How Is Raising a Kid in the City Different Than the Suburbs?


As parents, we often wonder what’s right for our kids, and we may question whether or not we make the right decisions in everything from education to food.

If you’re a parent raising a kid in the city, you may also question if that’s the right choice. So many families opt to leave the city when they have kids, or even when they’re just thinking about it, but what about those families who don’t?

There are plenty of differences in raising a kid in the city versus the suburbs, and there are, of course, pros and cons.

So what are some of those differences?

The Logistics

If you have babies or younger kids, there are certain things you might not even think about yet that will become relevant when your kids get older. For example, will your kids learn how to drive if you stay in the city? Some kids may not learn how to drive at all, and if you grew up in the city, you might not even know how to.

Some city parents will still get their kids driving lessons, even if they don’t have a car.

It’s up to you, of course, but in the suburbs and areas outside of the city, learning how to drive is a rite of passage for teens. It can be a big difference between city kids and kids raised in suburban areas.

There are perks of not driving. One of the biggest is the exercise element. Many parents who live outside of the city may struggle to keep their kids active, and they may have a primarily sedentary life, but this is fairly unlikely to be the case if you don’t have a car and you live in a big city with your family.


Our goal as parents is to raise thriving kids who are independent and can do things on their own. Kids from the city tend to be more independent from an earlier age than kids raised in other places. For example, when you raise kids in the city, your kids may be more comfortable heading out on their own at an earlier age.

They may also be more vigilant about staying safe in a variety of different situations that suburban kids may not face.


Of course, there can be some diversity outside the city, but for the most part, your kids are more likely to be around people from all walks of life if they live in a bigger city.

This can help your kids have a broader perspective and see the world in different ways. It can also help them be more empathetic to people who are different than they are and comfortable in a variety of situations.

There’s not just diversity in the people your kids will interact within a big city, but in all the things they encounter on a regular basis. This might mean food and culture, for example.

There may be more opportunities to socialize in general when you’re in a big city because people tend to get out and about more, and there are neighborhood parks, cafes and other gathering areas that people in the suburbs might not frequent as often.

When you live in a big city, you are going to have a smaller home in most cases than people in other areas, and you’re not going to have a big yard. While this can feel like a downside of city living it does push you to get out into the world more, rather than relying on the comfort of your private home and yard.


When you can walk outside your door and find most things you could ever need or want, it’s simply convenient. That convenience can then give you more time to spend enjoying your kids and your family, rather than thinking about commuting from place-to-place.

When you live in the city you may own less, and that can offer money savings and more time to spend with your family in addition to convenience. You have a smaller home, which means less room for stuff. You also don’t have to maintain a large home and yard, so that time can be spent in other ways.

If you’re raising a kid in the city, there are times it may feel like it’s difficult, but often families find the benefits outweigh the challenges and can help your kids to become more culturally aware, self-sufficient and willing to get out and explore the world they live in.

Start a new tradition with Gramma in a Box


Do you have special family traditions? Do you have special traditions that your family does outside of the holidays? Sadly, I don’t think many families do have traditions except for those that involve holiday such as Christmas. Hanukkah, Easter or Thanksgiving.

I will admit that my family doesn’t have any traditions outside of the holidays either.

If you are looking to start some new family traditions, especially with your child or grandchild, might I recommend Gramma in a Box.

There are so many wonderful monthly subscription boxes available these days. Books, toys, games, beauty, collectibles… there is a subscription box for just about anything. Even dogs and cats have their own subscription boxes.

Gramma in a Box is a monthly subscription box that provides you with what you need to make yummy treats together with your child/grandchild.

I love the cute holiday stickers that adorned the box.

Each month you will receive a fun filled box of treats to make. Your box includes almost everything you need to make and decorate up to 20 cookie and candy treats, including fresh homemade cookies, a variety of sprinkles and colored frosting, two easy candy crafts, detailed instruction sheet with photos, as well as decorating ideas. Some months will also include holiday theme candy and cookies, such as the Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day photos below. This will be a fun memory maker for children who do not live near their Gramma, or as a great activity for when Gramma visits! So fun and easy that even Grandpa will enjoy helping out!

