McKinney Mommas: 2017 Google+

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:

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!

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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