Tag - family

Quick and Easy Kids Homemade Ornament {Guest Post}

Ornament

{I met Jessica when our oldest daughters were just little ones in a local mom’s group and have been in touch and “bumped into her” around town here and there. I asked her if she would be interested in writing up a holiday craft idea for MommyB Knows Best since I have little time to be crafty this season and she seems to excel at it.}

I am like many crafty people and have a healthy obsession with Pinterest. If you have not been on there, please RUN. Well after Christmas, k? ok. I love having special ornaments on my tree and Love having ones made by my kids. My daughter started making them when she was 2 with just the basic wood ornaments and crayons/markers and glitter paint. I just let her go crazy and cleaned it up later- the next year I just put newspaper under her. My hope is that when my kids have a home, family, or tree of their own, I will be able to send them some to start off.

So I had this project pinned from Pinterest. You can find the original idea here.

Ornament

Pen Kit

I knew I could let my 4 year old do this project while I worked on something else. So we already had the round glass ornaments from a previous project purchased at Michael’s. We had paint to use, and I just grabbed a metallic paint pen during one of our many Walmart runs.

So All we did was drop paint into the glass ornament and let it swirl or shake around. It was pretty thick and gloppy and hard to move around, so I did add a few drops of water to thin it out a bit, and that worked perfect.

My little helper enjoyed shaking her ornament- and she was very careful. She twisted and twirled it around till it was well covered. Then we sat it back into the tray the ornaments came in to dry.

Finished OrnamentOnce it dried, I just took the metallic pen, had to shake it well, and get the paint flowing. I used a scrap piece of paper to check when it was ready. I read the directions on the pen, but assumed I had to keep pushing the tip down while writing to keep the ink flowing. I didn’t. So you can see my “p” is a bit sloppy, but I had it figured out after that. So here is our finished project. It was dry and hanging on the tree by that same afternoon.

My daughter is very proud of her ornament and it so suits her and the point in life we are at. It was definitely enjoyable for the family, though baby brother was sleeping. For his ornament, I may just do his handprint on one of these balls.

Jessica is the mom to two beautiful children, and expecting her third at the end of February. She currently lives in NC and is the founder of the blog, “Begin to Craft”. Check her out here and show some love: http://www.begintocraft.blogspot.com/

Bonding with Board Games

Board Game

Board Game

I grew up in a household where we regularly played board games, if I listed them all we would be here forever, but my favorites were classic games, I even was in a chess class through the YMCA.  When I left home to go to college, nanny, meet my future husband and get married, I took “game night” with me and we would regularly host fun games on nights with our friends and spend countless hours enjoying each other’s company, competing, and catching up on what was going on in our daily lives.

Now that I have my own little play mates, {let’s face it, one of the primary reasons I had kids was to have someone to play with all day long,} I get to play board games with them too. Miss A LOVES playing board games. Most of the time we play when Baby C is napping because of smaller pieces, so it gives us some good, quality, bonding time. We could play for hours, we get silly, have fun, and she’s really a good sport when I’m constantly losing {and when I’m winning too}. 

I am a huge believer of starting children young at anything you hope they will continue in the future. I have been “doing” their hair from a young age because with all the curls of their biracial hair I knew that I would have to continue this practice. DaddyB and I are instilling in them the importance of giving to others, whether it is physical items, money, or time and hard work we want them to grow up having a servant heart. Valuing family time and quality time with the people who you love is also another trait that we want to encourage. Through game nights, sitting down with the whole family with no distractions, we feel that we are teaching them how important it is to grow as a family and spend time together. God has given us these little girls as our responsibility to train up and teaching them key values in life in a big part of that. 

Do you feel the same way? 

If board games are a part of your family bonding experience here’s your chance to win some goodies. Did you know that the LEGO® company makes games? If not, you do now! LEGO® is going to give away 5 prize packs featuring: 3 LEGO Games, a $30 iTunes gift card and a copy of Gourmet Game Night for responding to this post. So make sure you leave a comment for your chance to win.

 

How are board games a bonding experience for your family? Reply for a chance to win one of five ultimate LEGO® Games prize packs!!

