assisted by every adult

Asian Father And Children Talking In Park

Japanese children are encouraged by elders, teachers and community citizens to utilize public transportation unassisted.

With Japan’s growing number of population, driving private cars can sometimes mean too much traffic congestion. It is only in Japan that you can meet small kids walking together and taking the bus and trains without their carers or parents.

Everybody, from the sidewalk vendor to the police at the roadside, even the bus driver looks out for these kids. It is amazing how much these adults care whether these small kids are boarding the right bus and stopping at the correct locations.

Children who are lost will be readily assisted by a nearby elder, even going as far as letting the driver know that the kid must be assisted while onboard.

This is something that we can emulate as a community if we wish to have our children travel independently.


This is a community effort to look out for the kids, and everybody is doing their share.

Only when our villages are as safe and citizens as caring as the Japanese will we allow our children to leave home alone.


Seeing our current crime rates and safety concerns now, it is not likely happening in the near future.

2/ Fostering a hierarchy culture where every elderly is deemed trusty

Japanese children are thought by their parents to respect each and every elder, regardless of their social status. They are also taught to bow and show reverence, before asking for help.

Adults are mostly perceived by small children as respectable and trustworthy. In return, these elders reciprocate the child’s trust, through assisting the child.

Through a mutual sense of respect, the community became an extended family for these little kids. Nowhere else can you experience a sense of security amidst the huge crowd as in Japan.

Utilizing The Japanese Approach To Discipline

# Pride

Japanese kids

For the Japanese, a child’s pride is number one. Children are not reprimanded and scolded openly.

For a child throwing tantrums, discipline rarely happens in the marketplace or at the supermarket aisle. It can only be done at home, behind closed doors.

These kids are rarely being yelled upon. The parent’s disappointment, anger, and lessons are delivered face-to-face through quite firm tones and sharp words.

Shame is also a reverse motivator for these kids, as you can rarely see a school age child making a fuss at public places. These are understandable since for Japanese and other Asian cultures, pride is paramount.


Condemn behavior, not the one doing the behavior. Let the kid know that you absolutely hate what he had done, that his actions are despicable. But let him retain his self-respect by reminding him afterwards that he is loved and cherished nevertheless.

# Patience

japanese parenting

Latino or Western parents can easily lose their cool and employ threats outright, but for their Japanese counterpart, patience is enduring. They set a border, a very wide allowance, to allow the little child to be and do as he wishes.

Part of the reason for this patience is the Japanese’ understanding that the child is just undergoing a phase. A given set of behavior is expected of children at a certain age, and this unruliness will also pass.

Allow your child to be; do not tame that exuberance. Stick to a single schedule for the whole day, and let your child follow it on his own accord. Put him back in the right direction as he might feel lazy, this is natural for a kid.

Patience is all about letting him grow and explore, and giving encouragements on the side.

# Show affection

There is a proven formula for showing the right dose of affection. When given too much the wrong way, affection will make the kids feel like kings. The Japanese parents practice silent affection and diligent attention.

Skinship is practiced to make the child feel safe, but limits are set to allow him to respect his mother.

Co-sleeping is common and children are being guided by his mother through every waking hour. But when it comes to discipline and taming rowdy behavior, the mother is firm and does as she says.

Rather than giving the kid a “time out” or “grounding”, the little child is thrown out of the house. The kid will immediately feel the threat of being alone and bare, without his mother’s care.


Being cast away is akin to feeling abandoned. The child will then frantically knock on the door, shouting promises that he will now be a good boy.

# Praise the right way

When it comes to Japanese parenting, there is no such thing as a baby genius. Children are praised and acknowledged for their efforts, not for their ability.

Children and their parents take pride in small school accomplishments, not because the child is deemed smart, but because the kid worked hard.

This is comforting for a child to perceive that he can also achieve just as well as others if he studied just as diligently.

Show kids how to do a thing, and then let him do it on his own, in his unique way. Do not coax or push him, just keep a watchful eye. Express confidence in your child, not because he is born with good genes, but because he is somebody dependable.

# Manners

Japanese greeting

The Japanese are the epitome of civility and good graces. This is something rooted in their culture. They have this seeming boundless supply of courtesy which is connected with their natural penchant to acknowledge social hierarchy.

