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Thursday, September 28, 2017

5 Better Breakfast Tips For Kids!

I was not paid for this post, just passing along information I found to be helpful myself :-)
Well, I'm a little late to the game since September is "National Better Breakfast Month" and there are only a few days left in the month...


However, we shouldn't stop eating healthy just because it's almost October, right? Right.


I often struggle getting my three kids out the door for school in the morning, making sure they've had a healthy breakfast before the bell rings.  I came across some great reminders written by Barbara’s & Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert, mom of 3 and best-selling author of Eating in Color, and thought I'd share them with you. 




  1. Breakfast Time over Screen Time – Mornings are hectic, especially at the beginning of the school year, before everyone has settled into their schedules. Make it clear to your kids that breakfast time needs to come before they turn on the TV or play with their phone.
  2. Better Breakfasts – Barbara’s Breakfast Survey revealed that juice and cereal are the most common breakfast foods on school days: 71% of children drink fruit juice and 95% of children eat cereal. Clearly, kids love juice and cereal but you can still help them make better choices. For example, 100% fruit juice rather than “drinks” or “blends” and lower sugar cereals like Barbara’s Puffins, which are also packed with whole grains.
  3. Add Color!  Studies show that kids like food that’s colorful, so take the opportunity to fit in an extra serving of antioxidant and vitamin C-rich fruit--and tempt their taste buds--by offering brightly colored berries, diced apple and melon, or sliced grapes and kiwi fruit on the breakfast table.
  4. Streamline Set Up – Having a sit-down breakfast is much more doable if you do a little prep in advance. Set up the breakfast table the night before: Clear clutter, and set out bowls, spoons, and napkins. Then all you need to do in the morning is serve the food!
  5. Always Have Backup! – There are some days when you just have to grab and go! Being prepared with a healthy back up option is smart. I like to make extra whole grain pancakes on the weekend and freeze them for a rainy day.


As much as I would love to cook them a hot breakfast each morning, it's just not happening every day so cereal is our easiest breakfast meal.  My girls' favorite Barbara's cereal has been Cinnamon Puffins.

What's your kiddo's favorite breakfast cereal?  


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Problem With Picky Eaters? #DailySunshine Shakes To The Rescue

I was given complimentary samples of this product to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own and may not reflect the opinion of the company described. 

Luckily, I was blessed with children who aren't picky eaters.  

My problem is that I can't keep up with the quantity of food they seem to need to ingest, to fill their giant sized tiny bellies.

I swear 10 minutes after they finish lunch, they ask me for a snack. Not a joke. Sometimes I feel like I should just live in the kitchen because chances are, in 10 minutes one of my three girls will be requesting another snack.

#Beachbody, #beachbodyondemand, #shakeology, #DailySunshine


Since they never stop eating, it's important to me that I'm feeding them food that fuels their body and provides essential nutrients - not just empty calories.

Now, I had heard of #Beachbody, Shakeology and #BeachbodyOnDemand before, but what does this have to do with nutritional snacks for kids?
 
Turns out, they have a yummy smoothie blend called #DailySunshine that is a fruit and veggie shake blend containing healthy fats and plant based protein. 

#Beachbody, #beachbodyondemand, #shakeology, #DailySunshine


The question though, is of course, "will my kid drink it".............

Often, I find a snack with a good source of protein and vitamins, but my kids just won't like it.  

All three of my kiddos tried Daily Sunshine, and asked for more...

which I take as a good sign! In fact, I may have snuck a few shakes myself when I was feeling like something sweet in the afternoon, but didn't want to make a bad snacking choice. 

One of my favorite things about these shakes are that they blended up really easily, without being lumpy.  One of my complaints about another whey protein powder I use is that unless you use a blender, there will be lumps (yuck).  The Daily Sunshine packets, easily blend in a shaker cup with just 8 ounces of water or milk. 

My daughter also had fun adding her own extras to the shake, blending up frozen blueberries, peaches and chia seeds for an antioxidant punch.  


Benefits of Daily Sunshine
  • One packet is equivalent to 1 FULL serving of fruits and veggies
  • Made with organic fruits and vegetables
  • Made with organic pea protein (10 grams of protein per packet)
  • Healthy fats - ALA omega-3 fatty acids
  • Contains fiber and probiotics to support healthy digestion






After experimenting with adding our own ingredients, as well as blending with ice, and simply shaking in the shaker cup - I'd definitely purchase these shake packets for my kids.

All three of my kids (6, 5 and 3) loved the taste of both the Strawberry Banana and also the Chocolate Daily Sunshine, for a healthy snack after Tball practice, school, and weekend errands. 


To find out more about this nutritional shake for kids, or to purchase, visit:

 https://www.dailysunshinesmoothie.com/
 





Monday, August 14, 2017

Baby Shower Essentials #Giveaway - ends 8/31


I'm officially through having babies. But, I still like to hold them and think about how just three short years ago I was flipping through catalogs, trying to find the best baby gear for my little minion.

