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Starting the Year Simple: 5 Reasons to Hop on the Minimalism Wagon

58e638dd1e2f7.imageThe consumer-driven trend behind buying and accumulating clothes, shoes, purses, toys, home supplies and other items for no reason to then gradually give it all away is out the window.  

As you most likely heard everyone is talking about minimalism. There a tons of documentaries about it, blogs, Youtube videos, posts, you name it. But for those who are new to the world of minimalism, it’s not just a Pinterest board, it’s a lifestyle.

It’s basically the idea that the less you have, the better you’ll be. There are various benefits associated. We put together a little list of the benefits to see if we get you all to be minimalistic mommies and daddies.

DISCLAIMER: Read at your own risk, minimalism get obsessive.

  1. More Happy

Through advertising, TV commercials, Instagram posts, and other avenues, large corporations convince us to buy their products. I’m at fault too. I want everything I see, the long boots, fuzzy pillow, mini cactus, and the cute mugs with quotes. I mean, we’ve been taught that the more we have the happier we are, but happy is a state of mind associated with experiences, not material. Once we realize this, then we’ll be able to make smarter decision before shopping another item we won’t need.

  1. More Space

Did you know that the average American household has over 300,000 stuffs in it? Furniture, paintings, plates, linens, pictures, and memories. Once we get rid of those extra things we don’t need, or keep around “just in case” and just keep the bare minimum, we end up with some desiring space. More space in our home, rooms, cabinets, cars, purses, etc.

  1. More Money

The average American today has over $16,000 of credit card debt. Simplifying makes your wallet happier. When we downsize our belongings, whether that is wardrobes, electronics, shoes, and other stuffs, the next time we purchase an item, we think twice about it. The less we buy, the more money we’ll save.

  1. More to Give

If you decide is time to declutter, as you get rid of things, think about what things you can donate. Not everything we want to get rid off is garbage. Sharing those valuables that brought so much joy with others could be very rewarding.  

  1. More Time

The less things we have,the less time we have to spend cleaning and organizing. Think about how much time we spent washing tons of dishes, or clothes, fixing up messes. Minimalistics moms have more time to be more productive, spend more quality time with the family, try a new business venture or hobby.

Being minimalist parents just means being more practical parents  with more space at home to move around, think and breathe. More money to spend it on things you always wanted to do like family vacations or new hobbies to save and spend it on experiences, more items to donate and give to other. Also more time on our hands to learn new things or practice our hobbies and with all these be more happy. Try it, why not? God Bless.

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Tips for Moms Looking to Start their own Business this New Year


This 2018, just do it! Don’t even think about it. It’s going to be tough, but you knew that. Just imagine a hectic nightmare with coffee, meetings and diapers in the beginning, but the end product can be a strong business owner able to have her own schedule and be involved in their children’s development.

Business owner mommies are known for one main common characteristic, ready?

The capacity of being able to M-U-L-T-I-T-A-S-K!

When it comes to having success in business, there are many different things that can be integral factors. Hollywood Learning Centers put together 3 advices for our mommies thinking of starting their own business:

1) Find What Motivates You:

If you are going to be crazy enough to add a business to your already hectic mother schedule, then it should be something you absolutely love. The thing you loved doing during your free time. Do you even know what that is? If you don’t remember, picture waking up one day with nothing to do. You get up, make yourself a cup a coffee and then to do what…? Well, whatever that is, that’s your business.

If you image yourself changing into gym clothes to work out, then research what business are on demand in the world of fitness. If you see yourself going to the mall, is there a product you see yourself designing or creating yourself? If you love interactions with others, is there a service you could provide with your God-given talents or is there something that doesn’t exist that you wish you could create?

I mean, the possibilities are endless.

2) Create a System that Works

Processes are real. They dictate the way we do things and why we do them. If you have a strong support system at home, take time figuring out when would it be best to work.

