Unconventional Ways to Keep Kids Entertained Over Summer Break

As summer break approaches it’s end, most of us with multiple children are ready, waiting, and excited for school to show it’s face yet again. I know I certainly am. I legit have a countdown app on my phone detailing the exact amount of days, hours, minutes, and seconds until school begins again. #NoShame

I have begun, at this point, running out of options when it comes to keeping the kids entertained. That is, options of the typical sorts. TV, playing basketball outside, snack time, going to the library, movies, and doing their regular chores has become boring not only to them, but to me as well

Here are some different ways to get the kids involved and engaged in activities that the whole family can do – at least, for the most part.

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Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart – Book Review

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Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart is a brand new children’s book that paints the strong picture of perseverance, courage, and triumph. Written by Dion Leonard and beautifully illustrated by Lisa Manuzak, this story is sure to warm the heart of all who read it.

When Dion Leonard ran one of the longest, most trying races through the Gobi Desert – 7 days, 155 miles, to be exact – he had no idea that he would find the truest form of friendship in man’s best friend. On day two of the race, a small dog approached him from out of what seemed like nowhere, and from there, a friendship was forged and would come to last forever.

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Crazy Things Moms Do

Good Wednesday Morning, Friends!

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This post is going to resonate all too well with some of you lovely ladies out there. I know it has for me.

This morning was one of those mornings where my coffee spilled all over my carpet, and I was in a rush to get out the front door to my daughters new high school to fill out her schedule. I was running behind (way behind, as I just couldn’t kick my butt into gear this morning) and by the time I put my shoes on to leave, I realized I had two different shoes on.

Seriously? Seriously.

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New England’s Finest: A Subscription Box Review Post + Discount Code

I’d like to paint you a mental picture for just a moment, if I could.

Imagine stepping outside and inhaling crisp, cool air as leaves fall softly like snowflakes from the trees. They crunch softly beneath your feet as you casually stroll along, admiring their many shades of brilliant color. No noise can be heard save for the occasional bird call, or the snapping of twigs as squirrels chase each other to and fro. You look up and gaze at the beautiful mountains in the distance, and then close your eyes and take a mental picture. This, my friends, is what it’s like to live in New England. At least, it is in the fall. And the fall was always my absolute favorite season of all growing up.

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Fall foliage in the Berkshires (MA) – Photo copyright Travelocity

For those who don’t know, I’m actually a Massachusetts native – but since the age of 18, I’ve called South Florida home. I’ve realized over time that I don’t miss the people, for the most part. What I do miss is the brilliant, breathtaking scenery. Those gorgeous trees when the foliage takes over, the beauty of the first frost, and first snowfall. Making snowmen and having snowball fights. The way the snow made everything seem magical and peaceful all at once. That bluish glow it has at first light, sparkling as the sun begins to emerge from behind an overcast sky, seemingly drowning out any and all noise and absorbing it into it’s blanket. Yes, my friends…I do miss it. I miss all of New England.

That’s why I am so very excited about today’s post. I am beyond excited, if I’m being honest. I was given the opportunity to review a wonderful subscription service from nowhere other than my homeland – New England! Everyone, I’d like to tell you about New England’s Finest.

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New England’s Finest is a subscription box unlike anything else I’ve personally ever seen. Most of us have heard of the beauty subscription boxes, and the breastfeeding subscription boxes – heck, there are even magic subscription boxes. But I had never dreamed there could be a subscription service like this one. New England’s Finest is a wonderful subscription service which hand selects and puts together these lovely boxes for its subscribers once per month, or even for a one time delivery, depending upon your preference. Within these boxes, you can expect to find some of the best indulgences New England has to offer.

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The Hospital Box: A Review Post

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When we have a loved one who is faced with a lengthy hospital stay, or is bed ridden for any extended amount of time, it’s paramount to us as their loved ones to want to see them as happy and as comfortable as humanly possible. It’s not always easy when we have to leave them alone in a lonely hospital bed, or can’t make it to see them due to distance and or crazy work schedules. Sometimes, a simple card is enough – but sometimes, that card just doesn’t seem to cut it. Many times, we want to do more. That’s where this fabulous innovation known as The Hospital Box comes into play.

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Toddlers are to Hurricanes…

Good Morning, Everyone!

This morning as I sit here with my coffee and attempt to wake up enough to really open my eyeballs, I look across my dining room table, kitchen counters, and floors and realize to myself, “Your house is disgusting. You need to clean. Like, really clean. Deep clean this bitch.” (I don’t always cuss…but when I do, stuff is getting real.)

