New Year’s Eve Party for Kids: Their Own Balloon Drop

Many of us adults have attended New Year’s parties where there were balloon drops. At many of these balloon drops the balloons had prizes, money, or other items inside that you could have if you popped the balloon. Don’t you think that children would love having their own version of the balloon drop game? Well there are ways to do that without having them go to a bar, which they obviously can’t do. Have a balloon drop at home with the same level of excitement. Here is a way to include children in that game.

Part of how you run the game depends on the age of the children involved. Are they old enough to stay up to midnight? If so then the party will be easy to plan. Just have a party for either children only or adults and children. Have the children in their own room for the balloon drop so they are the only ones that can pop their special balloons. If the children are too young to stay up until midnight either have the party earlier in the evening on New Year’s Eve, or have it during the day before all the adults go out to their own party.

So, now that you know when to have the balloon drop for children, how do you do it? Well get a pack of balloons. Before blowing up each balloon enter a piece of paper with a number or letter on it. Then blow the balloon up. Inside each balloon with be a paper with a number on it after it has been inflated. Make sure you have at least the same number of balloons as children, or more balloons. Use some mesh netting attached to the ceiling of the room to hold the balloons. At the time of the drop, tear open the mesh so the balloons fall to the children below. Let them all know they are able to collect a certain number of balloons.

My suggestion would to have small and larger prizes. Have the large prizes with letters on them. Have the prizes set aside in another room with it labeled for each letter. Instruct each child they can only have one piece of paper with a letter on it when leaving the room. Let them know they can have multiple numbered pieces of paper though. Have the numbered pieces of paper each equal to a certain denomination of money. So a one is fifty cents, a two is a dollar, and a three is two dollars. Do not tell the children what these numbers represent until each has their pieces of paper. Then award the prizes.

You can adjust this for house rules however you wish. Maybe you want to use black balloons for big prizes and dark green for small prizes. Instead of having the children pop them immediately, have them pop the balloon in front of the adults running the game and get the prize right then. This way you can still set limits and nobody will know what they get until they receive it. This will eliminate the “bullying factor”.

However you choose to run the game, it’s a good way to let the younger children celebrate in a New Year’s balloon drop game.

New Year’s Student Council Activities

All students are not excited about returning to school after the holiday season. Introducing monthly themes can give them a way to bring some fun back into their daily routines at school. They are school activities that can be based on colors, music, hobbies or pranks. Host a different theme for each month that can become one of your ongoing New Year’s student council activities. Make a list of possible theme ideas or collect suggestions from the student body in advance.

Student council members must vote and select next month’s theme during the current month. Possible monthly themes for January include New Year’s resolution tracking, organization or community service. February’s theme could be color based, challenging students to wear red, white or pink outfits and accessories for the entire month. Monthly themes are one of the New Year’s student council activities that can be done for fun or prizes. Members of your student-run government may choose to provide prizes to students with the most organized locker of January. Take photos each month with students that reflect the current month’s theme in a creative or humorous manner. These photos can be auctioned off during a student council fundraiser or used an addition to the yearbook.

Designate Teacher’s Assistants for the Week
Many teachers are overwhelmed with lesson plans, grading, classroom maintenance and related school duties. Offer to reduce their workload by adding teacher assistants to your list of New Year’s student council activities. Allow students to sign up for one week of service as a volunteer teacher’s assistant. Their jobs can be selected at random from a group of requests submitted by teachers who need help at your school. Assistants would help with cleaning, decorating, organization, distributing books, assignments or any other classroom tasks usually completed by teachers. All members of student council should participate as teacher assistants at least once to build momentum and display leadership qualities.

Make a 2019 Yearbook in Review
Senior students are usually the main focus of a yearbook at some schools. Set aside some school time to develop and publish a 2019 yearbook that covers memories of all students. The yearbook does not have to be centered on school related events exclusively. This publication should include input from students in all grade levels at your school. Partner with members of your school newspaper who can help the student council design and print this yearbook.

Include photos, news stories and awards from your local community and around the world as they related to students at the school. The yearbook can also be divided into sections focused on specific categories including school, world news and local events. A 2019 review yearbook is one of the New Year’s student council activities that aid in the development of keepsakes to be cherished for current and future generations.

