Parents must challenge and encourage the development of children’s brains beginning in infancy and continuing through adolescence. In the early years...
I have been meaning to write up a blog post on my trip to Phoenix a few weekends ago. It was my first trip without my husband or kids in I think 7...
I have not been well this week. Mentally I mean. I feel so scattered and like I just can't complete anything. I need to step back and re-evaluate my time and...
I have scoliosis and when I was a child I had two surgeries to keep the curve of my spine from getting worse. My first surgery was when I was 4. My spine was...
The next big project we are working on in our home is a bench seat toy box for our kid's play room...
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
|image source: travel-essence.co.uk|
Making it affordable
With the growth in the cruise trade came an increase in the number of interested passengers, helping to bring the overall cost of a cruise vacation down. There are other tricks to grabbing yourself and the rest of the family a deal as well, such as booking either very early or very late.
Early bird specials, which generally mean booking your cruise six to twelve months in advance, can get you up to as much as a 50% decrease in price if you're in the right (cyber!) place at the right time. So, it pays to plan ahead! Get that trip on the calendar and start counting down the days to departure.
If you have a flexible schedule and don’t mind what type of cabin you stay in, it also pays to wait. Booking last minute can lead to incredible deals (sometimes you can bag a week in the Caribbean for less than $500!), as cruise lines want to ensure the boat is full, or at least nearly full.
You can find cruise ships and itineraries perfect for you, the kids, your parents and anyone else under the sun (no pun intended!) these days. There are cruise holidays designed for couples, families, those who enjoy more of a party atmosphere and those who just want to relax. Actually, booking a cruise can be overwhelming at times because there really is just that much choice!
Activities on board can range from zip lining to shooting hoops on a full-size basketball court to getting a facial at the spa. You can even find cruise ships fitted with an ice rink - a sure way to keep the kids cool after so much time in the hot Caribbean sun! Never a shortage of activities, a cruise holiday makes the dreaded words “Mommy, I'm bored!” history (at least until the end of the cruise!)
Being in the thick of it
The fun continues off the boat in the various ports the ship stops in. Caribbean cruises alone can take you to some of the most beautiful and interesting destinations in the world. You can spend the day in places such as Nassau, Bahamas; St. Johns, Antigua or San Juan, Puerto Rico, for example.
There are simply loads of things you can do while you're on a cruise. You can jump on a Jeep safari or stroll through a local market. If you simply can’t get enough of the sea, you can swim with the sea life. Cruises can give you a taste — often quite literally! — of the local culture of several different cities and nations. Adventure around every corner, it’s an experience you and the kids will never forget.
So, consider a cruise for an affordable, adventurous family trip!
Around The World With Kids (and Loving It) - Caribbean Cruises: When contemporary cruise… http://t.co/Zg6MKT0rdD
— Heather (@mommyonlyhs2hds) April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Welcome to the
Spring Amazing Comfort Sweepstakes
Sponsored by QiPillow
Organized by Mom Powered Media
With Special Thanks to...
What is so unique about this pillow? Unlike other orthopedic pillows, the QiPillow contours to the lower back using its own unique air-controlled orthopedic core. By inflating and deflating the pillow, it can adjust to the contours of your back, and lessen or eliminate muscle fatigue and back pain. Since it can be completely deflated, it can easily be folded and thrown in a bag, allowing you to use it at home, in the office, or even while driving. The QiPillow had great results in independent clinical studies, which showed that the QiPillow helped 91% of users improve sitting comfort and posture while relieving back pain, stiffness, and fatigue. With the QiPillow, you can take control of your back pain, allowing you to relax and enjoy the things you love!
Would you love to learn more about the QiPillow? Due to popular demand, the QiPillow is coming back to QVC on April 15! Join host Jaque Gonzales and the inventor of the Qipillow, Patrick Lee, as they discuss this revolutionary pillow and how it can help you. You may even find this pillow even cheaper than its recommended price of $49.95! So mark your calendar and make sure to check out the QiPillow on QVC's Active Aging on April 15 between 1 - 2 PM ET!
To celebrate the QiPillow returning to QVC, Mom Powered Media is excited to be working with QiPillow on this awesome giveaway! One of our lucky readers will win a $250 Amazon Gift card, which they can use to make their life even more comfortable. To learn more, make sure to read the rules below and the enter through the Rafflecopter.
