Tag - tips

Subway’s Share the Color Food Workshop – Giveaway

This post is in partnership with Subway. Any opinions expressed are my own.

 

I’m excited to share with you about the upcoming “Share the Color” Food Workshops hosted by Subway Restaurants in the Charlotte area!

 

Share the Color food workshops will be hosted from October 14th-21st at various Subway locations all across the Carolinas for families to attend.

Check out these links to find an event near you:

Charlotte Area

Carolinas Area

{Feel free to register for your free tickets through the link as well.}

Local food and nutrition experts will be on-hand, teaching a short lesson on nutritious food choices and making sure you have a lot of color variety on your plate. Children will participate in a hands-on sub making activity and enjoy a free nutritious lunch and a fun food explorer coloring book.

In honor of the event, I’m giving away a $25 Subway gift card to one lucky reader. To enter you must comment below letting me know your favorite thing to eat at Subway. For extra entries, share this post, and tag your friends on social media.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

mumi&bubi Baby Food Solids Starter Kit {Guest Review}

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had lofty goals of what would happen after she was born. She was going to sleep on an organic mattress, with organic bedding, wear only organic cotton clothing, only use cloth diapers, and I was going to make her baby food. But life doesn’t always go as we plan. Instead, I worked with what we could afford and did the best I could.

The one thing that I was successful with was making her baby food.

I would usually just take whatever we were eating, puree the vegetables, and that would be her dinner. Although it seemed overwhelming at times with just one child, that was so easy. As our family grows, I learn more and more about how important it is to be organized and to prep food ahead of time.

By the time baby number 3 joined our family, I had given up on cloth diapers and making my own baby food. I stayed in survival mode. It was just easier to buy the jars. I would buy organic and the jars with the least amount of ingredients, but we were just trying to get everyone fed.

This time I’m prepared.

Buying baby food was convenient, but not cost effective. By making my own baby food, I know exactly what is in the food she is eating. I can make my own blends, and even add the purees to dishes I feed my big kids (shh…don’t tell them). I can start freezing baby now so that when she’s old enough, there won’t be any excuses. I’ll just have to pull out a couple of cubes and thaw them.

The Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit makes it easy to get started.

mum and bubi Solids Starter Kit Trays Review MommyB

 

You can put your mind at ease knowing that the trays are free of BPA, phthalates and other chemicals normally found in other plastics. The trays hold 42 1 ounce portions. Perfect for starting solids. But if your child isn’t old enough for solids yet, you can still use the Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit for freezing breastmilk. You can either use the frozen milk for bottles or save it to thin the puree before freezing.

The trays stack neatly on top of each other and don’t take up much room in the freezer for the amount of food you are freezing at one time. Unlike ice cube trays, it is so easy to pop out the cubes! You simply push down on one side and the cube slides right out.

 

Mumi&Bubi Great Baby Food Solids Starter Kit Review MommyB

 

As if the trays weren’t enough, Mumi&Bubi even have a recipe book and a 6 Week Starting Solids printable Journal available for downloading. Easy.

The Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit makes a great baby shower gift for the expecting mama.

You can check out the Solids Starter Kit here and follow Mumi&Bubi on Facebook.

 

 

Whitney HeadshotWhitney is a stay at home mom to 4 littles. The author of Infertility: a Silent Struggle and a God Who Hears. She also writes to encourage other mamas and to introduce readers to natural living with essential oils at Beauty in the Mess.

 

 

I received product in order to give a hands-on review of the Mumi&Bubi Solids Starter Kit. All opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary. 

Beach Wedding Favors

In July I had the amazing opportunity to go to Mexico to be in my best childhood friend’s wedding. Let me just say, a destination wedding, especially a beach wedding was simply breathtaking. Now I’m not only saying this because the bride was stunning and I love the couple, but seriously if you’re ever invited to a beach wedding, or are planning a wedding, I highly recommend it.

