New Year's Resolutions for Kids

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New Year's Resolutions for Kids

Tomorrow starts a new year and with it, many of us will be making new year's resolutions. Most of those resolutions last a few months if we're lucky. Then we end up feeling bad about ourselves before forgetting about them all together. Well, why should adults have all the fun? I decided to burden my kids with the pressure of making a new year's resolution. 

They have been excited about the new year, so I explained the concept of a new year's resolution for kids. I asked them if there was something they wanted to do better and this is what they came up with. Picky eater A said she resolved to try everything at dinner. Sassypants B said she would not have an attitude, and rebellious C said she would listen to Mommy and Daddy. I wanted them to remember these resolutions so I decided to make some simple frames where they could display their resolutions.

Read more to see how we did it.
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Food Fun Friday - Birthday Cake Popcorn

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Food for Children, Birthday Cake Popcorn

Food for children needs to be delicious and fun. I was looking through my pantry for something we could add to regular popcorn to take it up a notch. You'd be surprised how quick and easy it is to make some "fancy popcorn." This would be great served at a party or as a hostess gift. I didn't come up with the name "Birthday Cake Popcorn" until we made it and tasted it. It was just so yummy and colorful that it reminded me of birthday cake. See if you don't agree.

Read on for the recipe.
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Must Have Items from @TheSharperImage

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sharper Image for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I think of Sharper Image, I think of innovative and imaginative products that you don't see everywhere. I remember how fun it used to be to go into Sharper Image stores and see the useful items they had in stock. In addition to finding Sharper Image products at fine retailers, Sharper Image is now a catalog and website store where shoppers can experience the same sense of excitement and fun that were found in the stores. Even better, shoppers can now thoroughly research items,view informative video clips, access customer reviews and rankings, and track orders. And if you ever need any help, you can access real time and toll free customer support.

Maybe you didn't get exactly what you were hoping for this holiday season. No problem. You can still get these must have gifts from The Sharper Image. 

Sound Soother

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We have been using noise machines for years. I am a light sleeper and they really help me to block out any outside noises. This Sound Soother offers 20 soothing nature natures which will lull you to sleep. It can be used as an alarm clock and it's sleek brushed metal finish has an extra large display .I love the fact that it can reset itself in the event of a power outage or for daylight savings time. You can have it play continuously or set the timer for various times.

Back Massager

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Who couldn't use a relaxing massage? Now you can have one at home by adding this to any standard chair. With Spot Shiatsu and Perfect-Fit™, you can customize the massage to your particular back and height. Do you want a deep kneading Shiatsu or a rolling massage where four rollers will be massaging you? You can additionally work out aches and pains by adding heat to the massage. I would love to get a massage from this right about now! Just because you're traveling doesn't mean you have to be without the Back Massager.It comes with a carrying bag allowing you to take it wherever you go.

Bluetooth Speaker

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If you do a lot of traveling, this wireless Bluetooth speaker needs to be on your must have list. You can wirelessly connect it with your smart phone, laptop and most notebooks allowing you to control your device from up to 30 feet away. You can also use this with any smart phone for Bluetooth hands free conference calling.

Check out the Sharper Image products above to help make your life easier. Which of these would you love to receive as a gift?

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5 Simple Ways to Use Glue with Kids

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When I think about the craft supplies we constantly restock at our place, glue is at the top of the list. What I love about glue is it's versatility. The same item that can help kids create art can also be used to make fun sensory products, like gak. Well, gak is probably fun for lots of kids. We made some once and the kids were not big fans of how it felt. So we stick to more artsy uses for glue. Here are some of our favorite projects using this sticky substance. Click on the link to get to the post.

Read more to see our ideas.

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Food Fun Friday - Candied Pecans

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I was looking for a simple gift for my kids' teachers that I could make at home. I love the taste of cinnamon sugar nuts, but I always thought they were really complicated to make. Turns out they are fairly simple. The only issue with making these to give away is that you end up eating a ton and having a lot less to give away than you thought. I adapted this recipe from Taste of Home.

See how we made them by clicking read more.
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Kid Made Gift Wrap

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Do you use wrapping paper or gift bags for presents? In our home we use more wrapping paper for the kids and more gift bags for the adults. I remember the excitement of tearing open a package on Christmas morning and it just doesn't seem as exciting to pull something out of a gift bag. I love the ease and convenience a gift bag provides, but there is just something about wrapping paper. 

