This summer, it has been oppressively hot here in Virginia. I'm talking triple digits, the vast majority of the time. On top of that, we've had some pretty extreme weather, too. Thunderstorms that have downed powerlines, high winds, and even some storms that have produced tornado warnings and very large hail.
Thankfully, next weekend we'll be moving to NE Ohio where the summers don't get quite as hot and the weather isn't quite as volatile. Perhaps then the kids will be able to enjoy a bit of outdoor play in our new yard before it gets too cold!
So this summer before we move, in order to avoid positively melting in the sweltering heat and getting blown away, we have been spending far more time indoors than outdoors. This is perfectly fine by me, since I detest extreme heat. I much prefer the cool, arctic blast of my central air conditioning any day!
Staying indoors may be the more comfortable choice when it's too hot out to breathe, but it also poses certain challenges. Kids can get cabin fever, and bore easily. My 12 year old, Kyle, is especially prone to this. It seems that all he wants to do is watch TV. Then the battles ensue....
You see, I am often called the "Mean, strict Mommy." I don't allow my preteen to have total reign over the television. I don't allow him to watch shows that are filled with sex, violence, drug abuse, or other questionable material. I don't even allow him to watch shows like "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy" since I don't approve of the message these shows send. For the record, I also don't allow violent video games or movies, and I have been told that my 12 year old is the only kid in the free world who isn't allowed to have a Facebook account.
That's why I was so thrilled to learn about MommyBearMedia. This is a great online movie superstore that carries ONLY family-friendly films and television shows. This allows me to provide my kids with the entertainment they want without having to worry about what negative influences they're being exposed to. It's a win-win situation, all around!
Did you know that July is National Hot Dog Month? That's right! This month, people are paying homage to a tradition as American as apple pie or the Star Spangled Banner! You see hot dogs at the ball park, in convenience stores on rollers, and of course, at just about every family cookout or barbecue. They're known by several names such as weenies, franks, frankfurters, coneys, or just plain "dawgs".
The history of this sausage on a bun is somewhat shrouded in mystery. You see, there is some argument as to who truly invented the hot dog. Some think it made its debut at Coney Island in 1870. Others claim that hot dogs were first sold in St. Louis in 1880. More still insist that hot dogs made their debut at The World's Fair, either in 1893 or 1904. So while the jury is still out on where these meals on a bun got their start, one thing is for sure: Hot dogs are here to stay.
Hot dogs have been a staple in homes for generations. They're a definite kid-pleaser, and many a childhood memory revolve around this iconic, American food. Whether you like yours Chicago Style, "Naked", New York Style, or even dressed up with spicy chili and melty, gooey cheese, a hot dog can hit the spot when hunger kicks in. And these tasty treats really shine during the summer grilling season.
Win $30,000 For Your Elementary School By Entering The AstroBrights Give A Brighter Year Sweepstakes!
With a new school year creeping up on us very rapidly, one thing is certain: The 2012-2013 school year will be brighter and more vibrant than ever! Why? Well, because loads of students will be using AstroBrights papers for their crafts and projects!
Haven't heard of AstroBrights? Well, let me tell you all about it! This paper isn't your run of the mill craft or construction paper. AstroBrights paper is designed to get noticed. With 23 super-bright, fun colors to choose from, your child is sure to get a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs" when they present their unique projects. They may even become the envy of the classroom!
After all, school is somewhere where kids love to display their individuality. With AstroBrights, this has become easier than ever to reflect their unique personalities in their work! Hey, kids may even become more enthusiastic about doing their homework when they use this colorful paper. After all, who likes dull, bland, and boring? Kids are more engaged when they're excited! AstroBrights promotes creativity because thoughts aren't shy, ideas are important, and no one should be afraid to stand out in a crowd!
I am super excited to let you all know about a great sweepstakes from the awesome folks at AstroBrights. In their "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes, you can win a cash prize and school supplies valued at $30,000 for the school of your choice. How cool is that?!
Participate in the family-friendly "Make Something Astrobright" design challenges and unleash your creativity for a chance to win AstroBrights Paper and other prizes! Share your projects with pictures and video! And if you share anything via Pinterest or Twitter please use the hashtag #goastrobrights
How will you organize and get ready for back to school this year? Any projects AstroBrights can help you with? We’ve got a few ideas but we’re sure you’ve got even more!
