Posts in Family
Enriched Family Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are a wonderful time to find thoughtful gifts for our loved ones, but this can also be overwhelming. With this thought in mind, I have created the first Enriched Family Holiday Gift Guide (for kids - up to tweens/teens). I know y’all know the list of toys that your kids are clamoring for, so I have focused instead on educational and experience gifts. I have tried to include gifts at a variety of price points. Please note, I have included links to Amazon (when available) simply for ease of finding and pricing the various gift ideas. Many of these gifts can be found locally as well…

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Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup: Delicious, Vegetarian Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I love coming together with family and friends to share a meal and focus on our many reasons to be grateful. While I am a vegetarian, my husband and children are not. Without the centerpiece of turkey on my plate (I substitute with "nurkey") my focus has always been on the side dishes. Below is the tried-and-true menu of recipes compiled over the years that we will be having at our house, as well as some new recipes that we might try out this year.

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Enriched Family's Guide to College Application Planning and Resources - Part 2

In my work as an education consultant, I help families explore the best educational options for their unique children. This includes researching and comparing a wide-variety of educational selections at all life stages — from preschools, daycares, private and public schools, and enrichment activities, to college comparisons. I love helping families clarify their preferences and providing them with the specific information they need to inform and simplify their decision-making process.

As we move into fall, many families are pondering college planning and college applications. In part two of the Enriched Family Guide to College Application Planning and Resources, I focus on resources for letters of recommendation, college essays, financial aid planning, and scholarship planning…

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Guide to College Application Planning and Resources - Part 1

Many families are entering the season of college planning and college applications. This guide will help you with planning and resources no matter what grade your child is in currently. It is never too early to start thinking through the college process. This first installment focuses on establishing your family team and setting expectations; college application planning tools; deciding where to apply (college search and comparison tools); resources for the application process and requirements for selected colleges; and planning to take the SAT or ACT. Part 2 in this series will focus on resources for letters of recommendation, college essays, financial aid planning, and scholarship planning.

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Resources to Help you Find After-School Activities for your Children

With the school year starting up again, many parents are looking for after-school activities for their kids. To aid in this process, this week’s blog post focuses on some resources for exploring after-school activities for children of all ages…

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Weeknight Recipe Roundup - Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less

The kids are (finally) back in school this week as of Wednesday and I am playing catch up on all things work and home. In thinking about what might be most helpful to you mamas and papas out there who are adjusting to the new normal of school and home routines, I thought a quick roundup of recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less (active time) would be ideal for this time of year. Check them out, hope you enjoy, and may the first few weeks of school be as smooth as possible for you and yours!

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Back to School To-Do List & Organizing Tips

Mamas and papas: we are on the home stretch! It’s almost back to school time!

We are nearly there, but still have some work to do to get our kids and households organized to start the new school year off as smoothly as possible. As I am working to do this at my house, I thought I would share with you my list of to-do items and organizing recommendations...

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Bringing Home Lucky: Preparing Your Family and Home For a Puppy

Our children have been asking for a pet for a long time. My initial, internal reaction was: "Like I need another thing to take care of!" However, our children are currently 8 and 6, and I work from home now, so somehow it seemed more doable. Cats were out of the question as our neighborhood is always losing cats to coyotes. So, we started looking around for the right rescue dog. It took about six months, but thanks to @austinanimalcenter and @happyfosterdog, we found our dog! As you can see from the picture, he is adorable (yes, I am biased, but objectively, he is just darn cute).

I am discovering daily what a joy it is to have a puppy, and also what an undertaking! Whew. As I didn't grow up with dogs due to family allergies, this is pretty new for me. So, I did what I always do when facing the unknown and put on my researcher hat. I thought I would share the results of my research for other folks out there who are getting a dog for the first time. 

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Families Belong Together Rally in Austin (and around the country): Saturday, June 30, 2018 - Join us!

Participate locally in one of the Families Belong Together events that will be held around the country this Saturday, June 30th!

Austin, get out there this Saturday, June 30th, to rally for immigrant families separated at the border! Enriched Family will be there. Hope to see you!

If you live outside of Austin, there is likely a local rally in or near your community. To find a local event near you, go to familiesbelongtogether.org, a project of MoveOn.

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Family Separation and "Zero Tolerance" at the Border - What Now? (Updated post)

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about immigrant family separation and what we can do to protest this human rights issue. Today's post is an update since President Trump’s executive order halting the policy of family separation (but not zero tolerance) and focuses on the work still to be done.

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What you can do today to protest the policy of immigrant family separation!

