Archive for January, 2017

3 Ways Parents Can Support Their Children through the University Years

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Most young adults are excited about embarking on a university course and are eager to fly the nest without a passing thought as to how they might cope without their parent’s constant support and guidance. However, just because your children are moving out and forging their own path in life it doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a positive impact and help them wherever or whenever necessary.

Some young adults won’t want to acknowledge it, but the support they receive from their parents during their time at university will be hugely important to them. The transition to university life can be overwhelming for some people, so it can often be comforting to have that element of stability that parents provide, as well as the emotional support of family members. Here are a few ways you can show your support without coming across as too overbearing.

1. Communicate With Them Often
As children hit the teenage year’s communication can sometimes be lacking and for parents this can often be quite frustrating. However, rather than showing your annoyance at the grunts you might receive daily or the lack of phone calls when your child has moved out, try to be patient and understanding. Show support by asking how they are getting on with their online GIST degree and if they are enjoying university life – you might not get a detailed response at the time, but by doing this on a regular basis you are showing that you are there for them if they need help and this can be enough to make them feel supported.

2. Encourage Debate and Discussions
When you do get together, show that you are interested in their new life by starting discussions based on current affairs or a relevant topic, maybe a subject that links to their geographic information science and technology degree. Inquire about their opinions on the matter, ask them to explain concepts to you or challenge their beliefs in a diplomatic way. The chances are a lot of their time spent socializing with their peers hasn’t been focused on entirely educational subject matters, so this type of conversation will help to spark their enthusiasm and is a great bonding method.

3. Make Sure they’re Taking Time Out
University life can sometimes be a high pressured environment especially when deadlines are looming or there are important exams on the horizon. Some students are so determined to get good grades or are so worried about failing that they will barricade themselves inside and bury their heads in GIST books for days on end. It’s often a time when parents can feel quite anxious as they may not hear from their children and they want to ensure they are eating and looking after themselves. One thing parents can do is to persuade their children to take some time out from their studies and explain that short breaks are important for refreshing their minds and stimulating their brains. Suggest activities you could together, such as a shopping trip, meal out or even a simple walk in a park.

If you’re worried that you’re being too interfering then take consolation in the fact that studies have shown students whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to achieve better grades and have higher self-esteem.

Brought to you by our friend, Carol.

Five Gastronomic Cities You Must Experience

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Travel and food go together like wine and cheese. There are many wonderful flavours and aromas across the world we have yet to experience, and so little time to try them all. To help you go on a culinary adventure, we are providing the five gastronomic cities you must experience.

Caceres, Spain

The beautiful city of Caceres was awarded the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy in 2015, and for good reason, because this is a city that could almost be built of flavour. While holidaymakers are more likely to visit the likes of Madrid or Barcelona, the real foodies are heading to Caceres, which offers simple, rustic meals that are created using the finest quality ingredients. The portions are also very generous, so you can guarantee you won’t feel a little bit hungry after a meal, even though you will want to keep coming back for more farm-style dishes.

Hanoi, Vietnam

The best food in Hanoi can be found on the streets, so don’t be afraid to go up to a market stall to try the pho tiu noodles with a sweet and sour soup or a banh mi. The smell alone will make your mouth water, and it’s here that the locals will purchase their dishes, so you know it must be good – not to mention it’s an affordable option when you’re travelling across Vietnam.

Tokyo, Japan

There is a reason why Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city in the world, and that’s because they consistently create beautiful dishes that deliver on flavour. There is something for everyone in the Japanese capital, from scrumptious sushi to okonomiyaki pancakes that the children will love. You also don’t have to spend much money to enjoy delicious meals, because the city caters to all travellers’ budgets, so you can choose to dine at a Michelin star skyscraper restaurant or can consume tasty tapas at a Japanese-style pub.

Manchester, England

Great Britain has a bad reputation for food, but the stereotype is unwarranted, especially if you visit a city like Manchester, as the restaurant scene is unstoppable. This buzzing city is alive with flavours and colours that burst onto a plate, with the Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan creating exquisite dishes at The French, located within the Midland Hotel. Take a look at the Manchester city guide to learn more about its cuisine and culture.

New York City, USA

New York City is the home to residents who were born in every country on Earth, so the range of gastronomic cuisines must be experienced to be believed. This is a city that sets food trends, creating unique and inspiring dishes that change and adapt every year to suit tastes and creativity. However, if you want to experience a dish that is truly out of this world, you must try the oysters at the Grand Oyster Bar, which is located within Grand Central Station. There is a reason it has existed since 1913. You will not want to come home.

Brought to you by our friend, Carol.

4 Educational Benefits of Playing with LEGOS

Friday, January 27th, 2017

In 1932, Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a Danish carpenter, founded the Lego Group. Lego gained its name from the Danish word ‘leg godt,’ which means ‘play well.’ The Kristiansen family still control the Lego group: Ole’s grandchild, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, runs it now.

Legos are just as popular today as they were over 84 years ago. Children in 140 countries constantly find new ways to delight in building Lego creations. Legos enhance creativity and inspire imagination. They also improve the behavioral and educational development of small children. Here are a few ways how:

Puts Math and Science Practices to Use

Constructing Lego designs require children to apply basic math skills. A single Lego building may involve addition, subtraction, division, and fractions. Lego constructions also assist in children’s development of engineering techniques. They must learn to create a model from instructions and photos, as well as making adjustments when necessary.

Improves Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

Lego beginners must learn to solve simple problems such as making pieces connect. As a child’s cognitive abilities increase, so will their desire to build more complex Lego models. These models require solutions to more pressing problems, such as how to distribute the Legos to keep it balanced.

