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Holiday With Kids – How To Make The Holiday Exciting

Posted by rstapholz on
Health & Wellness
Holiday With Kids – How To Make The Holiday Exciting

The holiday season is a very special time for families around the world. It is the time when you get the chance to meet your friends and families and celebrate the festive season with them. The festive season is on its way and it is wise to start making plans and preparation early so that you can have the best and stress-free holidays with your family. 

If you are planning a trip to one of the fantastic Inverness hotels you will have a long trip ahead of you. Here are some tips to make the journey more fun.


Packing the car for a holiday can feel like a chore. However, it does not need to feel like it. First, you should consider using soft bags since they are easy to squish into a packed vehicle. Do not forget to check accommodations beforehand so that you can carry essentials.  If you are traveling with a child (maximum 6 years), consider a travel stroller. They come in handy since they cannot walk for long.


It is highly important to keep kids entertained on long journeys. You may hate your kids staring at the screen all day, but there are exceptions, like while traveling.


Music makes a huge difference and plays a role in the overall entertainment. When it comes to music, you have to pick something that appeals to the whole family (not unless you are planning to use headphones).


Books can help enhance the appeal of the whole trip. There are many types of books for all ages. For example, if you have young kids, consider having coloring books and other child geared books. For teenagers, you can consider magazines, comics, and others.


While on holiday, it is wise to consider letting your child pick their activity pack. For example, a child can do a lot with blank paper and colored crayons. In other words, consider what your kids are carrying for the trip. It is not wise to include sharp things.

Traveling Game

Ever since traveling became a thing, many traveling games have been created. Good examples are the Volkswagen Zap, I Spy, Twenty Questions, I’m Going On A Camping Trips and others. There are plenty of board games like Bingo, snakes, and ladders, crosswords, etc. These games are what make or create memorable moments in a road trip.


When traveling, it is wise to consider your snacks options. The sad truth is that snacks tend to make a vehicle messy, but they are worth it. For this reason, consider healthier snacks such as grapes, cheese cubes, crackers, cereals, and others. To prevent the mess, consider carrying a rubbish bag rather than littering in the vehicle.


By mentioning the word bribe, it makes people curious and shocked at the same time. However, when it comes to bribing our young ones, there is a way to do it correctly. In other words, the key to a bribe is using them sparingly and when there is an immediate reward, like promising sweets and magazines at the end of a trip.


We all love surprises. They help shake things up. While traveling, consider purchasing a gift that you can surprise them with. Taking this small action will make a huge difference in the whole traveling experience.

Never forget wipes

Wipes come in handy when you are traveling or going on holiday with your kids. For this reason, you can never have too many wipes. These are useful for wiping off sticky hands before and after a snack. It can be used to clean other areas like spills.  

Frequent Stops

Travelling, especially using a vehicle can be tiresome. This is why scheduling frequent stops can make a huge difference, especially for your kids. Take full advantage of rest stops and kids playing parks along the way. A little break will go a long way in making things easier for your kids.

Christmas With Molang * Adorable Stories With Important Messages About Christmas

Posted by presspass on
Christmas With Molang * Adorable Stories With Important Messages About Christmas


The magic of Christmas is all around! Join our best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, on their adventures during this idyllic season. It’s the perfect time to build a snowman, go ice-skating with friends, find the most beautiful Christmas tree and of course, meet Santa! Merry Christmas from Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages.”  Katherine S. adds, “The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters’ hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures.” Tiana S. chimes in with, “One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu’s hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music.” Elizabeth T. wraps it up with, “Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child’s attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters’ antics as well.” See their full reviews below.

Christmas With Molang
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15


The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages. The animation is filled with pastel colors and is pleasing to the eyes.

The storyline follows two best friends, Molang and Piu Piu. Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick. They encounter problems throughout the day and, while finding the solutions to these problems, they learn a valuable lesson every time.  Normally Piu Piu is the one who is in distress and Molang finds a way to fix Piu Piu’s problem to cheer him up.

The animation is in a cutesy style from Korea. Molang was drawn by a university student named Yoon Hye Jin and is made to look like a sticky Korean rice cake. Everything is colored in light pastels and all the characters have round figures. Super adorable!

Although the cartoon is from Korea, the characters do not speak in Korean or in any real language for that matter. The fans have named the language that they speak Molangonese or Piupiualish. The audience is still able to understand what they are trying to say by the images shown and the strategic framing.

