MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

Savings with Huggies® Biggest Pack Ever

Being a mom to four life can get crazy busy! Running to the store daily for groceries and weekly for diapers is just something my husband and I got tired of! We decided it was time to invest in a Sam’s Club membership last year t help us save time and money!

Buying in bulk has been such a lifesaver for us. My kids have super jammed pack schedules during the week and as you can imagine four kids school lunches products go fast in our house. We knew that bulk buying not only would save us money in the long run, but it keeps us from having to do daily grocery store runs!

Diapers is one of them! We usually get all of our baby needs at Sam’s Club because I know it will last us a long time. Well we were super excited to learn about the  2-months supply of  Huggies® diapers (qty 312) at Sam’s Club!

Yes, that is right a TWO month supply of diapers! It was quite entertaining at Sam’s Club though because all of the workers made comments on “wow now that is a huge box of diapers” and they are right, but think about it, for 312 diapers it is about 67 dollars. We spend 20 dollars every time we go to the store for a pack of 74 diapers that lasts a few weeks, it actually costs less buying in bulk and I do not have to worry about running out in two weeks!

When we got home Mikey was pretty excited about the giant box (I know he was thinking a box to play with)

We love shopping at Sam’s Club! Having a Sam’s Club Membership has helped our big family save money and spend less time at grocery stores! You can head on over to the Membership Page to learn more!

AMERICAN GIRL’S 2017 GIRL OF THE YEAR™ INSPIRES GIRLS TO FIND THEIR CREATIVE VOICES AND SPEAK OUT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Did you all see American Girl‘s newest Girl of the Year for 2017???? As soon as I showed Sarah she was thrilled to see another dancer! But what makes Gabriela special is how she turns to poetry to help build her confidence.
 
Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion. Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.

Gabriela comes to life for girls via a beautiful 18-inch Gabriela doll featuring curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes, an exclusive outfit that reflects her creative side, and a book chronicling her story. Gabriela also comes with several performance-inspired outfits and accessories, including a dance barre, rehearsal and dance outfits, plus pretend headphones and a microphone. Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017, and—for the first time—the new Girl of the Year collection will be available for a full 12 months and beyond.

and Teachers!!!! , American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and leader in comprehensive educational materials, to create and distribute Express Yourself, a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The free materials will be available on www.scholastic.com starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home.

2016 Year in Review

2016 was one of those years that was great for the kids! They all started new activities, continued ones they loved and said good bye to others. It was a huge learning lesson for the girls, both with making new friends, realizing ones who may not be a good fit for them and learning how to deal with their own personal issues.

Sam this year went from 7th to 8th grade and enjoyed dancing and hanging with her friends. She has continued to keep a 4.0 GPA and made Principle’s Honor Roll twice now! She has taken back up Piano Lessons as well as Violin twice a week.

Sarah went from 4th to 5th grade and is loving her dance life! She also takes violin, went to music camp and loves her girl scout troop! She received the Gold Medal in Reading Olympics at school and has really worked hard in getting her grades up. She dances every day and absolutely loves her dance friends! She also started her adventure with braces!!

It was a big year for Shelby! She started pre-school and loves dancing. She earned a spot in this year’s Nutcracker where she was a Gingerbread!! In March she got a hold of scissors and cut all her hair off. Mama cried, but at least it will grow back!

Our little man turned 1 this year and he is so much fun! He brings our entire family  joy and comfort.I love having a little by in the house. He is goofy, and loving. He says so many words!

We have many amazing things in our plan for 2017!!!

 

Top Tools to Maintain Your Garden

Keeping your garden in tip top shape is a never ending labor of love. The right tools go a long way in taking your garden maintenance routine from sweat and tears to easy breezy. Here are the top tools you need to maintain your garden with ease.

Ergonomic Shovel
A good shovel is one of the most important tools you can have in your tool shed. An ergonomic design elevates the usefulness of a shovel and makes it easier to use by blending the best features of a traditional shovel with innovative ergonomic technology. The handle of an ergonomic shovel is no longer made from wood or heavy metal, but instead is created with lighter weight materials such as fiberglass. The handle shape is round with gripper pads to make holding on easier and less likely to cause blisters.