New Year’s Day Project for Kids

This is a great activity to do with your kids (of any age) on New Year’s Day. You can talk to your children about the significance of making resolutions each New Year and talk to them about other ways to help them keep their resolutions. You can make a magnet with your resolution to demonstrate that you have made the decision to commit to a change this year as well!

What you’ll need:

  • White construction paper
  • Background color of your choice construction paper
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Magnet strip
  • Laminating paper
  • Optional supplies: Glitter, stickers

How to make it:

  1. Cut a sheet of white construction paper into between 8 and 12 even pieces depending on what size you want your magnet to be.
  2. Across the top write “I RESOLVE”
  3. Choose your resolution and use the fine tip black marker to write it below the title (i.e. “to keep my room clean”)
  4. Use crayons to draw a colorful picture depicting your resolution below the words.
  5. Decorate with remaining supplies.
  6. Trim the white construction paper so that all sides of your artwork are even.
  7. Glue your artwork to a piece of construction paper in your choice of colors. Trim the paper to create a nice border frame for your art.
  8. Laminate your art (multiple will fit on one sheet to conserve resources). Trim once cooled.
  9. Glue a magnet strip (or use self-stick magnet strip) to the back of your resolution art and hang on the refrigerator.

New Year’s Resolution? Try a New Life Resolution

Every January people all over the country sit down with pen and paper at hand to write their New Year’s Resolutions for the upcoming year. But why just focus on one year? I’ve found that when I focus on just one year, I end up with resolutions that are pretty weak. I come up with goals like have a beach body by May or read 100 books. These are some pretty lame goals. This year, I decided to do a New Life Resolution, and I came up with much better goals. Here’s how to create your own New Life Resolution.

Sit down and come up with all of the things you want to do in your life, give yourself a goal of how many resolutions to come up with. Mine was 50, but yours can be 10 or 20. Regardless, you need to really put some thought into it. I sat down and came up with things like write a memoir, learn to rock climb, scuba dive somewhere exotic, and learn French. My full list ended up being around 50 things, so I split everything up. I listed about six things per year and paired a few hard goals with a few easy goals. So this year, I’m going to march for a cause I believe in, volunteer, learn to rock climb, learn French, publish 200 articles, and help save an endangered species.

Once you come up with what you will do this year, go ahead and decide when this year you’re going to accomplish it (that way you don’t procrastinate until December). I’m going to buy a French learning kit in February, rock climb during Spring Break, volunteer and march during the summer, save an endangered species during the fall and write articles throughout the entire year. Just repeat the same process for the next 5 years and every January 1st look back at what you wanted to accomplish when you created your New Life Resolution.

I’ve found that usually, when people are making their resolutions, they come up with cliché goals. This way, you can write down everything that you want to do in your life and accomplish it all in just a few years. It’s funny how people just go through life wanting trivial things like washboard abs. Those things don’t matter, and there’s no need to be perfect. I understand wanting to lose 100 pounds if you’re overweight, but next time you write down your goals, really think about what’s going to make you happy, not everyone else.

New Years Day Bowl Games : Ohio State, Florida State and Penn State All Bring Home Wins

That was until the team ran in to a brick wall, names the San Francisco Giants. The Tigers’ flaws were exposed, resulting in a nearly unwatchable four-game sweep at the hands of a team that does everything right that Leyland’s boys can not grasp.

Defense and bullpen. Defense and bullpen. Defense and bullpen.

So what did General Manager Dave Dombrowski do? Did he go out and sign depth at reliever? Was the acquisition of a shortstop with more range that a teaspoon at the top of his list? Or would it perhaps be the the need to fill the now vacant closer role that would have Dombrowski spending another large chunk of that seemingly unlimited pizza money?

None of the above would be the correct answer.

The Tigers instead spent a small fortune resigning a career sub-.500 pitcher in Anibal Sanchez ($75 million for five years), and bringing in Torii Hunter to sure up the corner outfield position.