My favorite part about Christmas With Molang has to be the messages. Molang and Piu Piu promote the idea that Christmas is about more than receiving gifts. They help out other animal friends in their community and feel complete. Molang and Piu Piu inspire viewers to do good deeds for other people. They are an example to kids that “when you do good it comes around.”

Molang and Piu Piu also show how great it is to have a best friend. Molang and Piu Piu love each other very much and support each other all the time. These besties show how to sympathize and comfort others. These are important things to know to be able to socialize and be a caring person. Molang and Piu Piu promote positivity and love throughout the series.

Christmas With Molang is the perfect cartoon to show kids of all ages during the holiday season. They will love how cute everything is and will be inspired to do kind things for other people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. Christmas With Molang is out on DVDs now so be sure to check it out!

scene outside.pngChristmas with Molang
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11


I love this DVD! It is full of cuteness and Christmas cheer! And it is perfect to watch on a cold, winter day.

Christmas with Molang is about a bunny named Molang and a chick named Piu Piu going on fun-filled Christmas adventures. Episodes include A Beautiful Christmas Tree, The Snowman, At The Elves’ House and Santa.

The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters’ hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures. All of the episodes are adorable. My favorites are The Choir and The Frog, because they have the funniest story lines. The episodes are approximately five minutes each, so the total run time is about 30 minutes.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including the value of friendship, helping others and always have fun in what you do. Christmas with Molang has no bad language, but there are a few risky things that kids might try to do such as climb a Christmas tree, bother wild animals and go into houses Santa style.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now so look for it.

M&P santa claus selfie.pngChristmas with Molang
By Tiana S. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9


Christmas with Molang is a cute movie full of all things Christmas! I love it. It’s a movie I would love to watch with my little cousins. The characters are so funny, playful and seem to always have fun.

Christmas with Molang is a DVD with six different short stories about Christmas on it. In each story the lead character, Molang and his friend Piu Piu experience a new lesson related to the spirit of Christmas. They build a snowman, go ice-skating, find the best Christmas tree and even meet a Ninja, back-flipping Santa Claus. Each time they go on one of their adventures, they learn a new lesson.

There are so many funny parts in each of the short stories. One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu’s hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music. Sometimes it is a little weird when the characters speak in animated baby voices. It could be a little annoying for older kids, because you can’t always understand what they are saying. However, because of the great animation, you can still tell what is happening. The scenes are very bright and colorful and full of the Christmas spirit.

The overall message of the DVD is to be kind to others, even strangers. In each story the characters are trying to help someone else or show how much they care about them. Also, it encourages you to show people you care and make new friends. Some day, when you are in trouble you’ll have help because you helped them.

I rate Christmas with Molang 5 out of 5 stars. It is a really cute movie for younger kids so I recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Christmas with Molang is available now wherever DVDs are sold.

vlcsnap-2018-10-08-11h59m44s584.pngChristmas with Molang
By Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror


Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child’s attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters’ antics as well.

Christmas with Molang follows a young cotton-ball rabbit and her best friend Piu-Piu, a small chick. Rather than focusing on Christmas itself, either in the religious or secular sense, these episodes take classic bits of the holiday season (skating, making snowmen, caroling, finding a Christmas tree) and give them a story-book feel, full of light-hearted antics and the joys of having a best friend to do everything with. The DVD is a set of six mini-episodes and contains a number of charming adventures and funny moments.

The best part of this series is that none of the characters actually talk. They make vocalizations, like minions, where some of the words are distinguishable, but must are just sounds. Because of this, the viewer is able to imagine their own dialogue, which adds more humor to the characters interactions. On top of this, Piu-Piu and Molang have some genuinely charming interactions, and there is a distinguished personality difference between the two characters, Molang being the imaginative and upbeat, Piu-Piu being a bit more practical and clever. Most children will just find the characters cute and funny. There are plenty of events with good comedic timing (characters getting run over by snowballs, creeping up behind bushes, or trying to avoid kissing a frog). There is a lot of physical comedy (falling, people getting knocked on the head and such), but they are mostly played for laughs. The only serious injury shown is when Piu-Piu takes a rather nasty fall, nasty enough for him to fall unconscious and temporarily lose his memory.

The stories, while simple, make a decent amount of sense, even without dialogue. The only continuity error is that the two are seen decorating the Christmas tree at the beginning of each episode, making the audience wonder whether this is taking place different years or whether something happened to the old tree. The story does include Santa Claus, which isn’t particularly accurate. One episode involves a frog caught in the snow, while real frogs would be hibernating during winter. Another lack of accuracy is that all the Christmas songs the characters sing are secular, with no mention of the original carols used in church.

