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Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Red Carpet Orville Oscar Party

Ella winning an Oscar
We sure know how to party and love any excuse to have one. With the Oscars coming we planned a party using PartyBluPrints to help guide us. It made the party planning so simple giving us recipes, party tips and even an Oscar viewing party ballot.

PartyBluPrints Party Guide
We served the new Orville pop-up bowl popcorn, shrimp cocktails, and red velvet cupcakes! The kids loved the popcorn and we went through 8 pop-up bowls during the party!! We also made some yummy sicilian pizza that was so delicious. We cannot have a party without some of Steve's famous pizza.
The world's coolest invention
We played games, laughed with our friends. We all used a party ballot form that we got from the PartyBluPrints guide which made it fun trying to guess who the winners would be.



Felt Stories was compensated for this review by Collective Bias.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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Sunday, February 27, 2011

San Diego here we come....

We are heading to San Diego to see The Imagaination Movers in concert. We will also be meeting them in person at the Sony Style meet-n-greet. We can't wait to come back and share with you all the great photos from our trip.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blog Crush at Zov's Restaurant


This past week I was so excited to finally attend my first Blog Crush event. Blog Crush arranges meet-ups for local Orange County bloggers to get together and enjoy each other's company. This past week the meet-up was located at Zov's restaurant in Irvine. I have never been to Zov's before and I was immediately impressed. The location was so convenient and the atmosphere was so relaxing.

Photo courtesy of Zov's

We had the honor of getting to meet the famous chef Zov Karamardian and many were able to get their new cookbook signed. The food sampling was amazing. We sampled so many wonderful culinary delights.

 I got a chance to meet many bloggers who I chat with via Twitter and Facebook yet have never gotten a chance to meet. Some bloggers I have been trying to get together with for over a year and this was a great chance to meet-up, visit and enjoy each others company.

I am eager to return to Zov's with my husband for our next date night. They have locations in Tustin, Irvine and Newport Coast. I learned that their Tustin location has a fabulous bakery and since we love sweets we are planning to make reservations at their Tustin location.

 I look forward to sharing many pictures with you after I return to Zov's with my husband.

Thank you to Marcy Mcclelland-Massura, Suzanne Broughton,  Frank Groff, Inc. and Chef Zov Karamardian for hosting such a wonderful evening

Friday, February 25, 2011

My mission to be a more organized Mom


This is exactly how I feel about my kids schedule. I try to be organized. When two of my kids are scheduled at two different events - at the same time - at two different sides of the city - I want to pull my hair out!
I have tried a white board in my kitchen, a giant calendar from Staples, post it notes all over the fridge and I someone still seem to double book us and forget dates. I am on a mission to become more organized with our schedule and most importantly so we can make sure and plan some important "down days."

At the beginning of this week I got yet another planner to try and organize my schedule. This time I am trying a dotmine planner. It has all the basic qualities that a regular planner has although it added something new and different that I think will really help me. It has a master schedule! Where you can input all your permanent dates and the best part is that there are master schedules for the different seasons. We all know how the kids dates change with the seasons - brilliant! My second favorite part are the stickers! I love stickers - who doesn't? Plus it will encourage me to record those important birthdays that I always seem to be off by one day with a cute little sticker. It is also a 17 month planner so I don't have to worry about running out to get a new planner right after the holidays!



I am so excited about my mission to become more organized that I am offering a free dotmine planner to one of you! I know that I am not alone and other Mommy are in the same boat when it comes to our crazy schedules!

If you want to win a cute dotmine planner please leave a comment below with your favorite style planner. (This will be the planner design we will send you if you are the winner - it cannot be a Borders exclusive planner)

You can also get an extra entry by following us on facebook or our blog. Please leave a new comment for each entry!

Giveaway will be open until March 3, 2011. Winner has 24 hours to respond to the email before another winner will be chosen. Winner will be picked via my favorite website random.org

Felt Stories was given a planner for our review from Mom Spark Media .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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Exclusive Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro Savings #Ilovemydog

I love my dogs dog so much. We were really excited when we were offered to try Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro for the first time. We were even more excited when they featured us on their website! Our dog never really took much of an interest in eating until we brought this bag of food home.