Hunter will be an improvement over the fielding woes of Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch over the last two seasons, but his bat is now in its late 30s and he is long removed from the days he used to rob Tiger hitters of extra bases playing center field for the Minnesota Twins.

The Tigers still have a fatal flaw. The bullpen in Detroit is a complete mess. Joaquin Benoit is a three-run homer waiting to happen. Phil Coke is serviceable at best (although his 2019 postseason was tremendous). Jose Valverde is still unsigned leaving a gapping hole at the closer position. Valverde will not be back and rightfully should never put the old english D on again. Bryan Villarreal is looking like a modern day Joel Zumaya and there is no guarantee that Al Alburquerque will ever be able to make it through an entire MLB season.

Its not all doom and gloom for the Tigers. They still play in the AL Central, by far the worst division in baseball. They have possibly the best rotation and mine field of a lineup for opposing pitchers to deal with. Mike Ilitch seems to be willing to spend whatever it takes to win a title.

All that being said, if Detroit is going to celebrate the end of a near 30 years title drought it will be in spite of a once again weak bullpen and a Swiss-cheese defense.

New Year’s Resolutions, Yuk!

I will be bringing in the New Year of 2019 with a foggy head, great laughter and wobbly stance. I will stand with friends and loved ones and announce, with slightly slurred speech, “I resolve not to make any resolutions this day”! The laughter will be deafening as I step back and fall heavily to my own sofa, spilling my drink and scattering those who were sitting there just one moment ago.

I also resolve not to be anywhere except my own home on this day of reflections and contemplation. If I do go out, I will certainly have a designated driver or money aside for a taxi. I don’t drink often and certainly wouldn’t advocate drinking and driving for many reasons that we all know.

I believe the last night of this outgoing year is to be one of reflections and gratitude. If I did any thing right this last year, it was to write out goals & commitments frequently, often times daily, which I attribute to our many successes in 2018.

I too, like many have already written out my goals, (the larger ones), for 2019 already. Just to brag a bit, but I had them done over the Christmas Holiday. Cheesy or anal, perhaps, yet this is the one consistent thing that I did throughout 2018 that kept my life afloat. Paid all the bills, kept our home and cars and everyone is of decent health. Were there losses this year, of course there were. My step father and grandmother died late this past summer within 2 weeks of each other in different states. Found out that I had two ruptured disc as well as needing 2 root canals and a niece who at 4 months old required major heart surgery. Minor to some who are reading, yet I am grateful for the smallest of things as there could have been more traumatic events.

I am grateful for all those who inspired me to persist at keeping my goals right in front of myself. Often my goals would change, especially the smaller ones, but that is why they were small as quite often I may have been going the wrong way. Giving in and learning is tough on us older dogs but I have great confidence in my ability to take emotion out of important decisions and choose wisely. I have a huge list of accomplishments to be grateful for this past year, but most of all, I am grateful that I have a choice.

Every day of being alive is one choice after another. Do I get up or do I hit the snooze bar? Do I brush my teeth before or after my shower? Do I want to put my clothes out for tomorrow or just get them in the morning? That of course is only 3 of the thousands that we make each day. Sounds exhausting doesn’t it? It isn’t though, we have conditioned ourselves over time and quite frankly, I feel that 70% of the decisions we make are automatic, they come from within without a conscious thought.

My resolution for the new year is to advocate to as many people as I can to write it down. Just like the grocery list. If you have a list and go shopping, usually you get everything on that list and maybe a little extra. Guess what, your life is just like going to the store. If you don’t have the list in front of you as to what you are going for, do you think you will get anything you really want?

Your life is yours, do with it as you will. I feel strongly about knowing what road I will travel and without the map (written goals and directions), I may end up on the wrong side of the state.

To everyone, have a safe and miraculous New Year!

New Year’s Engagement? Caribbean Honeymoon Ideas for Those Now Planning Weddings

Check the Honeymoon Off Your “To Do” List, While Taking Advantage of Tremendous Values

As the ball dropped in Times Square, countless couples topped off their midnight kiss with an engagement for the new year. While the diamond rings still have that jewelry store shine, it is never too early to start planning that perfect, once in a life time, honeymoon.