Not only is the beach a great venue for a wedding, but the favors that are available are adorable!! My best friend and bride Rushel did a great job selecting favors that would both be useful and be something that the wedding attendees would keep to remember her special event.

One of my favorite beach wedding favors was the message in a bottle favor from the WeddingsAway Etsy boutique. Carrie, the shop owner, has a great selection of wedding and special occasion items in her shop. The bride loved the options that were available with her Mini Message in a Bottle Favors.

The favors were not only made well, but they arrived on time and I thought they were a great touch with the added magnet and mini sea shells.

Some of the other favors included:

Necessities

Bug repellent bracelets – an essential to keep the pesky mosquitoes away.

Sun Screen – super important for a beach wedding, some international travelers may forget or have a hard time packing.

Fashionable items

Flip Flops – the bride diligently gathered guests shoe sizes, if the wedding party is larger than 30 I would recommend ordering some of each size. She also tediously personalized them herself, and to me, may be worth it ordering them from a supplier if you really want them personalized, you can also leave them plain too.

Sunglasses – we know theses are a must for sunny weddings, but they also make great photo props too. The entire guest list and bridal party donned these for a fun wedding photo opp in Mexico.

Fun Favors

Drink Cozies – personalizing these favors is super easy and helps keep your guests hydrated. I’ve also spotted slimmer versions for smaller bottles and drinks.

Hand Fans – should be listed as a necessity and a fun favor, but as we all know sitting in the sun on or near the beach can get warm, fans can be both beautiful AND functional.

 

What favors would you add to this list??

 

*Thanks to WeddingsAway for the Message in a Bottle favors!! For ordering information check out Carrie’s Etsy page: etsy.com/shop/WeddingsAway

 

 

Carowinds KidsFest Celebration

A couple of weekends ago we had the privilege of attending Carowinds’ KidsFest with our family. Although it was only for that weekend, I can assure you the many times we have been to Carowinds and hosted events this is certainly a theme park that has a lot of activities and rides for children of all ages.

While we were at Carowinds, we were able to watch and participate in singing and dancing at Harmony Hall midway with our favorite PEANUTS™ characters. We took a break from the head to color under some shade that was provided by The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC). We also got hands on with with Atomz Lab, learning about earth worms and physics. The nice people at Cabela’s taught us some safe ways to shoot arrows and C even got to try her hand at shooting foam-tipped arrows at floating targets.

One of my favorite parts of our day was the opportunity to meet local heroes. We were able to meet and thank the Flint Hill Fire Department, and people really enjoyed checking out the police car and appreciating Officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).

Unfortunately due to rain, we missed Disney Junior’s musical act Choo Choo Soul, but they did still perform at PEANUTS™ Showplace, and everyone who attended had an amazing time.

The only thing I felt could have been more kid-friendly was the DJ music as it seemed to cater more to the adults, but overall the entire event was a blast. We saw kids hula hooping, enjoying Planet Snoopy rides, and also loved the pop-up vendors and games.

We hope that Carowinds continues to host more kid-friendly events and look forward to those already scheduled.

 

What are your thoughts on Carowinds when it comes to younger children? Would love to hear your feedback.

This is not a sponsored post. We received media passes in order to experience and give our honest thoughts. All opinions are that of MommyBKnowsBest.com, each individual experience may vary.

Summer Schedule for Kids – Free Printable

Summer is all about fun and relaxation, I get it. However, a loose schedule is definitely something that our family needs to avoid meltdowns and still feel like we’ve accomplished a few things during the day.

After school let out we had about a week and a half where we just had down time and that was great, but I could clearly see a need for a little bit of structure to combat the, “I’m bored” or “what can I do now?” moments.

Browsing through Pinterest I saw a great Summer Rules Printable that I liked and wanted to create something similar that fit our family needs a little better.

I created a large poster and thought a watermelon theme would be cute for the summer. {Your artistic skills may be better than mine.}

 

 

Then we realized an individual list for each child would be helpful so they could check off items daily. Here is the printable that I created. Please feel free to use for your own family as well. I know task will vary by child and household so I’ve also included a blank printable that you can use and fill in yourself below.