Tyler was just opening the bag when Jack was trying to jump into it to get some yummy food. The first week we were feeding the dogs Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro we went through an entire bag! It was like girl scout cookies for dogs. We had to limit their eating so they would not gain too much weight. They are super happy with the food and I love the price and the zipper seal on the top of the bag!

Because I love this new dog food so much I was able to get a coupon to share with you! I bought a 16lb. bag at Walmart for only $12. With this coupon it is only $9!! Now that is a huge savings that any young growing family can benefit from.

You can also see me and my recommendations on the new Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro website! It was such an honor to be recognized by Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro as a cuddly dog lover! Stop by and check it out!

Enjoy the savings! Just click and print.




Felt Stories was compensated for this review by Collective Bias.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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Old MacDonald had a farm felt story

This is one of my favorite video's of Andrew playing with his favorite felt story!

Jello Color Blending

This is a great sensory activity, and helps to teach children their colors!

Ingredients:

* Plain Jello or Knox Gelatin
* Ice cube tray
* Plastic Ziploc bags
* Heavy duty tape
* Food Coloring

Directions:

* Make the plain Jello and pour it into the ice cube trays
* Have your children use a eye dropper (important for fine motor) and drop a different color into each compartment
* Refrigerate the Jello
* Then in a Ziploc bag put one cube of each color into the bag.
* Tape the bag closed with packing tape, so it won't open on the child
* Let the child explore the bag while their mix all the colors together
* Make sure and talk with your children about the colors and how they are changing while they are exploring

Additional Information:

* This is a wonderful activity for children with sensory perceptions disorders!
* Have fun! This is my kids favorite!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Make Your Own Crystal Garden

Your children will love watching these beautiful crystals grow!

Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup ammonia
* 1/4 cup non-iodized salt
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/4 cup liquid bluing
* a couple pieces of charcoal
* food coloring

Directions:

1. Mix ammonia, salt, water and bluing in the mixing bowl
2. Put charcoal in the bottom of the ceramic or glass bowl
3. Pour liquid mixture over the charcoal
4. Drop food coloring onto the garden
5. Let stand and wait for crystals to appear!

Tip!

*Crystals will form overnight!
*Adding more water and ammonia every few days can encourage the growth of more crystals!

Our Family Bowling Day

Keeping your baby on a feeding and sleeping schedule #babyjournal


There are so many benefits to getting your baby on a sleep and feeding schedule.

Babies grow very fast. They need their sleep and a whole lot of it. If they do get the rest they truly need and it's adhered to as much as possible, the baby benefits the most.

Have your baby on a schedule helps you as a new parent function better. It can be hard to find rest around your new baby's sleep schedule. Having your baby on a schedule will make it easier for the new Mom and Dad to find time to sleep.

Routine and schedule helps make a baby feel secure. Routine is a comfort for babies helping them to always know what to expect.

Recording your baby's sleep and feeding habits will also highly benefit your child when they go to daycare. Your child's daycare can follow the babies schedule and when they get home you know exactly what they need.

Set the times, create a routine and remember to be a little flexible as she grows. A 2-year-old will need a different schedule than a 6-month-old.

If you are a new parent I highly recommend using a journal to help keep your baby on a schedule. It can be challenging, but we have recently found a way to help you. Similac has created a baby journal app that you can download for free on your ipad or iphone. It will help you in recording your babies feedings and naptimes.

There are many benefits to this. The baby journal helps you to record all your babies habits and even their growth. This can help you when you need to go to the pediatrician or your child starts daycare. It also helps nursing Mother's to record the time of their feedings and what side they last fed the baby on. There is even a timer to assist you if you have gotten busy as to not let the baby sleep too long without a feeding.

This baby journal will also help you in keeping track of your baby's diaper changes. You can record how many wet diapers they have had and it will graph it for you - just in case your pediatrician needs to know.

