How to Make Your Family Event a Little Less Awkward

It’s that time of the year again: Labor Day is almost upon us and family get togethers are being thrown left and right. If your family hasn’t seen each other for a while, these events can get awkward. You don’t necessarily know what to talk about or who to talk to. You probably spend most of it on your phone taking Buzzfeed quizzes. Well, worry no longer! This blog is here to get everyone talking and having a good time.

Don’t save the goody bags for leaving, open them at the beginning so everyone can interact with them

Every good party has a goody bag full of trinkets for guests to take home with them and remember the night. This is all well and good, but imagine if the bag was filled with things you could use at the event. This way, guests can talk to each other about the items as an easy conversation starter.

What should you put in the bag? One of the easiest conversation starters is a cigar. Whether your family is full of aficionados or novices, everyone can comment on the experience of smoking a cigar. Custom Tobacco allows you to personalize every aspect of the cigar from band to filler to wrapper and more. Decorate your cigars with “X Family Reunion 2017” or whatever else your heart desires. Even if your family doesn’t smoke, they’ll most likely partake in this stogie on the special occasion.

Better yet, while you’re all smoking, you can discuss the flavor profile of the cigars. Luckily, Custom Tobacco offers variety packs so people can smoke something different and compare and contrast. For the younger ones, Custom Tobacco also offers chocolate cigars. This way no one feels left out of the festivities and everyone gets a cigar personalized to your family.

Get Around the Campfire

It might be cliche, but campfires/bonfires make for a great group activity. Settle everyone around and sing songs or play games. This is a great way for the entire group to come together. This is also a great way to get the family history sorted. Members can tell stories about the ancestors or just their parents to give everyone a communal knowledge of the family.

Another fun activity is to give out family superlative awards such as, “most likely to pass out before the night is over.” These are fun, joking ways to get everyone involved and laughing. Points for giving the awards on paper plates or T-shirts (a great activity to keep the kids occupied).

Celebrate the One Thing You All Have in Common: Heritage

Whether it’s cooking traditional foods or playing traditional games, embracing your heritage for the night is a surefire way to get everyone connected. For example, my family always makes nissu, a Finnish braided bread, which we gorge on after dinner. As kids, my grandma would start by explaining the importance of the bread and each ingredient to our culture.

Even if you don’t know much about your culture, there’s always a new tradition you could start. The French game, petanque, which closely resembles Bocce ball, is an easy game to learn and play. There are also traditional dance styles, such as Congolese, you can learn and get everyone involved in. This especially works if no one knows them because then everyone looks a little silly doing it.

How to Cope with Allergies

Most allergies are cause discomfort to internal organs, skin or breathing. Some can be fatal while others can cause other issues due to scratching the itch, and if your digestive system is affected, you may be staying near the bathroom. How can you cope with your allergies to be able to live life more comfortably and minimize the dangers that can befall you? Having had asthma for several years and having experienced near-death several times, I’ve figured out what to do.

Know your Allergens

If you have been treated in a hospital, you will likely be asked if you are allergic to certain medicines. That is to avoid aggravating the situation. Being aware of your allergens will enable you to decide whether to eat a specific food or not, choose your accessories better, and breathe more comfortably. Once you have identified your allergens, avoid them as much as possible, unless you have made your immune system stronger, then ingesting them from time to time, wearing metal or sniffing cologne or smoke from time to time will be bearable.

Breathe Correctly

Breathing the wrong way robs you of a more comfortable life. Babies breathe right naturally. As we grow old, we learn to breathe the wrong way, hence, the lower lungs are not maximized. Inhale and exhale slowly through the nose and make sure to use your diaphragm (your stomach bulges as you inhale instead of your chest). When asthma attacks, sometimes it helps to hold your breath for awhile to calm the airway.