 

LEGO® Games are the world’s first collection of board games that can be built, played and changed, that delivers a whole new way for families to have fun together the LEGO way.  Whether challenging friends or family to a LEGO Game in a variety of themes and types – guessing, strategy, memory, logic and chance – no two LEGO Games experiences are ever the same! 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LEGOSystems. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the LEGO Brand.  Official Contest Rules

Take Back Thanksgiving

Give Thanks MommyB

Every year it seems that mall Christmas decorations go up earlier, the department stores make sure they play their holiday music {to subliminally remind people to start shopping}, and people seem to skip right over Thanksgiving.

Obviously Thanksgiving is not a commercial holiday, at least not as much as Christmas, Halloween, Easter and other holidays where people often end up spending way too much money. I guess that’s why businesses push for Christmas as soon as the last jack-o-lantern light has been squelched. Well, just because they are thinking that way, it does not mean that we, as a nation, need to buy into it.

I like Thanksgiving and consider it a huge part of the reason I love this time of year. DaddyB and I take great pride that our girls say prayers throughout the day and include things they are thankful for, especially during the month of November. Each day we make sure to talk with each other about what we are thankful for, who we love, and what we appreciate in our lives. Often times throughout the year we seem to get caught up in the busy-ness of our daily routines and we should be thankful all year-round, but if we can’t even be thankful when there is a holiday encouraging it, when can we be?

Please help me set an example to our children, to the entire nation, to be reminded of how much we as Americans take for granted but should be thankful for. No matter what your circumstances, someone in the world has it worse. What help is it focusing on the negative in our lives, when only positive will make the changes for us to enjoy life?

I strongly believe that God rewards those who are faithful and grateful for what He has done and know that not only is it important to recognize our blessings, but to make sure we give others something to be thankful for as well. One way to give thanks and understand how much we have is to help those who are not as fortunate. It’s also a great way to lead our children by example if we expect them to be good citizens.

If you don’t want to be saying, in a few years, “What ever happened to Thanksgiving,” perhaps now is the time we make the changes that will keep Thanksgiving a relevant and important holiday.

What are you thankful for? Here’s one of my answers:

MommyB Thankful

Inspired by an Unsung Hero

TabithaWhat is a hero? There are so many different definitions, and of course the obvious ones are those who risk their own lives to save the lives of those in need. Most of the time heroes of this degree are celebrated, publicly acknowledged, and sometimes immortalized.

Then there are those who use their lives to save those in need, not necessarily putting themselves in direct danger, but making sacrifices to do good for those who need it most. One person I know does just that and is an amazing friend of mine, her name is Tabitha.

Tabitha is not only a great friend, she’s a good wife, amazing mom to a sweet 5 year-old boy, and has a servant’s heart. Tabitha volunteers what is left of her time after spending time with her family and studying for nursing school. She goes out of her way to take meals to those without, she participates in programs that help abused women and children, she gives her time to children and families in the foster care system, and she regularly participates in raising funds and awareness for causes like St. Jude’s and battered women’s shelters.

She is no more and no less than the heroes who rush into burning buildings, resuscitate accident victims, or pull someone out of raging waters. She is a hero, an unsung hero who deserves much credit for the amazing, selfless acts she performs daily. Thank you Tabitha, you inspire me and you inspire many.

Do you know a heroic mom or see one when you look in the mirror? Share your story and be entered for a chance to win $2,500 cashfrom Allstate. Plus four runner-ups will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card. *The five finalists will be chosen from the Entries receiving the most votes.  

One of the most important things any mom can do is purchase life insurance. Allstate has been helping to protect families’ futures with a range of life insurance products for over 50 years. To get a quote visit allstate.com/life

 

Disclosure: This is post is Sponsored by Allstate and BlogFrog. The opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary. Official Contest Rules

 

How Clean is Green Works®?

Clorox LogoWhen I first saw Green Works® products in the cleaning aisle of my grocery store I thought, “Hey, that’s a great way to go green without spending extra in my budget.” And I bought the Green Works® Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner because it was the same price as their other lines that I normally used. I loved the smell of the products and the fact that I could clean without having extra residue on my counters was an added bonus.

