Keep Momming

   I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. #Sponsored

 

As an actress, a public health advocate and former journalist, Holly Robinson Peete has seen it all. And as a mother of four, she’s encountered just about every parenting challenge you can imagine. One of her biggest challenges as mom is building and maintaining a close relationship with her teenage daughter, Ryan.

The mother-daughter relationship is a unique one, and that dynamic can be even trickier during the tween years. Yet sometimes, people dismiss certain behaviors as “typical tween girl behavior” when those behaviors can be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Since inattentive symptoms can be less noticeable than hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, it is important that moms know what to look for.

I’m proud to be joining forces with Shire, CHADD and Holly Robinson Peete to announce the launch of keep momming, a new public service initiative geared towards the moms of tween girls to raise awareness of ADHD.

The campaign is anchored within a new digital hub, KeepMomming.com, where you’ll find tips, tools and other go-to resources for moms, including a checklist to help recognize the symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity – and then encourages moms to talk to their daughter’s doctor. The keep momming initiative can help moms learn about ADHD and provide ideas on how to spark a conversation and stay connected with their tween.

Don’t miss Holly’s message about the keep momming initiative, and be sure to check out the website at KeepMomming.com.

 

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Boys & Girls Clubs of America + #CyberSafety with the #Cybertribe #MC #Sponsored

 

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I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for BGCA. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #CyberSafe #CyberTribe #MC #sponsored

In case you missed it, June is National Internet Safety Month. It’s a great time to brush up on internet safety tips and be aware of issues like cyber-bullying and privacy settings. Here is a great video highlighting some great information about Social Networking from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Cyber Tribe.

I have to admit I do consider myself to be pretty cyber savvy as a blogger, but even I didn’t know that 51% of teen said they have given out personal information online and I don’t know more than half of those code words teens are using these days like LMIRL which means “Let’s meet in real life”. Pretty scary right?

The Boys & Girls Club is running it’s Cyber Safe Futures campaign to spread awareness about Internet Safety. This year they have turned the tables have asked real life expert teens, the “CyberTribe,” to answer your cyber safety questions throughout the month of June. Pretty cool right? I know this will get my preteens more interested in cyber safety and I feel like it helps give adults a better view of their world online.

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As part of the Cyber Safe Futures campaign, parents can ask the Cyber Tribe questions and they can also learn more about cyberbullying, online privacy, social networking, and mobile smarts through an abundance of resources. One resource is an online glossary to help parent stay on top of technology and social network trends. BGCA is also entering everyone who submits a question to the CyberTribe into a raffle to win one of three grand prizes — an iPad and $500 to the Club of your choice!

I encourage you to check out the Cyber Safe site and take advantage of the resources available. While you’re there, make sure you submit your questions to be entered into the raffle!

Are you a Cyber Smart Parent? Take the Cyber Smart Parent Quiz to find out!

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Good Cook ProFRESHIONAL Cut Fruit Bowl + Watermelon Cooler + Giveaway #freshfuitbowl #BBBProduct

Good Cook Fresh Fruit Bowl

 

As a part of the Good Cook Blogger program I was sent a ProFreshionals Cut Fruit Bowl and it’s huge! A whole 7 quarts of capacity, I knew I’d be filling that baby with a whole bunch of watermelon because the kids and I LOVE watermelon!

This bowl is perfect for watermelon as you can see from the pictures below it has a strainer built in which allows the juice to drain out and keep your fruit fresher longer!

Good Cook Profreshionals Bowl

In college I worked in food service part time, and there was a very lovely lady named Karen, who taught me how to cut a watermelon. I was the Salad Bar Girl at NM State as Rey would call me. Below you will find the step by step how to.

Good Cook Fresh Fruit Bowl-How to cute a watermelon

 After your watermelon is cut place it into your bowl. I leave it in sticks rather than cut further because it’s easier for the kids to grab and well let’s face it-as much as I would love for them to use a fork they never do.

Sadie+Cay

The watermelon can now be used to make a simple, but refreshing watermelon cooler!

Watermelon Cooler How To

 Recipe for Watermelon Cooler

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon chunks (1/4 of a medium watermelon)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Sweetener of choice if you desire (optional)

Tools you will need:

  • Knife
  • Strainer
  • Juicing tool for lime
  • Blender
  • Glass to serve
  • Cutting Board
  1. Add ice and watermelon as much as you can to the blender. No need to worry if it doesn’t all fit you can throw in more later.
  2. Juice the lime, I started with half of the lime juice and that was enough for us.
  3. Add a sweetener which is optional. Our watermelon was plenty sweet so no need.
  4. Blend until well mixed. Add more watermelon now if you need too.
  5. Strain into a glass and enjoy!

 

Watermelon Cooler

 

 

If you are looking for a way to keep your cut fruit fresher for longer, you might want to grab your own ProFreshionals Cut Fruit Bowl exclusively at Bed Bath & Beyond (click here to go straight to the Bowl).

Or you can enter to win one here!

Good Cook Profreshionals Bowl

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Prizing and information for this giveaway has been provided by Good Cook; however, all opinions here are my own. The winner will be randomly selected via promosimple. The winner will receive an email from me the day after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to notification email; Prize will be forfeited and Mom 2 54321 will choose a runner up if no response is received in that time frame.

No purchase necessary to enter. The number of eligible entries receives determines the odds of winning. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited. Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery of your prize.

Good Cook Giveaway Rules:

  • One prize per household for each Good Cook event. For example, if someone wins on 2 or more blogs, they – or their family members – will only receive one prize from that event.
  • If a household has won a prize in a previous Good Cook event, they are not eligible win again for 6 months.
  • If a household has won more than one prize in a previous Good Cook event (prior to the one-win-in-six-months rule), they aren’t eligible win again for 12 months.
    Good Cook Bloggers and Good Cook Kitchen Experts are not eligible to win prizes in Good Cook sponsored events, whether or not they participated in the event or not.
  • Good Cook will confirm that winners are eligible and will disqualify anyone who has won more than once.
  • Prizes ship from Good Cook and can take 8-10 weeks after the contest ends, unless otherwise stated. You must be 18 or older to win. US shipping addresses only.
  • Good Cook reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value if sufficient inventory is not available.

 

Pinkalicious Party

This post does contain affiliated links to help support my family, thank you for your support. 

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If you don’t know who, or what, Pinkalicous is, it’s a book series from Victoria Kann based on a little girl who loves pink, cupcakes, and her imaginary unicorn Goldilicous. We actually won a set of three books about a year ago and Sadie immediately fell in love with them! Which is why she wanted to have a Pinkalicous themed party.

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Dress up and photo ops are always fun! We got the props from the Dollar Store.

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We posted a Pinkitius warning on the front door that I created, so cute!  I found the idea on Pinterest, but created my own.

Most of the party decor was clearance from Valentine’s Day. I plan far in advance for parties and stock up on clearance items to save money.

We also had green food to go goodie bags to help the kids cure their pinkitius.

These are the links for the signs I created. The true blue cure for PINKITIUS WARNING Pinkitius

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I was determined to make this cake I found on pinterest! I tried to and learned ALOT! I used marshmallow fondant, regular icing, and I used a mix of regular cake mix and pound cake mix.

Tip #1 Use dowels for a layered cake, #2 Keep it in the fridge until party time, #3 Always have twice as much icing as you think you will need, and lastly, #4 Use pound cake much more sturdy.

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This was one of our photo opportunities and it turned out amazing, thanks to my mom! She did a great job! All the supplies came from Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store.

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Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake.

Another creation from my mom.

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Here are our sweets and treats on our amazing lemonade stand-that my mom and brother made.

We served pink popcorn, pink pretzels, pink lolipops, pink marshmallow pops, and of course pink lemonade.

We also let the kids color a pink cupcake and decorate their own wand.

Here is the link to my Pinkalicous Party Board on Pinterest where I get all my party planning ides from.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found some inspiration.