Avoid Chemical-Laden Products for your skin

People with sensitive skin react to chemicals 99.9% of the time. There are just varying degrees of reactions for different people. Choose hypoallergenic makeup sets or all-natural ones. Virgin coconut oil helps in healing the skin and making it glow. Applying right after bathing at night, but before toweling, will lock the water in the pores through the night, for healthier skin. It is also anti-fungal, as well as anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial, so you are covered well.

Strengthen your Immune System

As long as your immune system is weak, there is no way your allergic reaction will lessen drastically. It can only be done with proper nutrition. In today’s generation, most of what is called food are filled with preservatives and served fast. Even supposedly natural foods are GMOs. Livestock and poultry are often injected with hormones. Farm lands are filled with insecticides. Choose where you get your nutrition from wisely.

Visit an allergy doctor, such as Dr. Summit Shah, MD. He will be able to help you, especially when you have ongoing allergy problems. Check his LinkedIn profile, too.

How To Travel With Toddlers Stress Free

With summer here, our thoughts turn to family holidays. Clear blue seas, golden sands and balmy temperatures are just around the corner, but there is just one problem because to reach that idyllic location you are going to have to travel. No problem you may think, it’s all part of the experience. Think again. For when you are a parent of one or more travel averse toddlers, this can prove challenging at best.


Children love family holidays. It is a time to spend quality time with their parents and siblings, enjoying all of their favourite activities in the sunshine. Swimming, playing ball on the beach and building sandcastles – what could be better. What they seem to forget, is that you have to get there first.

Taking a flight, however long with children can be stressful. It is difficult for your little ones to understand that they have to remain seated sometimes for hours at a time, seatbelts on with nothing much to do.

Unless you are one of the lucky ones who start your vacations with private jet charters, most of us will embark on our journey in a cramped economy class cabin full of strangers.

Tempers fray, stress levels rise, and even the shortest of flights can turn into an endurance test that you would rather forget.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. With thorough preparation and careful planning, you and your toddlers can have a calm, stress-free flight, and they might even learn to enjoy it.

Do the groundwork

If your toddlers haven’t flown before make sure they understand what to expect. You can even recreate the scenario at home by lining up a few chairs and playing ‘aeroplanes’ with them. Explain that they have to remain seated but emphasise the positives. Tell them that they will be able to watch TV on the plane and get them involved in packing their cabin bags too.

Give yourselves time

Calm parents equal calm kids, so make sure you allow plenty of travelling time to get to the airport. You will avoid unnecessary stress and reach the boarding gate feeling relaxed.


Make sure you have plenty of activities that you can bring out when needed. Drawing, pocket games, ipads or a story for when they feel sleepy will help pass the time.

Take plenty of snacks

There is no better distraction for a young child than their favourite snack. Make sure you take plenty and try not to get anxious about what they choose to eat on board. It is only one flight, and at least it will keep them quiet.  Remember to pack some lollipops for when you are coming into land. Children can suffer terribly with pressure pain in their ears so take along something they can suck, a comforter or even their favourite teddy.

You made it! Hopefully, you will have had a great flight and can now enjoy your holiday. Just remember the advice for the return leg of your journey and your family vacation will be one to remember for all the right reasons.

Things You Must Do In Roanoke

If you’ve never heard of Roanoke before, here’s a bit of background history; It was established in 1585 in what we now know it as North Carolina. It has the nickname of “The Lost Colony” due to shipments being stopped randomly, and then the colonists disappearing.

Now, however, Roanoke is a fabulous place to visit. It’s especially good for getting the kids out and about without them becoming bored! Here’s a list of the things you must do on your visit.

  1. Dolphin Tours

    Let’s be fair, who doesn’t love dolphins? Take up this opportunity and sail with the dolphins. The dolphin watch is truly incredible to see, with a tour guide giving you lots of useful and exciting information, it’s a once in a lifetime experience that you’d be mad to miss out on!