Husbands, friends, siblings can help in the process. Schools, aftercare programs and reliable childcare institutions like Hollywood Learning Center, for example, is open 7 AM to 6 PM, which works great for hard-working mothers. A schedule will vary from family to family. Also there are so many free automotive business softwares to help free your time; whether you are looking to invoice, account management, budgeting, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.

3) Ditch Bad Associations

We don’t have that much time anyways. However, if we do decided to keep friends around, make sure to surround yourself with people who will uplift and contribute to where you’re headed. Entrepreneur mommies need all the cheering and motivation possible. Avoid negativity, jealousy and others who don’t believe you are capable.

Many entrepreneurs involve family members in the process, why not? Involve the children or your significant other. They can help decide which route to take, business’ naming, logos’ colors, etc. Make them part of the journey.

And bring your kids over to Hollywood Learning Centers’ while you go out and conquer the world! May God bless your efforts.

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“Gimme, Gimme” vs. Giving, Giving

School_BlogOver the last few days we have witness hurricane disasters so now more than ever is important to talk to our children about the power of giving and contributing.  Hollywood Learning Centers, a preschool for little ones in Hollywood, FL put together a list of 5 ways to teach our children to be more giving.

Start When they are Small.

It’s never to early to start. We can’t expect to teach children to be giving in their teens. We have to start when they are young. Even small deeds count.  Parent can begin by instilling sharing habits. This is easier when the children has siblings, but if not parents can try with other family members.

Is your child easy to share toys or his food and snacks with others? Test them, see what their answers are. If it’s what you were expecting, continue to encourage them to share and give to others. Complement and even reward their efforts. Your young child might be happy to help bake cookies for friends or children in need. However, If your child is less likely to give, try to understand them and see where this is coming from. Instead of getting upset with them or punishing them, talk to them about the importance of giving and make a plan to instill empathy in them.

  • Reality Checks

Seeing commercials of poor children or other disadvantaged groups might not the reality check our kids need. If those don’t work, it’s best to take them to see why giving is important.

Take a ride to deprived area with a high number of homeless or to an orphanage for our children to learn why we must share and donate to others (books, toys, clothes, etc). This will not only make those kids extremely happy, but it will teach our children about having empathy towards those children and eventually empathy towards everyone in need as they grow up.

  • Walk the walk

My family has always been one to give. Coming from a poor country teaches you to appreciate and share the blessings given. Be a role model for your little ones. As you know, children love to imitate their parents. If they see us volunteering or donating, they will do it. The passion and dedication we put into giving and sharing to others will reach their little hearts. Not only will they be proud of you but they would follow your lead.

  • Give Year-round

We don’t always have to wait for a disaster to take place to give. Of course earthquake and hurricanes’ victims could use all the help in the world, but giving can be a year-round effort. There are plenty of opportunities to help. Here at Hollywood Learning Center we are always collecting items for disasters victims or feeding the homeless. Not much money or planning is required. When we don’t have a particular cause to donate or contribute to, we buy water and distribute them to the homeless on a hot day or buy dinner and go around looking for someone who might need it. The feeling you’ll get is so rewarding it’ll become a habit.

  • Simplify Giving

Some believe giving, donating or volunteering requires a lot of money or efforts and of course we are all busy parents who work and barely have time.That is not true! Giving can be fun.

For example, buying two bags of sandwich bread, 1 pound of ham and cheese would not even come to $10, but it can feed 24 people. Buying a pack of water for the same group of 24 cost $5. Yet, that might be too much for some families, in that case, we all have toys, books or clothes we no longer use but are still in good conditions. There are also groups that come together to help particular causes.

This week, Hollywood Learning Centers will be collecting items for those affected by Hurricane Irma and to help rebuild Florida’s paradise, The Keys.

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Hollywood Learning Centers Show Preschoolers to be More Giving this Holiday

3 Ways Hollywood Learning Centers Show Preschoolers to be More Giving this HolidayWith the holidays around the corner, toy commercials on Television reminds us it’s that time of the year again. Hollywood Learning Centers believes it’s the season to teach preschoolers about the real meaning of the holidays, family, and gratitude. As our preschoolers write their long gift lists this year, how about we teach them about the importance of giving rather than receiving.