Keeping a baby journal is a helpful and useful tool in keeping your baby on a schedule.


Felt Stories was compensated for this review by Collective Bias.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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Plentiful Pantry Key Lime Cheesecake Bars - Cooking with Kids

Sponsored by Tomoson.com

A little Cream cheese, butter and water can turn any meal into an amazing meal with this no bake Key lime cheesecake bar. Easy to make and has a light tart filling on a chocolate cookie crust that tastes like you spent all day.

Andrew and I had so much fun making these delicious Plentiful Pantry key lime cheesecake bars. It was so easy and within an hour we were enjoying them. I love cooking with my children. It creates a close bonding that they will remember forever!


Would you like to win a Plentiful Pantry Key Lime Cheesecake kit?

There are 4 ways to enter to win:
1.Leave us a comment what your favorite Plentiful Pantry product is
2.Follow our blog
3.Follow us on Facebook
4.Follow Plentiful Pantry on Facebook


(Please leave one comment for each entry)


Giveaway will be open until March 5, 2011. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Giveaway is open to readers within the US and must be over 18 years old. Winner will have 3 days to respond to email before another winner will be chosen.

Save 20% on any Plentiful Pantry items using coupon code Felt20

**Giveaway is now closed - winner has been emailed**

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Exclusive Invitation to meet The Imagination Movers



We know where he is! Come join us as we meet Disney's The Imagination Movers!

A limited number of guests in line will get a chance to take their picture with The Imagination Movers! This is on a first come, first serve basis.

Sony Cyber-shot invites you to take a picture with Disney Imagination Movers!



When: Monday, February 28, 2011
Time: 11:00am
Location:
             Sony Style Store
             San Diego, CA Fashion Valley Mall
             7007 Friars Road San Diego, CA 92108

If you do not live close to the San Diego Sony Style store, Sony is also hosting The Imagination Movers meet and greets in other Sony Style store locations:

 
3/1    Tigard, OR - Washington Square 11:00 a.m.
3/4    Seattle, WA - University Village  11:00 a.m.
3/11  Denver, CO - Cherry Creek Shopping Center  11:00 a.m.
4/7    Boston, MA - Copley Place  11:00 a.m.
4/11  Edison, NJ - Menlo Park Mall  12:00 p.m.
5/2   Garden City, NY - Roosevelt Field  11:00 a.m.
5/7   New York, NY - Sony Plaza  10:00 a.m.
5/13 McLean, VA - Tyson's Corner Center  10:00 a.m.


 The Imagination Movers are also currently on tour! You can see the dates and purchase tickets when they will be in your area here.

Sony provided us with a Sony Cyber-shot camera and tickets to see Imagination Movers to aid us in helping with PR for the event.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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Happy President's Day

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Mother Words Play - Geffen Playhouse Los Angeles

Yesterday I took my Mother to the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to see the new play In Mother Words. When we arrived at The Geffen I was in love with the beautiful architecture of the playhouse. The Geffen Playhouse was built in 1929 as the Masonic Affiliates Club, or the MAC, for students and alumni at UCLA. All the floors, walls and fixtures of the playhouse are still original from when it was built in 1929.

The theatre was small and intimate. It felt like the actors were right there on the couch at home telling us their stories. The play is a collaboration of true stories that the writers complied from real Mothers. The stories covered everything from a Mother loosing her son in the military, gay parenting, the struggles of an adopted Mother and even a Mother taking her autistic child out on his first date. I laughed, I related, I cried and I cheered. I got to experience all these emotions while holding my Mom's hand.

Following the show we went into a nice reception where we had a chance to meet the writers and hear about how they collected all the stories. The story of the Mother who had taken her autistic child on his first date was just added to the show a week before going live.



I highly recommend getting tickets to see the show In Mother Words. It is perfect opportunity to do something special with your Mom or girlfriends.

