MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Hand Multiplication Hacks #GiftedMath #GiftedHE


I am super excited for the release of Gifted! It comes out to BlueRay July 25th!

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man dedicated to raising his spirited young niece, Mary (Mckenna Grace), a child prodigy. But Franks and Mary’s happy life together is threatened when Mary’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of her overbearing grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) – who has other plans for the girl. You’ll love every moment of this “deeply satisfying” (Edward Douglas, Film Journal International) film, also starring Jenny Slate and OSCAR Winner Octavia Spencer.

To get you all excited we have some fun activities all week to share! First up is Here is a fun and easy way to learn how to multiple using your hands. This one is to multiple the numbers between 6-10. (click image to make bigger)

Next is how to multiply 9’s. I remember learning how to d this as a kid. (click image to make bigger)

4 Common Baby Skin Conditions And Simple Ways on How to Treat Them

Having a baby is like entering a whole new dimension. If you’re a first-time parent, you will have some strange, interesting, and often scary encounters!

Below, I will let you in on some of the common baby skin conditions that you may encounter in your little one’s first few months. I’ve encountered all of these myself, and thanks to doctors and fellow moms, I was able to understand all of them better!

I will be providing the conditions, the possible causes, and ways on how you can treat them. Hope these will be helpful!

  1. Baby has acne-like spots

Blemishes and pimple-like dots on your baby’s face? This is most probably baby acne, a common condition that usually happens on a baby’s first to second week that can stretch on for weeks or months.

Some of the possible reasons for baby acne are hot temperatures, chemicals in breastfeeding medication, and a mother’s hormones being transferred to the baby’s system.

If your baby has this condition, you can gentle facial cleansers or simply wipe your baby’s face with a clean washcloth and water.

  1. Baby’s cheeks turn extra red

It’s common for babies to have red cheeks – extra red cheeks, however, could mean that your baby has a condition called fifth disease (also sometimes referred to as “slapped cheeks disease”).

Don’t worry; this is a completely normal condition! This is normal for pre-schoolers, but babies get it too.

If your baby experiences discomfort or itchiness, consult a doctor. This usually goes away on its own, but in some cases, doctors need to prescribe some medicine to prevent fever or soreness.

  1. Baby has red, raised birthmarks

These red birthmarks, which is referred to as strawberry hemangioma or red birthmark, usually appear in the first few weeks of a baby’s life. These could start out as small dots and increase in size in the first few months or years.

This condition is usually caused by immature veins that break away from a baby’s circulatory system, or simply when there are extra blood vessels that cluster on the skin.

Most of the time, they will go away by the time your child starts preschool. If, however, the mark keeps growing or starts bleeding, consult your doctor. Possible procedures for removal include surgery and laser therapy.

  1. Baby has scab-like spots

Notice some scabs or blister-like marks on your baby’s diaper area? This is most probably a condition called impetigo.

This contagious skin condition is usually caused by bacteria from another child, or an infection made worse by a cut, allowing bacteria to enter the skin. Don’t worry – this condition is normal, and can be treated easily!

Sometimes, all you need is to keep your baby extra clean! If the case is more severe, your doctor may prescribe some antibiotics or skin cream. You can also explore new diapers and wipes and maybe consider wipe warmers.

Hope you were enlightened!

Skin conditions are very common in babies, so don’t get stressed out! Most children grow out of this. Most cases do not require any heavy treatment, but if you’re really worried, visiting your pediatrician is still the best thing to do!

Hope you learned something from this article! If you have comments or suggestions, send them my way in the comments section below!




My name is Stacy Belk. I’m a 30-something stay-at-home mom who loves reading to and with my two kids! I also collect cookbooks and experiment on affordable and healthy recipes. Read my blog at



5 Tips For Taking Care of Your Babies Skin in Summer

A baby’s skin is very delicate and more permeable than an older child, or adult. The skin on our body is an organ, the largest one we have. Babies have a bigger skin surface than adults. What this means is that babies can dehydrate quite quickly. Their skin needs extra care, and will also react more quickly to the heat of summer. Baby skin needs protection from the sun, heat, and insects. Adequate nutrition, and getting plenty of vitamin C, will also help protect your baby’s skin in summer. Keeping hydrated in essential.