  1. Remind Your Preschoolers How Privileged They Are. . .

It’s understandable that as parents, we want to protect our kids from the cruel realities of this world. Poverty, hunger, orphans, and natural disasters are difficult to explain to a child. Find scenarios to teach your little ones how fortunate they are compared to those experiencing hunger and sickness. As difficult as it might be to point these things out, at times it’s necessary. You can also include prayers before meals and at bed time to thank God for our blessings. Gratitude can make a huge difference in their lives, because where there is gratitude, there is no space for selfishness.

  1. A Preschooler’s Trash Is Another Preschooler’s Treasure

Most of us, children or adults, outgrow things to make room for what the new year brings. However, getting rid of our belongings sound easier said than done. My rule is, if they haven’t use it or wore it for a year, then most likely they won’t again. Make sure they get involved in the picking process. Explain to them that these objects will bring joy to less fortunate kids. There are several charities that make it easy to spread holiday cheer. Goodwill, Toys for Tots, Stuffed Animals for Emergencies are a few organizations that take new toys as well as gently used donations.

  1. It’s Okay to Tell Your Preschooler “No”

Even though you want to get them the entire gift list, try not to get in the habit of buying everything they ask. I have actually sat down to watch TV with my little stepson and saw toy commercial after toy commercial. Honestly, I got just as excited as he did. I even began to make notes of the toys we liked.  These marketers are good! As they grow, it’s important to teach our children to develop critical minds when exposed to the media, just like I did with the toy commercials. Remember, if they have it all then they won’t know what it feels like wanting and not having something.  

It’s a lot easier to give in to this material world we live in than to fight the urge to spoil them with every cent to our name. I dare you to try it. It might make all the difference when raising a generous child.

For more blogs, subscribe to: Hollywood Learning Centers’: Parenting Survival Guide.

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Clean Up! Chores for Preschoolers – Hollywood Learning Center

Chores - Hollywood Learning CentersMy mother, Ms. Fatima, Director of Hollywood Learning Center is the definition of a superwoman. I know, completely bias coming from me, but it’s true. I remember growing up with a successful woman, a spotless house and healthy dinners. However, that didn’t mean we weren’t given chores. I wish!  My family believes in chores and allowances was not the reward, but that’s another story.

Why are chores so important? Well, according to parenting expert: Jim Fay, co-founder of Love and Logic, we all need to feel needed, important and to know that we’re making a contribution, even kids. Not to mention, we can’t wait for children to be adults to teach them responsibilities. By then, it might be too late.

So, Hollywood Learning Center put together a cheat-sheet on some chores’ tips for preschoolers:

Choose Age-Appropriate Chores for Preschoolers

How appropriate a chore is will vary from culture to culture and family to family. In my case, I remember asking my mom for a little broom to “sweep” at the age 5, out of my own boredom. Yet, I don’t see little ones doing that today. Here are some chores Hollywood Learning Centers consider age-appropriate for preschoolers:

  • Putting toys away
  • Making or at least attempting to do their bed
  • Clearing the table after meals
  • Watering the plants
  • Feeding pets, if any.

Lead by Example

Don’t expect children to put their toys away like they do here in their preschool, if mommy and daddy are leaving their clothes out. Be the example they need. You can begin by teaching your children the right way to accomplish the chore, let them see you take on the task and before you know it, they’ll be little experts. The idea is to make these chores their job at home. For example, If mommy cooks, daddy washes the dishes or vice versa, then children can be in charge of clearing the table. At first, reminders will be needed. However, the idea is to have them take on the task on their own. In my house, I leave little sticky notes around with friendly reminders and smiley faces. It works, I promise 🙂

Praise goes further than allowance

Although chores are responsibility, I still believe parents should compliment their children for their work. Praise can go a long way. Tell them things like:

“You did a great job with that bed today!”

“Those flowers are looking beautiful, you’re doing a fantastic job with them!”

