Thursday, November 26, 2015

Simple Tips for Cooking with Your Children

Cooking with kids can be fun but it can also be quite daunting if you are not prepared.  Here are a few simple things you can do to make cooking with your children stress free.

Prepare: Before you even call your child into the kitchen, make sure that you have everything ready for a smooth and fun baking experience.  Start the oven (if necessary), have the recipe out and available, and gather ALL of the ingredients needed. 

Measure Ahead: Depending on your child's age, measure and lay everything out in the order they are needed.*  For older children or children just learning their numbers, this may be a great opportunity for them to pour and measure with you, but this is time consuming and requires lots of patience. 

*If you run out of measuring spoons or cups, you can always measure and pour into other containers.

Allow for Mistakes: Mistakes happen (especially when allowing your child to measure) and that's ok.  By leaving extra ingredients aside, mistakes can be easily fixed.  If a mistake is made, make sure your child knows that it is okay and encourage them to try again.

Don't Stress about the Mess
Let your child pour and mix.  There will be a mess, just remember your child is having a blast.  You can always clean up later.  Have your child place the dishes in the sink as they use them.  This keeps the counter clear and makes clean up less overwhelming.  Then while the food is baking the two of you can empty the sink together! 

When you are ready to start cooking have your child wash their hands and explain the first step.  If your child does not like to get messy, be sure to have some gloves handy.  My daughter doesn’t mind getting messy but enjoys wearing gloves anyway.  You can make this experience extra special and super fun by wearing aprons & chefs hats and pretending to be cooks in a fancy restaurant!

IF your recipe calls for:

·        The ingredients to set for a while, maybe play a game or clean up together while you wait.

·        An ingredient to be melt or defrosted, maybe let them push the buttons on the microwave.

·        Eggs and your child is on the younger side I would recommend cracking the eggs ahead of time and placing them in a bowl.

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of control in the kitchen, especially with kids, but once you push past that it is so much fun.   
What are some tricks that work for you?

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Edition

Party of Four, Room for One More


From now to December 23rd, I will feature different gift ideas.

Simply click on each photo to learn more and possibly win some prizes!

Remember to check back every few days for more awesome products!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We Have A Winner...

Thank you to all who entered.

chosen at random via 

Congrats Emilee B!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Giveaway ending tonight!!!

Now its your turn to try it for yourself!  Enter for your chance to win TWO Disney/Marvel shirts of your choosing! Giveaway ends 11/23/15 at 11:59p.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

K5 Learning: The newest addition to our homeschooling curriculum.

Children learn in a variety of ways, which is why I appreciate fun individualized programs such as K5 LearningK5 Learning is a researched-based online reading and math enrichment program for kindergarten to 5th grade.  This program helps build reading, math and study skills.  Whether you are looking for a supplemental material for homeschooling, an after school program, or something to help your child with special needs excel in reading or math, this programs may be your answer. As a Homeschooling Mama, I am always looking for quality material to supplement our curriculum.   I am so happy that I recently had the pleasure of trying this amazing program. 

Divided into 4 basic lessons, this program is designed to keep your child on engaged. Their reading lesson covers phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words, vocabulary and reading comprehension.  The spelling lesson is an advanced vocabulary program, which improves language skills one word at a time and consists of over 150,000 words.  Next is the Math lesson, which covers numbers and operations, geometry, measurement (including time and money), algebraic thinking and data analysis.  Last but not least K5 offers a Math facts lessons that use adaptive technology to help kids develop instant recall of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Progress on each and every math fact is monitored until mastery is obtained.

Both parent and student have their own individual sign on and cannot be sign on at the same time.  In the parent portal you are able to view brief or detailed reports, Assign Lessons, Add Spelling Words, and print FREE worksheets. The worksheets that I have printed and used perfectly complement their lessons!  Although it would be nice to have to option to "print all" instead of one by one, I love the corresponding worksheets.  Switching between students on the progress page is simple.  The whole program is very user friendly!

What I love most about this program is that they offer an assessment test for placement in both reading and math.  With the results an individualized learning program is automatically created.  The lessons depend solely on your child’s skill levels, not grade levels. If your child is stronger in certain areas (e.g. arithmetic) than other areas (e.g. phonics) the program will automatically adjust to ensure instruction at an appropriate level in both topics.  

I also love that the sequence of the lessons are controlled and do not jump around. Kids cannot select lessons at inappropriate levels or continually repeat “fun" lessons they have already mastered. The student dashboard is ‘perfectly’ simple.  They have minimal navigational choices, are given no access to external links or online ads and basically have to focus on the task at hand.  
View of Student Dashboard

Overall, we both enjoyed this program and plan on purchasing an annual subscription in the near future. What's not to love? The price is right, the content is great, and the program is super easy to use. I appreciate that this program allows for academic freedom and builds confidence by allowing you to customize the lessons.  K5 gives you the freedom to remove and assign different lessons to best it your child’s individual needs.  Being able to customize each lesson to complement each student’s individual learning is one of my favorite things about K5 Learning.   