Japanese kids are not the exception as they are trained early on to be respectful of elders.

Asian parents might be shocked to find some Western kids addressing their parents and older siblings by their first names. It might be due to the West’s ego-centeredness, wherein everything revolves around the individual.

What might seem a little rude for us is an absolute no-no in Japanese culture. Back to our previous example, small children are accustomed to showing the deepest civility with people they have met off the streets.

A trait commonly shared with the East is “others before self”. We might not go as far as require our kids to be selfless, but we can start by making them respect everyone. This is done through proper behavior and a cooperative attitude.

The Bottom Line


Raising kids right is all about compromise and diligence. In this fast paced world with a thousand online friends and unknown next door neighbors, we might be tempted to let society grow our child.

What you might have perceived as the right thing might not be what is best after all.

It takes patience and lots of invested time, to be able to mold a child right. It takes years to grow a child well; it is pure sweat, blood, and tears. But once it is done right, you’ll have an adult to cherish and be proud of, for a lifetime.


Business Makeup – How to Get Professional Look

Dressing for success is so much more than simply choosing an outfit that looks fresh, casual and yet professional. As I’ve come to learn from the Fashion for Business event created by Biz magazine last week, your professional image should not be underestimated, especially if you’re planning to advance in your career and achieve your goals.

The thought and care you put into your image as a career woman should not be limited to the outfits you choose for your business meetings, but should reflect in every aspect that ties together the whole ensemble. With what I gathered from the Business Makeup workshop sponsored by Avon and what other tricks I have for achieving a casual business makeup, manicure and hairstyle, you’ll have all the necessary tools for creating a professional office look every day.

A challenge many young women face nowadays is choosing a professional casual makeup, hairstyle and outfit that don’t overpower their look and let their skills and talent shine. When it comes to your place of work, less is more in terms of makeup. However, no makeup is as bad as too much makeup, as this reflects to your clients, investors and customers that your professional life casts a shadow over your personal one, that you don’t care too much about yourself to properly groom and take care of your image.

A woman’s professional appearance needs to support her professional accomplishments, which is why looking competent and confident is incredibly important. I for one, can’t imagine doing that without makeup and studies show that women who wear makeup at work are more likely to get promoted.

Office makeup

Office makeup

But before you get ahead of yourself and announce that you’re buying tonight, let me first give you some tips on how to achieve a professional, casual business makeup.

Business Makeup Tips

There are a few basic aspects to consider when doing you business makeup. I’ll try to present them as clearly as I possibly can:

Groom your eyebrows and prep your skin – as per usual, makeup looks much better when your skin is healthy and clear. Keep a skin care routine fitted to your needs, make appointments to see your cosmetician once a month and keep your eyebrows groomed and styled at all times.

Use professional makeup products – not only are these better for your skin, but they also wear better and help you maintain your look perfect for the entire day

Keep it simple – you have to be able to do your makeup each morning, before you go to work, in about 10-15 minutes.

Keep it natural – less is more when it comes to a business makeup, therefore try to emphasize your natural features rather than distract everyone you talk to with an accent feature.

Business Makeup Tips

Business Makeup Tips

Choose a color scheme that compliments your features – the best color options for an office makeup are not the color trends of each year, but rather a range of neutral tones and complimentary shades, that make your eyes and hair color stand out.

The best eye shadow shades are beige, champagne, golden rose, vanilla, taupe, brown, camel, peach, plum, gray, chocolate, cooper, bronze or charcoal. Here are a few color scheme popular shades for brown eyes, some eye makeup ideas for green eyes and some makeup tips for blue eyes

Choose warm tones for the office – the fluorescent lighting in most office buildings is cool (bluish white). Because this tends to bring out pallor in the skin tone, you need to use makeup to your advantage to counteract sallow undertones and brighten the complexion.

Thus, regardless of your skin tone, choose warm tones for your eye shadows – golden beige, vanilla, peach, plum, chocolate browns, rather than blue, gray, greens, pink or purple shades. This applies to both lipstick and blush, so choose carefully!

Carry blotting tissues for touch ups – after lunchtime, I recommend stripping your skin of excess oils by blotting some touch ups tissues rather than powdering and caking your face. You can find some at MAC, Sephora or MUFE.

