Friday, August 14, 2015

10 Books That Teaches Safe Touch, Stranger Danger and Self Awareness

A few days ago I shared a post on  How to Teach Kids about Safe Touch. I got positive responses on that post. This is a very important and personal topic for me. Talking to kids about this very sensitive topic can be really intimidating. A study done by David Filkenhor , Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, shows that : ( see, National Center for Victims of Crime)

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
-->The statistics and prevalence of  child abuse is hard to determine because it is often NOT REPORTED.

 I truly believe that child sexual abuse prevention starts at home. We are our children's advocate.
We can empower and keep them safe.

   When hubby and I felt that it was time to teach our own kids about the safe touch and unsafe , I was honestly at a loss. I just didn't know how to start. I asked a friend of ours and she suggested a book. That's where we started, our girls love books, so how else can I relay this very important message to them. The world we live in now , sadly requires parents to be proactive. Here are some some book suggestions to help you discuss this very important matter.

---> this post contains amazon affiliate links, see full disclosure HERE

It's My Body by Lory Freeman

 Preschool children learn safe boundaries, how to distinguish between "good" and "bad" touches, and how to respond appropriately to unwanted touches. This book is a powerful book for enhancing self-esteem.

     This book is excellent because it was written from a kid s point of view, so  it makes the teaching moment a lot easier. The book uses a simple but direct approach that doesn't dumb down the issues involved. There are also suggestions of appropriate responses to help keep them safe. I Said No! covers a variety of topics, including:
What's appropriate and with whom.
How to deal with inappropriate behavior, bribes and threats.
When and where to go for help, and what to do if the people you're turning to for help don't listen.
Dealing with feelings of guilt and shame.

    This book uses simple and reassuring language. It did a wonderful job of explaining that a child's body is his or her own; that it is all right for kids to decline a friendly hug or kiss, even from someone they love, and that you can still be friends even if you don't want a hug now.

      Right Touch reaches beyond the usual scope of a children's picture book. It is a parenting book that introduces a very difficult topic--the sexual abuse of young children.

This book helps kids distinguish between good and bad secrets. It can be confusing for kids to know the difference between a good and a bad secret.There are secrets that are fun to keep, like a surprise birthday gift for Mom, But sometimes, children have secrets that make them feel bad, and these secrets are best shared with their parents, or with some trusted older person. A child who is bullied might be inclined to keep it secret, but it's always best to tell parents about it. Or children who are touched intimately and improperly by an older person will soon feel better if they reveal the secret to parents.A must read for every family.

   Siblings Katie and her little brother Kyle learn about personal safety, private parts, and “thumbs up & thumbs down” touches by talking with their mom in a loving and easy-to-understand manner.  Katie and Kyle’s mom also explains the essential “No Secrets” rule in their family, and that it is never their fault if they get an “uh-oh feeling” from anyone.

    The story is written with a positive and engaging approach using child-friendly language and charming illustrations. A “Parent's Guide with Prevention Tips” is also included to help parents understand their role in keeping children safe from sexual abuse. By learning how to interpret red flags and how to recognize possible grooming scenarios, parents can significantly reduce the risks and keep their children safe from sexual abuse.

   “No Trespassing - This Is MY Body!” comes highly recommended by pediatricians, teachers and parents as a valuable tool in the fight against childhood sexual abuse.

    It is a storybook to help boys and girls, of different races and ethnic backgrounds learn about protecting their bodies, self-respect and how to assertively say “No” and “Don’t touch me!” to anyone who touches them inappropriately.

   Children learn that it’s OK to tell and talk about their feelings. This book uses  simple explanations and open-ended questions as well as a fun “Can you spot it?” exercise to keep children engaged and help refocus them if they become distracted, anxious or stressed due to the topic being discussed.

 Young children are curious about almost everything. Asking questions is one of the many ways they learn about themselves and the world around them. Sometimes body parts can also be confusing for them. The key to self awareness and keeping them safe is the knowledge of each body is unique. A boys body parts is different from a girl's. It is a fun way of teaching young children.