Here are the items I got to check out and my thoughts on them:

  • Green Works® Naturally Derived Cleaning Wipes because these wipes are made from things like citric acid and wood fibers the smells that normally bother me in a cleaning wipe are greatly reduced. I have asthma and allergies so often times when I’m using cleaning wipes I’ll cough and sneeze the entire time, with these however I found I didn’t have that issue. I think it’s cool too that they’re 100% biodegradable.
  • Green Works® Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner  was already a favorite of mine before this review, and continues to be that. I love the smell of the cleaner and it really gets the job done too. I think often times with non-conventional cleaning products the worry is that it won’t clean as well, this worry is put to bed by this all-purpose cleaner. I love how I can use it anywhere in my home, and use it mostly on my counter tops.
  • Green Works® Laundry Detergent is great. Normally we buy the “free” detergents, free of dyes, free of color because our skin is a little sensitive. I found out though that this laundry detergent was specifically dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin. There are no phosphates, optical brighteners or harsh chemical residue to irritate skin. And I can even use it although I have a high-efficiency (HE) washer. One really cool thing about this detergent, in my opinion is a very, very small detail, the detergent drain. At least that’s the name I gave it. I don’t know about you, but often times I use the cap to dispense my detergent and the next time I go to get more the excess detergent that gets caught on the rim leaks all over me, the floor, and the clothes. This detergent has a neat little slit that lets that residual detergent filter back into the main compartment of the container, and I LOVE it. {Yes little things do make me happy.}
  • Green Works® Naturally Derived Bathroom Cleaner is made with plant- and mineral-based cleaning ingredients that help clean up soap scum and the other yuckies that exist in the bathroom. {Yes, I said “yuckies”}. DaddyB HATES the smell of another popular bathroom cleaner brand, although it doesn’t particular phase me, so the Green Works® option makes him much happier and he’s even offered to help me clean the bathrooms more because of it, {thanks Clorox!}

Clorox Green Works Products

All in all I really like the Green Works® line of products, and while they’re not necessarily the “greenest” product out there, I love that there is an alternative to the harsher chemicals that is affordable and a step in the right direction when it comes to the environment and our families.

For more information on Green Works® and to find out where you can purchase their products to clean your home check out their webite at http://www.greenworkscleaners.com and like them Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/greenworks

 

I received a full line of Green Works products in order to give my honest opinions about their products. The opinions expressed in this post are my, uninfluenced, opinions, however yours may vary.

Is Your Home as Safe as You Think? {Guest Post}

I thought my house was pretty child-safe until last week.

See I have this 3-year old little boy who is pretty rambunctious, not unlike most boys. He likes to climb and jump and explore which often gets him into dangerous situations. So like most good parents we are we took precautions and “child-proofed” out home the best we could. We anchored tall furniture to the wall, moved medicines to closed cabinets, locked up cleaning chemicals, fixed long cords on the blinds and covered outlets. We thought we had a safe home… until last week.

Last week I had a pretty bad sinus headache and was taking Ibuprofen to help me remain functional. I left the “child-safe” bottle on my nightstand not thinking my 3-year old could open it. Low-and-behold I turn around for 30-seconds and there he stood with the bottle opened helping himself to some “candy”.

Bottle

Then last Sunday my husband was moving around some furniture and of course the 3-year old had to help. My husband asked our son to get something from the other room and apparently my son misunderstood and started taking the drawers out of a short dresser. Then, just like that he applied his weight to one of the opened drawers and the whole thing tipped over. It wasn’t a tall dresser either.

Dresser

Fortunately, he was safe and his only injury was a pinched finger. We are beyond blessed and are now reassessing the safety in our home. {Here’s a link on my site about the dresser incident: http://thebkeepsushonest.blogspot.com}

Here are a few tips for checking the safety of your home:

Test Your Furniture – Tall furniture should ALWAYS be anchored to the wall but even short furniture may need to be secured. Pull out the drawers and see if the weight is distributed evenly enough to keep full drawers from tipping the dresser over. (Also, check your TV and other large appliances)

Lock It Up – Anything that would be deadly in the hands of child should be locked up ALL THE TIME. Medicines, Weapons, Tools, ETC. You may think hiding them in a closet or drawer may be a safe spot but little ones are curious and like to explore forbidden areas.

Think Like A Child – Get down on the floor and look at each room from the vantage point of a child. Pick out things that might be tempting to mess with and secure or move those things. Cover outlets and power strips. Move breakables out of reach.

Invite a Child to Your Home – If you are expecting or have a wee little baby that isn’t mobile yet I’d suggesting inviting a toddler into your home. They will very quickly point out the areas of your home that need to be childproofed.

Accidents can happen to anyone regardless of how many precautions you take but knowing you’ve done
everything you can to keep your kids out of harms way will give you peace of mind.

