Category - Preteens & Teens

Teaching Your Kids Financial Responsibility

Have you considered teaching your children about financial responsibility? Maybe you’re trying to find out ways to instill monetary value, and work ethics into your children. In this day-in-age it can be hard to remind kids the value of a dollar, especially with magic credit cards and online purchases.

I’ll admit, our girls are pretty young, but that doesn’t thwart our efforts to prepare our girls for the age where they’ll be receiving a regular allowance and teaching them how to make frugal choices.

At age 2 and 5, 10 cents to them is like a “katrillion bejizzlon dollars”. I know a large number of you, my readers, have children who are a little older as well, or may be getting into the “allowance-stage” of childhood.

VirtualPiggy_125x125One of the newest, coolest, online ways to teach your children how to be financially responsible is Virtual Piggy.

As you help your child set up their Virtual Piggy profile, you have the opportunity to discuss internet safety, money management, and making wise choices. Your child will be super excited that the can, in a sense, take the reigns of their spending, while you control their boundaries and protect their identity.

Children can make purchases at family-friendly, Virtual Piggy approved merchant websites, and purchase gift cards to major brands through Virtual Piggy’s online store. {Virtual Piggy is signing new merchants every week.}

Now through January 15th Virtual Piggy is offering special promotions through their Member Value Program.” target=”_blank”>*some offers will start or end sooner).


What’s your biggest concern when it comes to teaching your child how to be financially responsible?

To find out more about VirtualPiggy visit Follow them on Facebook – and Twitter –

This is a sponsored post from Splash Creative Media on behalf of VirtualPiggy. All opinions are my own.

Mary’s Son – A Christmas Book Review

Marys Son Book Cover

Marys Son Book Cover

Often times the holidays can become a chore, extremely busy, or sometimes we just plain lose sight of what that holiday stands for. With Christmas less than one week away, stores flooded with people looking for the deals or hottest toy on the market, the rush of sending out cards before the day is finally here, and of course making sure the decorations are hung just right. That’s what Christmas is really about right?!?

I love the book, Mary’s Son – A Tale of Christmas by Darryl Nyznyk. This is a great book to remind yourself the true meaning of Christmas, whether you live in a beautiful home and are blessed with all your needs, or if you’re struggling this season just to make ends meet.

This book was awarded a Mom’s Choice Awards and if I had my say I would totally agree. I also think it would be a good book for you to read with your teenagers or even smaller children based on their maturity level.

The way the book is written, it’s an easy one to really “get into”. And even though I know the Christmas story I enjoyed reading the character’s journey and the author’s perspective.

I suggest you grab a copy of this at your local bookstore or maybe even download it for Kindle or on your smartphone and read it when you’ve just had enough of the holidays and want to be filled with CHRISTmas.

PS!!! The author is offering the e-book for only $2.99 on Amazon for the month of December 2012!

I received a copy of this book purely for review purposes. All statements and opinions are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary, but you’re not allowed to give your opinion until you’ve read the book…as the old saying goes, “you can’t say you don’t like it if you don’t try it!!!”

Easy Holiday Cookies Recipes for Kids {Giveaway}

Smart Balance Kids Cookies MBKB

Cookies Kids MommyBKnowsBest

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays with my kiddos is to bake cookies. I get to spend time with my girls, teaching them how to cook, giggling, and getting to smell and eat yummy treats we made with our own hands.

As I’ve found out from previous years, some holiday cookie recipes have multiple steps and are definitely not conducive to making with kids. For me, when I’m baking with the girls, I’d rather focus on having fun and enjoying the experience than making award winning cookies {I’ll save those recipes for my annual cookie exchanges.}


Here are some awesome, kid-friendly holiday cookie recipes that I encourage you to make with your children:

Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes for Kids @MommyBKnowsBest


If your kids like to dunk their cookies in Smart Balance Kids Milk, these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from OhMy! SugarHigh will stand the durability AND taste test.