  1. Keep Calamine Lotion in Your Medicine Chest

Babies are very sensitive to heat. Their skin is more sensitive. Heat rash is quite common. Small red bumps can appear on the skin, these are blocked sweat glands. It’s recommended that you bathe your baby in lukewarm water, use a fragrance-free soap, and apply calamine lotion. Avoid clothing that will chafe and make your baby feel hot. Your baby will be very uncomfortable and overheat easily. Cotton clothing that can breathe is a good choice.

  1. Buy Darker Shades Of Cotton Clothing

While white clothing may be cooler to wear, a baby’s clothes are a barrier to the sun. Fabric that is tightly woven and a darker shade, like blue and green, will absorb less light. Breathable fabric is very important. Stay away from polyester, nylon and poly blends. These will cause your baby to sweat excessively.

  1. Avoid The Hottest Hours Of The Day

Stay out of direct sunlight between 10 am and 2 pm. These are the hottest hours, and sun can damage your baby’s skin. Newborn babies’ especially, should not be exposed to the sun, during these times. Nobody lives in a bubble though, and aside – it’s better to protect your baby’s skin, if you are outdoors, during these times.

You can read some Summer Safety Tips for Kids here.

  1. Use A High SPF Baby Friendly Sunscreen

Any sunscreen is better than none, but because a baby’s skin is more sensitive, their skin can absorb chemicals more easily than an adult. Sunscreens are designed using physical blockers and chemical blockers. Choose a sunscreen that has zinc oxide or titanium oxide, and that has a high sun protection factor. SPF 30. You also need UVA and UVB protection.

Look for sunscreens that are scent free, and not tinted.

There is debate around the safety of applying sunscreens to newborn babies. Products have not normally been tested on very young babies. The general advice is that they can be used from 6 months. However, there is nothing magical that happens to a baby’s skin at 6 months, of age.

You can learn more about Something parents shouldn’t do with infants here.

  1. Keep Aloe Gel In Your Medicine Chest

If your baby suffer from sunburn, you should apply a cool compress to the skin and apply a soothing gel, like aloe gel. If this does not help, or the sunburn is very bad, then you should consult a dermatologist, or get medical assistance. Remember that your baby’s skin is delicate, and covers a large surface area and that your baby may become dehydrated, and need medical attention.


4 Key Ideas to Make the Most of a Boy’s Small Bedroom

In an ideal world, every house would be built with huge rooms and lots of space to deal with the endless things we seem to need to get by, but unfortunately in real life it isn’t always possible. When it comes to bedrooms, many of us have one which is smaller than the rest, which can present a real challenge when trying to fix it up for your child.

Making the most of a small bedroom for a boy takes some planning, thought and imagination, but with the boys small bedroom ideas outlined below to inspire and guide you, the task may not be as stressful or problematic as you first imagined.

Here are a few key ideas to get you started on the road to creating a bedroom any boy would love, from a seemingly impossible small space.

Idea #1 – Get Creative with the Space

Beds for Youngsters

Young children are more likely to need floor space to play in, and as they are physically smaller they can manage with a smaller bed. This is a good compromise, but you should never buy anything without at least one drawer underneath or you are automatically writing off a decent storage space. If you are furnishing a small bedroom for a boy who can confidently and safely manage heights and steps you have a few more options. In that case, look at things like raised beds with a play area underneath – a good investment as later the toy chests can be replaced by a desk and chair, or at least a cabin bed which will provide lots of storage and could even perhaps let you do without a closet, saving you lots of extra space.

Beds for Tweenies

Cabin beds are still a good option at this age, although a stylish alternative would be to have a platform built with a desk and chair on it and a comfortable mattress hidden underneath, ready to be pulled out at bedtime. [This is also handy if the room has s slope which eats up much of the available space.]

