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Empathy: What It Is and Why You Need It

Empathy connects you with people in your family and community. When you understand how empathy works, you can extend it more often to others. Learn about the three main types of empathy.

Latin Prejudice

In a world filled with prejudice and hate, we in the Latin Community need to take a hard look at what we can do to better the world. Why spread hate when we can show love?

Healthier Eating

You and your family may be like many people falling into unhealthy eating habits right now. Don’t sweat it – healthy eating doesn’t need to add stress to an already stressful situation. Take small steps of change and keep food enjoyable.

Keeping the Family Peace – Healthy Relationships during COVID-19

The coronavirus has you and your family cooped up right now. While it’s great to have family time, most families don’t spend this much time together. Being together 24/7 is only fun for so long. So how do you get through the day without going after each other’s throats before noon? Learn some tried-and-true methods for getting along.

Dealing with Anxiety in Moments of Panic

We’ve all experienced moments of anxiety – from the nagging question “did I leave the oven on?” to fears over whether we’ve studied enough to pass a test or concerns about how that contract negotiation is going to go.

11 Tips for Dealing with a Financial Crisis

Your finances may have you feeling completely overwhelmed now, and that is OK. You can make this better one step at a time. The following tips will show you how to to get organized and tackle the money beast right away. Gather your courage and let’s get started.

Kill ’em with Kindness

As we sit in our houses, trying not to go stir crazy, take a few minutes to practice a little kindness. It’ll brighten up your day and the day of others.

Is it over yet? A few words for exhausted parents

Working from home has always seemed like the life of luxury, but now that most of us are being forced to stay at home, we are going a little stir crazy. Here are just some words for parents who might be dreaming of the days they can send their kids to school again.

How to Manage Anxiety with the COVID-19 Crisis

In the midst of what is happening right now, you may be feeling worried, scared, bored, entertained, frustrated, confused, safe, relieved, restless, sad, shaken or determined. These feelings and more are normal. If you feel mostly uncomfortable or anxious, try some of these tips now to relieve symptoms of stress and worry.

9 Tips on Dealing with Uncertainty from the Coronavirus

Struggling with all the fast-pace changes caused the coronavirus crisis? You’re not alone. Take a breath and find nine helpful tips for adjusting to the new normal.

The Forgotten Disciplines

The ancient disciplines and virtues have not gone out of style. In a world that’s living through a COVID-19 Pandemic, your patience, self-sacrifice, contentment and social mercy are most needed. You can be the telegraphic wire that links the hurt with hope. Stand firm on your peace, and you will be light in the darkness.

Stuck At Home? Now What?

Tips on how to manage work and family life during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

5 Fun Date Ideas

Coming up with new and fun dates can be hard, so we came up with this list to help jumpstart some new ideas for you.

What We Are Reading: Covert Cows

Once a quarter, the directors get together to read and review a book together. Before the end of 2019, we read “Covert Cows and Chick-Fil-A” by Steve Robinson.

What Blurs and Spurs A Vision?

We were on the last rope of the zipline course in Costa Rica. We had planned this trip for months and when the day came, the adventure began with an aerial tram that took us through the rainforest before we were harnessed and attached to a cable.

Featured Program: AVANCE

Love is our not-so-secret ingredient. We pour love into everything we do, because we know that one person can make a big difference. That’s what AVANCE does. One person impacting the lives of those around them – at home, in their community and around the world.

New Beginnings

Every day is a chance for a new start. So start every new day as a new chapter in your book. So take on life’s challenges, you never know what might come out of it.

Fear is the mind-killer

Learning from your past and facing your fears will allow you to grow into the person you have always wanted to be. You might be down right now, but you’re not out.

Learning to Compromise

Compromising can be hard, but maybe we’re making it harder than it has to be. Check out these tips on how to make compromising work for you.

Five tips to help teach your kids Spanish

Teaching your kids a second language can seem daunting, but the key is surrounding them in everything Spanish and keeping the learning process consistent.

Stronger Together

What’s it like to be in a relationship that some people still have a problem accepting?

Tales from the Melting Pot

Three perspectives, three truths, three people’s experience of growing up mixed and how it shaped the way they see the world.

How to introduce your significant other to your family

Hispanic families can be intimidating in both attitude and size, and it becomes more apparent when it’s time to bring someone home to meet them all.

Marrying into a Latin Family

What’s it like to marry into a Latino family when you aren’t Latino yourself? Seeing the difference in his upbringing compared to his kids, Greg Fleming explores the nuance of Latino family life from a new perspective.

Top 10 Latin Dishes of All Time

Latinos are known for a few things, but the one that stands out is our food. Latin food is the best in the world, but what’s the best of the best? What dishes reign supreme? Here’s our list. Let us know which are your favorites.

Two Worlds, One Family: Raising Children to be Culturally Aware of Who They Are

We have come to realize that we do not need to wait for formal training or a how-to book on how to teach our children something about their bicultural origins. We take advantage of opportunities to raise our children to be culturally aware.

Backyard Science

Learning doesn’t stop at school. Here are some neat little experiments that teach some pretty crazy science facts.

From Procrastination to Emotion Regulation

If you can’t seem to kick your nasty habit of procrastination, here are some tips to help you on your journey of growth.

My First Week of College

Finding a balance between school, work, and friends can be challenging, but nothing really gets you ready for the avalanche of events that is the first week of college.

How to Lessen the Stress of Homework

The endless grind of homework can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be as bad as you’re making it. Here are a few tips to help lessen the stress of homework.

Helping Your Kid with Homework You Don’t Understand

The internet is the greatest invention since the wheel. So let it do all the heavy lifting when it comes to your homework. It’s all about working smarter not harder.

We Aren’t Twelve Anymore

Dear Parents, I know you mean the best, but it’s time to let them fly out of the nest and become the functioning adults of society they were meant to be. Here’s a little insight into why you should let us fail.

What to Keep in Mind the First Week of School So You Don’t Drive the Teacher Crazy

More often than not, we spend lots of time getting our kids ready for that first week of school. But we what can we do as parents to lighten the burden on teachers and school staff? Eva shares a few tips on what we can do to not drive teachers crazy.

The Best Vacation – Puerto Rico

“I’m glad we decided to disconnect from our phones, be adventurous, live in the moment, and not let fear stop us from having the time our lives together!” Lissette tells us about her most memorable vacation. Read on for more.

Our Unforgettable Oaxacan Family Memories

Oaxaca is definitely a city not to be missed when visiting Mexico, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and be prepared to walk and explore this beautiful city and region.

Never a Dull Moment

“One of my favorite vacations wasn’t about a destination to be explored. It wasn’t about sight-seeing. It was about drinking hot chocolate in a room filled with people that I love.”
José-Andrés tells us more about his most memorable vacation.

Parenting Tips to Preserve Summer Sanity

It’s summer and kids don’t go back to school for another month or so. Before you lose your sanity, here are a few tips to help you get through it.

Best Trip So Far

Visiting Greece taught me so much. I learned to be ready, open, surprised and adventurous. Learn more about Omaira’s trip to Greece and about her unforgettable experiences.

You’re broke. I’m broke. We’re all broke. But let’s have fun anyway.

The thing about traveling is that it requires money. So, what do you do if you really want to go on vacation but find your wallet a little lacking? Check out these tips for how to take a vacation without spending a fortune.

Keys to a Peaceful Family Vacation

Family vacations are great for several reasons. The number reason though, is that they help us form bonds and strengthen relationships with our loved ones like few things can. Here are a few tips to keep your vacation stress-free and peaceful.

Latinos Destacados: Imelda Hartley – Bringing Domestic Violence Awareness

Recently in Phoenix, Family Bridges had the opportunity to host Imelda Hartley, founder of Imelda’s Happy Tamales, as she shared her story of domestic violence and abusive relationships.

You Are You

The names you grow up with can define you as person. How have those labels influenced the person you are today? Have they affected the way you look at yourself? Determined the choices you’ve made?