Jessica Jessica Lieb lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, Joe, and sons, Jude, 3yrs and Noah, 3mo. She is the founder of The B Keeps Us Honest where she writes about life with all boys, Star Wars, chocolate, local favorites and products for parents.

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Themed Halloween Costumes for Kids

As you all know, my girls are little, at ages 1 and 4 {mostly for the 1 year old} I can pretty much get away with dressing them up in the costumes I think are cute. Miss A definitely has her input, but can be swayed for sure, as long as the costume is cute and girlie.

Last year the girls dressed up as Snow White and her, {ahem} poison apple. Baby C was a cute poison apple for sure though. See:

B Girls Halloween

Adorable girlies 🙂 I loved that they were themed too, and so did everyone at the parties we attended and houses we stopped at. The girls got lots of, “ooooohs” and “ahhhhs” and “Oh my goodness, they’re too cute” ‘s. I loved it. And this year while both of them are somewhat agreeable I decided to pair them up again.

Miss A has agreed, {and actually is excited} to be Toy Story’s own Lil’ Bo Peep, and Baby C will be her sheep. I am still deciding on which sheep costume I want for Baby C, but here is Miss A’s costume from http://www.childcostumes.com and one I think is cute for Baby C too. What do you think?

Family Halloween Costumes

We were completely satisfied with the quality of the costume. I really like that the costume came with a cute shepherd’s crook to complete the outfit. Once Miss A put the costume on she did not want to take it off, but alas I convinced her. I love that  fact you can layer with long sleeves or take off the pants depending on the weather outside, because sometimes, depending on what area you live in you can’t tell if it will be warm or cool. One thing to think about when purchasing costumes it that this Halloween costume, and most costumes, do not come with shoes, which is not a big deal since we have a couple pairs of plain black shoes that will coordinate nicely. Also a small note our pants ended up being a little long on Miss A but nothing a little rolling won’t help, plus when in doubt I always say go with a bigger costume than smaller because it’s easier to make alterations.

I also love it when whole families dress up in a theme too, I tried to get DaddyB to dress up as DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba a couple of times, but he just wasn’t having it. Maybe in a few years he’ll warm up to the idea.

What themes have you dressed your children or family up as?

Have you seen any really creative costume ideas?

ChildCostumes.com has a wide variety of costumes whether you decide to go with a family theme or not, check their website out here: http://www.childcostumes.com

 

 

 

I received a costume from http://www.childcostumes.com in order to complete this review. My opinions in this post are my own, honest opinions. Yours may vary.

 

 

Kid Basix Review

Kid Basix LogoI am the mom who, for some reason, has had THE worst experience with leaky sippy cups. No matter what brand we’ve used, how much they tout that they are no-spill, inevitably they end up dripping all over the place.

Somehow Kid Basix has designed my miracle sippy cup. Let me introduce you to; the Safe Sippy 2. I did everything I could to try to make this sippy leak, I shook it, held it upside down, rolled it around, and it still maintained it’s no-spill feature. Unbelievable!

Kid Basix The Safe Sippy 2

This sippy cup holds 11 ounces, which is the perfect amount of liquid, in my opinion. The Safe Sippy 2 features 3 different adaptors, which allows the sippy to almost grow with your child.

Adaptor #1– The Sippy Plug allows your little one to tip and sip their drink like any other sippy.

Adaptor #2-The Straw and Straw Adaptor transforms The Safe Sippy 2 into a “big kid” cup so when your child’s ready for the next step it’s super easy to convert to the straw option.

Adaptor #3– The Travel Plug. If you’re going far or travelling a long distance this is an accessory you MUST have to keep the liquid right where it’s supposed to be, inside the cup and not all over everything else.

Another great bonus to The Safe Sippy 2 is that the plastic handles are removable so your child can have the option to keep them on or take them off, plus it’s great for minimizing dishwasher space.

Kid Basix Sippy Cup LineNot only are the Kid Basix products made to stand out with their sporty, colorful designs, but they are also BPA-Free and made from stainless steel. They produce baby bottles, sippy cups, and sports bottles so when you fall in love, {and you will} every member of every age in your family can sport Kid Basix.

To purchase your Kid Basix drink holders and find out more information on their complete line visit their website: http://www.kid-basix.com and check out their Facebook page too: http://www.facebook.com/kidbasix

Have you ever used Kid Basix? What sippy cups have you found that surprise you {in a good or bad way} and how did they surprise you?