The more Lego models a child attempts, the better they become at using their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Children also learn problem solving skills through their interactions with other children. They must first establish a cooperative environment in order to succeed at their Lego endeavors. Once distribution of labor occurs, they use collaborative learning to find solutions.

Develops Self-Discipline

Legos often become a child’s first training of self-discipline. The completion of a Lego model requires hours of persistence and patience. They learn to remain calm when facing obstacles. Legos help children develop organizational skills, and increases their motivation and perseverance.

Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skill development enhances a child’s tiny muscle control in their hands and fingers. Fine motor muscles can also be found in the face, feet, and tongue.

Legos help children strengthen their fine motor muscles with the constant maneuvering and building of Lego designs.

Legos can be a vital play tool for young girls and boys, so parents should try to keep a set of Legos around for both play and education. Find Lego discounts on Groupon’s coupon page.

Brought to you by our friend, Justin.

Thinking About Food

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

The decision to reduce PeKu to only one active publication was made purely due to business sense. Implementing that decision was difficult. I had to let go of team members who’d been with me for years, minimize my startup that felt like a child of mine, and recognize that PeKu was no longer the sizable publishing company that it used to be.

With only Think Tasty left, I began focusing my energies on making it the best food blog I could. In that process, I have been surprised as to how much I enjoy this new role. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy working on Think Tasty, it was that I feared the sadness of reducing PeKu would diminish my joy.

What I didn’t consider was that I spend many hours every day thinking about food. I guess I always have, but now it’s essential not only to my daydreaming but also to my work. I work in my kitchen for numerous hours every week, creating recipes, refining each, and sampling them. I read numerous food articles; I review restaurant menus; I devour interesting recipes all in hopes of finding a glimmer of inspiration.

As much as it pained me to shutter a great portion of PeKu, I also am loving this new role as chief foodie at Think Tasty. I am learning to be the voice of that publication, more than I ever have before. Although I hesitate to call myself a food authority, as I lack formal training, I do know that I work well in a kitchen. I just need to be a little more assured and proclaim it a bit more loudly.

So, I will continue to focus on food: thinking, cooking, writing, and promoting the very best that I can.

Why Parents Returning to College Should Study Online

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Going back to college can be a tricky decision for parents. When you have young children depending on you, it’s important that you only commit to things which leave you with the time that you need to devote to family responsibilities. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a partner who is able to support your family financially, going to college full-time is often out of the question for parents. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any ways around it. With programs such as an online MPA degree, parents can study, work and look after their families at the same time with ease and flexibility. We’ve listed some of the best reasons to choose an online degree as a parent.

More Time for Family
Devoting your time to studying for a degree can be difficult as a parent, as it could mean that you miss out on important milestones in your children’s lives and get less time to spend with them as they grow up. However, when you study for an online degree, you’ll be able to spend your study time at home with your family right there. Today, you can study for almost anything from home, whether you’re interested in furthering your career in nursing, business, or are considering taking an online masters in public administration.

Fits Around Your Life
One of the unique things about studying online is that you can tailor your learning to suit. With online degrees, students no longer have to worry about missing classes, rearranging plans or making new schedules to fit in a class time table. As a parent, studying online means that you won’t need to worry about who’s going to do the school run in the morning or pick the children back up in the afternoon if you’re in class – you’re in charge of your own ‘classes’, including what times they are at.

Save Money
Raising a family is certainly not a cheap experience, and when a lot of your budget goes towards feeding, clothing, educating and entertaining your little ones, hefty tuition fees can tighten your purse strings significantly, and could even land you in financial difficulty. On average, you can usually save around a third on tuition fees simply by opting for an online program instead. This will leave you with less student debt to worry about and more cash in the bank to enjoy with your little ones or save for a rainy day. If you’re worried about the financial aspect of going to college as a parent, you may be eligible for financial aid. Studying online won’t just help you save money on tuition fees, either – you’ll also save on the additional costs of going to college, such as commuting and buying books.

Thanks to online learning, there’s no need to let your family responsibilities and commitments hold you back from furthering your education and gaining the degree that you want. There is a huge range of online degree programs now available.

Brought to you by our friend, Carol.

Hello, 2017!

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Like I have done for the past few years, I arrange my work schedule so that the week between Christmas and New Year has minimal work projects. As the only writer, I assigned no articles that week. I edited ahead of schedule so that I would be free of that duty also. In addition, I turned off my professional social media channels and skipped my weekly review of stats.

Of course, as a one-woman business, I can’t turn everything off, so I checked emails and other items crucial to the running of PeKu. Just having fewer items on my to-do list was quite refreshing. There was time to linger over coffee by the fireplace, availability to go to lunch with my family, and reason to have a tv show marathon on a weekday afternoon.

Last week saw me creeping back into my regular routine. Monday was my ease back into the real world day with time set aside for work projects plus a little set aside for fun. (It was a federal holiday after all!) I also returned to my office for a couple days, as I hadn’t been there for a bit. Aside from the chilly walk to and from the office, it was good to be working outside of my home.

With all of that time away from the regular flow of work, I did spend a good amount of time on fun and frivolous items. I also used that time to think about PeKu and Think Tasty and my goals for each. With only one publication and the corporate site to oversee, I am excited to focus even more deeply on producing the best content possible. This includes not only creating new recipes, but also adding new improvements: better photography, different marketing strategies, and more.

The time off for the holidays was a great way to rejuvenate, both personally and professionally. Now, I’m ready to dive back into PeKu and see where it can go.