Tag - winter

10 Things I Heart in Winter

I know it’s not “officially” Winter yet, however the things I love all have to do with Winter or the Winter season, so I’m posting my 10 Things I Heart in Winter.

10 Things I Heart Winter MommyB

Here we go!

1. Warm coffee, yummo!!! Here are my favorite varieties:

    • On-the-go –  Starbucks, (My favorite is Hazelnut Macchiato with soy milk)
    • At home – Real Cup Coffee, they have awesome coffees and teas that work great with my Keurig and both hubby and I love. I personally love flavored coffee (see above) and for the Winter season they have a great Winterfest flavor.

Real Coffee MommyB

    • For stocking stuffers – Craft Coffee’s Coffee DNA Project™, if you know a coffee lover this great coffee subscription features coffees you probably won’t find anywhere else in a great sampler size (not too small not too big). Answer some questions, customize or get their recommendations.

2. The Spirit of Giving.

I reviewed and posted about this awesome book last year – The Sparkle Box Book Review and we fell in love. Without giving any of the storyline away the book encourages families to do for others. It not only gives a great incentive to have a giving spirit, but it reminds us what Christmas is all about. I love seeing our sparkling box this time of year and love that my girls desire to fill it up with good deeds for others. Hope you check it out!

3. Smiling Faces, Fun Experiences, and Cute Pets.

Where do all those things appear?? Instagram. Yep, I heart Instagram. Probably my most loved version of social media. It’s less controversial than Facebook can be at times and rather than all the words on Twitter I can see fun, sweet, beautiful pictures that embody the lives of family, friends, and coworkers (aka other bloggers and pr companies).

Recently I received an opportunity to check out #Cube™. Basically it’s a large 8” square LCD touch screen display, that taps into Instagram. #Cube™ delivers real-time and instant continuous delivery of a stream of photos and video clips, has built-in Wi-Fi, free wireless software updates, and is rechargeable. You can put #Cube™ anywhere in your house and move it around easily because it’s wireless (and really cool too.)

Classic_1680_hashtagcube_0008_color9

 

If you know someone who would love this as a gift, or want to buy it for yourself (that’s okay too), head to hashtagcube.com/#cube and for a $15#cube discount use coupon code: CUBE71 at checkout (affiliate link).

4. Christmas Cards

I love making our Christmas Cards each year, but even more so I love receiving them. We’re thankful for any cards we receive this time of year, but I’m especially partial to those with pictures of beautiful families, awesome couples, fun kids, awesome babies, and sweet pets. This month we’ve already received a bunch and I can’t wait to see new ones that come each day and hang them up.

5. Elderberry

Each time we get sick (which I feel like for a family of four isn’t too often, but often enough), I have a couple of dear friends who remind me the power of Elderberry. Well just last month I decided to get on the Elderberry train and I’m so glad I did! I didn’t realize all of the great benefits of Elderberry especially when you’re fighting an illness.

Norm’s Farms (locally in NC but ships worldwide), has an AMAZING selection of Elderberry products, that we used and loved (okay the girls didn’t like the taste but I thought it was similar to cranberry and loved it). My favorite product is their Elderberry Extract which is great for boosting your immune system, and has 2 times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries. They also have some great jellies and jams you’ll want to check out as well.

Norms Farms Elderberry MommyB

I also found some Elderberry products in health stores like lozenges that included zinc which I’ve heard is also another great, homeopathic way to treat a cough/cold. So don’t put it off like me, try Elderberry and then come back and thank me when you fall in love too!

6. Gettin’ Crafty.

Now that my girls are older, they want more hands-on activities and learning opportunities that a coloring book just won’t achieve. We often keep recycled materials in a bin in their “kids’ office” but we also buy science experiment kits, and craft sets.

We were able to try CreatorBox, a built-it-yourself subscription box that includes a new toy each month. The box comes complete with instructions and quality materials and feature some really cool things you wouldn’t normally think to create like a trebuchet/catapult, paper airplane launcher, and smart house.

For us, this was a great project for the girls to do with DaddyB because I often work on arts, crafts and projects with them, but due to DaddyB’s work schedule the quality time he does have is on the weekends. We saved our catapult for the girls to put together with him and they had a blast with it! I highly recommend this for great family bonding, and learning too!

7. Holiday Shopping

We don’t go big for Christmas presents but we do buy each of our girls 3 gifts (want, need, read) and this year we also bought most of our family 3 gifts as well (one thoughtful gift, one gift card, and one handmade gift). While at a recent BJ’s Holiday event, my assistant Lil’ C and I were introduced to quite a few great gift sets and learned a little more about BJ’s Wholesale as well.

