Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beat the Heat and Take the Kids Bowling (FOR FREE!!)

School is just about out for the summer, and the age-old question comes back to all of us parents: how do we keep the kids entertained without busting our wallet? The pools and parks are great, but sometimes it's just too darn hot to be outside. Then what?

AMF has the answer this summer - the AMF Summer Unplugged program. Kids 16 and under can receive 2 FREE games of bowling every day from Memorial Day to Labor day. Wow!

How Does it Work??
Visit this link to find a participating AMF location near you and sign up! Program is good for two FREE games of bowling each day for kids 16 and under (does not include shoe rental). Free games must be played during open bowling before 8pm. Coupons will  be emailed to you each Sunday for the upcoming week.

Fun For the Whole Family
Just because the FREE games are reserved for kids 16 and under, doesn't mean that there can't be fun for the whoe family at a great deal. Families of registered kids can pay a ONE TIME fee of just $27.95 to allow up to 4 family members two FREE games of bowling every day for the summer. (It's called the AMF Summer 17 Plus Pass).

The website also has information on extras like children's meal combos, pin decorating contests, and learn-how-to-bowl gatherings, etc.

Make sure you don't miss the fun that AMF is offering up this summer!

Disclaimer: This post is written through a One2One Network campaign. The opinions in this post are entirely my own and may differ from yours. I was not compensated for this post, but will be entered to win prizes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Can Fix It Yourself, Mama

The drippy faucet, the clogged shower drain, the humming garbage disposal, and the consistently running toilet. For decades, these are problems that have plagued stay-at-home-moms and housewives everywhere.

When I was still working full-time, the little problems around the house didn't really bother me all that much, mostly because I wasn't around all the time to notice them. But the stay-at-home mom gets irritated by the little things easily - we all know that! 

I knew it wasn't fair to ask my husband to fix things. In the little time he has at home (he works full-time and is also going to school for his MBA) he needs to be relaxing and enjoying time with his daughter. I also knew that we don't have the money to call out a handy-man every time that we have a little problem at home.  With a little research and a simple tool set, I decided that I could at least attempt to solve promblems for myself.

Enter YouTube. With a little help from handy-men and women all around the world, you can follow simple 3-5 minute video instructions and fix up all the little problems yourself. So far, I've fixed our garbage disposal, hard to flush toilet, and clogged shower drain. It takes a little bit of a tough stomach (but what mom doesn't have that) but if you can get past the "ew, gross" factor, you should try fixing it yourself before hiring help.

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting you try fixing things that could be dangerous (ie electrical wiring problems, moving extremely heavy objects, etc.) If you know that a job is too big for you, it's best to start out by acquiring the right kind of assistance to get the job done.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Pimped-Out Kiddie Shopping Carts

Shopping with a toddler. As any mom well knows, you can barely get into the store without a sympathetic look from a woman shopping kid-free, or a better-you-than-me stare from a middle aged man. We all know it. Shopping with a toddler is not easy.

With AJ, shopping really has no middle ground. She's usually either fantastic, or a little devil. No in between.

And then one day as we went to the grocery store to pick up a few items, she spotted the pimped out shopping cart. She knew exactly what it was for, and climbed right on in.

Part shopping cart, part toddler dream - AJ was so happy to be driving and steering her way down the aisles of our local grocery store. "Beep, beep!" she would exclaim as she pounded on the horn.

Thank you pimped out shopping cart, for making our trip to the grocery store bearable. AJ even seemed to understand when it was time to load up the car and go home. She, thankful for her experience, said bye-bye to the car and we went happily on our way.

Too good to be true? Most things are.

Thanks to you, Pimped Out Shopping Cart, we can no longer have a normal shopping trip without you. When we arrived at Target and put AJ in the normal shopping cart, heavy sobs replaced the smiles that we once saw. My husband dug through corrals of shopping carts to find the special one that had "extra" toddler seats. You know the one I'm talking about. It wasn't any car, but it did keep the tears at bay long enough to pick up diapers and a new blender.

You're not always available, Pimped Out Shopping Cart. We're not the only ones that like you. Our local grocery store has three of you. I don't like competing for you. When I walk into the store, if you're not available my shopping trip is as good as finished. I might as well turn around and go home, because my daughter is only going to see other kids using you, and she is going to get very upset. I have to plan my shopping around when you're going to be available. It's a compromise for my sanity.