The animation is pretty basic, with minimal movement and simplistic designs. However, this adds to the charm of the episodes and gives the stories an idyllic, story-book flavor. The voices for the characters are all performed by the same person, but there is a noticeable enough difference to tell who’s talking.

The most beneficial episode involves a snow-man. After Piu-Piu and Molang have build and decorated a snowman, their decorations (hat, scarf, carrot and chocolates) are stolen by some hungry forest creatures, twice. After seeing that the small creatures are in need, the two go back to their house and prepare food and clothing for the creatures in a heartwarming show of forgiveness and compassion. In all the episodes, the characters find creative ways to solve problems and are always ready to help out a friend.

More than anything, the DVD illustrates how to be a good friend, to help out when others have problems, is ready to forgive, and find joy in everyday things. Whatever situation Molang and Piu-Piu find themselves in, they are the best of friends and they are always laughing. These episodes have a lot less to do with Christmas, religious or secular, than they have to do with just being kind to others, regardless of the time or season.

Christmas with Molang is a genuinely funny and charming collection of short stories that illustrate friendship and finding joy in simple, every-day things. Through a simple style of story-telling and plenty of vocal effects, these mini-episodes spark the viewer’s imagination and bring back idyllic memories of Christmas activities. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Seasonal Celebration Safety Tips

Posted by Editor on
Seasonal Celebration Safety Tips

December and part of January hold many significant celebration periods and times for individuals to take some sort of holiday. Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, these two months have multiple celebrations around the globe – and sometimes people aren’t prepared for the possibility of there being a disaster or crisis situation. This show will focus on some key areas for people to consider during these celebration periods. We’ll look at safety tips for such things as: food safety, driving safety, winter concerns, heat exhaustion concerns and even concerns related to celebration decorations. Tune in to make sure your celebrations are safe and you’re prepared for anything unexpected


Giving Gratitude for Food: Today and Beyond!

Posted by Editor on
Giving Gratitude for Food: Today and Beyond!


Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to express our gratitude for food, even if to say ‘Yum!’ or give kudos to the cook. But do we do that every day? Or each time we eat? I invite you to begin a practice of giving gratitude for food no matter where you are now. That’s where I’m at, too. 😉

It’s hard to give gratitude for something that we don’t appreciate. In modern society, food comes too easily to us to really honor its origin. We can grab it off a supermarket shelf or from the deli counter, we can dine in our cars – even purchasing our meal from a drive through, we can grab a bite from a vending machine, we can place an order online and have it delivered to our door. The list seems to go on and on. I appreciate convenience. But as a society, it’s time to re-educate ourselves about what it takes to bring food to the table. With all the fast food, processed food, and modified food of the last 5o years, or so, convenience has caused us to lose our perspective and appreciation for what is real in regard to food. 

Another reason we may overlook giving gratitude for food is that we lose sight of the obvious: that is, we don’t fully acknowledge how important food is in our lives. That beyond the fundamental aspect of supporting our existence, our relationship with food is, arguably, our most intimate relationship of all. We all have relationships – with our partners, our children, our co-workers, our neighbors, our phones, and so on, but have you ever really considered that you are in a relationship with food? Unlike our relationships with people, food is something that we interact with each and every day of our entire life. There are few, if any, people with whom we do that. Children grow and leave the house, we move to another state or country, and we change jobs, thus changing the landscape of whom we interact with on a daily basis. But food is something that is constantly with us, throughout the journey of our lives. Further, food is something that we literally take into ourselves and that literally becomes a part of us. Now, that’s intimate! We all have a relationship with food. It’s a question of how much we are to understand that relationship and to honor it. I think it’s fair to say that many people have a broken relationship with food, leading to the consequence of addiction and obsession, epidemics of chronic disease like overweight, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, autoimmune disorders, and so on. Even our good intentions around making homemade food can dissolve into a series of complaint and resentment, huffs and gruff, leaving us with little energy to express sincere gratitude, let alone enjoy our food. It’s time to explore more in regard to the sacredness of food and giving gratitude for it. 

In order to give gratitude for food, we must first recognize the reason(s) for which we are grateful for food. The reason(s) behind our gratitude may change from one eating episode to another.

Reasons to be Grateful for Food

  • It tastes good.
  • It nourishes our body.
  • It’s beautiful.
  • It’s fun to grow.
  • It helps us to heal.
  • It gives us energy to do our work.
  • It delights us.
  • It warms me up on a cold winter’s day.
  • It’s fun to prepare.
  • It provides a way for us to connect with our family and friends.