Crossing the Finish Line

In marriage you will have your differences and your own experience weathering difficulties and unexpected challenges. What I have discovered most about staying in this marathon called marriage is that it’s not so much about how to weather the storm, but it’s about how to motivate each other to stay in the race and cross the finish line

The Love of a Mother

The love of a mother is like no other. It’s unconditional and sacrificial. We love our moms for what they have done and continue to do.

The Art of Being a Mom

Being a mom is an art because on the one hand, we are biting our lips as not to implode of anxiety with our children’s latest ventures, on the other, we are speaking life and hope into their ears, so they don’t get discouraged. How do you keep the balance? Let’s find out together.

How to Change Your Attitude

Sometimes you’re just in a bad mood. It happens. So what can you do to change your attitude, not just for the sake of those around you – but for you? Here are a few ways to turn your attitude around.

Attitude: It Can Make a World of Difference

Every morning when the sun rises, is a new opportunity to start fresh with a new attitude – even when you’re having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

How to Get What You Want

Wanting something and getting something are two very different things. Here are a few tips to go from wanting to having.

When Your Children Aren’t Being Themselves

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you know the emotional hurricane that whips around your house on a daily basis. Do you have an emergency plan in place for when this happens? We have a few tips to help you survive the storm.

Knowing What You Want in Your Relationship

Assumptions can sabotage the relationships in your life. Recognize what you need, speak up about what you need, and forgive often.

Surviving a Breakup: Tips from a Self-Affirmed Cat Lady

Going through a tough breakup? Never fear, Cat Lady is here with some great tips on how to move on after the end of a relationship.

How to Handle Rejection

Rejection is the worst. You open yourself to someone, and they shut you down. It’s not their fault. They just don’t see you the same way you do, so how do you move past it? What do you do when someone says no?

5 Steps to Keep Your House Clean

Keeping your casa clean can actually improve your health. It’s good for your soul, and it makes your mami proud. Here are a few tips to help you keep your place clean all the time.

Teaching your Children How to Clean up after Themselves

Teach your children how to pick up after themselves, they can handle it and frankly, you probably need the help. Here are a few tips to get you going.

Habits: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It took me a long time to get up in the morning, lace up my shoes and go straight to the park for my daily three-mile walk. I have to be honest, at first, it was difficult, and I had to devote a lot of mental energy to this task, but with time it became much easier. Now, if it’s raining or if I have an early appointment, I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

Don’t Give Up

Blog Podcast Video This is custom heading element Contributed by Barb Linek I remember the hot summer day I went in for my annual mammogram. I was touched by a young woman I saw in the waiting room, huddled under a blanket, shaking in fear of her upcoming test. I said to myself, a little … Continue reading Don’t Give Up

Character on Display feat. Andre Bouey

Teens spend an average of 9 hours a day using technology, and a big chunk of that time is spent on social media. In this episode, Dr. Susy Francis Best and Andre Bouey shed some light on how to help your kids balance the use of social media, how to spot the warning signs and how to keep technology from taking over their life.

How to Accomplish a Goal in 8 Steps

How many times have you started to set a goal only to quit halfway or even before you started? There are eight steps for you to follow to accomplish that goal. Here they are – for free.

With Determination and a Good Plan You Can Reach Your Goals

With a good plan & determination, you can accomplish your goal. Having goals can help establish your vision of the future and helps you keep moving forward. Read on for more.

How to be Happily Single

Being single is a wonderful place to be. Here are a couple of tips to help you make the most of it.

Improve the “Me” to Impact the “We”

Our personal growth has a splash effect on all our relationships. If you want to keep the spark alive in your marriage, here are a few ways to improve the ‘me’ to impact the ‘we.’

Inappropriate Texting feat. Dr. Yanina Gomez

The average teen sends over 3,000 texts per month. It’s important for parents to set texting guidelines for the family. Tune in for a few tips on how to have open conversations with your kids on texting, sexting and technology.

5 Ways to Tell Them You Love Them

Is “I love you” not quite enough to tell someone how you feel about them? Here are 5 different ways to tell someone that they’re one of your favorite people. Try them today. You’re relationship will thank you.

Keeping the Spark Alive: Going Back to Basics

In many areas of life, the secret to success is going back to basics. In marriage this is also true. As a couple, you will benefit from remembering today the things that made you fall in love back then. That is a great starting point for understanding how to make fun surprises happen over the years together.

Speaking the Language of Love

There’s a secret to learning how to express your love to your spouse (or anybody really) in such an excellent way that you leave no doubt in their mind that you truly love them. And it’s not rocket science. We’ll fill you in on the one thing you need to do.

Speaking Their Love Language feat. Bill Ferrell

Children express and receive love in different ways. Knowing their love language will not only have a profound impact on your relationship and connection, but will also has help them feel unconditionally loved, accepted, heard and understood.

10 Ways to Love More

Sometimes you have to be obvious with love. Here are 10 ways you can be a more loving friend, parent, spouse, child, human being.

6 Things to Talk About With Your Spouse That’s Not Your Kids, Work or the Weather

Do conversations with your spouse revolve around kids, work and the weather? We’ve got a few conversations starters to break up the monotony.

Marriage Makeover: How to Have Meaningful Conversations 

What can we do to have a happy, healthy relationship? Be proactive and start with small consistent steps. How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time. Here are some steps to help you have meaningful conversations that will make a world of a difference in your relationship.

Teaching Kids Manners feat. Mike Oquendo

Our kids watch every move we make. They pick up our good habits and our bad habits. So how do we teach our kids manners? You guessed it. Tune in to this week’s episode, featuring Mike Oquendo, for more.

5 Steps to Write a Poem

If you want to have a healthy relationship, you’ll have to up your romanticism a little bit. What better way than to write a poem? Check out our not-so-typical steps for writing a poem.

Love Must Be Intentional

Everybody longs for loving relationships – to love and to be loved. This is what makes the world go round! This is a universal desire! How can we experience the best loving relationships possible? Read on.

3 Ways To Say No

Saying no can be hard but with a little resolve and some guidance, you can learn to say no like a boss.

Having Resolve

Don’t give up! Did you know that determination and resolve coupled with the ability of the brain, due to its plasticity, to change and adapt, is what we need to keep on keeping on, never giving up, even after trauma? True story. I’ll tell you more.

Is it Worth It? (Spender vs Saver)

In most relationships, there is a spender and a saver. Each one pulling the financial rope in opposite directions. It’s a tough tug of war that can take a toll in your relationship, but it doesn’t have to. Let’s talk about it.

5 Steps to Tell if Something is Really Worth Spending Money On

Want to know if something is worthing spending money on? We’ve got five easy steps for you to follow to answer just that.

The Cycle of Debt

Did you know that the national household debt in the U.S. is a whopping 13 trillion dollars? Yes, 13 TRILLION DOLLARS. And even though most of us have it, none of us really want it. I had a debt from a hospital stay that took me two years to pay off. And this is after decent medical coverage! Can you relate? Well, here’s a plan that can help us end the cycle of debt.

5 Things You’re Paying for, You Should Cancel, Stop Buying, and Start Doing to Help You Pay Off Debt

Stop throwing your money away, you’ve got to pay off debt and buy a new pair of shoes. Here are five things you should cancel, stop buying and start doing to help you save some of your hard earned money.

The Only 2 Budgeting Tips You’ll Ever Need!

Adulting, budgeting and saving money can be a hard thing. We’ve got you covered. Here are the only 2 budgeting tips you’ll ever need to get your finances in order. We got our advice straight from abuelita herself, so you know this is legit.

Where Did all the Money Go? Making a Budget

When I don’t keep track of something as simple as my grocery bill, my budget is shot, and life unravels! Sound familiar? No worries, in this blog I’ll talk to you about budgeting and why we should all get on board. We’ve got this!

