Wednesday, November 30

THE FAIRMONT FIVE online social coupons

The recent social coupon movement takes traditional "couponing" to a whole new level. Forget cutting around the dotted lines on your weekly ads. Online social coupons can be purchased directly through your email account, and they offer huge savings (often 50% or more) on a variety of local products and services. 

So here's the idea... Companies work with social coupon sites like Groupon or Living Social to offer special deals to costumers, but only if a predetermined minimum number of people purchase the coupon. If this number is met by the end of the time frame, the deal is on. If not, the deal is off and those that did purchase the coupon are reimbursed--thus the term "social coupon." 

It's a win-win situation, great deals for consumers and excellent exposure for companies to a wide, attentive audience. The catch? The coupon sites often take about half of the coupon proceeds, making the deal difficult for companies to front unless their coupon costumers return again and pay full price. But there are still plenty of great deals out there, just don't forget to read the fine print to make sure you really qualify for the deal (often returning customers do not). 

There are so many social coupon sites, so here's a round-up of our top 5 to get you started: 

  1. GROUPON The instigator of the social coupon movement. Why Groupon? Easy to use, only one e-mail per day, ability to personalize your deals, $10 referral incentive, iPhone + Android app, excellent customer service. 
  2. LIVING SOCIAL The most social of the online coupon sites. Why Living Social? Refer 3 people to the deal and you get the deal free, extensive variety of deals spanning 89 U.S. cities, only one e-mail per day, iPhone app. 
  3. YELP DEALS The most intuitive place to find deals while searching for local businesses. Why Yelp Deals? Can be purchased directly from business pages on Yelp, not required to sign up for daily e-mails, simple integration with Yelp website or app, longer window of availability. 
  4. DEAL GOODER Cause-related social couponing. Why Deal Gooder? 50% of the coupon sale goes to the local Charity of the Day, only one deal per day per city, available in Orange County and Los Angeles.
  5. OC REGISTER DEALS Coupons recommended by writers who know Orange County. Why OC Register? Specific to the Orange County area, multiple deals each day based on specific area, easy to use. 

For a more extensive list, check out this article. Happy couponing! 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Tuesday, November 29

HOW TO be a calmer parent

Along with tidings of comfort and joy, the holiday season seems to always bring a little extra stress. Adding shopping and decorating and family parties to your already hectic schedule can make it easier to lose your cool. But when you're around the kids, it's important to handle stressful situations with composure to set a good example. According to psychologist Matthew McKay, Ph.D., coauthor of When Anger Hurts Your Kids, "Studies have shown that parents who express a lot of anger in front of their kids end up with less empathetic children. These kids are more aggressive and more depressed than peers from calmer families, and they perform worse in school."

So how can you avoid the parental temper tantrums? Here are some helpful tips from Good Housekeeping
  • In that white-hot moment of anger, visualize your child as a baby. "Older kids and teens are not adorable like babies, and sometimes they can be very obnoxious. When you remember them as the babies they once were, that can do some good," says Sandra P. Thomas, Ph.D.
  • Take a time-out and walk into another room. Gain some literal distance from the situation to regain your cool. 
  • If your anger has already boiled over, the most important thing is to own up to what you've done wrong. Apologize sincerely, promise to try not to do it again, comfort your child and move on. Dwelling on the situation can make it seem more traumatic than it really was. 
  • If you've gotten into an argument with your spouse that your child overheard, it's important to circle back quickly and do damage control, says Charles Spielberger, Ph.D. Don't explain all the reasons you were upset. Just acknowledge what happened and explain that you've worked it out and that you still love each other. If possible, emphasize what you'll do differently next time. 
For more tips and ground rules for short-circuiting your anger, check out this article

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

(Photo from EduGuide)

Monday, November 28

SCHOOL NEWS choc toy run headed our way

So, maybe Santas on Harleys isn't the most traditional holiday tradition, still it has become one of Fairmont's most beloved and highly anticipated ways to celebrate the season. This is our 12th year to participate in the OC HOG chapter’s annual CHOC Toy Drive.

Fairmont students, teachers and staff spend a month collecting toys, and about 30 bikers make the campus rounds in early December to pick them up. The OC HOG members will officially deliver the gifts to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) on Christmas Eve. Fairmont’s presents, and thousands of other toys donated by area civic groups, will help lift the spirits of sick and injured children being treated at CHOC throughout the coming year.

