Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/6/2015

Transitioning from the lazy days of summer back to the classroom can be a tough transition for even the best student. The return to school can bring about a range of emotions. Each child is different but there are a few steps you can take to ease the back to school jitters. If your child is displaying anxiety or showing signs of stress about changes at home or in school, talk to your child by asking open-ended questions. This can help your child figure out his/her own feelings. If your child expresses a specific worry, try asking, "What makes you feel that way?". A new grade, teacher or school can bring new challenges. Help your child get organized. Make sure to establish a routine. Help your child to be open-minded because change can be a good thing. A new class of students sometimes means an adjustment. This may mean that your child will have to adapt to a lager group, encourage them to use this opportunity to make new friends. Try to set up play dates or a get-together with new friends before school starts. If you feel the level of anxiety is extremely high or lasts well past the beginning of the school year, consider seeking outside help.  




Categories: Family  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/12/2015

When the summer heat comes knocking, many people reach for soft drinks and artificially flavored beverages.  While this may temporarily cool you down while satisfying your sweet tooth, you're actually doing your body a disservice by dumping so many empty calories into your system.  Additionally, many of these drink options actually dehydrate you further, prompting you to drink more of them sooner.  Here are five easy alternatives to reaching for a can of pop, or a bottle of "enhanced electrolyte-infused super sports drink"....Whatever that is. 1. Juice on Juice - Do you make your ice cubes with trays in your freezer?  If you do, try swapping out the water with juice!  You can have a glass of OJ with OJ ice cubes.  As they melt, they won't water down your juice of choice.  If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own fruit juice combinations with matching juice cubes.  If you have a blender, you can make your own fruit slushies in a flash.  It's a pretty simple way to enjoy something flavorful, and you can feel better knowing that you aren't putting large amounts of empty calories into your system.  If you are craving something a little sweeter, why not try mixing in a little Stevia?  While relatively new to the US market, this wonder sweetener has been used for centuries by people in other countries.  Boasting a sweetening capability 300 times that of sugar, stevia has also been shown to have a negligible effect on blood glucose levels, making this sweetener relatively safe for people on carbohydrate-controlled diets. 2.  Cucumber Water - This is a relatively new concept to hit the mainstream, but it has been around for a long time.  Cucumbers are a perfect summer food...They contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidant nutrients that can help protect the skin from the sun's damaging rays. Vitamin C boosts collagen and elastin, which helps keep skin looking vibrant. Caffeic acid protects skin cells from UV radiation. Cucumbers also help to prevent water retention, which will keep you feeling light and refreshed all day. There are a few different methods to make cucumber water, but I'll give the easiest here....Chop up a whole cucumber, throw it in a pitcher of water, and let it soak in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, drain the pieces of cucumber out, pour yourself a big glass of it over ice, throw a few slices of cucumber in as a garnish, and voila.  You have cucumber water.  Yes....It's that simple.  And you'll be pleasantly surprised how refreshing this new angle on water is. Raspberry Mint water - This is similar to the cucumber water, except that there's no overnight soaking required.  All you need is a water bottle, crushed ice, some fresh mint, and raspberries.  Throw five or six raspberries, a few mint leaves, and a small handful of crushed ice into a water bottle.  Shake well.  The ice will agitate the mint and raspberries.  Then, fill the bottle to the top with water, and shake again.  Goodbye, Crystal Light. Soda Water and Juice - If you find yourself craving the zip of bubbles in your beverage, try mixing plain soda water with citrus juices.  Two parts juice, one part soda water, and some ice is all you'll need to beat a soda craving.  Try mixing tangerine and grapefruit juice first, then move on to other juices. Iced Chai Tea - Chai has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine, but has come to be one of the world's most beloved teas.  Chai is a mixture of black teas and aromatic Indian spices.  Initially brought over to the west a few centuries ago, it has become a fixture in many coffeehouses and cupboards all across the United States, and can be purchased in your local grocery store.  If you like Iced tea, then take a chance on Iced Chai.  You won't regret it. Bring four cups of water to a boil, and add one chai bag per cup.  Steep for five to seven minutes, and transfer to a pitcher.  Allow the Chai to cool completely, and serve over ice.  You can add a bit of milk and sugar if you so desire, but the natural blend of Indian spice makes this tea flavorful all on its own. Here's to a healthy summer!




Tags: summer fun   ice tea   Healthy  
Categories: Family  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/14/2015

Parenting has become more and more complicated and adding the internet to the mix makes it scary. Social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have parents scrambling with what to do. Social media sites are advancing so quickly that it often seems impossible for parents to keep up. Here are some hints on how to parent kids when it comes to technology: 1. Almost all social media sites have age requirements; follow and enforce them with your children. Most sites require children to be 13 to sign up, while other like Vine require users to be 17. 2. Just because the minimum age requirement is 13 or 17 your child should be mature and responsible enough to use good judgment offline before becoming active online. 3. Use social media. As a parent become active on social media sites. Join the same sites your children are using and learn how they work. Follow, friend, like them or do whatever the site requires for you to monitor their activity. Don't embarrass them by commenting on their posts just be there. 4. Review and implement privacy settings on social media accounts with your children. Remind your children not to share personal information about themselves, their family or their friends online. All profiles should be set to private. Kids should only accept friends or followers that they know in real life. 5. Stress manners. Remind children that interactions on social media are just like the "real world". Practice respect, good judgement, kindness, and always use proper language. 6. Social media is a privilege. If your children are misusing social media take the privilege away.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/17/2015

Saving money when you have a family can be difficult. There are so many everyday expenses that make it hard to start saving for college, retirement and other looming expenses. Here are some ways to start planning for your family's financial future: Start a college fund: College may seem far away but it is a huge expense that can creep up on you. Start saving now, the sooner the better. Even as little as $100 a month will add up. Open a 529 college savings plan to use specifically for college expenses. Buy life insurance: Life insurance gives your family a peace of mind. and the ability to afford the expense of final care and burial.  The death benefit will provide financial security for those family members who are left behind. Have a will: When a person dies without a will, the state decides who gets what, without regard to the deceased wishes or their heirs' needs. Creating a will that spells out one's wishes protects their family's financial future.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/8/2012

Did you know that your kids can lose from one to three months of learning over the summer? Studies suggest kids lose the most in math. Don't spend the summer going in reverse. There are many online sites that can help stop the summer brain drain. National Geographic Kids: offers great nature videos, activities, games, stories, and more CoolMath4Kids: take a trip through an amusement park of math and more at this extremely interactive math website Smithsonian Kids Collecting: how to start your own collection and see what other kids collect Explore Dinosaurs: FAQs and top 10 myths about dinosaurs, a virtual dig, behind the scenes tours, and more from the National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Digging for Answers: a site that tests your research skills and knowledge NASA Quest: interactive explorations that engage students in real science and engineering. Topics include robots, helicopters, lunar exploration, and designing your own human-friendly planet My Wonderful World: a multimedia tour of our seven continents Time for Kids: fun games (The Great State Race), an online weekly magazine written for kids, and news from around the world Big Universe: an online library of fiction and nonfiction books for kids 0-12. The site also offers adults and kids the chance to create and publish their own stories.