A Latina Trailblazer: from Education to Construction

“This is your new country. You are free. You can accomplish anything you want, except become the president of the United States. And always remember, never compromise your ethics. Those were the words 10-year-old Edith de la Cruz heard from her father Romualdo De la Cruz, when they arrived from Guatemala to the US in 1975. That was the start of Edith De la Cruz’s journey in the U.S.

Recovering from Parenting Mistakes feat. James Breakwell

Are you teaching your kids to have healthy boundaries? Children, just like adults, need to learn to set boundaries for themselves and respect those of others. Join the discussion this week, featuring Dr. Francis Best, to gain insights and practical tips on how to help your kids develop this important life skill.

5 Steps to Tell if Something is Really Worth Spending Money on

Want to know if something is worthing spending money on? We’ve got five easy steps for you to follow to answer just that.

Teaching Your Children Personal Boundaries feat. Dr. Susanne Francis Best

Are you teaching your kids to have healthy boundaries? Children, just like adults, need to learn to set boundaries for themselves and respect those of others. Join the discussion this week, featuring Dr. Francis Best, to gain insights and practical tips on how to help your kids develop this important life skill.

Building a Vocabulary feat. Principal Estuardo Mazin

Words have value. In this podcast, our panel discusses how to raise children to communicate with clarity and wisdom, and on how to use their words for good.

Balancing School & Extracurricular Activities feat. Ruby Salazar

Balancing school and extracurricular activities can be a headache for you and stressful for your child. How can you raise well-balanced kids without losing your mind? Tune into this week’s episode of The Struggle is Real, featuring Ruby Salazar, for insights on how to strike a healthy balance.

They Grow Up So Fast feat. Dr. Yanina Gomez

Transitions are part of life, but we all know the struggle can get real when kids hit the tween years. Middle School is a place where kids will face many challenges. Things will get tougher academically, socially, mentally and emotionally. How do we prepare our kids for that? How do we prepare ourselves for the roller coaster of emotions that will eventually come with it? Tune into this week’s episode of The Struggle is Real and join the conversation.

Developing Your Character feat. Kristen Dalton

Students are incredibly self-conscious during their high school years. They worry about their reputations a lot and can change feelings and appearance from week to week. How can we keep up with our children during this time of change, and soothe their insecurities? This week our panel is joined by Kristen Dalton, former Miss USA, to answer that very question. Join the discussion.

Building a Reasonable Skepticism feat. Jeff Wright

How do we teach kids about creating healthy priorities and how to learn to live with decisions – bad or good? Tune in to this episode of The Struggle is Real where our panel discusses making real change, setting priorities and dealing with fear of failure.

Flying Solo, What to Do After the Nest feat. Christine Gonzales

While college freshmen can’t wait to get on campus, meet new people and live independently; their parents might not feel the same excitement. You may still want to be involved and play an active role in the life of your college student. You can still do so all while allowing your child to be independent. Tune in for more.

Allowing Your Child to Become an Adult feat. Dr. Gihane Jeremie-Brink

Adulting. It happens to us all. How can you take a step back and help your child become a successful adult? Tune in to this week’s podcast for more.

Letting Go

Have there been times in your life or in your marriage where it has been difficult to let go and allow the process to flow naturally? Have you felt the “need to be in control” be a factor in preventing a bigger blessing from occurring?

Marriage and Migraines

Have you ever faced a circumstance or a crossroads in your marriage that required a very difficult decision? Maybe you are in that place now? Can you commit to allowing prayer and the peace of God be your guide?

Our God of Second Chances

What will you do today to show your spouse the importance they hold in your life?

That Darn Argument!

My husband and I purchased our home when we were 22 at the urging of my husband’s boss. He was so insistent that he even referred us to a realtor. Our realtor really liked us and, seeing we didn’t have enough for the closing costs and down payment, put her own commission towards our home purchase under the condition we would pay her back in full in one lump sum whenever we had the money.

“Adulting” 101 – Why asking Why is important

As I get older and evaluate my life, I see that our 20’s has a lot of influence on how the next stages of our lives will be shaped. Why? Because our 20’s bring a lot of transition: High School to College, College to Career and Career and other Career, Singleness to Dating, (then maybe like in my case, single again several times over), then Marriage and quite possibly the Baby Carriage.

Tidy Up, Down & Around feat. Kristyn Ivey

Spark joy by decluttering your home and life. Join our panel, featuring Kristyn Ivey from For the Love of Tidy, to get tips on how you can declutter your home and on how to get your kids to follow along.

How to Love Your Partner at their Worst

There is an old Western movie starring Clint Eastwood, titled: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Well, we humans can be like that. In fact, within every person, even you and your partner, there is the potential to at one time or another exhibit actions or attitudes that could be classified as good, bad, and even ugly!

Make Time for Memories that will Never Fade

This week, my college roommate was back in town visiting his family and made time to stop by our house for an evening. After catching up with my wife and I and our very excited daughters for about twenty minutes, my oldest ran from the room to grab a tablet and raced back up to him to ask, “Wanna play chess?” I was treated to half an hour of watching my old friend (who is every bit as bright as I am) nearly lose his first game of chess with my daughter – in his own words, he only got out of it because she showed him a mistake he was making and he was able to turn it around.

School’s Out feat. Audrey Monke

The dog days of summer are here! And without school to occupy them (and tire them out) during the day, kids may need new activities to last all summer long to keep them busy. Tune in to find out things you whole family can do together to enjoy the sunshine and make the most of this summer.

Money Talks feat. Anthony ONeal

When is the best time to talk to your kids about money? RIGHT NOW! Your kids will learn about money from someone. Don’t let it be from an out-of-control celebrity on social media. You have the opportunity to be the positive example in their lives and the guiding voice they can trust.

18-Year Olds: The Homestretch feat. Ana Morante

Watching a child transform into an adult can be a lot to handle. And although most 18-year olds exhibit a lot of maturity, they still require a fair amount of guidance. How do you keep your status as parent and authority figure while allowing your children to have their own autonomy and maturity? Tune in to this episode for more.

When the answer is “No, Not Now”

We learned a valuable lesson of God’s faithfulness as we began the journey of becoming parents. We had been married a few years and decided we wanted to start a family. Both of us were used to working hard, accomplishing goals, and getting the results we wanted and expected. We assumed that becoming parents would be no different. We had so much to learn…

How Big is Your Family? (Healing from Abortion Wounds)

Do you have children? Do you love and seek to protect them? Did you have them when you were ready? Perhaps none of us are truly “ready” for parenthood when it comes, and we all dream of becoming parents with the right mix of ingredients – the right spouse, enough money, physical strength, and wisdom to care well for the fragile lives entrusted to us.

What Comes Your Way

The morning of September 11th 2001 was different for so many people in so many ways, but for my wife and I it was a life changer. The news of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers was dominating the news and our office calls. It is a day we will never forget.

Resolving Conflict

I picked my wife up from the airport as I did every Thursday night. She travels for her job and this was part of our weekly ritual. This reunion was always a highlight for both of us. As we drove through Chicago to our home, we reconnected. She told me about her day and I told her about mine. I described a conversation I had with the neighbor. It involved a rabbit and a rotten oversized tomato. She laughed. I laughed. We felt connected. Ah – life is good.

What makes a Good Friend?

On the days that hang low in the valley and the ones that soar at the mountain peak, we tend to lean deep into our friendships for support. One of the areas in my life that I continuously work to invest in is the area of friendships. As a millennial, I find that as I get older, it’s harder to establish lasting friendships. When you do have one, you realize it’s a valuable, rare treasure and you do what you can to nurture it. Does anyone else agree?

A Father’s Loving Hand

I vividly recall my father’s long fingers and open hands as he spoke and welcomed others into his presence. My father’s hands prayed, worked, played, loved. What else can be said about father’s hands?

My Dad, My Inspiration

If you ask me, who I admire the most in this world I’d tell you over and over again, Israel Vasquez. No, he is not a celebrity; he is not a professional; he is not a scholar. Who is this man you may ask? This man is my father.