Can you image how excited a child would be if they received one of the Gramma in a Box boxes? They would be overjoyed! Not only because the box contains delicious goodies, but also because he/she can spend quality time with gramma, making wonderful memories together that will last a lifetime.

I reviewed one of the Gramma in a Box boxes a while back. The one I received was Easter themed. You can read that review here – Enjoy some sweet treats with your family with Gramma in a Box.

Easter cookies we made with another Gramma in a Box box.

I received another box recently. This time the box had a fall/Thanksgiving theme.

Inside the box were the supplies needed to make Fall Cookies, Turkey Buddies and Harvest Bark, so name a few.

Inside Gramma in a Box boxes you’ll find pre-made cookies to decorate based on the box’s theme. There is little to no baking involved. That is a good thing for people like me who can’t bake to save their life. Seriously… I am a horrible baker. I mess up pre-made cookies! Besides, the best part about making cookies is the decorating and eating anyway.

The most you need to do for the most part is microwave ingredients to melt them. That is easy enough to do. Even a child can do that.

I WISH I was able to do a special activity with my great-grandmother, as well as my grandmother (my paternal grandmother raised me since I was a toddler). Both of these amazing women are long gone. I wish I could go back in time. If I knew then what I know now, I would have spent every possible moment with them. I miss them both terribly.

You do not need to be a Grandmother (or Grandfather) to utilize this box with a child. Parents, aunts, uncles, siblings… just about anyone can enjoy creating delicious treats with Gramma in a Box.

For the life of me I cannot find the photos of the creations I made with this month’s box. Ugh!

My favorite treat with this month’s box was the cute turkeys made out of Ritz-like crackers and candy corn. Sweet chocolate and salty crackers together are a yummy combination. Mmm!

The Harvest Bark was also delicious. And it was so easy to put together. It’s a recipe that I can recreate on my own as well.

That is another reason why I appreciate Gramma in a Box. None of the treats are that hard to make on your own. You can use the box as inspiration for other things you can make/bake with your child/grandchild. I know that I’ll be making the Harvest Bark again.

Everything you need to make each goodie is included in the box, with the exception of stuff you already have on hand (kitchen utensils and the like). Gramma in a Box even includes frosting in bags that all you need to do is cut off the tip and you are ready to decorate.

A subscription box like this would make a great gift for a child – or gift it to Grandma so that she can have fun with her grandchildren.

Gramma in a Box will be having a special “Black Friday” sale. You can get a one year subscription (12 boxes) for $190 (normally $220). That is a $30 savings.

You can buy one box, or you can pre-pay for three, six or twelve months. I would recommend subscribing to one box. If you love, by all means, take advantage of the three, six or twelve month options.

If you are interested in learning more about Gramma in a Box, or to subscribe, visit GrammainaBox.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

What do you think about Gramma in a Box? Is is something you would like to explore with your child/grandchild? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

The creator of Gramma in a Box – Terry Chamberlin


*I received a free box to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

National Geographic Kids Books new book series – So Cool! So Cute! (giveaway ends 10/12/19)


I’ve always been an avid reader. Sadly, I have been too busy over the years to read as much as I’d like to. I have a nice collection of books I’ve been meaning to get to. Someday…

As a child, I would read all kinds of books. I especially loved books that were educational. Yes… it’s true. I would read educational books. I would grab an encyclopedia (remember those?) and literally read through it from beginning to end. How nerdy was that? It’s true. I think that is why I am so good at answering questions on Jeopardy. I love it when “I” know the answer and the smart people on the show don’t.

I loved reading books about animals, ancient Egypt (I loved to learn about mummies), and other far away places.

If your child/grandchild love animals, and they love to read up about the various species, you should check out a new book series from National Geographic Kids Books called So Cool! So Cute!

So Cool! So Cute! books are filled with fun facts about the specific species. Each page features beautiful, colorful, photography of the species to help bring it all alive.

The first two books in the series are So Cool! Sharks and So Cute! Pandas. I was sent both books to review, along with adorable plush animals.