And though you are "cool" and "fun" for the kiddos, you still kind of creep me out Pimped Out Shopping Cart. You're grimey. Everytime I see you I see dirty little handprints all over you, and it takes everything I have to stave away my child while I use a handful of sanitizing wipes to clean you up again.

So as you can see, my emotions are mixed. What do you think about these shopping gadgets?

I just read an article about shopping carts that are not only equipped with cars, but have video consoles to keep the kids busy. Is this pushing the limits? Check it out here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Max on Life by Max Lucado {Book Review}

                       Max on Life                             
                          By Max Lucado

As a pastor, Max Lucado received a lot of questions. Difficult, the answer might change your life kind of questions. In his book, Max on Life, he attempts to answer 172 of the "tough questions" that Christians face these days. More than a few of them are the kind of questions that I'm sure you've pondered, but would never have the courage to ask a person of religious authority. Max doesn't promise to know all the answers, but he does direct each question to guidance in the scripture as well as using real life examples.

I enjoyed reading Max on Life. Max covers 7 categories of questions, including: Hope, Hurt, Help, Him/Her, Home, Haves/Have-Nots, and Hereafter. Whether you're a devout Christian, or you're not really sure what your place is in this world yet, Max on Life is the launching pad for the answers that you're seeking. Max answers questions such as:

  • I know the Bible says I'm forgiven. But my conscience says I'm not.
  • Is it okay for me to fire an unproductive worker? I'm a Christian, but I'm also a supervisor. How do I show love to a lazy employee?
  • If God cares for his people, why do Christians suffer persecution and violence?
  • What are we supposed to teach our children about sex?
  • Our family issue is money. How much should we spend, save and give?

Max on Life is a book to read once through, and then keep in your library for reference as you consult your Bible and other literature for more answers. There is a handy index that sorts the book by subject, so that you can always go back to those tough questions when they come up in your own life.

I liked that each of Max's question/answer pieces was roughly one page in length. They were easy to read and generally to the point. If you wanted, you could easily use this book as a daily devotional to pray on the tough subjects. Though I did appreciate the range and depth of the questions that Max answered in Max on Life, I do think that this book would be more meaningful to those who are already familiar with Max's ministry. I was not familiar with Max and his writing, so it took a bit of background history for me to learn why his answers were the way they were.

The last word: great Christian read answering some of life's tough questions while pointing to scripture for where you can find more guidance.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, May 13, 2011

If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

It's Friday, and I'm trying to get back into the swing of answering one of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind each week. The difficulty is that the questions seem to be getting more and more difficult. :) That's kind of how life goes though, isn't it?

If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Newborns come into this world knowing nothing at all. As parents, it's our responsibility to mold them into upstanding citizens and guide them in the ways of life. It's not easy. Nobody ever claims that it is; the fact is that once you're a parent, you'll always be a parent for the remainder or both yours and the child's life.
BUT - if I could only offer a newborn child one piece of advice to go out in the world with, it would be to
Know God.

I feel like it's a subject that I could write on and on about, but that I don't need to. The truth is that if you know God, and seek God, then everything else will fall into place. The difference between right and wrong will be revealed, the intuition for the meaning of your life will be known, and you will understand all the virtues of the world in their fullest meanings. If you always know where God stands in your life, your troubles will seem small and your heart will feel open, always. You'll know that life goes on after a heart-break, and that even though all of our prayers are not consistently answered, that it's only because God has His best intentions set for us. Only He knows. So make sure to know Him, dear newborn one. Everything else will come with ease.

I'm answering these questions as part of my Day Zero Project. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tithing by Douglas Leblanc {A Book Review}

Tithing: Test Me in This
By Douglas Leblanc

Tithing by Douglas Leblanc is part of The Ancient Practices Series. If you're a Christian looking for information on tithing, this is the book for you. It's relatively short, consise, and unjudging.

Tithing is the act of giving 1/10th, or 10%. This means different things for different people. For some it means giving 10% to their church, for others it means giving 10% to those in need. The tithe has long been a debate in the Christian community, and Leblanc does his best in this book to share the stories of 11 Christian and Jewish families and their personal takes on tithing.