Fairmont’s Judy Coderre has been the driving force (quite literally) behind Fairmont’s participation these 12 years. She’ll be one of the bikers making the rounds on December 9.

“Thank you all for your thoughtfulness and generosity. It’s a very rewarding experience to know that we all helped lift the spirits and put smiles on the faces of the young patients at CHOC,” says Judy.

Thanks so much to everyone who has already participated in this year’s CHOC Toy Drive. If you haven’t brought in an unwrapped gift, it’s not too late. You have until Friday, Dec. 9 to bring in your toy donation.  CHOC especially needs presents for toddlers and teenagers. For tips on what to donate, check out our blog post from last week.

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Thursday, November 24

SHORT STORY happy thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the Fairmont Family!

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Wednesday, November 23

THE FAIRMONT FIVE choc toy drive tips

The CHOC Holiday Toy Drive has become a Fairmont tradition.  We are so proud of our students and the entire Fairmont community for helping us collect dozens of boxes of holiday toys destined for the children who come to CHOC hospital throughout the year for treatment.  Sick children of all ages benefit from your generosity.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make your toy selections.
  1. The majority of CHOC's patients are under 3 years of age, so their greatest need is for toys and gifts for infants and toddlers.  Teethers, rattles, musical toys, shape sorters, dolls, cars and trucks, etc. are great gift ideas.
  2. The hospital also has a great need for items for older children ages 13-18.  Electronics, video games, and craft kits are popular with teens. 
  3. Make sure all of your donations are new and unwrapped. 
  4. Non-toy items such as batteries, art supplies, and games are welcome. 
  5. Due to the hospital's sanitation policies, please do not donate stuffed animals or hand-made items such as knitted/crocheted blankets, hats or socks, etc.
Be sure to get your gift donation in before the OC HOG Chapter Harley riders come rolling on to a campus near you on Friday, December 9.

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Tuesday, November 22

SNACK TIME the pumpkin, a versatile vegetable

Traditional Thanksgiving feasting includes a variety of mouth-watering favorites, including roast turkey, stuffing, cranberries and especially pumpkin pie. Native to North America, the pumpkin has become a traditional sweet dessert, eaten during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US and Canada.

Pumpkins and other types of squash such as butternut and acorn, provide beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid, that acts as an anti-oxidant and converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is required by the body for vision and for maintaining healthy skin and mucus membranes.

Current research suggests that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene and phytonutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin (other forms of carotenoids) may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Most often used to make pie, pumpkin can also be added to pancakes, custard, ravioli, soups, souffl├ęs and more.

Even pumpkin seeds are popular. They are nutritious, tasty and make a great snack. Pumpkin seeds are great source of protein, minerals (such as iron and zinc), vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids (good for heart health). Check out this recipe for making pumpkin seeds at home. 

Enjoy this versatile vegetable, especially during the holiday season!

Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian/Clinical Nutritionist for Nutrition Management

(Image from Country Living)

Monday, November 21

ARTS & CRAFTS family thanksgiving activities

It’s the Thanksgiving holiday. Time to celebrate home, family and togetherness. Sounds great, but how do you translate these abstract concepts into real family fun? Here are a few ideas (that don’t involve a Wii).

Take a hike
Find a park or trail nearby and venture out into the great outdoors. Even if it’s just for an afternoon, you’ll soak up some sunlight (and extra vitamin D), get some fresh air, and give the whole family an opportunity to stretch their legs before (or after) the big feast. Make more of your hike by creating a family field guide where your kids can record the flora and fauna they discover.

Get crafty at the kids' table
When it comes to Thanksgiving preparations, the kids’ table is often an afterthought. This year, get the kids involved in dreaming up a fun theme and creating their own decorations. Think party hats, place mats, napkin ring...

Play a thanksgiving-themed game
Whether you’re headed over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house or hosting the relatives at your place, you may need an ice breaker or two to kick off the festivities. How about a game? Sure, there’s the traditional kids vs. adults football game, but here are some fresh ideas for fun and easy games, a few of which might become new thanksgiving traditions.

Photo credit:

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools