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Showing posts from September, 2010

Fall Family Challenge: E is for Edible Eyeballs (a Halloween Treat!)

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I was telling my husband the other day that I never really pictured myself as the kind of mom that would peel the skin off of grapes to feed her child, but lo-and-behold - I have a child who loves grapes and I'm a mother that aims to please.

On that note, this post is all about servin' it up fancy! Kids will love these edible eyeballs for a Halloween treat. They are easy to make, and will definitely score you some "cool mom" points with the kids. Not to mention they are delicious, and we all know that Halloween treats are also calorie free, so enjoy! *wink wink*




 I  received a holiday idea book in the mail from Nestle that included these awesome Butterfinger Eyeballs. Now, anyone who knows me knows that Butterfingers (and Oreos, but that's a different story) are my weakness. YUMMY! These will be a big hit at your next Halloween party! I found this copy of the recipe at Nestle's meals.com.

This is also a perfect activity to discover the magic (and scienc…

Fall Family Challenge: D is for Delicious Dinners the Whole Family Can Make

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 A lot of parents out there think that the kitchen is not a place for little hands. On the contrary! I've gotta say, I used to be one of those people, long before my parenting days, that just thought kids had no business in the kitchen. Well, I was wrong! During my time in New York City, I got to assist a cooking class for three year olds. That's right... I said three years old. And you know what? We taught those kids how to make sushi (sans raw fish). It was incredible! The kitchen is a wonderful place to discover the science of making dinner. Let your little one help out by adding pre-measured ingredients to a mixing bowl and seeing what happens when they are mixed together. What happens when you mix an egg or water with a whole bunch of dry ingredients? How do things change shape and color as their temperatures and textures change?

There are a ton of resources out there for making family friendly meals with your family. Here are just a few. Have fun and b…

Totsy - Save Up to 80% Off Retail Price for Top Children's Brands

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Every family knows the term "budget." For some the word is a fearful and dreaded thing, a rule only in place so that we can break it. For others, a budget is something that they just cannot live without, and everything has to fall precisely into the margins of the particular allowance.

I'm trying to budget everything better in my life. Not just financially, but also time wise and food wise. I spend a lot of time snacking, and it's no good. My time as the miracle automatic calorie burner (a breast feeding mom) is limited and will be coming to an end in the next couple of months. If I don't stop snacking, I'm going to seriously have to hit the gym later.

On that note, I never thought I would say this, but I have given up watching Grey's Anatomy. Seriously. That falls under the budgeting my time category. Sometime around the middle of last season, my husband asked me why I watch Grey's. Does it make me happy? How can it? The relationships are completely…

Fall Family Challenge: C is for Comfy Cozy

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It's no secret that fall is the perfect time of year to cuddle up and get cozy. Keep your family close this autumn as you engage in some cozy family activities!
  Take a Hayride
Plenty of farms have family hayrides this time of year. Now what is more cozy than curling up among some hay and taking a ride through the woods? Try to find a farm with additional activities for the family, and make a day out of it! Nothing ends a hay ride better than a donut and a hot cup of cocoa.
If your kids are a little bit older, they might be ready for the ever popular "haunted hayride" experience. (Parents, please do your homework and find out what kind of frights will be taking place before taking a haunted hayride. Not all are for youngsters!)

Brew Up a Hot Cider

After a chilly day of playing outside, make some delicious Carmel Apple Cider, by trying a recipe like this one from Disney's Family Fun:

Ingredients

CIDER
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups apple cider
1/…

Fall Family Challenge: B is for Big, Beautiful Backyard

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The winner of the Little Tumblebees Giveaway is Pat S. Congratulations! I have emailed you - you have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Thanks for everyone who participated!

For a long time now I have been wondering why customer service all over the place is so extremely poor. Last night, I realized that it's because all the best customer service representatives work for Disney. I am blown away by their professionalism and how courteous they are at all times. If you're planning on taking a Disney vacation, please book your entire trip (air, hotel, all accomodations) through them. They will make it worth your while!

Next spring my family is taking a vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. In all of our excitement, we booked the trip as soon as the package became available online (which is a good idea, to make sure you get the package you want for the price you want!)

Well yesterday we received a message saying that the flight we had booked to get there was …

Car Seat Safety

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I'm the type of mom that usually feels guilty about taking a nap when her child is napping, because Lord knows there are a million things to get done around the house. With this terrible cold though, yesterday my husband encouraged me to lie down for a few. What wonders rest does! I closed my eyes for what felt like 2 seconds and when I opened them it had already been 90 minutes. Today is a much better day though... I'm getting there!