  2. Elizabethan Gardens

    Enter these luxurious grounds and marvel at the beauty of the memorial the town created for Queen Elizabeth I during her reign. It was made to keep her entertained and has remained there since. It’s open all year round, but it’s best to check what times they are open as this does vary.

  3. The Lost Colony

    While you’re there, why not take in the history of Roanoke and see a reenactment of the lost colonists that happened over 400 years ago. Feel like a part of the culture, and it’s yet another family friendly activity!

  4. Pirate Adventures

    Arrrrr matey! A fun family day trip that includes face painting, sailing on a real pirate ship and much more! Take the kids (or just yourselves if you don’t have any children) on this super fun day out.


  1. Ghost Tours

    You may want to find sitters for your children for this one. This is a long walk around the outer banks of Roanoke with ghost stories at night. A fabulous experience for those with the thrill.

  2. Tram Tours

    This is one for those of us that love being up and close with nature. The tour takes you along the land and gets you close to the wildlife including alligators and red wolves.

  3. Wings Over Wildlife Festival

    If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in October, why not head on over to their annually held Wings Over Wildlife Festival? It has loads of activities and caters for all ages! Because it’s during an off-peak season, it’s super cheap to visit too!

There are loads of things to do in Roanoke; it’s tourists heaven! If you’re interested in looking at what else the lovely island can offer, why not check out these 64+ activities that you can do in Roanoke.

No need to panic about where you can stay either, the island offers many hotels and B&B’s for visitors to stay. A popular choice of hotel is Cambria Hotel & Suites Roanoke that offers plenty of amenities and can also give advice and recommendations on what to do in Roanoke.

Roanoke is a place with lots of history and plenty of activities to do. Be sure to visit!

A Motherly Touch For Your Own Health

As a mother, it’s very easy to get sucked into the whirlpool of life, dealing with the problems of the entire family while ignoring your own. Of course, you want to be able to put your energy into the people you love. But, just sometimes, you have to be a little selfish. Your own health is very important to both you and your family. If it goes bad, your family might have to pick up the pieces, struggling with their new workload. Or, it could just be a matter of keeping up with the kids. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the most common areas moms have health issues and some of the ways to secure them for the future.

(Image Link)

Considering it’s so important, it almost feels like an oversight that humans only have one heart. But, of course, you do only have one, making it critical that you protect it. There are a lot of different things which can negatively affect your heart. From smoking and a bad diet to a lack of exercise or issues in the family, your heart is under constant pressure. Regular trips to the doctor will help you to make sure you’re not unhealthy. But, you should also adapt your lifestyle to make sure it’s as healthy as possible.

(Image Credit)

Next, it’s time to consider another part of your body which will be hugely impacted by the way that you live. It’s very easy to damage your back. Sitting in the wrong kind of chair for days on end will have a negative impact. And, so could your bed. When you’re choosing items like this, you should always be aware of the back pain they could cause or solve. There are loads of options out there designed to help people with their back.

(Image Source)

Your senses are one of the most valuable assets you have. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to perceive the world around you in the way that you do. Protecting your ears is easy, you just have to avoid long exposure to loud volumes. Your eyes, though, might take more work. There are loads of different eye conditions which can only be spotted by a professional. It’s a good idea to have your eyes tested as often as you can. This will help you to ensure that they keep their health, and will enable you to catch issues before they get worse.

(Image Link)

Finally, not a lot of people consider the health of their skin. But, with issues like skin cancer on the rise, it’s worth thinking about the protection you use. UV light from the sun breaks down the cells in your body, causing sunburn and other painful issues. Eventually, this damage can cause cancer to form. Avoiding sunlight is very hard. But, you don’t have to. Instead, you just need to make sure that you use a good sunblock when you’re spending a long time in the heat.

Hopefully, this post will help you to start considering your own health a little more, not just the families. It’s worth being a little bit selfish when it comes to health. A lot of people leave this sort of effort until it’s too late. But, with the little amount of work it takes, it makes sense to put as much in as you can.