Go Play Outside

Grandparents.com has launched a major national campaign encouraging grandparents to join a movement called: Go Play Outside. The goal is to get kids off the couch – and outside for a collective 1 million hours of play by summer’s end.

The site is asking grandparents to plan outdoor activities with their grandchildren and then come to Grandparents.com and log in their hours and experiences. When the goal of 1 million hours is reached, a donation will be made to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children.

“In just a couple of weeks, we already have thousands of hours logged in,” said Dr. Georgia Witkin, nationally acclaimed health expert and spokesperson for this movement. “And what we’re hearing from participants is that they are not only feeling good about helping their grandchildren – they are having a lot of fun doing it!”

Leave me a comment here and let me know how you are getting your kids/grandkids outside this summer.


Free 1 Week Meal Plan

How would you like to have 2 hours free to do whatever you want, not what everyone else wants this week?
It’s not easy. Moms are always working on something or busy taking care of someone else’s needs.
Take planning your family’s meals and grocery. Do you know how much time you spend on that?
My last count, about 2 hours. It would be so nice to outsource that, and I think I’ve found it.

I’m going to try a week’s free meal plan and grocery list from Dine Without Whine this week to see how it all goes.
They are giving a way the plan free here.
If you plan to join me, go ahead and click that link to grab
your free plan.


Quick Craft Ideas for Young Children

Getting a toddler to sit still can be a near-impossible feat. They’re constantly exploring the world around them. That’s a good thing, but sometimes they need some creative downtime. That’s where toddler crafts come in.

Crafting is great for toddlers for a number of reasons. It can help them develop longer attention spans. Most crafts help develop hand-eye coordination. And young children can benefit from learning how to follow simple instructions. Here are some craft ideas that your toddler can do (with supervision).

Craft Stick Puppets

Puppets are fascinating to toddlers. Creating their own puppets is easy, and it’s lots of fun. All you really need are some craft or popsicle sticks, construction paper, safety scissors, markers and glue.

Help your toddler cut animal shapes out of construction paper. He can draw faces and other details with washable markers. Glue the stick to the back of the shape, let dry, and he’s ready to put on a puppet show. If you want to make more elaborate puppets, try cutting shapes out of foam. Glue on a pom pom for the nose, and add some googly eyes.

Paint with Pudding

Kids love to fingerpaint, but it’s so messy. And there’s also the concern about them eating the paint. Even if the paints are nontoxic, it can make cautious parents uneasy. The solution? Let them paint with pudding!

You don’t need different flavors to make different colors. Just use one serving of plain vanilla pudding, divide it up into small portions, and add food coloring to create various shades. Give your child a paper plate to use as a canvas for his masterpiece. When he’s done, he can eat it with no worries.

Design a T-Shirt

If your toddler sees you sewing or painting clothes with fabric paint, she may want to try her hand at designing clothes. But needles are small and sharp, and fabric paint is messy. What to do? Break out the markers!

Kids can have a blast decorating a plain white t-shirt with colorful markers. If you use washable ones, they can create a design, wear it, and start over after you wash the shirt. If a permanent design is desired, however, you’ll have to let him use non-washable markers. You can avoid a mess by covering the work area with newspaper and putting a smock on your toddler.

Placemats

Making placemats out of contact paper is very easy. Have your toddler cut shapes out of construction paper and glue them onto a whole piece with a glue stick. He can add detail with markers or embellish with stickers. When he’s done, place the artwork on a piece of contact paper, sticky side up. Place another sheet of contact paper on top, sticky side down.

Most toddlers will only have the patience to make one placemat at a time. But he can make another one tomorrow, continuing until there are enough for the whole table. He’ll be so proud to know that everyone sees his artwork at every meal!

Crafting can help your toddler learn important skills while keeping him quietly occupied. Whether it’s a rainy day or he’s just feeling creative, seize the opportunity to let him channel his imagination into something you can both admire.


Plannning for Summer Fun

Summer is here. This means all of the kids are home and you are probably already hearing “I’m bored.”
I have found that, if I plan well then summer doesn’t have to be expensive or boring. By planning I don’t mean scheduling every minute of every day, that will drive you and your kids crazy, I do mean planning something everyday.