Beds for Teenagers

Although platform beds are workable there are still more options around to suit teenage tastes. It’s worth looking at space age solutions such as beds that fold up against the wall, or a futon which can be covered with a throw and oversized cushions to look and act like a sofa when they have friends visiting.

The Mezzanine – A Teen’s Dream

If you are lucky enough to have a high ceiling in the bedroom, building a mezzanine floor is a fun and quirky way to create more room for teenagers from a small space. Depending on the logistics this could be more of a ‘crouch down to get into bed’ space, or be taller and become a study; or a chill out area with bean bags and electronic game consoles, the ideal place to read, draw and entertain friends. Either way this should create at least 50% more available space than the room would have had without it.

Double Up

Having furniture do double duty where possible is also a great way to maximize the space you have. For example, stools, cubes or ottomans should always be the type that open to provide storage space, while a drawer to store clothes can also act as a bedside cabinet for a lamp or night stand, clock and anything else your child needs to keep close to the bed.

Exploit the Potential of Alcoves

Sloping roofs and strangely shaped rooms don’t have to be a problem, in fact they, along with alcoves, can be a blessing as all sorts of things can be slotted or built into those spaces. Shelving is a classic example, and much more flexible when custom made than a bookcase ever could be. One tip though – don’t be afraid to use higher space too. Your small child may not get much use from that, but when he or she is older and taller, the benefits will be apparent, and welcomed.


Built in closets are definite space savers, although obviously limiting in terms of changing the look of a room. Whatever you decide to buy, look for something with plenty of half height hanging space, and less, or even no full length. Little children don’t have clothes long enough to need five or six feet of closet space to store them, and even when they are older most clothes will be on hangers and only need a short drop. Just this one thing can create shelving for things like sweaters and shirts.

Work the Walls

Displaying items on walls is a great way to enjoy them while freeing up floor space and drawers. Things such as hats and bags can be made to look good on specially designed wall holders, or even a row of pegs.

Idea #2 Choose the Right Decor

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

While you may not want to use mirrors to create the illusion of space in a small bedroom while your child is very young, they are a good option for teenagers. From mirrored built in closets to cleverly hung items to catch the light from any windows, this is an easy trick to make a small space very livable.

Choose Your Colors Carefully

If decorating for a young child, light, fresh yellows, whites, soft greens and light blues can create a sense of space, so decorating the walls in any of those will definitely help the room feel open yet warm. Avoiding darker primary colors and keeping the walls plain rather than patterned will also make the room look and feel more spacious, as will painting the walls, floor and ceiling in contrasting colors.

Pick Out Space-Giving Furnishings

Curtains, carpets, comforters and lamp shades should ideally be in light colors which complement those chosen for the walls, although white may not be particularly practical for children. Make a bold color statement on the floor if you feel that is something which will add to the room. Painting floorboards in bright colors or adding some eye catching rugs are both easy and affordable options which can be easily updated as your child grows and their tastes change.

Idea #3 – Let There be Light

Work Your Windows

While it generally isn’t practical to start adding more windows to a room, it is important to really make the most of those you have. For maximum light exposure, and consequently a feeling of more space, try voile drapes with a darker roller blind for night time use. Voiles offer privacy, but the sheer fabric doesn’t filter the natural light you have coming in, or block much of it off as curtains tend to do. They are also easier for young children to work with than blinds would be.

Lighting Is Important

Dimmer lights are a very good choice for the main lighting source as they are flexible enough to suit the bedroom as your child grows. Other lights can be chosen based on what your child needs them for. Perhaps a desk lamp is enough to use for homework and studying, but a stronger light elsewhere would suit a bookworm.

Where possible, make the most of wall space by having lamps wired into the walls. This avoids trailing wires, keeps power sockets free and of course frees up that very valuable floor space.