Holidays shout, “MINT”!! So if mint is your flavor these cracker-based cookies from are super simply mint-errific.

If your little ones are chocolate lovers, pair Smart Balance Kids Chocolate Milk with these Chocolate Meringue Kisses from

Do your kiddos love rolling out dough? This recipe is perfect for them: Palmiers from my pal Andria at Adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten

While a little messy, these Snowball Cookies from are easy to make and delicious to eat. *Substitute Smart Balance Kids Reduced Fat Milk 1 for 1 for a lighter cookie.

When you’re eating a peanut and butter sandwich you’ve got to have a tall glass of milk to wash it down and when you’ve tried Martha Stewart’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint cookies make sure you reach for Smart Balance Kids milk.

It’s hard to get any easier a cookie, but this S’mores Cookie Pizza recipe from may be the King of easy holiday cookie recipes for the kids.

Of course with any holiday cookie you make with your kiddos, it’s a must to have a glass of milk, and why not make it a nutritious, vitamin-packed, hormone-free glass of Smart Balance Kids Milk. I know my kiddos deserve the best, and I’m betting yours do too!

I’d love to hear what your favorite kid-friendly, holiday cookie recipes are! Leave a comment below.

Happy baking and Happier Holidays!!!

Smart Balance Kids Cookies MBKB

If you’d like to try some Smart Balance Kids milk for yourself here’s your chance to enter to win 2 free Smart Balance Milk Coupons. Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a compensated post, however all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions. I am excited to bring Smart Balance Kids into my own home and yours as well. As always your opinions may vary, but if you like me you’ll try it 😉

Holiday Gift Guide – Unique Stocking Stuffers and Gift Ideas

MommyB Knows Best's Holiday Gift Guide

MommyB Knows Best's Holiday Gift Guide Deck the Halls and break out your lists it’s time for another installment of MommyB Knows Best’s Holiday Gift Guide for the family! In speaking with different families I know that some families provide lists of desired items and others have little to no ideas to go off of. Personally, I like a list for a guideline, but I love purchasing items that I think the gift recipient will be surprised by and love. Here are a few unique stocking stuffer and gift ideas that I wanted to share with you. I hope they can be helpful in your holiday shopping.

big-fish-games-logoThe perfect stocking stuffer for kids or adults, pick up a gift certificate from online casual games company Big Fish.  With most games available for download at only $9.99, Big Fish has something to please every gamer including colorful puzzles and brain teasers, educational games for children, and intriguing mystery and adventure games.


Bobbi-ToadsBobbi-Toads, a line of fun and fashionable shoes for young girls, features a faux set of toe nails on a stylish sneaker, allowing young ones to paint the shoes as you would your own nails. When you are ready to switch up your style and change colors, simply use non-toxic nail polish remover to remove the old polish, and repeat the process by polishing with a different color; it’s that easy!

CVS Phone CasesLooking for a personalized gift that any smart phone or tablet user would love?? CVS/pharmacy photo lab offers several selections and templates to design a fabulous phone case for someone special. Here are my photos, thoughts, and ordering information: CVS/pharmacy smart phone case review.


The Little Gym FamilyTired of toys consuming every area of your home?? What about a gift that will give your child hours of enjoyment and learning but just doesn’t fit into a box? We love The Little Gym classes for both our girls, whether they are in ballet, gymnastics, or one of the many active classes The Little Gym offers they are learning skills both physically and socially. We have classes at The Little Gym of Huntersville/Lake Norman but you can also find a Little Gym class near you.


CVS Beauty Collage

Stocking stuffers can be the last item on your shopping list and sometimes the most difficult. I love shopping for little trinkets at CVS/pharmacy. When it comes to my stocking stuffer wishes I’d pick the CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Beauty Club picks. Some of my favorites are Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, Nuance Salma Hayek Walnut Body Scrub {it’s to die for!!}, and for fun, Katy Perry Lashes Oh My!{choose something modest or get fancy!} to name a few. All of these products are around $7 and under in CVS/pharmacy’s Beauty Club, perfect stocking stuffer price and size.

