McKinney Mommas: October 2013 Google+

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Spooky Songs Playlist - FREE for you!


Have a Spooky Soundtrack picked out yet for Halloween night?

No? Well, McKinney Mommas' got you covered!

Nearly an hour of Disney's Spookiest collections, below!  Happy Halloween!




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

$5 OFF Home Depot Coupon

 

Anyone doing home improvement or DIY projects this holiday before Christmas rolls around?

Here's a great $5 OFF coupon I found for Home Depot.  Hey, every $5 saved, means more eggnog at Christmas, right?

Heh. Heh. Enjoy!


Home Depot

Monday, October 28, 2013

Free Treat Bag at Medical City Children's Hospital Urgent Care

Who wants a FREE Halloween Treat Bag? Just a few more days left to pick yours up at Medical City Children's Hospital Urgent Care Center!

Hurry, supplies end on October 31st!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kind Human Act + CommonKindness Coupon for Spree Water

It makes me sad that acts of kindness don't happen as often as they should, but that just means when they do.....they really make a difference in our lives, right?

Here are the most recent TWO..... #1. Terrible Human Act and #2. Very Kind Human Act I encountered in my life, just last weekend...and within minutes of each other!


Terrible Human Act - Exhibit #1
Our annual trip to the State Fair of Texas was a whirlwind of fun, stress and lots of fried food!  As the day came to a close, my toddler had fished my wallet out of the backpack, and I saw her drop a small wad of cash on the ground, under the stroller.

Before I had the chance to scoop it up, I witnessed a middle-aged woman "non-chalantly" reach under my stroller and begin to put the money in her own pocket!!! I directly called out to her and said, "Excuse me, is that MY money you are putting in your pocket?" She stammered for some response, and came up with something lame, and gave me back my money.

I told her "Good job at being a bad human, today," and for someone who doesn't often say "mean stuff" to people, I didn't feel a bit of remorse. 


Very Kind Human Act - Exhibit #2
Just minutes after the encounter with a woman "stealing money from a baby" my older toddler, after walking for miles to get her special treat, an ice cream bar, promptly drops her sweet treat on the dirt covered ground. 

Yes, it was her fault, but she's only 2. So, I went back to the ice cream stand and asked the man if my daughter could get a new bar, since she hadn't even taken one bite. The woman working there, furrowed her brow and said it was against their policy. The man, thought twice, but did the NICE thing and handed over a new ice cream, without charging me another eight bucks, or whatever exorbitant price it was.

I told him "Thanks for being a good human, today."

* * *  

In honor of the "Very Kind Human Act" at the State Fair of Texas this past weekend, here's a great coupon for Spree All-Natural Sparkling Water for you from CommonKindness


Buy 1 Get 1 FREE SPREE All Natural Sparkling Water

Spree is an all natural, sweetened, zero calorie sparkling refreshment, a proprietary blend of nature’s stevia leaf extracts combined with 1% pear juice gives Spree® a smooth sweetness, without a bitter ending.  Tasty flavors - Kiwi Kumquat, Pina Pina Colada, Lemon Strawberry, Ruby Red Grapefruit.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blogger Opportunity - $300 Target Giveaway

Celebrate Your Holiday Wish Giveaway Sign-Up

  Prize $300 Target Gift Card

November 11-30 , 2013
Open to US
Celebrate-Your-Holiday-Wish-Giveaway-Event 
Organized by Celebrate Woman Today

Details For You To Know About

• Event Dates: 11/11-11/30, 2013
• Post the announcement about this giveaway (Find the copy to post here) of pay the $5 fee (pay via PayPal to vivaseo@mac.com, and put your blog name if you’re paying)
Fill Out the Form for Your Participation Here, If You’re a Blogger
Tell them PUT YOUR NAME/BLOG Referred You to this event! Thank you.
Referral Prize: $50 PayPal –> A person who refers the most to this event gets this prize

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Spook-Tacular Giveaway #WBhalloween Ends 10/30

Disclosure: Materials for this post were provided to me by Warner Bros. I was not compensated for this post.
Read more at http://mckinneymommas.blogspot.com/search?q=warner+bros#SURTGO4Y73HDGpDh.99

Are you in a spooky mood?