Idea #4 Encourage Clutter-free Space

There is not a lot of opportunity for hoarding anything much in a small space, but even if your child has an average amount of games, toys, clothes, books, and other possessions, it is surprising how quickly a small space becomes messy and uncomfortable to be in.

Rather than get to the point where things cannot be found when needed, or get broken after being left lying around, create spaces for things to live. Young children can easily pick up the habit of being tidy and regularly picking up and organizing their things – personal skills they will find useful throughout life.

The possibilities of hidden storage under beds and inside ottomans have already been covered, along with making the most of wall space and alcoves, but one more option which can be especially useful when a young boy has a small bedroom are baskets. These are available in fabric, woven and plastic varieties and come in a range of sizes. They are useful for storing anything from toys and books to games and shoes, and can often be stacked to take up even less space.

Small Can Be Beautiful

Although trying to get the most you can from a small bedroom can be a challenge, it is possible to make it work. Inevitably this will involve more thought and planning than working with a larger bedroom might, but the end result, where every inch is used in a way which is appropriate to the age, needs and tastes of the boy who uses it, makes the time spent a worthy investment.

Thirty-One Gifts Celebrates National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month and Thirty-One Gifts is celebrating with a new ice cream print and embroidery icons, as well as a set of ice cream bowls that will be available only in July!

Thirty-One is one of the world’s largest direct-selling organizations and offers totes and purses, wallets, home organization solutions and décor, thermal-insulated bags, jewelry and more. Products are sold at home parties and online.

The new ice cream print, Sweet Sprinkles, is offered in three products – their best-selling Large Utility Tote, the Double Duty Caddy, and Oh-Snap Bin. The ice cream cone and popsicle embroidery may be put on most products, along with text such as a name, phrase, or meaningful message for gift-giving. When combined with the new Get the Scoop Bowl Set, customers are ready for entertaining in sweet summer style.

July was proclaimed as National Ice Cream Month in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, who also established the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day, observed this year on July 16. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by over 90 percent of the nation’s population.

Thirty-One is offering products with the new Sweet Sprinkles print, along with the Get the Scoop Bowl Set as both customer and hostess specials in July. With any $35 purchase, customers may get up to two sale items, including the Double Duty Caddy for just $10 (regularly $25), the Oh-Snap Bin for $5 (regularly $10) or the bowl set for $15 (regularly $35). Hostesses who host a Thirty-One party in July are offered a five-piece Scoop N’ Style Bundle for $35, worth $269, when they host a party where sales total at least $600.

Learn more about Thirty-One!

*A product was provided.

Urban Adventure Quest’s Scavenger Hunt

Turn Austin Texas into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart phone, teams make their way among well known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. Play anytime during daylight hours. Start when you want and play at your pace.

Great Family Fun. Save 20%- Only $39.20 for a team of 2-5 people after Promotion Code: FGBLOG. Sign up online at

5 Tips to financing a once in a lifetime vacation for you

Paris, South Africa, Iceland, and South Asia are all wonderful places to visit and see in a lifetime. These places may be just one of those destinations that you are dreaming of seeing someday with your family. Arguably, many find that their least favorite thing about planning a family holiday is finding ways to finance it.


It may not be so hard when you are traveling solo, but when you are a family of four, the burden becomes bigger. The good thing is that there are many things that can be done in order to assure that you and your family can still go on that dream vacation. Check out the tips below and see which among them you can do so that you can start planning for your next family vacation.


  1. Set realistic goals on your destination and budget – even though it is tempting to plan a vacation in an exotic place thousands of miles away from your home, it is also best to keep it realistic. Choose a place that you know you and your family will be able to afford. Do research on the cost of plane tickets, accommodation food and of course, the tourist attractions. Guess the estimate of your total cost so that you would know how much you need to save.


  1. Target a specific amount and date to meet your budget – once you have done an estimate of your cost, choose a specific amount to target. It would be good to add a little to your estimate, just in case there are unforeseen emergencies. You can have a weekly target amount to make it easier for everyone in the family.