Line Trimmer
It never fails that the grass will creep its way into any garden area regardless of your edging. Say goodbye to the days of hand trimming, keep the grass trimmed around your garden with a line trimmer. There are so many different types to choose from, whether gas powered, electric or cordless there is bound to be one that fits your gardening needs. There are also smaller and more compact line trimmers that make handling easier than ever.

Weeding Tool
We all know the strain of kneeling in the garden for hours to pull weeds. By the end of the day our hands are red, raw and covered in blisters. That’s even while wearing gloves! Well, no more! A weeding tool is the answer you’ve been looking for. It’s a long metal stick with a forked end that is perfect for digging down to the roots of the weeds making it easy to pry the weed out, roots and all.

Line Trimmer
It never fails that the grass will creep its way into any garden area regardless of your edging. Say goodbye to the days of hand trimming, keep the grass trimmed around your garden with a line trimmer. There are so many different types to choose from, whether gas powered, electric or cordless there is bound to be one that fits your gardening needs. There are also smaller and more compact line trimmers that make handling easier than ever. For large surfaces,wheeled string trimmers would make your life easier.

Pruning Shears
Pruning shears are an essential to any gardener. You can use them for so much from pruning bushes to cutting thick stemmed flowers. When going to buy a pair of pruning shears make sure you get ones that fit your hand, are easy to squeeze and are the right size for the type of pruning you will be doing. For instance, if you have a lot of thick, woody plants that you will need to prune throughout the year you will want to make sure that the blade can stand up to the job.

Watering Wand
Watering the garden is a huge necessity, but it’s not easy. As much as we’d like to, you can’t just take the hose and let it run all over the garden and the constant refilling of the watering can is enough to drive a person mad. A watering wand combines the ease of simply turning on the hose with the perfect watering technique of a watering can. A watering wand is not the same thing as a hose sprayer attachment. The wand attaches to Flexogen garden hoses and other hose types the same way a sprayer would, but is instead a long handled addition to the hose that lets you reach every area of your garden, as well as your hanging plants, all without stretching  The adjustable settings let you provide the right amount of water to each plant and there is a shut off valve that keeps you from getting drenched as you run to turn the water off.

 

Garden Rake
Everyone has the leaf rake hanging in the garage but that’s not going to cut it for the garden. A garden rake is smaller and easier to handle when you are maneuvering in between and around plants. These rakes are great for removing leaves, spreading mulch or just cleaning up trimmings and droppings from your plants.

Wheelbarrow
A wheelbarrow may seem like a tool that’s just for the big time gardener, but it’s really for anyone that loves to spend time making their yard beautiful. A wheelbarrow is great for hauling and spreading mulch, moving plants and hauling away yard waste. It can also come in handy for moving heavy materials when you do your next landscaping project.

Your garden is like a member of your family. You care for it everyday. Feed it, water it and you even cover it up when the cold weather moves in. Treat your garden and yourself to the top tools you need to maintain your garden.

 

Happy Birthday! How To Hold Great Parties For Kids

Christmas is here! Everything’s extremely festive at the moment, people are planning their Christmas meals and finishing up the last of their shopping and looking forward to taking a little time off from work to spend with their families. But not all of us are just thinking about Christmas. There are actually a lot of birthdays this time of year as well – is March a particularly romantic month? Let’s not think about it too hard. But if you’ve got a birthday party for one of your kids to plan at the moment, that’s probably taking up way more of your time than you’d like it to. Here are some tips on how to make them easier for yourself…

Ask Your Child What They Want

If your kid is old enough to make a few decisions for him or herself, chances are they already have a decent idea of what they’d like to see at a birthday party. Even if you as a mother are more concerned with fairies and butterflies and you’d like to have a pretty birthday party for your daughter, remember that it’s her day. If she’d rather have a jungle or pirate theme, that can be a lot of fun too! Ask them how many guests they’d like to invite – if your child is shy or quiet, then they might be overwhelmed if they invite their whole class at school. Remember that the party is about what will make them happy.

Get An All Inclusive Deal

If life’s really hectic, there isn’t any point in forcing yourself to create an entire birthday party from scratch. Not only are you a busy parent who doesn’t have much time, but the fact remains that there are people who make parties for a living, and chances are they’re much better at doing it than you are! If your child is active and loves running around, then you could go for a bowling party. A lot of bowling alleys provide food and cake and a separate room for party games for kids – all you’d have to do would be supervise! Laser tag is also a great idea for a kids’ birthday party, although you might find yourself wanting to join in and getting far too competitive when you’re attempting to shoot seven year olds… If you’re having the party at your home, consider hiring party entertainers like Elsa and Anna impersonators along with a bouncy castle, so you don’t have to provide all the excitement yourself.