“Thank you for putting your toys away so nicely”

As far as rewarding them with allowances, theories vary. We believe it’s important to avoid connecting allowances to chores, at least for preschoolers.

Younger children, like the ones in our Hollywood Learning Center, don’t tend to be motivated by money. If we award them with allowances then you’re giving them the option to choose not to do them. However, if your little ones are motivated by money, then is this a quality we really want them to have? We understand allowances can teach children about hard-work and money management, but preschoolers might not be ready for it just yet.

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up! For more parenting survival tips, keep checking out our blog.

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3 Holiday Tips for Children of Separated Parents

holiday-for-seperated-parentsWith the holidays around the corner, it’s important for separated parents to discuss what’s the plan this year. The reality is, holidays for these families are never easy, but as long as we make the best of it for the well-being of the little ones.

Hollywood Learning Centers put together 3 tips to guarantee a peaceful and joyful time:

1) It’s Always About the Children!

Children will be children. They want their mommy and daddy together. It’s important for children to see that if things didn’t work out, the benefits of having separated parents is getting the two of best worlds, including holiday celebrations. Communicate what the plans are to be on the same page as far as beliefs, celebrations, traditions, charity projects, gifting, etc. Keep in mind, it’s always about the children, which might suck for parents. As long as our little ones are happy and knowledgeable of the real meaning of the holidays.

2) Scheduling and Making the Transition Smooth

Some parents schedule time for one parent to spend the holiday during the day, while the other parent during the night. Others, prefer to alternate holidays every other year.  As long as the children get to be with both parents, the exact day never matters. If we think about it, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s or other holidays always falls under different days. A child’s imagination can run wild! For parents who don’t have court guidelines, it’s important to plan drop off and pick up time, who’s driving, where and every detail to the “T.” And, please mommies and daddies, let’s make the transition smooth, cordial, and respectful. Parents are the two people our children love the most, let’s treat each other as such.

3) Let’s Make the Best of it!

It’s supposed to be the happiest time of year! Disagreements during these times is not an option. Agree the disagree, make sacrifices and remember that keeping the party at peace is better than being right all the time. There are many separated families that have been able to adjust to the reality of the situation. They get together and even gift each other presents. We don’t see them as much, they are not in commercials yet, but I promise they are out there. After, all why can’t we all get along.

For more blogs like these ones, subscribe to our blog: Parenting Survival Guide 

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Hollywood Learning Breakfast Ideas On the Go!

Hollywood Learning Breakfast Ideas On the Go!

With Hollywood Learning Centers finally back in session some of us may be having trouble getting into the right routine to make it out the house on time (I know I am). There are essential things that need to be done before starting your day and eating a balanced breakfast is the most important one. They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing, so we put together some fun and quick breakfast recipes to ensure breakfast is served.

 berry-quinoa-saladBerry Almond Quinoa Salad: A healthy but fun morning wakeup food, packing a bunch of super ingredients. This yummy breakfast will ensure everyone gets their nutrition and energy to tackle the day.


  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced (2.5-3 cups)
  • 16 oz. fresh blueberries (1.5-2 cups)
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or lemon might work!)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped


  1. green-smoothie Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the fruit and place in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients (maple syrup, balsamic, lime juice, salt) in a small jar and adjust to taste if necessary. 
  4. Fluff cooked quinoa with fork and add to bowl with fruit. Combine. Pour on dressing and mix. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until serving time. Serves 2-3 as a main or 4-6 as a side. 

Monster Green Smoothie: I think a smoothie can never go wrong. This recipe packs everything that ensures you and your children will have a productive day at school and will keep their tummy full for hours.

  • 2 cups liquid of choice (we use fresh-squeezed orange juice, but have used coconut water and almond milk and both are great)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1-2 frozen bananas
  • boosts of choice (we use hemp hearts and chia seeds)

nutella-sushi-rollNutella and Banana Sushi: It might not sound as yummy, but do not worry. This fun and inventive breakfast “sushi roll” imitates the design of a sushi roll by rolling Nutella bananas in a tortilla. This recipe is very quick and easy to make. For those little ones who don’t like bananas, you can replace the banana for other fruits. This recipe is one I am going to try out for myself.