Spring Amazing Comfort Sweepstakes
- One lucky reader will win a $250 Amazon Gift Card.
- Open to US & Canada.
- Winners will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter via Random.org.
- Sweepstakes ends April 26th at 11:59pm ET.
- Winner will be notified via email.
- Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
- Mom Powered Media & associated bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.
- Must be 18 years or older to enter Rafflecopter.
- Only one entrant per household.
- Void where prohibited.
- Entering the Rafflecopter means you agree to terms above.
- Good Luck!
Thrush is a yeast infection that’s not harmful for baby, but it can irritate baby’s mouth during feeding and it can even be painful. Here’s how to tell if your baby has it and what you can do about it.
The Location Of The Suspected Thrush
According to New York Family & Pediatric Dental Care, thrush can be located in one of several places. It’s usually visible on the inside of the cheeks, lips, and on the gums. It can even take hold on the tongue. If your baby has it, it will usually spread to at least three different places inside the mouth. A thin coating on the tongue might only be milk, so don’t freak out. However, if it’s a thick coating, and it won’t come off, it’s time to investigate things further.
Does Not Easily Wipe Off
When you cannot use your finger to remove the white film, it’s probably more than just milk. In fact, the yeast infection is so sticky, that it can cause bleeding when removed.
Thrush is usually a persistent little bugger - hanging around for weeks on end. If you notice white, milky, patches that come and go, it’s probably not thrush. However, if the patches do not easily wipe away, there’s your first clue.
Associated Symptoms and Causes
If baby is breastfeeding, he is at a higher risk for thrush than normal. Also, if you’re on antibiotics (and you’re the mother), baby has an increased risk for thrush. That’s because antibiotics kill bacteria - both beneficial and harmful. And, the breastfeeding is passing these antibiotics on to baby, disrupting the bacterial ecology in baby’s body. This, in turn, allows pathogenic bacteria or yeasts to take hold.
How To Treat Thrush
Thankfully, thrush can be easily treated. You have a few options. If you prefer more natural approaches, you can try acidophilus. This friendly bacteria lives in your mouth and intestines. By giving it to baby, you help fight the infection - the bacteria can start to overwhelm and push out the yeast.
You can also try using Nystatin. It’s a prescription anti-fungal liquid that you squirt or paint with a q-tip in baby’s mouth. The solution kills the yeast infection in about 5 days.
Finally, don’t forget to clean everything that goes into baby’s mouth. Toys, bottles, and other things that baby regularly chews or sucks on may become contaminated with the yeast, unknowingly. To clean bottle nipples or pacifiers, boil them for 20 minutes every day. This will eradicate the yeast living on them. Wash toys in hot, soapy, water. Oh, and don’t forget to treat mom’s nipples. Clean them with either white vinegar or Nystatin after each nursing.
I love reviewing toys for my kiddos and was excited to be able to review this cute plush bunny powered by your IOS software! When I received Tutu in the mail, I was happy to see the user-friendly the packaging. The box tells you exactly what apple devices it works with.
Tutu is a cute plush bunny that your iPod or iPhone zips into. Tutu uses magic touch software and comes with an apple, carrot, milk, toothbrush and a ring that works with the app. Additionally, Tutu is more interactive than your traditional toy. When Tutu is feeling tired, you can rock her to sleep, or when Tutu needs her teeth brushed, she'll tell you! Teeth brushing can be a struggle in a lot of families, so I like that that toy encourages good brushing. Another one of Tutu's great features is that she is specifically designed to help nurture your child's softer side and can teach your child how to console and take care of others. Tutu will tell you when she's hungry, thirsty or sleepy. Tutu takes every day play, to the next level.
In addition to taking care of Tutu, children can play games on Tutu. One engaging game is matching pictures. Matching pictures is important for a child's cognitive development. Being able to put together puzzles and match up two sides of a picture helps aid in reading and writing.
Another game is counting all the fruit of one kind. It helps kids with their motor skills as well as mathematics. As kids progress in the game and get better, it is timed to see how many falling fruit they can count before the timer ends.
Another game is kind of like a "Simon Says" game. You have to hit the same sequence of tiles highlighted, once you hit the entire sequence, it will play a song.