We were so very fortunate to get to meet the two fabulous women who concieved the show. We were able to get a signed In Mother Words show magazine for one of our readers from Susan Rose and Joan Stein.

If you would like to win this collectable item, please visit the In Mother Words event site. Please tell us who you favorite actor is.

The giveaway will be open until March 10, 2011 at 11:59PST. It is open to winners worldwide. Winner will be chosen via random.org and has three days to respond before another winner will be chosen.

I was given press tickets to do a review of the show. All my thought, photos and opinions are of my own.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Adopt a tree together as a family


The next time you take a walk, encourage your children to "adopt" a tree in a park or other public place. This makes for a personal connection between your child and his or her environment, and also builds a sense of local knowledge. Explain that no one can really own a tree, but that a person can take on the role of the tree's special friend and caretaker.

Help get to know your tree together. First get to know the tree by do bark rubbings with crayons and paper in the winter, look for flowers and fruits in the spring, and do leaf rubbings in the summer.

One walks, your child should bring along a drink of water for the tree. Older kids might also keep a little "log book", noting the tree's characteristics: height, leaf color, flowering time, fragrance, and so on. In addition, you might show your child how to use a tape measure - and note the tree's girth on a chart.

Finally, be sure to take pictures of your child standing next to the adopted tree once or twice a year. As your child gets older, the three will serve as a reminder of the patterns of growth common to all the residents of your community.

I would also recommend reading the book, "The Giving Tree" with your children!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Benefits of Gardening with Children

In a nationwide telephone survey of 2,004 respondents, people who reported picking flowers, fruits or vegetables,planting trees, taking care of plants, or living next to a garden in childhood were more likely to show an
interest in gardening as they aged and to form lasting positive relationships with gardens and trees (Lohr & Pearson-Mims, 2005).

Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables or express a preference for these foods.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Baby Product Recalls to keep babies safe - Summer Infant Monitor and Burlington Bassinet


Burlington Basket Company Bassinet Recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Bassinets

Units: About 500,000

Manufacturer: Burlington Basket Company, of Burlington, Iowa

Hazard: If the cross-bracing rails are not fully locked into position, the bassinets can collapse causing the infant to fall to the floor or fall within the bassinet and suffer injuries.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC and Burlington Basket Company have received 10 reports of incidents in which the recalled bassinets collapsed when the folding legs were not locked into place. Two infants received minor injuries as a result of these collapses, including a bruise to the head and a bruised shoulder.

Description: This recall involves all Burlington Basket bassinets manufactured before June 2010. Affected models have folding legs attached to the basket with white plastic pins. Units with non-folding legs attached with metal pins are not included in this recall.

Sold at: Walmart and other mass merchandisers, department stores and juvenile product stores nationwide and online by various Web retailers, including Amazon.com, from January 2003 through August 2010 for about $50.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the bassinets and check the cross-bracing support rails to make sure they are in the locked position. To properly lock the support rails into place, the end tabs must be fully inserted into the holes on the leg assembly and twisted one quarter turn into the locked position, as shown in the photos below. Consumers should contact Burlington Basket Company for a free kit with detailed instructions on proper assembly of the cross-bracing support rails and decals with assembly instructions to place on the bassinet. A video showing proper assembly of the bassinets is available is available at http://burlingtonbasket.org/BASSINETRECALL.aspx. This recall does not involve returning the bassinet.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Burlington Basket Company at (800) 553-2300 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at http://www.burlingtonbasket.com/





Summer Infant Monitor - Cord Warning

Please note: Summer Infant is NOT recalling actual product. In conjunction with the CPSC, Summer Infant is issuing a voluntary recall to provide new product label and instructions for baby monitors with electric cords. Summer Infant is also offering consumers additional wall-mounting security clips for their cords should they have thrown the set that originally came with their baby monitor away.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Summer Infant Inc., of Woonsocket, R.I., is announcing the voluntary recall to provide new on product label and instructions for about 1.7 million video baby monitors with electrical cords. The cords can present a strangulation hazard to infants and toddlers if placed too close to a crib. Because of this serious strangulation risk, parents and caregivers should never place these and other corded cameras within three feet of a crib.