 We want our children to learn the stranger danger concept.  It is hard at times especially when us adults encourage our kids to be friendly and cordial. This book did a wonderful job with that task. When Papa Bear tells the cubs why they should never talk to strangers, Sister begins to view all strangers as evil until Mama brings some common sense to the problem. "The Bears' rules for safe conduct among strangers are listed on the last pages, including a rule about the privacy of a bear's body. It is definitely a must read for every kid.

This book uses an age-appropriate and kid-friendly format . My Body Is Special and Belongs to Me! tackles safe and unsafe touch and much more topics that can be intimidating to discuss .

I would love to connect with you! 

How to teach kids about safe touch

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Polynesian Chicken

My mother in law gave me a couple of Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. Every time I crave for comfort food and get overwhelmed with all the drool worthy recipes I can find online , I browse through the pages of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. I know..I know..browsing through cookbooks is so old school. But some of the great , tasty, time tested and delicious recipes are in the good 'ol cookbook. This Polynesian Chicken is so good, I am sure that your family will love it. Budget friendly to boot!


2 lbs. chicken, cut up
1/4 cup, low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. grated ginger
2 tbsp dried minced onions
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
8 3/4 oz can pineapple chunks, drained ( reserve the juice)
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
11 oz can mandarin oranges
optional : cooked white rice


Combine soy sauce, ginger, pepper, onion, brown sugar, reserved pineapple juice and orange juice. 

Place the chicken in an ungreased 9 x13 baking pan. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for one hour ( or overnight), turning once.

Bake at 350 deg (covered) for about 30 minutes or until tender. Remove cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the juices are clear when pierced by a fork.

Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a plate and skim off the fat.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch and water with the skimmed pan juices, heat until it thickens,

Stir in pineapple and oranges. Heat until warm, Pour the sauce over chicken
Serve with rice.

Shared with :
 This is How We Roll Linky Party @ Organized 31
 Showcase Your Talent Thursday @ What's Cooking Love
 Cook it ! Crafts it ! Share it ! @ View from the Fridge
 Home Matters Linky Party @ Life with Lorelai
 Shine Blog Hop @ Deliberate Mom
 Inspiration Spotlight @ Dear Creatives
 Home Matters Linky Party @ Life with Lorelai

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Make Ahead Meatballs

I have a really good relationship with frozen meatballs. It is very handy for those busy days. I am also a big fan of batch cooking days. It would probably take 2 hours or more of your time but that 2 hrs will actually save you time .A few things that you can batch cook are :
  • GROUND BEEF -browning it and storing them in a freezer friendly Ziploc in 2 cups or more - great for taco nights, burritos, enchilada , meatballs ( recipe below)and many more!
  • CHICKEN BREAST - grill it and separate it into freezer friendly Ziploc bags in 2 cups or more - great for Southwestern Egg Rolls , Baked Cheesy Mexican Casserole and many more! ( See here for more RECIPES that uses chicken breast.
 Here's a delicious and yummy make ahead meatball recipe , make a big batch and use it for smothered meatballs, use it with this Super Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce or Crockpot Hawaiian Meatballs.


5 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs or use homemade breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup  low fat milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup Italian seasoning
2 tbsp brown mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
3 large eggs

Mix all the ingredients together in a LARGE BOWL. .yep  learn from my mistake. It was indeed a challenge to mix it but the bowl got the job done :)

Scoop about 1 tbsp of the meatball mixture and roll them into balls with your hands.
Put the meatballs in a parchment-lined baking sheets. Freeze the meatballs for about 10 minutes to let it firm up.
  Once the meatballs are firm , In a large skillet , heat olive oil. Fry the meatballs in batches, turn meatballs so  they are brown all over.  Place the cooked meatballs on a paper towel to drain excess oils/fats.