The fourth game is fun even for adults! You have to squeeze nectar out of a flower and it shoots up to the bee's honey pots. Once their pots have filled up, you have very happy bees! When a child gets better at this game, other obstacles are thrown in, like dodging hungry hummingbirds or dragon flies that also want the nectar. These games were definitely interesting for my son, and I'm glad Tutu comes with the option to play them.
You can learn more about Tutu Here:
We are excited for the makers to come out with Didi, a plush teddy bear just like Tutu. My son's first reaction to Tutu was, "Is that for girls?" but after I encouraged him to give Tutu a try, he had fun playing games on Tutu and feeding her.
Tutu is a great accessory to the smartphone or an ipod that your child uses to play games on, and I love that your device can be safely displayed and used in a soft plush bunny suitable for active little children.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
The idea was to just tag along with Hunky Hubs for a change of scenery.
And that we got.
|One of the rare quiet moments with the kids at the hotel.|
Since Scott's work put us very close to the airport, we spent much time watching planes land with the boys.
We did hit a mall play area so I could chit chat with a friend one afternoon and spent $4 bucks on an indoor carousel that had my 2 year old beaming from ear to ear. We spent a morning at the hotel pool, but we couldn't spend too much money as we are saving up a lot of change for our DisneyLand trip we plan on taking before JJ starts school.
|Mr. B on a carousel. First time ever! He was so happy!|
In the comfort of our own home!
I don't have to worry about screaming boys running down the halls of the hotel wanting to hit the elevator buttons and trying oh so hard to keep them quiet.
We are home!
Home is where the heart is. I really believe that now!
Saturday, April 12, 2014
For your ribbon wreath, you will need a basic wreath form available at craft stores, such as a Styrofoam wreath. The ribbon you need is based on your personal preference, but burlap, deco poly mesh, and chevron ribbon work well. For example, you may prefer to make a holiday wreath out of Christmas ribbon. You may prefer a more modern ombre wreath. Ruffled felt provides a textural interest in the piece. Some crafters prefer to use a base ribbon to hide the Styrofoam, such as a white satin ribbon. Whatever ribbon you decide to use, try to keep the width at one inch or less. You need about seven spools of ribbon for a 12-inch wreath. You will also need scissors to cut the ribbon, straight pins and any embellishments you want to add.
Begin Prep Work
Cover the wreath with your base color, if you prefer. Do this by wrapping the ribbon around the wreath at a 45-degree angle, covering about half of the previous rotation with the new rotation until the wreath is fully covered by the ribbon. Stick straight pins into the ribbon where the ribbon started and ended. Cut the ribbon that you plan to use to color the wreath into pieces of about seven to eight inches in length. You probably want to work with several different colors that coordinate together.
Roll Your Ribbon
Take each piece of ribbon that you have cut and roll them into small circles. Stick a straight pin through the middle of each piece of ribbon. If you have craft buddies or older children, this is the perfect opportunity to get help while you talk about your projects.
If you are adding anything to the ribbon directly, do this now. For example, you may want to use spray glitter or spray snow to work with a particular theme or color pallet.
Place the Ribbon
Stick each piece of ribbon onto the wreath by pushing the pins into the Styrofoam. Start at the top of the wreath and begin creating a pattern with your ribbon. You may want one color, followed by a second color, followed by a third color. Then, repeat. Alternatively, you may wish `to fill one whole section with one color, such as purple on the top right hand corner and blue on the bottom right hand corner.
Add Embellishments (Again)
If you want to add anything on top of the wreath, now is the time for that. You may want to glue down wooden letters with your child’s name or a holiday quote. Flowers, feathers or beads are other options to snazz up the design and really make it pop.
If you want to add a decorative middle, using ribbon or fold over elastic helps give a stylish look to small details. Simply hang across the back of the wreath line a clothesline and add whatever you want in the middle.
Check that none of the pins were pinned in at an angle and exposed to the outside of the wreath. If you used a hot glue gun or other glue on the wreath to add your embellishments, check for any dried glue that is exposed at the surface or "spider webs." Remove them. If you notice any open areas, repeat the steps so that you cover it with ribbon of the appropriate pattern.