  • 2 tortillas
  • 4 tbsp Nutella
  • 2 bananas


Simply spread Nutella on the tortilla, and place your banana in the center of the tortilla, then roll in tortilla and banana in a compact roll, and then slice into pieces. There are plenty of ways to ensure that your most important meal of the day is an inventive and quick one, start your little ones’ day of with goodness and creativity.

For more blogs like this one, subscribe to Hollywood Learning Centers’ blog.

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Parents! Back to School, Back to Reality!

Invitation for GraduationSchool is back and although it can be a bittersweet feeling for parents and children, it is something that has to be conquered nonetheless. Whether your child is going to their first day of preschool or their first day of kindergarten, they are going and as a parent you need to be prepared. So we have created a little guide on what parents can do to help transition from summer to school.

  1. Get involved! Starting school is like starting a brand new year. Why not get involved? See what opportunities your children’s school offer for you to volunteer or become a PTA mom. Evaluate your options rather than signing up right away. Try talking to other parents and figure out the best way to help out. Remember, the amount of time you volunteer isn’t a reflection of how much you love your kids. Do as much as your time allows you. Similarly, find ways to get your children involved. It’s the early childhood stage, that determines their passions in life. Hollywood Learning Centers offers extracurricular activities such as soccer, dance, tutoring and others. Call the office at (954)922-8558 for more information.
  1. Develop a Game Plan: This is a new (but long) journey in your child’s life, they will meet new friends and embrace new challenges, often time parents note transformational growth in their children during the school year. Discuss their goals for their academic year, what they want to accomplish in school and outside of school. If they want to learn a new language, how to play an instrument or simply make new friends. Help them make  a game plan. It is said that those who write their goals have a better chance of making them happen. Help them write their goals in a place that is visible or work on a vision board.
  1. Embrace “failure: It is important to set goals for your child, but do not be disappointed when some of these goals are not obtained. In this new journey there will be good days and bad days, and we have to learn to deal with both. Praise their efforts and teach them about perseverance. Starting the first day of preschool, second grade, or eight grade is equally scary. New materials, homework, teachers, routines, etc.

Back to school can be nerve racking and stressful. But keep in mind our small tips, and embrace every moment of the new school year. Fortunately kids are pretty resilient, so they get back into the swing of things better than parents do.

For more parenting survival tips, keep checking out our blog.

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Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Parent?

Parenting isn't PerfectFor the parents out there, have you ever stop and said: “Wow, I’m a heck of a parent,” or do you often find yourself questioning your parenting skills?

It seems as if parenting and guilt were cut from the same fabric . . “I should spend more time with my son, I shouldn’t be so rough with my little girl, I wish I can give them more, I didn’t had to yell at them, I totally forgot about soccer practice… and the list goes on…”

The reality is, nothing in this world is perfect and no matter how much you search for it, there is no single guidebook on how to raise kids. Parenting techniques and approaches vary from culture to culture and parent to parent. Each parent has a different journey. I put together a few things I learned from my parent’s parenting techniques:

Positive Parenting

“Yes, you can!,” although it sounds like a political slogan, these were the words of my mother. As cliche as that might sound, parents’ words can make all the difference. Ms. Fatima highlighted my strengths, complemented my talents, and encouraged my projects. As children grow into early childhood, their world will begin to open up. They will begin to explore and ask lots of questions. Their interactions with family and those around them will help to shape their personality. For that reason, is important to be positive. My father, for example, has always told me life is all about perspective. I remember being five the first time he spoke about the glass being half full or half empty. We all know the answer, of course. The optimist parent would say the glass is half full.