Make Simple Food

There really isn’t any point in going overboard with food. A lot of small children don’t have particularly advanced palates, so it’s a good idea to stick with cheese pizza, hot dogs, burgers and fries. If you’d rather go for cold food so you can prepare it all beforehand, cheese and ham sandwiches are always popular along with small nibbles like carrot sticks, baby tomatoes and cucumber slices. Put out bowls of potato chips and cheese straws – just remember not to go too overboard with the candy and sugary drinks! You don’t want a party full of completely hyperactive kids. Preparing or ordering the food beforehand will ensure that you don’t have too much to do on the day. You should also make sure that you ask parents if their kids have any dietary requirements or allergies.

Invite Parents To Stay

Up until a certain age, there are some kids who get a little wobbly if their parents aren’t around, so if you have the space, you could extend an invitation to their parents too. Not only will it be helpful to have some extra sets of watchful eyes on the kids, but if they need a hug from their mother to reassure them and get them back into the party spirit, they’ll be right there. Make sure you provide some food for the parents, along with beverages like coffee, tea and soft drinks. If the kids are having pizza, order another one for the parents!

Open The Gifts At Home

Make sure that your child opens their birthday gifts at home. This is definitely the more tactful option to go for – not every one of their guests will come from the most financially secure of homes and not every parent will have a lot of spare money to spend on birthday gifts, and you don’t want anyone to feel bad. A lot of kids aren’t great at controlling their emotions and you don’t want your child to make their dissatisfaction with a gift evident! Make sure that they write little notes in thank you cards after the party’s over so you keep excellent relationships with all their friends’ parents.

Finding The Perfect Christmas Gift For Just About Anyone

The clock is ticking as we head towards Christmas. There are only a handful of shopping days left and even fewer posting days. But don’t panic, you still have plenty of time to find the perfect gifts for the people in your life. The following is a sure fire way to find something thoughtful and meaningful for just about anyone.

  1. Set A Budget

Set your budget at the outset and stick to it. Rather than being restrictive, this will help you narrow down your choices. Remember that gifts are not about money. They’re a token of your regard for that person.

  1. Make A List

Make a list of all the people in your life you’re going to buy gifts for. Don’t miss anyone out.

  1. Thinking Time

Set some time aside for thinking and planning. If you hit the shops now without a plan, you’re just going to get stressed. Wandering aimlessly through crowds of shoppers is no-one’s idea of fun. Put on some Christmas music, make a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, mulled wine or your beverage of choice.

Take out some paper and colored pens. You’re going to get creative. And you might as well make this as fun as possible.

  1. Mind Mapping

You’re going to create some mind maps. Mapping is a great way to link ideas together around a central subject, and it makes it easier to plan and get the thoughts out of your head. Start a new page for each person on your list. Add their name to the center of the page with a circle around it. Draw lines coming off the central circle containing your ideas.

  1. Use Questions To Prompt You

This is where it gets tricky. If you feel you fail at buying good gifts, you’re looking at a blank page with a circle in the middle. Where do you go from here? Ask yourself several questions about that person. For example, are they visual, auditory, kinesthetic, cognitive, feeling? Visual people rely on sight and will appreciate art, photographs, ornaments, etc. Perhaps you could find a photograph (or take one) of a favorite place and have it framed? Auditory people perceive the world through sound first and will appreciate gifts related to this. Music is the obvious choice but you may not know what they own already. So, think about podcast subscriptions, concert tickets, headphones, etc. Kinesthetic people are ‘doing’ people. They appreciated gifts that they can get involved and immerse themselves in. If they’re creative, a craft kit or any experience day would be ideal. Cognitive people are often analytical thinkers. Opt for gifts that will stimulate this such as gadgets, books, puzzles, personalized wristbands from SleekWristbands.com can be a good gift. Feeling people are often attuned to touch and will appreciate gifts that rely on this sense, such as a soft, wooly scarf, beard conditioner, etc.