These meatballs are freezer friendly . To freeze , place the cooked meatballs in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put into the freezer.

When frozen, divide them into large freezer Ziploc bags and label.

Subscribe to our weekly mailing list and get your delicious and budget friendly recipes , frugal tips delivered in your mailbox.

Email Format
Powered by MailChimp

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to Teach Kids about Safe Touch

One of the many fears I have for our girls aside from their safety is being violated. As  proactive parents, we constantly teach them about stranger danger. It is a fine line because you want them to be friendly but need to teach the difference about being friendly and talking to strangers. We teach our kids to not bully and to stand up for themselves. We teach the ABC's , healthy eating, manners . We teach them about safe internet use .Is it enough? It just doesn't stop there.

With all the news out there about child molestation , that goes on for years without the predators being caught, we often ask ourselves. How can we keep our children safe? Let us start with teaching our young kids about safe touch and unsafe touch. It is very vital. The two most important keys in teaching them about safe touch are constant guidance and communication/conversations. It is never too early to teach our kids about this.

---> Some links are affiliate links,  meaning if you purchase through that link , my blog gets a small commission. see full disclosure HERE

1. Teach body parts.

       Name body parts with your kids. Awareness is the first step on being comfortable with their bodies. Activity to do :  Use this people shapes and help them label all the body parts. Make it a fun craft day.

2. Teach the "privates" and "privacy"

         After you've helped your kids in naming body parts, show them the "private parts". Explain that those private parts are private. Meaning we do not share our private parts . Explain and differentiate when a touch is okay and appropriate versus not okay and inappropriate --> going to your doctor's visit , when mom or dad helps you in the bathroom or when he or she is being helped when hurt. 

      The book, The Right Touch by Sandy Kleven is a great tool. It is a gentle read aloud story. In the story, young Jimmy's mom explains the difference between touches that are positive and touches that are secret, deceptive or forced. She tells him how to resist inappropriate touching, affirming that abuse is not the child s fault.

3. Their body belongs to them.

Explain to your kids that if anyone asks to see or touch their "private parts", they should say NO . Tell them that their body parts ..private parts belong to them and that NO ONE should touch it without their permission ( again, differentiate when a touch is appropriate).  That it is not okay for someone to ask them to take off their clothes, it is not okay for someone to take pictures or videos of them without their clothes.

In the same matter, teach them that other people have private parts too and that they should respect it too.

4. Fine line between POLITE and CONSENT.

This is such a sensitive topic for some families. As parents, we want to teach our kids to be respectful and polite most especially with RELATIVES AND FRIENDS. ( Hello Aunties and Uncle's, Grandma and Grandpa). There were times when family get really hurt and offended when our girls would not give a kiss or a hug.  Please for Pete's sake, let's not force our kids to give hugs and kisses..when they don't want to. We need to respect them too.

We NEED to clearly teach our kids about consent. By forcing them, we are confusing them about ownership of their body. Their body belongs to them. Let's not confuse them that they do not have control of their own bodies. Offer an alternative instead, like a "flying kiss" or " sing a song for them".

5 .Play the game of  SAFE TOUCH AND UNSAFE TOUCH.

Make a list of  "touches" . Use index cards and on on each card, write a name of a touch. Example : hitting, kicking, visit to a doctor with mom and dad in the room, a person asking to touch their privates, pushing, pinching)

Let your kid draw a card and let them tell you if it is a safe touch or unsafe touch. Give rewards by all means. Make it a fun learning experience.

6. Keep the conversation open .

Refrain from being impatient about answering questions. Believe me, as hard as it is for us to explain this difficult topic to them , it can also be confusing to their young minds. Keep the conversations open and gentle for their young minds. Use age appropriate explanations. We want them to learn and not frighten them .
Do not have this conversation only once. Revisit often.

7. NO secrets

 Whatever made them feel unsafe, uncomfortable , scared and upset , confused about a touch-- Assure them that they need to tell you or a trusted grown up. No secrets. When you talk to them openly , gently and honestly ( age appropriate though), it sets a tone of trust and safety..that they can talk to you about anything.