Sit down with your summer calendar and first write in any vacations you have planned, visitors coming into town, VBS’s & camps they are going to and other commitments you may have. Now see how much time you have left. Try and plan 1 activity a day, that is appropriate for your child’s age. It could be a craft, trip to the beach/pool, rent a movie, go bowling whatever. I try not to put too many events that cost money in one week.

Make good use of the free/low cost experiences your town, church and county offer. Does your library have special summer programs? We have 2 movie theatres that show free movies on Tuesdays all summer long-how great is that? Do you have a state/national park nearby? They offer amazing programs year round. You may have to spend some time researching what is available in your area but when your kids have activities to look forward to it makes those stay-at-home days much more manageable.


Caring for Mom

As a busy mom you needs are often the last ones to get met. Unfortunately, that neglect can lead to bad attitudes, low self-esteem and even depression. We all know that we need to take some “me time” now and then, but sometimes when we have the time we don’t know what to do.

Life and Business Coach, Sarah Zeldman has created some self care cards for busy moms. Here is all you do:

  1. Download the FREE cards http://homepage.mac.com/sarahzeldman/FileSharing11.html
  2. Print them out
  3. Cut them apart
  4. Place them in a jar or box-the prettier the better in my opinion
  5. Any time you are feeling overwhelmed, or just want some “me time”; reach in and pull out a card and do what it says.

You must take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family. Make “me time” a priority in your week. The self-care cards are part of Sarah’s FREE Busy Moms Stress Relief Kit. You can get more goodies by getting your kit here: http://www.solutionsforbusymoms.com/free-stress-relief-kit/


Our Fun at Friendly’s

Last week I told you about Free Ice Cream Day at Friendly’s. Today we planned our errands to include a stop at the Friendly’s in Sarasota, FL so that we could be part of Free Ice Cream Day. We were greeted by the store manager when we entered. Friendly’s was very organized for this event. They had special order form pads for the workers where they could check the ice cream flavor, type of cone or bowl and write the customers name on the sheet. Then while you were waiting you could sign up for Friendly’s online BFF club. As the ice cream was scooped the employees came out and called out the person’s name and flavor that was on the order form. the wait was short and of course, well worth it.

Here are some pictures of my family enjoying their ice cream. I ordered Vienna Mocha Chunk, hubby & Jordan got Mint Chocolate Chip and Aaron got Forbidden Chocolate. Yummy!

My Guys

Mom & Dad

Twitter Ice Cream

I like Ice Cream


Poo-Pourri Jr Gets the Stink Out

We all know not everything that comes out of our babies is not always as sweet as them, introducing Poo-Pourri Jr, a diaper spray made of all-natural anti-bacterial essential oils such as bergamot, lemongrass and grapefruit that eliminates the source of odor causing bacteria. Poo-Pourri Jr uses a secret formula that safely and effectively traps and diffuses odors in cloth and plastic diapers, leaving your home fresh and clean.

Simply spray Poo-Pourri Jr on dirty diapers before disposal and there will be no reminder that your little angel was once a stinker. This convenient spray is perfect to take with you when visiting a friend, the secret formula contains a revolutionary odor counteractant to neutralize odors at the source and refresh air.
The all-natural essential oils in Poo-Pourri Jr trap odors and won’t leave any behind. There is also a neutralizer that attaches to harsh odors and dissolves them completely. So not only does Poo-Pourri Jr create a fresh scent and trap the odor, it also neutralizes any residual odor. Available in a 4 oz. bottle for $12.95 and an 8 oz. bottle for $19.95.

Each Poo-Pourri product includes a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee. For more information, to find a retailer near you or to make an online purchase, please visit www.poopourri.com.


Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches

I have been a consumer and fan of Blue Bunny Ice cream for years. I have been a part of their iScream Team and received their newsletter and coupons for a while now. Last week I met @blue_bunny on Twitter. We had been chatting about how for our family, Memorial Day weekend means 5 birthdays! Of course, that also means lots of cake and ice cream too.