I enjoyed reading Tithing. The personal stories were both touching and inspirational. Time after time, the stories came back to their title theme: test me in this, from Malachi 3:10:

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

Even though the stories and the backgrounds of the families featured in Tithing are very different, the message that comes forward is very similar. Tithing is trusting God with your money, that He will do with it good things, and that the Bible literally says that we can test him in this. As a person who has been new to tithing in the last year, this book spoke volumes to me. My husband and I, still in our 20's, have a lot of debt from college, etc. We are approaching the tithe in a graduated way, which is also described in the book. This book also offers a glimpse of financial responsibility. It has been said that you can look at your bank statement and see exactly where you're worshipping (where you're spending your money).

I recommend this book to Christians looking for an open forum of tithing stories. It's a book to read and to draw your own conclusions from.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Tithing by Douglas Leblanc from BookSneeze. I was in no other way compensated, and the opinions in this review are my own. They may differ from yours.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BabyLegs Review and Giveaway! Win a Grab Bag Worth $50

I love BabyLegs in the Spring. There isn't anything more practical and reliable for those little legs on chilly mornings and cool evenings, when the day between is warm. Just carry them along in your diaper bag and use them as needed. There's no better way to add style to your toddler's wardrobe! (And as my BabyLegs drawer can attest... we're big fans in our household.) I was thrilled to review some of BabyLegs Spring Line, and you better believe I've got another giveaway for you - a BabyLegs Grab Bag worth $50!

AJ rockin' the Blooms Leg Warmers

One of the items we reviewed this Spring is the Blooms Leg Warmers. LOVE them! One of the greatest thing about these little leg warmers is that they are going to provide years of style for my little girl. BabyLegs one-size-fits-most leg warmers are stretchy, stylish, and made to last. Not to mention they are the perfect accessory to any outfit. Everytime AJ wears BabyLegs out we get complimented.
Look at that cute little bum!

We also reviewed the Juicy Girls Tights. This was our first time trying footless tights and I think that we're hooked! These juicy little watermelon tights are so cute and look absolutely perfect with a little jean skirt. They are sturdy enough to last on those baby knees if your child is still crawling, and because they are footless they look perfect with socks/shoes, sandals or little barefeet. If you're not into the footless tights, BabyLegs also sells full length tights with grips on the feet - which I'm sure you know are pretty hard to find!

We also love BabyLegs for socks. The funky patterns add a little flair to any outfit, and the grips are better than most other brands we've tried. We were sent the Love Bug Socks set.

I just can't say enough about how much we love our BabyLegs. Now that our 18 month old is beginning to learn about the potty, we pretty much live in our BabyLegs. We don't have to worry about pulling pants up and down and wasting any time. 

Some of the other styles AJ is wearing this Spring are below: 


Here's your chance to win a BabyLegs Grab Bag worth $50!

For girls, this prize package will include two pairs of leg warmers, one pair of tights, and one package of socks.

For boys, this prize package will include two pairs of leg warmers and two packages of socks.


Mandatory Entry (MUST do one of the following):   
    - Like BabyLegs on Facebook
    - Follow BabyLegs on Twitter

Extra Entries (Optional):
   - Follow Holly at Nap Time publicly on Google Friend Connect (right sidebar)
   - Subscribe to Holly at Nap Time via Email (right sidebar, must confirm subscription)
   - Like Holly at Nap Time on Facebook

Disclaimer: I received free samples of BabyLegs products in return for this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Talking to Your Tween About Personal Hygiene - Before They Start to Smell!

I remember when I was around eleven years old, our school teacher sat us all down and did her best to create a fun lecture about personal hygiene and how we were all old enough, and privileged enough to start using deodorant. She then passed around miniature sticks of deodorant for all of us, and I remember that my friends and I felt so cool to take this very adult step.
Looking back on it, I'm not sure whether or not this was standard public school protocal at the time, or whether there was a stinky kid in the class that my teacher had taken pity on, but this suttle approach to our changing bodies was just right.

Unilever is taking a similar approach, offering support to tweens and parents alike, in a new campaign called Don't Fret the Sweat.
Also, don't forget to check out Facebook.com/DontFretTheSweat for money saving offers and tips from the experts. Parents can also get valuavle information about how other parents are communicating and transitional their tweens into their teens without getting too stressed out.

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this post. It is written in accordance with my membership to the One2OneNetwork and I will be entered to win prizes. The thoughts and opinions are my own and may differ from yours.