Dads for the Win feat. Patrick Patterson

From protecting their children to teaching them life skills, fathers of all kinds are a major part of their children’s lives all over the globe. How do you continue to play a major role in the lives of your children for years to come? Tune in for more.

Breaking Bad News to Your Kids feat. Dr. Sheryl Ziegler

Breaking bad news to children can be a bit daunting. Whether it’s the death of a pet, death of a family member, divorce or any other bad news – children need help to navigate through their emotions. Tune in to this week’s podcast for tips on breaking bad news.

Eating Disorders feat. Dr. Margaret Nagib

Adolescent eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and compulsive overeating are concerns every parent hopes to avoid. Tune into this week’s podcast to learn about eating disorders, how to catch the warning signs and what you can to help your kids through it.

Stepping Inside the Troubled Mind

Mental health is a big deal. It plays a huge role in our kid’s ability to succeed in school, at work and in society. How can we help our kids through anxiety, depression and phobias and how can we set goals to improve mental health? Tune in to learn more.

Learning to Learn

There are many different learning styles. To foster greater learning, we should figure out how our children naturally learn & facilitate those types of activities. Tune in to this week’s podcast, our special guests are our very own kids!

Budgeting for a Baby

Congratulations – you’re having a baby! Now get to work! … Just kidding. You may only have a few short months to get ready for that bundle of joy, but this time should be fun, pleasant and downright enjoyable. Not just for you and your spouse, but for the baby too. Studies have shown that newborns are heavily affected by their parents’ stress levels.

Where are you Guiding your Children?

Parenting is no easy job. For the first 18-ish years of their life, your job is to teach and guide them. How do you guide your children to make good decisions and give them tools that stay with them for a lifetime? Tune in for more.

The Credit Card Debt Payoff for Beginners

Want to pay off your credit card debt? Learn more about the six steps you need to take to become financially free.
It might have started off innocently enough: charge a little here, charge a little there — and suddenly you find yourself deep in credit card debt. What seemed small and manageable has become an overwhelming burden. If you’re feeling stuck in credit card debt, you’re not alone. In fact, U.S. citizens owe a total of $747 billion in credit card debt according to a recent Federal Reserve report.

Cooking up Nutrition for the Whole Family

Good nutrition is essential to good health. Right from the start, nutrition shapes brain development, metabolism, and overall health. Tune in to get some tips on how to make smart food choices and on how to pass on good nutrition to your kids.

Choosing Gratitude: A Guide to Choosing to be Grateful with your Children

Gratitude is a daily choice, plain and simple. No matter your life or your circumstances you can always find something to be angry about, and you can always find something to be grateful for. Tune in for tips on how you can practice gratitude with your children.

Braving Tough Love

One of our primary duties as parents is to protect our children from harm. However, that doesn’t mean we need to protect them from all momentary discomfort. Sometimes those moments of disappointment or frustration are necessary to drive home important lessons. Tune in for more.

Hands-off Discipline

One of the biggest roles of a parent is to teach children what is and what is not appropriate or acceptable behavior. At times, that means praising good behavior, other times that’s correcting bad behavior. Overall, the goal is to guide our children in the right direction.

How Safe is Too Safe?

Lying is a frustrating challenge for parents, but fortunately, it’s one that can be addressed and fixed. Tune in to get tips on how you can encourage your children to tell the truth.

Date Night

If you want to keep your marriage alive, you must make date night a priority. Plus, having a strong marriage shows your kids that a healthy marriage and relationship are important. Tune in for more.

Raising a Reader

Research shows that reading to children and discussing the book as you read is the single best way to increase your child’s IQ and instill a love of reading. Tune in to this week’s episode to learn some tips on how you can inspire a lasting love of reading in your children.

Spanking: The Last Resort

Lying is a frustrating challenge for parents, but fortunately, it’s one that can be addressed and fixed. Tune in to get tips on how you can encourage your children to tell the truth.

Limiting Lies, Prizing Truth: Encouraging Children to Tell the Truth

Lying is a frustrating challenge for parents, but fortunately, it’s one that can be addressed and fixed. Tune in to get tips on how you can encourage your children to tell the truth.

Establishing Rules, Avoiding Drama

In this podcast we talk with Debbie Reber from TILT Parenting, where she shares ideas for how parents raising both differently-wired and neurotypical kids can find joy, peace, and possibility in their experience right now. Tune in for more.

If You Love Them, Let Them Go

One of your most important goals as a parent is to raise children who become independent and self-reliant people. Tune in to this week’s podcast for insights on how to let go of your fears and give your kids more freedom to be independent.

Play by Play of a Child’s Brain

Young children are deeply affected by their early experiences. So how do these experiences actually affect the way children’s brains become “wired,” building the architecture of the brain? Tune into this episode for more.

Raising Differently Wired Children

In this podcast we talk with Debbie Reber from TILT Parenting, where she shares ideas for how parents raising both differently-wired and neurotypical kids can find joy, peace, and possibility in their experience right now. Tune in for more.

How to Stop a Bully

Sometimes the best way to deal with a bully, is to kill them with kindness. Tune into this week’s episode of The Struggle is Real parenting podcast for insights on how to help your children (and maybe even yourself) deal with the bullies in their life.

Letting them Fail, Helping them Win

Sometimes your role as a parent is to lift your child up when they’re struggling, and sometimes it’s to raise the bar a little higher and make them stretch. Tune in to learn how to strike a balance.

Finding Forgiveness

Forgiving others is always hard to do when you are still feeling hurt. It takes courage to decide to forgive someone. Forgiving someone shows strength of character, not weakness. Tune in for insights on how to make decisions when judgements may be clouded by anger.

Prizing Generosity: How to Practice and Inspire Generosity

“It’s better to give than to receive” is more than an inspiring quote. It’s a truth that can add value and happiness to your life and that of your children. Tune in for tips and insights on how to inspire generosity.

Modeling Empathy: A Conversation About Teaching & Modeling Empathy to Children

Talking to your kids about poverty and helping others is one thing. Showing them by volunteering, being kind to others and being accepting of other’s differences – that’s a much more powerful teaching tool. Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear first hand how empathy can make a huge difference in your life and the life of your children.

Champion Tribes: Father & Son Journey

Divorce is a stressful and emotional experience for everyone involved. And when children are involved, it can often leave them feeling as though their whole world has been turned upside down. The transition can be a hard and trying, but you can take steps to reduce your child’s pain by making their well-being your top priority.

Talking to Children About Divorce

Divorce is a stressful and emotional experience for everyone involved. And when children are involved, it can often leave them feeling as though their whole world has been turned upside down. The transition can be a hard and trying, but you can take steps to reduce your child’s pain by making their well-being your top priority.

Winning the Social Media Game: Helping your Child Navigate Social Media Positively

Social media is here to stay. How can you as a parent teach your kids to use social media wisely? Focus on the do’s as opposed to the don’ts. Tune in to The Struggle is Real parenting podcast where our panel shares practical insights and tips on helping your children navigate social media positively.

The Role of Play

Parenting is a hard, but it doesn’t always have to be. We’ve got to relax a little and play, just like James Breakwell’s family does as they prepare for the zombie apocalypse. Tune in to The Struggle is Real, to get tips straight from James on how to survive the apocalypse so you can continue having fun with your kids.

Raising Future Spouses & Parents

As a parent, have you ever thought that you aren’t just raising your own children, but you are also raising someone else’s future spouse, life partner and parent? Thinking about the responsibility to pass on the best human possible brings a whole new awareness and perspective on what we may choose to teach and, most importantly, model to your children.

Preparing them for Puppy Love

The current cultural trend in America is for children to begin dating at earlier and earlier ages. This means that now, perhaps more than ever, it is crucial for parents to begin teaching their children about relationships sooner rather than later.

Marriage or Carriage: Talking to your kids about marriage & education

The “success sequence,” is the research supported notion that people who get an education, then a job, then get married and, lastly, have children are more likely to experience financial prosperity in the future. How do you talk to your kids about following the success sequence?