To add a more personal touch to gifts, we enjoy making our own gift wrap. It's easy to make personal and unique wrapping paper with just a few basic supplies. If you have easel paper and rollers or even sponges or stamps, you can create this Kid Made Gift Wrap for any occasion just by changing up the paint colors.
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Paper Plate Angel

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Besides Santa and Snowmen what do you see everywhere this time of year? Angels. Angels play an important role in the Christmas story so it's no wonder they are so popular. Last week my kids came home with paper plate angels they had made at church. I loved the concept but knew they didn't have the time or materials to really decorate the angel at church. I thought it would be fun to make our own angels and really jazz them up. It was simple to do with materials we already had around the house.
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Making Shopping and Life Easier with RedLaser

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After waiting in one too many long lines over the past few weeks, and searching various stores for items that were out of stock, I hit the wall. I was about to become Scrooge to my family and friends. Luckily, I discovered the FREE RedLaser app which makes shopping easier and quicker. Easier, quicker and FREE - now you're speaking my language.


RedLAser works on IPhone, Android and Windows phones. I was excited to see this as I use an Android phone and often when a cool new app is developed, it is never put out for an Android phone. So score one for the folks at RedLaser!

I am big list maker. I am also a person who forgets her list most of the time. I cannot tell you the number of times I have arrived at a store while my shopping list sits at home on my kitchen counter. That's why one of my favorite RedLaser features is the ability to create lists. This morning, I was going to run a few errands after I dropped the kids off at school. I needed to get some groceries and return some clothes to Old Navy.

I made up a shopping list before I left. It was so easy. I could just look in my pantry and refrigerator for items that were running low, scan the bar code and add it to my list. RedLaser also gives me the opportunity to send that list to someone, like my darling husband. This is perfect for when he asks if he can pick up anything while he is out. This app makes my husband more productive! Here's the list that I sent to his phone.


When my list was done, I was able to check what deals were going on at Old Navy since I would be there later returning clothes. I learned about the sale for $15 off $50 or more which was valid in store only.


I headed out on my errands. Shopping has become more a chore since my daughter started a gluten free diet. I spend a lot of time in stores reading labels and looking for any hidden wheat ingredients. RedLaser has made my life easier on this front. I simply scan the bar code on a product and it tells me what allergens the product contains. When I scan in No Pudge Brownie Mix, it not only provides me with the calorie content and a nutritional rating, but also with common allergens found in the product. This can be revolutionary for someone with food allergies.

 


Another neat feature is the ability to eliminate key rings and store all your store loyalty card info in the app. My keychain is littered with unsightly loyalty cards which I always spend way too much time looking through at the store. I was happy to scan my cards and free up my key ring. It's very simple to add a new card. I added my CVS card and look at the savings I could be getting!



The price comparison feature is really helpful. Who wants to spend more than they have to? Simply scan or enter in the name of the item you wish to purchase and RedLaser will find it and give you a price comparison so you can get the lowest price. It will also let your order the product from your phone and have it shipped to your home. RedLaser will also let you know where you can purchase the product locally and if it is in stock. No more wasting money and gas looking for a specific item. 

Using this app I discovered that the water table I was looking to buy my kids for Christmas is cheaper locally than it is online. I appreciate the fact that the app also lets me know the rating of the product, since it looks like the table I wanted to purchase was not very well regarded. Looks like I need to do a little more research on RedLaser.


RedLaser has been downloaded over 22 million times. Want to join smart shoppers saving money? Download RedLaser for free here.



This post is brought to you by RedLaser. Get the free app at RedLaser.

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Vicky
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Food Fun Friday: Hugs Pretzel Sandwich

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I saw this easy recipe for a kid's treat on Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom, and decided to make it with my girls. I did make a few changes. One of my daughters is on a gluten free diet, so I used gluten free pretzels and added sprinkles to give them a little holiday flair. This is the perfect thing to make with kids. There are many opportunities for them to help and it's pretty hard to mess up.
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Mommy Craft: Christmas Chalkboard Frame

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OK moms, I have a simple Christmas craft for YOU today. You spend so much time doing for others, now is the time to take a few minutes to yourself and create. This adorable Christmas Chalkboard Frame is great to greet guests, countdown the days until Christmas, or write a holiday message.


You will need:

  • Unfinished wooden chalkboard frame (purchased at JoAnn but any craft store would carry it)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sponge brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Mod Podge Rub on Transfers


The first thing I did was tape off the edges of the chalkboard using masking tape.


Next, I painted the wood on the top and sides using some red acrylic paint.


When the frame dries you can use the Mod Podge Rub on Transfers. I picked a sheet with Christmas sayings.


I cut out the sayings I wanted to use on my frame and placed them on sticky side down and rubbed them on using a Popsicle stick.


When I finished adding the rub on transfers all around the frame I decided it needed something more, so I added a layer of Mod Podge to give it a finished and polished look.



When it was all dry, I wrote a message with some chalk and propped it up in a frame stand. I told you it was simple!


I link to these great parties.

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Vicky
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Mrs. Smith's Signature Deep Dish Pies

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith's for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

This is the season of entertaining and that usually requires a lot of planning right? Well if you tired of cooking and planning then Mrs. Smith's Signature Deep Dish pies are perfect for you. Your guests will think you were baking up a storm all day when really all you did was pop a pre-made pie in the oven. 