  1. Get everyone in the family involved – get some ideas from your kids on how they can help save. Ask them if they want to hold a garage sale, or maybe they can be provided with a piggy bank where they can put their own savings. Aside from the added help, it also teaches them responsibility. Getting them involved also means you don’t need to explain much on why you will not eat out this week or buy new shoes because you need to save for the family vacation.


  1. Open new savings account for your travel budget – and do an automatic transfer right away. Automatic transfers are a great way to save as it’s already out of your hands before you even see it. Even just small amounts like $100 a month may not seem much, but it would make a big difference once it adds up.


  1.  Get a personal or short-term loan – if you were not able to meet your target amount, may be due to some emergencies where you had to dip into your travel fund, don’t worry as you don’t need to give up that dream vacation. You can apply for a personal loan or short-term loan to add to your travel budget. There are establishments that can provide loans for every financial need you can think of. Check out for more information and you can even try answering their five-minute application form to see if you are eligible. That dream vacation will soon become reality!


The Best Cleaning Solution for Busy Moms

Summer is in full swing around here, kids have already gone to camps, started summer intensive dance programs, and we are already planning July!

I want to have fun this summer and not spend a ton of time cleaning the house so I am always glad that I can turn to a few of my favorite products that I can buy at Walmart to get my cleaning done quickly!

Viva Big Rolls: 40% more Viva per roll*

Clorox: 99.9% germ killing strength; It’s specially designed to clean and disinfect a variety of stains on a variety of surfaces. And with Smart Tube Technology®, you can spray every last drop. Bad news for germs, good news for family relations.

Visit your local Walmart and pick up your own Clean Squad of Viva paper towels and Clorox cleaning spray!

Launching July 5th, save $1 off any Viva Paper Towels 6 pack or larger. Starting 6/21 save $.50 off any Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Spray varieties.

You can shop for these products on  Walmart’s bundle page to save more! You can order fresh groceries online with Walmart and enjoy the same in-store savings with free pickup. Walmart will even load your car! Click here to see if it’s available in your area!

Be sure to use the VIVA Towels rebate offer!

*Towel area compared to Viva® Regular Roll; Current practice is use of “33% More
*A product was provided.

Running Gear for Beginners

I absolutely love running, I really try to do five mines a day (walking ad running) and I honestly still consider myself a beginner so finding the right kind of gear is very important.

I have gone to different running stores and get fitted the right way and I always fall in love with Mizuno. Over the years I have tried different shoes of Mizuno and when i heard about the Wave Sky I actually could not wait to get my hands on them. I actually run different than when I walk in tennis shoes, I need a shoe that has a lot of support on both heel and also on my toes. I also like a roomy feel in the toe box with the Wave Sky meets just those needs for me.

Some new features of the Wave Sky:

It’s easy in the brand-new Wave Sky. With optimized cloudwave® technology and the most u4icX foam of any Mizuno shoe, the Wave Sky brings you an intensely soft and smooth ride. It redefines the max cushioning experience by delivering the most plush and lively feel of any Mizuno shoe ever made. Plus, a redesigned anatomical sock liner helps ensure you get the most comfortable fit possible. You might forget your feet are still on the ground.

Overall this is a great running shoe from beginners to experts. You will be comfortable from the moment you put them on. Great support all around your foot and not too tight in the heel (my biggest issue with shoes).

*A product was provided.

Increasing the selling price of your home with cladding

What is going to make your property stand out from the rest, now you have decided to sell? How can you attract potential buyers, and get them to pay a decent price for purchase? There are lots of simple things you can do, to get your home ready to sell. But, we have a tip that you may never have considered before. Think about adding cladding to the exterior of your home.

If you get your home cladded by professionals, such as, it’s a safe way of insulating the property and protecting it against the elements. Cladding can also improve the appearance of your home. All of these are positive features, if you are putting your home on the market.