I was trying to think back to my childhood and couldn't remember a single time that my mother was ever ill, when I realized that moms don't have time to be sick. I'm sure there were many times when she felt like crap, but she pushed through to get me to practice on time, keep my belly full, and make sure my play dates were fun. Thanks, mom. I only hope I can do the same for my kids!
Today is the LAST DAY to enter the Elephant Minky Stuffie Giveaway. Don't miss out! For full information on these adorable little critters from Littl…

Fall Family Challenge: A is for Apple Picking (and other Apple Activities!)

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Ah Fall, my favorite time of year! Nothing quite says Fall like the delicious American apple. An apple for the teacher, going apple picking, making apple pie and drinking apple cider... these are just a few of the many things that you can do with apples! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

A is for Apple Picking (and other Apple Activities!)

Apple Picking

September and October are known throughout most of the United State as prime apple picking season. Not sure where to start? Visit PickYourOwn.org for information about farms and orchards near you.

Apple picking can be a wonderful learning experience for your little ones!  Show your child how to find a nice, firm apple on a branch and how to gently pick it off. Can your child count how many apples they've picked? What observations can they make about how no two apples are exactly alike in size, shape or color? Let your child taste an apple and explain that the entire apple tree came from just one tiny appleseed! (By the wa…

Fall Family Challenge

Busy, busy weekend. Somehow both AJ and I came out of it with a terrible cold. She seems to be feeling better today, but I feel like I'm just getting worse. Fluids and vitamin C, to the rescue!

Over the weekend I was able to accomplish another task for my Day Zero Project - walk in a 5k. It's been on my list for quite awhile, and my family had the opportunity to walk in a local 5k to raise money for a little girl with a malignant brain tumor. The walk was great! In the moment, I felt that we should kick off every single weekend with a family 5k. On Sunday morning, my hips said otherwise. Haha, even though I walk regularly, on Saturday morning I was taking extra long strides to keep up with my tall husband, and it really did my hips in.

Anyways, I'm off to get some much needed rest. As you can tell from the timestamp, nap time at Holly's house didn't happen today. As AJ rapidly approaches 1 year, I am not looking forward to the day when we drop the morning nap and …

Funny on Friday

It's not too often that I see something that makes me laugh so hard that I cry. Here's a video from the Ellen show of a brother and sister who had their widsom teeth taken out on the same day.

The reason I find this so funny is because when I had my wisdom teeth taken out I cried for three straight days for no reason! I wish my poor parents would have filmed me.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone! Make sure to check out yesterday's post to enter the Little Tumblebees giveaway!

Family Fun with Wisdom Tooth Drugs - The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Little Tumblebees Review & Giveaway!!

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*Entry form must be completely filled out for eligibility to win product. Information will not be used for any other purpose other than to contact the winner.*

As I prepare for my daughter's 1st birthday, it was my first instinct to look to Etsy for creative and original party favors. I love Etsy! They proudly stand-by the mantra "Buy, Sell and Live Handmade" and they undoubtedly have the coolest items anywhere. I was thrilled when my simple search for "zoo" led me to the Little Tumblebees shop. I instantly fell in love!



Little Tumblebees signature items are these adorable minky stuffies that come in a wide variety of colors. In fact, shop owner Rachel Codiroli specializes in custom orders to create the perfect stuffie for your child. Here are a few of my favorites:





Now tell me what little girl or boy doesn't absolutely need one of these? I contacted shop owner Rachel about making miniature elephant stuffies for my daughter's November birthday party so th…

10 Proofs You Love Your Child More Than Yourself

Wednesday already! This week seems to be moving by at a tolerable pace. How do you like the new header? Not to brag, but, I did make it myself. I'm pretty proud.

There is something about being a parent, and a mom especially, that makes you feel guilty for spending any time or money on yourself. I noticed it myself growing up, that season after season my brother and I would get the new "cool" clothes, and my mom would be left wearing the same thing that'd she'd been wearing for the last 5 years, sometimes 10. Now, as a mom myself I think I finally get it.

It's a parent's natural instinct to put their children first. So when those decisions come around, doing anything nice for ourselves isn't first nature anymore. Do we get that pedicure? No, the baby needs new diapers this week. It's constantly excuses, usually financially related. I think that is how we somehow justify the decision in our minds. But trust me mom, you deserve to be taken care of …

Parenting & Public Embarrassment

Any parent knows that public embarrassment is one of the aspects of having children that cannot be avoided. It comes differently for different people - a blushing moment when a child cries out in church, a knocked over display at the grocery store, bleeding in a public pool and causing a temporary shutdown for cleaning, an infant screaming through an entire 3 hour flight. But like I said before, public embarrassment as a parent cannot be avoided. We might as well embrace it and learn to laugh at our mishaps before they happen, because as my mother always says, "There is no use crying over spilled milk." Life is too short to let the little things get to us.

