The Quality of Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships

Raising a child is obviously no simple or easy task, but it’s so rewarding that it’s entirely worth it. If you’re a parent, you’re pretty obviously a big force in your child’s life, and one of the chief role models. That said, there is of course something to be said about role models and mentors in the extended family. Grandparents in particular often spend a fair amount of time with the children, in many families, and they have a substantial impact alongside parents. Many children have very fond memories indeed of their grandparents as the ones who would always come and take them to do fun things like get ice cream or go to the zoo while the parents get a much needed and deserved break, gather them around to tell a story, bake a cake with them, etc, etc. Vine Vera knows you take raising your children seriously, and undoubtedly want them to have strong relationships with extended family. As such, we decided to take today to examine the grandchild-grandparent relationship, how it’s changed over the years, and how you can help ensure your child has a good one.

Grandmother cooking with her grand kids.

The Increasing Timespan of Grandparents Being in Children’s Lives
The trend lately regarding grandparent-grandchild relationships is that, because modern medicine keeps pushing the average life expectancy up higher and higher, grandparents are able to maintain solid, loving relationships with their grandchildren through childhood, into adolescence, and all the way through to adulthood. This means that, more than before, many young adults don’t just have fond memories of their grandparents, their grandparents are actually still alive and doing well. It often happens that the nature of the activities done together changes with the grandchild’s age; exciting trips to Chuk E. Cheese’s become relaxed outings to a local favorite restaurant, trips to the zoo become trips to the fine art museum, and so forth. The point is, though, that, thanks to modern medicine, grandparents now enjoy a much longer-lived relationship with their grandchildren.

Grand father playing with grand son.

The Quality of a Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship
Many people do indeed have fond memories of their grandparents, and probably still go out to lunch with them occasionally if they’re still alive and well. That said, this experience isn’t unilateral, and there are a number of things that seem to affect a grandchild’s relationship with their grandparents.

There are a number of factors, in fact, and we don’t have time to go into them all now, but one big influence is the level of connectedness and reciprocity of the family as a whole. In essence, if you maintain good relationships with your parents, your siblings, your aunts and uncles, etc., this will ultimately be likely to lead your child to have a very positive, warm family experience, including a happy relationship with their grandparents.

After all, put yourself in their shoes. If you saw your parents and grandparents fighting all the time and getting upset at each other, would you want to go out to ice cream with them? Well, you might, because you’d be a kid, and as such, ice cream might be enough to entice you, but that’s not the point. You’d undoubtedly have a very awkward and uncomfortable time with your grandparents in this scenario, and they wouldn’t leave a very good impression.

With that in mind, do your best to maintain good relationships with your family, and your children are likely to end up doing the same.

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Parenting Tips From Around the World

Parenting is not a trivial task. In fact, if you’re a parent and reading this, you’re probably shaking your head right now and thinking, “that’s an understatement.” Vine Vera knows that for as rewarding it is, and for as much as it’s totally worth it, parenting does come with a unique set of challenges that can really try your patience sometimes.

As usual, Vine Vera’s here to help, but this time, to help make your life as a parent easier, we decided to turn to parents of all different nationalities around the world to get you a diverse list of tips you can call on when you’re about ready to pull your hair out in frustration.

Mother playing with her child

Vietnamese Kids Are out of Diapers by Nine Months
Yes, you read that right; Vietnamese parents somehow manage to potty train their kids far faster than you might have thought possible. How do they do it? Believe it or not, they train them by whistling to get them to go to the bathroom. Specifically, they pay attention to when their baby is peeing, and whistle when they are. After doing this enough times, they can whistle to get them to pee on command, which obviously has incredible potential for potty training, and studies have shown that Vietnamese babies are generally potty trained by nine months old.

Family reading a book at night

Bedtimes for Spanish Kids Are Extremely Late
Believe it or not, most parents in Spain (as well as Argentina) give their kids a bedtime around 10 PM to allow them to participate in family activities in the evenings. They do this because they feel it’s better for the child’s interpersonal and social development, reasoning that letting be awake and interacting with family well into the night will help in that capacity. Seems weird to western parents, maybe, but their kids don’t seem to be any worse off for it!

African mother and child.

Aka Pygmy Parents in Central Africa Share Roles
The Aka people have a very egalitarian norm for parenting roles. In essence, they share them completely. While the men are out hunting, the women take care of the children, but the same applies in reverse, too. Men and women take turns hunting and caring for children, in fact, so when one’s gone, the other stays to look after the little ones. Interestingly enough, the men even breastfeed the kids. Yes, you read that right, and yes, that is possible. Little known fun fact: men have mammary glands too and are actually 100% capable of producing breast milk for infants, though the volume they produce will generally be lower since they don’t have as big of glands.