Ideas for Picky Eaters & Little Ones

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Is lunch time a hassle some days? Trying to sell your child on why they should eat this or taste that? It sure is here some days! Drives me nuts, but here are a few simple, practical, and easy ideas to help with picky eaters.

  1. Serve one item you know they will eat without complaint. For us that is fruit, rice/quinoa, or a bread.Once they finish this then bargain-“If you want more (item they love) then you have to try this (item they are avoiding).” “Could you please try (item they are avoiding) then I can give you more of (item they love).”
  2. Don’t allow them to snack all day-because they won’t be hungry for meal times. Try to communicate that food is a nourishment to our bodies to keep our bodies strong and healthy. Have set times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have two snack times morning and afternoon, set something up that works for your families schedule.
  3. Don’t go overly crazy strict diet on them. I am a fairly healthy eater and cook, except on Fridays, and holidays, then its all free game! Fridays they are allowed to have Hot Cheetos for snack (they LOVE them!), pizza, popcorn, 1 soda, and sometimes candy.

 Now for some ideas!

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 My little ones LOVE fruit! So that’s what I focus on! Meat not so much, and I’m okay with that they don’t have to have it at every meal because we can sub in another protein like, yogurt, cheese, beans, or nut butters. They love sausage, so knowing that I try to balance breakfast and lunch.

Tip: Try mini food items that are perfect for little hands, they are always loved in our house.

Ideas2

Frozen yogurt, cheese, and beans are staples in our lunches for a few reasons they are easy, quick, and eaten. We also love these Annie’s cheddar bunnies!

Tip: For fruits and veggies try cutting them in kid friendly shapes and sizes. For the girls (3yrs and 4yrs) I do cucumber pinwheels. and small pieces of fruits and melons. For Ezra (1 yr) I do sticks of melon, apples, and whole strawberries with tiny squares of banana.

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Of course Nutella is also a staple in our lunches, too. Get creative with leftovers from breakfast and the night before. Like leftover waffles with Nutella and strawberries. Beans from the night before made into a burritos or tacos.

Tip: I love these plates because the kids love them! They are also great for portion control, plus they were less than a $1 on clearance at Target every time a new season rolls around they clearance the old stock!

Here is a handy list of great foods for kids:

  • Beans
  • Soft shreds/slices of Chicken
  • Ground Beef
  • Eggs
  • Cream Cheese
  • String cheese
  • Yogurt sticks
  • Pretzels
  • Bagels
  • Tortillas
  • Pancakes
  • Pastas
  • Waffles
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Corn Bread
  • Muffins
  • Breads (Banana, Zucchini, and Apple)
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Mandarin cups in juice
  • Carrots
  • Peaches
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Sugar Snap
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash (zucchini, butternut, and yellow)
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuces
  • Edamame

This graphic always helps me remember what a great source of protein veggies are!

Protiens

Thanks to the GIVE PROJECT for this amazing graphic!

 

Important Tips for Transitioning Babies to Table Foods

  • Start increasing the thickness of their baby foods. Then move on to puffs made for babies. Once they have mastered the puffs you can move onto foods like bananas, avocados, noodles, and soft breads.
  • It is important to note all babies are different and develop at their own rate. Some have top and bottom teeth by the time they are 6 months some, like mine, at a year, are barely getting top teeth.
  • Make sure everything you give your baby for the first time is closely monitored. Most foods Ezra was able to handle with his two bottom teeth, but it was a lot easier for him when the top two came in.
  • Stay calm if your baby coughs,chokes, or gags it will happen. If you freak out they will freak out. If they are coughing, choking, or gagging on a food frequently, stop giving it to them and re-introduce at a later date. Don’t give up or they will. Ezra does this ALL THE TIME!
  • Cut food into small pieces so they can chew it easily.  Cut beans in half and make sure meats are soft and moist. It may help to precook carrots, broccoli, and sugar snap peas. Help your baby with foods that are difficult to pick up, don’t make the pieces bigger until you are sure they can manage them. Ezra does really well with stick of foods and he nibbles on them.

Do you have any great lunch combinations? Or ideas for picky eaters? Share them below, I’d love to hear them!