These books are geared towards kids 3-7 year olds (preschool to second grade). I’m an adult and I think these books are great. I even learned a thing or two that I didn’t know about sharks and pandas.

So Cool! Sharks

Sharks are among the world’s top predators, but that’s just ONE reason why they are SO COOL. So who wouldn’t want to hang out with them to learn more! These books blend awesome animal photos with silly quips and info that will delight young readers and animal enthusiasts. For example, kids can catch the hunting habits of a great white shark while learning that its true nature is as chill as a frozen fish stick. This is the perfect little reader to get their brain buzzing and keep them laughing during downtime, bedtime, or anytime.

I have always found sharks to be fascinating creatures. One of the things on my “Bucket List” is to cage dive off the Australian coast and see a Great White shark up close. I know, I know… sounds crazy. But I am really interested in doing something like that. I know it will never happen (we don’t have that kind of money), but it’s fun to dream about it at least.

I know a lot of people are into sharks. That is why “Shark Week” has become so popular over the years. Admittedly I watch some of the programs that come on that week. That’s because I find sharks so cool, just like the books.

This book is a great starter book for young children to learn about these fascinating creatures. You can read it to them, or they could read it themselves. These are easy readers.

The other book in the series has to do with Pandas. Who doesn’t love Pandas? They are SO CUTE! I especially love how they act. They are very silly. I love how they roll around.

I first fell in love with pandas when I saw the famous Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., when I was a young girl. It was back in the late 70’s or early 80’s if I recall correctly. Sadly, those Pandas died many years ago.

I also received the So Cute! Pandas book as well as an adorable plush panda.

So Cute! Pandas

Get ready for cute overload, panda style. And the funny thing is, this panda isn’t just cute. It’s got attitude! You’ll flip over the adorable photos and be equally charmed by what this sassy little panda is thinking on every page. Introducing the brand-new series from National Geographic Kids that combines two wonderful things: super cute photos of all your favorite fluffy animals and silly text that will have the whole family laughing. Add to that some great nonfiction content that gets kids learning, and, what can we say? This series is just so cute!

Admittedly, I didn’t know as much about pandas as I did sharks. That is because there is no such thing as “Panda Week” on television. There should be. Pandas are fascinating creatures too.

Both of these books would make a great addition to any family library.

If you are interested in learning more about these and other National Geographic Kids Books, visit the National Geographic store (linked here).

I have both books and the plush animals to give to a lucky reader.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 12, 2019. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

To enter, please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this giveaway?

For extra entries, please refer to the giveaway widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. The sponsor will be providing the prize package. 

Health First: What to Do to Keep Your Kids Physically and Mentally Healthy


Having kids is a big deal. You’re nurturing and raising tiny humans. That means that their health is your top priority. But where to start? It seems there are so many things to keep track of when you’re raising a child. It can be tricky to handle everything at once.

This guide is far from everything that comes with raising kids, but it’s a pretty good start. This will take you through the professionals that you need to book appointments with for your child. Medicine, health and even online therapy are something for which you are responsible, so choose wisely before you see someone.

1. Getting the Right General Practitioner Is Key

Having a family doctor to go to will save you a lot of heartache once your child falls ill. That’s right, when not if. There’s no way to stop your child from getting sick. But that doesn’t mean that you need to let them suffer. You can take them to a doctor that you trust.

This is not only for when they’re ill. It’s also good to have a professional regular contact. This way, you can get updates on your child and their development.

2. The Right Dentist Is Essential

Healthy teeth are essential for development and growth. Taking your children to a good dentist doesn’t have to be stressful. You just need to focus on finding a dentist who treats families and takes care of them well. If you’re interested, there are plenty of great offices where you can make an appointment today.

As a side note, getting a good orthodontist for your children will really help in the long run. Having braces seems almost like a rite of passage for kids these days. Orthodontics offer real benefits of straightening jaws, aligning teeth, and saving thousands on dentist bills later in life.

3. A Nutritionist Couldn’t Hurt

Diet is the most important part of keeping your children healthy. It doesn’t matter how often they go to the doctor or how many vitamins they take—if they don’t eat right, they won’t be healthy. A nutritionist seems like a waste for your kid, right? But there are real benefits to getting them started early with a nutritionist.