Over the past year CPSC and the firm have received reports of two strangulation deaths of infants with the electrical cords of Summer Infant video baby monitors. In March 2010 a 10-month old girl from Washington, D.C. strangled in her crib in the electrical cord of a Summer Infant video monitor. The monitor camera had been placed on top of the crib rail.

In November 2010 CPSC received a report of a six-month old boy from Conway, S.C., who strangled in the electrical cord of a baby monitor placed on the changing table attached to the crib. In January 2011 CPSC learned the product involved was a Summer Infant video baby monitor.

CPSC and the firm are also aware of a near strangulation incident in which a 20-month old boy from Pittsburgh, Pa. was found in his crib with the camera cord wrapped around his neck. The Summer Infant monitor camera was mounted on the wall, but the child was still able to reach the cord. He was freed from the cord without serious injury.

Summer Infant has initiated a campaign to provide new on-product labels for electric cords and instructions to consumers with the recalled video monitors distributed between January 2003 and February 2011. The baby monitors were sold at major retailers, mass merchandisers, and juvenile products stores nationwide for between $60 and $300. They were sold in more than 40 different models, including handheld, digital, and color video monitors. All video monitors include both the camera (placed in the baby’s room) and the hand held device (some models have two hand-held devices) that enable the caregiver to see and/or hear the baby from a specific distance. The brand “Summer” is found on the product.

The product was manufactured in China.

CPSC and Summer Infant urge parents to immediately check the location of the video monitors, including cameras mounted on the wall, and all electric cords to make sure the cords are out of arm’s reach of their child. Consumers should contact Summer Infant toll-free at (800) 426-8627 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.summerinfant.com/Home/Product-Recall.aspx to receive a new permanent electric cord warning label about the strangulation risk and revised instructions about how to safely mount camera and keep cords out of child’s reach.

In October 2010 CPSC issued a safety alert warning consumers that there had been six reports of strangulation in baby monitor cords since 2004. Since that alert the number of death reports has risen to seven. CPSC has revised the safety alert Infants Can Strangle in Baby Monitor Cords.

Fun Bible Study Activity for Young Children


Do you do Bible study with your children? Here are some fun Bible facts that can help your next lesson be extra fun. In times of trouble, we can often wonder, "Where is God?" Be encouraged; He is always right in the center.

The Center of the Bible

What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
Answer: Psalm 117

What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
Answer: Psalm 119

Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?
Answer: Psalm 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118
Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalm 118

What is the center verse of the Bible?
Answer: Psalm 118:8

Psalm 118:8 "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."

Family Fun Game Night - Do Tell Board Game - Giveaway

Family Game Night Playing Do Tell
Every week our family looks forward to spending time together having family game night. Each week we pick a different game and enjoy playing it together as a family. This past week we got a new game called Do Tell. It is different than an average board game like Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders. This game is a family relationship game.

As we played the game we were curious about some of the questions. We quickly learned that it was really helping us talk with the kids about issues or concerns that normally would be hard to talk about. It addressed fighting, jealousy and complaining. All issues that we have been working on with the children.

After we were done playing the game we all felt so much closer. We had bonded and strengthened our relationships over a board game! It was nice and refreshing. The children told us that they could not wait until next week when we can play Do Tell together as a family again.

How to start family game night in your family!
  • First let everyone in the family know that you are starting a weekly game night
  • Meet at a mutually agreeable time
  • If you have a large family or have extended family living with you - you can divide up into small groups
  • Take turns planning and preparing snacks
  • Invite extended family members to join you (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles)
  • Remember to laugh and have fun together!
Although, technology is increasingly rapidly and more and more are activities are happening on the computer, a simple board game always brings back the old school feeling of entertainment.



We are offering a free Do Tell board game to one of our readers to start a family game night!