Image credit: Pinterest
This contribution comes from The Ribbon Retreat, an arts and craft store that offers many types of ribbons and fabric for large and small craft projects alike.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
The best solution for a busy SAHM is to have a selection of good quality clothes that you can mix and match together to suit pretty much any occasion.
What person today doesn’t have a pair of jeans in their closet? Jeans have always been made of tough and hard-wearing denim, and so they’re perfect for a hands-on mum who spends a lot of time playing on the floor with her kids. The range of styles and finishes of jeans today is huge, and they can be dressed up or down really easily depending on what you choose to pair them with.
A trenchcoat in a neutral tone can go with almost any outfit. Add it to jeans and a T-shirt to give a smart look to a casual outfit, or wear it over a cocktail dress if you’re going out for the evening. Black, gray, and navy are always reliable colour choices, but if that’s not your style, choose a solid stand-out colour like red or purple, rather than anything patterned.
A wardrobe staple that gives you some protection from the elements without you getting too hot as you might do in a coat, the padded gilet is a must-have item for any mum. Wear it to the shops, on a hike in the countryside or just when you’re acting as taxi-driver for the kids, taking them to school, ballet classes and other extra-curricular stuff. I found a useful article the other day that details some of the best gilets on sale at the moment.
Even SAHMs sometimes have to look smart. You might have a parent-teacher conference or a meeting with a lawyer or maybe you work from home and have the odd face-to-face meeting. Having a two-piece suit in your wardrobe will cover all these eventualities. It doesn’t matter if you opt for a trouser and blazer, skirt and blazer or dress and blazer, as long as you choose a timeless cut. Of course, you can then wear the pieces separately, and jazz it up with jewellery when you want to wear it to go out in the evening.
Ballet flats and knee high boots
Shoes that can go with a variety of outfits are always a good idea. Ballet flats have been back in a while now, and it’s no wonder. They suit a number of different styles and come in a huge range of colours. They look as good with a pair of jeans as they do with shorts, skirts or dresses. Knee high boots are a winter essential and will ensure that your toes remain dry and warm while you’re standing on the edge of the soccer pitch or taking the kids for playtime at the park.
You’ll have your own wardrobe must-haves already, but bear this list in mind when you’re next child-free and able to shop for yourself for a change.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
|image source: rd.com|
Luckily, there are a few tricks to make healthy foods irresistible for kids. You can, of course, “hide” healthy foods in favorite treats while masking their flavor, but that’s a Band-Aid fix. The real goal is to get your kids to enjoy and want those healthy foods on their own. Start by understanding your child’s appetite and not forcing them to eat. They'll eat when they’re hungry and you don’t want them to think of mealtime as a frustrating or anxiety-riddled period.
1. Complement, don’t hide
Would you want to eat plain, raw broccoli with no seasoning? You can include a favorite dip or sauce with foods your kids shy away from, and try prepping them in a different way (steamed? Broiled?) to help get them into the texture. Also remember that there’s really no such thing as “breakfast foods” or a time of day when certain healthy foods are acceptable. Fun up your meals, be flexible yourself and kids are more likely to respond.
2. Put them in charge
There are probably a number of healthy foods that you haven't tried either. Humans are creatures of habit, but if you let your kids be in charge of what’s on their plate (within reason), they're more likely to eat up. For example, letting them choose one new item from the produce section they’ve never tried before, and/or encouraging them to find the weirdest looking thing, makes eating new things a game.
|Image source: travelandleisure.com|
3. Never reward with food
It can be tempting to tell your kids that if they eat a certain amount of a new food, they'll get rewarded with a favorite dessert. Food of any sort should not be used as bribery as that sets up a bad relationship with food from the start. Instead, practice patience, routines and be a good eating role model yourself. Food isn’t a punishment or reward, even though it can make life easier in the short-term.
4. Pour some sugar on it
Well, don't pour it, but a little bit of sugar (whether it’s raw brown sugar or even Truvia) can suddenly make a bland food amazing. Is it worth a pinch of sweetness to help your kids fall in love with carrots? Most parents would say yes. Sugar in moderation is okay and shouldn’t be treated as the enemy. There are probably other avenues where cutting out sugar is a good idea, but a pinch here and there isn't going to end the world.
Picky eaters outgrow it, but it can be trying on parents. This is one thing that truly is a phase, so don't let it discourage you.