If your kid is active in sports, a nutritionist could help them balance caloric intake and outtake. A nutritionist could also help them maintain a good body image and a healthy relationship with food.

4. It’s Never Too Early to Go to Therapy

Therapy helps more than it hurts. There is still a bit of a stigma around it, but there is nothing wrong with going to see a therapist. Your kid has things with which they are struggling. It’s all a part of growing up. As much as you’re there for them, there are some things that they won’t talk to you about. That’s where a therapist comes in handy.

A therapist acts as a professional third party who has your kid’s best interests at heart. Plus, if anything super terrible is going on, the therapist will let you know. No news from them is good news for you.

Putting Your Kids First Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Getting medical practitioners lined up for your child seems like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. As long as you’re inside the network of your insurance, you’ll find plenty of viable options. Searching for the perfect person might take a little while since it’s about the comfort of your child. But as long as you listen to your child and make the decision your gut is telling you is right, you cannot go wrong.

What You Should Know About Teenage Drug Abuse


As parents, we want to protect our children from the dangers of the world like drugs, alcohol, and other harmful influences. Unfortunately, we cannot control who our kids spend time with or what they choose to do in their free time. What we can do is keep an eye out for signs of teen drug abuse.

If you suspect your teenager is using drugs, it’s important to seek help before this gets out of hand. If you’re certain your teen is facing addiction, sites like https://clearrecoverycenter.com/ can give you information about how you can help them recover. However, first you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how to approach your teenager about drug use, and what signs to look for.

How To Tell If Your Child is Using Drugs

Changes in behavior are the most obvious signals that your son or daughter is using drugs or has fallen victim to drug addiction. This can include:

  • A sudden drop in grades
  • Laughing or crying randomly
  • A loss of interest in activities they once found enjoyable

They may also begin to:

  • Practice poor hygiene
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Have a sudden increase of appetite

Be sure to consider physical changes as well, such as bloodshot eyes or clothing that smells like smoke. If your loved one is not being themselves or acting strange without cause, it is possible they are using drugs.

What To Do If Your Teen Admits To Using Drugs

Having a conversation with your child about drugs is never easy, especially if you suspect they’re addicted. If they come clean about drug use, its important not to overreact or scold them, especially since it was most likely very difficult for them to confess in the first place.

If your teen admits to drug abuse, begin by letting them know that you care about them and their future. If your child feels supported, they will be more willing to stop use and seek the help they need. Find out if this has been a one-time thing or if they use substances frequently. Take appropriate measures depending on their response.

What To Do If Your Teen Denies Drug Use


Ideally, your teen will admit to drug use and agree to seek help, however this isn’t always the case.

Naturally, your child may be inclined to deny your suspicions, reassuring you they are okay. Let them know that you are worried and want to help them. If you’re certain they’re under the influence of drugs, have them take a home drug test. You also have the option of taking them to an addiction specialist to diagnose them. If they are unwilling to take a test, chances are they’re using illicit substances.

However, they might refuse to cooperate.

In this case, you can always make progress by educating yourself on different substances. This way, you’ll be able to know for certain what substance your loved one is addicted to. It will be harder for your child to deny your claims if you can pinpoint accurately what side effects they’re experiencing.

You also want to monitor what they’re doing on a daily basis. Make sure they are not skipping school and keep an eye on them whenever possible. Let them know that their activity is not left unmonitored.

If they refuse to accept your help, we suggest you speak with a professional.


There are many reasons your child will experiment with drugs.

They could be:

  • Curious
  • Pressured by friends
  • Stressed out
  • Desire to escape from reality

It’s important to understand these reasons if you want to help a loved one. Remember, they’re not trying to intentionally harm themselves. But regardless, they need help.

If the signs and symptoms listed above sound like your teenager, take the appropriate measures to help them reach sobriety.

Great books for young readers


Summer is over. School is back in session. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday families were celebrating graduations and prom. Now it’s a brand new school year. It’s back to reading, writing and arithmetic.