The benefits of cladding

Cladding your property is an excellent way of improving insulation. If you use cladding in conjunction with other insulation techniques, you can ensure that cool air does not escape when the air conditioning is switched on, and warm air does not escape when the heating system is being used. This means that less electricity needs to be used. This is an attractive feature for anyone looking to buy your home, as it means they can save money in the long term.

Cladding also protects your home against extreme weather conditions, such as excessive heat or heavy rain and hail storms. If you list this as a selling point, it should be an attraction for buyers.

Aside from all the other benefits, cladding can also improve the external appearance of a property. This helps to improve the curb appeal of your home.

Why making sure you hire a professional is important

If you decide that cladding your home would be a good selling point, you need to hire a professional to do the work. People are aware of the hazards of unsafe cladding, and any potential buyer is likely to ask questions. You need to be able to show that the cladding work has been carried out to a high standard, and is completely safe.

Professionals also know more about the pros and cons of different cladding materials that can be used. Vinyl is the most affordable choice, but it can be prone to warping and fading. Timber may look good but it needs a lot of maintenance, to prevent it from rotting. UPVC cladding is often more expensive, but it’s highly durable and easy to maintain. You may think that you do not have to worry too much about the cons as you are selling your home anyway. But, do not forget that potential buyers are likely to do their research before they commit to a purchase, so they also going to be aware of both the positives and negatives of certain types of cladding.

When your home goes on the market, your aim is to sell in a reasonable period of time, while securing a good selling price. As you can see, professionally installed cladding can help you to do this.


Cosmetic Dental Procedures to help you Achieve a Perfect Smile

A smile is a facial expression that creates an instantaneous impact on people. So powerful is a smile such that it can convert strangers into friends. A smile gives one a likable and attractive nature. However, achieving the perfect smile is dependent on various factors which include the dental formula and arrangement. All over the world, many people are struggling with broken, stained teeth, or probably do not like their dental arrangement. What can be done to improve their confidence and uplift their self-esteem? There are different dental procedures that are aimed at restoring an individual’s confidence. The specialists at Perfect Smile Spa are qualified and experienced in performing cosmetic dentistry. Below is an overview of some of the cosmetic dental procedures.

1.     Dentures

People with missing teeth can either get partial or complete dentures depending on the magnitude of the dental damage. Dentures are false and removable teeth made of metal, acrylic, or nylon. They are won on the gums to replace missing teeth and prevent speech and eating difficulties. Even though getting used to having them can take time, dentures enhance the appearance of one’s smile and boost their confidence.

2.     Direct Tooth Bonding

This procedure involves the use of a filling material that resembles the original tooth to boost appearance and strength of the tooth. Direct tooth bonding is used in various cosmetic dental procedures such as closing gaps in between teeth, changing the appearance of stained teeth, mending broken or chipped teeth, and modifying the shape of teeth. Ultimately this procedure is guaranteed to improve the appearance of an individual’s smile.

3.     Dental implants

Dental implants are metal structures which are mounted in the jaw bones. Their function is to provide support for artificial teeth in order to ensure they do not slide in the mouth especially while eating or talking. Individuals desiring to have dental implants should have enough bone and healthy gums to support them efficiently. In addition, people who have dental implants are advised to practice good hygiene and visit the dentist regularly.

4.     Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed on the teeth to reinstate their strength, shape, and enhance their appearance. A cosmetic dentist can recommend porcelain crowns for various reasons such as:

  • To protect weak teeth from decaying or breaking
  • To shield dental implants
  • To shield stained teeth

5.     Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is the procedure of bleaching the teeth to give them a lighter shade. This procedure should be conducted by a qualified dentist. However, there has been an increase in over the counter teeth whitening kits. Individuals should exercise caution when purchasing these kits as they can be detrimental to their dental health. A well-conducted tooth whitening procedure can last up to one or even more years. This depends on how well one cares for their teeth.