Well, @blue_bunny started telling me about their Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches.
They are a party in a sandwich! Creamy white birthday cake flavored ice cream with colorful confetti sprinkles and swirls of blue frosting between two vanilla wafers. 10 sandwiches per box. At the time they were also featured on the iScream Team’s coupon. I went to my iScream Team page and printed the coupon. I went to my local Wal-Mart and purchased the last box of Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches that was in the freezer.

I brought them to the final birthday party of the week. There were 18 people at the party so we cut the ice cream sandwiches in half so everyone could try them. They were a HUGE hit! Everyone from ages 6-60+ loved the unique taste of the Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches.

They aren’t only for birthday parties either. These will make a great treat to share with the family anytime. When you are craving cake and ice cream this summer don’t heat up the house to bake a cake. Cool off with Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches.


Travel Products for the Family Dog

According to the 2009/20010 American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, on average dog owners will take their pet on three car trips per year and cat owners will take their cat on five car trips per year. Now, pet product manufacturers make everything under the sun to make a trip with your pet safer, more convenient and enjoyable.

Here are a few must-have products recommended by APPA for your next trip with you pet:

* The Tote’N Store by PetSTEP International sets a new standard for portability in the Pet Ramp category. Weighing in at a mere 6 lbs and opening to 5 feet in length when fully unfolded, Tote’N Store is the easiest ramp to carry and store. The Tote’N Store will fit in virtually any vehicle, leaving plenty of room for people, pets and cargo and is especially great for medium to small dogs that have difficulty jumping due to age, recent surgery or other physical factors. It is also perfect for elderly consumers who have trouble lifting their dogs or handling larger, bulkier ramps. www.petstep.com

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* Relaxed Dog Travel Calm Formula by Veterinarian’s Best helps reduce stress and tension caused by travel or loud noises, including those caused by fireworks and thunder. Travel Calm also helps ease any discomfort caused by motion, and is all natural. This is great for pets that may not be so comfortable with traveling. The formula contains Ginger, Valerian Root, Tryptophan, Pyroidoxine (Vitamin B6), Potassium and Magnesium and comes in 40 chewable tablets. www.vetsbest.com

* The Skybox Booster Seat by Kurgo offers a safe and secure way for Fido to accompany you in the car. The Skybox Booster Seat straps on to the car seat and provides an elevated view out the window for the important pup. The Booster Seat safely straps pets in for minimal distraction to the driver and safe travels for your pup. www.kurgo.com

* The To Go Bowl by Furry Travelers is a great travel bowl for both cats and dogs. This plastic water bowl, available in many different colors holds up to a liter of water and fits snugly into most cars’ cup holder consoles, allowing dogs and cats to drink at their own leisure throughout the trip. The To Go Bowl even has a splash-guard to prevent spills and a removable cup holder base to store your pet’s favorite treats! Not only is the To Go Bowl perfect for cars, but also boats, RV’s and even golf carts. www.furrytravelers.com

* The Hydro-Go by Veterinary Ventures is the perfect accessory for outdoor camping and hiking trips with your pet. It is the first and only pet canteen with a fold-out funnel bowl. The bowl and canteen work together to form a funnel, easily allowing any unused water to be poured back into the canteen. The Hydro-Go™ is a great product for those who enjoy hiking, walking, camping, fishing, hunting, car trips, visits to the park or any other place you and your pet may go. More importantly, it ensures that you have enough water when you and your pet are away from home! www.petfountain.com

**Mommy Babble is not a dog owner and has not used any of these products. All of the products are recommended my the American Pet Products Association**


Free Ice Cream!

I am a huge Friendly’s fan. I grew up going to Friendly’s in Beverly, MA. When we moved to Florida I had to wait 26 to have a local Friendly’s again. My son just applied for a job at our Friendly’s too! (Please pray he gets it)

Anyway, I follow Friendly’s on Twitter @eatatfriendlys and they told me about free ice cream day. On June 6th from noon-5pm you can get a free single scoop cone or bowl of any flavor of Friendly’s ice cream. I’ll be having Vienna Mocha Chunk on a sugar cone. What will you be getting? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Did you know you can be Friendly’s BFF? Sign up and get free sundaes and coupons.


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