Music & Your Child

Music Together Tampa

This post is sponsored by Music Together Teacher Training in Tampa, March 20-22nd.  What role does music play in the life of your children?  I'm sure that music has been part of your own life as far back as you can remember.  For our family, music consists mostly of songs we hear on the radio.  We don't censor the radio stations too much, so the kids end up signing and dancing along to whatever is popular.  I don't mind listening to kids stations but you'll never find them on in my husbands car. I remember when my son was little, we would attend a Mommy & Me (or daddy) type music class at a play area near us.  It was mostly a "mommy" outing that we would go to with our local playgroup.  There were fun little songs that they sang to the kids, gestures and dances that went along to each one, and even some musical instruments for the kids to play with.  It's been almost 9 years since we attended one of those classes and you may still catch me singing one of the songs.  I ... [ Read More ]

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

@THEECOCHIC

She's been featured on my blog since she was just a baby and Sunday she turned SIX! I'm still not sure how time has gone by so quickly.  I'm now a mom of a six year old and an eleven year old.  My life is full and there is never a dull moment.  I know that sounds SOOOO cliche but it's true! She's in Kindergarten and reading like a pro. She still likes to sleep in our bed. She is independent...but really likes it when mommy helps her. She hasn't learned to tie her shoes yet. She's very artistic and loves to color, paint, and draw. She wants to be a vet when she grows up. She loves animals and always wants to pet any dog that walks by. She loves candy. She looks up to her big brother. She is the most beautiful, smart, and sassy little girl I've ever met.  Yes, I'm a little partial but it's true! She had a wonderful birthday with just our immediate family and asked for Outback for dinner.  She didn't have cake, but devoured the entire bowl of ice cream! Happy ... [ Read More ]

Cool Kids Gift Ideas

Cool Kids Gifts

  Affiliate links present in this post.  My kids are on different extremes when it comes to Christmas gifts this year.  My daughter is 5 (almost 6) and wants EVERYTHING she sees on TV or in the sales flyers. I seriously think if they came out with a LaLaLoopsy lump of coal she'd want it.  My son is 11 and a little more difficult to shop for this year.  There really isn't much that he's asked for.  Here are just a few gift ideas for kids of all ages... Lottie & Friends Lottie is a relatively new set of dolls for children ages 3-9.  Unlike traditional "Barbie" style dolls, Lottie is an actual child herself.  She doesn't have boobs, doesn't wear make-up, no high healed shoes! She's just a kid.  Lottie has some fun outfits that you can change and pets you can get.  My daughter has been playing with Lottie for a few weeks now and really likes it. She looks at Lottie like a friend, tells her secrets, and tries to sneak her to school in her backpack.  I happened to be ... [ Read More ]

How to Bake the PERFECT Christmas Cookie

Christmas Cookies

I'm FINALLY in the Christmas spirit and in the mood to bake a few batches of our favorite cookies.  We don't bake much the rest of the year, but I always find time to bake cookies with the kids in December.  You probably won't stumble upon my recipes pinned on Pinterest or on the pages of a magazine, but I make the PERFECT Christmas Cookies!!  Do you want to know my secret? First, go to the baking aisle of your favorite store and pick up a few packs of morsels that look good to you.  I couldn't find our favorite mint chocolate chips from last year, but I did find some red & green morsels and a pack of toffee chips.  At least that will make up some good chocolate chip cookies, right!? Next, think really hard about what other key ingredients may be missing from your kitchen.  I know I needed eggs and I thought I was out of stick butter so I chunked those in our cart.  I can't possible think of anything else that I'm out of so we head to the checkout. After dinner is over and ... [ Read More ]

Surviving Parenthood…..one bag of hair at a time!

