Happy Kids, Inc
Friday, July 31, 2015

A Message To My Girl: Anything Is Possible

By Meg Hodson

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Green Works and Collectively. All opinions and writing are 100% my own.

Raising a girl is no small task. Heck, raising ANY child is darn right a small miracle. I don't know if it's because I am one strong willed girl who was brought up believing I could accomplish anything. But I feel a huge responsibility to make sure my daughter has every opportunity she could ever desire. 

I do feel like girls take some extra attention when it comes to opportunities. My daughter plays at the club soccer level. She got a little burned out this past year. Tryouts came up this past Spring and she was considering not trying out. I decided to take her out to lunch and have a nice heart to heart. 

While she is only 11, I couldn't help but look into the future and think about high school and potential college scholarships she could be privy to with her level of soccer. I did eventually convince her to continue. She made the team and the season is off to a good start in late summer. 

Green Works AAUW

I was part of an eye-opening Twitter party a few weeks ago hosted by Green Works in partnership with AAUW. The hot topic:  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). When it comes to science, men still significantly outnumber the women. Although this might be a far cry from soccer, the emphasis on girls reaching their full potential is definitely related.

Here are some of the highlights of what I learned during the party.
  • Only 1 in every 1000 girls will become a scientist
  • Toys can promote STEM because girls learn fun through hands-on experience, and critical thinking
  • Science National Honor Society is a great high school organization that pushes kids to be involved and talk to scientists
  • It's an extremely enriching career, personally and intellectually, you will never be bored!
  • AAUW is one of the largest funding sources for girls in graduate school
  • Allow for creativity when building. It encourages thinking, design, problem solving
  • Great discoveries take inquisitive people, hard work, and luck.
  • It’s important to set role models for next gen girls. Girls will gain more confidence
  • Encourage girls to be curious, try things that might not work, test assumptions, and learn from their mistakes
  • It's important for girls to identify with scientists. Females in STEM help them to see themselves in the future.
  • It isn't enough to just be a female scientist, you must actively engage and encourage girls
  • Only 14 percent of girl students drew a female scientist when prompted in this video: http://bit.ly/1Ma4YTw

Thanks to Green Works, we are encouraged to let girls know that they do have the opportunity to become a scientist. Let them know where math can take them.



If you like what you're reading, I invite you to follow my blog.  Cheers!
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Easy Lime Ginger Chicken Skewers

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By Meg Hodson

This is a sponsored post for Foster Farms. i received compensation for my post, but all opinions
remain 100% my own. And you've got to try my awesome recipe below! 

Homemade dinners are very important to me. As crazy as schedules get, including my husband and I both working full time out of the house now, we still strive to have family dinners. Some nights, we have more time to cook and other nights time is tight. On top of all of that, I want meals to be as healthy as possible for my family. One menu staple I always turn to is fresh chicken. It's versatile, easy to fix, and my children love it! But I also want to select chickens that are raised without antibiotics, vegetarian fed and I also appreciate chicken that is grown on the West Coast, close to my home in Oregon. 

Lime Ginger Chicken Skewers recipe


Foster Farms Simply Raised chicken is just that. It's a major evolution for the brand, 
partly in response to the demand from millennial parents wanting healthier chicken  options for their family. Foster Farms has been a family-owned business since 1939.  With this new line of chicken, they are undergoing a true evolution of their brand. 

That evolution includes no added sodium to the chicken, American Humane Certified, and is minimally processed with no added preservatives. 

The recipe I created with Foster Farms Simply Raised chicken is so easy to make! It's a 
skewer-style recipe.....just dice and stack the chicken on skewers, drizzle with the easy-
to-prepare sauce, grill and it's done.

Lime Ginger Chicken Skewers
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
Foster Farms Simply Raised thin sliced breast fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 lime

Lime Ginger Chicken Skewers recipe

Lime Ginger Chicken Skewers recipe


Cut chicken into 1 inch thick cubes. Gently line on wood skewers. Mix all dry spices together (except the dry mustard) and evenly sprinkle on both sides of the chicken. Mix olive oil, maple syrup, and dry mustard. Blend well. 