Identifying Abuse: The Warning Signs

Domestic violence can be seen everywhere. It doesn’t discriminate against race, gender, religion or economic status. It entails more than just physical violence and includes any type of psychological, emotional, or spiritual maltreatment based on the abuser’s desire to exercise power and control over his or her victim.

Unpacking the Unmentionables: Talking to your kids about drugs, sex & porn

Talking to your kids about drugs, sex and porn can be tough – but it’s necessary. Tune in to get tips on how to start and have the conversation.

Is it True Love?: Talking to your kids about healthy relationships

The chemical changes that take place during periods of infatuation can cloud judgement and blur the lines between true commitment and attraction. In a truly committed relationship, both parties desire a future together and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary for that to happen.

Guard Your Child’s Heart: Setting boundaries

When you guard your child’s heart, you set up healthy boundaries in the home that prevent harmful societal “toxins” from entering their lives. Boundaries should also prevent the private parts of their lives from being broadcast before the world.

Raising the Brainy Child

Sometimes kids just don’t know what they’re feeling. Other times, they don’t know how to deal with their emotions. In this podcast, our panel provides us with some helpful tips on how to help kids understand, express and deal with their feelings.

Childhood Stress: It’s a Thing

Did you know that children may start to experience stress as early as 3-years old? Your child may not be learning or growing as he/she should be because of it. Find out more on this week’s podcast.

Feel This Feel That: Helping your kids understand their emotions

Sometimes kids just don’t know what they’re feeling. Other times, they don’t know how to deal with their emotions. In this podcast, our panel provides us with some helpful tips on how to help kids understand, express and deal with their feelings.

Raising the Compassionate Child

Studies on self-esteem have found that increased self-esteem is related to poorer performance on tasks, more relationship problems, more engagement in risky behaviors, and more aggressive and violent behavior. Instead of focusing on self-esteem, as parents we are challenged to raise children who have self-compassion.

Prisoners in Plain Sight – Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery. And yes, it’s happening here, down the street, around the corner, in your neighborhood, in the United States – in alarming numbers. Join us for an eye-opening conversation about how your kids might be in danger of being sucked in and trapped in this multi-billion dollar business.

Let Go and Let God

Parents today are often criticized for raising a generation of children who struggle to do things on their own, who return home from college incapable of earning a living or making decisions. The trouble with hovering excessively over children is that it stifles their potential for growing into confident adults who can step out into an unknown world and face the consequences of their decisions responsibly.

Love or Fear: Raising confident children

When nurturing your child’s spiritual growth, be mindful to not fall into a rigid trap where religion is shoved down their throats like a pill they need to swallow. Instead, live a life of faith and practice the spiritual disciplines.

Stay Humble: Sometimes you need to ask your kids for forgiveness

Parenting can be a humbling experience in many respects. At times, you may lash out at your children when they frustrate your goals. When this happens, and you seek forgiveness from your children, this exercise in humility is a growing experience for you and for them. Stay humble and admit when you are wrong.

The Defiant Child

Children have different temperaments, which influences how their parents respond to them. A child with an easy temperament who is complacent by nature tends to receive more praise from their parents, teachers and caregivers. A child who has difficult temperament and who needs repeated redirection and discipline can wear down those who take care of them.

Father’s Day Special

Everyone has been influenced by their fathers – and whether our experience was happy, painful, or tragic, we can’t deny the impact that they have had on our lives. Our guests for this special discuss memories they have with their fathers, lessons that they learned, and what their relationship with their father is like today.

Self-Love vs. Self-Hatred: Helping kids find joy and contentment

Be caring, compassionate and mindful with your children and they will most likely emulate that with others. Tune in to this week’s podcast and get tips on how you can expose your children to service and giving to others so they can find the joy of giving and the contentment of having a life that is purpose-driven.

Single Parenting

Boundaries within the family are important. Children will chip away at your privacy and will invade all of your space, time and energy if you let them. You have to work at protecting your privacy. This means protecting your couple time by having regular date nights.

Setting Boundaries

Boundaries within the family are important. Children will chip away at your privacy and will invade all of your space, time and energy if you let them. You have to work at protecting your privacy. This means protecting your couple time by having regular date nights.

Spend Time Wisely

As parents, we want the best for our children. Which means we spend and focus most of our time on them. The problem is that focusing so much on our children distracts us from fostering a relationship with our spouse. And if our relationship with our spouse suffers, in the end, our children suffer because the quality of the couple’s relationship directly impacts the children.

Mom Wow – Mother’s Day Special

“Mothers and their children are in a category all on their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” Tune in to this week’s special Mother’s Day podcast edition where we talk about how we are like our moms and how they put the WOW in MOM.

Parent Burnout

When spouses are not getting their love needs met by each other, partly because they’re attending to the demands of their children, each partner will often look elsewhere to have their relationship needs met. Tune in to get insight and tips on small things you can do as a couple to keep the spark alive.

The Magic of Childhood

Childhood is inherently magical, even when it’s not perfect. How much fairy dust do we need to sprinkle on our children to make it more magical? Tune in to find out…

False Intimacy Fallout

Are you rejecting your kids by disregarding or ignoring them? Kids grow fast, if you don’t spend time with them now, it may be too late later. Tune in for more.

The Invisible String

Being able to develop a strong bond with your child is important. The sooner you do, the better it is for their well being. The question is how do you do it? Dr. La Hoz explains that it’s actually pretty simple – all you have to do is be present in the life of your child.

Reasons to Refinance

What kind of debt do you have? Car loans, student loans, mortgage? If you have any of the above, chances are that you can shorten your loan period and decrease your total payment to your lender by refinancing!

Refinancing helps you out by reducing your interest rate and the total amount that you pay towards your loan.

The Worth of Self Worth

Often times the values we have don’t necessarily show in our everyday actions. This can make teaching and passing down values to our children very difficult. As parents, we may want kids to “do as I say, not as I do” and that most definitely does not work. Parents: How are your actions shaping the life of your children?

Mini Me

Children do what parents do, not necessarily what parents tell them to do. How are your actions shaping the life of your children? Tune in to this podcast to learn more.

Please Silence Your Cell Phone

Is your smartphone’s screen kidnapping your time? Although technology gives us a lot of conveniences and comfort, if we don’t keep it in check, it can create a lot of relationship problems.

Parenting: Today & Yesterday

Parenting styles are influenced by the culture around us. Today’s parents adjust according to the needs of each child, and there is a focus on doing what is best for each child. In an effort to help their kids be successful, though, some parents may err on the side of over-scheduling them.

Follow Their Passion

It is difficult to do something if our heart isn’t in it. Once our passion is activated, we find value in experiences and enjoy them thoroughly. Adolescent years are the perfect training ground to discover what a child’s passions may be.

Tell A Good Story

When a child’s curiosity is cultivated, they thrive. Don’t undermine a child’s capacity to understand – often when they understand the reason behind something, they will happily comply. A story can be a very powerful way to illuminate a reason behind something, while piquing a child’s curiosity, and even stimulating areas of their brain. Stories are more memorable and can be recalled more easily than information. In order for this to work, your story must contain interesting details & a plot, and you must be emotionally connected to it.

Appeal To Their Progress

Parents appeal to the progress of your children. Highlight the progress the child is making as a motivator to grow, and to demonstrate perseverance, patience, diligence, and compassion, i.e. character development. Focus on the accomplishments, instead of what’s wrong, and your tone will change from bitter to encouraging.

Go For Their Heart

You cannot appeal to a child’s logic when they are overly emotional. You cannot change another’s heart, but you can control your own thoughts and behavior.

To Bribe Or Not to Bribe

Rewards just motivate people to get rewards. Bribing needs to escalate to maintain efficacy and will produce an attitude of entitlement. External motivation isn’t entirely bad, but children should be weened off of it once they adopt the desired trait/s.