I'm teaming up with Warner Bros. to give one of my favorite McKinney Mommas' readers a chance to win one of these Halloween Spook-Tacular Movies!


• Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Run for your Rife!
• Regular Show – Fright Pack (V4)
• It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition
• Tom and Jerry: Tricks and Treats
• Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween
• Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King
• Tom and Jerry: Halloween Hijinks
• Sesame Street: Elmo Says Boo!
• Adventure Time – Jake the Dad (V5)


It's super easy, AND FUN to enter for your chance to win one of the above titles (chosen at random), just take the "Which Spooky Family Are You" quiz below and share your results with me in the comments!






GIVEAWAY

Prize: One Halloween Spook-Tacular Movie

Deadline: October 30, 2013 11:59pm CT

Easy Mandatory Entry

1. Take the "Which Spooky Family Are you" Quiz (above) and post your results in a blog comment below

Bonus entries (leave comment for each method of entry)

2.
Download the Spook-Tacular Story Time PDF and post your own story in the comments section below

3. "Like" McKinney Mommas on Facebook

4. FOLLOW McKinney Mommas on TWITTER

5. FOLLOW McKinney Mommas on Google +

6. FOLLOW McKinney Mommas on Pinterest

7. VOTE for McKinney Mommas - choose any on right toolbar
(Top Mommy Blogs, Picket Fence, Fuel my Blog)


Giveaway details: Each household is only eligible to win 1 WB Spook-Tacular Family Movie [CHOSEN AT RANDOM] via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nominate Your Favorite Health Care Worker For A Real Award!


Have you ever had a health care worker go above and beyond for you?

It seems like I've had so many hum-drum encounters with health workers (ie. nurses, doctors, pharmacists.....don't get me started on that one) that when there is a positive experience....it really shines brightly in my mind.

For me, it would be the delivery nurse that helped me through my last natural childbirth at Baylor Frisco.  It's terrible that I didn't even catch her name to thank her properly, but there were moments when I really thought I couldn't continue with the pain of my natural childbirth, and this woman was AMAZING!  

This OB nurse, knew just what to say to make me want to keep going with my plan, and exactly how to pat me or touch me in a reasurring way to show that she actually cared. And for anyone who has gone through natural childbirth, believe me....usually the last thing you want is anyone touching you.

I honestly credit her 100% for getting me through my 16 hour labor naturally, I just wish I knew her name so I could nominate her for Save the Children's Real Awards!



 
 
 
 
Do YOU know a health worker that has really made a difference in your life or the lives of someone in your family?

Quick! Take a minute before October 25th to nominate a health worker that you admire at www.theREALawards.com.
 



 
 
Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this post.  This post is part of my commitment to spread social good around the world, as a proud member of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200!

Trick or Treat With America's ToothFairy & SparX Candy

Indulging in a little candy during Halloween is...in my book....just fine in moderation!

But, what if you could indulge in just a few more bites and know that you're not adding inches to your waistline, by choosing sugar free candy alternatives? 

You'll also feel good knowing that the candy you are passing out to your neighborhood kids won't rot their poor little teeth away!


America's Tooth Fairy and SparX invite you to have a happy and tooth healthy Halloween this year by following these simple steps:


  • Check out products with xylitol as an alternative to sugary treats! 
  • Hand out sugar-free candy to trick-or-treaters.  You are still giving them a sweet treat, but without the cavities!
  • Host a Halloween party for a good cause benefiting a children’s charity.  Everyone can bring a dollar for the charity and a healthy dish to eat at the party.
  • Dress up as the Toothfairy and give out multi-colored toothbrushes instead of candy this year.
  • For a healthy smile year round, remember to brush and floss twice a day and visit your dentist once every six months!  For children ages 6 and up, use a fluoride rinse.



Interested in checking out an all-natural, sugar free candy that actually tastes good?  Then look no further than SparX.  Believe me, they sent me a sample and I had trouble sharing with my kiddos. These little packets of fruit, berry and citrus hard candies are kinda addictive.

SparX sugar-free candy can be found at select retailers. The stores closest to me that carry it are, Whole Foods, Market Street and Sprouts.