Office Makeup tips

Office Makeup tips

Business Makeup Advice

The most important aspect of your office makeup should be a flawless complexion, that stays perfect all day, regardless of bad weather or hot days. With that in mind, my strongest advice for a business casual makeup is that you pay attention to your complexion.

By choosing a good foundation according to your skin type, that has a good formula and a mattyfing effect, you can cut down on touch ups between meetings or in the office elevators and focus on the task at hand.

Make sure you apply a face primer before your foundation, and always blend the later below your jaw line to make the transition invisible to the naked eye.

Business Makeup Look

Business Makeup Look


Next, get rid of the dark circles under your eyes, that make you look like you haven’t slept all week. These send out the message that you are too tired to focus on your job or that you don’t have an organized life. To avoid any misconceptions, please invest in a quality under-eye concealer. I narrowed down the best makeup concealers on the market that will help you camouflage dark circles in an instance.

If you have any skin issues at the moment, like blemishes or acne, you should try to conceal these spots as well. Stress and bad eating habits are contributing factors to these issues, so if you don’t want to look like you’re in over your head,  get your hands on one of the 20 best makeup concealers out there, that cover acne, veins, scars or tattoos.

After your face is a perfect canvas, apply a sheer dusting of loose powder to set your makeup and make it last all day. Matte is always more appropriate for the office than a dewy complexion. A touch of peach toned blush and you already look more competent, fresh and ready for action.

Business Casual Makeup looks

It’s time for the eye makeup, and since you want your make-up to stand the test of time, start with a good base and apply an eye primer. There are a number of excellent products available that I can recommend, like NYX HD Eye shadow base, MAC PaintPot, Urban Decay Priming Potion, ELF Eye Shadow Primer or Too Faced Shadow Insurance are just a couple of my picks for eye shadows.

Business casual makeup

Business casual makeup

Before we move on to the eye makeup, don’t neglect your eyebrows. If you find yourself in a hurry and need to decide if you either do a complete eye makeup or just use some mascara and properly fill your eyebrows in, I’d choose the later.

It will take just a couple of minutes to fill your eyebrow shape with a powder, an eyebrow pencil or a brow gel, and if you find yourself in a rush, a touch of clear brown gel does the trick and keeps your eye brows tamed.

As I mentioned earlier, the best options for the eye makeup are matte eye shadows in neutral shades. You can choose some with a subtle shimmer to them, but don’t use glittery colors at the office. Best keep those for the weekend!

Apply a bright neutral beige or peach color on the entire lid to make your eyes wide awake. Pick either neutral shades or pale hues that are complimentary to your eye color. These make your features stand out, without overpowering your look.

You can apply only the base color and contour your eyelashes subtly for a quick and easy makeup look, or if you want to spend a bit more time getting ready, choose a medium shade that compliments your eye color.

Natural Eye Shadow options for a business makeup

Natural Eye Shadow options for a business makeup

My advice is to blend the colors you use in the crease and keep the focus on the lids. Blending outside this perimeter onto the brow bone might be a bit too much for the office, so keep it casual and think day-time look. Something too dark, too graphic or that resembles a Smoky Eye might be better for an evening look.

After you applied the base color and a medium color on the center of your lid, you can add a little definition to the eye area, by softly adding a crease color and blend it to the outer corner of the eye, close to the lash line.

Chocolate browns, grays, bronze or taupe are always more appropriate than black, a much too strong color for the office. If you need extra definition, line your eyes using a brown eye pencil or a gel eyeliner close to the lashes, just on the outer third of the eye. This won’t make it too strong, and will make your eyes look gorgeous.

Neutral Eye Shadows

Neutral Eye Shadows

Avoid dark Kohl liners on the inner rims of your eyes, as these tend to smudge throughout the day and make you look unprofessional. Try instead a beige concealer pencil, that you can apply on the inner rims and make your eyes stand out more. This will also counteract any redness in your eyes.

Before you apply mascara, give your lashes a good curl to make you look more wide awake. I don’t recommend a waterproof mascara on a daily use, however make sure you choose a high quality brand, that won’t smudge and give you panda eyes.

Office Makeup – business meeting pointers

Business makeup Looks

Business makeup Looks

With lip colors, you have a few more options to express yourself than with eye shadows. For your daily look, you can either go for a nude lip pencil and a gloss, that you can reapply during the day or choose a creamy lipstick in a dark pinkish nude hue. Neutral pinks and soft subtle corals are the best choices for your typical office day, however make sure that you go with something a little bit bolder at your next meeting.