The Hamburger

When we employ discipline tactics that counter our children’s motivation and passion, it can lead to frustration and exhaustion. When asking our children to do something, there are three questions to answer. Think of these questions like a hamburger. Top bun … meat … and bottom bun.

How Values-Based Budgeting Changed our Relationship

Do you have a hard time agreeing on spending priorities, or getting on the same page? For some couples, values-based budgeting can help. Here’s one story.

The Prodigal Dad, the Forgiving Son

“A dream without a plan is a wish.” In the past two blogs about change we’ve spent some time breaking down the foundations that help people change: Self-awareness and the decision to change. Now, once you make a goal, how do you make sure to succeed in achieving it? After all, an admirable feat is not just about our launch, but how we finish. Below are some tips on finishing well.

How to Make Your Goals Stick

“A dream without a plan is a wish.” In the past two blogs about change we’ve spent some time breaking down the foundations that help people change: Self-awareness and the decision to change. Now, once you make a goal, how do you make sure to succeed in achieving it? After all, an admirable feat is not just about our launch, but how we finish. Below are some tips on finishing well.

Creating Winning Habits

This is part two of the second blog in our resolution series, “How Do You Convince Yourself to Change?,” which you can read here. Once you have decided that you want to change and commit to measurable goals, the next step is creating winning habits that will take you to the finish line!

Valentine Ideas No Matter Your Facebook Relationship Status

Flying Solo? Just found bae? Settled in and enjoying #marriedlife? Here are some ideas for enjoying your Valentine’s Day, no matter what your Facebook relationship status may be.

How do You Convince Yourself to Change?

The strong aroma of coffee would begin to perk me up before I even had my first sip of espresso. I worked as Director of Financial Aid while at completing my graduate work at TIU, and everyday at 3 pm, gracious coworkers would bring us a cup of cuban espresso. The experience became such an ingrained routine that the first memory that comes to mind when I think of my time at the University is the rich taste of the coffee. In the midst of sluggish afternoons, my coworkers and I would being to anticipate the arrival of the espresso.

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year. New Me. So it goes, right? Every January we make little missions to live life more fully and expand our lives. “life” is a big word. It has so many definitions beyond just gym memberships and eating vegetables.

Luckily, smarter people than me have considered life’s possibilities, one of whom is Woody Guthrie, a folk rock pioneer and all around genius of life.
How can I call him a genius of life? Well, just look at his “New Year’s Rulin’s.”

Freddie and the Four Agreements

No, I didn’t start a band. I started a resolution: to practice the Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, year-round. Let me tell you about the Four Agreements. But first, let me tell you about my friend Tony. Tony’s a pretty cool guy, and he’s pretty smart. He’s the friend I seek out when I need to talk about life, and how best to live it. He’s brimming with interesting, philosophical, mind-blowing concepts. “The unexamined life is not worth living” kind of stuff, ya know? The last time we hung out, we debated Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for a few hours and walked away feeling enlightened. Everyone should have a friend like Tony.

Choosing a Career

My nephew loves reading and by age 20 he had read a huge portion of the top recommended books in the U.S., having read a book a week for two years. So it came as no surprise when he announced that he was going to college to become an English professor.

This means that he will pursue a master’s degree once he completes his bachelor degree. His mother was so in tune with her son’s interests that she even said that she would not pay for a single college credit if he chose to pursue a career that did not align with his interests, like accounting.

How to Gain Happiness this 2018?

“When you have a job” was my quick response to my four-year-old’s question about how she could buy things. When she probed further and asked “what type of job could I have?”, I proudly smiled at her curious perseverance and her innocent interpretation of the world. After the questions kept coming up for several nights in a row, I realized my abstract explanations were invalidating her desire to participate and to work. I thought, “well, why not take her up on her request?”

How I’m Becoming the Best Dad Ever 
(And You Can Too!)

6 weeks ago, I got a new job: dad.

I already know this is the most important job I’ll ever have. I’ve been looking forward to it for years. And I’m not the only dad who feels this way. Every Sunday, all over my neighborhood, I see gaggles of dads – hand-in-hand with their daughters or sons, pushing strollers, playing in the park, wearing matching clothes. It’s wonderful, being a dad in this day and age. It’s wonderful being a parent.

Life-Changing Gratitude

A few years ago, university psychologists conducted a research project on gratitude and thanksgiving. They divided participants into two groups. People in the first group practiced daily exercises like writing in a gratitude journal. They reported higher levels of alertness, determination, optimism, energy, and less depression and stress than the control group. Not surprisingly, they were also a lot happier than those who were told to keep an account of all the bad things that happened each day.
One of the psychologists concluded that though a practice of gratitude is a key to most religions, its benefits extend to the general population, regardless of faith or no faith. He suggested that anyone can increase his sense of well-being just from counting his blessings.

Mondongo (Sunday Delight)

Sunday was the fun day when we all gathered in my mom’s house to spend time together. I was the youngest and the only one left at home so my brothers and sisters would gather their families and come on over.

The Best Pizza Ever!

One of my favorite home-made foods that I looked forward to was pizza. My mom’s pizza was the best of the best, in the opinion of me and my siblings. The thick crusted pizza was made with marinara, Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, and was topped with diced lettuce and tomato and a sprinkle (more like a double topping) of crushed Doritos and “South Chicago” hot sauce. My mom would only make a batch of pizza about 2-3 times a year (we made about 8 pizzas at a time – ’cause that’s how we rolled being a family of 7!)

Hot Dog Con To’ (with everything)

I grew up in Aguadilla Puerto Rico. Honestly, I was a very picky girl when it came to what I ate. And one of my favorite foods was hot dogs. I can remember getting up early in the morning and going shopping with my mom in the pueblo. By 8 am people were at the pueblo running errands, strolling along in the plaza or chatting with friends they hadn’t seen in a while.

That Bizarre Thing: Carrot Cake

When I was a little girl, it was a rare treat to see my cousins in Michigan. When I was in fourth grade, we planned a summer trip to visit them on their big farm in the “thumb” of Michigan. (Michigan looks like a mitten and they live in the east side of the state near Lake Huron, which looks like the thumb of a mitten.) 

The College Student Struggle is Real

People always ask me how I manage to balance two jobs and going to school full-time. I’ll let you in on a little secret of how I stay sane…it’s called planning! Ta-Da!!!

Nothing worth having comes easy

You’re not born walking. First you learn to roll over and to sit. Then you learn to crawl. Then you learn to stand up while holding on to furniture, then by yourself. Then you manage to take a few steps before falling down, but you get up and do it again, and fall again.

Refreshing Your Career

Whether you are a student looking for workplace experience or a professional transitioning into a new field, internships are pivotal for bolstering your resume and expanding your professional network. According to the The National Association of Colleges and Employers, a reported 80 percent of employers view recruiting as a primary function of internships, meaning that employers often are scouting potential hires during the internship process.

Making the Most of Your Internship

Whether you are a student looking for workplace experience or a professional transitioning into a new field, internships are pivotal for bolstering your resume and expanding your professional network. According to the The National Association of Colleges and Employers, a reported 80 percent of employers view recruiting as a primary function of internships, meaning that employers often are scouting potential hires during the internship process.


As a business major during my undergrad years, I had my fair share of networking events. I even attended classes that taught business etiquette while networking. What’s the proper approach? How do you strike up conversation? What side of your shirt should you wear your nametag? No matter what industry you find yourself in, networking is very important. Why?

Taking a Risk

To start, thank you for taking the risk in reading this. It’s very possible this could be not worth your time, and what would you end up with? Less time. This is low on the range of risks. It’s not quite skydiving. Enjoy.

Pine-Sol and Forest Bathing

To this day, when I smell Pine-Sol, I am taken back to the warm, welcoming feeling of being home. Coming back home from school to the fresh scent of Pine-Sol would alert me that my mother was busy cleaning that day. The opened windows and cleanliness radiating from the tidy home made the impression that the house was not only clean but also that I had been purged of the dirt picked up from the day. The cleanliness of our home would somehow spread over me.