With the downturn in the U.S. economy, travel providers are still struggling to fill space in hotel rooms, on cruise ships and to a lesser extent, on airplanes. As such, newly engaged couples, with just a small deposit, can secure outstanding honeymoon values today, even if the honeymoon is still six to twelve months from now.

While prices are largely dictated by the time of year you travel, we have assembled a short list of honeymoon ideas, some of which you may have never considered:

Aruba: Honeymooners departing from anywhere east of the Rockies will find Aruba to be a spectacular and affordable Caribbean destination. Despite some negative press regarding the Natalee Holloway disappearance, Aruba truly is a safe destination with a great variety of beaches, nightlife and adventure. Just off the northern coast of South America, Aruba is a combination of rugged desert and a modern beach community. Aruba offers some mild adventure, such as riding an ATV through the desert terrain or scuba diving in the crystal blue waters. For those looking for something more relaxed, Aruba offers fantastic beaches, exceptional dining, casinos and duty-free shopping. Most important, Aruba’s weather is almost always fabulous. For those planning a honeymoon during hurricane season (June to November), Aruba is as close to hurricane proof as you can get in the Caribbean. As a demonstration of Aruba’s value, consider a 7-night stay from August 30 to September 6. A couple departing from Chicago can stay at the 4.5 star Westin Resort on Palm Beach, including roundtrip airfare, ground transportation, and taxes for $2,660. This total, not per person, price includes a 30% discount for booking early.

St. John (United States Virgin Islands): While neighboring St. Thomas is the duty-free shopping Mecca of the Caribbean, St. John offers a more laid back honeymoon. Instead of the 10,000 cruise passengers a day and countless cabs nearly running you over, St. John is the destination for those looking for a peaceful escape. An added benefit of honeymooning in St. John…no passport is needed. Instead of dropping a couple hundred dollars getting you and your soon to be spouse a passport, you can save those dollars for a relaxing couples massage or fine dinner at your chosen beach resort. A couple departing from Atlanta on September 14 can enjoy 5-nights at the Westin St. John Resort for $2,839, including roundtrip airfare, daily breakfast, pre-paid resort fee and applicable taxes.

Riviera Maya, Mexico: During your college spring break days, you and 10 of your closest friends may have crammed into a hotel room in Cancun. Now that you are getting married, you want something more private and romantic. Over the past decade, the area south of Cancun has developed into a fabulous destination known as Riviera Maya. For those looking for an “all inclusive” honeymoon, Riviera Maya may be a better fit and value than competing resorts in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Riviera Maya offers everything Mexico’s Caribbean coast is known for…the history of the Mayan culture, beautiful beaches and the adventure that comes with these. A couple departing for a 7-night honeymoon from Charlotte, NC, can stay at the 4 star Dreams Tulum “All Inclusive” Resort for just under $2,500. This price includes the roundtrip airfare, ground transportation, an all-inclusive stay at the resort (including food and alcoholic beverages) and the applicable taxes.

Caribbean Cruise: If one destination is not enough for you, maybe 3 or 4 destinations will be more appealing. A cruise offers you multiple ports of call with the convenience of unpacking your bags only once. With the recent economic slowdown, cruise lines have struggled to fill all the new ships they have built over the past decade. Depending on your sailing date, 7-night Caribbean cruises are selling for less than $500 per person. While these prices may seem appealing, make sure you understand what you are buying when booking a cruise. For those new to cruising, work with a travel agent who is well versed in cruises. A $500 per person cruise is a great value, but will you be content spending your honeymoon in an inside stateroom that is less than 200 square feet in size, with no windows? With stateroom categories varying greatly, you need to understand the difference between a balcony stateroom, an inside stateroom and an ocean-view stateroom. Nonetheless, there are many tremendous values on the market. For example, you can honeymoon in October on a Carnival Cruise Lines 7-night Western Caribbean cruise for less than $1,500. This pricing is for a balcony stateroom (complete with windows and a balcony overlooking the ocean) and applicable government fees and taxes.

The Caribbean truly is a fantastic honeymoon destination.