* * * 

Here are some other ways you can help to encourage positive oral health and raise money for kids who don't have access to a healthy smile.

  • Take a minute to Trick or Treat with America's ToothFairy this year and have your child recognized as an official ToothFairy HelperThis campaign encourages positive oral health habits and raises funds to rescue at-risk children suffering painful, sleepless nights from tooth decay. You can donate here or click here to set up your personal fundraising page.  (All public donations go directly to helping at-risk children.)
  • Sign up for the FREE America's ToothFairy Kids Club at www.AmericasToothFairyKids.org. Members of this club receive educational activities, tips and a personalized letter from the ToothFairy!
  • Also, follow America's ToothFairy us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for interesting facts and great tips for a healthy smile!



To find out where the closest SparX retailer is to you, enter your zip code here at the Store Locator Page. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Healthy Halloween Tips!


10 Tricky Tips for a Healthy Halloween from the 
 Pritikin Longevity Center

Pritikin healthy halloween.JPG

1.       Buy candy you don’t like.
Love Snickers bars? Leave them on the store shelf. Otherwise, you can bet you’ll be breaking into that bag days before the costumed kiddies arrive at your doorstep. (And let’s not even talk about what happens if there are Snickers left over at the end of the evening.) Buy candy that does not call out to you, and on November 1, throw any leftovers out or take them to a homeless shelter.
2.       Think outside the candy box.
"On Halloween night, trick or treaters love non-food goodies, too," recommends Pritikin dietitian and educator Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD. Look in the party aisle of your favorite discount or dollar store for treats like glow stick necklaces (your little neighborhood princesses will love you!), spider rings, stickers, decorative pencils, stamps, notepads, erasers, balloons, play tattoos, game cards, and more. Better yet, buy treats that encourage kids to be physically active, like little bouncy balls, Frisbees, jump ropes, hacky sacks, and sidewalk chalk for drawing hopscotch or foursquare games.

3.       Fuel up your little ones before they go trick-or-treating.
Before they head out the door, try to get them to relax (we know this isn’t easy!) and sit down to dinner, or, at least, a fruit plate and a cup of yogurt. That way, their appetites for the rest of the evening will be curbed, somewhat. (Maybe they’ll be happy with 6 little chocolates, not 16.)
4.       Be firm but loving.
Keeping junk out of the house most of the year is important. "But realize that some junk on Halloween and other rare events is inevitable, and that’s okay. Embrace those moments, and at the same time make sure your kids understand how important it is to keep these indulgences occasional," counsels Tom Rifai, MD, Medical Director of the Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management program at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Oakland, Michigan, and member of the Pritikin Scientific Advisory Board. Always emphasize the many positive outcomes of eating fresh whole foods like fruits and vegetables, like a leaner body, clearer skin and excellent energy for all their activities and sports.

5.       Perform trick-or-treat triage.
Once the kids bring in the candy, "get rid of the excess," suggests Pritikin nutritionist Kimberly Gomer. "The children don’t need a ton around, and neither do you. Also, if there are certain treats that ‘glow and glitter’ for you, triggering temptation, put them out of sight, perhaps in an out-of-the-way kitchen cabinet or freezer in the garage. The kids often forget about the candy faster than mom and dad!"

6.       Meter it out.
On Halloween night, allow your children to enjoy a few bites, not a binge. Then, stash the goodies they’ve selected as "keepers" in the pantry. Get rid of the rest. In the days that follow, dole out one or two treats at a time (but only if your children ask for them), and always in combination with a healthy snack or meal. When the excitement over the candy has waned (and before you start digging into them), toss them out or take them to a shelter.
7.       Focus on fun, not food.
"Make dressing up in costumes a big deal," suggests Kimberly, "and get in on the action, too. Dress up with your kids." Carve pumpkins, and enjoy the exercise of trick or treating around the neighborhood. (Do make sure you’ve also eaten a healthy snack or dinner before walking out the front door.)  And sure, nibble on a treat or two while out enjoying the evening, as long as you know you can stop after one or two. "And always remember that it’s one night a year," says Kimberly. "Enjoy the evening, but don’t drag out the candy eating till Thanksgiving. Tell yourself, ‘I’ve splurged a little tonight. I’m back to healthy eating tomorrow.’" What a gift for your waistline and overall health!