Is your child (or grandchild) a reader? Some kids LOVE to read. Other children, like my son, are considered “reluctant readers.” It’s not that they can’t read, or don’t want to read. It’s just that often titles presented to them to read of are no interest to them.

Our daughter would willingly read just about any book she had to for school. She also read A LOT just for the fun of it. Even now at 22 years old, she still reads books. Although I wish she’d utilize the library more and not buy brand new books. We have no room for them (she’s amassed quite a collection).

Our son has never been a fan of reading. When he was younger he was interested in Biscuit and Max and Ruby, so I picked up A LOT of books about them for him to read – which he would. There were other titles/book series he showed interest in, so I would borrow them from the library (or purchase them) just so he’d have something to read.

If you have a child that loves to read, or perhaps you are looking for titles to interest a child that may not be a big fan of reading, check out these great books from Silver Dolphin Books and Canterbury Classic Books.

The Big Book Adventure

Journey back through childhood classics like Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and more in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading!

There is nothing like a book to take you to places you’ve never been. Best friends Foxy and Piggy can’t wait to tell each other about all of their adventures in reading! Flying over Neverland, swimming with a mermaid, joining in a mad tea party, soaring on a magic carpet—old classics come to life in the eyes of two little readers who can’t believe what they’ve seen. Journey back to old favorites and experience the magic all over again in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading.

This is a super adorable book that is fun to read. It’s geared toward children in 1st – 3rd grade (6-8 years old). However, younger and older children can enjoy this magical story too.

The book is written by Emily Ford and illustrated by Tim Warnes.

The illustrations are charming. I adore the main characters in this story (Foxy and Piggy). They are absolutely adorable.

This is an easy reader, filled with creative and fun rhymes.

What I love about this book is that it “samples” various other well-known stories, as the friends travel through them on their many adventures. I think this is a fabulous way to encourage children to want to read these classic stories after they finish this book. I think this book is a great pre-cursor to enjoying those books as well. As a parent, anything that can stimulate a child and encourage them to read is wonderful in my book (no pun intended. OK… maybe a little).

If your child is interested in these classic titles (and more), then you should check out Canterbury Classic’s  illustrated classic series. This book series includes the titles;

I was sent a few of these titles to review. I was sent Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Peter Pan. These are some of my most favorite classic stories. In fact, I have a HUGE framed poster of the entire Peter Pan story, made to look like Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. From a distance it looks like their likeness, but when you get up close you can see that it’s made out of the words from the entire story, from beginning to end.

PHOTO SOURCE: Spineless Classics

My framed artwork, leaning against the fridge. It now hangs in our dining room.

Needless to say I was excited to receive a copy of Peter Pan, as well as the other titles, to review from Canterbury Classics.

These are high quality, collectible, heirloom quality books that can be passed on from generation to generation. They are exceptionally well made, including detailed foil stamping and a full-color illustration on the covers (they feel really nice to the touch) and colored ends to the pages. The books are colorful too, so they stand out nicely in your home library or bookcase.

These books are written for ages 10+ (they are the original, unabridged stories).

Each book features gorgeous, colorful illustrations by acclaimed illustrators that really add to the story (I’m a big fan of books with images/photos in them).

I have saved books from my youth for my children to enjoy. I also saved some of their favorite books for their children (my grandchildren) to enjoy some day. I am saving these books to pass down to my grandchildren too. They are beautiful and you cannot beat the classics.

I’ve read Peter Pan already (I am very familiar with the story, of course, and have read it a few times in the past). I am currently working on the Brother’s Grimm book. I’ve already enjoyed their interesting tales.

It’s funny that I received a Hans Christian Anderson book to review. Recently I found a very old (antique) copy of his stories at an old bookstore. That book is old and delicate, so I won’t open it that often. I appreciate the copy I received from Canterbury Classics to review. I feel better opening and reading that book.

If you are interested in learning more about these books (or where to purchase them), you can click on the links from above. You can also find Silver Dolphin on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Look for Canterbury Classic books on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

What do you think about these titles? Do you think your child or grandchild would be interested in them?

Which title most interests you, or you think would most interest your child/grandchild?


*I received free sample copies to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.