Ways to Express Gratitude for Food

There are many ways to give thanks for our food. Any sincere expression of gratitude will serve the same purpose, which is to slow us down enough to connect with the sacred. This alone brings tremendous benefits to our body, mind, and spirit. Given that most of us eat several times or are each day, food can serve as one of the most powerful reminders to connect with the divine.

Most cultures and religions have a way to express thanks for what is about to be eaten. Holding a deep connection to the earth, Native Americans honor the exchange of life in regard to food. They ask the Spirit that dwells in the living food – whether animal or plant – for permission to take its life. They then give thanks to the Spirit for its willingness to sacrifice its own life for their benefit and sometimes make an offering of corn or tobacco, for example, in compensation for this sacrifice. Such an act acknowledges that something has been given and received on both sides.

One of the most common ways to express gratitude is by saying grace, which is a specific form of ritual. One may choose to speak freely from the heart – even when dining alone – or n behalf of a group. One may also recite or read a specific prayer from a spiritual tradition or from literature, such as Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. If you are not comfortable saying a prayer out loud, you can practice gratitude through silence. If the expressions sincere, the offering will be effective. Silence doesn’t just happen; it has to be allowed. It requires us to make a conscious decision not only to refrain from speech, but also to withdraw from activities that fill our minds with noise, such as watching television, listening to the radio, or reading a book. Even in prayer, which people most often do silently, we can be so busy voicing our praise and requests to the divine that we often don’t allow for the space to receive the gifts and messages that the universe intends for us. As with saying grace, a moment of silence can be shared by a group of people or practiced alone. The important thing is that this moment be used to consciously appreciate the food about to be eaten.

Where are you in the process of giving gratitude for food? In what ways are you beginning to offer gratitude for food? Let us know! Let’s keep the conversation growing. We’re in this relationship for life, after all!

“If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” Meister Eckhart


A Registered Dietitian with degrees in Public Health Nutrition and Culture & Creation Spirituality, Lisa is uniquely qualified to help us understand, heal, and nourish our relationship with food.

To explore more about giving gratitude for food, listen to this episode of SacredExplorationhttps://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/103760/nourishing-healthy-attitudes-about-food

To purchase The Sacred Art of Eating: Healing Our Relationship with Food: https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Art-Eating-Healing-Relationship/dp/0988726602/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511457125&sr=8-1&keywords=sacred+art+of+eating






Replenish Your Soul This Holiday Season

Posted by Editor on
Replenish Your Soul This Holiday Season

Three things clog your soul: imbalance, negativity and judgment. As we enter the craziness of this holiday season, I know how imbalance can easily become a driver of stress for all of us. I recently learned that the hours we sleep before midnight are equal to 2 hrs a night after midnight. So, one thing to help you recharge may be to get to bed earlier. Sleep deprivation can certainly make us feel imbalanced.

Negativity can creep into our lives in so many ways. On my radio show this week I was explaining how to stop using a negative filter for your life. Have you ever noticed yourself viewing life from a “lack of” perspective? Simply shifting the filter to a more positive one will allow you to feel grateful and replenish your soul. I find a gratitude journal is a great way to do this. Before long, you will be counting your blessings!

And now for the big one – Judgment! Start today by simply being aware of all the times you judge someone else…perhaps for the clothes they are wearing, the slow driving as you are late to your appointment or the unfriendly demeanor of the checkout person. Then, think about that person in the crazy clothes and instead acknowledge his willingness to embrace his unique style. And that slow driver, maybe she is simply enjoying the moments of the day because she is old and doesn’t have a whole lifetime to embrace. And that unhappy checkout person, maybe she just lost her dog this am. My point is, who are we to judge? Who granted us the right? And when we stop doing it, we are able to connect and learn that we truly are all the same: human beings just longing to be loved and accepted. I challenge you to get your jingle on and go out there with a new perspective this holiday season. And, in the end, notice how recharged you feel.

Tune in every Monday at 7am PST to Intentional Living

A Legacy of Love

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A Legacy of Love


It is that time of year again…the season that brings joy with the lighting of the tree, the anticipation of Santa, drinking hot chocolate by the fire and for my girls and I, pulling out the box of treasured Christmas ornaments that my mom made us over the years. She has been gone for 2 years now and as we carefully unwrap each ornament she lovingly made we reflect on the memory it brings. It has become one of our most favorite events as we decorate the tree each year. The delicately painted reindeer adorned in silly hats with all our names on it makes us think of the endless rounds of tickling she engaged in just to bring more laughter into our lives. The shells with glitter bring memories of the many walks we shared on the beach collecting shells. The glass balls filled with ribbon represent her style and grace. And, then there are the ones she made while undergoing endless rounds of chemo which remind us of her bravery and courage as she fought cancer with such strength and determination. My girls are 9, 7 and 6 and even at their young age, they understand what a legacy means and they have such fond memories of their grandmother who is now their guardian angel.