After school chore chart
PTA Meeting Flyers
WARNING: While this post is PG-13, the links contained within are meant strictly for adults, 18+. Please do not click on them if you're at the office or have kids climbing in your lap....Otherwise, you might have some 'splainin' to do, Lucy!
It's no secret that when major life changes occur, marital relations can suffer. Whether it's a new baby, a new job or in my case, a quickly approaching move, the nookie totally disappears. It's never anyone's intention for this to happen...It just kind of does. Passion and libido take a backseat to stress and the urge to run around wildly like a chicken with its head cut off.
Lately, there has been no adult playtime in my home. To be brutally honest and transparent, I think it's been close to a month since we did the dirty. That's probably the longest we've ever gone without enjoying each other in the Biblical sense. Shoot, even after Sophie was born, there was sexual activity in the hospital room just a few hours after my cesarean. (Ouch!) While it was definitely fun, I wouldn't recommend this practice. My husband totally took advantage of the fact that I was still under the influence of whatever mind-numbing drugs were included in my anesthesia!
Anyway, to put it bluntly, this Mama isn't getting any right now. And you know what? Shockingly enough, I don't care. Yep. I said it. I don't care one bit. Even my faithful old friend, the Hitachi Magic Wand, isn't seeing any action. In fact, I don't even know where it is right now. In the past, I would have seriously posted LOST signs throughout my neighborhood if my trusty BOB got lost. But right now, I just don't care.
Should I be worried? At 31 years old, have I turned into a sexless, dried-up spinster who is destined to find tumbleweeds in her nether regions? I don't think so. I think that being an adult has just set in completely. I mean, I have 2 toddlers, as well as a solemn, swarthy preteen. The demands of motherhood take up a great deal of my time. I am always busy kissing boo-boo's, chasing away scary frogs that my daughter seems to be terrified of, cleaning up after my toddlers rip through my home like a hurricane, and acting as a short order cook.
Plus, we are about to close on our first home, which we are paying for in cash. This is awesome for us, since we will be able to give our kids fantastic lives, full of opportunities since we won't have a mortgage payment. The kids want to go to the amusement park? Sure! Swimming lessons? Tae Kwon Do? No problem? Concert tickets to see Lady Gaga in all of her glory? Hmm...Well, we'll see about that....
We're also moving to my hometown in Ohio, which has a ton of things to do for families and a real sense of community. Our new home is mere blocks from the riverfront where multiple festivals and events are held throughout the year. We're also close to several parks, as well as 2 waterparks! (An indoor park for winter and another outdoor park for summer play!)
But in the meantime, it also means packing our home and our ungodly amount of "stuff", coordinating schedules for moving, setting up utility and cable accounts, and planning for necessary home improvements like getting central air installed. I also have to enroll my 12 year old in school, find out bus schedules, and plan for registering our vehicles in Ohio. And the list of adult responsibilities goes on and on and on....
Of course, I am the one who needs to do about 95% of these things. My husband works long hours, and cannot accomplish what I can in a day. He comes home, plays with the kids, eats, has a beer or 2, and packs. All of the details rest on my shoulders. So needless to say, by the end of the day, I am pooped. Getting my freak on is the absolute LAST thing I am concerned with right now....And my husband basically feels the same. He falls asleep before I do most evenings!
Does this mean the end of romance? Not if I can help it! After all, a vixen still lives here somewhere....She's simply hiding underneath piles of boxes and packing paper. Once we're settled into our new home, I am sure she'll emerge. If I am lucky, perhaps she'll be holding the Shunga Body Slide we've had collecting dust on the shelves for the past few months. This is like a sensual, adult slip and slide and would make a great way to Christen our new home. Bom-Chicky-Wow-Wow!
Have you ever experienced complete lack of libido during stressful transitions? How'd you get the spark back? I'd love to hear!
***Disclosure: I am receiving a gift card in exchange for writing this post. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Academy Award®–nominated writer/director Peter Hedges brings enchantment to the screen with Disney’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,”
an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim
Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When youngTimothy
(CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy an Jim—and
their small town of Stanleyville—learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.
I know this movie will be a huge hit, and I can't wait to see it with my family. It sounds magical, heartwarming, and funny. This is a perfect, feel-good combination, in my humble opinion!
THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN is now on Pinterest!!!
Like” THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OddLifeMovie
Follow THE OFF LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/OddLifeMovie
THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN opens in theaters everywhere on Wednesday, August 15th!
Click READ MORE for a fun, printable The Odd Life of Timothy Green Summer Fun Kit full of crafts, activities, and recipes!