 

Click the link to print: Summer Rules List MommyBKnowsBest

 

CLICK HERE FOR BLANK SUMMER RULES PRINTABLE

 

We placed the printouts in a plastic dry erase pocket so the girls could write and erase easily, each child has a different color pocket and I’ve really seen them take personal responsibility in completing these tasks without being asked.

 

 

Are your summers more scheduled? Are they less scheduled?

Do you create any summer lists??

Leave a comment below!!

 

 

 

 

Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean in Summer

“I’m sharing affresh® in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™ #affresh

 

Summertime means a lot of things in our home, it means the kids are home from school every day, it means hosting friends and family for celebrations and gatherings, and it means our kitchen is in FULL use. More kitchen use means more kitchen mess means more kitchen cleanup.

There are so many reasons to make sure you are keeping on top of kitchen cleaning other than to make it looks nice.

Here are a few reasons to keep a clean kitchen in the Summer:

  • Keep away ants and other bugs that LOVE dirty kitchens
  • Make it easier for entertaining {one less room to clean}
  • Not feel like you have chores hanging over you when fun activities pop up
  • Smelly kitchen can effect the way your entire house smells
  • Dishes are clean and easy to grab for a quick meal in between pool time
  • Enough counter space to pack a park lunch
  • Lessens the amount of germs for a healthier summer

 

Is the kitchen a hard place to keep clean?!? YES!! Especially when you aren’t the only one living in your home, but you can see it’s an important room to tidy up. Luckily there are some ways you can make cleaning the kitchen easier.

Enlist Help

With Miss A and Miss C tall enough to reach the counters and old enough to put things away on their own I can give them a good bit of kitchen cleaning chores. Even if you have a small child you can find these fun kitchen helper stools at almost any online retailer and they can easily help with wiping the counter or putting away unbreakable, non-sharp dishes.

 

Remember, help doesn’t just have to be your littles it can also be a spouse/significant other, or a friend {just be sure to return the favor}.

When you’re enlisting help be sure to make it fun, put on some music or make it a game to pass the time and encourage cheerful workers.

Keep it Simple

Use products that will clean without a lot of work. This is what I call “Return on Rub”. If you spend hours using a product that makes you scrub and sweat, and you’re not left with something sparkling clean, it’s so not worth it, am I right???

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Clean Smart. I clean smart using products I know that work, and products that are super easy to use.

Remember the smelly kitchen I mentioned above? One reason kitchens get so smelly is because the ever-so-helpful garbage disposal won’t clean itself. I know, maybe in the year 2030 that will be a thing, but in the meantime giving our garbage disposal a deep clean with minimal effort is humanly possible.

affresh® Disposal Cleaner is designed specifically to clean and remove odor causing residue using powerful foaming action.

 

Not only does it work, {trust me I tried it}, but it’s easy to use. Follow the instructions listed on the back of the box once a month or as needed.

 

 

 

1. Get ready for awesome affresh® cleaning to take place

2. Turn on hot water to a low flow

3. Place 1 fresh, citrus scented tablet in your disposal

4. Turn on the disposal for 15-30 seconds and watch the foaming action

After turning off your disposal and rinsing any foam residue, enjoy a fresh smelling disposal in practically less than a minute.

Wherever there is a specific cleaning job to do, you can count on affresh® cleaners to provide the right tool for the job. Purchase your affresh® cleaners HERE

 

Break it Up

When you’re thinking of steps you need to clean your kitchen think broad and make a list, when you break the work into chunks and spread it out it becomes easier to tackle. If you’re a visual person writing down your task might be a great help. We have a white board in our kitchen that has many uses including writing down and checking off chores.

Here is a list of some tasks that may be helpful to send you on your kitchen cleaning journey:

  • Counters
  • Appliances {you could even break these down more}
  • Sink & Disposal {see tip above}
  • Floors
  • Cabinets

Your tasks may vary depending on the size of your kitchen, your appliances and your personal preference, but hopefully this is a great start to a clean kitchen this Summer.