5 Dinners in 1 Hour

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Have you heard of 5 Dinners in 1 Hour or have you seen this button on my side bar?

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If you want effortless, delicious weeknight dinners your family will love, I would like to tell you about this great program!

They make meal planning as easy as 1-2-3 and you’re done!

  1. SHOP-They will send you a menu and list that is ready for the grocery store
  2. PREP-They will send you detailed 1 hour preparation instructions to have 5 meals ready to go each week!
  3. COOK-Then all that is left to do is set the timer bake, broil, slow cook, or grill and serve your family healthy food!

I understand how busy we can all get with work, housework, homework, school functions, and kids after school activities. Sometimes we just have to serve our families a fast food drive thru dinner, but I always feel so guilty afterwards…I could have prepped ahead and avoided this and now this program gives me no excuses to do just that.

They offer three different Menu types (Each menu plan feeds 4-6. Each menu plan includes a menu, grocery list, preparations directions, side dish suggestions, and cooking instructions.):

  • Classic- Save time, money, and calories with this menu.
  • Clean Eating- Offers Natural/Organic meals with easy to find familiar ingredients that are kid and budget friendly.
  • Gluten Free- Give those who eat gluten free an easy way to do so.

They also offer 3 different types of subscriptions:

  1. 3 months of menus for $20.00
  2. 6 months of Menus for $40.00
  3. 12 months of Menus for $72.00 PLUS access to 6 months of archives.

You can also test them out risk free by signing up to receive a sample menu! Just click here to do so.

You can also see a sample of a grocery list , an example of a clean eating menu, and an example of a gluten free menu on their site.

Hope this will help you out on your menu planning journey! They have really given me some great ideas and tools to use in my own! 🙂

Ezra’s Little Man Mustache Bash

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Our bash went down on a rainy Saturday, but we all still really enjoyed celebrating our little man’s first birthday!

Here is all the decor and food pictures I was able to take right before everyone arrived!

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Double stick tape is my secret to headache proof decor!

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I made the cake with a regular cake mix and used brownies to punch out the little mustaches.

MustacheBash4

We served mini cheeseburgers, chips, and juices. We also had the Bacon Cheeseburger Salad pictured above which was so good! Then topped it all off with more sweet treats (no spread sugar cookies, marshmallow pops, and candy coated pretzels). Last, but not least candy bags of course packed with clearance V-day candy!

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He was loving that cookie! 🙂

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MustacheBash8

Happy Baby, Happy Momma! It was a great day! 🙂

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Thanks for joining us and reading along! 🙂 Have a great day!

For more information on how to plan your own bash see my Planning a Little Man Mustache Bash post!

Planning a Little Man Mustache Bash

Littlemanmustachebash

For Ezra’s first birthday I decided to do a Little Man Mustache Bash!

Here are all the online tools, diy decor, and ideas that I used for my party!

FreeMustacheBashPrintables

I used these free printables to add color to my party! Click the picture to access them.

I also created these cute little signs for the party!

MustacheBashSigns

I printed out the signs I wanted, then trimmed them down. I used double stick tape to adhere them onto the colored card stock.

If you would like to use these signs click any one of the pictures below to get my printable link.

Set1MustacheBashSigns

Set2MustacheBashSigns

Set3MustacheBashSigns

Here is the photo booth that I created!

LittleManMustacheBashPhotoBooth

The frame came from Hobby Lobby and the fabric from Jo-Ann’s (both on clearance!). My mom purchased these props for us, but you can easily print some onto card stock and adhere them to sticks. The jar I used to hold them is an old mason jar that I stuffed with tissue paper then I put on mustache stickers.

Here are the utensil holders , thank you boxes, candy bags, and the prize jars I created!

MustacheBashDecor

The top right are the utensil holders which are made from old mason jars like the prop holder.The middle right picture are the thank you boxes I made which have cute little mustache whistlers, both from Hobby Lobby. The bottom right are the candy bags which are also from Hobby Lobby. The left picture are the prize jars for the games we will be playing. These are made from old spaghetti sauce jars and decorated with duck tape.