8. Pro active

As I have mentioned above, don't let this be a one time conversation. Revisit these talks. Watch a video about safe touch , read books about safe touches. You are your kids advocate. You are your children's voice. Let's equip them.

Here's a short video on child safety - NO TOUCH.

Don't forget to sign up for a FREE  Weekly Newsletter. I will be sharing more information about keeping our kids safe in a series.  I don't like spam either , be assured that your email information is safe and will never be shared.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

Skills Your Preschooler Needs to Know Before Going to School

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Tostada

Raise your hand if you love your crockpot and just absolutely get happy with simple meals. Let's call it a lazy meal. This recipe is one of those ridiculously easy and yet super yummy dish. This Slow Cooker Tostada is just the bomb. I still remember the look on hubby's face with his first bite.. yeah..that good!


1 lb browned ground beef
2 cans refried beans, I used the  Homemade Refried Beans
1 package of taco seasoning or use Homemade Taco seasoning, Click here for recipe.
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
10 tostada shells

toppings of your choice : olives. shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato , avocado, salsa, cilantro , tapatio sauce


Brown ground beef and strain.

Combine the ground beef, refried beans, taco seasoning , water , tomato sauce in a slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Serve with warmed tostada shells. 

Spread a layer of the ground beef ,

Topped with your favorite toppings!

Crunchy good!

Drizzle with tapatio sauce or with your favorite hot sauce. We are a tapatio fan in this household.

Don't forget to pin and share!

Looking for more budget friendly Mexican Recipes?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Healthy and Allergy Free Baking Substitution

Happy Monday sweet readers of mine.On almost all of my posted recipes, I do try to give a healthier substitution on some of the ingredients. Not just the cheaper substitute but also the substitute that is hip friendly. I get it, I'm a momma of two growing and active girls and serving healthy meals is a mission of mine.

I have also met and have some friends that get discouraged over allergies that they or their kids have. It is a challenge, I totally understand but don't let it limit you in the kitchen. Here's a few basic ingredient substitutions that you can use. Don't forget to download the free printable , print it and display it on your fridge for easy reference.



½ cup rice flour 

¼ cup tapioca starch or flour

¼ cup cornstarch


1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All purpose flour PLUS:

¼ tsp Xantham Gum for cookies

¾ tsp Xantham Gum for muffins

½ tsp Xantham Gum for cookies

1 CUP MILK = 1 Cup rice milk OR 1 cup almond milk OR Coconut milk


1 cup dairy free milk ( see above substitution) + 1 tsp lemon juice

Pureed Silken Tofu

Soy base yogurt

¼ cup canned pumpkin


¼ cup applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder


½ od ripe. Mashed banana +1/4 tsp baking powder


mashed avocado, mashed banana , coconut oil or olive oil


 Agave syrup or Maple Syrup


1 cup flour = 1 cup black beans

1 cup flour = 1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup sugar = 1 cup applesauce

1 stick butter = ½ cup of mashed avocados

1 cup heavy cream = 1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup sour cream = 1 cup cottage cheese

1 cup sour cream = non fat Greek yogurt

1 tbsp mayo = 1 tbsp Greek yogurt

1 whole egg = 2 egg whites

1 whole egg = 3 tbsp egg whites (carton)

1 whole egg = 1 mashed banana

1 cup chocolate chips = 1 cup dried fruit

          (With added ¼ cup applesauce for moisture)

1 cup oil = 1 cup coconut oil

I would love to connect with you! 

I share at :
Mommy Monday Blog Hop @ The Squishable Baby

Merry Monday @ My Pinterventures
Link up Mondays @Soul Survival
The Best of the Blogosphere @ It's me Deb
Meet up Monday @ The Quinntessential Mommy
Mommy Meet Up Mondays @ Life, Motherhood and the Pursuit of Happiness