 

What tips do you have to keep your kitchen clean, and you’re not allowed to say, “don’t use it”, I’ve tried that but eating out every meal is too expensive. 

 

Tips for Teaching your Family Safe Online Behavior

This is a sponsored post in partnership with KidGuard. Any opinions or thoughts are that of MommyBKnowsBest.

Navigating the web as an adult can be tricky, whether you’re faced with security problems, or just overwhelmed by the harsh comments on social media, it always seems like there’s something you have to look out for.

 

 

In an age like today it’s almost impossible to not be online especially for younger generations. For parents, if your child is on a social media platform or website that you’ve never seen that’s a big problem.

Remember when your child was little, you wanted to know a couple of things right?
It was important to:
  • Know where your children were
  • Know what they were doing

The same rules follow suit online.

Yes, your children are older, more responsible, however it’s still important to:

  • Know what sites and platforms they are on
  • Know how they are using social media and the internet

And how do you do this if you’re not online with them?

We have to educate ourselves every step of the way with parenting. Right? Here are some things you’ve probably done as a parent that you can apply to parenting children who are online.

We ask our parents and friends for advice

You may not ask your parents unless they’re super tech savvy but talk to friends, specifically friends who you know have navigated parenting children who are online and done it well.

We read books and articles

There are so many great resources out there. I highly recommend KidGuard, they have recently published a how-to guide to educate parents on the importance of developing their children’s digital citizenship and safe online behavior filled with amazing tips for motoring cell phone use, GPS tracking, facts about Cyber Bullying that you may not have heard, and it’s a free resource. Check it out here: KidGuard Parents’ Survival Guide to Online Safety.

We buy products that help us parent

Whether you look into downloading software or add apps, choose tools that will give you the end result you are looking for, whether it’s security, limited screen time, privacy, or all of the above. Some are available for free, or trial periods, but I have found that the programs that are paid are often well worth the money spent. Consider it an investment into the well being of your family.
So what’s your first step? There’s no “right” way or formula for teaching your family online safety, rather the important step is to start. Pick one of the three ways above and get started, once you realize how helpful resources like KidGuard {kidguard.com} can be a whole new world will open up to you and you’ll be a step closer to parenting at your best in a tech-savvy world.

What’s In My Diaper Bag? – Diaper Bag Essentials

This is a sponsored post with Beech-Nut brand, however all opinions are my own, honest thoughts.

 

Let’s face it moms are always on-the-go, whether it’s doctor’s appointments, playdates, or running errands. It’s so hard to try to remember the list of things to bring with you as you scramble to make it out the door. Organization and pre-planning go a long way in the mommy world, and while it’s not possible to plan everything {ie, diaper blowouts, or traffic jams; both equally horrible}, there are some things that you can plan that are easy and will simplify your life.

Today’s What’s in My Diaper Bag? – Diaper Bag Essentials post isn’t an absolute list, it’s a list to get you started in the right direction and allows you to make changes that will fit your family and personal on-the-go needs.

Playtime

The type of toy will vary depending on your child’s age, but generally speaking choose toys that are easily washable. You already know those toys are going straight to the ground. Sophie la Girafe Teether** {pictured above} is a must-have diaper bag toy. She’s easy to find in stores and can be wiped down quickly {don’t use her as a bath toy}.

Some fabric toys that wrap around the carseat or shopping cart are great too. {Always look for machine-washable to save yourself some time and stress.}

Mealtime

Easy travel dining ware, like pop-up bowls and disposable flatware are great for meals on the go.

I also highly recommend easy snacks. We’re pretty mindful of what our kids are eating and compare brands to see which are the healthiest and Beech-Nut** really stands out. Not only are their baby and toddler snacks and cereals real ingredients, but they are super portable and a great addition to your diaper bag essentials.