Our favorite Christmas movie to watch with our girls is Veggie Tale’s St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving. We like this movie because it tells about the person St. Nicholas and explains the reasons behind why we give gifts at Christmas time, something we try to teach our girls. You may even want to consider buying this one to watch before Christmas gets here. The lowest price I’ve found the video so far is on Walmart’s Website.




Won’t you share??? What’s going in the stockings at your house??

And if you like this post Pin it!!

MommyB Knows Best's Family Gift Guide


This list of products is part of a sponsored post. However, if I didn’t think the products would be good for my own family or yours I would not list them on my site. Your opinions about the above products may vary, and isn’t it nice that we’re all individuals?!? 



Holiday Gift Guide Featuring Best Friends Forever Tablet Cover

MommyB Knows Best's Family Gift Guide

Hello there Holiday Gifters! Today’s sponsored Family Gift Guide product is for the gift recipient who loves technology. This is a reasonably priced gift and something I feel is unique and may even surprise the giftee!



I’d like to introduce to you Papier De Maison’s Best Friend Forever Tablet cover:

The reason this makes a great gift it that it works on a few different devices, has so many functions, and comes in many different designs.

The iPad cover has been designed exclusively for the new iPad 3 and the iPad 2, however other devices may fit snugly and will require you to bend the bind around it just as you would bend the bind around when you open a new book. This is true for the Kindle cover as well, originally designed for the Kindle Reader, the Kindle Fire will fit snugly and requires you to bend the bind around like a new book. Also, Best Friends Forever are in production now for the Kindle Fire cover and iPad Mini cover, so look fo those soon!

Papier De Maison’s Best Friends Forever tablet cover is great for any device especially those on the go, with children, or who may be a little accident prone. This cover has protective qualities with it’s thick material that wraps right around your device.  Now I wouldn’t encourage my kiddos to step on it with the cover and expect it to be fine, but I can appreciate less scratches and bumps.

Because the Best Friends Forever tablet cover is so versatile I can bend it to use as a notepad and work on my iPad or Kindle, or I can flip it up and share my website for business events or when kids want to watch movies I can prop it up for them to see. Then, when I want to get to work, I can place my device at a level I feel comfortable typing at. I’m pretty sure if I was given enough time I may even be able to figure out some new tablet positions and uses. I love the functionality for sure, that’s probably my top reason for recommending this product. Not to mention that the pen also doubles as a stylus. For more on how to use this product check out the Best Friends Forever Video.

SpiceBouquet_Open_Easel Ipad (1)

Last, but not least, I really enjoy the availability of designs I can get with the Best Friend Forever cover. Marche De Fleurs, Boutique De Luxe, Birds on a Wire, Spice Bouquet, Peacock Fantasy, and The Librarian.

Best Friends Forever Tablet Cover

While some of these designs are gender neutral, I am hopeful for more “manly” designs as well, perhaps something mustache-a-rific?!?!?

MommyB Mustache

Each of the Best Friends Forever cases include: elastic bands to hold your IPad or Kindle in place {I like my paper on the right and my device on the left}, a stylus 2-in-1 pen {that’s really cool, and I’d love to see this engrave-able in the future}, a color/print coordinated notepad that matches your case and finishes by closing with a magnetic tab {and you can also purchase them with or without bible scripture included.}

The Papier De Maison Best Friends Forever iPad covers retails for $30.00 and the Best Friends Forever Kindle case retails for $20.00. Get yours just in time for Christmas here:

Who in your family or friends do you think would love this as a gift??

This Holiday Gift Guide inclusion is a sponsored post, however the opinions and thoughts expressed in this post {especially my love for mustaches and organization and functionality} are my own honest thoughts. 