Well, instead I'll pass along the gift to you, since I'm not having anymore, there is this awesome giveaway for all the essentials you'll need Mommy Scene's Baby Shower Essentials & top picks for feeding, clothing, diapering, and setting up baby's nursery!

 Don't miss entering this fabulous Baby Shower Essentials Giveaway for the chance to win these must-have baby products!


Baby Shower Essentials Gift Guide Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Baby Shower Essentials Giveaway - Prize Collection

LILLEbaby COMPLETE Airflow Baby Carrier
Baby K'tan Chevron Diaper Bag
Babo Botanicals Convenient 3-in-1 Cleansing Wipes
Revelae Kids Cozy Sleeper
Yummi Pouch Brights Reusable Food Pouches & Cloth Snack Bags
Pacific Baby Bamboo Feeding Spoons
Baby Comfy Kit:Â Snot Trap Baby Comfy Nasal Aspirator - Baby Comfy Nail Deluxe Safety Clipper - Baby Comfy Hydrator - Baby Comfy Gummi Chewy Jewelry
Active Essentials Unscented Healing Baby Balm
Crane Drop Humidifier
Cover My Heart Chevron Nursing Cover
NogginStik Developmental Light-up Rattle
BabyIt Perineal Massage & Postpartum Comfort Gel
Tottigo Pack 'n Potty Travel Potty Seat
One Z Pillow for Nursing & Support
NOURISH by BeliBea Pumping/Nursing Bra
Snuggle Me Organic Co-Sleeping Baby Lounger
Buttons Diapers Trial Pack of Diapers (1 Cover + 3 Inserts) + Hanging Wet/Dry Bag

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One (1) winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on 8/31/17. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.

Now don't you think it's time you enter to win?  A super easy Rafflecopter entry form is below.

GOOD LUCK! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kids Love To Decorate for July 4th with Oriental Trading!

I received complimentary items in order to facilitate this article. However, all opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by the company described.


With three girls, and the oldest just entering first grade, holidays in our home are always an excuse to decorate and celebrate.

My girls love to dress up our yard, windows, and their rooms with fun and colorful flair, and this Fourth of July is no different.



If I'm being honest, we frequent our local discount store, to find outdoor and indoor decorations and it can be hit or miss. Often, we find cute stuff we can use to decorate, but other times it's picked over and only the "junk" is left. 

If we are a little late in the season to shop, hands down, Oriental Trading is always a sure bet to find exactly what we need for July 4th decorations. 




With three kids, it's often frustrating to navigate traditional stores, up and down the aisles, trying to find the perfect decorations, and of course unlimited amounts of...

"Don't touch that!!!!"


So, when I'm at my wits end, I can search by theme, or type of item, online at Oriental Trading. Which saves my stress meter for keeping my kids from burning themselves with sparklers or the hot lava dripping from toasting marshmallows!




It's not too late, you can still order 4th of July decor that will arrive in time for your festivities - if you order by June 28th midnight Central Time!

Click here to find all your July 4th decor: http://www.orientaltrading.com/party-supplies/party-themes/patriotic-a1-554606.fltr

Monday, June 12, 2017

Forget The Fidget Spinners, Give Me Safe Toys!

I received a sample of this item from the company to facilitate a review. I was not paid for this article and all opinions are 100% my own.

If you have children of, well almost any age, you know what a fidget spinner is, right?
When my kindergartner came home a few weeks before school let out for summer, and said, "MOM, I really want a fidget spinner" I began to do some light research.

Often, I entertain these whims, as long as it doesn't cost a fortune.  However, in this case, I really didn't see any benefit for my daughter in using this toy, so I held out. 

I'm so glad we did, because now I'm reading more about how some of the cheaper versions of fidget spinners are being made with toxic materials and unsafe paint for children

It makes me thankful for companies like Pebble, that make ethically and environmentally safe toys, like this Rainbow Bunny Rattle (pictured below).  Their toys are made from 100% cotton (+polyester fill) so you don't have to worry about your child's safety if they happen to munch on it. They are totally safe, and can be thrown in the washing machine afterward!






Here's my little peanut at naptime, cozying up to her new Pebble Rainbow Bunny Rattle, which I kind of want to steal borrow from her. The texture of the crochet feels so nice for kids who need some sensory exploration.  

One touch, and you can tell it was made from very talented artisan craftworkers

Pebble toys are guaranteed fair trade and made in Bangladesh, and their production centers provide 100 jobs per community, not to mention offer preschool and daycare for the moms who work there. 

So, instead of paying for silly toys like fidget spinners that are potentially made with toxic paints that could harm your child, grandchild, niece or nephew - check out Pebble and help provide a family in rural Bangladesh a future. 

You can find Pebble products at over 800 retailers, including:

 
 






Friday, March 17, 2017

The Gruffalo DVD #Giveaway + OMG Giveaway Hop

I was given a complimentary copy of this product for purposes of review. All opinions are 100% my own, and I do not give positive reviews to products I would not use in my own household. 



What would you do if you were the smallest animal in the deep dark forest, and all the other animals are bigger, stronger and faster than you?