 

Check out their Naturals™ and Organics™ lines:

 

Don’t forget the two-in-one highchair/shopping cart cover like this multi-colored Eddie Bauer Reversible Cart & High Chair Cover**. We loved ours and highly recommend keeping one in your diaper bag. {Opt for darker colors to hide stains.}

While we are at it, I love these Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Milk Feeding Bib the unique dribble catcher absorbs moisture and is ideal for drips or teething and they’re reversible as well.

Changing time

Of course diapers and wipes are important, we heart Pampers brand. Be sure to put a few diapers in your bag, get a travel wipes case, and remember to check every so often to refill.

Changing Pads often come with diaper bags but personally I’ve always been hesitant to use them because I feel like they may not be super clean, I typically go with disposable options and you can find earth-friendly versions as well.

Don’t feel like carrying a dirty diaper around in your diaper bag? Yuck! I highly recommend having the handy Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser & Bags** attached to your diaper bag at all times. It clips on to the strap AND smells great.

 

 

Remember the extra change of clothes for when messes occur, trust me you’ll thank me later.

Mommy time

It’s always nice to have a few things for mom stashed away in your diaper bag. Remember some bottled water, a quick snack, extra clothes, and maybe even some shower wipes to freshen up a bit. If you can sneak a good book or magazine in, GO YOU!!

Healthy time

Disinfect the world. Okay I know some germs are good, but for public places and unexpected stops I love a good disinfecting wipe. Yep, I’m that mom.

You can buy a set of nail clippers, a thermometer, all your baby’s health needs separately, but why when you can get everything in a complete set that comes with a great little bag to keep everything in one place in your diaper bag. Love this set by Safety 1st. Check out their Deluxe Healthcare & Grooming Kit**.

Okay on this last one, I have not personally tried this but feel like I have seen parents in a standing ovation over this health product. Ladies, and gents, I give you the Fridababy NoseFrida® Nasal Aspirator**. Again, people swear by it and reviews on shopping sites are pretty impressive.

 

And don’t forget the cute Oh Joy!® Backpack Diaper Bag** that’s super stylish and just the right size to hold all your essentials and not be overwhelmingly large.

 

So tell me, What’s In Your Diaper Bag? No, seriously, I really want to know! Leave a comment below, can’t wait to see what your must-haves are.

How to Quickly Clean Your House When Hosting Guests

“I’m sharing affresh® in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™ #affresh

I love a good night in with friends whether we are hosting in our home or headed to a friend’s house. It’s so nice to enjoy the laughs, the food, and the company, but before any of that happens I find myself stressed out with a long list of things to clean and do. In an effort to protect my sanity, I came up with a few tips to help clean your house when hosting guests.

Plan of Attack

I’m a planner by nature, and if you’re not this step will help you be able to focus on what you REALLY need to clean rather than scrambling around and not really getting to the tasks that are high priority.

  • Think about what rooms your guests will be in (encourage them to be in only a couple)
  • Decide which rooms are the messiest and cleanest
  • Figure out if you can multitask (i.e. wash the tablecloths while vacuuming)

Cook First

If you are making food for your guests you don’t want to clean and then cook because you’ll only end up cleaning the kitchen twice. Cook first if at all possible, check out great make ahead recipes on my Pinterest board.

Quick Tip: If you don’t have time to cook there are great options at local grocery stores and wholesale stores. Deli, fruit, veggie, and dessert platters are great and so easy to re-plate.

Clean Smart

So many times I’ve started to clean something and forgot leaving cleaning spray to dry or dishes soaking for far too long. Tackling one room at a time, one area at a time. For example, if I’m in the kitchen typically I’ll clean the stove top first then the counters, then move on to the dishes.

Quick tip: If you have a ceramic cooktop, and it has caked on residue, or if you have gas stovetop grates that are dirty and want a quick and easy cleaning solution, I recommend cleaning smart with affresh® Cooktop Cleaning Wipes, designed specifically for your cooktop. These dual-sided wipes have built-in scrubbers to remove everyday residues and a smooth side to clean your cooktop with a streak-free finish.

