The Spring Issue of Today's Family Is Out!

You can find the latest issue of Today's Family magazine — inside the March issue of Today's Woman ! That's two magazin...

Friday, December 16, 2011

No Price Tag on This Gift

Home of the Innocents gift
I’ll admit that with three kids (ages 2, 4 and 7), I am not able to volunteer within the community as much as I’d like, but at this time of year, I do what I can, such as planning my kids’ school parties and collecting items (shown above) for the Home of the Innocents’ Holiday Magic Ornament Program. In addition to making me feel good, I hope my volunteer efforts help my children learn that there is tremendous value in this unpaid work.
Here are some of the local volunteer opportunities that are especially appreciated during the holiday season:

Ronald McDonald House-- Make a meal for families staying at Ronald McDonald House through their Adopt-a-Meal Program. (502) 371-1441
St. Vincent de Paul Open Hand Kitchen -- Serves 2 meals a day, 365 days a year to shelter clients. (502) 301-8691
Catholic Charities Adopt-a-Refugee Family at Christmastime-- Purchase and deliver gifts to a refugee family in their homes. (502) 636-9263 ext. 145
Gift wrapping for Girl Scouts-- Wrap gifts at local malls to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. (502) 636-0900 ext. 24100
Salvation Army-- Ring a bell at a local grocery store for the Red Kettle Campaign. (502) 671-4920

The gift of time and effort is priceless!
Please share with us how your family makes a difference to others this time of year.
Contributed by Carrie Vittitoe, parent-writer for Today’s Family magazine.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Keep Your Pets Healthy This Holiday Season

Today’s Post from the Pro is an interview with Kristi Kantz, DVM, Charlestown Veterinary Clinic, Charlestown, IN.
· Is it okay for Fido and Fifi to have a few holiday leftovers?
As much as we want to share our holiday goodies with our pets, it is not a good idea. Most of our holiday treats are too rich for our furry companions and could result in vomiting, diarrhea, or even pancreatitis, a serious condition that can require hospitalization. If you must share a special holiday treat with your dog, stick to safe bland items such as boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast, rice, or low-fat cottage cheese.

· With the weather being so cold, do we still need to protect our pets against fleas?
In general, fleas are less of a problem in the winter months. Keep in mind, though, that fleas can remain in the egg stage for prolonged periods of time until environmental conditions are favorable for them to hatch, and adult fleas can persist on our pets through the winter months. The best way to prevent flea problems is to use year round flea prevention. A veterinarian can create a flea prevention program suitable for your pet’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, once fleas are established, it can take 3-4 months of consistent treatment of the pet and its environment to completely eradicate the flea infestation. This can be a time-consuming, frustrating, and costly process.

· Are there any traditional Christmas decorations that are harmful to our pets?
Any Christmas decoration has the potential to be harmful to our pets if they are ingested. In particular, poinsettias and chocolate can be toxic to pets. Also, tinsel can be hazardous to cats if ingested and result in a linear foreign body requiring surgery.

· What’s the most important tip for keeping your pet healthy through the holidays?
Keep any potential harmful substances or items out of your pets reach, and stick to your pets’ normal routine and diet.
We wish you a safe and happy holiday for you and your furry companions!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Louisville Mega Cavern Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.

You’ve heard of Thunder Over Louisville, but have you heard of Lights Under Louisville?  Right here in your hometown is the only underground holiday light show in the world! You can find it in Louisville, at 1841 Taylor Avenue,  here on facebook, or by phone at 1.877.614.6342 .

Here are the details:

Now through January 1, 2012

Monday-Friday 6pm to 10pm
Saturday & Sunday 5pm to 10pm

Car, truck, SUV, minivan: $25.00
Van: $35.00
Limo: $50.00
Church bus: $50.00
School bus: $75.00

We’re giving away 4 standard vehicle passes to Lights Under Louisville.
3 Ways YOU can enter to win (leave a separate comment HERE for each):
1. Follow Today’s Family Every Day (Click on “Join this site” on the right sidebar where all the pictures are.)
2. Like Today’s Family on facebook
3. Like Louisville Mega Cavern on facebook

See Official Rules for details.

Update: Our winners are Rachel T (comment #30), Kim (comment #13), ashley (comment #47), and Matt McMillen (comment #28).  Congratulations!  Please email us within 48 hours to claim your prize.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

She’s Gonna Blow!

Does the holiday stress have you about to blow your top?  Sometimes all of the parties, school programs, shopping, baking, wrapping… the list could go on and on, can make one feel less than cheery on occasion.  So much so, that you might think whistles will sound and smoke will billow out your ears if one… more… thing is added to your calendar of events.

So, here’s my remedy (and you can quote me on this!), grab yourself a gourmet coffee or hot chocolate in the next drive-through that you see PRONTO, take a sip,  breathe it in, and just smile. 

Aaahh, now that’s nice… much better!

What’s YOUR remedy to the holiday stress?

Photo sources: Vustv and Sift, Dust, & Toss

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Tradition You Can Eat!

gingerbread house
My mother initiated this gingerbread house-making tradition as a grandmother, with my younger brother’s children far away in Tennessee, long after I had left the nest and started my own family. Being a busy mother myself, my holidays were caught up in attempting to carry on the cookie-making traditions I was raised on, with my own two sons, both of whom turned out to be fairly decent cooks in most respects, but were all thumbs with my favorite traditional family recipes. Those traditions died finally for me when my boys left my nest, and I knew I’d better cease this goodie-cooking to protect my waistline and arteries.

What happened to Tradition — our cookie tradition? Well, let’s just say it sweetly flew out the gingerbread house window.

Not to worry, once again I borrow from my mother’s tradition. The Kroger brand kit, shown in the photo, makes it easy by providing a molded plastic base for the house to sit on, pre-made gingerbread walls, roof, and figures, candy drops, and even pre-mixed icing (the icing does have a short drying span, which is good, since the gumdrops tend to slide with its more liquid thick Elmer’s Glue-like consistency). This little kit pits the budding interest in crafts my 3-year-old-granddaughter possesses against the short attention span of my 1-year-old grandson. Turns out to be a win-win situation for us all.
Please share with us your favorite childhood holiday tradition!
Contributed by Kathy Bolger, Senior Graphic Designer for Today’s Woman magazine.
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