As a mother, human being, and as an American, I am heartbroken and sickened by the current U.S. policy of family separation, under which ICE, Border Patrol, and Homeland Security is separating immigrant parents and their children who have been caught attempting to cross into the United States "illegally" or without documents. Children are being separated from their parents and sent to shelters, with the explicit intention of using these families as examples to deter immigrants from attempting to cross the border. 

Regardless of your politics or stance on immigration policy, we should all be able to agree that separating children from their parents is NOT the way to fix our immigration system. The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of "deterrence" is cruel, morally reprehensible, and un-American. 

So, what can we do today about this disgraceful policy?

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Boredom Busters: Summer Engagement Ideas for Kids

While I love the idea of a lazy summer, with lots of swimming and reading, playdates, and some camp fun thrown in, I also find that my kids go a little crazy after too many unstructured days. And let's be honest, as a work-from-home small business owner and parent, I too go a little crazy trying to juggle work and kids over the summer. So, for the inevitable days when my kids are bored and I am trying to work on a deadline, I like to have some strategies in my back pocket to keep the girls mentally and creatively engaged. For this week's blog post, I am sharing some of these ideas with you. 

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Summer Cooking & Entertaining Inspiration

I have been looking through my recipes and combing the internet for some new cooking inspiration as we will be hosting several get-togethers at our place over the summer, and I am generally wanting to expand my recipe repertoire these days. There is something about the change in weather that makes me want to mix up what I am cooking and eating. Given that I haven't done a recipe roundup in a while, I thought I would share some ideas with you in this week's post.  

Below is a list of tried-and-true recipes compiled over the years that we will definitely be making at our house this summer. Following that are a variety of recipes that I hope to try out soon. Enjoy!

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Austin Summer Fun Ideas

Hi all! Summer and extra hot weather will soon be upon us. This blog post focuses on a compilation of fun Austin area activities to keep you and your family busy (and hopefully sometimes cool) all summer long. Think swimming spots, splash pads, free museum days, kids eat free days, movie days, library days, family service activities, and so on.

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Top 10 Podcasts for Kids (aka Road Trip Survival Tools)

As the end of school nears, many of us are thinking about summer camps, summer plans, and road trips. To help you on your road warrior journeys with kids, I have updated a blog post I did in January on podcasts for kids (aka road trip survival tools). I have added some new favorites to the list, dropped some podcasts that are good in a pinch, but are no longer at the top of our frequently played list, and kept those that continue to be top picks. 

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Austin Weekend Event: Nurture My Child Summer Camp Fair 2018

Check it out this weekend! Nurture My Child Summer Camp Fair 2018

When: Sunday, February 25th, 2018, 1-4pm

Details: The Nurture My Child Camp Fair is a friendly, community focused camp fair to help parents select the right summer camp for their child. Free admission and free parking. Fun, free, hands-on activities. Learn about spring break, summer, and overnight camps for ages 4-18. There will be over $10,000 worth of free camps and giveaways to win at the fair. 

Where: Norris Conference Center (2525 W Anderson Lane), Austin, TX

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Five Days and Five Time- and Sanity-Saving Ideas: Day 5, Scheduling Care Appointments

Day 5: Always Schedule the Next Dentist, Haircut, Doctor, Fill-in-the-Blank Appointment While you are There

Today's post is about scheduling your family's regular care appointments for the year. This seems comically straightforward, but how many of us take our kids to the dentist and forget or put off scheduling their next appointment? No more. Make it a priority to always schedule your next appointment for any service or medical visit while you are in the office. This will save time in the long run and ensure that you and your family are up-to-date on wellness and self-care appointments....

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Five Days and Five Time- and Sanity-Saving Ideas: Day 2

Day 2: Scheduled weekly grocery shopping and a little help from some friends...?

Today's post focuses on scheduled weekly grocery shopping. This and regular meal planning have made such a difference in our family life. This is a very simple, practical idea, but it took our family some time to fully commit to it. The key is to choose a day to make your grocery store list weekly (based on your weekly meal planning) and to grocery shop for the week and stick to it consistently.

I also highly recommend considering the use of an online grocery shopping service like Instacart. This changed our lives and that is only slight hyperbole (no ads or sponsorships here; I just genuinely love this service). Imagine, no more spending 1-2 hours on the weekend driving to different stores and grocery shopping with kids in tow, or running to the grocery store last minute to buy "something" to make for dinner that night when you and the kids are already tired and hungry. This is a recipe for disaster and a whole lot of impulse buying. You know what I'm talking about...

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