Transfer skewers to grill heated to medium. Place on grill and brush both sides with the olive oil mixture. Cooking times will vary, but they should be done in 7-10 minutes. Baste 2-3 more times while the chicken cooks. 

Lime Ginger Chicken Skewers recipe


Simple, easy, delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

This post is sponsored by Foster Farms®, the opinions expressed are my own.


If you like what you're reading, I invite you to follow my blog.  Cheers!
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Preparing Your Children For Their First Trip Alone

By Meg Hodson

We have always been a traveling family. Whether it's road trips to the beach, flights to visit family in the Midwest, weddings in Las Vegas, or Disneyland, we've done a lot. My children are natural travelers and really enjoy it. 

My oldest child (my daughter, age 11) finished 5th grade this year. We had learned about an opportunity to go on an 11 day tour of Alaska with People To People Ambassador Programs. I myself had done a People To People trip in high school and I had fond memories of my trip to Europe. I was excited to look into this further for my daughter. 

Preparing Your Child For Their First Trip Alone

We ultimately decided she was ready for a trip like this. It was set to be a well-supervised tour and there were numerous meetings locally with the students going from the area. She couldn't wait for summer. She even did her own fundraising to pay for part of the trip and for spending money.

I am a firm believer that travel is a great way to learn. She is not back from her trip yet, but I can't wait to see and hear about her adventures. Her leader has a private group page set up for the parents, so we can follow along on their adventures. That has been wonderful!

Preparing Children For Their First Trip Alone

Preparing Children For Their First Trip Alone

As we prepared for her trip, I thought I would put together a list of some of the not-so-common items to check off as you get ready for a young child tp travel alone.
  • Pack An Extended First Aid Kit. Band-aids are a given, but I put together an extensive first aid kit so that my daughter would not have to worry about buying these things and so she was prepared, should she need something at odd hours, like the middle of the night. Her kit included: bandages, first aid ointment, eye drops, blister bandages, chewable ibuprofen (she knew to consult her leader first to confirm the dosage), chewable allergy medicine, arnica for sore muscles or light bruising, homeopathic night time sleeping aid, and ginger mints (for motion sickness).
  • Souvenir List. My daughter had requests from her brothers and from us about souvenirs we might like. I made a "Note" in her iPod that included some of the things we liked so she wouldn't forget. I also made a list of family members and friends and their addresses so she could send post cards. I bought post card stamps for her to have on hand. You could easily include this on the first page of a travel journal, too.
  • Credit Card Gift Card. Banks actually do have travelers checks still, but I just thought this would be a bit of a hassle for an 11 year old. Carrying a large amount of cash was not a good idea either. She was familiar with the process of a debit card, so I thought a credit card gift card would be perfect and teach her some budget responsibility, too. We pre-loaded it with a set amount and sent her with a little cash, too. As a gift, I also bought her a Starbucks gift card for some treats along the way.
  • Stay Charged Baby! I sent my daughter with a back-up portable USB charger to use for her iPod. She also has rechargeable batteries for her small camera. 
  • Snacks. With odd flights times and this trip promising LOTS of walking and sightseeing, I packed my daughter some snacks. I knew she could buy some along the way, too, but you never know when you will be rushed for time. I sent her with some granola bars, coconut chips, nuts, and dried fruit. Be sure to pack items that won't easily get crushed or melt.
  • Confidence. I know, I know, you can't pack confidence. But I assured my daughter that I knew she would be smart and make the right decisions on her trip. She had her leader to turn to as well. I ultimately said to "go with your gut", I know you will make the right decisions.

What tips can you share about preparing kids for their first trip?


If you like what you're reading, I invite you to follow my blog.  Cheers!
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