Well, it's officially back-to-school season. Families are flocking to stores to buy clothing, shoes and supplies. Salons are booked solid giving kids their fall haircuts. Schedules are being altered to prepare for the early morning demands of the school season. There's no question that this time of year is downright hectic for most familes!
With everyone scrambling to go back-to-school shopping, there's one thing that parents may be neglecting: Talking to their kids openly and honestly about peer pressure and addiction. You see, kids are highly impressionable, particularly in middle and high school. They want to fit in with the "cool" kids so badly, and they want to be accepted.
Unfortunately, the pressure to do so doesn't come without serious risks. Kids often turn to reckless behaviors like sex, drinking, and drug abuse all in the name of popularity. Of course they think it's all in good fun. The adolescent mind is not fully developed, and kids often don't have the mental capacity to connect potential consequences with their actions. They think things like: "Oh, everyone else is doing it. It couldn't possibly hurt me!" Sadly, this very assumption has cost many a life, leaving the families around them devastated and confused.
I admit, I was a pretty wild teen. I did a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of stupid things. I was lacking proper support and guidance, so I just did what I wanted to do. Thankfully, nothing horrible ever happened to me because of it. Then again, things have changed since I was a kid...Back in the 90's, the cool thing to do was sit around smoking marijuana. (Not that I advocate this!) Today, teens face a much darker, more deadly temptation. One that comes with a seemingly innocent appearance and can be found in millions of medicine cabinets around the world.
This danger is prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic, and kills more people per year than car accidents. Kids may wrongly assume that because a doctor prescribes these pills for various ailments, and they're so readily accessible, that they must be safe. The fact is, prescription drugs are just as deadly if not more so than more traditional drugs.
Did you know that drugs in the Opioid family like Morphine, Ocycontin, Hydrocodone, and Dilauded are extremely similar to Heroin? In fact, when Herion addicts shoot the drug, it reacts inside the body and turns into pure Morphine! So basically, people who abuse these drugs are basically the same as Heroin addicts. The sad part? These drugs are so commonly abused and they're incredibly addictive. Trying these drugs in "good fun" can lead to a lifetime of addiction, ruin families, and ultimately destroy lives.
The scariest part? These drugs are available to kids. As the parent of a preteen, this scares the Hell out of me. I have seen for myself what prescription drug abuse can do to a person. I have had to sit by and watch someone's life slowly degrade, changing who they are completely. I even know someone who has died because of an opiate addiction. Prescription drug addiction destroys lives and rips apart families. Users often don't see a problem, and families sweep it under the rug and deny there's a real problem until it's far too late.
Check out this video about prescription drug abuse, featuring Joe Schrank of The Fix:
Summer time is probably the most beloved season of the year. Ice cream from the ice cream truck, BBQ's with family, and running around at the park or playground are just a few of the things everyone loves about the summer. I know we love cooking out and going swimming more than anything. We try and take full advantage of the nice weather the season has to offer.
Unfortunately, summer also seems to be the messiest season of all, too! (At least for my family!) With 2 toddlers and a 12 year old, summer can really take a toll on our clothes. It seems like someone is always dripping sauces on their clothing, popsicles and ice cream melt into messy, sticky goo that seems to coat everything in sight, and grass stains magically appear on bums and knees.
It almost makes me feel like tossing all of our clothing in the trash and buying entirely new wardrobes. Wait...I did say almost....
You see, I have learned how to fight back against stubborn stains by utilizing some great tips from expert Tara Aronson, who has partnered up with Frigidaire!
As many of you already know, I am passionate about doing my best to live a greener lifestyle. While my Mercedes isn't exactly a hybrid and I am not a vegetarian, I try to make more environmentally-friendly choices whenever possible. I cloth-diaper, I use green household products, and I love organic and eco-friendly cosmetics. These "safe" cosmetics are free of parabens, pthalates, preservatives, and other synthetic and potentially harmful ingredients.
Speaking of cosmetics, did you know that you can even find great beauty tools that are kind to the Earth? It's true! And the best of the best come from a great company called EcoTools! (Review and giveaway coming soon, so keep your eyes open in the near future!)
So what makes EcoTools special? Here's some info about their products, taken from their website:
EcoTools® cosmetic brushes are what started it all! The iconic look of the sleek bamboo, gorgeous recycled aluminum and incredibly soft bristles are only part of what makes EcoTools, EcoTools.