8.       Plan party fun on the front lawn.
"Get the kids (and grownups) up and moving with party activities," advises Pritikin Fitness Director Scott Danberg, MS. Set up a costume/dance contest. Before the sun sets, enjoy a pumpkin hunt (hide miniature pumpkins throughout the yard), pinning a heart on a scarecrow, or musical chairs (instead of chairs, use big pumpkins). And, of course, kids never tire of running from the big bad bogeyman (you dressed up in a creepy costume) in a game of Halloween hide and seek. Lots of calories burned. Lots of fun!

9.       Stock up on sweet and nutritious.
The rest of the year, continue to think outside the candy aisle for treats that are sweet and nutritious. Make fruit fun. How about a Fruit Parfait? In a pretty parfait glass, simply layer your child’s favorite fruit with fat-free or low-fat vanilla yogurt. Then top with a strawberry.  

10.   Make healthy treats together.
Every summer in the Pritikin Family Program, kids love the hands-on cooking classes and, afterwards, eating their own creations. Set up shop in your own kitchen, and with the kids as sous chefs, create tasty desserts, such as our chefs’ Very Berry Ice Cream, for a healthy Halloween and good health year-round.


Hope you enjoyed these refreshing healthy tips for Halloween, I did!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dallas Launch Party for Dr. Smith’s Baby Ointment

What do the renowned Fearing's Restaurant, Ali Landry, the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas and Baby Butts all have in common?  They're all part of the Launch Party for Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment, of course!  I wasn't able to attend, so I did the next best thing....I decided to live vicariously through someone else, and hire my new-found guest blogger buddy, Jess Self, to go have fun for me.  

Did I mention I'm super jealous? Well, let's all enjoy her story:

* * *

A morning off from the kids, an excuse to get “fancied up,” great food, cocktails, amazing people to meet, and a happy baby with a healthy bum!!! These were all the things that came to mind when I was invited to attend the Dallas Launch Party for Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment. I was so excited that I was going to get to share a neat event with local bloggers from Texas, but was even more excited when I found out I would be hanging with a celebrity too! 

The launch was for a reliable product; in fact they are celebrating the “50th” birthday of Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment. Dr. Forrest Smith, a pediatrician from San Antonio, created the product in 1963.  Until a few years ago, it was very hard to find the product on the shelves. That all changed four years ago when Mission Pharmacal purchased the product and decided to make sure this product was available to get on our babies’ bottoms. Mission, being a seasoned family company established in 1946, had no problem doing so!!  The launch of Dr. Smith’s Baby Ointment was very productive causing it to hit the shelves of every, that’s right, every Walgreen’s, and many other supermarkets and drugstores. It can also be found now at Kroger, Wal-Mart, and HEB. I’m more than positive that other major chains will not be far behind in stocking their shelves, as well!

The Dallas Launch Party for Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment was held at the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel in downtown Dallas, at their upscale Fearing’s Restaurant. When we arrived, we were in awe! The place was beautiful and that is being modest.

#DrSmithsLaunch


After we took some pictures and tried to get over our shell shock from how beautiful the hotel was, we were escorted to the amazing Fearing’s Restaurant and they had it decked out! The room had a 360° view with floor to ceiling glass windows and a chandelier that was TO DIE FOR! I was already a happy girl and the event had not even started.

 
#DrSmithsLaunch



As we were meeting fellow bloggers and chatting away, they were serving some of the most delicious breakfast treats. Most breakfasts at my house consists of bananas, cheerios, and maybe a muffin here and there. So this was a very special treat. They had fruit kabobs, mini biscuit breakfast sandwiches; pancakes with an amazing blueberry puree, and my absolute favorite were the French toast bites! Now all these things sound ordinary but they were NOT! My mouth is still watering.

Fruit Kabobs, french toast kabobs
 

As I was stuffing my face, the most stunning woman walked up to me and I was star struck! Ali Landry is beautiful!!! I was in awe, and slightly jealous all in the same swoop. Everyone knows her as the gorgeous babe from the Doritos’s Super Bowl commercial. She is an actress, model, TV host, owner of a clothing line, wife of a famous director, and most importantly, a momma to three little gems. Her life is all about her babies and I was thoroughly impressed! She even had her newest edition, two-month-old Valentin, with her and he was so precious. She truly disproved my theory that all celebrity babies are raised by their nannies!