Surviving Parenthood one bag of hair at a time

Parenting is hard, yo! There are no owners manuals to raising kids.  Just when I thought I was starting to grasp this parenting thing, my daughter thought it would be fun to write a new story in her childhood. It was just an ordinary day; I had left the house to go pick the kids up after school, stop off at home for a few minutes to change clothes before heading off to Girl Scouts.  We have our routine conversations on the way home.  You know, "How was your day?" and all that jazz. I had just pulled out of the school parking lot when I asked that question today.  My son started by telling me about a project he was working on.  We made it about 1-2 miles down the road when my life was changed forever!! It started with my son.  I honestly can't remember what he said, but my daughter must have handed him the bag of hair.  He asked her a few questions before I realized what was going on and he handed me the bag of hair. It was at this time that I think all the breath left my ... [ Read More ]

Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas – Fun With Lunch Series

Nut Free School Lunch Ideas

Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year.  You don’t have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun.  Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes! With an increased awareness of nut allergies, many classrooms and schools are going nut-free for everyone.  I know that my daughter's class is completely nut-free (a few children in her class have nut-allergies) and it can be challenging to find things they will eat that comply with the nut-free zone.  As a mom who loves peanut butter, it hurts to have to spend a little extra money on peanut-free butters - but the lives of the other children are worth more than those few dollars.  I'm thankful that I don't have to stress out about my child being exposed to nuts in the classroom because it only takes one small encounter for an allergic child to have a reaction that could be fatal. Note: Some of the products featured in this post ... [ Read More ]

Easy {Healthy} Pre-Packed Lunch & Snack Ideas – Fun With Lunch Series

Annies Snack Kits

Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year.  You don’t have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun.  Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes! In todays post I'm sharing some easy (and healthy) pre-packed lunch and snack ideas for busy moms. Note: Some of the products featured in this post have been sent to me free for review.  Others I have purchased myself. I’m sharing them with you because I reach for these first before anything else in my fridge or pantry. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, my kids have been eating school lunch all year! I have tried to get them some fun, healthy lunches like the ones you see above, but they insist on buying lunch.  For my daughter, it's a novelty for her to order lunch.  This is her first year in school and she really likes feeling like a big girl. With that secret out in the open, I still have to pack snacks for my ... [ Read More ]

Waste-Free Lunch Containers – Fun With Lunch Series

Eco-Friendly Lunch Boxes @TheEcoChic

Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year.  You don't have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun.  Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes! In the first part of this series I'm sharing some of my favorite waste-free lunch containers. Note: Some of the products featured in this post have been sent to me free for review.  Others I have purchased myself. I'm sharing them with you because I reach for these first before anything else in my collection. Waste-Free Lunch Containers: Let's talk about the containers for a minute because the container alone can make for a fun lunch.  Laptop Lunches (affiliate link) are a complete Bento Box system with one large box with the 5 smaller boxes inside.  I love that they have both closed containers and containers that are open. They even have a tiny container that is perfect for sauces or dressings. Another great container ... [ Read More ]

Sleepover Survival Tips For Parents

Sleepover Survival Tips For Parents

...and when I say parents, I really mean you - mom! At 11 years old my son has only had about 3-4 sleepovers and they've all been at our house.  I'm starting to wonder if sleepovers are still a "thing" that kids do.  Regardless, this past weekend my son convinced me that he should invite 2 of his good friends over for a sleepover. It gets better... ...he also invited the 5 year old sister of one of the boys to have a sleepover with my 5 year old daughter (they go to school together also). That's right, my son convinced me that having 5 kids in my house this weekend was a good idea!  Did I mention that I decided to go buy a car on the same day as the sleepover?  With 2 kids? By myself?  Um, yeah.... After visiting 3 car dealerships with 2 bored kids and signing the papers to my brand new Jeep Cherokee, I rushed home to a messy house to welcome 3 additional kids over for the night.  I must have still been on my "new car" high because I welcomed these kids with a huge smile ... [ Read More ]

5 Reasons Skating Rinks Need Open Bars for Parents

Source: http://www.seskate.com/news/older-news/items/60-skate-mate-trainer.html

We are nearing the end of the second week of school and I just survived the first school skate night of the year....barely!  I am convinced that every skating rink needs to have an open bar for the parents and taxi's waiting outside to take them home afterwards. 5 Reasons Skating Rinks Should Have Open Bars for the Parents 1. Your kid doesn't know how to skate!  It's only been 2 months since she last practiced with her friend but she was terrified because of all the big kids on the rink.  She decided to cry instead. 2. Your child's friends skate better and faster than they do!  Her little BFF just wanted to skate and had no fear.  They both had their little PVC trainers (see here if you don't know what I'm talking about), but her friend was faster than her.  She decided to stop and cry instead of catch up with her friend. 3. Big brother is skating with his friends and not little sister!  Big brother is (finally) confident with his mediocre skating abilities and is off ... [ Read More ]