Cosmetic dentistry is fast gaining popularity around the world. Individuals who want to perfect, improve the appearance of their smile, or boost their self-esteem and confidence can visit a qualified dentist for guidance on the perfect procedure that fits their requirements. It is important to remember that various factors such as poor oral health and consumption of sugary snacks can damage the teeth and prevent individuals from achieving the perfect smile.

Scotties Adoption Week

Back for their 4th year, Scotties Facial Tissues partnered with animal rescue organization up and down the east coast in an effort to get eligible cats and kittens into loving adoptive homes. Each organization – The Animal Protective Foundation (Albany, NY), Boston MSPCA (Boston, MA), and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (Tampa, FL) all received $5,000 each to go towards the re-homing of cats. All cats and kittens adopted have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and screened for temperment.

From June 1st through the 7th during “Scotties Adoption Week” in 2017 alone over 400 cats and kittens have gone into loving forever homes.

6 Tips for a Better Day at the Beach with Your Kids

It’s coming right into summer now and what a great time to take a trip to the beach with the kids. It was easier when it was just you, but now that you’re bringing the young family along it takes a bit more organizing to have a great day.

Here are a few tips to help you have an enjoyable day and avoid getting overwhelmed.

1) Prepare a Treasure Hunt

Kids all love a mystery. For little kids who are under 8 years, creating a treasure hunt using little gifts found at the Dollar Store is a fun way to pass the time. If you look carefully in the discount store, it’s possible to find some darling necklaces, shiny coins, ballerinas, cars or mini action figures to keep the girls and boys amused. Be sure to tailor your gifts to whether you have more girls than boys and tell the kids that they’re allowed to swap their gifts for another one (stops any crying).

Let the kids play in the water while you prepare a marked area near where you’re sitting. Use a plastic spade from their bucket to dig down to hide the trinkets ready for the treasure hunt when they return. Don’t gingerly dig only a couple of inches deep. That won’t present a challenge to active kids. Bury the rewards deep enough that they feel like they accomplished something when they make a find.

To take things to another level, wear a pirate hat, a black eye patch, and adopt on a pirate accent when presenting the treasure hunt. The little ones will get a hoot out of it.

2) Wear Something Comfortable

We all want to look out best when out on the beach with our kids. But let’s face it. We may not have lost all our baby weight or we could be naturally plus sized and struggle to find a bikini that looks flattering. Rather than making the mistake of choosing an inappropriately tight bikini or one piece, let Swimsuits Direct provide some swimwear that will flatter your figure.  They have girls swimwear available for your little ones as well.

On top of this, consider investing in a sarong or a cover up.  This is ideal for keeping the sun off you, yet is light enough to prevent you from getting too warm.

3) Padding Pool for the Toddlers

When at the beach, the idea of having a paddling pool seems a little odd. But it’s a multi-purpose tool that moms will love!

For babies and toddlers, don’t carry the Pack and Play, but use the inflatable paddling pool as its own containment area. Add some blankets to make it softer and let the baby crawl around in there.

With sleeping, the raised sides of the pool when situated under the sun umbrella will keep the sun out of their eyes too.

Lastly, on hot days, it’s easy to cool your little one down by pouring some water into the paddling pool and letting them cool off.

4) Change How You Pack for the Beach

The problem with picnics on the beach is that items get squished and squashed on the way. Small plastic storage containers are a good idea to avoid the crush and to keep the sand out. When taking ice along, keep it in a separate Ziploc bag to stop everything else getting wet.

And use the pyramid rule for beach packing: smaller items on top; larger items on the bottom.

5) Fly a Kite

On beaches that strike a good balance between having a little wind but not too much, a kite is a lightweight beach toy that is easy to pack. Kites are available in all styles and shapes. They’re better choices for older kids than younger ones, but kids that get along together can share and learn from each other.

Animal shapes, Disney themed ones, and an assortment of other options are available for parents who wish to buy a kite that’ll catch their eye and think is cool.

6) Seating & Coverage

It’s an excellent idea to bring some folding chairs, towels, and a simple table. A Pacific Playthings tent is also an interesting option because it provides shelter from the wind, sand, and heat.