9 Most Awesome 4th of July Hangouts

The 4th of July is almost here, and you know what that means. Fireworks. #boom

However, thanks to the Pyrotechnic Use Act, it’s illegal to sell, have, or use fireworks in the state of Illinois. So unless you’re really into sparklers, you have to look elsewhere to get your #boom on this Independence Day. #thanksPUA But don’t worry, I got you. Here are the 10 most awesome 4th of July hangouts, ranked in order of awesomeness.

#RichardsJourney: An Open Letter to my Elevator

Dear Elevator,

Although we have had our highs and our lows, I feel like we are no longer on the same level. Every time we reach new heights you always complain about how much I push your buttons. You’re slow, lazy and never want to go out of your comfort zone.

My Husband as a Father

I don’t know about you but sometimes I observe and reflect about what kind of father my husband is to my children and a sly grin of satisfaction passes through my lips. He is not the fun, energetic dad that tosses his children up in the air or spends time with them in the basketball court. Yet, as I see my children growing and maturing, becoming independent and embracing life, I have to admit this reserved man has done something right.

Surprised by Love

“I am dead.”

These were the first words that filled my head when I woke up.

Of course, I didn’t think that I was literally dead. I meant that I was in a lot of trouble.

It’s not OK

If you ever wonder what’s wrong with this world and this generation, just read a Cosmopolitan article, watch an MTV show, or take a look at Snapchat’s featured stories. I came across an article today titled, “I Love Dating My Married Boyfriend”. I kid you not. That’s the actual title…

Want to Raise Great Kids?

Do you want to raise an emotionally deficient child? A child who questions their value and worth? Someone who seeks approval and love from others in unhealthy ways? A child who believes that they must find someone else to “complete them” because on their own they are incomplete?

When Life Gives You Lemons, You Make Lemonade

Recently my husband and I went for a long walk at a nearby forest preserve. This was a new location for us, and we enjoyed exploring the nature around us. After an hour or so we noticed that we had been walking in circles around the same spot! We chuckled a bit as we couldn’t believe we never noticed that we kept passing the same bench or sitting area. We began to search for a path that would lead us back on track to our car.

Get Serious About Fun

Last year my son turned 30, so we decided to do something special. We surprised him. My wife, daughter, and I flew to Boston where he is living with his wife and three daughters. He didn’t know we were coming. Only his wife did. We arrived at 1:00 am. That’s right – the hour after midnight. Hey, we wanted to surprise him.

Success is a Few Steps Away

I don’t think that I have ever heard someone say, “I want to be a mediocre student.” “I want to a sub-par businessperson.” “I hope my investments perform lower than market standards this quarter.” “I really hope that this relationship won’t work out.” Or “I want to go up to the plate and strike out.”

Soulmates? I Think Not

So a few weeks ago Eddie shared his Journey To The Altar. So as the second engaged person on Family Bridge’s staff, I am writing a similar post, but from a bride’s point of view. I am going to start off my series with an unpopular opinion: I never have believed in the concept of “soulmates.”

Create a Vision Statement and Stick to It

If you have seen the Disney movie Tangled, you’ll recall when the lively and curious Rapunzel and the charming rascal Flynn Rider are at a near death experience after being chased by villains? They find themselves cornered into a cave which is quickly filling up with water from a broken damn, and their effort at to break free seems futile as they are unable to see underwater since the cavern is pitch black.

Running on a Dreadmill

I hate running on treadmills to point where I have nicknamed them dreadmills. I love running outside. The feeling of the sun and the occassional breeze, the sound of my sneakers crunching on gravel, the serene feeling of running underneath a canopy of leafy trees. The treadmill may say that I have run 3 miles, but I don’t feel like I have run 3 miles.

Helping Men Create a Better Marriage

I want to create something or some things that will help men have better marriages. By nature, men have a desire to lead, an appetite for competition, and a passion to conquer. This often results in advancing in their careers, doing amazing feats of athleticism, and solving global problems. (Disclaimer: Results will vary based on each individual man).

A Journey of Silence

Hi, I’m excited to share my journey with you, which is strengthening the spiritual disciplines. God intends the Disciplines of the spiritual life for ordinary human beings, like me, people that go to work everyday, care for children, etc. The only requirement to get started is a longing for God. My goal for this year is to start from the inward towards the outward disciplines, and hopefully applying them in the community. So beginners are welcome! Let´s walk together and share our growth in this area.

A Valentine’s Blog That Won’t Make You Throw Up

How many of you have been a victim of Valentine’s Day disappointment? Maybe your crush didn’t leave you a cute note like you hoped they would, or maybe your partner forgot to buy you flowers. Less than two decades ago, if a high school friend got a huge bouquet of roses and jewelry for V-Day, only her and a few people in her circle would know about it. Today with social media, your newsfeed can become a blur of teddy bears, sparkly rings, flowers, and chocolate.

Spanish 101

I’ve always wanted to learn another language. When my office, Family Bridges, talked about year-long journeys, I knew immediately it was the perfect opportunity to become fluent in Spanish. There’s more to this journey, however, than my own personal gain. Language is about communicating. At the end of this year, if my journey can help or motivate people like you to learn a new language, then that means it’s possible for more people to communicate. That to me is a wonderful thing.

Going Back to School…. in Chiapas, Mexico!

Wow! Everybody knows that going back to school involves many new experiences. However, I think I took this to a whole new level by taking a course in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico. I have only been to Mexico once before and that was many years ago for just one week. It was pretty is about all I remember.

A Groom’s Journey to the Altar

They say that when girls are little they dream about their wedding as one of the biggest days of their life. Little boys, on the other hand, don’t even want to be around girls when they are little because girls have cooties! I guess as little boys turn into young men, they start to think more about marriage, family and their future lives. I won’t say that I have had an obsession to get married, but I knew that I definitely wanted to get married and have a family one day.

Travel More!

Every year, my husband and I told ourselves we were going to travel more. We went to Costco to ask about travel packages. We browsed through all the beautiful destinations. We visited websites and talked about our preferences. The excitement of a new adventure would keep me up at night, as I imagined every possible place we could visit. I felt like a kid dreaming of her first trip to Disney World.

Veggies are good for you #SarahsJourney

I went to a local Italian market caffe and had the most delicious stuffed yellow pepper. Allow me to explain. I dislike tomatoes and mushrooms very much. The stuffed pepper had both of those things and I ate the whole thing. I’ll say it again – It was delicious! So I sat in my house the day after and thought, “Oooh, I could make that or at least a version of it. It can’t be that hard.”

The Sky is the Limit!

Bills, bills, and more bills kept coming with no money to pay them. My husband was barely making minimum wage and hardly spoke any English. I was pregnant with my first child and was not working at the time. We lived in a tiny studio apartment and our kitchen was the size of a closet. Many times I didn’t know whether we would have enough money to buy groceries or even some milk. Those were some real tough times.

Pay it forward. A small action can have a lasting effect.

I loved running in high school. Every afternoon when the school alarm went off, I would rush into the locker room to get changed. I didn’t mind the perpetual heat and sticky humidity of South Florida. During cross country season, my team would run from the school to the nearby beach boardwalk, sweating through our miles with the Atlantic Ocean stretching out on our east side. Running became a spiritual experience for me – one where I could sort through my thoughts and burn through any troubling teenage angst.

On Wanting More

Can you recall the last item you coveted after for a while? Once you purchased what really wanted, how long did it take before you found another shiny item that caught your attention? We are just entering the Christmas season and with it, we have already begun to get bombarded with targeted ads and promos tailored to match our wish list.

Do unto Others

Charles Darwin had no idea that the phrase, “survival of the fittest,” originating from his theories was going to become a code phrase for those clawing their way to the top without regard for the common man. Seeking our interests and putting our needs first to the detriment of others has become the 21st Century accepted strategy for survival.

Hello. I’m a Millennial.

Hello. I’m a Millennial. Or so they tell me. Before that they told me I belonged to Generation Me. Before that, Generation Y. But now, finally, everyone has agreed on the correct name for me and my kind: Millennial.