A confident woman will always feel the need to stand out in a crowd, even if we’re talking about a professional environment. Rather than overpowering your eyes with dark or bright colors, try adding some color into your look on your lips.

A berry or brown red shade that matches your skin tone will give you a bit of that retro working girl vibe and keep your spirits up when you don’t feel particularly confident. These shades will also make your teeth look even whiter, on the plus side.

Lipstick shades for a business makeup

Lipstick shades for a business makeup

Make sure that you keep a set of retractable brushes and an “essential survivor makeup kit” in your purse at all times. This should include, but not be limited to a concealer, powder, blotting tissues, a few lipsticks and glosses for touch ups and whatever you think you’ll need to turn your makeup from an office-friendly zone into a party zone. Just in case you have to attend a party or an event after work and you don’t have enough time to drop by your house.

Hope you learned a few extra business makeup tips and that you feel confident and more competent in your skills. If you have any more questions or need product recommendations, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.


Creamy Grape Salad


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pounds seedless red grapes
2 pounds seedless green grapes
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped pecans


In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until blended. Add grapes and toss to coat.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans just before serving.

Recognizing Early Signs of Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can look different in different people. It’s a developmental disability that affects the way people communicate, behave, or interact with others. There’s no single cause for it, and symptoms can be very mild or very severe.

Some children who are on the spectrum start showing signs as young as a few months old. Others seem to have normal development for the first few months or years of their lives and then they start showing symptoms.

But up to half of parents of children with ASD noticed issues by the time their child reached 12 months, and between 80% and 90% noticed problems by 2 years. Children with ASD will have symptoms throughout their lives, but it’s possible for them to get better as they get older.

The autism spectrum is very wide. Some people might have very noticeable issues, others might not. The common thread is differences in social skills, communication, and behavior compared with people who aren’t on the spectrum.

Social Skills

A child with ASD has a hard time interacting with others. Problems with social skills are some of the most common signs. He might want to have close relationships but not know how.

If your child is on the spectrum, he might show some social symptoms by the time he’s 8 to 10 months old. These may include any of the following:

  • He can’t respond to his name by his first birthday.
  • Playing, sharing, or talking with other people doesn’t interest him.
  • He prefers to be alone.
  • He avoids or rejects physical contact.
  • When he’s upset, he doesn’t like to be comforted.
  • He doesn’t understand emotions — his own or others’.


About 40% of kids with autism spectrum disorders don’t talk at all, and between 25% and 30% develop some language skills during infancy but then lose them later. Some children with ASD start talking later in life.

Most have some problems with communication, including these:

  • Delayed speech and language skills
  • Flat, robotic speaking voice, or singsong voice
  • Echolalia (repeating the same phrase over and over)
  • Problems with pronouns (saying “you” instead of “I,” for example)
  • Not using or rarely using common gestures (pointing or waving), and not responding to them
  • Inability to stay on topic when talking or answering questions
  • Not recognizing sarcasm or joking

Patterns of Behavior

Children with ASD also act in ways that seem unusual or have interests that aren’t typical. Examples of this can include:

  • Repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, rocking, jumping, or twirling
  • Constant moving and “hyper” behavior
  • Fixations on certain activities or objects
  • Specific routines or rituals (and getting upset when a routine is changed, even slightly)
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, light, and sound
  • Not taking part in “make-believe” play or imitating others’ behaviors
  • Fussy eating habits
  • Lack of coordination, clumsiness
  • Impulsiveness (acting without thinking)
  • Aggressive behavior, both with self and others
  • Short attention span
The earlier treatment for autism spectrum disorder begins, the more like it is to be effective. That’s why knowing how to identify the signs and symptoms is so important.

Make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician if he doesn’t meet these specific developmental milestones, or if he meets but loses them later on:
  • Smiles by 6 months
  • Imitates facial expressions or sounds by 9 months
  • Coos or babbles by 12 months
  • Gestures (points or waves) by 14 months
  • Speaks with single words by 16 months and uses phrases of two words or more by 24 months
  • Plays pretend or “make-believe” by 18 months