Family having dinner together.

French Kids Eat What Their Parents Eat
France holds mealtimes in high esteem, and they have certain rules for meals that are almost always upheld. Meals happen at set times, snacks between them are all but unheard of, and—most interestingly—there’s a firm belief that if you keep trying something enough times, eventually you’ll acquire a taste for it. As such, small children in France who try something and don’t like it are given it several more times to see if they eventually enjoy it. The jury’s out on how often this actually works, but it’s certainly an interesting idea.

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Make Being a Parent Easier

Parenting—as you surely know if you have kids of your own—is no easy or simple task. It’s totally worth it, don’t get us wrong, but at times it can be so trying on your patience you just don’t know what to do. If this sounds like you all the time, you’re not alone either. Vine Vera knows how stressful it can be, and how much that stress can impact your well-being, not to mention the rest of your family. On that note, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a bunch of useful tips that can make being a parent seem effortless, so read on if you want to make parenting easier and more fun for all involved.

Woman using a lint remover on a coat

Lint Rollers are Magic
You probably know of lint rollers as those weird little things you roll across your clothes when they’re covered with crap that doesn’t come off in the wash. Little known fact: they can be used for a whole lot more than that, and can pick up all kinds of debris from furniture and other household objects. In fact, having one as part of your cleanup kit for arts and crafts is probably a good idea; roll it along any surface and it picks up glitter like nothing else.

Keep a Spray Bottle in the Car
What for? Why, burning-hot seat belt buckles, of course. Those things can be the bane of any family’s safety when kids are afraid to touch them; it’s kind of hard to buckle up without touching the seatbelt buckle. We know what you’re thinking, won’t the water be just as hot if you leave it in the car all the time? Well, yes, but it turns out that doesn’t matter. The evaporation actually cools them off enough to touch. Just make sure it’s the kind of stray bottle with a head that makes a fine mist; the sort you see on non-aerosol hairspray bottles.

Little girl playing on a trampoline.

Trampoline Safety Worries? Pool Noodles to the Rescue
If you have a trampoline in the backyard (which, by the way, is a great idea; it’s fun for the whole family and gives the kids away to burn off excess energy), get a bunch of pool noodles to cover the springs. Just cut them into sections as long as the trampoline springs and make a vertical slit through one side of the piece from top to bottom, then just pull it open and pop it on! No more pinched and bruised hands or feet after trampoline time.

Minor Burns? Use Vinegar
This one sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s right up there with aloe vera when it comes to burn relief. Soak a washcloth or paper towel with vinegar and hold it over the burn until it feels cool. Once that’s dried, you can apply Aloe Vera too if you like. You’re unlikely to ever get a blister when you use vinegar.

Young child looking at his finger.

Painless Splinter-Removal
Or reduced pain, at the very least. Make a baking soda and water mix and apply it to the area with the splinter. Leave it on for a few minutes, and watch as the splinter is pushed outwards for easier, less painful removal.

Avoid Shoe Trouble With Stickers
Is your kid always putting the right shoe on the left foot and vice-versa? Make it easier to tell the difference by cutting a sticker in half and putting one-half inside each shoe, aligned with the inside edge. This way, the sticker halves will only match up if the shoes are ordered in the right way.

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Natural Wines to Try

It’s not hard to see that Vine Vera is pretty enthusiastic about wine and its various benefits (not to mention the variety of delectable tastes!). So much so, many Vine Vera collections are themed after various wine varietals, and our star ingredient, found in virtually all our products, is the wine-derived antioxidant resveratrol.

It’s also no secret that drinking wine—red wine, in particular—can be beneficial to your health, and can improve the quality and appearance of your skin. But is just any red wine good for this task? Well, the answer, as it turns out, it “yes, but some are even better than others.” In other words, no matter what your favored brand and varietal of red wine might be, sipping the pungent red liquid will probably help. That said, there are a few ways you can maximize the benefit of drinking red wine for health and skin care. One of those ways is to drink natural or organic red wine, made from grapes grown without the use of pesticides! This allows more of the anti-aging and generally beneficial compounds found in red wine to be more plentiful and work more efficiently. Not only that, they’re really tasty, too! Today, Vine Vera is going to be listing a few delightful natural wines you simply must try.

Red wine being poured in a wine glass.