Though we were members for several years, mostly buying diapers and paper products, I never realized how much larger BJ’s Wholesale is than their competitors, carrying more than double typically. They also have a great charitable foundation that gives back to the community and each store also participates in several outreach opportunities throughout the season including an angel tree. Did you know that???

Here are some of the great gifts for two-legged family and friends (and some four legged ones too):

BJs Holiday MommyB

 

8. Fun Movies

I love fun winter and Christmas movies, don’t you? The problem with fun movies though is that there are so many to choose from, so I’m gonna try to keep my list simple. Try is the operative word people. In no particular order:

  • Elf, for obvious reasons.
  • Iesodo’s new JOY themed video
  • The Grinch (good lessons in here)
  • Home Alone (and Home Alone 2 but if I have to pick, I’d go with the first one)
  • Any Veggie Tales Christmas, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, Saint Nicholas is a great one to teach your kiddos about who St. Nicholas really was, and the Ultimate Christmas Collection has a bunch of great holiday DVDs in one great set.

9. Goodies

Yep, it’s the season of candy and sweets, cookie exchanges, and delicious stocking stuffers. One of my favorite places to pick up sweet treats for my family is CVS/pharmacy. They have the usual treats like candy canes, gold coins (which I always put in the girls’ stockings), and other great candy bars, nuts, and trail mixes to name a few, plus the sales and prices are….awesome.

CVS Gold Emblem Select MommyB

10. You! 

The biggest thing I love this Winter is you!! I always try to remind you, my readers, that I’m so thankful and blessed to have you stopping by my site, reading, and sharing my posts. I hope that you have a great winter, a Merry Christmas and of course an awesome New Year. Thank you for being so amazing for yet another year end. I heart you!!!

 

 

 

This is not a sponsored post, however I have worked with some of the above brands in various ways and received some product to showcase on my blog. Any and all opinions expressed in the above post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary. 

Top 10 Uses for Blankets All Year Long

Not sure if you’ve been following my Instagram posts lately, but today I posted a video of snow…yes, it’s the end of March…yep, I live in North Carolina.

I know it’s been an insane Winter/Spring for everyone around the Nation, and while I’m used to having some snow in the Spring having grown up in Southwestern NY, the weather this year baffles me. Luckily though, my girls have been keeping warm since we received their INSANELY soft, adorable, personalized blankets.

American Blanket Company was kind enough to send one blanket for each of the girls to try out and they were personalized with their names and a heart. LOVE!!!

American Blanket Company Review MommyB

With what started as a fine women’s apparel business in 1964, the rich heritage has continued and resulted in the birth of the American Blanket Company in 2012. American Blanket Company’s products are hand made in Massachusetts are are 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

The blankets arrived in the most adorable boxed packaging and the girls were very excited to see what their surprise would be. In an instant they pulled their Luster Soft Fleece Blankets out of the boxes wrapped themselves up in the pretty soft pink blankets.

DaddyB and I could not believe how soft these blankets were. Words like “not humanly possible” and “must be against the rules” were a few phrases uttered regarding the amazement of their texture. The embroidering looked well made also, and was perfectly placed in one corner so the girls knew which blanket was theirs.

I would highly, highly recommend American Blanket Company if you’re looking for a gift, yours will be the one that will be talked about and remembered, whether it’s for Birthday, Baby Showers, Anniversaries, Christmas, or for you it’s great that it can be personalized and an amazing quality. Well worth the price.

If you’re thinking you only need a blanket when it’s below zero degrees outside, think again. Here are my Top 10 Uses for Blankets All Year Long:

Top 10 Uses for Blankets All Year Round MommyB

  1. Keep warm during freezing Winter temps or unseasonably cold Spring weather.
  2. Great for cozying up during family movie night or a night in with your adoring spouse.
  3. Perfect comforter for when you have a sick little one {or that sick little one is you}.
  4. Softest picnic blanket on Earth.
  5. Makes a beautiful, memorable baby gift {you can personalize it too}.
  6. Looks nice draped over your sofa or on your bed {especially if you include your family name}.
  7. Works well for blanket forts on rainy days.
  8. Gives a nice, comfortable, place to sit during tailgate events.
  9. Says, “I love you this much” to guests who are visiting who get the pleasure of using a blanket made by American Blanket Company.
  10. A great use for stress relief. Rub the soft, plush, material and melt your worries away.