Yeah, and how?

I seriously have no idea how I manage to get the basics done every day with a toddler, let alone anything else. I feel oh-so-accomplished when I’m able to get a bed made and some laundry washed these days. I know it won’t last forever because he will only be this little once, and for such a short time. I try so hard to embrace every moment of his tiny life, and we spend nearly all day playing with toys and learning and exploring. But being that I’ve got some pretty severe OCD when it comes to cleaning and organization, I’m in the middle of a meltdown this morning. This disorganization and mess is killing me.

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The Great Debate: Screen Time and Your Child

Hello, and Good Morning, Friends!

This morning, I wanted to talk about a couple of Baby Richi’s favorite TV shows, and television and children in general. I’ve heard a huge debate as of lately about parents not allowing their children TV time because of this or that reason. “It will fry their brain” isn’t quite a fair argument anymore, in my opinion. We all watched TV as youngsters, yes? Pretty sure our brains are all in tact. At least, speaking for myself, mine is.
I believe that it’s very possible to help educate your child through means such as television in a safe, positive manner that can aid in their growth and creativity while under your supervision.

As per usual at this time of day, I’m sitting here sipping a now cold cup of coffee (gross, I know –  but… mom life) and watching Richi play with his blocks and watch Little Baby Bum.

Oh, you haven’t heard of this show?

Well, if you have a toddler, you must check it out. It’s the cutest compilation of nursery rhymes and animal characters and the videos actually teach the child a thing or two. It was created by a couple from the UK, and apparently, it’s risen to fame by becoming the 5th most popular show in the UK – it’s also a YouTube sensation. I adore the show because it’s one of the only ones Richi will actually watch – plus, it’s not annoying. It’s not Caillou.

Here’s a photo of Little Baby Bum:

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Photo courtesy of YouTube

There’s also Dave and Ava. We just found this show yesterday or the day before (the days are kind of melting together at this point, what with my seriously lack of sleep these days – more on that in a few) and I love it, as does Richi. Same concept – nursery rhymes, but more vivid colors, more realistic characters, and better animation. I also really enjoy the animals in that one – Patrick the mouse being my favorite!

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Dave and Ava in ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider‘ – Photo courtesy of Google

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Patrick Mouse. The cutest!

They also have an app!

I’m so excited to download it – I believe the app itself costs $19.99, however, they promise no advertising ever – and you get all of their videos and from what I’ve gathered so far, there’s a ton.

I’ve also noticed something: I tend to prefer European based videos for my little guy. I believe they incorporate more educational value to the mix than most American shows do. Aside from these two, we watch Word World, and Bob the Builder. We watch Splash and Bubbles occasionally as well, simply because he loves fishies, and the colors are vivid and attractive.

I try to limit his screen time to under an hour per day but sometimes I do play it in the background when we are going on about life, like having lunch or playing with toys.

I believe tv can be very educational, but that the parents should hand select the programming their children watch carefully. I see too many children’s shows throwing out subliminal messages to things that kids don’t need to see. I want my baby to be little for as long as possible and shield him from all of the terrible things in the world his sweet, innocent little eyes shouldn’t see. I also believe, however, that a parent should be their children’s main source of education – and that books should be number one. I will always choose books over television. But, you know, that’s just me and my humble opinion.

I would love to hear your thoughts on kids and TV as well as what shows your little ones love. Let me know in a comment!

 

Monday Night Ramblings

Hello Friends!

Tonight, I just feel like rambling and writing, so you’re in for a random, self-expressive treat of sorts. Every so often (ok, more than I am able) I get this incredible urge to just sit and let my fingers do the talking and ramble on about this or that, but I never seem to find the time to do anything for myself these days. It’s sad, really. I wish I was able to be here and blog more. I keep telling myself, ‘when life calms down a bit, you will,’ but my question is, when will life calm down a bit? And also, will it calm down at all?

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Sunsplash Family Waterpark: A Fun in the Sun Review

Hey, everyone!

I hope you are all having a fantastic evening, and an even better summer thus far. It’s been a great and eventful summer here for our family, and with so much still left to do on the agenda, I’m excited for everything coming our way!

I knew when I was planning our Summer road trips and happenings this year that I was going to include a few stops at local (and not-so-local) water parks in our plans, and I wouldn’t dream of leaving them off the agenda. Moreover, I couldn’t think of not visiting our local water zone: Sunsplash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral, Florida.

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