Ribolla Gialla by Radikon in Friuli, Oslavje, Italy, 2007
You’re in for a unique treat if you decide to sample this complex Italian wine. It’s a bold “orange” (a white wine that’s rather deep in color) wine with a deep flavor and color resultant from letting grape skins be a part of the fermentation process for longer than usual. You’re unlikely to be disappointed with this wine; at the very, very least, it will be a unique experience, and probably a very good one.

Priscus by AmByth Estate in Paso Robles, CA, United States, 2011
This white wine with strong herbal overtones is entirely grown and produced in AmByths own orchards and wineries (meaning that if they’re making wine from it, they grew it themselves, which isn’t always the case with many wine makers). It’s delightfully botanical and drinkable with a unique character you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.

Cuvee Sans Soufre by Henri Milan in Provence, France, 2010
Popular and very easy to drink, this pleasant red wine contains to sulfites and has a pure, fragrant character.

Rkatsiteli by Our Wine in Kakheti, Georia, 2012
This wine is made by a very unique and ancient (several thousands of years old) recipe that involves actually leaving pips, skins, and stems of the vine left buried underground in a clay jar for six months as part of the winemaking process. This produces a very floral, tannic wine that’s sure to delight.

Mourvedre Nouveau by Shobbrook Wines in Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia, 2011
This delightful and drinkable red is mellow and fresh, and includes a bit of natural, residual CO2 as part of the bottling process, making it slightly and pleasantly bubbly to boot.

Nature 2012 by Domaine Julien Meyer in Alsace, France, 2012
A very dry yet light and fragrant natural white wine, this one is priced more reasonably than others, making it as accessible as it is delicious.

Untended Chardonnay by Donkey and Goat in Anderson Valley, California, United States, 2012
This Chardonnay blend comes from grapes all over California and is unfiltered, giving it a marvelous—if not easy to drink (have it with food)—character.

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Our Favorite Zinfandel Wines

Woman sipping wine from a glass.

Zinfandel is a robust and complex red wine that’s as tasty as it is easy to serve. Just chill it for 15 to 20 minutes and pair with red meat, pasta, burgers, or even pizza. Zinfandel is also the inspiration for our luxurious Zinfandel collection, and in honor of this uniquely American wine, Vine Vera thought we might share some of our favorite Zinfandel Wine picks.

Dry Creek Heritage Zinfandel, Sonoma County 2009
A tasty and smooth Zinfandel with a bouquet of ginger and cherry, and tasting of warm spice, with strong notes of dark fruit, and very smooth tannins that make it easily drinkable even on its own. This Zinfandel selection is ideal if you’re looking for a wine that’s easy to drink and needs no accompaniment (although it does pair well with any of the usual Zinfandel pairings if you so desire).

Ancient Peaks Zinfandel, Paso Robles 2009
This Zinfandel is sweet and fruity, with a powerful slightly-tart strawberry smell. Tasting of ripe cherry and rather strong tannins and a higher alcohol content at about 15%, this wine should be paired with strong-tasting foods like hard cheddar, or served with dinner.

Ravenswood Winery Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2011
Smelling of blackberry and smoky spices, and tasting of sweet dark fruit flavors with a tolerable level of acidity, this is another Zinfandel that’s pretty easy to drink, and could serve equally well on its own, with snacks, or a full meal. Relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, this is a good wine to grab if you want to experience the gist of what Zinfandel has to offer.

St. Francis “Old Vines” Zinfandel, Sonoma 2008
Old Vine Zinfandel is highly sought after, because older vines tend to impart a more intense spice flavor to the resulting wines, and this little gem is a pretty good example of that. You’ll note a somewhat meaty scent with strong overtones of cherry, and it tastes a bit smoky with bright acidity and spice. Especially great when served with any dinner that features red meat as the main course.

Michael David Vineyards Seven Deadly Zins, Lodi, California 2014
This Zinfandel blend may have a humorous and punny name, but the contents of the bottle are nothing humorous. This is another excellent old vine Zinfandel that’s actually a blend of old vine grapes from several different vineyards in the area. It’s another stellar example of the richness and spice found in old vine; it’s got dark jam notes and is highly concentrated, probably making it best paired with a full meal. If you’ve never tried an old vine Zinfandel and want to see why its so highly sought after, this blend is a great starting point.

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Upgrade Your Picnic

Picnics are a popular idea for romantic dates, and probably conjure up images of loving couples sitting on a blanket in a park, sipping wine and gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes as they converse, smile, and laugh together. It may be a bit of a cliché, but it’s popular for a reason, and remains an excellent choice for such occasions.