This is always a good place to start. Other questions that will provide useful prompts are:

  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • Do they travel and, if so, do they have a favorite place?
  • What do you know about them? Eg. do they always feel the cold? Are they always singing or listening to music?
  • Have they mentioned a problem that you could find a solution to? For example, do they frequently complain that it’s cold at work?
  • Are they easily bored?
  • Do they have a long commute?

The more creative you are with your questioning, the more gift ideas will come to mind.

Using this technique and setting aside some thinking time will help you find the perfect gift for just about anyone.

Are You Sure Your Family’s Ready For A Pet?

Have your kids been nagging you to get them a pet? Sure, dogs and cats are a great addition to any family, but they certainly require a lot of hard work and care! Before you do give in to your kids’ demands, it is a good idea to consider whether you are really ready to introduce a pet into your home. If you aren’t ready and you still get a pet, you will find that it could become a whole new stress in your life! As you can see, it is very important that you give your final decision some careful thought.

So how do you know if you are ready for a new family pet? Here are some things that you need to think about.

Cost

Are you sure that you can afford a pet? You need to remember that a pet is for life, so the expense that comes with one will last for a very long time. There will be a lot that you will need to pay for once you have a pet. Firstly, you will need to make sure that you always have food for it at home. It will also need a bed and other accessories. One other major cost is the vet bills. However, you might be able to keep them relatively low by buying some of your pet’s medication online at sites like https://www.petcarerx.com/frontline-plus-for-dogs/10884.

Space

If you get a dog or a cat, you will need to make sure that you have enough space for them in your home. Obviously, the bigger the dog, the more space you will need. But even if you only want a small cat or dog, you will need to make sure that you have a spare corner where you can put their bed. Cats don’t require quite as much space as dogs, as they can always be let outside. However, if your apartment or home isn’t big enough for your dog, it could end up feeling too enclosed. This could result in some very bad behavior!

Time

Time is another big issue when it comes to caring for a pet. If you and your partner both work long days, then getting a dog might not be an option for you. That is because most breeds will become restless and badly behaved when left at home on their own for the day. You may be okay with a cat, as the cat can spend the day outside hunting for mice. Even though some pets won’t need as much care as others throughout the day, it is important to remember that every pet will need some attention on a daily basis. Unless, of course, you want to get an exotic pet such as a tarantula. You can find out more about caring for them on https://www.tarantulaguide.com

You will need to consider a whole bunch of other stuff before you commit to getting a pet. Take enough time to think things through to make sure that you come to the right decision for your family!

Scotties Tissues Bring Comfort and Holiday Cheer Into Your Home *Giveaway closed* #BringComfortHome

Winter has arrived and it is time to stock up as cold season will be here before you know it! Thankfully you will be prepared as Scotties is available in-store and also online on Amazon.com. It’s the perfect combination of softness and strength that can provide comfort to you and your whole family. Scotties is soft enough for everyday use, and strong enough to tackle your worst cold.

Introducing the new 2016 holiday box designs featuring serene snowflakes, picturesque snow-covered villages, and nature scenes with polar bears, birds, trees, and much more! The new designs are a perfect way to bring comfort and holiday cheer into all the rooms in your home.

I absolutely love the Holiday’s – from Thanksgiving to New Years it flies by so fast and I enjoy spending tons of time with my friends and family. Some of the simplest ways to bring comfort home is hosting a few fun parties.

Making a Gingerbread House, watching Christmas Movies, driving around looking at Christmas Lights. Special memories we create with our kids, and family!

Be sure to enter the Bring Comfort Home Sweepstakes, where they could win their own sampling of our new holiday box designs! (Sweeps Runs November 22 – December 31)

 

WIN

ONE winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card along with a sampling of the new box designs!

ENTER

Scotties Tissues Bring Comfort and Holiday Cheer Into Your Home *Giveaway ends Dec. 20th* #BringComfortHome

Note: This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.

This giveaway will end on Dec. 20th

*A product was provided.

Choosing the best portable bed for your toddler – air mattress, folding bed or a cot

So, it’s that time – time to start taking your kid to trips. Every mom and dad know the trials and tribulations of traveling with your kid.

A big part of the worries that come with the job is one question: “Are they going to sleep well?”