To Enter to win:

  1. Answer the question: Do you have family game night?
  2. Follow Do Tell on Twitter
  3. Follow Do Tell on Facebook
  4. Follow our blog
Giveaway will be open until March 5, 2011 at 11:59PST. Winner must have a US shipping address. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Winner has three days to respond before another winner will be chosen.

**giveaway is now closed- winner has been emailed**


Do Tell provided us with a complimentary game for review. Our thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tips on Taking Children to the movies - Gnomeo and Juliet


For Valentine's Day we took the children to see the movie Gnomeo and Juliet. They really enjoyed the movie and so did we. It has some fantastic music and my husband thought it was just as good as "Cars".

Tips for taking young children to the movies:
  • Take your children to a matinee show. The pricing is much lower and the theater usually tends to be less crowded.
  • Eat before you go. If your children are not hungry it will help you while passing the snack bar filled with sugary unhealthy foods. Pack a healthy snack and water to take with you.
  • Arrive early. It is much easier to get your children seated and comfortable before the lights go out. They will also be able to see the whole theater before it gets dark, allowing them to feel more comfortable during the movie.
  • Find the best seats for young children. Many theaters offer booster seats so the children can see the screen better.
A trip to the movie theater with your kids can be an enjoyable way to pass the time together during a rainy or snowy day.




Felt Stories was compensated for this review by Collective Bias.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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor preschool game

This is one of my favorite games to play with my kids. This is a great activity to do with your children on a rainy or snowy day. It will provide hours of fun and laughter!

Directions:
  • Use a large cloth bag or pillow case
  • Glue on some eyes and a tongue
Song lyrics:

I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
And I don't like it very much

Oh no (oh no) he swallowed my toe (he swallowed my toe)

Oh me (oh me) he swallowed my knee (he swallowed my knee)

Oh fiddle (oh fiddle) he's up to my middle (he's up to my middle)

Oh heck (oh heck) he swallowed my neck (he swallowed my neck)

Oh dread, he's up to my (slurp gulp)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hot and Cold Preschool Opposite Game


Directions:
  1. Get large index cards.
  2. Cut out hot/cold items from magazine's or newspapers.
  3. Glue them onto the cards.
  4.  Optional to laminate them.

Wordless Wednesday: Fun with Grandpa

Time for Little League to Start

My entire family loves baseball. Some of my favorite memories as a child was going to the baseball games with my father. I was so happy when Andrew started playing baseball a couple of years ago. The season is getting ready to start at the end of this month and Andrew has been practicing really hard. I was such a proud Mom as I watched him at batting practice this weekend. He is making me so proud!


Celebrate Valentine's Day Every Day!


I just love Valentine's Day. I love to find new and exciting ways to show my husband and my children how much I love them. We really work hard to keep our family close and well bonded. We are passionate about keeping our family traditions strong and always looking for opportunities to create new ones. I think it is important to celebrate Valentine's Day not just one day a year - but every day of the year!

These are some things I love to do to show my family how much I love them:
  • I tell them everyday how terrific they are
  • Share in their excitement
  • Tell them how much I miss them when they are not around
  • Surprise them with little love notes
  • Hug them
  • Tell them how much I love them
  • Cook together
  • Help them to see their mistakes are learning opportunities - not failures
  • Go for a family walk every night after dinner
  • Eat dinner together every night as a family
  • Call the Grandparents everyday to tell them how much we love them!
  • Create new traditions and celebrate the old!
I hope that you enjoyed your Valentine's Day with your family.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

May the one you love be close to your heart this Valentine's Day!

Pesto Pasta ~ Cooking with Kids


I love cooking with my kids! It is something that we look forward to every night. This past week we made an easy, healthy and delicious pesto pasta.

Pesto Pasta Recipe

Ingredients:
  • Barilla spiral noodles
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • 1 cup cooked chicken (chopped)
  • 1 cup paremesan cheese
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1 cup basil (chopped)
Directions:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How to make a Hershey Kiss Valentine Collection Box



How to make ipod Valentine's


Daddy spray painting the candy heart boxes

Shopping with Kids - Making Unique Valentine's #sfsmarties

We wanted to make some unique Valentine's for the kids this class this year. We went to Smart & Final to get all our supplies to do crafts together.