While no single teaching approach will work well for everybody, K5 Learning may help your child.  For those not convince that a supplemental multimedia curriculum is right for you, multimedia learning may be particularly effective for visual and auditory learners and offers flexibility in meeting the needs of a variety of learners.  And with their no obligation 14 day free trial (no credit card necessary), what have you got to lose?

**The K5 annual subscription is $199 and $129 for each additional child which is a much better value than the monthly subscription.  If you prefer to pay monthly, the monthly cost is $25 and $15 for each additional child.  

Disclosure of  Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

GIVEAWAY!!! Kissed by the Sun: Color Changing Apparel by Del Sol

Impress your kids this Christmas with the enchanted power of the sun.  By that I mean color-changing apparel that really works!   Del Sol has created just that; fun, bright color changing apparel.  All it takes is a little sunlight to bring these color-changing shirts to life. What starts out as a simple, understated print or pattern soon shows off its bright, vibrant colors, changing right before your eyes. These shirts are super neat and were a huge hit with my girls.  And bonus, they even carry adult sizes!

The first addition to my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide are 2 of Del Sol's awesome t-shirts.  Because they have such a selection, it took M forever to decide the 2 she wanted.  After a grueling hour long elimination process, she finally made her choices.  The Ariel Side Tie Tee and the 3 Avengers Tee were the winners.  Both are super cute.  

When the shirts came I was surprised at just how soft they were.  The 3 Avengers shirt fit her perfectly. The size charts can be a tad misleading so make sure you double check your measurements.  M was a tad disappointed because the Ariel Tee was way too small because I did not read the size chart right, since YXS was right after 6X, I assumed that YXS was the next step up from the 6x (like a size 7)...this is not the case. Thank goodness we ordered a YS in the 3 Avengers shirt or I would have had one sad little girl.  Everything happens for a reason because now baby A has a color changing shirt too!

Comfort definitely meets style with Del Sol’s Disney & Marvel T-shirts. You may start with a sleek black-and-white print of your favorite characters but, when it meets ultraviolet rays (much safer than gamma rays), you’ll see the bright, vivid colors appear.  If you think these shirts are cool you should really check out their color changing accessories.  They have backpacks, flip-flops, head bands, hats, and for a limited time only color changing nail polish!!

Del Sol products are made with only the highest-quality materials and scientifically blended with their special color-changing inks. These products are 100% washable without losing their ability to change color.  I have washed both shirts over a dozen time and they have yet to loose their softness or color.

Because these make the best gifts, I will definitely be ordering a backpack and a few other things for my nieces and nephews and of course Miss M and Baby A. These products are guaranteed to impress your kids and their friends.  

Order today to receive free shipping on all orders of $35 or more.  You can also sign up for their email updates and receive free limited time color changing nail polish, which are currently buy 3 get 1 free!

you can follow Del Sol on
 FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, or Pinterest

Giveaway Time
Now its your turn to try it for yourself!  Enter for your chance to win TWO Disney/Marvel shirts of your choosing! Giveaway ends 11/23/15 at 11:59p.

Disclosure of  Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Best Way To Get Your Reluctant Child To Wipe Themselves- Success in Potty Learning

Yes, the diaper phase is finally over!  For some its smooth sailing with no more poopy butts, for others it’s the dreaded battle of the “Wipe me’s”.  If your child is like mine and refuses to wipe after going “number 2” here is the perfect solution:  Make it fun!  I know what you are thinking, “Seriously make wiping your butt fun?” but bear (or should I say bare, lol) with me. Follow these simple steps to fully complete the “Potty Learning” process.

  1.  Prep. Purchase a package of flushable wipes and the corresponding reusable wipes container.  Once you buy the container you can purchase the off brand wipes, which are usually less expensive to put inside.  Or better yet make your own wet wipes. Just google "homemade wet wipes" for multiple tutorials.
  1. Decorate. Pull out the stickers, googly eyes, markers, paints, or whichever creative activity your child likes to do the most and let them create and make the container special. 

  1. Pick a “name”. Explain that these wipes are for big girls and boys who wipe themselves.  With my daughter we called them her Very Super Special Big Girl Wipes. 

  1. Placement. Find a special, easy to reach place in the bathroom and put the container there.  It may be beneficial to let your child find the perfect spot.  Important: Make sure they can be reached from the toilet!!

  1. Disposal. I do not like things other then toilet paper being flushed down our toilet. However, if you don’t mind them being flushed, flushing too many at once could clog the toilet.  If you do not want to police how many wipes your child flushes down the toilet it helps to have a special small trash can nearby.  We use the Round Brushed Stainless Steel Step 3L Trash Can that we found on Amazon.  We like it because it is small, easy to empty, fingerprint resistant, and blends perfectly with our bathroom d├ęcor. M likes it because she gets to open it with her foot.
  1. Reward.  Whether it be a sticker on a chart, a quarter for their bank, or a pat on the back always make sure to let them know that they did a great job.

By making it fun and exciting we were able to encourage our little one to wipe 100% by herself.  To ensure success, give your child the confidence they need by making the task at hand fun and exciting! 

 What is the biggest "potty" obstacle you've encountered with your child?