Holiday Gift Guide presented by MommyB Knows Best

MommyB Knows Best's Holiday Gift Guide

MommyB Knows Best's Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re anything like me {which you may or may not be}, you’ve started making Christmas gift lists for your loved ones, taking note of which toys your children are drooling over this season, and scouring the gift card aisles. Although Christmas certainly isn’t all about gifts in our family we enjoy purchasing thoughtful gifts that we know our family and friends will enjoy. In fact, one of my favorite parts of Christmas is watching others open presents I’ve picked up for them, {I know it sounds cliche, but no joke!}

This year I’ve put together a Holiday Gift Guide for the entire family from your spouse, to the kids and the grandparents, and maybe even something for the pets too! From now through December 20th look for the adorable Family Gift Guide logo I created attached to posts that are a part of this gifting series. Also make sure you look for discounts and giveaways attached to some of the gift guide products and services *hint, hint! And if you don’t want to miss a post, make sure you enter your email in the subscribe box in the right side bar next to this post!!

And last but not least, what is one Christmas present that you received that really “sticks in your head”. Tell us what it is, who gave it to you, and why it is so memorable {for good or bad reasons}.

Happy Gifting and feel free to add this Family Gift Guide image to your site!!

MommyB Knows Best's Family Gift Guide

Tips for Teaching Kids to Volunteer – Operation Christmas Child #OCCGiving

I know I’m going to sound super old saying this or maybe just more traditional than some, but I feel like in today’s society children are lacking a sense of kindness, compassion, and generosity for others.

For my family it is important that our girls have a sense of giving back to the community. There are several ways we’ve instilled that in them and as they get older we will continue to do so.

Start them young. Kids are impressionable, and getting them involved in showing love for others with acts of kindness at such a young age will, just like any other activities or traditions you start early, make it a part of their everyday life.

Be age appropriate. You know your child’s maturity level and personality more than anyone else, so take this into consideration when choosing an activity for them to participate in. Operation Christmas Child is a great activity for kids of all ages. My girls decided to choose 2 children from their own age range to give gifts to, and it’s something a teenage would like and even my 2 year-old was excited to buy gifts and pack our shoebox.

Operation Christmas Child

Be upfront with them. Explain to them that there are children and families without anything. Remind them that it’s our job to help one another and that God commands it. John 13: 34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Most importantly though: Show them what it means to volunteer. It’s a well-known fact that kids learn through watching adults, especially from their parents. As an example to our children the BEST way to model kindness, compassion, and generosity is to have those qualities and exhibit them whether we’re in the line at a grocery store, serving at a local soup kitchen, and especially in our own home.

How we’ve put volunteering into place in our family. We decided this year, as one of our many holiday volunteer efforts with the girls that we would pack two Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes for children without this year. We love this idea because it’s not only easy, but it’s fun too.

We’d love for you and your family to join us, and be an example to the world. Here’s how you can pack your own shoe box, or go online to build one or gift one to a friend to build.

1. Use an empty shoe box(standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required.

2. Boy or Girl? Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. You can download a label online or click the Follow Your Box option to get a special label to learn the destination of you shoe box gift.

3. Fill it up! Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child such as toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. A list of suggested gift items is available here.

Packed Boxes 4. Donate $7 Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our Follow Your Box option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse(note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

5. Drop Off Click HERE to find the closest drop-off location during you and drop off your box during OCC’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19, 2012, {however they will accept mailed shoe boxes year-round}.

{Gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.}

Be sure to check Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child out on Social Media too:
Twitter: @OCC_shoeboxes #OCCGiving

Regardless of what activity you choose to volunteer your family’s time for, or when you plan on serving, getting your family involved in giving to others will change the world. I promise.

This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.

Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause.

BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE Reviewed by an Audiophile {Guest Post}

So, DaddyB has been bugging me to get his hands on my Droid Incredible 4G LTE by HTC smartphone ever since it arrived in the mail. He’s a huge data user, loves music and streaming audio on his own phone and I thought who better to let test it out than someone who could do that in the comfort of our own home.