The affresh® Cooktop Cleaning Wipes not only smell fresh, but are easy to use and who doesn’t love simple?!?

  • Remove a wipe from the pouch
  • Reseal for freshness
  • Scrub with the textured side
  • Polish with the smooth side
  • Wipe with a soft, dry cloth for a streak-free finish
  • Throw away the wipe when finished

Save yourself some time, clean smart and pick up your own affresh® Cooktop Cleaning Wipes or other affresh® cleaners to provide the right tool for the job at amazon.com/affresh

 

Tuck it Away

Have you ever seen the sitcoms where guests come over and open a closet only to experience an avalanche of objects? Let’s not go that far with putting things out of sight, but do scan the room looking for items that you may be able to put in a drawer. I have found in our home it’s great to have furniture that doubles as storage, like a storage ottoman, or decorative storage bins/baskets, especially when you are in a time crunch.

Enlist Help

More hands means faster cleaning! Ask people who you know won’t mind helping clean. You may want to consider asking them which cleaning chores they like best, happy workers are hard workers. Always offer some form of payment, whether it’s food, or a hug to a good friend, a thank-you note, or a gift card, let them know their help was appreciated. If possible try to co-host an event and divvy up the chores between you.

 

Of course these are just a few ways to make cleaning your home for guests and entertaining easier. I would love to hear your tips. Leave a comment on how you clean before you host guests.

 

Exploring Love Languages – Words of Affirmation

 

“Words can build you up,
Words can break you down,
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out.”

 

These are some of the lyrics of the song Words by Hawk Nelson. This has been true since the beginning of the spoken word, even as children we proclaimed in a sing-songy voice “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. We sang this not because it was true, but as a chant to ward off the pain that some harsh words can bring.

Though everyone is impacted in some way by words, there are some of us that give words great value. This means that discouraging or hurtful words feel even more sharp, and words of praise and encouragement mean the world to us. If it isn’t obvious by the way I’m describing this Love Language, Words of Affirmation is the number one way I feel loved.

 

 

Welcome to another installment of the Exploring Love Languages series on MommyB Knows Best. If you still haven’t read the  or taken your 5 Love Languages test (or test your family/friends) I strongly encourage you to check it out Exploring Love Languages and How to Show Them post.

If you know your love language(s) that will help you understand how you most like to be loved and also be a good determining factor in how you typically show love. Showing love to others is great no matter what way you choose to show it but in some instances love is received best using the love language of those we pour our love into. If we really care, I believe it’s important to get to know not only their personality but their love language as well.

Let’s dive into yet another love language and learn together. Each love language is so unique and I’d love your help, if you fit in the current category or know some great ways to show love using this love language won’t you please leave a comment with some advice?

 

To someone who doesn’t share this Love Language here are some ways to express love to people who value Words of Affirmation:

Use high value words

The words love, grateful, appreciate, proud, special, needed, best are some great words to focus on when speaking with someone who likes Words of Affirmation. Can you think of any others?

Compliment them

Pick something you really like about that person and tell them, it may not come easy to compliment, but will mean the world to them. Also, the more personal and specific you can get the better. Try to compliment them in an area that you know they work especially hard in. For example, if they volunteer a lot it’s likely that’s something they love and will be honored that you think enough to mention it.

Write it down

Words of Affirmation don’t have to be spoken words, they can also be written, whether it’s in a card, text, or a short note these words will be appreciated.

Reader Megan H says, “Words is not my love language but I speak words very well as words is one of my husbands love languages and also my daughters. Simple text each day to say you love them or are thinking of them are great. Also lovers of words like cards and simple notes too.”

As with all Love Languages there are several ways to show love in the way a specific person feels it. These are just a few ways to get you started. Do you have any advice on how to love (or how not to love) a person whose love language is Words of Affirmation?? Share in the comments below and if this is your love language be sure to share this post with others.