You can see a slideshow of our shopping trip to Smart & Final here:


More check-ins at Smart & Final
Powered by Whrrl



First we made Teacher Valentine's: Pop-erific Teacher!






Then we made special bear Valentine's For Tyler's Class using Teddy Grahams and Gummy Bears.







Felt Stories was compensated for this review by Collective Bias.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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Celebrating Love ~ Perfect Valentine's Day gift

**Giveaway is now closed - winner has been emailed**
Valentine's Day is only two days away and you don't want to forget about your Mom or Grandma. I found this sweet heartfelt book that is perfect to send to someone on Valentine's Day to make them feel extra loved by you! You can purchase it on Amazon or have it delivered special with some flowers by 1-800-flowers .

Celebrating Love sent with some beautiful flowers



The book is full of beautiful love stories and has full-color illustrations throughout. The book talks about all the seasons of love including this great quote: "Love that is not madness is not love." -Pedro Calderon de la Barca. It is written by Jim McCann the founder of 1-800-flowers and Celebrations.com

If you have a special love note that you want to share on the 1-800-flowers facebook page you could win a free bouquet of flowers for someone you love! Visit their facebook page and share your special love note. The note that gets the most votes will win. So go ahead and share your love!

Have a Wonderful Valentine's Day!

Since we also love all our readers so much, we want to giveaway a copy of this great book!

To Enter to win a copy of Celebrating Love:

Please leave a comment below of who you would give this special book to if you win

Giveaway will be open until February 19, 2011 at 11:59pm. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Winner will have three days to respond before another winner is chosen. Winner must have a US shipping address.

We were given a copy of this book to help us with our review. This giveaway is being sponsored by Mom Spark Media. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Making Jell-O Playdough

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbl. Cream of Tarter
  • 1 package of Jell-0
Directions:
  1. Mix all the ingredients into a saucepan
  2. Cook over low heat until the mixture forms into a ball
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes
  4. Knead

Friday, February 11, 2011

Show your children a little extra love

Wonderful Ways to Love a Child
By Judy Ford , 1944

Really love yourself.
Allow them to love themselves.
Learn about parenting.
Handle your children with loving care.
Give your presence, empty of distractions.
Listen from your heart
Speak kindly.
Encourage, encourage.
Try to understand, even the things not said with words.
Answer their questions.
Ask their opinions.
Learn from them.
Say yes as often as possible
Say no when necessary.
Honor their noes, because they sometimes mean “Not now,” or “I’m not ready.”
Celebrate mistakes, teach your children not to be afraid of failure.
Admit your mistakes
Touch gently
Teach that all feelings are acceptable. Feelings are neither right nor wrong.
Speak to their true feelings by helping them discover feeling they cannot express.
Let them cry.
Don’t hide your tears.
Make room for the crankies and the quarrels by managing conflicts and negative feelings, and not by suppressing them.
Teach values by example.
Honor their differences.
Share your dreams.
Change your routine, take a chance, try a new approach.
Laugh, dance, and sing together
Call them love names.
Send them love letters
Build lots of blanket forts
Fly kites together
Lighten up, don’t be so strict and serious all the time.
Take time away, you and your children need some time away from each other.
Read books aloud.
Create a circle of quiet by learning to slow down and take life a little more easy.
Play hooky together.
Don’t let guilt keep you from breaking away.
Go barefoot
Frame their art and hang it on the wall.
Stay up late together.
Delight in silliness, don’t forget to have fun in life.
Splash a lot, and have a playful squirt-gun water fight.
Giggle.
Keep messes in perspective. Remember that happiness is more important than an immaculate house.
Enjoy dinner together.
Generate family festivals: Simple, fancy, planned and unplanned.
Thank them for the little things
Focus on the joy they bring
Believe in possibilities by trusting in God’s divine nature.
Open up to the miracle of transformation
Remember that they have not been on the earth very long.
Marvel at how they are growing.
Let them help.
Cherish the innocence.
Listen for the spiritual language.
Build family-friendly neighborhoods.
Let go when it’s time
Let them come back
Show them compassion and ask for theirs
Protect all our children

Keep them in your hearts and in your prayers.It is not enough to feel love for your child; you must be able to express your love through your words and actions.