What are your favorite uses for blankets during any season of the year?

Wanna check out American Blanket Company??

Website: americanblanketcompany.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AmericanBlanketCompany

Twitter: twitter.com/USABlanket

 

We received sample products from American Blanket Company in order to test and review for this blog post. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are honest however your opinions may vary.

Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream Copycat – Snow Cream Recipe

Have you been seeing sightings of “Snow Cream” posts on social media? The last time it snowed this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, everyone and their mothers were talking about it, and making it.

Before this year I had NEVER heard a single thing about it, and until today, I had never tried it. If you have snow it’s really pretty easy and tastes almost exactly like Chick-Fil A’s Ice Dream, so thus the copycat recipe.

PicMonkey CollageHow to Make Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream Copycat Snow Cream Recipe MommyB

If you are expecting snow, place a large, clean pot {or several} out to collect enough for about 6-8 cups of snow. I used the biggest pot that I had in my kitchen and set it on one of our outdoor chairs {hoping that no animals bothered it.} Empty Pot for Snow Cream MommyB

Pot Full of Snow for Snow Cream Mommyb

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of fresh, clean snow
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (I like Eagle brand) If you don’t have condensed milk you can use heavy cream, coffee creamer, almond milk, coconut milk etc, you just may have to add more sweetener.
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Toppings (think chocolate sauce, sprinkles, fruit, nuts)

How to make Ice Dream Copycat aka Snow Cream:

Once you have 6-8 cups or more of snow prepare to experience your first taste of Snow Cream. I measured mine {sort of}.

Measure Snow for Snow Cream MommyB

Add all of your ingredients in a mixing bowl or if you want to leave in the pot you collected the snow in that’s fine too. I started with the condensed milk, then added the vanilla extract.

Milk for Snow Cream Recipe MommyB

Mix all of the ingredients until combined. I would recommend not to mix until the Snow Cream is smooth though as it will become too “soupy” and more like a milkshake {which would be yummy too}.

After mixing, consider adding your favorite toppings or enjoying as is {both are delicious}.

Snow Cream Toppings MommyB

My girls decided they wanted to add their favorite ice cream sauce and rainbow sprinkles. The sprinkles definitely gave us some color on this cold wintery day. They loved eating them in their Disney cups too, which worked out perfectly when the last few scoops were liquid-y enough to sip.

Snow Cream Ice Dream MommyB

There you have it, simple, yummy, and tastes just like Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream {or maybe even a little yummier.}

Have you ever heard of Snow Cream?? Have you ever eaten or made it??

Like this recipe?? Be sure to share with your friends and follow MommyBKnowsBest.com for more great recipes, product reviews, and parenting tips and tricks.

 

Winter Camp at The Little Gym

This post is in partnership with The Little Gym of Huntersville/Lake Norman.

‘Tis the season to have fun and learn!!

camps

If you are a parent in the Charlotte, Huntersville, Lake Norman or surrounding areas and are looking for fun activities to enroll your children in, The Little Gym of Huntersville/Lake Norman Winter Camp Extravaganza starts this Monday!

Camp days are December 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31 and January 2, & 3.  Your child will spend 4 hours learning gymnastics skills, creating themed crafts, and playing holiday games with other children. Drop-off starts at 9:00am and pick up is at 1:00pm. Send your kiddos with a nut-free lunch and spend some time picking up last-minute Christmas gifts, cleaning your house for the in-laws visit, or taking a much needed break from errands and chores.

With themes like Winter Camping, The Treasure of Blizzard Mountain, and New Year’s Beach Bash, your kid may not want to leave when it’s pick up time!

Camp is available to both members and non-members, and varies in pricing depending on membership status. Sibling discounts are available as well!!

Children must be between the ages of 3 and 10 years old and bathroom independent to attend camp.

Call The Little Gym of Huntersville/Lake Norman to enroll your child at 704-948-7665 at let them know you heard about camp on MommyBKnowsBest.com

The Little Gym of Lake Norman/Huntersville

 

As a Mombassador for The Little Gym Huntersville/LKN my daughters receive complimentary classes. I do not receive monetary compensation, and all the opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions. Yours may vary.