Here are DaddyB’s thoughts for all of you data lovers, dads, and audiophiles!

I was excited to get a chance to review the Droid Incredible 4G LTE by HTC. It’s is a solid smartphone all around. I had the chance the to put it to the test during a typical day of work. I stream Internet radio and podcasts most of the day and I was curious to see how this phone would handle it; in terms of battery life, connection, and sound quality.

image-Beats-Audio-logoDroid Incredible with Beats Audio – Sound Quality

I’ve noticed Beats audio and that “B” logo popping up everywhere these days, but I hadn’t tried it out until now. I figured that it was all just a cool trend thanks to the company’s creator Dr.Dre and all of the high profile endorsers like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. But, after listening to music with the Beats mode enabled, I have to say that I can see why it’s so popular. There was so much more depth and layers to the quality of my music with the Beats mode. Even the podcasts, that just consisted of voices, sounded a good bit clearer. So, the HTC passed this test. Not only did audio sound good, it sounded great!

Droid Incredible by HTC – Connection & Data SpeedI’m not sure how much I can attribute to the phone versus the network itself, but thanks to the HTC Droid Incredible and Verizon’s 4G LTE, I had a strong connection indoor or outside through out the day. Browsing the Web and downloading podcasts were both a breeze. I was impressed in the past with the Stratosphere, but I’d have to put this phone just a bit above it

Droid Incredible by HTC – Battery Life
Compared to my previous smartphones (LG Ally, Samsung Stratosphere), the HTC Droid Incredible had impressive battery life. As usual, I streamed music while I worked nearly the entire day and it still had plenty of life left when I went to bed. Usually, my Stratosphere was on its last legs or needed to be plugged in by the end of the day.

verizon-4g-lteThe HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE is a mid-range smartphone, so I’m not sure how it’d compare with the most expensive phones on the block, but I definitely enjoyed using it. I’d recommend it for it’s speed, sound quality and battery life. It performed seamlessly and met or exceeded my expectations.


Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Tips for Parenting in a Social Media Age

Parenting Tips

Recently, someone in my parenting geared bible study had mentioned they didn’t really “get” technology. I had nonchalantly mentioned to them that I worked in social media and would be more than willing to give some tips regarding figuring out Facebook, Twitter and the like. Little did I know that God had bigger plans for the gifts He has given me and I was asked to speak about those tips with my entire bible study.

I wrote some notes and speaking points down and was able to tell them why I think learning social media is so important as a parent and figured instead of just keeping it to myself and my study members that I would share here too.

Social Media Parenting Tips

In my group, we’ve been talking a lot about how we, as parents are responsible for growing Godly women and men, and creating boundaries to make them the healthiest adult they can be. With the rise of social media and the issues that come with it; cyberbullying, pornography, horrible language, encouraged drug use, gossip, sexual predators this is the exact place where we as parents need to be.

With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare and a thousand smaller social networks it may seem overwhelming, but don’t be intimidated, because your kids need you and understanding their world will give you the advantage and tools to parent that much better.

Although there are many tips and suggestions I have, here are 3 of my biggest parenting tips for social networks.

#1 Sign Up

Join social networks that your child uses, or if they’re younger than the age minimum sit with them while they browse the internet making sure you interact with them. It’s the best way to educate yourself so that you can in-turn protect your kids.

And better yet, if it’s a social network for adults as well, ask them to show you how to join if they have an account or sign up alongside them. Going through the sign-up process together allows for opportunities to discuss appropriate use, concerns you have for them, and see how savvy they are about their own privacy features.

#2 Privacy

“42 percent of teens ‘sometimes’ or ‘always’ accept social networking friend requests from strangers”

What a shocking statistic. In order to gain back some control against privacy issues I recommend using the most strict privacy settings available, especially when it comes to a tween or younger teen. Review of the options on your privacy settings page and adjust accordingly. Facebook’s default is to keep information public until a user makes it private (although Facebook is a little stricter with minors’ accounts). The “Friends Only” setting is a good choice for most items, to control who’s seeing what, but with advanced Facebook settings, you can be even more selective, choosing specific people by name to show posts, messages, and images to.