If you enjoy this update, forward it to a friend!

Put a little love into the heart of someone you love

Have your children put a little love into Grandma or Grandpa's heart. We have a lot of extended family that is so important to the children and I. We love to find new and exciting ways to remind them how much we LOVE them!

Valentine's Day is only in a couple of days. The children have already made special valentine's for their Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. Today I found another great way for the children to send them a little extra love this weekend! You can send them a free valentine e-card from Smart Balance. They have many cute free e-cards that your children can pick out to send to whoever they love.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Gnomeo and Juliet Craft

Andrew, Ella and Tyler are so excited about getting to go see the new movie Gnomeo and Juliet this weekend. We did this fun craft together making little gnomes.

 Materials needed:
  • Hershey kisses
  • Hot glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Red and Blue felt cut into triangles
Directions:



Ella had so much fun playing with her gnomes after we were done making them

Happy Valentine's Day Andrew, Ella and Tyler

I love Valentine's Day. I love it so much that I wanted to surprise the kids with this giant Valentine's Day card! Steve and I are planning to take the kids to the movies this weekend to see the new movie Gnomeo and Juliet.

The card is all hand painted on an Elmer's tri-fold board. It also has a little spinner in the middle for them to play with.


Happy Valentine's Day Andrew, Ella & Tyler
 

A little Gnome love


The spinner game

Three really excited kids!
 This is how I surprised them with the news....





Felt Stories was compensated for this review by Collective Bias.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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Step two in becoming an eco-friendly family

We are off to a great start this New Year at becoming an eco-friendly household! Last week we eliminated our Laundry detergent and are now using a product that uses negative ions to charge the water and remove the dirt. This is important in preventing all the soapy water from going into our drains and out to our oceans.

This week we are eliminating the plastic bottles! We are excited about our second step in becoming eco-friendly!

Preparing our garden to grow our Summer vegetables

Every summer as a family we grow all our own vegetables. We love gardening with our children and it is a great bonding experience with our children. They cannot wait to run outside and start picking vegetable to help us cook dinner with. Last year we planted many berries that have grown a lot of the winter and we are excited about seeing many new blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in our garden this summer!

Ella with our weekly tomato harvest last year
If you are thinking of planting a vegetable garden it is not hard! Last weekend we prepared our garden to start planting at the end of the month. Enjoy!

Delicious Cake Pops Giveaway

Sponsored by Tomoson.com

Veronica's Treats have created these adorable treats! They have a secret combination of ingredients to make it insanely delicious. Their rich fudge double chocolate cake recipe is mixed with just the right amount of cream cheese frosting; made into bite size pops; drenched in white chocolate or milk chocolate coating; then embellished with beautiful designs. Some describe it as a truffle; some say the inside tastes like cake batter. These are great as party favors, a superb, memorable gift or just a delicious chocolate treat.

The come wrapped so beautifully
1.5 oz cake ball is approximately 1.5"-1.75"
Height is 8"

Can be decorated to match any occasion or event. These cake pops would be perfect for baby showers or wedding favors. They come wrapped like a present and when you bite into it you will be in heaven 




Veronica's Treats is offering a free set of 8 cakepops to one of our readers!


There are 4 ways to enter to win:


1.Visit Veronica's Treats and tell us what your favorite treat is
2.Follow our blog
3.Follow our blog on Twitter
4. Sign-up for our blog newsletter

(Please leave one comment for each entry)

Giveaway will be open until February 26, 2011. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Giveaway is open to readers within the US. Winner will have 3 days to respond to email before another winner will be chosen.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
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