    
#DrSmithsLaunch



We had the pleasure of meeting several of the wonderful people who work with Mission Pharmacal. The Vice President of Marketing, Natalie, was a very sweet lady who is a mother of twins. The Vice President/ Part Owner of the company, Bear and his lovely wife, made the biggest impact on me personally. They are parents to triplets who are now in college. They are on the top of my list, of the most down to earth, true Texan friendly people. We chatted about kids and even took a little parenting advice from these tendered parents.
 

 
#DrSmithsLaunch



Mission Pharmacal gave a sweet gift to Ali for her newest addition, which was just the cherry on top for how kind the people are who own and operate this company. I had a genuine good time with all of the nice people and five star treatments. And the best part was they gave each of us Mommies a nice stock size jar and tube to take home to give a try! I am super excited to keep my little guy’s bum happy! Since we all know “HAPPY BABY EQUALS HAPPY MOMMA!!”

For more information on Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment please visit http://doctorsmiths.com/

Visit Dr. Smith’s on Facebook to get a discount coupon:  facebook.com/doctorsmiths

And you can follow Dr. Smith’s on Twitter @doctorsmiths

Dr. Smith’s® Diaper Rash Ointment

 

Gattitown Frisco - Moms Eat FREE + Coupon Code


I've heard a lot of moms in the DFW area say that GattiTown is a fun place to take the kiddos, but I still haven't been.  I'm going to get an opportunity to visit their location in Frisco here in the next few weeks, so I'm excited to share with you what I find.

Keep reading to find out about their great daily specials, including Moms Eat FREE!



If you haven't already been, at GattiTown, you'll find an unlimited buffet of delicious Gatti's pizzas, an array of baked pastas, a full salad bar, freshly baked desserts, and a bunch of cold and tasty drinks! Promised to be fresh, hot and ready the moment you walk in the door.  

GattiTown is proud of being more than just great pizza & food, they have lots of fun activities for the entire family!  This fun-lover's paradise is filled with countless family-friendly games including multi-level video and interactive games, bumper cars, carousel, air hockey, and more!

Starting 10/14 Gattitown Frisco has some great daily specials.
  • Mondays: Moms Eat FREE with the purchase of a kid's buffet (10 & under)
  • Tuesdays: 1/2 Priced Games
  • Wednesdays: Kids Eat Free with the purchase of an adult buffet

* * * COUPON CODE for McKinney Mommas Readers * * *

McKinney Mommas readers will receive one adult meal, one kid's meal, and one $10 game card for $16.99 + tax. Use Coupon Code: KidsGuide http://www.friscokidsguide.com/coupon.php?bid=11381&dealid=1440


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FREE Flu Shots DFW From DealWell

Hack, hack!

Cough, cough!

Flu season is soon to arrive, and if you're one who gets their flu shot early, or thinks they should start getting one now, I have some good news.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net




Dallas residents can get a FREE flu shot for a limited time at selected providers across the Metroplex through our buddies at DealWell.

Anyone in North Texas can claim their free flu shot at http://www.dealwell.com/offers/free-flu-shots.


Monday, October 14, 2013

How To Throw A Luau Pool Party + Party Supplies


My second daughter's first birthday was this summer, and it didn't take long to decide we'd have a Luau Pool Party - because in Texas, we don't do summer parties outside unless there's water involved!

Want to know how to throw your own Luau Pool Party?  Keep reading to find out how!

Baby With Flower Lei


STEP ONE: Plan Your Luau Menu

 * * * 


You can do something as simple as hot dogs and fruit salad, or jazz it up a bit with an authentic Hawaiian Luau menu.

I found a cool website, Polynesian Cultural Center that had an extensive menu with recipes for an authentic Hawaiian Luau to start me off on the right path. 

