APF Exchange
Accolades • Anecdotes • Advice

Indoor Container Gardens (yes, even in winter!)

Posted by Lawanda Stevenson on Jan 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Looking for ways to get kids interested in the food they eat can be challenging especially when the reward of a gooey treat is not on the menu. Teaching them the importance of knowing where and how the ingredients are sourced is an even bigger sleeper. 

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Topics: Fun with Kids, Food, Family, Nutrition, Gardening, DIY

New Zealand on a budget

Posted by Brent Panno on Jan 18, 2017 8:21:00 AM

One of my favorite places in the world I have been to is New Zealand. I did a study abroad a number of years ago, and I had a short layover in New Zealand. In the Auckland airport there is a written quote centrally located on the wall. It reads; “Every flyer who ventures across oceans to distant lands is a potential explorer; in his or her breast burns the same fire that urged adventurers of old to set forth in their sailing-ships for foreign lands.”  This quote made me want to travel even more. I wasn’t able to spend much time there and I decided I would come back to visit as soon as I could. So, several years later I saved some money for a plane ticket, and took off for New Zealand.

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Topics: Culture, Stress Relief, Budget, World Culture, Travel, Vacation, Work Life Balance, Adventure

Croatia - a must-see destination

Posted by Brent Panno on Jan 16, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Coming out of the water onto the deck of the boat, I felt like I had chunks of salt on my skin. It was warm, the sun was bright, laughing people were swimming all around, I was in paradise. Actually, I was in Croatia.

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Topics: Stress Relief, Budget, World Culture, Travel, Vacation

Mission Trip - Guatemala

Posted by Brent Panno on Jan 13, 2017 8:05:00 AM


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Topics: Culture, World Culture, Travel, Work Life Balance, Adventure, Volunteering

Finding time (and money) for travel

Posted by Brent Panno on Jan 10, 2017 8:06:00 AM


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Topics: Working from Home, American Culture, Budget, Travel, Vacation, Day Trip, Work Life Balance

Travel + Baby = So far, so good

Posted by Brent Panno on Jan 3, 2017 8:35:00 AM

I am a proud new father of a 3 month old baby girl. She is so much fun to be with, and it is so much fun to watch her grow before my eyes. My wife and I are slowly learning how to bring her with us when we travel around. Our first big trip is going to be to Disney World, which will be in a week. I will write about that one later, I’m sure it will be full of adventures and first times! So far we have done some short trips with her (approximately 2 to 2.5 hour drives), practice runs, if you will. She is able to handle those fairly well, as she likes to sleep in the car. We like to take her to different areas around the Chicagoland area and find that short trips are so far a lot of fun with our baby girl.

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Topics: Fun with Kids, American Culture, Parenting, Family, Travel, Enjoy the Moment, Making Memories, Work Life Balance, Adventure

Mommy & Me (or My Au Pair & Me) Spa Day

Posted by Lawanda Stevenson on Jan 3, 2017 8:07:00 AM

Finding the time to make memories with your children is a goal of most parents. Mother and daughter time can be particularly special and desired. Little girls love to dress up, get pampered and mimic the beauty rituals of their glamorous mothers. Why not plan a special at home “Spa Day” to share with your little girl?   This can also be a fun activity for au pairs and the little girls that they care for.

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Topics: Fun with Kids, Parenting, Staycation, Making Memories, DIY, Beauty

Gratitude is good for you!

Posted by Katie Tastrom on Dec 30, 2016 8:16:00 AM


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Topics: Health and Wellness, Making Memories, Simplicity, Gratitude

Get ready for 2017

Posted by Karen Higgs Faretta on Dec 28, 2016 8:01:00 AM


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Topics: Au Pair Adventures in the USA, Celebrations, Holidays, Parenting, Family, Traditions, Seasons

Hot drinks for adults and kids

Posted by Katie Tastrom on Dec 27, 2016 8:13:00 AM

Besides coffee and the occasional tea, I think that hot drinks are often not given the credit that they are due. Especially if you live somewhere where it gets very cold, hot drinks can really hit the spot after coming inside from playing in the snow or shoveling.

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Topics: Food, Celebrations, Holidays, DIY, Cooking, Seasons

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