To survive, the small must use quick thinking, wit and a whole lot of courage to stand up to the "giants" in the forest.

When I saw The Gruffalo for the first time, I assumed it would be a scary, silly story.  Not so, surprisingly, it was quite inspirational!

Keep Reading To Enter A Giveaway Below.........

This story is actually a wonderful metaphor for children at school, facing a bully on the playground - or an adult in the workplace who has to use quick thinking to maneuver around a mean boss or coworker.   

This magical tale, captivated all three of my girls (ages 6, 4 and 2) as they watched a brave little mouse, create a story that keeps him from being eaten by a hungry fox, owl, and snake who think he'd be a delicious snack!




After watching The Gruffalo, based on the award winning picture book by Julia Donaldson, countless times, both my girls and I were thrilled when we heard there was a sequel to The Gruffalo.....The Gruffalo's Child.

It's just as fun and the animation is beautiful and captivating, when the Gruffalo's child goes out on an adventure to find this invincible mouse that her father has told her stories about.

With narration by amazing voices like Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter) and Robbie Coltrane, you're sure to stay engaged in the storyline. 


If you haven't had the chance to watch these amazing movies, I'm going to give you the chance to WIN a bundle of BOTH, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child (a $20 value) as part of the #OMGhop!



After entering my giveaway below, be sure to "hop" around to all the other #rvm #OMGhop giveaways on the linky to try your hand at winning some other amazing prizes.  


Enter to Win
Prize: Combo DVD Pack - The Gruffalo & The Gruffalo's Child
  • Giveaway begins 3/17/17 and ends 3/31/17
  • Only US entrants 18+ are eligible to enter
  • Easy one mandatory entry on Rafflecopter form below
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to Be More Optimistic This Spring - 7 Tips & Tricks!


Inline image 1

Ugh!

I had the hardest time waking up my 6, 4 and 2 year old for school this morning, after we set our clocks forward for daylight savings. 

I'm hoping that tomorrow morning will be a little easier, because I honestly felt like I was torturing the poor girls by waking them up when all they wanted to do was sleep - which normally is not the case.

Typically I'm woken by my 2 year old, walking into my room at 6am, but this morning she brought me her alarm clock owl saying, "It's green mom, but I want to go back to bed, please" - poor baby!

I felt quite resentful all day about the time change, and I think my babies did too. 

It's important while trying to work with a new time schedule to attempt to see the good, and remain optimistic about the season coming up.

Here are some great tips from Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services on focusing on the positive as spring is around the corner.

1. Focus on the good.
“A daily exercise I often have my patients do is keep an appreciation or gratitude journal. When you focus on all the things to be happy for in your life then more great things come. Think generally and use your senses. What do you appreciate seeing, smelling, touching, tasting, listening to? Write it down. Within a few weeks you'll train the mind to pivot to an appreciate thought when a negative thought comes,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

2. Make plans.
Making plans to see relatives, to see a new exhibit a movie or to travel gets our mind moving forward towards something positive that we can be hopeful and optimistic about. Dr. Hafeez suggests making plans to do 3 things per month for the next 3 months. “Choose things that you know will bring you joy and then go do them! Feeling excited about what is coming and talking about how fun it will be keeps us optimistic and forward moving,” says Dr. Hafeez. 

3. Control what you can, delegate the rest! 
We get pessimistic and worry about the worst possible outcomes when we realize that we cannot control every detail. This leads to anxiety and an even stronger feeling of having to control conditions, and even others. According to Dr. Hafeez, this is a trap. “Figure out what needs to get done. What actions you can take. Then let go of anything else that is beyond your control with faith that everything will turn out fine. Envision the desired outcome,” advises Dr. Hafeez.

4. Limit your news watching and avoid it before bed. 
“There is a very common pattern I see people falling into,” says Hafeez. “People awaken and immediately reach for their smartphone for news headlines. They then turn on the TV news as background noise. They listen to news in their cars, have news alerts going off on their phones all day, catch the evening news and then the 11pm news before bed. No wonder they're less optimistic! What you choose to look at will impact your mood. Remember, good news doesn’t get ratings,” she adds.  

5. Don’t snooze. Instead just breathe.
When the alarm goes off give yourself a few minutes to just lie there, eyes closed focused on your breathing. Breathe in counting to 4 and then breathe out. Do a mental scan of your entire body from head to toe thanking your cells for restoring you as you slept. “Deep breathing is a form of meditation and in the morning, you have a small window of opportunity to decide what kind of day you want it to be,” says Dr. Hafeez.  

6. Distract yourself with something that requires focus.
The key here is to pick something you truly enjoy doing and do it daily. It can be painting, coloring, yoga, a 20-minute walk or jog, listening to music and dancing around your living room. “When you are fully engaged in something, you can’t ruminate which leads to pessimism,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

7. Make feeling good top priority.
When you commit to feeling good you instantly start to think more optimistically. According to Dr. Hafeez, when you’re mindful of your own negativity and shift to a better feeling positive thought you feel powerful. You’ll feel like you can conquer anything when you can master your own mindset.

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 
Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www .comprehendthemind.com