Some of the simple classics that I chose (no I wasn't ready for a whole spit roasted suckling pig): 
  • Teriyaki Beef or Chicken
  • Potato Salad
  • Fruit Salad with Pineapple, Watermelon & other Tropical Fruits
  • Fresh Green Bean Salad
  • Maui Onion Dip
  • Tropical & Banana Caramel Cupcakes

Chicken Skewers, pinapple fruit bowl



STEP TWO: Create a Guest List & Send Out Invitations

* * * 
Evite.com is a cost effective (i.e. FREE) way to create really cute invitations, plus keep track of all the RSVP's in one place! They had a sweet luau flower template (pictured below) that worked perfectly for Baby O's party invitation.

Remember, each additional party guest means an extra two servings (let's be honest) of each menu item you plan to make. Don't make it too hard on yourself. Or, at least enlist a friend or family member to help you prep the food on the party day.

I ended up deciding on inviting 10 families, which ended up being 13 Adults and 9 Kids.  This was a totally manageable number for a Luau Pool Party. Remember, for an outdoor party like this, you can generally get by with a few extra people, as there aren't the space constrains that you'd have in an indoor party. 
















STEP THREE: Gather Your Party Supplies & Decorations

* * * 

Instead of hitting up a bunch of different party stores to find the perfect luau themed serve-ware and decorations, I prefer to shop at party stores online, so I can get a full spectrum of luau party supplies.  

I've used the online store, Birthday In A Box for the majority of the party decorations for my girls last two birthdays.

When I searched for "Luau" themed items at Birthday In A Box, I got 764 items in my search results, now that's a lot of fun stuff to choose from! See my cute hibiscus luau flower cups and plates below?


birthday in a box serveware

Here's a list of party supplies you should have:
  • Cups / Plates
  • Plasticware
  • Serving Utensils (Salad tongs, serving spoons etc.)
  • Plenty of coolers with ICE for keeping beverages cool
  • Mesh Food Tents - to keep critters away (you can get these at Bed, Bath & Beyond)
OPTIONAL:
  • Grass Skirts (you can use these to wrap around garbage cans...or yourself for a cute luau theme)
  • Tiki Torches (be careful if kids are present)
  • Large flower Hair Clips (really cute to give as party favors) 
  • Limbo pole
  • Pinata (hula girl, hibiscus flower, ocean animal, etc)
  • Happy Birthday or Happy Luau Banner
  • Balloons (match the colors of your plates/cups to tie in the theme)
  • Dangling Cutouts - So much more fun than crepe streamers
  • Silk or Real Hawaiian Flower Leis (*See below)
...and if you need more inspiration for some fun party themes, check out Birthday In A Box on Pinterest!
Fresh Orchid Leis For Luau



Finally, if you really want to have a memorable luau party, that your guests will be talking about all year...order some fresh flower leis like I did from Aloha Island Leis to hand out to all your guests.

A special party favor like fresh flower leis flown in straight from Hawaii will make your party goers, both young and old feel like a guest of honor!

Starting at just $4.99 each, for fresh orchid leis (pictured above), you really can't go wrong!

Most of all, ALOHA and have FUN! 


What's your favorite themed party? Tell me about it below!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nothing Says Special Like A Personalized Baby Gift

Nothing says “special” like your own name. The great thing about personalized baby gifts is that they give double enjoyment. The parents are thrilled when their baby receives a personalized gift, and when the baby grows up, he or she is just as touched to find that someone went to the trouble of purchasing a personalized gift.

Some of the best personalized gift choices are available from Chronicle Books. Their entire line of books are widely admired; they publish handsome, quirky, funny, and unique titles, Chronicle is known for having books that will suit just about anyone’s tastes or special interests. So it’s a sure bet you can find the perfect personalized book for a baby—your own or someone else’s.

You can have the book personalized or just order a personalized gift tag. Their books for babies have appealing titles, covers, and subjects like animals, bugs, butterflies, trucks, and castles. These are well-written books that baby can grow up with and love to hear read to them over and over. There is also a great selection of personalized growth charts and wall art that will suit any nursery décor. And be sure to check out their fun personalized place mats. All of these gifts will delight a baby well into toddlerhood.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Creating A Soothing Space With Bonsai Trees

During my 10 year career as a social worker, I always tried to make sure my office space was set up to be as soothing as possible.  I often had clients, who were often experiencing various levels of stress come and meet me at my workplace, so a soothing environment was very important. 