Make sure you choose the settings that allow you to be notified and have to approve everything you’ve been tagged in (including photos) before the tag links to your page. That way you/your child can approve the information before it’s made public and make sure it’s legitimate. Using innappropriate images or posts and tagging others in them is one of the biggest ways to cyberbully, if this is restricted by privacy settings you’re one step ahead of the game.

#3 Set responsiblities
Believe it or not your child is making their digital footprint from the moment they enter any online community. Making it even harder to make a good impression for friends, teachers and even future employers and colleges.

Recent studies found that nearly 60 percent of employers and 80 percent of college admissions officers use social networks to screen applicants.

In many cases, once you put something out online, even if you delete it, it can still be found through search engines or an internet archive search. Twitter is the biggest social network where deleting comments doesn’t really matter, plus with the age of the “screenshot” internet users can be put in a very tricky spot.

Social media is like toothpaste, once it’s out of the tube pretty hard to try to get it back in.


For example, last week, the person in charge of KitchenAid’s Twitter Feed posted a controversial politics-based comment, {presumably intended for their own twitter feed} and could have cost them their job.

So it’s imperative that parents set rules about what’s appropriate to post.

Rule of thumb: Have them ask themselves if they would be embarrassed with their teacher, pastor, grandparents seeing it. If so, they should probably not post it.

InternetYou have ever right to set time limits on their amount of online time. You will probably want to base their time limit using their age, maturity, other responsibilities, and day of the week. Key times to limit or restrict their internet time would be during meals, family time, bed time. Often it’s hard to unplug from social media, but healthy to take breaks and also make sure we connect with reality.

Because we live in a digital age, face-to-face communication, empathy, and ethics are used less and less and values are becoming muddied by the increasing influences in our world and on the internet, while we can’t put our kids in a bubble (although I’m sure some of us would like to) the best thing we can do for them and ourselves is to place our own reservations aside and step outside our comfort zones to build God loving, empathetic, responsible citizens. Social media is not going away, shouldn’t we be prepared for our children’s sake??

What steps are you taking to learn more about social media? Do you have any tips you’d like to add?

Breakfast for Dinner – A Twist on the Classic Hashbrown Casserole

Hashbrown Casserole

I always love challenges when it comes to cooking. Recently, I was even in a fun cooking challenge/blogger event. This time, I thought it would be fun to try to make a meal out of only the things I already had in my fridge before going to the grocery store. Now for some of you foodies this may not sound like a challenge, but for me, someone who goes grocery shopping about every other day to fill in missing items, and the person who keeps random foods that sound good at the store, {but may not as much when I get home} in my fridge, this definitely was a challenge.

Hashbrown Casserole

I love hashbrowns and enjoy ordering the hashbrown casserole whenever we go out to eat breakfast style, so I thought why not take a swing at making my own Ore-ida hashbrown casserole. Remember, I said I was only going to use what I already had in my fridge and pantry.

Here are my wacky-ish ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Frozen Ore-ida Hashbrowns
  • 1 Small Can of Condensed Mushroom soup
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Medium Red Onion
  • 4 Patties Pre-Cooked Turkey Sausage (you could also use links)
  • 4 Slices of Provolone Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Small Container of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Thaw Ore-ida Hashbrowns. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together. Place in a greased 13×9 casserole dish. Spread panko breadcrumbs over top of the finished casserole. Cook for 45-50 minutes or until top layer golden brown. Cool and enjoy!!

Oreida Dinner

It’s a great dish if you want breakfast for dinner, or breakfast for lunch, and especially breakfast for breakfast.

Compensation was provided by Ore-Ida® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ore-Ida.