The answer to that makes all the difference. Not only because of the fact that if they don’t sleep, you don’t sleep but because of the fact that what they do and how they behave during the day is largely determined by how rested they are.

So, today, we are looking into the things you need to keep in mind when choosing the best portable bed for your kid.

Types of portable beds to consider

Air mattress for kids/toddlers

A toddler air mattress makes a practical solution both for trips and transitioning from a crib to a regular bed.

Luckily, airbeds are relatively inexpensive, and the difference in prices is so small that you can go with quality and the best brands (like the Shrunk Tuckaire toddler air mattress).

6 Questions to ask yourself before choosing

  1. Do I have a restless sleeper on my hands?

If your child is one of those daredevils that you find sleeping in incredible positions, if they toss and turn, you might want to opt in for an inflatable bed with raised and sturdy sides that keep them safely inside the sleeping surface.

  1. Do we still have “accidents”?

If the answer is yes, an airbed is probably the best option (as oppose to folding foam beds and cots).

But not just any airbed – you might want to look for a bed that doesn’t come with a flocked top. Sure, the ones with the velvety finish look more comfortable, but once the flocking is soaked once or twice, there’s no way of getting the smell out.

A toddler inflatable bed that’s only PVC surface might need and extra blanket (although they usually come with a fitted cover) to make them comfier, but if an accident happens, the PVC won’t keep the smell in and is easily cleaned and you can wash the covers.

  1. Will I use the inflatable around the house or taking it to trips?

Most of the airbeds for kids come with an electric pump that both inflates and deflates the bed (within a minute or less).

Now, that’s all nice and well if you’re going to be using the bed around the house, but if you intend to travel and camp, make a note of whether the valve can be used with a manual pump or if the A/c pump can be battery operated.

If you are traveling overseas, make sure that you have an outlet adapter for the pump.

  1. Packing and flying

An airbed is the most practical option and probably the only option if you are flying. Deflated airbed come with their own carry bag and can easily be packed into a suitcase.

None of the other portable travel beds are as easily packed as an inflatable. Read the product description carefully and look for the size of the deflated mattress as oppose the dimensions of the inflated bed that are usually more obviously listed.

  1. How often will you be using it?

Luckily, as we mentioned, the difference in cost between the best and the worst airbeds is pretty small and, unless it’s a one-off occasion, you should stick with the recognized brands (such as Shrunks Tuckaire, Intex or Aerobed).

The differences range from a simple matter of holding air (you don’t want to wake up and see your kid sleeping on the floor and a deflated mattress) to more serious issues like safety. For example, the Shrunks Tuckaire is completely eco-friendly, BPA and phthalates-free.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of choosing the right inflatable bed for your toddler let’s take a look at some other available styles.

Folding travel bed for kids

A foldable travel bed is the most comfortable option of the three we’ll be looking into in this guide. It’s also by far the most expensive.

That makes it a good option if your plan is to use it mainly around the house or car camping because it doesn’t pack as small as an airbed.

It’s also not the best option if your little one still has accidents because the foam is practically impossible to clean and rid of the smell.

Brands, quality and safety

With all that foam, you have to approach the choice of folding bed for your kid with safety as the primary concern.

Choose a brand and a product that strictly adheres to the safety standards. The safest bet is going with a product that has stood the test of time (a good example – Leachco BumpZZZ travel bed).

Lastly, a folding bed is not really designed to contain your kid if there
are restless sleepers, because the sides are not as sturdy.

Toddler cot bed

A cot for your kid is probably second to an air mattress when it comes to portability and ease of use.

It folds up much like a folding chair, it’s made of steel with plastic parts and it folds up nice and small. Again, probably not the best option if your trip plan includes flying.

It’s not as comfortable as an airbed or a folding travel bed because most models don’t include foam padding; it’s just canvas, which makes it more portable.

It is a good option when there’s no risk of the child folding over – in other words, it’s best for kids who are already used to sleeping in a bed without sides or rails.

Like with all the previous styles, let’s mention that getting a top quality product from a reputable brand of travel cots makes all the difference (Regalo My cot is a good example).

Summary of the guide on choosing a toddler travel bed

It is a cliché but it’s true that, in the end, it all comes down to your specific needs and that of your kid.