That said, while the conventional picnic is all well and good, it could certainly be improved upon, and there are a lot of ideas and details most people don’t really think about when planning one, which is why Vine Vera decided you might like to learn about a few ways to upgrade your picnic. Read on, and take your next picnic excursion to the next level.

Mother having fun with her daughters.

Good for More than Just Romance
Not that romance isn’t great, because it definitely is, but one unfortunate truth when it comes to picnics is that romance is almost all that people think about when picnics come to mind. Whatever happened to the idea of a fun family picnic? If a park with fun play equipment is selected for such an excursion, it gives the parents a chance to relax and enjoy some time together as they munch on picnic favorites like sandwiches, chips, and other assorted delights. Meanwhile, the kids—after they’ve finished their lunch—have a blast on their own. Picnics can also be a great way for you to hang out with your best friends in a way you probably haven’t considered before. Bring a deck of cards or a board game, and enjoy some fun bonding time with friends.

Family having a meal while on a picnic

Consider Grabbing Takeout
Cooking at home and bringing it to a picnic might seem fun and special, but it can be a logistical nightmare. Consider saving the home cooked meal for a romantic dinner at home. Instead, and grab some takeout from a mutual favorite restaurant on the way to the picnic spot, and dig in.

Friends having wine while on a picnic.

Bottles Not Required
For romantic picnic dates, a bottle or three of wine is pretty common, but while nice in theory, they can be a pain. If the point is to relax on the ground, who wants to awkwardly fiddle with a corkscrew and then try pouring into wine glasses without a table to simplify things? While boxed wine may not have the best of reputations, it’s actually gotten a lot better over the years, and it’s so much more convenient. Besides that, who says you even need wine at all? If you and your S.O. both love wine, great! But if not, why are you bringing it to an occasion that’s supposed to be special and personal to you and your relationship? Sure, wine is fancy, but bring whatever both of you enjoy, even if that just means a few bottles of beer and, say, hard lemonade, or even no alcohol at all, if you’d rather not.

Family on a picnic.

Get a Basket that Works
You want something that looks nice and suits the mood, but do make sure it doesn’t have any holes and is easy to carry. Besides that, go for something insulated if the food’s going to be in there for very long; you don’t want to set up the picnic spot only to find all your food spoiled.

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Future Skin Care Trends

Skin care in an evolving science; we discover more every day about how it works, what works best, and get closer and closer to the ideal of effortlessly flawless skin. Vine Vera is always on the cutting edge of skin care, offering you a host of products informed by the latest and best in the realm of skin care, but today we’re going to be talking about the future of skin care, and what you might expect to see happening in the days, months, and years to come. Read on for some fun and informative discussion of where we think skin care is going.

Woman looking at her skin in the mirror

Advanced Skin Monitoring
We already have a lot of products in skin care that are tailored to different skin types, different types of problem areas, and just different needs in general. This is great, but it can sometimes be a pain to figure out exactly what your skin needs and then go find a product that specifically meets that need. If the ability to monitor and analyze the state of your skin progresses, we might see technology that can quickly and easily tell us what we should be using on our skin that day. Imagine using some kind of skin sensor or scanner to examine your skin, then getting an instant readout that tells you things like your skin’s moisture content, elasticity, cleanliness, etc. It could then recommend a routine for the day and even direct your attention to the products that would best suit your current needs. Even better, it could combine this scanning tech with the evolving science of 3D printing, and synthesize your day’s skin care regimen right there on the spot!

Woman in a bikini applying sunscreen.

Sunscreen Pills
Protection from the sun is important, and you risk more than just a burn by using anything less than broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher every day; exposure can add up over time even if you don’t get burnt and increase your odds of nasty things like skin cancer and early wrinkles. This is all well and good, and we certainly have effective ways to protect ourselves, but how fun is rubbing on oily goop every day just to avoid this? As we discover and understand more and more about how the skin responds to sunlight, and how its natural defenses could be bolstered internally to really simplify things.

Woman applying moisturizer.

Marriage of Skin Care and Makeup
We already see a fair amount of this already: foundations with SPF, tinted moisturizers that even out your tone while they hydrate, and much more. This is a trend that will probably only get more ubiquitous in time. Eventually, skin care/makeup hybrids may be good enough at what they do that most of your daily needs (save for detail work like eye makeup and lipstick) could be accomplished with a single layer of just one product, that pulled quadruple duty as a moisturizer, sunblock, anti-ager, and foundation!

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