At various times, I had tabletop water fountains, live plants, bonsai trees and aromatherapy items on my desk to create a safe and soothing space for my clients to share their troubles with me.




I recently found The Soothing Company which is a website that offers thousands of soothing products for your home or garden.  They also have a website, Soothing Walls, that offers a large selection of water fountains that you cannot find elsewhere.

Since becoming a stay at home / work at home mom, I've missed my special soothing office space and wanted to re-created a little bit of that at home, so The Soothing Company agreed to send me a little zen in the form of a Dwarf Jade Indoor Bonsai Tree!  

Soothing Company Dwarf Jade Bonsai Tree


Now, I may have failed to mention previously, that while I loved to keep live plants in my office, they never seemed to last very long, dispite my best efforts.  This gorgeous bonsai that arrived in a beautiful ceramic square pot has gone above and beyond my expectations.

I have now been caring for this Dwarf Jade Bonsai for over 5 months, and it has grown with little attention and is just as green and gorgeous as when it arrived.  This bonsai tree makes for a perfect gift for a friend, family member or for yourself if you feel your space needs a little peaceful tree growing in it.

I can't wait to add another beautiful and calming accent piece from the soothing company to my home. Maybe I'll try a serene desk water fountain next........



Do you have a special soothing space in your home or office? Tell me what it looks like!
 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2013 Pumpkin Patches & Fall Activities in Collin County, TX

Pumpkins and Cider and Hay Mazes, oh my!

Of course, there are a bunch of pumpkin patches and fun fall activities to be had in #DFW, but I wanted to focus on the fun being offered up north a little further in the North Dallas / Collin County area.

So, here you go:






Pumpkin Patches & Fall Fun in Collin County




MCKINNEY, TX

Tucker Hill Pumpkinville- October 17-31
  • Face painting, pumpkin decorating, a toddler-sized hay maze and weekend hayrides
  • HOURS:  Mondays - Thursday, 10am to 2pm, Friday & Saturday, 9:30am to 5:30pm, Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Storybook Ranch - October 1 - Nov. 3 - McKinney, TX  
  • Kid's Package: $15 - Includes pony rides, hay mazes, petting zoo, bounce houses, a wagon ride through the Dry Bones town and a mini pumpkin of their own!
  • HOURS: Hours: Sunday - Friday 10am - Sundown, Saturday at 9am through Sundown

 
FRISCO, TX

Pumpkins On The Prairie - October 2-31 - Frisco, TX
  • Bounce house, hay mazes, games in the kid's patch, hayrides and pumpkin launching on the weekends, of course!
  • HOURS: Monday - Friday: 1 pm-8 pm, Saturday/*Sunday: 9am-8pm (or sunset) *Sundays activities don't begin until noon


RICHARDSON, TX


Owen's Big Orange Pumpkin Farm - Oct 1 - Oct 31 - Richardson, TX
  • Weekday Admission ($6) includes a small pumpkin, animal feed, hay ride and roaming around the farm and museum. Weekend Admission ($7) includes FREE hot dog, animal feed, hay ride and roaming around the farm and museum. Pumpkins are available for purchase.
  • HOURS: Weekdays: 9am-4pm,  Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: Noon-6 pm


OTHER COLLIN COUNTY

Yesterland Farm - Sept 21 - Nov 10 - Canton, TX
  • Old Fashioned Fall Festival includes: Corn maze, Yesterland aMAZEment Park rides, rock wall, wagon rides, pumpkin launcher, pony rides, face painting, sack races, giant slides and more
  • HOURS: Weekends only - Sept/Nov Saturdays: 10am-6pm, Sundays: noon - 6pm, October Saturdays: 10am-9pm. Columbus Day 10am-6pm

Big Orange Pumpkin Farm - Sept 20 - Nov 3 - Celina, TX
  • Weekday admission ($8) includes a small pumpkin, feed for the animals, hayride, roping pen, and maze. 
  • HOURS: Monday - Friday: 9 am-6 pm, Sat: 10am-6pm, Sun: 12pm 6 pm

 

If you know of other fun fall activities and pumpkin patches in Collin County, Texas......feel free to shout it out!