I received products from Kid Basix in order to complete this review. This in no way impacts my opinion of their products and the opinions expressed above. The review is based on my opinion and experiences with Kid Basix products, yours may vary.

A Teddy Bear Picnic – Charlotte Giveaway {CLOSED}

Teddy Bear Picnic Bear Lineup

Teddy Bear PicnicEvery teddy bear, that’s been good
Is sure of a treat today
There’s lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic!

Hooray for summer, for play, and especially for picnics. I wanted to bring something fun to you, my amazing readers, and I decided what would be more fun than a Teddy Bear Picnic?!? What child, {and parent} wouldn’t love to attend a picnic with the cutest Teddy Bears, tasty snacks, and fun friends?

For this fun event, I have partnered with North American Bear Company, who I love and have worked with in the past. They have provided 8 of their most fun bears as dining pals to this event. Here is a sneak-peek at some of the bears that they’ve provided:

Teddy Bear Picnic Bear Lineup

Along with North American Bear Company there are a few other companies who are pitching in some great goodies for my guests. Musselmans has provided a cute picnic basket with fruity goodness, great printables by Charlotte superstars: Anders Ruff made specifically for this event, and amazing local photographer Jamie from Photography by Jamie Lea will be on-site to snap some fun pictures of the kiddos among some other great tasty surprises.

The official Teddy Bear Picnic will be held Saturday, August 6th, in the Charlotte, North Carolina area at brunch time and you are invited. I will be your hostess and my beautiful 4 year old, Miss A will be joining us so there are 7 spots up for grabs to this amazing Charlotte event your child {and you} won’t want to miss.

If you are not in the Charlotte area you may still be in luck. North American Bear Company is giving one lucky reader a bear of their very own so they can have their own Teddy Bear Picnic too. Entries will be pulled from the same general pool so any of the entrants are eligible to win this great prize.

Please note for the Teddy Bear Picnic:

  • 7 children (and 1 parent) will be selected to attend this event {feel a little Willy Wonka-esque to anyone else}.
  • Parent or primary caregiver must be able to attend the full event with the child selected.
  • Ages 3 and up (preferably under 10 years old).
  • 1 child per household please.
  • Location will be revealed to the winners 1 week prior to the event.

How to Win

Head on over to my {first ever} giveaway tab on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/MommyBKnowsBest and be sure to enter all of your information for a chance to win an invite to the Teddy Bear Picnic. If you are unable to attend because of location or your schedule please be sure to write UNABLE TO ATTEND in the entry section to be entered for the North American Bear Company Teddy Bear drawing only.

RulesGiveaway ends July 29th @12:00 am. The winners will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winners will have 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winners will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.

Rubbermaid Glass with Easy Find Lids

Rubbermaid LogoI love cooking for my family, on the nights I have energy, which I’ll admit is usually 2-3 nights a week. The rest of the nights I either call DaddyB to pick up food for the family, {how many of you do this too?} or I reheat leftovers.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of leftovers, so I have started reinventing meals instead of serving straight leftovers. I use ingredients from meals the night before to concoct a new, hopefully delicious, dinner. Rubbermaid makes it easy for me to make my reinvented meals for my family with their Glass with Easy Find Lids food storage containers.

Rubbermaid Glass Containers OvenBecause Rubbermaid’s Glass containers are made with tempered glass that means they are oven safe up to 425 degrees (but please remember that the lids are NOT oven safe and will melt and ruin your entire dish if you do not remove it.) So I can pop my concoctions into the oven and pull them out piping hot for the family to enjoy.

Not only is cooking made a little easier, but in my opinion my Rubbermaid Glass containers are easier to clean than my pans.  They’re also easier to organize because they have the Easy Find Lids System and glass bases are designed to stack neatly which prevents them from sticking together.

What mom couldn’t use great products to make their meals and clean up easier? If you want to check out Rubbermaid’s Glass with Easy Find Lids visit their website: http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pages/Category.aspx?CatName=FoodStorage and check them out on Facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/RUBBERMAID

Have you ever used Rubbermaid food storage containers? What are your favorite Rubbermaid products?

I received Rubbermaid Glass with Easy Find Lids products in order to give you a complete hands-on review. My opinions are my own, however yours may vary.