On that note, I'd decided that I'd better keep track of these public embarrassments, because they will offer a good piece of evidence in the future. One day when my daughter is embarrassed that I even exist (as I know that day will come, though far down the road) I will remind her of these public embarrassments tha…

Which is Worse, Failing or Never Trying?

Happy Monday! Good Mondays usually follow great weekends, which is what I feel like I had. My husband took a break from his busy work and school schedule to take our daughter and me to the Metro Richmond Zoo, where I was able to accomplish the task of feeding a giraffe for my Day Zero Project. What fun! I'm fairly certain that just having the 101 in 1,001 list is making me a productive person. I'm currently 2% complete, with 982 days to go. Here's a short video of our zoo experience. (Don't worry, I sanitized the stroller tray immediately following the filming of this segment.)


As mentioned before, one of the tasks on my list is to answer all of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. Today's question:

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

I can see how this question can easily go both ways. For some people, the very thought of failure is scary enough to make them not want to try. For others, a huge failure is seen as a very successful try. For me, never tryin…

It's FREE! Children's Baby Juno DVD

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Juno Baby is a musical adventure for babies and children ages 0-5. Their DVDs and CDs feature Emmy-award winning music and all original characters that are fresh, lovable, and so cute!

Here is their story:

During this journey, we have collaborated with top researchers, artists and musicians to create an award-winning line of products. Our CDs, books and DVDs feature a cast of lovable characters that interact with your child, along with original music composed for and performed by live orchestral musicians. We are excited to be able to share our passion with you. Welcome to our family!
Recently Juno Baby teamed up with Heard It From a Mom to promote their musical project, which is where I found out about the little pig-tailed wonder. Heard It From a Mom is a marketing company based on the word of mouth (and blog) recommendations on products. After all, when it comes to advice for your baby, who knows better than another mom? Their product relays "empower Moms to share a real produc…

Play to Stop World Hunger

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Lately whenever I get bored of doing dishes and need to take a 10 minute breather, I head on over to Free Rice, the online game that donates rice through the World Food Programme to help stop world hunger. The basic game is a vocabulary quiz, and the scoring is easy. For every right answer, 10 grains of rice is donated and you automatically go to a harder level. For every wrong answer, you are given a slightly easier question, making this game perfect for anyone.

So my point is, a few minutes to yourself, a donation to stop world hunger, and a smarter and intelligent you? Now that is a quality game. Stop playing Farmville & Mafia Wars for a few minutes and help make a difference. If you tire of the vocabulary quiz, try your skills in one of their other subject areas, including math, Spanish, chemical symbols and world capitols.




From their website:

About FreeRice



FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. Our partner is the Berkman Center for Inte…

The Battle for Bedtime Bliss

Today marks the first day of school for many, the back-to-work for many others, and the unofficial first day of fall as well. It's also a bittersweet day for me, as I booked AJ's 1st birthday party at a local play area. One whole year to celebrate... how on earth did that happen? Granted, we still have two months to go, but I know it'll come before I can blink twice.

It's been a fantastic year of mommyhood, and the only thing missing is some more sleep. Bedtime has been a battle in our house since the day our daughter was born, and if there is one thing I have learned from talking to other moms it's that when your child isn't sleeping well, mom feels alone like she is the only parent who can't get their child to sleep all night long. It's because nobody brags that their kid wakes up every 45 minutes in the night. But really mom, you are not alone.

Bedtime is an art.

It really is. It needs to be timed precisely, choreographed correctly, and executed to …

How Old Would You Be If You Didn't Know How Old You Are?

One of the things I hope to accomplish for my Day Zero Project is answering all of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. It's a list of deep, conversation provoking questions that I found on a blog called Marc and Angel Hack Life. In particular, I thought it would be interesting to blog about because so often I get caught up in life that everything just becomes so straighforward, and the element of thinking deeply goes right out the window. Hopefully these questions will get my creative juices flowing and get me in better touch with myself.

Question No. 1: How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

I think the best indication for this question would be to ask my friends how old they think I am, because I am not sure that so many of them know! But that wouldn't be fair, I'm sure, so I guess I'll put it out there. My true age is 25. I was born in 1985, graduated high school in 2003, college in 2007, got married in 2008 and had my first child in 200…