Our cosmetic brushes are beautiful and show respect for the earth. They are 100% cruelty-free, have incredibly soft bristles made of synthetic taklon and have handles made of bamboo and recycled aluminum ferrules.
Our indulgent bath tools help clean and exfoliate for soft, radiant skin. EcoTools® sleek bath accessories not only smooth your skin, but also do their part to be eco-friendly!
Our bath accessories feature innovative, earth-friendly materials such as: sleek bamboo, 100% recycled plastic netting, cruelty-free bristles and also may have soft, natural loofah, cotton, and ramie.
Store your EcoTools® essentials in our EcoTools® by Alicia Silverstone cosmetic bags. Made from a cotton & hemp blend, each bag has a unique purpose for all of your organizational needs.
EcoTools® by Alicia Silverstone cosmetic bags are made with a variety of natural elements including: cotton & hemp blend material, recycled PET lining and the beautiful floral design is inspired by nature.
Bath & Body Care
Lather, rinse, and moisturize with our favorite bath & body products from EcoTools®. Each item is created from ingredients from nature that shows respect for you and planet.
Our nourishing formulas are always paraben free, phthalate free, cruelty-free and never tested on animals. We use many natural elements to help replenish your skin including jojoba oil and shea nut butter.
We also package every product in an eco-conscious way including: reusable pouches, post-consumer recycled plastic and recyclable packaging.
After an overwhelming success in 2011, the EcoTools Gives Back campaign is back, giving consumers an easy and direct way to contribute to keeping the planet beautiful. Through EcoTool’s partnership with EarthShare and 1% for the Planet (an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet), consumers have the chance to decide for themselves how the brand’s yearly donation will be divided between three inspiring EarthShare organizations – each of which exemplify EcoTools’ quest for living beautifully.
EcoTools Gives Back! Go Vote NOW and Make a Difference!
From July 2 through July 31, fans can visit the EcoTools Facebook page or EcoTools website to participate. The percentage of votes each organization receives is the percent of the total donation that will be contributed.
The three organizations include:
· The Jane Goodall Institute – Working to protect the world’s wildlife, specifically the chimpanzee population, while conserving habitats and raising awareness
· The Conservation Fund – Aims to protect America’s outdoors and strives to build both a healthy environment and a healthy economy
· Ocean Conservancy – Seeks to keep the earth’s oceans clean and free of pollution, while working to keep the coast clear by stopping trash before it reaches the coastline
Inspired to vote? Fans can submit up to five votes per day and votes can be doubled to by “sharing” the Campaign with your Facebook friends. With more people outside enjoying the great outdoors, it’s hard to ignore the beauty all around us.
It's no secret that we, as a society, are making a movement towards living greener lifestyles. We are becoming increasingly aware about how even traditional household products may pose a threat to the environment and even to the health of our families. With frequent stories in the media about things like GMO's, chemicals,allergens and irritants being found in the products we come into contact with, more and more parents are looking for safer alternatives that also help reduce our carbon footprint.
In my home, we try and do as much as possible to limit our children's exposure to these potentially harmful substances, as well as teach them to be more environmentally-friendly citizens. After all, we only have one Earth, and I know I would like to help preserve it so that future generations can enjoy its beauty. We cloth-diaper, buy clothing that is made from sustainable, organic materials, eat locally sourced organic foods whenever possible, and we even use natural and organic personal care and household products.
I know it sounds like an overwhelming transition to make, but it's really been easy for us to adapt to a cleaner, greener lifestyle. There are a ton of great, greener products available on the market for families today, even for those with infants and toddlers!
One great way to go green is to choose an environmentally-friendly crib mattress. Not only are these better for the planet, they're also much safer for baby! Traditional crib mattresses are often produced using harsh chemicals, pesticides, and common allergens like latex and wool. Let's face it: Babies spend a lot of time in their cribs, especially during the first year of life when they sleep frequently. These substances are not things I feel comfortable letting my babies come into contact with on a daily basis, especially for several hours at a time.
For many of us, eco-friendly crib mattresses haven't even been a possibility since they've always been on the pricey side. Some are several hundred dollars! They're well worth the cost, but for families on a budget, they're not always affordable.
That's why I was so excited to learn about Lullaby Earth! This innovative company has created the very first recyclable crib mattress, and they're at a much more affordable price-point than their other green competitors! Since these mattresses are priced very similarly to higher-quality traditional crib mattresses, every family can enjoy the safety and benefits they include!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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