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What makes these Deep Dish Pies so unique is that you can really customize them according to your tastes or needs thanks to the icing and topping packet. These yummy pies come in 4 delicious flavors: Dutch Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce, Cherry Pie with Butter Fudge Sauce, Peach Pie with Cream Cheese Icing, Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Icing. These pies are similar to the Mrs. Smith's pies you know and love, but there is more wonderful filling. 

I love having pies like this on hand when I get a call that I will be having an unexpected visitor. You can just put one in the oven when you get the call and by the time your guests arrive, it will be ready to enjoy.

You can find Mrs. Smith's Signature Deep Dish Pies at Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart Supercenters and other retailers.

You can follow Mrs. Smith on Facebook and Pinterest.

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Papier Mache Moon from BabbaBox

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One of my kids' favorite things to do each day is to look at the moon and see it's various phases and appearances. That's why they were so excited to receive a BabbaBox full of things about the Sun, Moon and Stars. What's a BabbaBox, you ask? Well, it's a monthly subscription service where a box loaded with fun is sent to your home. The things inside that box will inspire your little ones to learn and create. Let's see what was in our Sun, Moon and Stars box.


Our kit included all the items to make a papier mache moon night light, Twinkle Star of the Week book, Kid binoculars to observe the moon, a lunar calendar, constellation coloring sheets, materials to make a constellation picture frame, and  This should keep us busy for a while!

The first thing we decided to do was make a papier mache moon night light. I love that all the supplies are already included in the BabbaBox. You just add the kids!


My kids are 2 and 4, so a little adult help was required for this project. I blew up the balloon and mixed my glue and water together to make a papier mache paste.


The kids had so much fun with this next part. They got to rip paper. On purpose! While they ripped the paper differently, one making long thin strips and another making shirt thick strips, they each got a great fine motor workout.


My two year old enjoyed getting her hands dirty by dipping the paper in the glue and then placing it on the balloon.



Soon, we had the entire ball covered. We let it dry and repeated the process and let the whole thing dry a final time.


When it was all dry, we removed the balloon and were left with a papier mache shell which we popped a battery operated tea light into. It really glows at night but even in the day you can see how all the textures make this night light look like the surface of the moon.



Now that the night light is ready all that's left to do is read a story before bedtime.


I wonder what BabbaBox activity we will do tomorrow?


BabbaBox is a theme-based box delivered to your door that allows you to enjoy a little convenience and inspiration! As any parent can attest, the most important thing you can give to your child is quality time. BabbaBox makes this possible by helping you to save time, money, & mindspace. Just think! Fantastic monthly activities with ALL the materials for kids ages 3-6. Included in the box are 3 projects + 1 bestselling book + digital download + parent surprise gift! The best part? Babbabox makes a GREAT unique gift during the holiday season.

Act now! Get 50% off your first month when you sign up for a monthly membership using the code, SWAY100. Offer expires December 31, 2012.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BabbaBox. The opinions and text are all mine.

I link to these great parties.

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Vicky
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Your Medical Questions Answered With Humor

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of © Blue Shield of California for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you are anything like me, you have lots of health concerns that pop up each week. I am not talking about major things that would send you running to a doctor, but small things that you would love more information on. Just this week I had the following questions - how much sleep do I need, why is my skin breaking out, how can I help my daughter to sleep? Usually when I have these kinds of questions, I go to the internet and I always end up finding information posted from some random person that makes me more worried than I was before. 

Enter Dr. Jim and Bob's Fun & Helpful Health Advice

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Yup, that's them.

They are with Blue Shield of California and they answer healthcare questions is a fun, informative way. Because if you're going to be taking time out of your day to look up heatlhcare stuff, don't you deserve to be entertained?

Dr. Jim and Bob scour the internet every day looking for health questions just like mine and yours. When they find a problem, they will reply to the question and then leave a link to their Facebook page where they offer loads of video advice.

So what kind of advice can you find on this nifty Facebook page of theirs? How about Insomnia, Constipation (yes, they somehow make this funny!), Sunburn, Diarrhea, Hiccups, Cold Sores, Heart Burn, Snoring and more. Besides teaching you a thing or two, these guys are funny. 

Lets say you are married and one of you snores on occasion. I will not say who snores, but lets just say you don't snore. What can you do to get a peaceful nights sleep. Let's ask Dr. Jim and Bob.

I found this video really helpful. For instance, I did not know that sleeping on your side can help snoring. Well, it can according to Dr. Jim. These videos are pretty funny. I actually found myself watching them for problems I didn't even have because they were so entertaining. I think the funniest video is the one about the Hiccups. What's your favorite?

Although Dr. Jim and Bob are funny, they are serious about your health. You can trust Dr. Jim and Bob because they work with Blue Shield of California, a non-profit company that offers easy access to great doctors and alternative care. On top of that, they offer various affordable health plans to meet your needs.

 

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