By planning ahead and making a small deposit today, you will be taking advantage of the great values being offered, while checking another item off your lengthy wedding “to do” list.

New Years Tips on How to Become an Effective Article Marketer

In present scenarios; there are millions of pre-existing websites that are being further populated by newer additions on daily basis. A majority of these business concerns are going on online in order to exploit wider markets across the national frontiers. Now a fact is, the advertising and marketing of websites that have gone completely competitive and expensive. Under these circumstances it seems only a financial resourceful website has the ability to survive in this marketplace. But that is not necessarily true.

Since its advent; article marketing, small businesses now have a renewed hope of survival and success. Article marketing isn’t some cost-effective logical Web marketing stunt that has been extensively employed by seasoned SEO’s. Search engine optimizer’s. Or Web marketers are using their skills to enhance visibility on the Internet of websites.

The way article marketing basically works it is involved in a website submitting informative and coherent articles to other websites. Article topics are carefully chosen to stick to the basic objective and business concerns of website owners. The article will contain a resource box that contains a biography of the website and links to the website. Now his articles get submitted to hundreds or even thousands of these forums, blogs and E-magazines, that have their own loyal customer base of thousands of readers per day, the article is the result into high-quality inbound links to the website from the outside, without having to buy clicks or beg or reciprocate links thereby increasing website page rank.

Now as a rule of some, I inbound links from other web addresses act as a vote of confidence for the search engines like Google and Yahoo AltaVista and MSN. They tally the votes of confidence and that will determine the page ranking of the website address in a search engine rank pages. So of course, the higher the rank of the website to better the Internet visibility and the higher the page rank means your site will show up at the top of the page in search engines. This in turn translates into more prospects and optimize turnover.

One of these opportunities to showcase expertise and wisdom articles themselves can present means of confidence building measures from a prospective customer. They in turn are reinforced about the quality of the products and services that the website is offering in no uncertain terms. These articles pre-sell the products and services of the website and offered seven to 10 times better advertising than if you were to pay for advertising through a local means. Once these articles are printed their shelf life is one that allows effective filtration of net traffic to render highly qualified traffic mostly. Now when you read a coherent and former article on a product or service, the first-time visitor to the website visit with a positive outlook, and is convinced about the authenticity and the offerings at the website is presenting.

So furthermore, when you’re marketing with article marketing it’s incredibly economical in nature, and has the least toll on the marketing budget of any website. So when you undertake this task, all you need to do is write informative easy to understand and articulate them for informative articles on subjects are relative to the business of the website. Submit these articles to a maximum 1000 of web-based forums, blogs and e-zines. Because they are always looking for informative articles free of cost. What they will not charge anything when accepting your article. Some may charge a nominal amount to further your articles to other forms blogs or magazines.

When article marketing your website, you may relieve itself from other marketing stunts involving having to make cold calls or face-to-face sales negations. These are no longer necessary to sell their products and services. So the small-scale business website can be rescued from the need to buy links or beg for links. This also involves a valuable effort of spending any time and money. And unlike direct marketing and other paid advertising, well-written articles continue to be republished in a shelf life much longer than any pay per click ad. Also when it is rewritten into various other forms it almost triggers of viral marketing effect to last a longer span of time.

New Year’s Resolutions: Many Don’t Make Them; Those that Do Don’t Keep Them

Survey Finds 58% of Americans Not Serious About Keeping Resolutions

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Many people make them, some making them without any intention of keeping them. Some make them, hoping to keep them. Making a New Year’s resolution has become a time-honored tradition.

According to a Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released on New Year’s Day 2019, 52% of those surveyed said they will not be making a resolution for New Year’s. However, of the 43% who say they will make a resolution, 42% of that number believe they are very likely to keep it. Another 47 % say they are somewhat likely to keep it.

That leaves 11% who are unsure or know they will not keep their resolutions, once made.

Two years ago, another survey by Rasmussen Reports found 42% were making resolutions and 52% of those felt they were very likely to keep them. That is a 10% drop in likelihood — in commitment.

Which might bring one to ask: Why make a resolution if one is even slightly unsure of whether or not one is going to keep it? The slightly unsure to the unsure to the convinced that they will not keep their resolutions comprises 58% of resolution-makers.