We’ve gone through a list of things to consider, but let’s reiterate:

  • How often will you be using the portable bed?
  • Is your child a restless sleeper?
  • Do you plan to take the bed to trips and if so, do the trips include flying?
  • Does your child still have “accidents”?

We’ve also mention the top products and brands for each style we looked into (Shrunks Tuckaire in air mattresses, Leachco BumpZZZ if folding travel beds and Regalo My Cot  among the travel cots for kids)

Between the answers to the questions, the mentioned top brands and products in travel beds and the user reviews, you are now better equipped to make an informed decision than 99 % of parents out there.

Sweet dream to you and your little one

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I get Mold Out of Curtains?

Most mold removal instructions are about how to deal with mold that has bloomed on walls or on furniture in your home. In these situations you can usually call on companies like PuroClean (they do mold removal in New Jersey) to help deal with the mess.

Unfortunately, there are other ways mold can become a problem, such as on your drapes or curtains. Dampness around windows does create an ideal environment for mold growth, and finding smudges of mildew or mold on curtains is fairly common. How do you get them clean?

curtains

The obvious answer is to just wash them, but that may not be the easiest suggestion to follow. Curtains and drapes come in so many fabrics that “washing” can be a complicated situation.

For inexpensive curtains that can be machine washed, you have the least to worry about. Use a standard stain removal product on the moldy areas, let that sit for the required amount of time and then wash your curtains as usual. The stain product is a harsher cleanser than the usual laundry soap, and that’s necessary to really kill the mold. Don’t just toss the curtains in the wash because the hot water alone won’t be enough to stop the mold. Either dry in a machine or hang dry, depending on the care instructions on the curtains.

For more delicate materials, you should consider getting them dry cleaned instead. The chemicals used in dry cleaning should be strong enough to deal with any mold but you could consult with the technician to see if they have any suggestions.

If you have curtains that shouldn’t be dry cleaned either, your last solution is to make up a dilute mix of water and bleach (1 cup bleach to a gallon of water) and gently try to blot out the mold. You do run the risk of bleaching the fabric though.

If the moldy spots return, give your cleaning plan another go. If the mold continues to return, you can either get a professional to take a look or simply accept that the curtains need to be disposed of. Moldy fabric, even if you can’t see it, will spread spores and increase the likelihood that you’ll start to find more patches of it around your house.

What About Blinds?

Blinds are also susceptible to mold problems, though their smooth texture makes them very easy to clean compared to fabric curtains. Use the same bleach mixture and scrub down the blinds with a brush or rough cloth.

Prevention

Once you’ve gotten your curtains cleaned-up, you might want to think about some mold prevention. Ensure your windows are properly sealed with good weather-stripped around the edges. Moisture can and will seep in through any crack.

Make sure you close up the windows whenever it rains. Even a slight drizzle outside can seriously damped your curtains. If you really prefer to leave the window open in a little rain, tie the curtains back.

Rooms that are already otherwise damp could be helped by a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture. Makes the room more comfortable and reduces mold problems dramatically.

 

 

 

Happy 11th Birthday

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How You find her growing age with these pictures? I hope this inspired you as well. She is celebrating 11th birthday party in the last picture.

Nutcracker Tea Party Birthday

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We had an absolute blast planning Sarah’s 11th Birthday! A Nutcracker Tea Party

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Holiday Pine Cones with Mod Podge & Glitter

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I have shared before a cute fun way the kids can help with Holiday Crafts with the adorable Holiday Painted Pine Cones. They are a lot of fun and super easy to make!

The ones below I let the kids use various colors of paint and then sprinkled the same color glitter on the wet paint. Easy and fun!

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Buf for the Gold Pine Cones (and yes the kids can help with them too) I spray painted the pine cones with gold spray paint and then used Mod Podge on some of the bigger pine cone areas and sprinkled Gold Glitter on them.

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The finished pine cones came out beautiful!

pine-cones

You can find the gold glitter, mod podge, and  color paint at Oriental Trading for an awesome price!

FREE SHIPPING on ANY order PLUS $10 eGIFT CARD on orders $49 or more* Enter promo code PS16527 during checkout.

*A product was provided.

Winter Fest 2016 for Southern California Dec 16th – Jan 1st #WinterFestOC

*A product was provided. We are invited to attend the opening night of Winter fest. All opinions are my own.