Discipline Consistency

As much as I love Full House and the rest of squeaky clean family shows like Seven Heaven and The Brady Bunch, real families don’t work this way. Not everything is fixed with a hug and not all children listen after being scolded. Every so often you’re bound to break your own rules, especially when they are little and adorable, but discipline consistency is key. Both of my parents have always agreed on what was allowable and forbidden. Simple things as bedtimes, diets, videogame regimen, homework routines, language choices, etc. For example, until this day I can’t seem to say the phrase, “I hate.” It was a bad word in my house. Make sure to be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Even for separated parents, agreeing on manners, behavior, and discipline styles will avoid confusion for the children. Explain and display the behavior that you expect from them.

Now going back to the question: Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Parent?

There is no such an alien among us. Who ever says they are a perfect parent is delusional or in denial. Ms. Fatima always says: Parenthood is what you make it, so come as you are, grab your babies and make the journey a special one. The years fly and before you know it, they’ll be taking care of you.

For more information about Hollywood Learning Centers, please call (954) 922-8558 and for more articles like this one, subscribe to our blog!

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The Me! Me! Me! Epidemic Among Children

Hollywood Learning

Drivers cutting in front of you in traffic, people closing the door behind them on your face, millennials stepping on you while chasing Pokemons, teenagers taking selfies on your face, preschoolers pushing classmates to be first in line, toddlers making fits at the grocery store for treats. I mean, I can go on and on, but I’m sure I made my point.

Does it sound familiar? Individualistic, self-centered, self-absorbed, selfie snapchatters, call it what you want, I call it : Me! Me! Me! I even have a theme song for every time I witness this behavior, whether they are young or old, familiar or strangers.

I actually came to terms with this epidemic a few years ago while attending a live speech about “Happiness,” by the Dalai Lamas. He spoke about the difference between community-oriented societies and individualistic cultures. There, I learned that individualism is the belief that one’s personal needs are more important than the needs of a society as a whole. You might think, that sounds like the millennial generations, but research suggest individualistic behaviors began at the turn of the 20th century with the Baby Boomers born after WWII.

It is no secret, we live in an self-centered society. The minute I left the Dalai Lamas’ speech, my friends and I took the train back to our hotel. While on the train, a gentleman sat right next to one my friends, he took his coat off and slapped my friend right on the face when he opened his newspaper. We all laughed and ever since that day, I began detecting this sort of narcissistic behavior.

How do we stop it? How do we raise our children not to grow up to be individualistic, self-centered, self-absorbed, selfie snapchatters narcissist? Well, I’m no expert on the Me-Me-Me syndrome, but one thing is for sure, acknowledging this epidemic is a good start. The man sitting on the train, most likely didn’t noticed my friend, neither did the guy cutting in front of me in traffic, or the woman who closed the door on my face at the bank, but that doesn’t make it “okay.”

We have to teach our children to:

1) Be Aware of Our Surroundings

This includes the people, animals and plants. To be aware of others teaches us to be compassionate, empathetic, welcoming and accepting. All these practices can help them deviate from self-centered and me-me-me tendencies.

2) Serve as an Example

As parents, we can prevent or decrease this behavior in our children by serving as an example. Let’s do the exact opposite of the me-me-me behavior and let’s teach our children how to be giving, kind, and patient. Next time you are driving, let others by  patiently, wait for the person behind you before closing the door, give something away to charity every time you receive a gift. The ideas are countless and the impact measureless.

3) Ignore the Me-Me-Me Siren

Another thing parents can do, or avoid doing, is not always jumping every time the me-me-me siren goes off. Remember, children will go as far as you allow them and as much as we want to spoil them, we have to keep a balance routine for their sake, ours and society’s.

4) Me-Me-Me, Sing it!

You can make a song, a poem, a rhyme or a keyword to use it around your children every time they are displaying this kind of egocentric behavior. They will know what they are doing and either stop or laugh, but acknowledgement is the first step.

If you are curious to see if you or someone around you could have this Me-Me-Me syndrome, click here for a quick test (narcissistic personality inventory (NPI).

If you need to hear the me-me-me song, ask Ms. Fatima to sing it to you. I have sang it to her on a few occasions when necessary. For more blogs like this one, subscribe to Hollywood Learning’s blog!

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