Again, why make them?

Some people make resolutions as a lark or as a gentle suggestion to themselves. These resolutions would be the “be nicer to my co-workers”, “lose weight” and “cut back on my candy intake” resolutions.

Some make resolutions to bolster the resolve to do things that have become necessary in their lives. These are the “watch my diet (for health reasons)” and “find a better paying job” resolutions.

Some are to push dreams in the right direction. Resolutions like these are the “write a novel” or “finish that writing project” and the “go back to college” resolutions.

But what is the difference? Why should one New Year’s resolution be any different than the next? Aren’t they simply vocal or written affirmations of aspects of our lives we wish to alter?

Of course they are. And the difference lies in the conviction with which an individual makes a resolution. When someone makes a half joking resolution to “stop eating cookies” or “stop yelling at my television during Dallas Cowboys games,” it is an indication that that individual may think there is room for improvement but whether they follow through or not is not of life-changing importance.

But when the level of conviction rises, when an individual decides that joining a gym, or finding a workable diet, or fulfilling a dream is of vital importance to them, then that individual is more likely to keep their resolution. And it does not matter where the source of that conviction comes from, because, in the end, the resolution is indifferent. The individual involved, the person who made the resolution, is not. Following through on a resolution demands commitment. The level of commitment involved, fueled by the conviction of the true necessity of keeping the resolution, are direct indicators of whether or not the individual will actually follow through and fulfill what was resolved.

Does that mean that Americans are lacking in commitment? Lacking in conviction? Have little resolve?

Not necessarily.

That more than half of those that are making New Year’s resolutions admit that they have some level of uncertainty as to whether or not they will keep those resolutions seems indicative of an overall population that does not take the practice seriously.

Of course, it may simply be in keeping with the practical adage to not make promises one does not intend to keep. Even to oneself.


New Years Eve in New York City -Events, Things to Do, Tours

Free Events

New York City is the place to be on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the New Year. Tourists from around the world visit this time of year to be a part of the excitement in one of the World’s largest cities. The biggest event that takes place in the city is at Times Square watching the countdown to New Year ball drop but there are many events including fireworks displays in Central Park and in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. All of these events are free to anyone who wants to visit. The Times Square is where there are the most crowds and if you are planning to attend this plan on being in the city early afternoon. The lines usually start about 2:00pm to enter the street area in front of Time Square. The Brooklyn Bridge has a great view from the pedestrian walkway fireworks in Brooklyn. All of these events are free to all who attend.

If you are a tourist and visiting New York City for the first time on New Year’s Eve and are planning to attend any of these outdoor events here is some advice. Dress warm! Realize you will most likely be outdoors for several hours so gear up for it. I have spent many New Years eve’s in the city and I can tell you from my experience that you can have a great time if you are comfortable and you are not freezing! So wear warm clothes, with a million plus people in the streets there’s no need to make a fashion statement with short skirts and high heels- bundle up. Wear layers of clothes, sweater, hooded coat, scarf, gloves and insulated shoes if you have them. Another great thing to bring along are some of those hand warmer pouches, they work great – put them in your gloves, scarf or pockets to keep you warm.

This year, for the first time, we went to the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway to see the fireworks displays. Of course it was a little windy up there, but the overall view is breathtaking as you can overlook the city and harbors. This is another great FREE event that only requires you to walk. Tourists be aware that there are tour operators that advertise a Brooklyn Bridge walking tour and charge for the narrated tour about $35-$60 and include a cup of hot chocolate. I would suggest you save the money buy a pair of gloves or scarf and your own beverage and pocket the rest. The view can also be seen from the Manhattan Bridge. If you are a tourist and want to attend all you have to do is simply take the walkway from the street up the bridge, there is no charge or fee for this on either bridge. On the Brooklyn Bridge there are areas to stop and rest with benches along the way. The crowds here are minimal and if you like, continue walking to the other side of the bridge into Brooklyn to find other places to party. From experience, walking in the city on New Year’s Eve is the best way to get around town or use the subway’s or buses.