Having a great day at the beach is all about proper preparation before you leave. Keeping the kids occupied as well as having food and drinks at the ready is essential for a well-organized day out.

7 Tips to Help your Baby to Sleep through the Night

Sleep is precious. Putting baby to sleep is a parenting survival skill. Don’t just accept that being a mom equals to losing your precious sleep. But it is not wise to just let your baby “grow it out.”

If you don’t sleep- train your child, you are looking for at least a year of sleepless nights. Lack of sleep will make you look old. It will also cost you your health and sanity. You deserve more than that.


How to Train your Baby to Sleep through the Night

I am a zombified sleep-deprived mom during my first child’s early years. I learned the hard way. Come, my second baby, I researched and read just about anything that concerns sleep training.

I learned that there is a way to put my baby to sleep through the night. What worked for my kids might not work for yours, but at least some of these tips might help out.


  1. Consistency

Consistent bedtime hours and regular pre-sleep routine is a must. There is no such thing as weekend and weekday routine for babies. It must be the same all throughout the year, come rain, shine or snow. Make sure that your child is sleeping at the same time every night. Practice putting your baby to sleep at no later than 9:00 PM. 8:00 PM is the best time.


Your nursery room’s temperature must be controlled, the lights are set to dim, the room is quiet, and the white noise machine is running. Your bedtime routine must consist of no more than three things: Feeding, cuddles, and sleep. You can also insert nighttime baths, singing a lullaby or rocking him to sleep if you feel like it. Just make sure that you can do these things consistently every night. If not, better do these extra things during daytime so your baby will not expect them at night.


  1. Don’t tire out your baby

Watch out for noticeable signs of tiredness. Anticipate the time when your baby will get sleepy. Put your baby to sleep at the first sign. This is the reason why you must stick to an early bedtime. If your child is too tired, chances are he will fight sleep. Being over-fatigued is the cause of most baby sleep problems. Baby will cry and cry and get fussy for an hour.


Rocking your baby to sleep can also get tiring. She will likewise gain weight soon. Don’t tire yourself. Put baby down as soon as she gets drowsy. Don’t wait until she’s fast asleep. Continue to massage or sing a lullaby to your child while she is falling asleep on her crib.


  1. Co-sleeping / bed sharing

The physical nearness of mom is enough to calm baby back to sleep. Kids love to get touched. Mom’s familiar warmth can soothe baby much more than any fancy nursery. The security that baby feels and the ease of breastfeeding at night are the best reasons to try out co-sleeping.


That being said, co-sleeping is not for everyone. A parent can roll over and suffocate the baby. Pillows and beddings are also strangulation hazards, so you need to consider your child’s safety while co-sleeping. Likewise, co-sleeping is not for life. You should learn how to quit co-sleeping as soon as your child is weaned from breastfeeding.


  1. Wait it out

Wait for a few minutes before barging into the nursery room. Don’t sprint out at the first sound of your baby’s cries. There are times when your child has nightmares or toss and turn a lot while asleep. I usually wait for around five minutes. Let your child learn how to self-settle. After a few minutes of whimpers, your baby will fall back to sleep on his own.


  1. Daytime stimulation

Take your baby outside and get some fresh air during day time. Expose him to new sights and sounds. Engage him on lots of stimulating activities during the day. All these can help him to get better sleep at night.


  1. Rub her hair and belly

Do not scoop your baby out of the crib whenever she cries. Do not offer your breasts or a bottle, unless it already time for her next feeding. Try to soothe your baby by caressing her hair or rubbing her belly.

  1. Daytime naps

Daytime naps promote better sleep for kids that are less than a year old. Let your baby take a nap every 3 or 4 hours. This one is not advisable to toddlers. For older kids, they can sleep longer if they take less or forgo daytime naps.

Every child is different. What worked for your firstborn might not apply for your next child. Spend some time to get to know your baby’s sleep habits. When it comes to putting your baby to sleep through the night, patience is the key.


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