Bridging Division

As we are swept by the wave of the election outcome, many of us are getting hammered on social media by the emotion of the moment.  One group (half the nation) is elated at the outcome, feeling confident and optimistic, and the second group (the other half of the nation) is in tears, fearful of the future. 

A Key to Intimacy

I was wrong. I was in my 20’s when I first learned the meaning of this phrase. It’s not that I didn’t know what these words meant. For years I had used the word “I” and the word “was” and the word “wrong.” I just had rarely used them all together. In a complete sentence.

Rescuing Your Marriage from its Fall Season

As your relationship matures and continues to grow, you will face many changes in seasons. Dr. Alicia La Hoz gives us some tips on how to invest in our relationships everyday, regardless of the season.

Believe like a Child

Believe like a child.

When I was a child I believed in many things. I believed that a stick could be a sword. I believed that a cardboard box could be a car. I believed Santa Claus would bring me presents.
I believed I could fly (I did in my dreams – so why not when I was awake).

Hot Chocolate and Shared Stories

Hot chocolate is good for the soul and for your family. Incorporate the magic of hot chocolate and reading together as a family into your fall and winter traditions. These cozy weekend nights will not only create positive memories that your children will cherish, but they will also make your loved ones feel connected.

How to be a Better Communicator

The number one complaint of communication breakdowns is NOT “he wasn’t clear”, or “she was kind of fuzzy, or “they didn’t give enough information.” It is: “He/She doesn’t listen.”

Cozy Fun Date Ideas for the FALL

Leaves are changing colors, football is here, Cubs are in the post-season, and everywhere you go you will find a pumpkin-spiced something. That’s right SWEATER WEATHER!!! Fall is here. At least for Chicago anyways.

Iron Skillet

Whenever I can hear rock n’ roll or heavy metal while walking down the hallway that leads to my apartment, I know that my boyfriend is over. Not only that, but I also know that he is cooking.

Listen, Daniel. Listen.

My 7-year old nephew, Daniel, loves to talk. And by loves, I mean LOVES. It’s amazing how such a small person has so much to say. His 3-year old sister, Catalina, mostly listens and on occasion she manages to get a word in.

2+1 Hear, Listen, then Speak

Someone once said that the reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is because we need to listen double the amount we speak. For some, this works the other way around: we speak double the amount we listen.

Growing Stronger Together

I hate exercising! The thought of getting on a treadmill and walking or running while looking at a TV screen just bores me, not to mention all of the sweating. Don’t get me wrong, I believe exercising is good for you and I have tried different exercise regimens.

Young, Independent, and Hungry – Finding Reasonable Eating Habits While Living On Your Own

At the age of 21, I packed my bags and left my childhood home for a one-bedroom apartment in the Chicago suburbs. While living on my own with my rescue pup has been pleasant, one of the biggest challenges that I have faced has been building new eating habits.

My Dad Rocks

Having a father like Marlon Pérez has been a blessing and a privilege given to me by God. Ever since I was a child, I can remember my father being a hardworking and mighty man.

Don’t Let Summer Happen To You!

If you are like me, you must be panicking as the 70 days of summer vacation approach. The summer is supposed to be nine weeks of blissful family togetherness but for us working parents summer is mostly a financial and logistical nightmare.

What Will Be Your Legacy?

We will all leave a legacy. The question is not if we will – but what will it be? It’s a great question for all of us to consider. Perhaps the following story will help encourage you…

Confessions of a V.I.P. (Very Impulsive Person)

I am one of the most impulsive people that I know. “Are you sure about this?” is one of the most common questions I hear from my friends.

The Prodigal Father. The Forgiving Son.

My heart was pumping. I started to get all warm inside. It was that feeling you get when you know the Holy Spirit is prompting you to respond at that very moment. “Bold Steps, who in here needs to take a bold step?!”

Social Media vs. Family Time

If we’re not careful, we may allow time spent on social media, electronic games, and TV to take away from family time.

Respect: The New Dating Rule

I was listening to a very popular morning radio show here in Chicago and during the few minutes I was tuned in, my blood pressure went through the roof. A listener had called in about something or other and the DJs asked her about her sex life.

Engagement Ring vs. Key Ring

I was watching an episode from one of my favorite TV shows when something happened that befuddled me. In the very short scene, one character is confiding in another about his decision to ask his girlfriend to move in with him.

My Pre-Teen Daughter Wants to Have a Boyfriend!

In a televised interview in the OWN Network, Kim Kardashian confessed to Oprah Winfrey that she lost her virginity when she was 14 and her mother facilitated the contraceptives before her first sexual encounter.

Blank Space

I’m sure that by now, you’ve heard Taylor Swift’s new single, “Blank Space”. In the lyrics, she sings, “I got a long list of ex-lovers…But I got a blank space baby, And I’ll write your name.”

Single and Happy

There are times in life when we feel lonely just because were single. Not only that, we may also feel rejected, not attractive enough or valuable to have someone by our side.

Why We Should Stop Comparing Our Children

I am always disappointed when after only a few days of school, the first thing my kids’ teachers have to say is, “your son is finally breaking out of his shell.” What does that mean anyway?

Powerful Parenting: Anger Management Tips for Children

Anger occurs when a person of any age is feeling overwhelmed and overpowered. It is our way to say “No, stop it! I don’t like it. It is unfair. I can’t handle it,” and so on.

Lessons Learned From Ray Rice

There are a lot of take aways from the Ray Rice story taking the internet by storm.
It took seven months for the video of Ray Rice punching his now-wife to become public.

Thou Shall Irritate Your Spouse

Do you wake up in morning purposely thinking how you can irritate your spouse by doing, or not doing, something that irritates him or her?

Your Kids and Their Different Personalities

I knew I was in for a treat when I brought my third child home from the hospital. He had to be rocked all the time and never, I mean never be put down in his crib.

Volunteering: A Family Legacy

I was only four years old when I first started cracking eggs for the potato salad that would be served for the entire under privileged community of Santiago in the Dominican Republic.

Just Say No

Do you all remember the anti-drug PSA from the 80s with the egg frying on the pan – “this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs”?

Single & Complete

I’m in my 30s and I’m not married. And if you come from a Hispanic family, this is a BIG deal. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked by extended family and others “when are you planning to get married?”

Listen with Your Heart

I remember a time when my daughter and I were getting ready to attend a women’s conference. She had been asked to perform a dance that day.

What Am I Passing On to My Kids: A Gift or Baggage?

What specific character traits, positive or negative, did you learn from your mother? What about your father? How are you most like your grandmother or grandfather?

Husbands, Learn to Say “Yes Honey” and Renew the Romance in Your Relationship

One of the recurring complaints that I hear from men about their wives is that they nag them to the point where they feel like they’re one of the kids.

Perfect For Me

This story happened many years ago: We had been married for a year, after dating for 2 years. Like all newlyweds, we were going through a period of adjustment.

Woodpecker Syndrome: How Not to Talk to Your Spouse

Remember the saying “Don’t go to bed angry”? Well, yesterday I did just that. While he did not come to bed at all. Falling asleep was an effort.

Ice Cream for the Soul

My dad passed away last year and this will be the first time where my family will celebrate Father’s Day without him. He will always be on our mind and in our hearts and to honor him this Father’s Day, I am having a big bowl of ice cream.

Couples in Conflict: How to Have Conversations, Not Confrontations

It’s been a while since they have agreed on anything. They still loved each other and wanted to figure it out. All they needed was a good conversation. In search of a connecting dialogue, they’ve come to a marriage counselor.

The Role of Parents Raising Teenage Children: When to Hold On and When to Let Go

As a therapist working with many adolescents, I have seen the spectrum of problems that families can run across when roles are not well defined.

All About Dad

Children and adolescents are the ones who bare the brunt of unhealthy marital relationships.

Pick A Date

Find the best time for you to join us at one of our inspirational workshops.