This yearly occurrence enables her memory to stay alive as if she were sitting across the table from us engaged in a conversation listening to our every word. As we take time away from our busy lives and come together engaged in a Christmas tradition we are able to reflect on the beautiful memories she created and the selfless love she gave us all. I know many of you are missing a loved one also this holiday season and I hope this story will inspire you to find a tradition in which you can reflect on a legacy of someone not forgotten in your own life. Celebrate the many blessings this person brought to your life and reflect on the good times you shared. He or she would not want you to be sad and cultivating a ritual in their honor will fill your heart with love. May this holiday season bring you all a deep sense of peace and joy.

Tune in every Monday at 7am PST to Intentional Living

Love the Coopers – Fantastic dramady about dysfunctional families and holidays

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Love the Coopers – Fantastic dramady about dysfunctional families and holidays

This new Holiday “dramady” from Jessie Nelson will brings tears and laughter to your face. It reminds me of a Nora Ephron film with all the family and personal drama going on all at once. There is a bit of profanity and mild sexuality so I wouldn’t take your younger kids but, for teens it’s a must-share! It has a great ensemble cast led by Diane Keaton and John Goodman who make a very believable couple with kids and grandkids that are all slightly off kilter. Steve Martin, who narrates the film through the eyes of the family dog, is the glue that holds the story together. And, the love story between Angie and Sergeant is truly a highlight of the film. As Leo Tolstoy said, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” But, look out! You might just see your own family in this film. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, “My two favorite characters are Joe and Eleanor, played by Jake Lacy and Olivia Wilde, because they have great chemistry together and I kept rooting for them to finally become a couple.” See her full review below.


Love the Coopers

By Mia A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Love the Coopers directed by Jessie Nelson is a holiday comedy full of subplots that get many of the people in the audience laughing.  This movie is packed with big stars such as John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei and Amanda Seyfried.


This movie is about an extended family, the Coopers who come together every Christmas and have a big family dinner party. It’s about how their individual lives and how their family acts when they are together.


My two favorite characters are Joe and Eleanor, played by Jake Lacy and Olivia Wilde, because they have great chemistry together and I kept rooting for them to finally become a couple. Their story provides the most humor and is the strongest subplot in the whole movie. Their scenes are hilarious and made me really believe they should be a couple.


There are many great actors in Love the Coopers, and there are some flaws. Charlotte and Emma are supposed to be sisters with negative history and competition, but the age difference between Diane Keaton and Marisi Tomei (who play them) is too great to be believable. It doesn’t make sense. Also, I was disappointed that some of the big stars aren’t used to their full potential. For example, Amanda Seyfried, a great actress from Mamma Mia isn’t in a lot of scenes and Steve Martin is used only as the narrator. This left me wanting more.


I found the plot and characters a little hard to follow in the very beginning.  It’s difficult to know who is who because they switch back-and-forth from different family members without telling us who they are.
Every set and scene reminds us that it is Christmas, including the funny, the good and the bad aspects.  It gently pokes fun of holiday traditions and made me wonder about some of my own.


I rate Love the Coopers 3.5 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed the clever writing, but I didn’t really relate to the sisters or to some of the inappropriate humor.


I recommend it to ages 12 to 18 because there is some extreme kissing and inappropriate public behavior. They also say tell some religious jokes about Christians and they use some mild profanity. This film is in theaters now so, go check it out.


You can listen to KIDS FIRST! Live every Tuesday at 1pm PST on the VoiceAmerica Kids Channel. Or Listen On Demand anytime.


Gratitude, Appreciation, and Illness as a result of change!

Posted by Editor on
7th Wave
Gratitude, Appreciation, and Illness as a result of change!


As the holidays are upon us, Joan and Janet talk about the energies of gratitude and appreciation from the perspective of Consciousness. With all the changes going on, sometimes illness can be an outcome.  You can notice what’s hidden beneath the symptoms.  It’s important to be in the present moment, in communication with your body, and taking time for self care.  Being in heart space makes it all easier as life gets busy.

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