NCircle Winter Wonderland Christmas DVD Giveaway {CLOSED}

The Wiggles

We are a television watching family. The girls have random times throughout the day when we watch television or DVDs. One time they watch is when I am doing their hair. Because they have such curly hair it takes me anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes per girl and television is the best way to keep their beautiful, heads still. A few shows we like to watch are The Wiggles, for their singing and dancing of course,  The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, which is a newer show that the girls love to giggle at, WordWorld, which I love because it teaches spelling and teamwork, Chloe’s Closet, is one of Miss A’s favorites because of make-believe play and The Fairies, the latest kids’ sensation from Australia, which surprisingly Baby C adores and says “fairies” when we turn it on.

When I was offered the opportunity to watch, review, and give away this 5 DVD holiday collection of some of our favorite shows from NCircle, it was right up our alley.

The WigglesThe Wiggles, “It’s Always Christmas With You!,” includes a mix of 14 original new tunes and seasonal favorites. It’s the first holiday DVD in seven years from the beloved platinum-selling band from Down Under, and it features celebrity guests including ‘N Sync’s Joey Fatone, who sings a sweet rendition of “O Holy Night.” We love it because it introduces children to the diverse ways different cultures celebrate the holidays and The Wiggles are always good, clean, fun.

“The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That: Told From the Cold” DVD has four episodes from the popular PBS Kids series. Actor-comedian Martin Short is the voice of The Cat in the Hat, and I love his characters in movies. The four episodes on this learning-and-fun-filled DVD are: Snowman’s Land, Flight of the Penguin, A Long Winter’s Nap and Reindeer Games. The girls really liked the episode on the penguin named Percy and learn how to waddle like a penguin and love to sing along to the easy songs.

My favorite DVD is “WordWorld: New Happy Holiday WordFriends”. The show is an Emmy Award-winning PBS Kids series for obvious reasons. This DVD features three holiday-themed episodes: The Christmas Star, A Christmas Present for Dog, and Duck’s Family Reunion – plus a bonus music video, Dancing Dog. I love how the characters demonstrate that it is better to give than receive. Great messages to be had in this DVD for sure.

The DVD that Miss A requests the most is: “Chloe’s Closet: Winter Wonderland”. The DVD features four episodes: On Frozen Pond, Best in Snow, Getting to Snow You, and Icing Escapades. Miss A loves that the girls turn into snow princesses and make snowflakes and also one of the episodes features Chloe ice skating, pretty nice since we don’t get much of the white stuff here in Charlotte, North Carolina.

FairiesLastly, “The Fairies: Christmas Wishes in Fairyland” is a DVD where Fairyland is transformed into a magical Christmas setting. Tiny tots will sing and dance along to their favorite Christmas carols {and some of mine too} and learn new songs as they celebrate the joys of the season with the beautiful fairies, Harmony and Rhapsody! I love that my girls can learn traditional Christmas carols through this DVD.

Overall we are pleased and love every one of these DVDs and think they are great for the Christmas/Winter-y weather season and I highly recommend them for long trips or even short moments of fun for your kiddos. They would even be great for a holiday movie viewing party since there are no scary parts, no questionable moments, and some good messages for our kiddos.

NCircle is provide a prize of FIVE DVDs (one of each title) to a MommyB Knows Best reader!!

How to Win

Head over to NCircle’s website here: http://www.ncircleentertainment.com/default.aspx and tell me which is your favorite title. If you don’t use the prize pack for yourself consider giving it as a gift for the holiday season.

1. Follow MommyBKnowsBest on Twitter

2. Tweet– using @mommybknowsbest and #NCircle linking back to this giveaway. (up to 5 tweets a day)

Not an entry because MommyB Knows Best follows Facebook TOS, but we’d love it if you’d go check out NCircle here: on Facebook

RulesGiveaway ends December 15th @12:00 am. The winner will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.

I received a copy of the above DVDs to watch and give my opinion on. I received no monetary compensation for this post and all words and thoughts are my own. Yours may vary.

Hooray for a Snow Day?

It’s a, “Winter Wonderland” here in Charlotte, and as my friend Adam Sandler would say, “Whoop-a-dee-do!” Yes I’m so over snow, sorry, being born and raised about 2 hours south of Buffalo, New York will take a toll on anyone.

Yes I think it’s beautiful blah blah blah, but I’ve had my share of shoveling the drive way, my car, the steps, thesidewalk, the rooftops, my neighbor’s head, the dog house down the street, yack-ity yack. Even at Christmas time I could do without and for those of you who think I’m a hum-bug, our typical snowfall each year can begin as early as October (flakes on Halloween for sure,) and I’ve witnessed snow even in May, that makes for a looooooooooooooooooong winter! Read More