These are the t-shirts I made and found for the kiddos to wear for the party!

Kidsshirtsforstacheparty

The two shirt on the left I was able to make fairly easily with downloading the fonts I wanted, creating the message and then uploading it onto the Avery.com software and printing it. The two shirts on the right I found on clearance! SCORE!

I used this product to make my shirts.

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I will write another post with all the party pics, soon! Thanks for following along! Enjoy your day! 🙂

To see how it all turned out click here!

A Moms Guide to the Phoenix Zoo

PhoenixZooPost

The Phoenix Zoo has something for everyone, whether you are into traditional zoo animals, farm animals, or a bit more adventurous and enjoy zip-lining. It is one of the best Zoo’s I have been too! I am very glad I was able to experience it with our kiddos and can’t wait to go back!

What you need to know before you go:

  • There is an ATM available where you will be purchasing your tickets.
  • Strollers & Wheelchairs are available for rental.
  • They do have a safari train which will give you a tour of the zoo.
  • They so sale food & drinks but be prepared for sticker shock!
  • You can bring in your own food & drinks!
  • You will have to walk through the gift shop to exit the zoo.
  • When you are walking into the zoo, after you cross the bridge, a photographer will try to stop you for a family photo, which is nice if you don’t want to stop someone to take one for you. They will give you a paper with your photo numbers on it-don’t lose it because when you exit the zoo there will be a photo booth where you can see your photos and purchase photo prints or novelties.

Zoohours

Zooattractions

What you need to pack and what you should wear:

  • Lots of WATER, some frozen bottles too
  • Sunscreen
  • A picnic style lunch with a blanket in case the zoo is packed and there are no picnic tables available. Not that my kids wouldn’t love sitting on a blanket for lunch.
  • Easy to grab on the go snacks. Frozen grapes are yummy!
  • A fully charged phone or camera. There are a lot of amazing photo opportunities you won’t want to miss!
  • Comfortable clothing and walking shoes. During the summer season light colored, breathable fabrics are best and during the winter season dress in layers because while it is cooler in the morning hours it heats up quick (Phoenix is still warm in winter).

If you are looking to save some money I would advise you keep an eye out for this handy brochure in hotel lobbies as it can save you on admission.

PZ

Admission is $20.00 for adults and $10 for kids. Children 2 and under are free!

It took us 3 hours to walk through the Zoo without straying from the main trail but once or twice.

Here are some of those great photo opportunities I was talking about!

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          PZ4(2) PZ6(2)

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There were so many more but my phone died! So remember to charge those batteries!

We had our picture taken by the Zoo photographer and this is what we purchased as a souvenir on our way out!

It’s a key chain! It was around $10.

Zoo Magnet

National Mom’s Nite Out!

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The house is a mess, the children are covered in nutella, and the baby just woke up wailing-all I want is some peace so I can get some work done. How many of us have been there? Yup, just about all of us-if you haven’t you must have a really good sleeper or an only child.

This calls for a Mom’s Night Out! Two states have already declared this an actual day New York and Nevada! This year Mom’s Night Out will be bigger than ever because of the release of the official Moms’ Night Out Movie in theaters May 9th.

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Here is a link to the Movie Trailer!

‘Moms’ Night Out’ is produced by Kevin Downes to be distributed by AFFIRM Films and Provident Films.

Mom’s Night Out’ is a fast-paced, family comedy about four moms scheduling a night out where everything can and will go wrong, yet it all turns out just fine in the end. The film features a fantastic lineup of stars like Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy), Sean Astin (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle), Alex Kendrick (COURAGEOUS), Robert Amaya (COURAGEOUS), Andrea Logan White (REVELATION ROAD) and Kevin Downes (COURAGEOUS). Platinum-selling country recording artist Trace Adkins (THE LINCOLN LAWYER) is “Bones,” a philosophical tattoo artist with a checkered past and a load of wisdom. This star-studded cast is sure to give an accurate portrayal of some of the hilarious situations Moms have found themselves in at one time or another in the wonderful world of parenting.

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