If It Ain’t Broke – It Still Might Need Replacing! Essentials All Parents Need To Know

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

We all know that old saying, and it’s a decent one to live by most of the time. If your car is running fine, gets good mileage and keeps you safe, why change it? Especially when new models come to market and then develop faults costing thousands of dollars in repair. If your dryer is working fine, why buy a new one that could end up with a safety recall notice within weeks or months?

The one thing that needs to be remembered about that saying is that it doesn’t apply to everything. Although use-by dates on food are often just a guideline – and an overcautious one at that – sometimes things do have a lifespan. Safety is a hugely important consideration in life in general. When you’re a mom, this is even more true. Risks you’d be happy to take with yourself are less acceptable for your little ones.

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PixaBay

Every once in awhile, you will need to replace things that you bought for your baby. Not just when they outgrow them, either. Sometimes, items which were made for a purpose become obsolete, or just not safe, and it is something that you can’t be cavalier about. The following are examples of things that you should replace on a time limit. Don’t give them a chance to break; sometimes that can’t be fixed.

Your Baby Mattress: Avoid The Hidden Dangers

Hand-me-downs are part of our culture. Most of us when we were younger got used to wearing clothes our elder siblings had grown out of. The clothes were fine – they’d been made to last, they were just too small for the original owner. And we can be persuaded to use other items we bought for a first child, when another comes along. Sometimes this is fine, but reality needs to play into your thinking.

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A bed you bought for your first child a few years ago may be structurally fine. The mattress may seem to be still as firm and intact as the day it was bought. But beware – most older mattresses were treated with chemicals to make them fire retardant. Although this worked, it isn’t great news for your baby. Those chemicals can be dangerous, when breathed.

Although that might be a minor risk – opinions differ – it becomes more of a risk the more that mattress is used. Statistics on crib death show that it is more likely to affect each child sequentially. A second child is more likely to suffer it than a first, a third more likely than a second and so on. Medical consensus is not there yet, but it is thought this is to do with how the mattress degrades and the transfer of body fluids. So replace the mattress, at least, for each new baby.

Your Baby Car Seat: Once Every Five Years (At Least)

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Some parents say that the five year limit on car seats is unnecessarily cautious. It’s up to those parents what they want to do, but this is an issue in which you should err on the side of caution. Moving parts and the materials used to make car seats don’t improve with age. Though yours may be working fine right now, it’s advisable to make sure that it is replaced before it shows any flaws.

Let’s put it this way, while trying to avoid being emotive. A baby car seat is something you don’t want to fail while a car is moving. New models hit the market regularly, and are put through their paces by testers and consumers. Just a glance at BabySeats Reviews Twitter will help you separate the good from the bad – and there are plenty of other sources out there too.

Think about it for a moment – with every new model that is made, testing gets more rigorous and more safety features are added. While some things can be handed down from child to child, you can never have too much safety.

Your Baby’s Drinking Cup: Replace It Regularly

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Kids form an attachment to items early on – you know all about the popularity of safety blankets, I presume? This is also why a lot of babies are so upset if you take away their pacifier. And the same can be true of their drinking cup. However, as much as they may grizzle if you take away a much-loved sippy cup, you need to be ready for it. In fact, once a month is considered to be the optimum time.

Part of the reason for this is that babies and toddlers can be quite rough with their possessions. They haven’t quite mastered motor skills and will pick things up and put them down roughly.

But What If I Can’t Afford This?

You might have read the above and acknowledged the points. However, it’s worth acknowledging that these things aren’t going to come for free. Parenting is an inherently expensive experience.

So how can you walk the line: ensure your child is safe, but not end up going deep into debt? The same techniques to any money saving apply. Look for coupons, wait for sales, compare prices wherever possible. You can even complete surveys online in exchange for gift cards, which you can use towards the purchase price. If you find a product at a good price, buy as many of them as possible. They only degrade with use, so storing sippy cups – for example – in a cool, dry area will keep them safe until needed.

The only option that you don’t have is to buy things secondhand. That, of course, is exchanging one problem for another. If necessary, tell friends and family you need supplies of these items. They might be able to club together or buy vouchers towards your next purchase. All you can do is do what you can and change these things as often as necessary, depending on your budget. Not being able to do so right on the dot of the perfect point doesn’t make you a bad parent, so don’t stress it too much.